Are you curious about a 3-month delay? I explained it in my first income report.
If there was a turnaround month in 2021 for me, it was March. I still struggled a lot. Revenue was nowhere near where I wanted it, and I put too much stress and too many obligations on me.
Yet, I also did some things right, and new opportunities appeared on the horizon. Like with most of my opportunities, I didn’t see them coming in advance nor plan for them.
A Coaching Client
My coaching client who has worked with me for over four years admitted he had big resistance to push forward. In fact, he was sliding back for quite a long time and didn’t tell me.
I offered him to double down on accountability. Online coaching clearly wasn’t for him. He needed to feel that I see him, in the literal sense. He was apprehensive, but he agreed. After four years, we basically started from scratch. However, I still liked this arrangement. I hate the feeling when I don’t see my clients progressing. In March, we started weekly accountability calls.
I got a few prospects in March, including Jim, who had about a dozen business books on Amazon and they were doing nada for him. In a good month, he had been selling five copies.
I charged him just for the ads creation and did plenty of work for him: first, I provided a review of his book pages, then formatted them in HTML and updated on Amazon. I also updated his keyword lists in the KDP dashboard. We managed to do three of his books in March.
Believe it or not, but I didn’t have a LinkedIn account. At the beginning of March, I was researching for the contact to a Polish publisher I met a few years ago. I found him on LinkedIn, but saw almost nothing since I didn’t have the account. So, I created one.
Once I had it, I decided to make it at least half-decent. I added profile information, links to my books, and so on. I also connected there with men from my mastermind tribe.
Among them, I reconnected with Daniel Bauer who published his book a few years ago. He recalled me talking about Amazon ads, inquired, and at the end of the month we started ads for him.
The Remarkable Power of Consistency
The work on a new book reached the editing phase, which I simply hate. Fortunately, my editor, Erica Ellis is beyond fantastic. I think we made at least two passes through the book in March.
I also contacted my old proofreader. Actually, she replied to my email with a thank you note from 2020. My funds were depleted, so I gave Erica just the new parts of the book, the ones which were never proofread by anyone. The main part of the book are my The Slight Edge annual progress reports, which I published on my blog. All of them, but last, were proofread before publication.
Now, I gave this part for my proofreader to double-check.
At the beginning of March, I surveyed my subscribers and decided for the title: The Remarkable Power of Consistency.
Dan Is Dead
On the 8th of March, I got an email from Archangel Ink that my audiobook narrator died of COVID. Dan managed to record the whole Art of Persistence before his death. He made just three minor mistakes in the recording. I sent those audio files as they were to my audiobook publisher.
You can read my ruminations after Dan’s death here:
My daughter will finish her primary school this year. She had a mockup math test and she did terrible – just 16%. My wife was devastated and she ordered me to “fix this.” So, I started teaching my daughter math almost daily. In two weeks, she made a lot of progress. When I did a mockup test with her, her result was over 50% – more than three times better.
And we reached out the ceiling of her rapid progress. Yet, just a bit of consistency produced amazing results. When I write this report, we are less than two weeks before the real exam, but I’m confident she will get at least 40%.
As quickly as the government started opening us up, they started closing everything again. The number of COVID cases surged rapidly and crippled the Polish feeble health care system.
So, another lockdown was announced from the middle of March. As a COVID convalescent, I didn’t care much (read: none) about the danger. I remember that on the last day before the lockdown I went to a swimming pool and sauna, and for the movie with my sons. It was the same movie I watched in February with my wife, and it was even better the second time. BTW, do you recall the pin-drop moment I mentioned? We were in a different cinema and different audience. The effect was exactly the same. Everybody were mesmerized.
Being done with the hardcover for Change Your Life in 10 Minutes a Day, I decided to also produce hardcovers for two other books – Trickle Down Mindset and The Art of Persistence. The first one is 117 pages long, and the other – 134 pages.
All my other books are even thinner, so I decided not to play with them. Anthony Smits modified the paperback covers. This time I had more troubles with Amazon than with covers. They inquired about copyrights, both times. Like they couldn’t have seen I already have the Kindle and paperback formats in their store. Sheesh!
A Driven Life
Speaking of Amazon’s pitfalls – I helped Anthony with his book, A Driven Life. I worked with his co-author on improving the book description and Amazon page. Then, I started ads for the book in the UK, since it was the primary market for this book.
The pitfall? For about 10 days after publishing, the paperback version wasn’t available in the UK, and Amazon gave the information that it was “out of stock.” But the book was in their print-on-demand system! Sheesh!
Anyway, it cost me some time and energy, and in the end the results just weren’t there. Ant and Ray sold maybe a few dozen copies. 🙁
Working with my new Philippine VA wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. It was a lot of hard work and time. I had to train her for every single task and she didn’t do recurring tasks according to my standards.
Ha! I discovered, I didn’t communicate my standards clearly enough. Communication was a big issue. As well as the time difference. My always-crowded schedule didn’t help either. It was a struggle. It cost me definitely more energy than I was prepared for. And it cost me money I could’ve dedicated to so many other things.
But I persisted and trained her in a few new tasks. Thanks to the help of my accountability partner with the Google sheets, we were able to upload all our customers’ data and finally start the ads optimizing process. It was a couple of months behind the schedule, but it happened.
I trained my VA in importing my Quora content to Medium, so I decided to try my luck with Medium once again.
My sales were slightly better than in February. I mean, about 3% better, if you take the difference of the number of days into account.
In the middle of March, I participated in the cross-promotion with a dozen other authors. I’m always game for them. Art of Persistence sold over 250 copies in a few days, 220 in the two days of the promo. It “cost” me only a couple emails to my list, and I made about $80 in royalties.
My ads got more traction, especially outside the US. I noticed in February that my UK ads are giving the positive ROI, so I doubled down on them. Canada and EU markets did well too.
The March 2021 Income Report Breakdown
Amazon royalties: €1,870.56 ($2,263.38)
Coach.me fees: $128.32
Audiobooks royalties: $23.4
D2D royalties: $49.44
PWIW personal coaching: $478.1
AMS service remuneration: $2,124.2
$23.37, BirdSend fee
$1,484.55 Amazon ads
$699.74, RAs’ remuneration (RAs = Real Assistants; my team)
$30, SiteLock fee
$500, ISI mastermind
$49.53, royalties split with co-author
$102.55, Advanced Amazon ads
$100, an obligatory monthly fee for LLC
$92, my accountant’s monthly fee
Net Result: $1,985,02