September 2016: Passive Income Report while Cruising Amsterdam to Rome

It's crazy to think that I've been on a boat pretty much this entire month. I had to double check my calendar as September 1st - 15th felt like so long ago now that I'm back in Chiang Mai. I spent the first half of this month on a cruise ship with almost no wifi so this month more than ever, I really have no idea how much money I earned through my passive income streams as I really haven't looked at all. To be honest, I told myself that even if it somehow went to zero this month I wouldn't really care as it was more important for me to unplug, take a proper vacation and spend two weeks with my family.

I figured that I have enough in savings, and since I'm planning on starting a bunch of new dropshipping stores in November, that even if my income dropped, I would be okay until then. I started the month in Berlin celebrating my buddy Chris Lioe's birthday, then took a train to Amsterdam to sightsee and start the cruise. It was a crazy journey with the train breaking down and a group of twenty German guys getting drunk, but it was a great kick off to a great couple of weeks and hopefully, another good month. Keep reading and let's find out together!

P.S. here's the in depth video version on youtube if you prefer!

Income from Books

Some of you may skip this section entirely as you may be thinking this doesn't apply to you as you don't have a book and could never write one. I used to think the same, and trust me, everyone has a story to share, and if you don't, maybe it's your cue to start living life and pursuing your passions. Everyone should die with a legacy and living a life worth writing a book about is a great way to do it.

Still not convinced? Well this week's guest on the podcast is a guy who makes $7,000 a month selling books the same way I do, expect, instead of sharing his personal story which maybe only a handful of people are interested in reading, he finds popular topics. Selling books on Amazon is a great passive income stream regardless of if you're writing for yourself or publishing books under a pen name. Don't skip over a section just because you don't think it applies to you right now.

Amazon Kindle Sales: $165 +/-
Paperback Sales: $17.10
PDF Sales: $15.98

Total Profit from Book Sales: $198.08

*decrease from $247.74 last month

Latest reviews of 12 Weeks in Thailand

Income from Udemy

I'm super happy with the fact that aside from the email autoresponders I have set up for whenever someone subscribes to one of my course newsletters, I've done zero promotion of any of my courses now for a few months and it still brings in almost $500 in passive income.

My favorite thing about Udemy is the fact for every $84.39 in sales I bring in from my side, Udemy sees that and spends money advertising my course, and bumps it up organically so people can find it. My course Dropship Lab: Six Figure Formulas has now earned a total of $2,479 which helps me accomplish my goal is replacing some of the monthly income I've lost after selling my main dropshipping store by teaching the tactics I used to earn $100k from my own store.

Total Profit from Udemy: $473.20

*Decrease from $509.25 last month

My sales dashboard for my Udemy courses

Income from Dropshipping

Last month was terrible, it was the first month ever that my store barely broke even and it was all my fault. My customer service employee in the states has been seriously slacking these past few months and not answering phone calls or replying to potential customers. It was my job to keep an eye on him but I was so busy traveling that honestly, I didn't want to deal with it.

In retrospect, I could have asked someone in the states to call in everyday to make sure he was answering the phone, or I could have looked at the call records, but I didn't and we paid for it with the lowest month in sales we ever had last month. To make it worse, I let it continue all this month as well. I was on the cruise ship and knew that I didn't have the time to answer calls myself or hire and train a new employee. So I gave him a final warning and prayed that he would magically change his ways, but he didn't, and two days ago, I fired him and signed up for virtual receptionist at conversational instead. I'll write a review of them in the next few months, but I have a good friend who uses them for his dropshipping stores and has had great experiences so far. At first I was reluctant as I don't want a receptionist I want someone who can answer questions and get the customer to order, but it seems like they can do that as well which is awesome!

Best news is that as soon as I fired the guy and has calls go to my skype number, we made $6,498 in sales overnight just by me calling people back in my underwear. Hopefully the income from this store will continue to increase now that I have my eyes on it again.

Total Sales:  $14,489.00
Advertising: $802.19
Cost of Items: +/-
Shopify Fee: $59.25

Total Profit from Dropshipping: $1,536.96

*split 50/50 with Larissa. Increase from break even last month.

Sales from our dropshipping store built with Anton's Method

Income from Investments

My favorite form of income is passive income, and nothing is more passive than having your money make you money without needing to think about it. I've taken the $60,000 I made from selling my dropshipping store and have fully invested it now in a mixture of PeerStreet, Vanguard and a few other platforms I talk about in episode 09 of Invest Like a Boss.

What I've been most excited about is PeerStreet as it's a way to give out micro loans between $1k-$2k at high interest rates while holding onto their property as collateral in case they don't pay you back. This was the first month I started collecting interest and even though right now it's still early, it's a fun way of collecting payments by investing in property without dealing with actually collecting rent. I'm expecting this number to grow next month as more interest is collected.

As for my Vanguard account I don't count market gains as it's not actual money being deposited into my account yet. So the only thing I count are dividends paid out, and since they are paid quarterly, I got a big payment this month compared to August.

Interest from PeerStreet: $81.72
Dividends from Vanguard: $499.49

Investment Profit for September: $581.21

*increase from $23.55 last month

My investments and returns on PeerStreet

My investments and returns with Vanguard

Income from Youtube

I have a feeling that Youtube Red is either going to disappear soon or they'll have to completely rework it as it doesn't seem anyone is subscribing to it. But then again, I'm not a professional Youtuber or anything so even though I know I could potentially make thousands of dollars a month in ad revenue if I dedicated to making daily Casey Neistat type videos or stupid prank videos, it's really not my thing.

So I'm happy making a bit of extra income by hosting videos on Youtube I would have made anyways. So thanks Youtube for giving me a free place to host my videos.

Profit from Youtube: $66.77

*decrease from $78 last month

Earnings from Youtube advertising

Income from Affiliate Earnings

Aside from investment income, my second favorite source of passive income is through my affiliate earnings. I love the fact that I can get paid for recommending or reviewing a product or service that I'd happily tell my friends and followers to use anyways. The big secret really is to only recomend things that genuinely work and that you would personally pay to use yourself. If you aren't willing to use or pay for the product yourself, why would anyone else? Also if you're not getting a positive return on investment for your time or money, people are going to stop listening to your recommendations which will decrease your income instead of increasing it.

For an example, this month someone bought a pair of wireless headphones I recommend giving me $20.94 in commission. So if you read my review of the Bose QC35 and ended up buying the headphones through my link, I would have gotten a 6% commission for referring you.

This month just like how Uber had an amazing affiliate program when they first launched, I think the next big thing is going to be telling people about Zero Financial's 3% Cash Back credit card. I'm a big believer in word of mouth advertising and think big companies and startups alike are way better off paying people directly for writing blog posts, reviews and sharing referral links on social media thank wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars in media buys on tv, newspapers or radio commercials.

If you want to know more about how to make money as an affiliate the helpful and honest way, check out my course called Earnest Affiliate.

Total Profit from Affiliates: $14,137.87

*decrease from $22,505.53 last month. 

Earnings from Amazon's affiliate program

A few more of the items sold through Amazon

Get access to all of the dashboards at Earnest Affiliate

Income from Courses

I'm super happy to announce that our first Earnest Affiliate member hit $1,000 a month in affiliate income! Big congrats to Mike for leading the way for the other members who are still going through the course or starting out.

My goal has always been to slowly nurture the members of EA and get them up to a point where enough of them are profitable, that they can be my best referrals as word of mouth and success stories really trump everything else out there.

Total Profit from the Course: $1,182

*decrease from $2,202.00 last month.

Total sign ups for my course Earnest Affiliate

Business Expenses

Intern Expenses: $600
Coworking for Intern: $100
Coworking Membership for me: $100
PDF hosting with e-junkie: $5
Web hosting with SiteGround: $14.95
Payment Gateway with SamCart: $199
Email Marketing with Aweber: $50
Email Optins with OptinMonster: $16.59
Email Accounts with GoogleApps: $8

Total office expenses: $1,094

Hanging out on Amsterdam (literally) instead of working.

Travel Expenses

Train from Warsaw to Berlin: $0
Berlin Hotel (hotel alt-tempelhof) : $369.35
Train from Berlin to Amsterdam: $71.90
Amsterdam Hostel (generator hostel): $72.62
Taxis and Trams: $30
12 Night Cruise (my portion): $1,379.23
Hotel in Rome (hotel cecil): $100.72
Uber and Taxi: $50
Flight Rome to Chiang Mai (1way/business):  $1,880.10
Rent in Chiang Mai (15 days): $200
Food: $1,000
Misc. Expenses: $500

Total Travel Expenses: $5,653.92

During the walking tour in Rome, Italy

Other Expenses:

Donation to Kaseys Mom's GoFundMe: $50
Donation to Muay Thai Isaan (monthly recurring for children)
Donation to Warm Heart Worldwide (monthly towards Biochar Project)
Monthly Check to Parents ($1,000)
Present/Gift to Mom: $310

Got to spend 14 days with my entire family!

Total Passive Income for September

Even though I knew my income wouldn't drop to zero even though I did almost zero work this month, I'm really happy to see that everything I've built has a strong enough foundation that even though I've hardly worked at all these past four months in Europe I've still been able to earn $17,407.61 this month which is still an average of over $200,000 a year without even really working.

I started the month in Germany, went to Amsterdam then was at sea for 13 days and still was able to earn what most people in the world consider an executive level salary! But the truth is, making $17k location independently, even with the added costs of traveling and paying for the cruise, is still better than making the same amount living back home in California as my expenses there would be double. The trick to becoming wealthy is simple, earn more money than you spend, and invest the money leftover to make you more money. 

Total Passive Income: $17,407.61

Final Thoughts: 

I feel so fortunate that I'm able to spend so much time with my parents, sister, niece and nephew and still be able to maintain and.or grow my business. Being back in Chiang Mai these past two weeks, I've really enjoyed getting back into a habit of eating healthy, exercising, and being more productive at work. My goals for this upcoming month is to train my new employees that I hired through conversational to answer my calls, and grow the income for my dropshipping store.

I'm also planning and preparing for the dropship partnership program and getting ready to onboard 10 people, most of which are flying to Thailand just for this. It's going to be a pretty hectic month of helping them all find places to live, settle in, and planning the process so we'll have it all in place when everyone arrives November 1st.

As for travel plans, I'll be headed to Hawaii for a week for the 2016 Dropship Lifestyle Retreat as I'll be one of the speakers this year.  And on my way to Hawaii I'll be stopping by Los Angeles to visit some friends and my cousin Jacob for a few days beforehand. I'm glad I had plenty of time to rest up as this is going to be a busy next 30 days. Keep following the journey, and let us grow our incomes together!

Warm Regards,

Johnny FD

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Income Report 352730821037995999

Post a Comment

  1. It would seem a big portion is affiliate income - of course the rest is nothing to throw away at, but it's the 80-20 rule :)

    1. Yup, that's why I'm so excited to teach how to do it inside my course:

  2. Great post as usual Johnny! I love reading your monthly income reports, I'm betting with you back to work, October will be above 20k!

    1. Hey glad you enjoy the posts! Lets hope for a good October!


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