March 2016: Monthly Progress Report
Wow, March is already over! And what a month it was!
I spent the majority of March on the beautiful island of Koh Phangan, Thailand. You can read my review of the island HERE.
It was an amazing month and I absolutely loved living the island life!
I’m going to break this monthly progress report into 2 parts. Part 1 will be the normal goals review to see how much progress I’ve made, and then part 2 will be a breakdown of my expenses, so you can see how much I’ve spent this month living this crazy lifestyle.
PART 1 – GOALS
As always, let’s start with Fitness Goals:
* Squat 200KGS
* Deadlift 220KG
* Bench Press 110KG
* Dunk with 2 hands
I finally got back into a gym routine this month which was great! I was consistent for the most part, and probably got to the gym an average of 4 times per week. My diet was good as well, although too much drinking un-did any benefits the food would have provided!
Before working for myself full-time, I actually worked at a gym for 3 years straight out of school. Fitness and business are my 2 passions, and I’d love to do something to combine the 2 in the future! I’ve been qualified as a personal trainer for around 4 years now, and so I write my own programs for the gym.
This month I started on a strength-focused program, aiming to overload on my primary lifts every week.
By the end of the month I was squatting 5×5 at 140KG and I was benching 5×5 at 75KG. I normally focus on either squat or deadlift at a particular time, and don’t train both heavily during the same program. Right now, it’s heavy squat time, but some of the gains I make there will transfer over to bigger deadlift numbers.
If I had to estimate how much I could max right now, I’d say my numbers would look like this:
• Squat = 175KG
• Deadlift = 190KG
• Bench Press = 95KG
I still have quite a way to go, but I’m getting stronger and feeling better each week. Most of all it feels great to be back in the gym! As far as the dunking goal goes, I think my vertical jump has stayed consistent. I’m looking forward to finding some boxes or a place to sprint so that I can incorporate some plyometrics into my routine!
Just like with business goals, fitness goals are a long-term thing. You can’t expect overnight results and you have to enjoy the grind. I recommend regular exercise for any entrepreneur as I think it teaches you the mentality needed to really put in the required effort to succeed in any business.
Next up is Business/Financial Goals:
Launch Freedom Self Publishing Course
• Reach 1000 YouTube subscribers
• Reach 50,000 Instagram followers
• Reach 100+ blog posts
• Reach 100+ YouTube videos
• Reach 1000+ Instagram posts
• 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 12 books under my own name
In the last couple of days of February, I launched Freedom Self Publishing. March was the first full month of having the course live. I made approximately $500AUD for the month and it’s been positive feedback so far. I didn’t have as many people sign up as I’d hoped, but I have done zero paid advertising. I know almost nothing about running ads, and this is something I want to learn and implement in the coming months. If you’re an expert at running ads, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to see about working together. Also, if you haven’t already then check out my Kindle publishing training course by clicking HERE or heading to www.freedomselfpublishing.com
As far as YouTube goes, I’m now up to 42 videos which is 11 new videos! I wanted to add 15 more, but I just missed out. In April I will be aiming for another 15 videos so stay tuned!
My subscribers also grew from 34 to 55! That’s 21 new subscribers which may not sound like much, but that’s a huge increase percentage-wise so I’m very happy! A big shout-out to my new subscribers! You can check out my YouTube channel by clicking HERE. If you have any suggestions for new videos then please let me know!
I still have 58 new videos to go to reach my annual target, which will be achieved very soon I’m sure! The goal of 1000 subscribers is still a way off, but I’m confident I’ll get there or at least close by the years end.
I am now up to exactly 250 Instagram posts which was my exact target for the month so I’m stoked with that! That’s 58 new posts for the month of March!
I now have 3751 followers compared to my 3622 at the start of last month. That’s an increase of 129 new subscribers.
I hope to hit 5000 by the end of April. I was going to implement some strategies to increase my subscriber numbers in March but I didn’t get around to it. I definitely will be doing that this month!
If you haven’t already, follow my Instagram page at www.instagram.com/driven.living
During March I posted 6 new blog posts. I aimed to post 8 but I fell short this month – I’ll be trying to get 8 for April! Anyhow, that brings my total blog posts number to 29.
71 more posts to go until I reach that target!
If you have any suggestions for blog posts you’d like to see, then please let me know!
As far as Kindle goes, my income has dropped slightly. It’s still very consistent but slightly lower than being on target for my goal of $50,000 for the year. It’s made me around $3500 for the month. I ran a big free promotion on the majority of my books at the end of the month which meant they brought me no income for those days. On top of that, the Australian dollar also went up this month. Since I make most of my money in US dollars, this meant I lose money on the conversion. I find it quite difficult to manage my books because I have such a large number, and the majority of them make very little money. I’ve actually considered un-publishing the majority of my books, and starting again with a small number of quality ones.
I’m planning to do a case study where I publish a handful of books on a new account to show everyone what’s possible with a small number of books. The idea of needing 100+ books is a false one that definitely isn’t necessary. I wish I had a different mindset when I started with kindle. Quality is definitely more important than quantity in this business. So, stay tuned for that case-study!
Still, I’ll be more than happy if I profit $30,000 – $40,000 for the year from Kindle. I literally work on this for 1-2 hours per week, so that’s pretty amazing for passive income and is way more than enough to live like a king while travelling out here and working on other businesses and goals!
I started with dropshipping this month! I got an ABN, registered a business name, signed up to Shopify, went through a bunch of the Dropship Lifestyle lessons, and started building my website. I was quite slack this month with the amount of time working on my dropship store, but I managed to add 34 test products. I need to improve the look of the website now, which is something that doesn’t interest me at all. I don’t enjoy website design, and it’s not one of my strengths. Because I don’t like it, I suppose I’ve been subconsciously putting it off.
This time, I want to do it myself so I can learn the process. In the future I’ll probably outsource the design of my stores and focus on my strengths instead.
I want to make a lot more progress on dropshipping this month, and I think being in Chiang Mai for some of the month where there are a few successful dropshippers will really help me to smash this goal and get my first store live!
I’ve made no progress on setting up a Kindle mastermind. This is something I want to look into towards the end of the year.
The final goal of publishing 12 books under my own name is a new one that I added last month. I have now published 2 so far, that you can check out by clicking the links below:
1. Kindle Publishing
2. Kindle Back-End Strategies
I have ideas for the next one, and just need to get started with writing. I plan to write and publish that in April!
Finally, we have Lifestyle/Personal Goals:
* Read 70+ Books
• Spend 5+ months overseas
Go to Bali
Go to Koh Phangan
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 read a little bit this month, but didn’t FINISH a large number of books. I have the habit of reading several books at once.
I read Robert Greene’s ‘Mastery’
in it’s entirety. It’s a large book but I really enjoyed it.
That brings my total books read to 7. So I’m 10% of the way there! But, I did read part of 3 other books:
– Retire Young Retire Rich by Robert Kiyosaki
– The Rise And Rise Of Kerry Packer by Paul Barry
– The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham
I like to read and actually absorb what I’m reading. I don’t agree with the ‘1 book a day’ kind of fad where the books aren’t actually being read. I agree that a lot of books are based around 1 or 2 key points, but reading a 400 page book in 1 hour like some people condone simply doesn’t make sense to me. For some books it may work, but if you’re reading something like ‘The Intelligent Investor’ you need to take it slow and really focus.
Admittedly though, I do need to make more time to focus on reading! I like spending my time focusing on making progress on my business, and so I tend to prioritise that over reading.
I got to Bangkok on the 30th of March, so that’s another goal ticked off! Check out my journey there on the sleeper train in the video below:
My newest goal was to become conversational in Russian.
I’ve been studying nearly every day and made a lot of progress! It does take a fair bit of time away from focusing on business, but it’s a skill I think is really cool and enjoyable!
One of the perks of this lifestyle is that I can focus on cool goals like learning a language or playing an instrument.
I’ve been listening to Pimsleur audios which aren’t the greatest for learning new words, but they do help with pronunciation at times.
I have been going through Russian Accelerator which I really recommend. The way they teach is awesome, and I feel like I’ve learned a lot. If anyone is interested in learning Russian, then check it out!
It has 18 units, and I got through almost 4 of them for the month!
I also met up with some Ukranians in Koh Phangan that I met on a Facebook group. We had a barbeque and went to a bar until the early hours. It was good fun and I got to practice my Russian while they practiced English.
However, the more Russian I learn, the more I realize I have left to learn! It’s tough, but I’m getting there. Most importantly, I’m enjoying learning it. I’ve been aiming at 1 hour or more each day of Russian practice.
That’s it for my progress for the month of March. Not a bad month! I wasn’t as productive as I wanted to be, mainly because of all of the distractions on Koh Phangan. It’s an insane party island and I ended up going out too much, drinking too much, and writing off the next day. I’m looking forward to chilling out a bit and focusing on work some more this month.
PART 2 – Expenses
I spent most of the month in Koh Phangan, Thailand. First, I’ll cover the basic costs of everything I spent while there.
• Beachside Accommodation = 10,000 BAHT
• Bicycle Hire (1 month) = 2400 BAHT
• Thai Food (3 Meals per day at 60 BAHT per meal average x 31 days) = 5580 BAHT
• Gym Membership = 1500 BAHT
• Random Taxi Rides = 1000 BAHT
• Motorbike Hire (3 days) = 500 BAHT
• Laundry = 550 BAHT
TOTAL BASIC COSTS = 21,530 BAHT
In other currencies at the current exchange rate, that equals:
AUD = $800
USD = $611
GBP = 426
So for less than $1000AUD you can live on Koh Phangan. However, I spent a lot more this month!
Here are extra costs I spent while down south on the islands:
• Coworking Space = 3900 BAHT
• Entry to Parties = 2700 BAHT
• Alcohol = 4000 BAHT
• Trip to Koh Samui (all expenses) = 3000 BAHT
• Random Snacks = 1000 BAHT
Total extra costs = 14,600 BAHT
That equates to:
AUD = $542
USD = $414
GBP = 289
As you can see, I spent quite a lot on those ‘extras’. These are additional costs that if you’re really bootstrapping, you obviously wont incur. Alcohol and partying will almost double your budget alone, so be aware of that when planning a trip to Koh Phangan! You might tell yourself that you won’t party when you’re there – but you most likely will! When in Rome… right??
Now, the final costs I had for the month were travel costs to Bangkok and accommodation here.
I caught the boat, bus, and overnight sleeper train (first class) up to Bangkok. It was awesome fun, and cost me 2,100 BAHT total.
I spent the last 2 nights of March in Bangkok, where my accommodation cost me 1600 BAHT.
The total travel costs and accommodation to and in Bangkok = 3700 BAHT
AUD = 137
USD = 105
GBP = 73
That brings my total expenses for the month to…
And that of course equates to approximately:
AUD = $1479
USD = $1130
GBP = 788
I earned approximately $4000 profit for the month, which means I was able to save $2500!
You really don’t need to make that much to live a crazy lifestyle out here.
I love Thai food, so that made my trip cheaper. But honestly it could be done for waaaay less!
I paid for a coworking space that I rarely used. I went out to massive parties 6 times during the month. I took an impromptu trip to the neighbouring island of Koh Samui. I also travelled up to Bangkok.
And still, I was living like a king on a tropical island for less than $1500!
It’s funny because $1500 was exactly how much I used to make per month when working at my old job part-time. It was enough to get by while living at my parent’s house, but no way could you live a basic life in Australia on that much!
I’m stoked with the month, particularly because in the coming months I know that my expenses will only get lower, while my income gets higher.
I hope this posts gives you a good insight into what it costs to live out here, what you need to earn to make it a reality, what I do with my days, and the progress I’ve made.
It wasn’t a very productive month for me, though I did get some great work done! Still, it was one of the most fun months of my life! I’ll leave you with this short video I made of the full moon party. Koh Phangan is amazing, everyone should visit, and I miss it already!
Hopefully this coming month will be more productive, and I can make new progress in my business!
Stay tuned, and follow me along on this awesome journey!