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I’m OBSESSED with Etsy this month!  Income is on the upswing since we kicked off the FIRE Drill mastermind in March, selling digital download products with 12 of our listeners.  Each month, I’m seeing more orders and higher revenue numbers.

I sell bachelorette party tattoos and digital downloads, which is a fun niche to be in on Etsy.  Especially now that it is summer and wedding season is in full swing.

I love seeing the orders come in each day and the best thing about selling the digital downloads is that I made the PDF one time and there is no further work from me.

It’s wedding season!! Bring on the Etsy orders!

As you can see below, the bachelorette party scavenger hunt printables are my #1 items right now.  I recently bumped up the price on my second best selling printable to $4.99 which should increase my revenue for June.

In May, I also recorded an episode of FIRE Drill podcast specifically about starting an Etsy digital downloads shop.  Gwen, my co-host, and I interviewed two people in our mastermind and all shared our best Esty printables tips and tricks.

Etsy Product Income – $341.92

At the end of this month we’re kicking off a second round of masterminds with our FIRE Drill listeners.  We have three choices: a blogging mastermind, a digital downloads mastermind and a drop-shipping on Etsy mastermind.  The blogging mastermind is closed but:

We filled up sooner than we thought we would this time around but there are still a few spots for the “print-on-demand” drop-shipping mastermind.  I actually think this one has the potential to be the most profitable (and the easiest to set up).

I think drop shipping could be the #1 way to make money on Etsy

I actually just spent time this afternoon getting my drop-shipping product up on Etsy.  I was surprised by how easy it was to get going!!  I made “bride’s babe” tank tops for bachelorette parties.  They seem to be selling well (from other sellers) so I figured I would put my hat in the ring too.

All I had to do was make a transparent “bride’s babe” design in white and then setup a Printful account.  I then selected black women’s tank tops, created the listing, and I had a drop-shipping product up!!

Drop-shipping just means that I don’t worry about screen printing the t-shirts or shipping them. I don’t have to order any inventory in advance because they are print on demand.

We also have a few spots left in our Etsy mastermind if you want to join us.  We’d love to meet you!

The accountability of these masterminds is awesome!  I can’t wait for the group to push me at the end of this month.  The mastermind kicks off in June and we’ll meet for 6 weeks.

Also, if you’re thinking about starting an Etsy shop, here’s my link for 40 free listings.

Rental income – We’re selling the house in Colorado!~

I have a Pinterest board going and a solid game plan to get our house sold in July.  My husband is the muscle for this operation and is on board to Chip & Joanna Gaines this thing as much as we can.

I want to take that equity and get into Airbnb this summer.  Wish us luck!

Blogging Revenue – $2,055

Blogging revenue has been super consistent despite the fact that I don’t blog very often.  I think that is a great myth that you have to blog consistently every M/W/F to make money blogging.

This month I revisited the lessons learned in a course I took by Bobby Hoyt on Facebook Ads.  He’s actually having a sale right now on the course.  I highly recommend it for any bloggers or small business owners who want to get into Facebook Ads.

He now makes $50k-$100k/month blogging and I’ve known him since he was making $10k so it’s amazing to see how far his hard work has gotten him. Great job, Bobby!

I’m looking forward this month to kicking off the blogger mastermind with the FIRE Drill listeners and adding a new lifestyle blog to the mix.

Interested in starting your own blog? Check out my blogging starter guide here.

That’s a wrap!  What are you looking forward to this month?  What are your income goals?

The post May Side Income Revenue Report (Etsy + Blogging) – $2,335 appeared first on Millennial Boss.

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I typically make between $2,000 – $3,000 in revenue per month from my side hustles.

I’ve been consistently making that much for about one year now, since May 2017.  I love it and I want more.

I run an Etsy shop and a podcast, in addition to this blog, Millennial Boss.

The podcast isn’t a money-making venture right now but it has introduced me to some amazing guests who have inspired me to take my side hustles next level.

For example: 

We heard from our podcast listeners that they were interested in developing passive income sources too.

What appealed to us is that these businesses were somewhat passive. We’re all very busy and have ambitious goals for our free time (like traveling, family, exercise) and we don’t want to get into a side hustle where we have to trade our time for money.

These side hustles had a more passive approach to making money once you got them going.

I’m particularly excited to get into drop-shipping on Etsy.  I see people making money with drop-shipping in the niche of my Etsy shop (bachelorette parties) and think I can do it too.

This is what I want to do for the print-on-demand/ drop-shipping mastermind. I make the designs with fancy text and then use the Etsy integration with print-on-demand software like printable to handle everything else.  No storing, shipping, inventory, extra cost to worry about.

I keep wanting to start Amazon FBA or another drop-shipping business so I’m pumped to get started in this space.

The FIRE Drill Masterminds Motivate Me Like Woah

This Spring, we decided to invite FIRE Drill podcast listeners to build these businesses with us in a mastermind and we picked the digital downloads side hustle to attack first.

For digital downloads (also known as printables), you make a PDF one-time and then an infinite number of people pay you to download the PDF.  The PDFs can be things like a weekly planner, or a pattern, or wall art, or a coloring book page.

We sent out a few emails out and had 12 amazing listeners join us in building Etsy shops for digital downloads.

It worked!  I’m now exceeding $350 in revenue per month from my Etsy shop.

The accountability and rapid sharing of information between group members is an accelerant to a new business.

Come join us in the next one?

PS – we’re kicking off another mastermind at the end of June and there are three choices.  

1) Blogging

2) Drop-Shipping on Etsy aka Print-on-Demand

and 3) Etsy Digital Downloads.  

If you think you might want to sign up, snag your spot ASAP here.

We have a limited number of spots so the groups stay small.

My goal is to double my blogging income, get to $1,000 in passive income from my Etsy digital downloads and sell $1,000 in Etsy print-on-demand tank tops through drop-shipping.

If I can end the summer with $5,000 in passive income, I will be thrilled.  

PS – If you click that ‘snag your spot’ link above you get to meet my amazing co-host Gwen too. She is hilarious.  She just quit her job to pursue this type of stuff full-time so she will be extra motivated and hold us all accountable too.

The thing to keep in mind with masterminds is that they are not courses. You would be building these business right along with me & Gwen, swapping ideas back and forth, giving and receiving feedback to improve your business and make more money. Gwen, nor I, nor the others in the group will be experts in these side hustles which makes this way more fun than a course (but requires a bit more effort from you!).

So, who joins these type of things anyways?

We were thrilled to meet a lovely group of people from all over the country in the last mastermind.  We had stay-at-home Moms to full-time professionals, both men and women, people who had never started a side business before to people who have experience with side hustles.

It was awesome to get to know this group of people and work hard at our goals together.  The accountability of meeting each week was probably the greatest benefit though, since we all were super-productive for those six weeks.

We sent out a survey after the mastermind and someone said “they completed a project in 6 weeks that would have normally taken them 6 months.”  Yup.

What was the format?

We met weekly over Skype video chat – sharing best practices, hacks we found, resources such as Podcasts, blog posts, and swapping stories about our lives and our day.

We chose to meet at 6PM Pacific Time on weeknights (this was determined according to the group’s schedule via Survey Monkey).

If you decide to join us for this next one, we’ll probably keep the mastermind to weeknights and not host one over the 4th of July holiday.

What was the result of the last mastermind?

It was an absolute blast doing the mastermind and I’m super proud of the Etsy shops we created!

Check out the 14 amazing Etsy shops our group members created here: 14 Etsy Shops for Digital Downloads from Our Mastermind

Here is one of the shops:

  • Our mastermind member Tamzon of FeltingNerdyandMore sold a pattern for this Harry Potter quiet book.  You essentially print the pattern and use it to assemble this absolutely amazing book for your children or to give as a gift.  I love Harry Potter so I completely geek out over her shop.

And a close up.  Seriously, look at that owl!!  Tamzon is so talented!  Note: she takes pictures of the finished product so people know what they are buying but she is actually selling a PDF pattern so they can make it themselves at home.

How much money can you make?

Take a look at my sales going up in the picture below – my shop is taking off!! Also, if you’re wondering about taxes.  You just have to remember to include your Etsy income at the end of the year when you file.  You don’t get a 1099 unless you make $20k (which hey, maybe I will now that I am adding a drop shipping product).

Fun business owner hack:   I choose to put my money into a solo-401k so I can take advantage of tax savings with having a side business. I made over $20k last year in side hustles so this helps me reduce my tax burden and save more! 

What will we do differently this time in the mastermind?

Well, the biggest difference is that now we sort of know what we are doing!!  Gwen & I were newbies to digital downloads for the first mastermind and now that we have our shops up and making money, we can help people.

We just had Tamzon and another mastermind member, Kevin, share all their tips for a digital download business in our latest episode of FIRE Drill Podcast.  Check it out here:  Building Passive Income with Etsy.

We also have two new choices for the next mastermind: 

  • Print on demand (or drop shipping as I’m referring to it in this post)
  • And blogging!

Gwen and I both get tens of thousands of visitors to our blogs each month so we’re very confident and motivated to get to the next level in this mastermind.  We launched sign ups on Wednesday and so far both experienced people and complete newbies have signed up for the blogging one so don’t be shy.  Come join us!

Sign up for the Mastermind. 

It kicks off the last week of June and lasts 7 weeks – with July 4th week skipped of course!

We’ll keep the sign up form active until June 6th or it fills up.  We believe it will fill before June 6th with the rate we have seen so far, so if you are interested, snag your spot.

Any questions?  Any tips for these side hustles?

The post Drop Shipping my way into Summer with the FIRE Drill Mastermind appeared first on Millennial Boss.

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We’re selling our house in Colorado this summer and honestly I’m sad about it.  We LOVED living there.

Today I went through all of our pictures to reminisce about our life there (which was amazing!)

Here are my top Colorado summer bucket list items in case any of you make it out there!

Visit The Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs

Make sure you take the tour of the Olympic Training Center where resident athletes live and train full-time.  The tour is sometimes led by athletes themselves and takes you through most of the campus. Plus, the video that kicks off the tour is super inspirational.

Feed the Giraffes at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Be sure to visit the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs while you are there!  We took our 5-year-old nephew and he had an absolute blast (and so did we!)

Watch a Colorado Sunset

This picture was taken in Castle Pines, Colorado which is about a half hour South of Denver.   The sunset over the mountain range was breathtaking.

I’ve lived in Massachusetts, Colorado, California, and Washington and can say that Colorado sunsets are the best hands down.

Watch a Colorado Sunrise

Colorado has some of the most amazing sunrises too!  I took this picture on my way to the gym early one morning in Castle Pines.  These type of sunrises were a regular occurrence.

Go to Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park is a few hours west of Denver and it is absolutely breathtaking.  This photo was taken at Bear Lake which is a popular easy trail for hikers at all levels (it’s completely flat and circles the lake). If you want more of a challenge you can check out the other trails in the Park.

Visit the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park (Warning – it’s haunted!)

While you are visiting Rocky Mountain National Park, you have to stop at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park.  Stephen King wrote The Shining based on this hotel.  Spooky!  I also recommend getting the Redrum Ale by Estes Park Brewery while you’re in there.  So good.

Attend the Larkspur Renaissance Festival

The Renaissance festival is a fun summer activity in Larkspur which is located halfway between Colorado Springs and Denver along I-25.  We went and had a blast checking out all of the attractions. It ‘s a great day trip.

While you’re in Larkspur, check out the Spruce Mountain Trail which is a great hike with beautiful views of the front range.  You can take dogs on this trail and it’s rated moderate.

Go to a Concert at Red Rocks Amphitheater

You need to do this.  I repeat you need to do this.  Red Rocks is a natural rock amphitheater in Morrison, CO (about 45 minutes west of Denver) which is gorgeous and always a fun time.

Hike Hanging Lake in Glenwood Springs, CO

Hanging Lake is a very difficult hike for the average person.  Imagine your heart pumping for 45 minutes type of an incline…but the view at the top is SO WORTH IT!

Hike the Mohawk Lake Trail in Breckenridge

Breckenridge is our absolute favorite town in the entire country.  We loved skiing here every Winter and vacationing here every summer.

The Mohawk Lake Trail is a particularly gorgeous hike and is dog-friendly.  It gets super popular on holiday weekends so try to get started super early or go during a weekday.  I would rate this hike moderate.  You can always cheat and drive halfway up to the top if you’re worried about the distance.

Drink a Beer at Denver Beer Co

Denver Beer Co is one of those cool indoor/outdoor breweries with great beer, board games, and fun atmosphere.   It can get packed in the summer but it’s worth it for some of that delicious beer.  My favorite beer was the S’Mores Beer although I really can’t pick just one.

Kayak in Lake Dillon

Lake Dillon is in Dillon, CO and is gorgeous.  We went on a kayak tour and had a blast exploring the lake and taking in thesurrounding mountain views.  Lake Dillon is about one hour West of Denver and is just north of Breckenridge.

Visit Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs

This park is GORGEOUS.  Please go.  The flat walking trails are perfect for visitors of all ages.  It gets really hot here in the summer so bring lots of water for you, your family and your pups if you bring them!

I took these pictures at sunrise which made the rocks look even more beautiful and vibrant.  I saw plenty of deer that morning and loved it.

Hike the Colorado Springs Incline (if you dare)

How does hiking a mile of stairs up a mountain sound to you?

Olympian Apolo Anton Ohno did the entire climb in 17 minutes.  The fastest I have done the incline is in 45 minutes.   Do not attempt the incline if you are not in shape.   It’s so worth it though!  The slow winding hike down the back of the incline is the reward for the 60 minutes of heart pumping action up the stairs.  PS – beware of the false summit about 3/4 of the way through.   I cried a bit the first time I hiked the incline because I thought I was done at the false summit but there was more!

Take a Picture in front of the Maroon Bells in Aspen

Aspen is three hours and thirty minutes from Denver but absolutely worth the long drive.  You can camp at the Maroon Bells or just take the famous picture.

TIPS FOR VISITING COLORADO IN THE SUMMER 1.  Skip the hotel – Here’s a $40 Credit for Airbnb

I recommend staying in an Airbnb versus a hotel when visiting Colorado.  You’ll get a more local experience and see what life is like for people who actually live there.  Use this link to get a $40 credit off your first stay.

2.  Rent a car

Colorado doesn’t have great public transportation.  If you’re just staying around the Denver area you can pass with using public transportation and Uber but then you’ll miss out on all the beautiful places to see in the rest of the state.  I recommend renting a car and possibly an S.U.V. depending where you want to hike.

3.  Wear sunscreen! & Drink water

They don’t call Denver the mile-high city for nothing.  This means that in Colorado you’ll have more sun exposure to the sun and need more water than you are used to.  To avoid altitude sickness, drink a bunch of water during the day and take it easy on the activity and the drinking the first couple of nights you are in town.  I recommend bringing a water bottle with you at all times while you acclimate.

I Love Colorado in the Summer!

Man, seeing all of these beautiful places in Colorado (and thinking about the dozens more that I left out) makes me not want to sell our house.  We miss Colorado!

What are your favorite places to visit in Colorado in the summer?

The post The Ultimate Colorado Summer Vacation Bucket List appeared first on Millennial Boss.

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Around this time last year I was up to nearly $3,000 in revenue.  Let’s see if I can do that again.

Etsy Digital Downloads –  $234.59 in revenue

I am so excited to see my Etsy shop take off!!  I shared that we launched an Etsy mastermind as part of the podcast and that I was hoping for a revenue bump this month.  It came!

Before – 62 Sales

I took this picture on March 24th.  Not quite April 1st but close.

After – 148 Sales!

I took this picture today (May 4th).  This is a little more than the month of April but it makes the point.  I’m making money!

Income is up~ $173 in profit.

I think I can double my profit this next month.  Here’s why:
  1. I just bumped up the price of my top selling product from $1.99 to $2.99.  I can probably increase the price even more since I’m priced low in my category but I’m trying to take it slow and not mess up a good thing.
  2. I stopped pumping so much money into promoted listings mid-month last month and it had ZERO effect on my orders.  My orders actually increased naturally because I put up new listings and Etsy rewards new listings BIG TIME.

By the way – promoted listings just means that Etsy shows my listings up at the top in the ‘ads’ section in search.  Check out these graphs.

Look at how my spend on promoted listings drops mid-month in the picture above.

Now look at the graph below showing a revenue increase and order increase around the same time.

I am now sure that putting up new listings is *MORE* impactful than promoted listing spend.   No reason for me to spend money on promoted listings when I don’t have to!

My new strategy:

I kept my daily spend at $4 max but then I took the bid for each listing off of automatic and set it at 5 cents.  This meant I was winning less bids and spending less money each day.  I am not close to hitting the $4 max anymore at all.

It is possible that I will use promoted listings to scale sometime in the future but I’m not heavily focused on them right now.  my focus now is getting up more products.

Blogging  – $1950 in revenue this month!

I really should be doubling down on blogging since it’s my main revenue driver but I’m very captivated by Etsy right now.  I do think that I can grow my Etsy business to match blogging but it doesn’t hurt to have two strong income streams.

Even though this income amount looks really good on paper, I want to tell anyone interested in getting into blogging these things:
  1. Getting paid through blogging is typically delayed by 90 days and kind of spotty.  It’s not a consistent paycheck that deposits straight into your bank account.
  2. Income depends on traffic, conversions, and program terms and keeping all those things afloat is not easy.  Getting those things in the first place is not easy either.

That being said, blogging is very rewarding and once you do the work and set it up, the machine kind of runs on its own with only minor maintenance.

If you want to start a blog, check out my How to Start a Blog tutorial.

If you want to monetize your blog, consider the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing course which I took to learn how to monetize.

Rental – $32. (OK I know this number is wrong)

I know I have to update this chart to show principal pay down in the “income” category among other updates but I can’t bring myself to do it.

Mostly because I’ve tried to sell this house before two years ago and wasn’t able to.  The principal pay down doesn’t seem guaranteed unless I capture that money in the sale.  I know that is somewhat ridiculous but this house will be off my books soon and then I can invest that money into Airbnb rentals.  I am SUPER excited about this new project and think it’s a better use of the money.

I still am not taking chances this time on having the house sit on the market.  I am researching little ways to update the house to make it sell more quickly.  It’s only a 20 year old house (which is a baby house where I grew up) and has a wide open floor plan, kitchen with granite countertops, lots of natural lighting.

Brass everywhere.  All brass everything.

What the house does have though is BRASS.  Like, everywhere.  Brass on the fireplace, brass in the bathrooms, brass on the doorknobs, brass on the light fixtures.  I want that brass gone when we put the house on the market this time.

I’ve been researching how to cover the brass with a nickel spray paint and it seems to look pretty good.  I also want to cover the peach tiled fireplace with this Annie Sloan chalk paint I keep reading about on blogs. Apparently you don’t need to use primer if you use this paint and you can paint directly on tile.  At least that is what this blogger says.  My fireplace looks somewhat like hers so I’m hoping this is possible.

If you have personally tried out this paint or any of these updates, please let me know in the comments.  This is my first semi-renovation so I have no idea what I’m doing.

The post April Side Income Report – $2184 from Blogging & Etsy Digital Downloads appeared first on Millennial Boss.

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My podcast co-host and I just wrapped up an intensive six week mastermind.  We built Etsy businesses from scratch and met weekly over Skype with group members to discuss progress and swap strategies.

One thing that came up in the discussion was how to motivate ourselves to do work even when we’re tired. We all lead busy lives and this mastermind was something extra for all of us on top of everything else.

Someone in the mastermind mentioned that they feel most motivated when they remember that the products in their shop can help others and are connected to a bigger purpose.

This was much more noble than my admittedly selfish reason for wanting to build out an Etsy shop (hint: $$).

Is finding meaning the key to motivation?

Behavioral economist and psychologist Dan Ariely would agree with our group member that the key to finding your motivation is to find meaning in your work.

That seems easier said than done though?

My Etsy shop is for bachelorette parties.  It’s hard for me to really connect that to a greater cause helping the world.

I’m also starting to get more interested in environmental causes and I feel bad that I’m adding just another piece of paper into the world.  I guess printables are better than physical products though in that they avoid the packaging and invoice slips.

PS – If you want to see the Etsy shops that we created, I wrote a post with all the details – See the 14 Etsy Shops From Our Mastermind.

What else motivates people?

I’ve both been asked and have asked the question “what motivates you?”  When I’ve asked the question at work, one person said seriously that they were motivated by snacks.

I think I am very food-motivated as well.

Last summer I motivated myself to lift really heavy every Tuesday at the gym so that I could go to taco Tuesday at a local bar right after and get discounted tacos and a house margarita.

I think the alcohol I consumed cancelled the benefits of the workout but I never missed a Tuesday. Actually I know it did because there are tons of studies out there that show that alcohol consumption post workout limits recovery.  And just now when I was looking for a study to link to, I found this other article that says it’s known that alcohol causes 15% of all breast cancers.  Taco Tuesday motivation completely gone now.

Celebrating small wins motivates people

What research says motivates people is celebrating small wins.  Studies show that people will be more addicted to games that allow a sense of small accomplishments, such as celebrating getting to the next level.

In the article I linked above from Psychology Today, the author recommends breaking up your day into tasks, keeping a journal of daily accomplishments, and celebrating the small wins every.single.day.

I find this interesting because I’m already doing that somewhat.  I’ve filled out my Panda Planner daily since my husband bought it for me a year ago this May.  The Panda Planner is a daily planner where I write down my three items I’m grateful for, the three items I’m excited about, an affirmation, my daily schedule, and tasks.  I then fill out the “big wins” and one item of improvement at the end of every day.

I do notice that I get more done when I use the planner and I feel better and more calm that day.  My sister, husband, and other readers who have used the planner on my recommendation have given similar feedback as well.

Perhaps this works.

How can the “small wins” motivation practice apply to financial goals?

In the financial independence / FIRE community (if you don’t know what FIRE is – start here), people are always talking about getting to the final result or that magical savings number that allows them to hit financial independence.

I first heard about the milestones of FI on the Choose FI podcast when they interviewed Joel from FI180 and I like the idea of it.  The concept is that you save as much as you can and celebrate all the major moments along the way.

Personally, I know that celebrating the first $100,000 saved was a big milestone for me.

I didn’t necessarily do anything different but I enjoyed seeing the number change on my Personal Capital net worth tracker.

Perhaps I should do something of a bit more significance.

Many people are motivated by quotes (shocking? NO)

Pinterest and Instagram are flooded with motivational sayings and quotes.  It’s funny that people like to collect quotes in the digital world too.

I’ll include some of my favs (half-serious) for Pinterest below.

Science in this article by Fast Company says that people are motivated by quotes because:

  1. People self-select themselves into this group (meaning if you are someone who likes quotes, you are already someone who would be motivated by them)
  2. Reinforcing things in language works
  3. People are aspirational by biological nature. It’s primal to want to follow other people.

I would have to agree.

Personally I love quotes.  I like to butcher quotes but I still get the same effect.  I am also the type of person who tries to push myself to be better and is not happy with contentment (also a huge fault of mine).

I’m very inspired by the #bossbabe style of quotes right now which you’ll see below.   I also shared other quotes (and shout out to female bloggers I admire) in a previous post on girl boss quotes.

It’s inspiring to be a woman in 2018 who was raised with the Spice girls and now is living in the age of RBG, Queen B and all of the other strong female idols.

This #bossbabe quote movement is interesting to me.

Okay, admittedly, I was on a roll making images with Picmonkey for this post. I’m  trying to improve my skills for my Etsy shop since the quality of the images in the listing is so important. I do think these quotes came out pretty cool, no?

What doesn’t motivate people? Fear

This study showed that professors who warned students of failure before the test lowered their motivation.

Although the research seems to go back and forth on this topic too. Fear and defensiveness actually motivates those with obsessive passion according to this other study.

Lack of creativity or innovation

Harvard Business Review says people are not motivated when their creativity is constrained or they feel heavily evaluated / criticized.  Agree with that one.


Money doesn’t seem to be a 100% guaranteed motivating factor.  There is a weak correlation between money and job satisfaction says this HBR study.

Another says that $83,000 per year is the new happiness benchmark for salary where anything over that adds minimal additional benefit.

I would have to agree with the latter that there is a point up to which more money equals more happiness because basic needs and discretionary spending needs are met.  Everything over a certain point is gravy? That doesn’t seem to line up with the race for more money that we see in this culture right now (and I see in myself).  So I don’t know about that last one.

Overall, I think what keeps me motivated is goal attainment.  I like always working towards something or more likely 10 different things at the same time.

What keeps you motivated?  Share any tips to help others in the comments.

The post How to Stay Motivated and Achieve More appeared first on Millennial Boss.

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Millennial Boss by Millennial Boss - 2M ago

There is no debate that a really high income can speed up the path to FIRE.

I just read this article from California Sunday about a bunch of twenty-somethings who plan to retire in their late twenties with hundreds of thousands of dollars in the bank…due to the combination of high tech salaries & financial discipline.

It’s no surprise that many of the popular financial independence bloggers currently or used to work in tech, especially given that the average tech starting salary is over six figures in some areas.

Not all FIRE bloggers work in tech as I’ve tried to capture in this FIRE diversity list, but many of them do.  Including me : )

I personally switched into tech specifically for the income potential.  My income shot up from $33,000 in 2012 to $100,000 in 2014 to well beyond six-figures currently.

Check out the average salaries for Sillicon Valley tech jobs.

It’s not all about the money though.  Tech is an amazing field.

I’ve had the chance to work on things that impact millions of people.  I’ve never been bored.

I’ve lit up all the creativity and problem solving parts of my brain.  I genuinely enjoy what I do.

I’ve had a chance to lead people, have had incredible mentors and I am thrilled I found this industry.

Give a girl the gift of FIRE

I was listening to the Tim Ferriss podcast last week and heard his latest interview with supermodel Karlie Kloss.

Karlie was inspired to learn programming in her early twenties despite having a crazy successful modeling career.

One of the reasons she decided to dive into coding was because she was sick of other people putting limits on her because of how she looked.

She got super into it and decided to found a FREE coding boot camp for young women called Kode with Klossy.

Kode with Klossy – FREE boot camp for girls ages 13 – 18

Kode with Klossy teaches girls programming through labs and demos over the course of two-weeks.

They gain proficiency in back-end web development, front-end web development, or mobile app development.

Depending on the camp, attendees will learn:

  • Ruby, Javascript Html/CSS, or Swift

Camps are two weeks long Monday through Friday, 9 to 5PM in 25 locations across the United States.

Do you know any 13 – 18 year old girls?

If you want to literally give a girl the gift of FIRE, send them this link to apply for a FREE scholarship to camp (or nominate them yourself).

Apply for Kode with Klossy

You have until April 15th to apply or nominate a girl.

What other FREE tech opportunities are out there for girls?

There are tons of FREE opportunities for young women to learn tech skills.

I wish there were actually more opportunities for mid-career women, but that is an entirely different post.

Here are a few that I know about.  If you know of more, please comment below.

Where else can I learn coding for free?

While learning things in a group setting with paced materials makes it easier to learn most things, you don’t need a structured program to learn coding.  You can learn for free online with blogs, websites and youtube.

You can also learn with books on Amazon or at your local library.

So, to whom will you give the gift of FIRE?

The post Give a Girl the Gift of FIRE appeared first on Millennial Boss.

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I made just over $1,500 this month from my side hustles so things are looking up from February’s income report, where I shared I made $1,300.  If you want to know my blog traffic and other metrics, check out that previous income report.  I want to focus on new and different things this week.

Let’s start with Etsy – $39 (and growing!)

My Etsy shop is back!! This time with all new digital download products.

I used to make $200 per month selling temporary tattoos on Etsy last year.  I decided to put the shop on vacation mode sometime in the Fall versus try to grow it, since I wanted to focus on the podcast instead.

Well, 2 weeks ago I turned ‘vacation mode’ off to celebrate the launch of my new digital download product line!

I worked on these products as part of my Etsy Mastermind, which I’m hosting with my wonderful podcast co-host Gwen of Fiery Millennials.

The first few weeks of the mastermind were about getting our products created, listings up and our shops ready to sell.

Most people in the group were starting from scratch, but we all got our shops up and running and they look great.

Now, it’s time to grow our businesses!

This Etsy revenue is 2 weeks out from listing launch and with promoted ads turned on.

I launched my listings and turned on the promoted ads two weeks prior to writing this post.   I have 12 sales and 1,000+ views on the listings so far, which is really good for just launching.

I need to rethink my Etsy promoted ads strategy though.

Since my products are $1.99 digital downloads, I’m not making as much money per order as I did when I was selling packs of tattoos.  For example, I used to make $15-$20 per order versus the $1.99 average order cost now.

You pay a cost per click with Etsy Promoted Ads.  The high average order on the tattoos made a 25 cent cost per click worth it (because when someone did purchase on the click, the high order amount made up for all the clicks and then some).

Right now, I’m not making up for the cost of the clicks because my product is only $1.99.  I’m excited to learn how to turn this thing profitable with promoted ads and other strategies.

I want to increase my sales and reviews.

I have a theory that customers trust shops with more sales and reviews.  Everyone in the podcast is buying and reviewing each other’s products to provide that social proof.  It also helps to have someone test out our shop and the download process so we can catch anything that goes wrong up front.

$10 of the profit that you see above is from people I know personally. That means that I am actually in the hole $34 and not $24 as listed.

I don’t care that I’m in the hole though, because 1) I need reviews and sales for social proof and 2) I’m learning and $34 is a drop in the hat compared to what I plan to make with this business.

Social promotion is next

I also made a Pinterest account and created an email list with ConvertKit for the shop.  I just launched it but I heard Etsy and Pinterest are best friends and I look forward to driving traffic to my shop from Pinterest.

We’re not accepting any more people into the mastermind unfortunately, but if you want to learn more about it and the podcast, click here.

Rental Income – $30

Abandoned Cubicle pointed out to me in the last update that I’m missing the principal pay down, tax benefits, and other items that should be noted under income.  That is very true and I haven’t exactly calculated what those are worth to me.

I know the principal that I pay each month, but part of me doesn’t want to count it because there is still a very good chance that I could sell the house and have to pay a large commission.  For some reason, the money doesn’t really feel like mine, but I know that is probably ridiculous.

How do you all determine the rental “income” amount?

I’m still thinking about renting the house.  As I mentioned last month, I got an online quote for refinancing through LendingTree and was SHOCKED by how low the rate was.

For some reason I thought that rental property rates would be over 4% but I was quoted under 4% (actually around 3.5%).

That makes my husband and I want to rent the house out for another year versus selling it in June.

Blogging Income – $1,502

All of my blogging income these days gets reinvested into other side hustles.

For example, it has cost $7,000 to run  FIRE Drill podcast so far.  Yes, $7,000.  #jawdrop

My co-host and I split that amount and we have made a percentage of it back, but still it cost us thousands each to do something we love to do.

If I didn’t monetize this site, I wouldn’t be able to do something that I’m passionate about (the podcast).

I also think that we’re sharing the stories of underrepresented groups in the financial independence community and providing value to people.

I have read folks getting a little judge-y around the blogosphere lately regarding monetization and that is too bad.

I would ask them if there is a passion project that helps people that they want to do but don’t have the funding for it, and see if that changes their mind.

As for line items above, the only noteworthy thing is that I stopped Pinterest and Facebook advertising.  I took Bobby’s Facebook ads course and now have the skills to implement them even better, but my focus is on my Etsy shop and the mastermind now.

  • If you want to learn how to get started with blogging, start here.
  • If you are already a blogger and want to promote products, start by signing up to be a publisher with FlexOffers.
What else is going on?

I went to Edinburgh last month and gave a few details of the trip in this Edinburgh Harry Potter trip report.

You can also follow me on Instagram @millennialboss for live updates.

I don’t have any trips for April and need a little rest after a very busy February and March.

I plan to get back to work recording for the podcast though and finish the 3 weeks of the Etsy Mastermind strong.

What do you have planned for April?

The post March 2018 Income Report – Etsy and Blogging for $1500 appeared first on Millennial Boss.

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March was Women’s History Month and in honor of that, we offered some sponsorship spots to women content creators on FIRE Drill Podcast.

It was pretty amazing to be supported by three amazing women.  I’ll feature them below and recommend you check out their sites and show them some love.  I also recommend you read to the end of this post where I share some um, interesting feedback we’ve received on FIRE drill.

But first – other content related to Women’s History Month:

Thanks to our Amazing Sponsors

PS – If you want to sponsor an episode of FIRE Drill, email us at firedrillpodcast@gmail.com.

Peti Morgan of Leveraged Mama

Peti Morgan is The Leveraged Mama. She helps mamas find financial freedom through conscious, clever and creative money management. You can find her at https://leveragedmama.com.

Olivia at Birds of a FIRE

Olivia is a 25 year old woman who lives in New York City, is a spreadsheet and programming nerd, and saves a whopping 70 percent of her income. She believes everyone should be able to retire early so she created a FREE 20,000+ word financial independence 2 week email course that comes with a super in-depth spreadsheet.  My favorite post of hers is about the Me Too Movement.

Military Dollar

The Military Dollar writes about military-specific topics such as the Thrift Savings Plan, GI Bill, and military pay. She also covers all things Financial Independence/Retire Early and traveling on the cheap.  She was featured on Fire Drill podcast episode 37 as well.

2 Facebook Groups you should know about

Angela at Tread Lightly Retire Early also created two Facebook groups for women interested in personal finance (because she’s awesome). I’m in both groups and we have good discussions about many things – both related to women in personal finance and some just finance.

Are young women who talk about finance annoying?

This is a bit random but do any other women personal finance content creators notice that they get different feedback than the guys?  I scan relevant Facebook groups every so often to collect feedback on Fire Drill and we’ve been told we’re “annoying” and “gigglers” quite a bit.

We’ve received a lot of positive press too in Facebook groups – thank you all for recommending and sharing FIRE Drill!  This is just one common thread that I noticed a few times and figured I’d include in this post.  Also thanks again to Military Dollar who had our back in one of the posts I found! XOXO

Here are a few examples:

And another one:

I’ll leave it at these two ..but there were one or two more Facebook comments I found with the same type of comments.

I’m 29-years-old with a successful career and own multiple profitable small businesses yet I’m annoying like a little girl and hearing me talk about personal finance is annoying.

Anyone else find that interesting?

I removed the names and pictures from the above Facebook posts but I want to say that it was both women and men who said we were annoying and had annoying giggles.

Are women’s voices judged more harshly than men?

I’ve written about the subject of policing women’s voices briefly before: Why Woo Girls are More Popular.  I also notice that there is another dual-female-hosted personal finance podcast that has received similar feedback to us.

It has led me to think that maybe people find female voices more annoying than male voices.

Here are two articles I found on this subject that are enlightening:

Interesting, no?

For the Record – I DON’T believe that women are less interested in money than men

While also creeping Facebook groups, I found one thread where two women commented that I said (on the podcast) that women are less interested in managing money than men.  My bad.

I definitely don’t believe that women are less interested in managing money than men.  In fact, it drives me nuts that women are thought to be “less interested” in both personal finance and technology.  I believe it’s total b.s. and it holds women back in both spaces.

I have both a personal finance podcast and blog, and I work in tech so I definitely don’t believe women are less interested and I am extremely passionate about the topic.

My apologies if anything I said on the podcast came across that way.  I definitely don’t remember saying that (or atleast it came out wrong or was edited differently than I meant).

I cared more about getting this feedback than being told my giggle was annoying, hence including it here!  Sorry, everyone!

And I support stay at home moms !

Someone else also let me know that they interpreted something I said on the podcast to be throwing shade at stay at home moms with me saying the phrase that I don’t want to be “just a stay at home mom.” I remember saying that but it was not what I meant! Sorry!

The context was that we were talking about FIRE bloggers and podcasters saying that they are financially independent when they have income from a spouse who is still working.  In that case, many people think that they are not “retired” but a stay at home parent instead.

This is quite a controversial topic in the financial independence blogging space right now, so I was addressing that – not trying to reduce the work of a stay at home mom.

I just read a study that stay at home moms work 2.5x times the equivalent of a full-time job.

I’m actually considering being a stay at home parent myself and I do believe that stay at home parents or people who have working spouses can be financially independent.

I have to be more careful with how I word things because I can totally see how that was taken as reducing the work of stay at home parents.  My apologies if I offended anyone!

At the same time, I have to be comfortable with a little scrutiny.

Clearly I feel bad about the last two pieces of feedback I got, but I need to be brave enough to keep putting content out there and keep building my businesses.

I believe that I am actually helping women in personal finance and technology by using my platforms to talk about them, so I have to keep doing it despite scrutiny!

If you don’t put yourself out there in small business (or in life), you won’t get the results you want.

Any thoughts on anything above?  

The post March was Women’s History Month and I have the Giggles appeared first on Millennial Boss.

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