Laptop Empires is officially here! Except unofficially we have been around since late January, and you know the craziest part?
We have already made $409,122 in net revenue since starting.
That’s right, we’re awesome and you should bow in our presence.
Just kidding. Please don’t do that. We're just normal guys that really enjoy owning online businesses and teaching other people what we've learned.
Instead, continue reading and try to pick up a nugg of information or two that will help you create (or continue to grow) an awesome online business.
Since we managed to get five months into this wild ride before launching a website, we are going to do this month’s income report a bit differently than we will in the future. Our goal with this first income report is to catch you up on everything that has happened so far, before transitioning into a more traditional monthly report.
But our reports will certainly not be traditional.
There will be GIFs.
There will be wine.
And there will be plenty of insight into what goes into building a successful online business.
You’ll see what we mean in a bit, but first…
Why are we even doing income reports in the first place?
Good question. Let us fill you in.
From our perspective, there are really only two reasons for us to do income reports:
1. To inspire
2. For legitimacy
There has never been a better time in history to make money and we firmly believe that everyone should start an online business to build some additional income. Our hope is that learning about our story will inspire you to get started if you haven’t already.
We will also be spending our time on this site teaching you how to grow your online business, and what better way to show you we are legit and actually know what we are talking about than to show you. It’s the same reason that we have our CPA certify these reports.
There are a lot of “gurus” and other BS on the internet trying to teach you about how to make money online and we want you to see that we aren’t like those fools. We have put in the hard work and have done it on a large scale, are still doing it, and are helping others do it.
This isn’t just going to be a report about how much we have earned; we intend for it to be a powerful teaching tool and entertaining as hell. So let’s dive into…
How We Roll
We do things a bit differently. If that wasn’t immediately apparent from our hip hop teddy bear logo, then I don’t know how to make it more obvious.
We have a few founding principles that guide everything we do at Laptop Empires. They are:
1. Make money to build an incredible life for ourselves and our family.
2. Help others build online businesses so they can also create an incredible life for themselves and their families.
3. Have a damn good time doing it.
The principles were evident right from the beginning, from the first conversation that led to us creating Laptop Empires and launching the Facebook Side Hustle Course. It went down something like this…
Bobby and Mike are on a call discussing Facebook Ads for a project Bobby was working on. At the end of the call Mike throws out a final thought before hanging up…
Mike: “Man, there are so many people in your community that are hustling to make some extra cash to pay down their debt faster. I bet they would eat it up if you taught them how to provide digital marketing services the way we do and make an extra $1,000-$2,000 each month.”
Bobby: “Maybe…we'll see.”
We hang up and weeks go by…
Bobby: “Mike, I can’t stop thinking about that idea. I did some testing with my readers and asked if they would be interested in learning FB ads. The response was off the charts…I think it would be perfect for my audience. I don't really have the time or energy to make it on my own right now though. Do you want to make it with me?”
Mike: “Hell yeah I do!”
That’s pretty much how the whole thing went down.
We saw an opportunity to sell a course that would create a great new income source for both of us, but also an opportunity to help thousands of people earn good money with a proven side hustle.
One thing that we have said from the very beginning is that we have personally experienced how life-changing an extra $1,000-$2,000 per month can be, and with all the success we have had we want to help as many people as possible achieve that as well.
And so far we have been successful. Last week alone we had 8 of our students land their first clients, with two of them landing two clients in the same week.
The fun part is important too though.
That’s why our weekly live trainings are Happy Hours. That’s why we made our company playlist on Spotify public. It’s why we have a teddy bear for a logo.
I mean why not? The point of starting your own business (besides making $$$) is that you can do whatever you want. Work from wherever you want. Build the lifestyle you want to live. Having fun is important.
While these income reports will be talking about how much money we made and how we did it, you can expect to see plenty of the last two principles as well, because we want each report to do two things – provide value to help you grow your business and entertain.
On the entertainment front, we will be doing a short video for the report each month called “The Winedown”. The idea is simple, we hop on a video call, bust open the wine of the month, and share our totally uneducated tasting notes on the wine before diving into a discussion/rant/sermon on a random business topic. Fun and educational.
But we also believe that good businesses always give value first, which is why each income report we will be providing great content and advice from some of our most trusted friends in the online business world.
Which leads us to our next bit…
This Month's Tax Tip (from a real CPA)!
Each month we will invite our good friend, and trusted CPA, Scott Schieffer to contribute his tax and legal advice inside of our reports. (That’s right, he’s a Tax Attorney too. **cough** overachiever **cough**) We know that as cool as it is to make money online, one of the biggest mistakes business owners make is not getting their taxes in order.
But you're part of the Laptop Empires crew, so you’re smarter than the average online business owner. Which is exactly why you’re about to read this first tax tip. Take it away Scott!
Mid-Year Tax Withholding Planning
Summer—it’s not just for vacations and BBQ; it’s also an ideal time for tax planning. Every year, on your tax return, there is one item completely in your control that determines whether you will owe additional tax with the filing of the return or be due a refund: how much tax you have already paid to the IRS through payroll withholdings or estimated tax payments. Summertime is a great time to review your withholdings and tax payment planning since there’s still half the year remaining to make any needed adjustments.
All the Feels Taxes
If you have already filed your return, did you receive a refund or pay in additional tax? And how did that make you feel? No, I’m not a CPAsychologist (if that were a thing), but in my work with taxpayers, I’ve found that not everyone reacts the same way to receiving a large refund or having to pay in additional tax. For some taxpayers, a large refund is a windfall and is a form of forced savings, and they welcome it. Others take the opposite view and see the large refund as giving the IRS an interest-free loan throughout the year.
In the era of extremely low-interest rates that ran from 2009-2016, the opportunity cost of lost interest was quite low. However, with numerous online savings accounts now paying 1.5%-2% in interest, a refund of $10,000 means that you “lent” the government money for a year that you could have earned interest of $150-$200; that’s nearly enough for your Netflix AND Spotify memberships.
On the other side of the spectrum, not everyone is upset with having a large tax bill; some clients tell me they are happy to hold onto their money throughout the year, because they can make more on their money than the IRS charges in underpayment penalties for not paying in the amount they owe (more on those penalties next month).
Now for the good stuff. The main event. What you have all been waiting for:
How Much Money We Made & How We Did It
FB Side Hustle Course: $62,250.00
Blow Up Your Blog Course: $3,112.00
For the FB Side Hustle course, the number above includes all course sales, recurring memberships, bump offer orders in the cart (we offer an additional training on awareness ads on FB for $97 at checkout), and year-long memberships that our members can purchase.
In June, we had a 3-day flash sale at the beginning of the month to celebrate Laptop Empires finally launching! All of our products were discounted.
We don't plan on doing flash sales in the coming months at all, but it seemed like a good way to kick things off for the new brand. The sale brought in over $35,000 of revenue, which was a huge boost for us going into the dog days of summer.
To date, we've had over 1,000 students join the FBSH course! We knew from the beginning that it would be popular, but based on how the course has performed for us and our students, we really think we caught lightning in a bottle here.
You're probably wondering how we do so much revenue with a course that's affordably priced, right?
Well, here it is:
- We do a good amount of volume because the M$M audience is large and continually growing (we use FB ads to bring in new readers)
- Bobby spent three years building up trust with his audience before we presented the course to them, which makes it much easier to sell since students know they will get a quality product from a source they trust
- Our sales page copy is baller
- Our students have a lot of success with the course and give it strong reviews
- We run really effective retargeting ads to bring people back to the sales page and order form
Blow Up Your Blog had a strong month as well, especially considering that we don't really promote this course aggressively right now. We're actually planning to expand the course and do a bit of a rebrand in the coming weeks with BUYB to make it more competitive with other courses on the market.
Overall, we're happy with how everything has been going and are really excited that we'll be able to add additional income streams and reach even more people with the Laptop Empires brand.
As time goes on, we'll flesh out this income report more and show our wins and losses (and expenses) so that you can see how this whole operation works.
Honestly though – if you want the good stuff…the down and dirty…you'll want to check the podcast out.
We made a three-part series that will tell you exactly how we pulled off two six-figure launches and built a successful evergreen course in our first few months:
What happened this month from both of our perspectives:
Honestly, June was a little strange. Unfortunately, in the blogging world, summer turns into the slow time.
I'm weird and enjoy working a lot, which means that the summer can feel uncomfortable because there are fewer things to do than usual. As a blogger you don't get as many emails, engagement in your groups and social media accounts slows WAY down, etc. My wife and I ended up going on a trip to Florida mid-month (might as well when things are slow right?), which was nice because I got to relax for a bit.
When we got back, it was pedal to the metal trying getting everything ready for the Laptop Empires launch, and also working on some of the retargeting/sales funnel things that we wanted to get done with FBSH. Oh…and also getting marketing work done…as well as running M$M. I never realize how much stuff I'm doing until I write it down like this haha.
Overall though – killer month and I'm grateful for everything of course. I think I've found a good groove between creating content for M$M, podcast/blogging content for LE, marketing work, and also making sure I don't work myself to death and spend time with my wife.
Lesson learned: Appreciate the slow times, because I know 5 months from now I'm going to be wishing for them again. 🙂
June was an emotional rollercoaster of a month. School is officially over and my son Cooper was suddenly home for the summer.
I don’t know if you know this, but three-year-old boys are pure energy, a little bit insane, and there is really no such thing as work unless they are sleeping. So I had that going for me…
On top of that, we have been working overtime to “officially” launch Laptop Empires. I’m using “quotes” because Laptop Empires has been around since January when we launched the Facebook Side Hustle course, but it finally feels official now that the website is live.
We have put in more hours than I can count getting the website finished, writing blog posts, and recording podcast episodes. (We’ve already recorded 10+ episodes of the show and I really think y’all are going to like it. You can download the first four episodes here.)
That doesn’t even take into account all the time we are putting into the course, our students, and our individual businesses. Another big contributor to this really emotionally up and down month is that I was starting to reach a point of burn out. We’ve been firing on all cylinders since December. I enjoy working more than any sane person should and have a hard time stepping away from the biz at times, but I need to.
I finally realized I needed some time off last Monday when my wife and I took the day off to take the boys to the zoo. It was a great day with the family. One of those days that I really cherish because it wouldn’t be possible without the job flexibility that comes with owning a business. But it was also the first day that either of us had taken off this year. Ouch.
Luckily we are on vacation this week, and it came just in time. One of my biggest goals for the rest of the year is to continue working on finding a better life balance and taking more time off from the business.
All in all, I’m really pleased with how the month closed out, even if it was exhausting. I’m glad to finally drop the podcast and launch LaptopEmpires.com.
July will be all about optimizing our marketing and systems, which is what I really nerd out about, so I’m looking forward to that.
Lesson learned: Take more time off. Unplug from social media and email whenever possible. Not only will I be happier because of the time spent with my family, I’ll be more energized when I do sit down to work.
What’s coming next…
So. Much. More.
- More podcast content (2 episodes per week moving forward)
- More blog content
- Local meet-ups for online entrepreneurs
- Wine (Speaking of wine, if you use the PROMO code WINE you will save $40 on the FBSH course)
Seriously…this is just the beginning for Laptop Empires, and we think this is going to be special moving forward. If you're one of the “Hustlers” (that's what we call our FB Side Hustle course members), we're stoked that you're still with us.
We'll keep doing everything we can to help you start and grow an online business that you love.
If you're new here…I hope you're ready. We go hard.
If you haven't already – be sure to check out the Laptop Empires podcast where we share everything they know about growing a successful online business.
See you next month!
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