My Monthly Income Reports [Resource Guide]

My Monthly Income Reports [Resource Guide]

If you know me, you know that I’ve valued transparency over the years.

In the past, even if something didn’t exactly make me look like an authority, I published it anyway.

In a world of perfectly manicured social media profiles and shiny looking live streaming personalities, it’s easy to forget that everyone has challenges.

Name anyone who has recently achieved any level of success, and I can promise you the smoke of battle is still on them.

What does this have to do with anything?

Well, between June 2015 and March 2016 I published 10 monthly income reports.

And much to my surprise, people like you ended up finding a lot of value in them.

With my income reports, I was showing you how I was making money, and in turn you took those ideas and started making money off them. As a musician and creative coach, that got me excited.

So, it’s been a while since I published those reports, but that doesn’t mean they’re any less valuable now than they were back then.

I may have changed my app subscriptions, my income comes from slightly difference sources now, and I may have some new products, but aside from that, everything I did back then is still quite relevant today.

So, here’s a special edition income report resource guide just for you.

My June 2015 Monthly Income Report – $1,351.98

In my income reports, I only ever shared my music related income, so don’t worry, I wasn’t living off a little over $1,000 per month in June or other months.

The first report establishes this, along with some of the other parameters and rules I had set for myself in creating these reports.

View the June 2015 income report

My July 2015 Monthly Income Report – $2,033.24

As you can see, my July income ended up getting a bit of a boost. This was mostly because one of my clients finally settled with me. I also got some teaching income I didn’t expect.

View the July 2015 income report

My August 2015 Monthly Income Report – $1,311.63

August 2015 ended up being a relatively “standard” month so far as the income reports were concerned. My first book, The New Music Industry had just come out at that point, so that’s the main thing I was focused on promoting.

View the August 2015 income report

My September 2015 Monthly Income Report – $1,811.46

September 2015 was not an explosive start to the fall, but a solid month for me, nonetheless.

At the time, I could have lived off $1,800 which is amazing to think. Then again, I’ve been in the habit of living in basement suites and buying 10-year-old cars for years now.

View the September 2015 income report

My October 2015 Monthly Income Report – $1,179.35

October 2015 was full of adventures, and not always of the pleasant kind. I had a bad experience at a gig, and I was experiencing some issues with my hosting company at the time. But you can read more about that in this report.

View the October 2015 income report

My November 2015 Monthly Income Report – $1,191.95

My life was in full on “organized chaos” mode in November 2015, and this is somewhat reflected in the income report as well (I had a lot of expenses).

View the November 2015 income report

My December 2015 Monthly Income Report – $1,718.03

December 2015 is when I learned that a startup, I had invested in had completely failed. Considering it could have made me a millionaire (I don’t exaggerate), this was quite disappointing. I reflected on the pros and cons in this report.

View the December 2015 income report

My January 2016 Monthly Income Report – $1,301.78

2016 started with a bang, and I kept that momentum up until summer, when I had enough income coming in from my home based freelancing and business efforts that I could start working completely from home.

View the January 2016 income report

My February 2016 Monthly Income Report – $2,514.67

February 2016 ended up being my most lucrative month in music (not ever, just so far as my income reports are concerned).

This was also the month paperback copies of The New Music Industry officially became available.

View the February 2016 income report

My March 2016 Monthly Income Report – $1,778.59

My final income report ended up being relatively standard. You can see me speculating on future possibilities in this report.

View the March 2016 income report

Final Thoughts

Is there value in transparency? Is it worth putting together income reports and sharing them with your audience?

I would say it is, even if it’s just to try it.

If it doesn’t work, or you hate numbers, or it takes too long to do, then maybe do something else.

But there’s still value in experimentation to be sure.

I hope you get lots of value from my legacy income reports.

The Secret to Productivity is Working on Something You Love

The Secret to Productivity is Working on Something You Love

One of the reasons we even worry about productivity is because we have things on our to-do lists, we don’t even want to touch.

Go ahead, look over your to-do list. How many items do you actually feel motivated to tackle? Chances are, there are only one to three items that give you any sense of excitement.

Invoicing your clients is essential. It’s always nice to get paid. Answering your emails might give you a tiny dopamine fix. Having to call your bank can probably wait. And the fetch quest tasks (research options and submit to client, partner, boss, etc.), well, they don’t exactly make the fires of passion well up in your belly.

Maybe the way we’ve been thinking about productivity has been wrong all along.

Because if we just focused on the things that excited us, we’d have a hard time peeling ourselves away from our desk or lab. We wouldn’t be watching the clock, waiting for it to turn 5 or 6. We’d be so deep in flow, we’d have to be deliberate about having a hard stop.

“But I still have things I need to do that I don’t want to do, David” you say. “What you’re suggesting is highly impractical.”

True, you can’t outsource exercise. If you want to maintain your health and fitness, you’ve got to put in the work. There is no other way. It’s the same way with invoicing, emails, calling the bank, and so on.

And we can’t very well escape communication, whatever form it may take. Even ruthless time manager and author Dan Kennedy accepts faxes.

But if we’re serious about productivity, we can’t just think in terms of getting things done. Because that’s not where the important work happens. The truth is the important work only happens when we prioritize and schedule it. Otherwise, it has a way of getting swallowed up in the deluge of urgent tasks that force productivity instead of inspiring it.

The important work only happens when we prioritize and schedule it. Click To Tweet

If you want to inspire productivity, you’ve got to work on something you love.

Just yesterday, I completed a new 8,000+ word eBook. I wrote it in three days, and I happen to think of it as a timely, important work.

I had my reasons for wanting to get it done, mostly because I plan to release it by tomorrow (April 1, 2021), and because it’s replacing a legacy product.

If I were tasked with writing an 8,000-word listicle, unless I was especially excited about the subject matter or had a hard and fast deadline for the piece, I would probably needlessly stretch it out over the course of four or five days.

“It’s so boring,” I would whine. “I just want to be working on my own stuff.”

Now, I’m not saying that you will love everything you work on, even the things you call your passion.

It’s funny – on some level, I actually hate my new eBook. But I got into flow as I was working on it, and I didn’t want to peel myself away from it until it was done. And in this case, I took hating it as a sign that I was engaging in important work.

The point is that we all need work in our life we can’t help but engage in. And, if possible, our lives should revolve around it. Usually, “must do” tasks can be batched on one evening or maybe a couple hours during the weekend. We can create our businesses around the things we love, and not doing so is robbing you and your audience of something amazing.

What is one small change you could make in your life to do more of what you love?

Let me know.

Pay what you want for the first issue of my digital magazine, The Renegade Musician.

The Renegade Musician

230 – Getting Back to the Basics

230 – Getting Back to the Basics

In uncertain times, it’s easy to get caught up in doing a lot of fancy, new things that might not yield results. But sometimes, the best thing you can do is get back to the basics.

That’s what we’re going to be looking at in this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast.

Podcast Highlights:

  • 00:31 – Creativity is all about the process
  • 00:55 – Year one mindset
  • 01:20 – Are you doing what you know you need to do?
  • 02:05 – Are you still committed to learning?
  • 03:10 – Do you have the right pieces in place?
  • 04:22 – Are you making checklists and procedure documents?
  • 05:30 – Are you taking care of yourself?
  • 06:32 – Episode summary
  • 06:56 – First-time coaching special

Transcription:

Hey, it’s David Andrew Wiebe.

We need to be able to find joy in the process.

Creativity is all about the process, and if we end up focusing on the results, we can rob ourselves from the joys of creating. Your creativity has a way of becoming a means to an end if all you care about are the results.

Which is why I thought I would talk about getting back to the basics. I have found incredible value in adopting a year one mindset. And what that means is letting go of whatever has or hasn’t happened in the past. It means getting excited about the process again.

So, here are some questions you can ask yourself to see whether you’re engaging in and focusing on the right things as you look to create and share your music in 2021.

Are You Doing What You Know You Need to do?

This might seem like an odd question, but it’s essential.

If you know you’ve got a performance coming up, be it a live stream or otherwise, are you spending time preparing for that performance?

Are you building out your website?

Are you engaging your social media following?

Are you sending out weekly email newsletters?

This is all quite basic, and nowhere near as sexy as Clubhouse or Instagram. But doing what you know you need to do has a way of producing the results. Whereas experimenting with the latest social media platform can wait.

Consider sitting with this question for a while. You will begin to see things you could be dedicating some time and effort to.

Are You Still Committed to Learning?

Are there gaps in your knowledge? Things you know you should learn, but have neglected? Things you keep avoiding?

I’ve been watching my business coach’s old training videos, and I’ve come to see just how adept he is at things I have considered boring – things like keyword and competitive research, conversion tracking links, identifying business opportunities, profit and loss statements, and more.

Now, as a musician you might not be actively thinking about those things. You might be trying to learn the Lydian mode, or trying to coordinate outfits with your band, or figuring out how to film your own music videos.

The point is that we all have gaps in knowledge and oversights. There are things we avoid, things we don’t like, things we’re not good at.

If these areas don’t have a direct impact on our careers, then we don’t necessarily need to put all our time into developing strengths in them.

But if they are holding back our careers, we should be willing to revisit them. Because our next breakthrough might come from augmenting our weaknesses.

Do You Have the Right Pieces in Place?

You may have heard me talk about James Schramko’s Own The Racecourse methodology before. It’s a system for creating your own platform and growing it through the publishing of content.

Well, for a long time, I’ve been doing a lot of the work myself, either because I was afraid to hire, or I just didn’t have enough revenue to be able to bring someone on the team.

But I recently brought on a podcast editor, and this has shaved several hours of my week I can reallocate to other work or just relaxing and resting.

And that’s when I started to see that the system works much better when you have the right pieces in place. I didn’t. I was trying to do it all myself.

So, are there any apps you know you should buy but haven’t yet? Would you benefit from hiring a freelancer to handle your graphics? Could you delegate menial tasks to someone who would be willing to handle them for a small fee?

The engine works much better when all the other parts also have what they need to operate, be it fluids, belts, batteries, or otherwise. I don’t understand cars that well. I just thought it was a good metaphor.

Are You Making Checklists and Procedure Documents?

Here’s one thing I know a lot of people find boring. But creating and following checklists or procedure documents allows you to do things more consistently and efficiently.

I have a checklist for content syndication and distribution. So, whenever I publish a new post, I just follow that checklist, and I’m done getting my content out to a dozen or so platforms in 10 to 15 minutes. I wouldn’t be as consistent, let alone efficient, if I didn’t have that document.

This kind of goes hand in hand with the last question, but it’s drilling a little deeper into the pieces. And each piece kind of needs its own checklists or procedures.

And it also relates to what I said earlier about boring tasks, because to a creative, systems seem incredibly uncreative.

You don’t need to systemize your songwriting. But maybe having a process for your new releases would cut down on a lot of planning, brainstorming, and thinking. If you have a procedure you can follow and depend on every time you release new music, you can speed up the process and be clear on what you need to do next.

Are You Taking Care of Yourself?

As I’ve said so many times before, your career or business doesn’t exist without you. In the car metaphor, you are the engine. And without the engine, the car can’t run. Kind of like how you need a liver to live.

Nothing else works when you don’t work. And the cost of burnout can be significant in terms of time and money. Recovering from my last burnout took the better part of six months, and I still find that I need to moderate my workload and beware of overdoing work, caffeine, exercise, or otherwise.

Are you feeding yourself quality fuel? Are you getting sleep and rest? Are you moving your body?

Have a listen to episode 227 of the podcast with Yannick Tinguely if you haven’t already. He offers some great tips on taking care of your health and fitness.

If you want to get back to the basics, you’ve got to always make sure you’re in good working order. You can’t perform at your best unless you’re looking after you.

Episode Summary

In summary, here are the questions

  • Are you doing what you know you need to do?
  • Are you still committed to learning?
  • Do you have the right pieces in place?
  • Are you making checklist and procedure documents?
  • Are you taking care of yourself?

If you’re already engaging in the basics, great. Otherwise, spend some time inside these questions. You will benefit from reflecting on them.

So, if you need guidance on any of this, I have been a long-time musician and creative coach. I have a program called the First-Time Coaching Special, for people like you who have yet to work with me. It’s heavily discounted for newcomers. If you’d like to get started, simply go to davidandrewwiebe.com/Special.

This has been episode 230 of The New Music Industry Podcast.

I’m David Andrew Wiebe, and I look forward to seeing you on the stages of the world.

It’s Time to Embrace Your Shadow Self

It’s Time to Embrace Your Shadow Self

According to the mirror principle, everything that occurs outwardly is a manifestation of what’s going on inwardly.

What we see outwardly is mass hysteria. Division. Mistrust.

Some say we are facing a health crisis.

What we’re really facing is a crisis of identity. And that’s as result of what’s been going on inwardly.

For a long time, there’s been an aspect of ourselves we’ve been unwilling to face. Psychologically, it’s the part of you that you don’t want to admit to having. It’s your shadow side.

All this time spent in isolation and “lockdown” has brought that unconscious part of yourself forward. Try as you might, you can’t bottle it up or shove it back down.

And that causes discomfort.

But your job isn’t to change or even heal that shadow side. And projecting onto others isn’t productive either.

The truth is, you have always had a shadow side, and you always will.

The only thing you need to do is acknowledge it. Sit with it. Understand that it’s there for a reason. Learn to love it even.

Dismissing it, ignoring it, or trying to medicate it is only going to cause more inward turmoil. Remember – what manifests outwardly is a result of what’s going on inwardly.

You may have been able to keep it contained to this point. But we’re at a new crossroads now. Humanity is awakening.

If you have been feeling discomfort, then know that you will continue to feel it until you embrace your shadow self.

You may think that someone else is responsible for the ugliness you see in yourself. That’s not true, because you are the one witnessing it.

We are much too quick to label emotions as good or bad, when emotions are just human, and they are often pointing to something we need to face or pay more attention to.

A year ago, there was no urgency to engage your shadow self. Now, it’s urgent that you do.

Disclaimer: I am not a psychologist. If you need psychological help, please seek a qualified professional.

Pay what you want for the first issue of my digital magazine, The Renegade Musician.

The Renegade Musician

18 Social Networks & Platforms I’ve Been Experimenting with

18 Social Networks & Platforms I’ve Been Experimenting with

For years, I’ve been fascinated with content syndication and distribution.

I would often think about how many places I could put my content, as well as where I could go to be seen, even if just by one person who found my content valuable.

Now, I don’t dedicate the same amount of time and energy to it that I used to. But once I’ve established a publishing routine, a content syndication and distribution routine are usually soon to follow.

Is it worth putting your time into promoting your content? Would it be better to spend more time writing instead? I would suggest you come to your own conclusions on that, and the following may help.

Here I will share the 18 social networks and platforms I’ve been experimenting with.

My “Green Light” List

As I’ve shared before, I’ve committed to growing my following on Medium and Twitter this year, so they have been excluded from the following list.

All other social networks and platforms have been quarantined for further review, though there are two or three on the list that are about to make my green light list.

By the way, when I talk about my green light list, it’s just a simple traffic light system:

  • Green for sites that I’m focused on and am seeing results from
  • Yellow for sites I’m not sure about yet
  • Red for sites that haven’t done a thing for me (and in some cases are to be avoided completely)

With that context established, we’re ready to dive in. Here are the platforms I’ve been experimenting with and my thoughts on each.

1. Facebook

Facebook sucks. I’m sorry, it just does.

It’s trying to be the next one-stop-shop like Google, with its dating this, marketplace that, and gaming other (and now they’re looking to branch out into articles too?).

Just do what you do well, Facebook, which at this point is nothing. Even social aspect of Facebook is beyond cumbersome, and Telegram is a far superior Messenger.

Don’t worry about Zuckerberg. He will find a way to keep it afloat, with his big government and big pharma collusion.

So, why bother with Facebook?

There are still a lot of people on the platform. Social Media Today says their growth has stalled (I honestly think it’s on decline), but those who are hooked are still hooked. So, you’ve got to be there if you want to capture that audience.

Look, I know some people do well on Facebook. So, I’m not discouraging anyone from trying, and like I said, I’m trying too.

But if you so much as dare post anything that links outside of Facebook, you’re basically penalized for it, which makes it a horrible place to invest heavily into as a writer. Even their ad platform is needlessly convoluted, and constantly changing.

The occasional (but rare) engagement on my posts and direct messages are what keeps me going back to this dirty, polluted, and stinky fishing hole.

2. Instagram

People are still going gaga over Instagram, even as they add new (but confusing and half-finished) functionality.

Instagram is fine, I suppose. Better than Facebook if you ignore their creepy terms of use and all the spying, they think they’re entitled to (horrifying).

For Instagram, I take my most engaged tweets and turn them into attractive but simple 1080×1080 images. And I schedule these out to publish once per day. This doesn’t take long to do at all.

I have seen some engagement as result of this, but my following hasn’t grown. At this point, it’s still too early to tell, mind you. I guess we’ll see where it goes.

3. LinkedIn

A lot of writers and entrepreneurs are seeing results from sharing on LinkedIn, and I am too. I’ve seen decent engagement on my articles, and my connections continue to grow weekly.

The dirty secret about LinkedIn is that it used to be a boring and stuffy environment, so posting anything that’s the slightest bit eye-catching (like a video) had the chance to go viral.

I say used to be, because many people are seeing the term “LinkedIn” in a story like this and are staking their claim on the platform.

So far, I haven’t seen explosive engagement on LinkedIn. But I would at least say it’s been worthwhile, especially since it has led to other writing opportunities for me.

4. YouTube

I guess I’m not exactly “experimenting” with YouTube. I’m staying steady with it. It’s just that it’s not on my “green light” list.

Gradually, I have been seeing my subscriber base grow on YouTube, but it has been slow, and I have a channel with hundreds of videos.

To be fair, most of it isn’t content developed to appeal to the average YouTube viewer, who comes ready to watch and expects production value. I mostly republish my podcast content.

Either way, you can’t deny that YouTube is huge, and in the last year, I have only found myself using it more and more. I would suspect it’s been the same for you.

Which tells you something. You should probably post something on YouTube.

I recently realized that there’s virtually nothing about my five books on YouTube, and it’s probably one of the first places people are searching for them, so I’m planning to create a video series for each book.

5. Tumblr

My WordPress blogs are set to auto-post to Tumblr.

Much to my surprise, I’ve been seeing my following grow incredibly consistently on Tumblr without effort.

If I continue to see the same kind of growth, it’s only a matter of time before I green light Tumblr.

6. VK

VK is Russia’s answer to Facebook, and if you’re just learning about it now, you’re a little late to the game. The site started in 2006.

It takes me all of 10 to 30 seconds to share my content on VK, so I do it, but so far, I haven’t seen any action on my posts.

That said, Google obviously has its eyes on it. When you click on the “Share” button on YouTube, there are several sites that pop up, and among them is VK. Whatever is prioritized by YouTube is bound to be a signal for Google too.

7. Pinterest

As with anything else, pinning a new post to Pinterest takes all of 10 to 30 seconds. But I can’t say it has led to engagement, and my follower count has basically stayed the same since I started.

Of course, Pinterest is a visual platform. If you’re just going there to pin your Medium post, you’re going to end up pinning the stock photo you picked for the story, and that’s not attention grabbing enough for Pinterest.

If you want to do Pinterest right, you should create custom graphics or curate and organize other people’s best images.

8. Mix

Mix

Mix is another signal that Google (or at the very least YouTube) pays attention to. It’s basically a social bookmarking site. It reminds me a bit of StumbleUpon, and as it turns out, Mix is a literal outgrowth of StumbleUpon.

But unlike StumbleUpon, Mix won’t send you much traffic to your articles or website. I think I have over 150 posts on Mix now, and I haven’t seen much movement at all.

As of now, I can’t say it’s worth it, but I’m keeping an eye on it.

9. Clubhouse

I literally just got started on Clubhouse, so at this point I’m not sure whether it will add any value to my content syndication and distribution efforts.

I’m skeptical of any notion that experts are sharing knowledge and insights on Clubhouse they’ve held back on elsewhere.

Still, I will set aside my skepticism long enough to give this one a go (as I have done with every other platform).

10. Revue

Earlier this year, Twitter acquired newsletter platform Revue. This only came to my attention a few weeks ago.

But as someone who is quite active on Twitter, I couldn’t resist the idea of creating and monetizing a newsletter. And Revue makes it incredibly easy to set up your newsletter.

I have been sending out my newsletter (Creative Alchemist) once per week for about three weeks now, but I don’t have a single subscriber.

Of course, even if I did end up with a big list, I would still be proactive about backing it up, because you just never know what could happen to a platform like Revue.

Anyway, I like the idea of Revue. I just haven’t seen any traction from it yet.

If you’d like to see what I’ve been up to with Revue, go here.

11. News Break

News Break

As other writers grow bearish of News Break, I continue to grow more bullish of it. And if I were thinking purely in terms of revenue, I would probably be putting most of my time and energy into writing for News Break over Medium. My Medium revenue has a long way to go to catch up to my News Break revenue.

That said, there’s a good chance you’re still going to get more views on your stories on Medium, so there is a tradeoff.

For the time being, News Break has been added to my green light list.

If you’re thinking about becoming a News Break writer, click here.

12. Telegram

I like the idea of being in people’s pockets. No, not literally. People are weary of coming within six feet of each other as is.

No, what I mean is that I could be a notification or alert away from someone’s attention. And Telegram gives me that. I like it better than text messaging (which generally needs to be personal to get results), and like I said earlier, it’s far more usable than Messenger.

But as I’ve found, it may not work for you unless your audience uses Telegram, and you already have a significant following.

In the time I’ve been using Telegram and have been encouraging people to subscribe to my channel, I have gained a total of five subscribers. Well, that’s something, I guess.

If you want to follow me on Telegram, click here.

13. Brighteon.Social

Brighteon.Social

With the 2020 and 2021 media hysteria, we’ve seen the rise of free speech and alternative social media sites, and Brighteon.Social is just one among many.

Brighteon, by the way, is a video sharing site much like YouTube, and Brighteon.Social is their Twitter alternative.

When I first started experimenting on Brighteon.Social, I didn’t expect many people to be there, and I figured the conversation would mostly revolve around politics.

Now, don’t get me wrong – I have come across some weirdos. But much to my surprise, people started engaging and sharing my articles, and I have grown a small following too.

Again, I have not seen explosive growth, but if the momentum picks up from here, I could see myself green-lighting Brighteon.Social.

14. Odysee

To be honest, I’m already quite excited about Odysee, a free speech video sharing platform that resembles YouTube more and more by the day (and it’s a bit like YouTube was 10 years ago).

Odysee runs on the blockchain, and your channel is monetized the moment you start it. You can earn LBRY Credits (or LBC) by completing small actions like verifying your email address, watching videos, growing your following, and more. Of course, you can also receive tips from other viewers.

As it stands now, I’m mostly uploading older content over to Odysee. If I were serious about making a go of it, I would be more heavily invested in creating engaging video content.

Still, I’ve been able to earn over 300 LBC in the short amount of time I’ve been on the platform, and that’s the equivalent of about $84. Way more than I would earn on YouTube for the same number of followers and views.

If you’re thinking about joining Odysee, click here.

15. Parler

Parler is the most notorious free speech newcomer on the block, and yes, it’s up and running again.

I’ve only started posting there recently, so I have no idea whether I’ll begin to see any engagement on my posts or if I’ll be able to grow a following.

Likely, I will share in a follow up piece.

16. Minds

What follows, from here, are all new free speech-oriented platforms that, for me, tend to blend. Which is to say, I haven’t seen much traction on any of the following, despite remaining diligent with daily posting.

I’m not ready to write anything off, but so far, I can’t say I’m bullish about Minds or the other two that follow.

Now, I will say this about Minds – they give you the ability to monetize your posts, something I have yet to experiment with. To be able to do this, though. you will need to become a paid member.

17. MeWe

So far, I think I have a following of two on MeWe. That’s something.

18. Gab

I have a following of one on Gab. Wow, dude.

Other Platforms I Might Begin Experimenting with

I have some interest in the following, though my hands are quite full right now:

  • Substack
  • Ghost
  • Thinkspot

Final Thoughts

If nothing else, experimentation can be a lot of fun.

It doesn’t take a long time to share your posts on various social networks and platforms, so if you wanted to make it a part of your routine, it’s good to know it wouldn’t be overly effort intensive.

Of course, if you want to make the most of every platform, you’ve got to customize your approach to each. So, that’s not worth it unless you’ve got a freelancer or team to handle it for you.

I look forward to writing a following up piece on this to report on my various experiments.

Pay what you want for the first issue of my digital magazine, The Renegade Musician.

The Renegade Musician