You know how important it is to be careful who you let into your mind and your business. How you need to make sure you’re learning from someone who really has the chops to back up their claims instead of being tricked by someone who inflates their success.
And I realized—even though I debated about a thousand times—that I had to walk my talk on this one ….
Honesty is important to me. You feeling confident that you’re following the right person is important to me. Being real, even when it feels scary, is important to me.
So, today, I’m doing something I’ve never done before (and may never do again) …
I’m sharing my business’s money numbers. 🙈
Many entrepreneurs don’t do this because:
- It’s super awkward and uncomfortable.
- It opens you up to judgment and criticism and who knows what else.
- In some cases, people don’t want you to know their true numbers because they don’t match their online personas.
But I spent last week telling you to make sure you’re learning from people who have the business and life you want to create. So even if it gives me mild heart palpitations, I have to pull back the curtain so you can judge for yourself.
Without further ado, let’s dive right in to the numbers…
Jenny Shih LLC’s 2018 Income, Expenses, and Profit Margin
In 2018, this business brought in just over $700,000 and we’ll be in that ballpark again in 2019.
That’s not my personal salary, just to be clear!
That’s the amount the business brought in through sales (from programs like Make It Work Online®, MIWO Mastermind, Get Your First 1000 Subscribers, affiliate sales, and the suite of outstanding micro-products we have for sale in the shop).
Of that $700K revenue, we target 75% operating expenses each year—things like salaries, contractor services, software, marketing, etc.
That leaves us with 25%: 15% for profit and 10% for taxes.
(NOTE: Don’t take my profit ratio as a declaration of what yours should be. There’s so much that goes into the numbers! When I started out with one-on-one services and two very part-time contractors, my profit margin was HUGE. As my business model and goals have changed, the targets changed, too.)
From Day 1 (3/1/2011), JennyShih.com has always been profitable. That means the business has made money every single year, after paying myself and Uncle Sam. (Though what I paid myself those first two years wasn’t a ton … )
Let me be clear on one thing, though:
I achieved that profit BECAUSE I invested in mentors and programs early on in my business. I knew that “waiting until I made money to spend money” was NOT a savvy move … even when making big investments was terrifying!
It took me 18 months to hit six figures, so it wasn’t an overnight success!
But I’m a quick learner and I doubled down on what worked. That means I brought in multiple six figures the following year (2013, Year 3 of my biz), and have hit multiple six figures every year since.
Now, let’s talk team…
Team Size, Work Hours, and Retention
The business has three full-time employees—like, actual employees. These are people who receive salaries plus benefits. (Me and two other people.)
(And FYI, while I say “full-time” employees, our full-time hours average of 30 per week.)
Sure, if we’re in the middle of a launch or another big project, we all average more than that, but on average, at the end of the year, we’re at 30 hours (or less).
Me? I work an average of 25 hours per week across the year.
The main reason for this being lower than the others is because, as the strategic brains behind the operation, my non-work hours are still work-ish. My brain is often thinking about work even if I’m not actively at my computer, and in order to do this effectively, I need SPACE. If I’m working 30 hours or more each week, there’s no brain space left for strategic thinking.
Who’s in our incredible, can’t-believe-I-get-to-work-with-them team? And what’s our retention rate? For our core team members, we have …
Becky, our operations manager, and Adrianne, our project manager, both started working for me in 2015. They began in smaller roles and, as the business grew, so did their responsibilities and their impact. That’s over four years and counting!
We just hired a new team member, Lexi, who is our full-time writer, and we have every intention she’ll stick with us for quite some time, too.
Coaches and Contractors
In addition to our three full-timers and half-time project manager, we also have dozens of other contractors depending on what’s happening at any given moment.
We’ve been using the same design and development team since 2016 and just brought on a second designer.
Mia, the very first VA I hired in 2011, still does work for us to this day. Talk about long-term retention!
Two of our 20 Make It Work Online® coaches are from my very first coaching team of five people back in 2016, and they’re headed into their fifth year coaching! Many of our coaches return year after year, and we’re also always hiring as the team grows to serve the growing program.
There’s a laundry list of repeat contractors I hire year after year, because, well, I’ve got a knack for finding and hiring and managing phenomenal people.
The important takeaway here is this:
We’re a kick-ass, high-functioning, non-workaholic team generating around $700K revenue each year—WHILE ALSO making a healthy profit and serving clients with high-integrity, top-notch services.
While many entrepreneurs think you need to work yourself to the bone to bring in a great revenue, I want you to know that’s simply not true.
Now, I’m not comfortable sharing my personal salary (that feels icky), I will share that my husband and I have built a personal net worth of over a million dollars.
Quick tip: This is due to saving and investing the profits—not spending to live a “first-class lifestyle” (that doesn’t do jack for your net worth).
So while my business doesn’t make millions of dollars every year (though we have a seven-figure goal for 2020!), it has created a degree of financial security that I’m truly grateful for.
As you can see, it can be done without raking in millions …
… Or having a big, loud, look-at-me! personality.
… Or working a gazillion hours a week.
… Or sacrificing profit.
… Or being social media famous.
Isn’t that great news?!
So there you go. That’s the truth behind my business’s financials and team and more.
(I can breathe again now.)My Personal Recommendation for YouReal Numbers From a Real Launch
What These Numbers Mean for YOU
If sharing my numbers gives you the peace of mind that I’ve got the chops to back up what I’m saying, then all the discomfort has been worth it.
Because I KNOW I can help you.
My team and I teach strategies and tactics that have been proven, over and over again, to work if you want to build a profitable, flexible business that doesn’t suck up every free minute of your time.
And in the name of openness, can you do me a favor?
Can you share a quick comment below and let me know …
- Did you find this helpful?
- What specifically was most helpful to you?
- And what else would you like to know to help you on your business journey?
I’m a pretty private person and don’t usually share this kind of stuff. I also only want to share it if it’s helpful to you. So the more feedback I get, the more I’ll know what to share in the future.
So, really, tell me what you think below.
And if you’re ready to operate a business at this level, please feel free to ask questions!
I love to talk about this next-level business stuff—from hiring and managing a team to figuring out budgets and salaries.
Please, ask away!