June 2016: Monthly Progress Report
Wow, we’re officially halfway through 2016!
Normally I’d comment on how fast the year had gone, but looking back, I can hardly remember the start of the year! It seems soooo long ago.
I’ve done and seen so much. It’s been just over 4 months now since I left my home in Melbourne, and to be honest I can barely remember what being home feels like.
Now, I haven’t achieved many of my large yearly goals yet, but being only halfway through the year is making me feel quite good.
My goals have changed, my focus has shifted, and I’ve definitely grown A LOT since the start of the year.
While I obviously still talk to my friends at home in Australia, I have en entire new friendship group out here in Thailand who I see every day.
I’ve truly settled in here, and it’s going to be really tough to leave.
Anyway, to the point of this post – how did I go in June?
Right now I can tell you that this was probably my least productive month as far as actually ‘getting shit done’ goes, but it was a really introspective month.
I feel like my plans and focus have taken a turn this month, and I’ve been able to work out exactly what I want, and how I will get it.
It’s also been a really fun month with lots of activities and (too much) of the most potent Thai whiskey known as Sansgom + 3am toasties from 7/11.
First up, Fitness Goals:
• Squat 200kgs
• Deadlift 220kgs
• Bench Press 110kgs
• Dunk with 2 hands
This is the first month I’ve really been disappointed with my efforts towards achieving my fitness and health goals.
It’s been an extremely social month, where I’ve taken some short trips away and also gone out a lot.
The focus has been more on socialising than exercising unfortunately, and my gym membership also expired part-way through the month.
I got to the gym around 10 times for the month, so an average of once every 3 days. Definitely not up to my usual standard. My diet was also a bit worse this month, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I’ve put on a couple of kegs. Nothing much, but still I hate to be going backwards!
My strength is still pretty consistent, and I think I’ve been able to maintain it.
Right now if I had to guess I think I’d get close to a 100kg max bench press.
I feel that I could probably bang out at least a 170kg back squat, and a 185-190kg deadlift.
As far as the vertical jump goes… I have no idea!
I honestly haven’t jumped properly in months! No gyms here have plyometric boxes, and I haven’t done any sprints or explosive work at all. Not to mention I haven’t played any basketball at all.
With that being said, I think I’d still be able to get up 35 inches or so on my running vertical. I seem to be able to maintain that level of leap without much effort, it’s sort of my natural maintenance point.
I find it A LOT easier to focus on health and fitness when I’m at home in Melbourne. Last year I went 4 months without drinking at home, no problem. Out here I’d struggle going 4 weeks.
It’s just a very social thing out here, unfortunately. While it’s fun, it takes away from my fitness goals, and also my overall health.
I leave Chiang Mai on the 13th of July, and then will be spending 8 days in Phuket with a friend from Australia. There will be plenty of drinking happening there, but after that I plan on taking a BIG break!
I should get 3-4 months to end the year at home in Melbourne. I plan on not drinking during this period, sticking to a strict diet, and hitting the gym 6+ times per week. This is when I’ll make the biggest progress on my fitness goals. With that being said, I do need to lift my game while I’m out here so I at least don’t go backwards.
Launch Freedom Self Publishing
• Reach 1000 YouTube Subscribers
• Reach 50,000 Instagram Followers
• Reach 100+ Blog Posts
• Reach 100+ YouTube Videos
• Reach 1000+ Instagram Followers
• Launch 2 Dropship Stores
• Make $50,000 from Kindle books while working on Kindle business fewer than 4 hours per week
• Reach $5000+ a Month in Profit from Dropshipping Stores
• Run a Kindle Seminar/Mastermind
• Increase Income to $1000 a Day
• Publish 20+ Books Under a New Account
Freedom Self Publishing has been steadily plugging along.
It hasn’t performed as well as I had hoped, but I’ve still been able to sell a steady stream of memberships.
I was aiming to re-launch the course by the end of June, but unfortunately I missed that target. I have done a lot of the work, and hopefully can get it done by the time I head to Phuket (13th of July).
I’ll be re-structuring the payment and membership options, and am working on re-doing the marketing entirely. I want to push this course out to as many people as possible. I know the information is super valuable and can help a lot of people, so the more people I can get the course to, the better!
At the start of the month I had 63 YouTube videos. Right now I have 66 videos.
Yup, I only posted 3 videos for the month. That’s something I’m really not happy about.
But, despite that I have had my biggest month by far with regards to new subscribers!
In the last monthly report (check it out HERE) I said that I hoped to hit 200 subscribers by the end of June.
I’m happy to say I’ve absolutely SMASHED that goal!
At the start of June I had 140 YouTube subscribers. Right now, I have 252!
That’s 112 new subscribers for the month of June, with only 3 new videos posted!
If you haven’t had a look yet, you can check out my YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-CsitUAKiJQkTHsqjeW8IA
It took quite a while for me to make progress with my YouTube channel, but it’s something that just takes consistent effort.
It seems that I’m ranking for several videos now, and I’ve reached a critical point where my growth is accelerating without much effort.
I have done no SEO or marketing for my YouTube videos/channel. I feel that if I did a better job with this I’d be able to really push my channel. This means doing things like creating a channel intro, getting a bit more professional with the editing, adding buttons to my videos, and adding an outro to all new videos.
Perhaps this is something I’ll look into!
I only added 3 blog posts for June, bringing the total to 42. 58 more to go!
I would have liked to add more blog posts, but they simply weren’t a priority. I have a couple written and ready to go, but they will be released along with the re-release of Freedom Self Publishing.
Once again, I’ve done absolutely zero SEO for my blog. This is something I know nothing about, but I’m sure isn’t too complicated.
It simply hasn’t been a focus, but I bet I’d get much better results from this website if I spent a bit of time on it.
Honestly, this blog doesn’t really provide me a return. I write on here as much for me as for anyone who reads it. It helps me get my thoughts out, and it’s cool to look back and see what I was up to at a particular point. Don’t worry I’ll keep posting on here, though I’m not sure how consistently.
I don’t think I’ve even touched Instagram this month.
I just had a look and I’m currently at 278 posts and 4,250 followers which is a slight drop from last month.
I spent a lot of time at the start of the year focusing on Instagram and posted 3 times per day.
It’s the place where I have the biggest following, but a big following doesn’t always mean much on Instagram. It took me a while to work out, but I’ve discovered that it’s important to figure out what medium is the best to communicate with the customers/fans of your particular business. Instagram simply doesn’t fit too well with my particular business. It’s okay, but not as good as other mediums.
I get much more of a return from my 250 YouTube subscribers, and have a much better relationship with them than I do with my 4000+ Instagram followers.
This is all about having depth rather than width.
Gary Vaynerchuk talks about this a lot – about developing a deep relationship with core fans rather than having a large number of followers who really aren’t all that interested.
It’s been a valuable lesson, and it’s clear to me that my time is much better spent on YouTube, writing the occasional blog post, and doing podcasts and interviews.
Still, if you’d like to check out my Instagram page, then head here: https://www.instagram.com/driven.living/
I promise to try and post a little more often!!
Now as far as dropshipping goes, it’s been a very interesting month.
I teamed up with a mate in NSW who is also in the dropshipping business, and he met with a guy in Sydney to discuss possibly private labelling our own products.
The opportunity sounds interesting, but something I will skip for now.
Perhaps at a later date I will explore it more.
It turns out I picked a niche with a few issues. Really, it’s a great niche with a huge amount of potential, but unfortunately the industry is controlled by some not-so-savoury characters. So, pretty much nobody was willing to work with us because we would be under-cutting some of these people and things could get a little bit hairy.
I’m quite disappointed considering the amount of time I’ve spent on learning about this business. However, it’s been fun to learn and was worth a shot.
I think I’ll be modifying my dropshipping goal.
I still want to open up a store with my sister when I get back home to Australia. We have a great niche and it’s something I think we could do quite well in.
So new goals with regards to dropshipping:
• Launch 1 Dropshipping store
• Make $2000+ p/month in profit from Dropshipping
Dropshipping is definitely a good way to make money online, but I’ve realised that it’s not quite as passive as I like.
I’ve fallen in love with the (almost) completely passive income streams I have. My Kindle books make money 24/7 and there’s nothing better than getting an email while out for dinner and drinks saying that someone has just signed up to Freedom Self Publishing.
I’ve decided that my focus should be on creating these kinds of passive income.
I need to double down on what I know, instead of jumping from business to business.
So, I’ll be re-launching Freedom Self Publishing and re-doing the marketing very soon. That should become quite passive and also grow substantially.
Towards the end of the year I’ll look further into running a mastermind/seminar when I have a larger membership base.
But as I mentioned last month, I’ve added a new goal. To publish 20+ books under a new Kindle account!
Like I said, I need to double down on what I know. And what I know is Kindle publishing. So far I’ve published 4 books to a new KDP account, and they have far exceeded my expectations.
2 of the books still haven’t been through a free promotion, and I haven’t had all 4 books published for the entire month of June.
Still, despite that I made about $800 AUD in sales for June from just 4 books!
My best day was the 29th. On that day I made approximately $63.50 AUD.
The average for the last week has been around $50AUD per day, so for July I expect to make AT LEAST $1000 AUD from this account at a bare minimum. It’s definitely still possible to make GOOD money with Kindle Publishing.
I’d like to get this account to $4000+ p/month passive income by the end of the year. Once again, I’m excited about Kindle publishing once more! This means I should be able to hit the target of $50,000 from Kindle for the year which I’m quite excited about!
If you want to learn how I’m able to make money with Kindle publishing, check out my Kindle training course here: www.freedomselfpublishing.com
Now, for Lifestyle/Personal Goals:
• Read 70+ Books
• Spend 5+ Months Overseas
Go to Bali
Go to Koh Phangan, Thailand
Go to Bangkok, Thailand
Go to Chiang Mai, Thailand
• Go to Vietnam
• Buy a Gold Watch
• Get a Chrysler 300 SRT8
• Become Conversational in Russian
I have barely read this month at all. My focus has been elsewhere. The 70 book goal is way off and probably quite un-achievable at this point. However, once I re-launch Freedom Self Publishing, all I’ll really be focusing on for a while is publishing new Kindle books which isn’t very time consuming.
I’m thinking before I head back to Melbourne I might spend a month alone on a Thai island, stay away from the party areas and just read a bunch of books, focus on my health, learn a bit about investing and forex, and maybe even write a couple of Kindle books myself.
I’ve spent around 4.5 months overseas so far this year, so I’ve nearly hit that first target. I’ll end up spending closer to 8 months overseas by the end of the year which is amazing!
I’ve been to Bali, Koh Phangan, Bangkok and Chiang Mai.
This month I also went to Pai which is a sleepy hippy town about 3 hours drive from Chiang Mai.
I’ll be going to Phuket next month, and probably Vietnam also, so there’s plenty more travel to come!
Buying a gold watch is still to come, and I am going to scrap the Chrysler 300 SRT8 goal for this year. Being overseas for 6+ months of each year makes it quite illogical to dump a lot of money into a car.
Well, until I’m earning more I suppose!
I did not spend as much time on learning Russian this month as I’d planned.
However, I still made some progress.
I’m almost finished the 10th unit of my Russian course (Russian Accelerator) of which there are 18 in total. By the time I head home I should be finished.
I’ve also listened to 45 out of 90 Pimsleur audios.
I’m slowly getting there, and by the end of the year I should be able to hold some decent conversations. I’d like to visit Russia sometime next year, perhaps around April or so. By then if I stay consistent with the Russian practice I’ll be speaking quite well, and a few weeks in Russia will take my skills to a whole new level!
That will be almost exactly 12 months from when I first began!
It’s only been 4 months so far, and I’ve learned so much. I wonder how many languages I’ll know by 30…
Anywho, that’s it for the goals for the month.
As you can see I haven’t made a huge amount of progress, yet I still made around $4000 almost entirely passively.
I’ve hardly worked and have done a ton of social things.
I’ve spent a weekend away in Pai, been to see Chiang Mai FC play, visited Doi Suthep, and been out on the town waaay too many times, and I still managed to make money. It’s not a bad life!
The following are my approximate living expenses for the month of June in Chiang Mai:
• Rent – 6000 baht
• Motorbike + Petrol – 2500 baht
• Gym Causal Passes – 200 baht
• Water & Electricity – 2000 baht
• Coworking space – 3500 baht
• Trip to Pai (all expenses) – 1500 baht
• Thai food – 6000 baht
• Random trips & transport – 500 baht
• Laundry – 600 baht
• Western Restaurants/Alcohol/Partying – 4000 baht
Total = 26,800 baht
That equates to:
AUD = $1023
USD = $763
GBP = 574
Now there were some additional expenses not listed such as flights to Phuket for July, accommodation there, and also I signed up to a Forex course for approximately $850AUD. However, these aren’t my ‘living expenses’ so to speak, and I was able to write the majority off as business expenses.
Another month of fun, albeit with not much progress for an incredibly low price.
I’m feeling as motivated a ever to really make some great progress for the second half of the year, and can’t wait to reach the point where I’m hitting 6-figures in passive income which I should be able to get by the end of the year!
Stay tuned for what’s next.