You might notice that I combined October and November in this report, and that's because I was busy designing the learning experiences for my new cohort of Build in Public Mastery.
While I'm a fan of consistency, I'm a bigger fan of weighing top priorities. Since I didn't have much to share in October, why not combine with November, right?
These last 2 months were life-changing for me. I became more confident. I got clarity on where I wanted to head towards next year. And most importantly, I achieved $10,000 online revenue as a creator after refocusing myself from Aug to Oct (what refocus?).
This graph comes from my Open Dashboard.
How is my personal life?
I absolutely love the balance I have in life right now.
Work is enjoyable. I had a video call with an old friend from university days and he said "Wow you look so happy. You must love what you're doing now!"
That's for sure. Numbers are still small, but I'm truly loving it. The satisfaction I get from running my own online business and empowering other entrepreneurs is remarkable.
I finally feel that things are moving forward. And it is not about pouring more hours into it, more about working on the right things. If I can spend the same hours in 2022 and 3x-4x my numbers, I'd be in joy.
Family wise, Avery is 11 months old now. She loves her mum a lot!
For example, when I'm holding her and her mum is in the bathroom. She would look at the direction of the bathroom and make lots of sound to get attention without even looking at me once!
I'm not jealous at all because her mum spends a crazy amount of time with her (that's our life plan). I just love to see how happy they're together, it makes me happy as a husband and father.
P.S. on the day I'm writing this report, she becomes clingy to me. Love it!
October & November 2021 Income Report
October ($77): Revenue $301 - Expenses $224
November ($3,165): Revenue $4,175 - Expenses $1,010
vs September 2021: $510
October ($301): Consulting ($200), Use Twitter Meaningfully ($54), Showing Up Right ($35), Affiliate ($12.25)
November ($4,175): Build in Public Mastery ($3,600), Use Twitter Meaningfully ($450), Affiliate ($124.64)
The main idea was me removing products I was running to make room to double down on things that can take me to the next stage of my journey. For example, my cohort-based course, Build in Public Mastery.
The numbers in November have proven that my decision was right as I am able to attract entrepreneurs to join at the new price point. It is also easier to deliver an exceptional experience with a small group of students.
All in all, honestly, this uptrend in revenue plus hitting the $10,000 online revenue wrap up 2021 beautifully for me.
- Stripe: $0, Outseta: $1.92, Gumroad: $5.4
- Webflow: $40 (2 domains), Hypefury: $19, ConvertKit: $68.62, Zoom: $14.99, Descript: $15, Gmail $6, Xero $20, Potion $10, Notion $5, Phone Bill $20
- Stripe: $150.34, Gumroad: $45
- Webflow: $40 (2 domains), Hypefury: $14.25, ConvertKit: $49, Zoom: $14.99, Descript: $15, Gmail $6, Xero $40, Potion $10, Notion $5, Phone Bill $20
- Contractor: $600
Since I'm no longer running a paid community, I am not using Outseta anymore.
I decided to sign up for Hypefury annual plan because it has proven to be one of the tools I cannot live without as I continue to invest my time in Twitter. So I thought about saving money in the long run. I'll be doing the same for Webflow & ConvertKit soon.
I hired a Course Manager to run Build in Public Mastery with me. While I think I'd be able to manage the 7 students myself, my reasons are:
- It is best to start working with someone now so I can prepare myself and build the right processes for bigger cohorts next year and
- I want to give this cohort an awesome experience and that means I'll focus my energy on content and student's learning. It would be impactful to have someone lead operations & community
What important things happened
Let me share a quick story with you.
The other day my wife's friends came over to visit our baby and we were chatting about quitting jobs and starting businesses.
One friend is now working her way to quit her Corporate job to become a full-time makeup artist. It was going slow and 2 of her struggles are finding more clients and charging a higher price.
Again, just like most of us, it is impostor syndrome and a lack of confidence kicking in.
When I look back to my last 13 months of this journey, I wasn't fully confident in the first 10 months. I was still new to the topics I'm writing and sharing about. I was finding out the best way to teach.
Only until now I'm able to say I am very confident about this topic and how I design the learning experience. As you read above, I now charge $500+ for my 3-week cohort based course and I know it is totally worth this price point if not more.
How did I arrive to this mental state today? I see a few triggers:
- I talk and share about this topic long enough that it becomes a part of me. I know the topic inside out so I can share anytime, anywhere. I'm also happy to be associated with this term and see myself focusing on it for many years to come.
- Building in Public is no longer just a trend that people talk about. I develop a unique framework to guide my students. Having this framework also boosts my confidence.
- I get a lot of public recognition and encouragement to keep my motivation high. And this is also attributed for the fact that I'm building my business in public.
For anyone having difficulties with self-confidence, these 3 things can certainly help.
Where did the students come from?
This is a super intriguing data point I want to dig into. For these students who are happy to pay this new price point, what attracts them in?
Out of my 7 students enrolled into Build in Public Mastery <BIPM2>,
- 3 students come from knowing Kevon's work in communities, e.g. Maven and a local circle of friends
- 4 students come from taking my free email course and getting newsletters for a long time (3-6 months long) and they open every single email I've sent them
What is this telling me? How can I learn from these data points?
- It is important to show up in communities and share my work so people get to know Kevon + Building in Public. It is not about selling them seats, but more about sharing what I know and letting them know that I'm here if they need help in this area
- Free email course and regular content are such important tools to build trust over time. No one is going to sign up to a $500+ course after seeing Kevon's tweets for the 1st time. Trust is built over months. Develop a regular schedule of content and bringing more people into these free resources seem like a good next step.
- The quality of content is key. The 4 students all open 100% of my emails. They must believe in my content and know that it can make an impact in their lives to do so. How I can create quality content on a regular schedule is something I have to figure out.
Applications and enrollment
If you're also planning to roll out a course and take applications. Know that there will be a lot of students who apply and disappear.
For me, only 50% of my accepted students ended up enrolling.
Priorities change. "Just filling in the form first". Life gets into the way. These are all reasons that they cannot enroll at the end.
But don't worry. Running a successful cohort-based course, I believe, is about doing it for a long time.
People need to know the course exists and then plan ahead their money & time. You shouldn't see it as a quick develop-sell-run cycle because you'll definitely be disappointed.
I also shared a few other learnings in this tweet:
Plan for December
I'm going to focus 100% on Build in Public Mastery Cohort <BIPM2>, then I'll take the last 2 weeks of December off to do a few things:
- Read 1-2 fiction to refresh myself
- Do a annual review of 2021 and plan ahead for 2022 (I believe it is a big year for me)
- Schedule a few review calls with great friends who are on the same journey
- Spend time with family!