Cubicle to CEO

Retiring My Main Offer & How I Made $132,635 in Q2 2022 (Income Report)

July 25, 2022 Ellen Yin Episode 152
Cubicle to CEO
Retiring My Main Offer & How I Made $132,635 in Q2 2022 (Income Report)
Show Notes Transcript

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In this episode, I share my Q2 2022 income report and look at how I made $132,635 in my business over the last 90 days. This covers all of the financial activity, revenue, expenses, and profit that my business made over the course of April, May, and June 2022. If you have been in our community for a while, then you know we have been sharing income reports since 2019 - almost 4 years - in an effort to increase financial transparency and literacy for online businesses. Make sure you go back and check out all our previous reports at for the full context on what’s happened in the first six months of this year, and our business decisions thus far.

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Hey, everyone welcome back to the show we are here today to record my quarter to income report. This is a look at how I made $132,635 in my business over the last ninety days so this covers all of the financial activity. The revenue, the expenses and the profit that my business made over the months of April May and June 2022. Now if you've been in our community for a while then you know we do these podcast income reports every single quarter as our way of advocating for financial transparency in our business and helping you take a peek behind the business as we are on this business building journey. But if you're brand new to our world I highly encourage you to go back and listen to our previous income reports to get a more in-depth explanation as to why we create this type of content and what we hope you get out of it. So I explained this a lot more in depth in my previous episodes and we've been sharing these income reports now for almost four years, since 2019, and I'll make sure that below in the show notes we have linked for you all of our past income reports. So if you are listening to this now and it's your first one just take a pause. Go back, listen to a few, get the context and then come back and listen to this one. All right? Let's jump right on into our Q2 income report. So like I mentioned in quarter two. We made $132,635 that is our high level gross revenue total sales that came in through the business through all of our different income streams now when we break that down further. The expenses during those ninety days I'm just going to start right? with the numbers. The expenses were $87,899 and then the profit was about 30% so 44,700 and some odd dollars in profit. Now I want to add a disclaimer to these top level numbers because in this quarter. One part of the transaction happened in April and then one part of the transaction happened in May. We made a very large investment in our business that was about $60,000 and this investment was a long term asset purchase for the business. So.



If you didn't listen to the quarter one income report and that one I actually explained our big move into being a media company and I explained the reasons behind that and what that means as far as our business model and one of the things that we've been doing over the past six months is investing aggressively in rebuilding our business infrastructure to support our business model as a media company and part of that includes ah building and acquiring digital assets that produce cash flow and so this is something that is a little bit more complex that I'm not going to get into in this particular episode but it is on the docket for me to discuss hopefully in the last quarterly income report of this year so hopefully by Q4 of 2022 when I go to record that episode I will have a lot more information and results or preliminary results that I can share with you but essentially the short story is we invested about $60000 as a you know, kind of like a lump sum purchase that was spread across 2 transactions where we acquired digital properties so digital assets that will produce cash flow for us, but it is a long term play. So these digital assets are not necessarily producing any income right now and like I said I don't want to distract too much from the rest of the conversation to explain what this project is so I'm just kind of side table it or sidebar it for now but I wanted to give you this context. Reporting these numbers for quarter 2  removing that $60000 lump sum purchase because if we were to include that in the in the numbers for quarter 2 it really jumbles the actual picture of what our quarter 2 financial health looked like because this was money from our business reserves that we used to make this purchase. Um, but if we count it in this quarter's numbers, it kind of just looks like our business took a ginormous loss in revenue and loss and profit. Which isn't really an accurate depiction of what was actually happening in this quarter. So for the purposes of trying to make this as helpful to you guys as possible. We are going to just silo that you know that one off purchase and treat it as its completely own entity.



And hopefully I'll get a chance to circle back on what that purchase looked like, what was the reason behind it and how it performed in about another 6 to twelve months time so it's coming in the future and I hope this makes sense so all that to say if you don't count that purchase towards our expenses. Then like I said we had about a 30% profit over the last three months which is great because that is the profit benchmark that my company usually aims for the gross revenue the 132000 or so is pretty on par with what I was expecting in quarter 2 simply because we're in a season of building and I've been talking about this a lot right. I talked about it in the quarter one income report extensively I talked about it at the end of last year when I was recording the quarter four 2021 income report. We are just in a season of building and investing and it's not really a season of scale for us right now because we have to build a lot of new foundations in order to get there. So if you have been following us for years then you saw our our business went through a hyper growth in 2020 and then in 2021 our business still continue to grow from a top line revenue perspective but towards the end of 2021 and certainly for the past six months in 2022 or I should say the first six months of the year in 2022 we have been steady in that growth mode and really just holding steady. So we're not in a season right now where we're trying to hyper scale revenue because we're having to build back and infrastructure. So I'll get into that a little bit more as I share with you some of the key things that happen in quarter 2 and what my takeaways are but I wanted to provide some context on those numbers so that you have that going into our conversation all right? So before we get into. What happened in quarter 2 and what am I excited about what did I learn what did I test what worked? Well what didn't I also want to take a moment to further break down those expenses just a little bit so the trend that I've been seeing over the last six to twelve months where labor is the primary expense that we have in our business. Has still continued to hold true in quarter two. So labor is still by far the largest percentage of our expenses each month and that labor category includes both the payroll for myself and my full time employees as well as the.



Retainers and project rates that we pay to our contractors. So anyone that works as part of our team but is not an employee in my company so that encompasses all of that encompasses labor and so people are really our greatest use of our funds right now which. To me it is actually a wonderful thing because that means that my business is producing income for other people whether it's through jobs and employment or whether it's through supporting other small businesses and the services and the work that they do that makes me very excited as far as ad spend that would probably be our 2nd largest expense. And ad spend actually hasn't increased that much over um, over the last quarter we bumped up our spend a little bit we actually spent about across all three months but that is fairly small I would say compared to the ad budgets that we were working with in 2021 now there's a lot of reasons for this I talked about this in our last income report that we had retired the biggest product that we put ad money behind which was our hashtag hacks suite and we stopped selling that a while back and so naturally our ad spend scaled down because of that and really over the last three months the only thing that we've been really spending money on in terms of ads. Were ah our ads that were running traffic to our evergreen webinar funnel that was selling my twelve month mentorship program. But now that we're retiring that program that, ad spend is actually going to be going away once our final launch is complete at the end of this month again i'll kind of preview this in this episode but this is more something that's happening in the moment right now as I'm recording this in July 2022 so really I want to save most of the launch recap for our next quarterly income report. Um, so the q3 income report that I will record probably sometime in early October. So that's coming put another pin in that I know I'm kind of like forecasting a lot of future things. But I'm just telling you these things so you're in the loop of what's happening in real time in our business as well as what happened in the last three months as I'm reflecting back. Okay, so ads spend like I said stayed pretty steady. We really only spent money on running traffic to our evergreen webinar funnel and then also we spent money towards our paid to create challenges so that kind of moves us perfectly into what happened in the business in quarter 2.



So first off, we hosted our 5th and 6th cohorts of our paid to create challenge which is really exciting. This is our live three day course creation challenge where we help first time course creators create an online course and pre-sell it to their beta students before they've even finished any of the course content and be able to use that cash injection from their founding students to 100% bootstrap all of their course expenses and get paid to live teach and create the course content in real time with their founding students. So we have been running this challenge since early twenty twenty one and we just wrapped up our 6th cohort in June and June was a particularly interesting cohort because I wanted to test a brand new strategy and see how it worked in the business. So let me back up for a second and explain first how we normally promote or launch these challenges so typically speaking when these challenges first started I intended them to be a quarterly occurrence. So. Every 3 to 4 months we would host a challenge then sometime in the beginning of this year I decided I wanted to offer it more frequently because we constantly had people who were wanting to be part of the challenges but then had to miss out for one reason or another because their schedules didn't quite align. And then they were stuck waiting. You know three to four months to hop into the next one so because we really have the backend systems down for delivering this challenge I thought let's offer it. Let's try offering it bi-monthly so because we had our 5th challenge in April. And then our 6th challenge was scheduled for June. There was really only one month in between and normally for our paid to create challenges we are actively promoting enrollment for the challenge. Ah, you know to our owned audiences. So we're actively promoting to our email list. We're promoting on social media. We're also running ads. We also work with referral partners. So people who were in past challenges that want to share this challenge with their friends and community. Or some of the friends in my network who want to share out the challenge on our behalf. So we have all these different traffic sources or ways for people to find out about our challenge now because we had done 5 cohorts already and April was our fifth one.



I felt like our organic list was a little bit tapped out on the challenge because we were hosting it so frequently and so I decided hey why don't we test in June trying to only promote the challenge through ads. So my thought process behind this was we have a really strong curriculum that we've created for this challenge. It creates excellent results. We literally have almost a 100% success rate in this challenge in terms of the people who show up and actually participate in the live trainings, do the daily homework assignments, they see phenomenal results and we have such amazing feedback from our challenge participants. So I was like okay, we've really got that piece nailed down and if we're doing these more frequently. It takes a lot of energy for me and my team the week of the challenge to show up and deliver the way that we do because we go all out for our challenge participants and in knowing that I was like I want to reserve some of the energy that we're spending on promoting the challenge and actually really dial it in to just delivering the challenge and if we could just automate the sales portion of it if we could get the ads to be 100% responsible for all of the enrollments in the challenge then me and my team don't have to worry as much about showing up to organically promote the challenges we can just spend all of our energy on delivering the best experience to the challenge participants so that was my thought going into june and so I told my ads manager hey this challenge in June I'm not going to be emailing my list like I normally do every day during the launch window. I'm not going to be posting on social media I'm not going to be sharing my stories and telling everyone I just want you to run the ads and then we'll have our referral partners running the background and let's just see what the enrollment numbers look like so I really didn't know what to expect to be honest because we've run ads every single challenge and we've done. Quite well I would say with the ads. Um, you know we've acquired new participants at a reasonable rate. They've been profitable and so I thought if we can just scale our ad spend because we already have a proven offer and proven ad campaigns that we've run in the past we already have so much data. If we can just amplify what's already working I think we should be able to make this work so that was my hope going in. Um and you know I was both myself and my ads manager to be honest, were quite shocked with what actually happened. I wouldn't say that the ads didn't work.



They did, we did enroll students but they certainly didn't perform at the levels that past challenges had performed at which is weird because the way the Facebook ads machine works right? The backend the more data Facebook has about. Your ads and who's purchasing the more optimized they actually become. The artificial intelligence knows who you're looking for the more that you can prove that your offer is something that people are buying so we thought with all of the massive data that we already had accumulated around this challenge from the last 5 rounds that this ads round was going to be excellent, but for whatever reason whether it was the start of summer and people were you know, just so excited to unplug and get away and you know I feel like we're finally entering like a post covered world where things are fully open in most places and you know it's summertime kids are out of school parents are planning vacations and trying to juggle families and all these things I think there was a lot of factors that may have influenced why our ads didn't perform as well as they could have this time. Um, but for whatever reason we were noticing really low enrollment rates compared to previous rounds. So in June I don't remember exactly how many students we ended with but it was our smallest group by far of the 6 rounds that we've had so far. I think we had maybe 60 students something like that. And typically speaking most of our rounds enroll anywhere between 120 to 150 students. So really about half of the normal size that we would expect in round and this was such a valuable learning lesson and I'm also sharing this with you because I think this is why data matters so much I think we can. Hypothesize all day long and we can have the best strategy laid out and we can even have evidence from past results that show or indicate that something should happen a certain way but it still may not always happen that way and the way we think about businesses. It's. In a lot of ways like being a scientist and coming up with a hypothesis and testing it in your lab and then gathering the data and looking at okay where was I right? and where was I wrong and then how do I tweak the method and try again the next time and it's harder than it is. It's easier said than done to stay objective and not attach. Any personal feelings to those outcomes, especially you know, especially being the leader of the business. This being my business that I own of course I care deeply about every result that happens. Um, and so in the moment I remember feeling nervous and anxious and being like I don't know if I made a huge mistake.



Not promoting this round. You know what are we going to do, are the students going to have the same experience, and ultimately what we decided to do was. so typically speaking in a paid to create challenge. You know, traditionally we had 2 different ways that people would participate if you upgraded to vip you'd be on Zoom with us if you bought the normal challenge pass you'd be in the Facebook group watching all of the live streams and because this was such a smaller group we thought okay maybe this is a gift. Maybe this is an opportunity for us to create a really intimate experience for our challengers. Because there's such a small group of them. Let's bring everybody on Zoom so everybody can see each other face-to-face to really develop those relationships and bonds and let's go all out and serve these people as best as we can and create the best experience possible for them. And what came out of that was honestly one of my very favorite groups and very favorite paid to create challenge experiences so much so that my team and I going forward. We decided we just we really like having everyone on zoome. We want everybody to always have that experience moving forward even if the groups are really large. So. It actually totally changed our perspective on how we deliver the challenge experience for all future rounds and I don't think we would have ever come to that realization had we not been kind of forced in that moment to pivot and try something new when the results didn't end up. Exactly the way that we had hoped it would so that was a really valuable learning lesson to me and I wanted to share that with you guys because I think it's so important to show that even if someone has a successful business or is really experienced in something. It doesn't mean that they never have quote unquote failures right? I definitely don't see that challenge as a failure at all. But I think it is certainly an example of a time when something didn't go according to plan or didn't meet your expectations initially right? and I think that it's okay when that happens and those stories. Need to be shared so more people realize that they're not alone when something similar happens in their business. So I hope that's really encouraging to you all Ok so the 2nd big thing that happened in quarter two was our official announcement.



That cubicle as Ceo, the brand is stepping forward as a media company. We are fully embracing that identity. We are fully rebuilding our business model and infrastructure and a huge decision that came out of that actually is that we are retiring our signature program. So cubicle to Ceo is the name of our brand. It's the name of our podcasts and of our community and our blog but it's also been the name of my signature program. My twelve month group mentorship program that I've been hosting since 2019 so this was my 1st ever digital program. It was my 1st ever coaching program. It has such a special place in my heart and we've helped hundreds of service providers, coaches and consultants land their dream clients, increase their rates and grow their businesses to $10000 months and beyond inside this program and so. This was a very hard thing to let go of and I really wrestled with it back and forth. I talked about this actually in my last income report. So again, if you want to go back and refer to some of those feelings and thoughts I had a couple months back you can go and listen to that episode. But ultimately. The decision was clear to me that with the new business model that we're going after which as a media company. You know our goal is to create the best premium quality content for women entrepreneurs to help them grow their businesses. And we want to create financially transparent content that you don't see anywhere else and in order to create large volumes of high quality free content for our community. We just need all of our team and energy and resources to be dedicated to that and for us to be dedicated to that goal it doesn't make sense in this season of business to spend our time money and energy on scaling a high touch group mentorship program like cubicle to Ceo and so that ultimately was what came down what it came down to for us to make that decision and what we're doing is if you are listening to this in real time you know that we are closing the the doors to cubicle to Ceo on August Fifth so this is our final enrollment. We are doing a big hoorah for closing this chapter. We're going to be doing 2 live webinars on July Twenty Eighth so I'm teaching a brand new masterclass I've never taught before 10 simple strategy shifts to unlock your first ten k month and I'm teaching that on July Twenty Eighth at 11 a m and again at 6 time we're opening the doors one more time for people to get in.



And have this opportunity to be personally mentored by me because I'm not offering any other ongoing group coaching programs after this one is closed. So this is the last chance and whoever joins our program by August Fifth they will be with us for the final year of the program and that just really allows me to focus on serving our existing students in the program during their final year instead of simultaneously trying to serve these students and also trying to enroll new students at the same time. So I'm really looking forward to making this final year the best ever bringing in lots of fun guest speakers and specials. Ah, surprises and just making it an all around amazing experience for our cubicle to Ceo members. Um, and with that decision right? Um, we're really in the midst of this big launch right now that like I said I will. Break down more in depth when I can reflect back on it when I record the quarter 3 income report. Um in October so I'm not going to spend too much time talking about that piece right now. But with this transition into a media company. One of the big projects that took up a ton of my time in quarter two was our rebranding. So by now you know you've been experiencing our new brand for a while you've seen our new logo. You've seen our new podcast cover. We haven't yet at the time of this recording publicly launched our new website for cubicle to Ceo Specifically um but it's coming. It is actually the homepage is completely done. There's just some final touches and links that we need to add to make sure everything's working properly before we announce it. But these 3 huge design projects the logo the website the podcast cover on the brand photos shoot all of these things have been months and months and months in the making and I could not have done it without her amazing brand designer Kristina from gem creative co I could not recommend her highly enough if you are an established brand looking to elevate your brand looking to refresh your brand and bring it into its 2.0 or 3.0 or 4.0 self then Kristina's your girl, you've got to work with her I will link her information in the show notes. Um, she comes with my highest highest recommendations. An incredibly talented designer, if you love our Rebrand I think you're going to absolutely love working with her so that was another big project that took up a huge chunk of time in quarter 2 some of the other things that happened in quarter 2 smaller things that I just you know wanted to share and celebrate.



I went to New York city in June with my fiance Dustin. That was his first time in New York. We went to go celebrate the 10th anniversary of my friend Selena Soo's business. So I helped Selena launch her final round of impacting millions earlier this year as an affiliate partner and as one of the top affiliate partners. We were invited to her apartment for a private partner mastermind where I met some truly incredible women. Um that I'm so excited to continue to develop deeper relationships with and we also got to celebrate her at her anniversary party. So that was so fun. And then even um, before that in April which April and June are only you know two months away from each other but holy crap they feel like lifetimes apart in April my team and I had our quarterly ah get together. We actually headed over to Independence Oregon which is in the heart of wine country here in Oregon and we got to stay at the beautiful independence hotel. Um, such a gorgeous riverfront boutique hotel that we got to partner with and they offered us a stay and their squad suite which is this incredible room that sleeps None people. it's like double decker bunk beds and it's so beautiful it's a huge suite and we just had such a blast together. We always do and so that was something I really loved getting to do with my team and another cool thing about that hotel is in working with that hotel so we did an in-kind partnership with which means we basically just traded services so neither of us were paid anything but we were able to trade our services and I developed um a friendship with the general manager there Matt. He is absolutely incredible has such a great heart. Such an awesome leader with a mind for innovation and so because of that contact we were able to continue that partnership and we're now hosting our fiirst ever big scale live event for cubicle to Ceo in August at the independence hotel and I'm actually bringing in my friends from all over the country. We call ourselves the traveling blazers. They are some of my really good friends from the business mastermind I was part of last year and they're coming into this live event that we're hosting all about visibility and how small business owners and personal brands can get visible across media across their website and traffic across paid ads across personal branding across mindset. So we're bringing in all these amazing experts for this live panel in dinner at the independence hotel and I'm so excited for this event on August eighteenth so



If you're listening to this right now and you live in Oregon or you live within driving distance of independence which sometimes people are like where is independence again. It's actually not as far away as you think it's about 15 minutes outside of Salem the capital of Oregon so it's really not that far of a drive but if you're able to make it. We would love to see you on August eighteenth um the event page will be going live soon. So just make sure you're on our email list and you'll be the first to know or make sure you follow us on Instagram at cubicle to Ceo and we'll be announcing that event over there soon as well. So this is all you know. Really exciting because this is an example of what we're trying to do as a media company. Our role is to establish these partnerships with brands that we align with who offer amazing services and amazing products that can benefit our community of entrepreneurs and our goal is to create the best in class educational content to introduce you to their amazing products and services and help you use these tools and these resources to help your business grow. So. That is just a little glimpse into the world of brand partnerships and I am very excited to continue to share more about that as we as we continue to evolve and grow in this company. All right. Those were some of the big things that happened in quarter two. I think the only other thing I might have left out is we created and launched a brand new product - Perfect podcast pitch - which if you've listened to I can't remember which episode I'll have to link it below. There is an episode that we posted recently on it's it's something like do this one thing if you want to get more podcast booking or do this one thing if you want to stand out for 99% of podcast pitches and that episode is actually what inspired me to create perfect podcast pitch which is essentially this plug and play template. For you to pitch yourself to get on your dream shows and get more visibility in front of your ideal clients on these podcasts and I created this template from years of experience both pitching myself to be on some of the top shows in our industry as well as being on the receiving end. Hundreds if not thousands of not really great pitches and realizing what works and what doesn't to grab a podcast host's attention and make it a no-brainer for them to say yes to having you on their show as a guest so packaged all that up for you in perfect podcast pitch and it felt.



Great actually to create a new product and the creation of this product is important because it marks a step in the direction that we're trying to go which is I want to in 2022 for the for the latter half of this year and beyond my vision really is to create resources and affordable accessible tools templates and digital products like perfect podcast pitch that get you those quick wins those quick results that keep you moving forward. Keep your momentum going as you're growing your business in different areas and the key takeaway is that I want to give people access to my work. Not just selling access to my time. And you know in my role as a coach or an educator a lot of the work that I was doing was selling people access to me personally access to my time my thoughts my my skills. Whatever it was and I really want to scale beyond that and and give people access to my work and for my work to be able to create results and impact for people and so um, one of our goals not necessarily this year I mean it might happen I don't really know if we'll get to it but one of our near future goals is we want to create a digital product shop. And really expand on that and I'm definitely looking toward my friend Christina Scalera the owner of the contract shop for her expertise and support in getting that off the ground, so it's coming and perfect podcast pitch is kind of like a glimpse into the products that we will be bringing to you in the future which I'm very excited about all right? So that that is the summary of what happened in quarter 2 both from a numbers perspective as well as from an events perspective like what actually was happening in the business I hope you learned something new I think this podcast episode really serves as an inflection point in our business for the rest of the year and what I mean by this is it's interesting to see where our business stands today in terms of how our revenue streams contribute to our overall gross revenue and just for example, the twelve month mentorship program that I'm retiring that currently accounts for 34%. So.



Over ⅓ of our year to date income. So as you can imagine. It feels pretty scary. Retiring our biggest revenue generator right? But we're doing it and so right now that is comprising about ⅓  of our business. And then brand partnerships and affiliate revenue those two pieces of our business comprise about another 1/3 of our business. They're almost dead even split in half in terms of what they're contributing to the business. They're each bringing in about 15% I think and that's another 30% of our business. And then our other two income streams are services and then paid to create challenge. Um, that is the rest of the business. So. It's interesting to look at where our revenue split stands today and then you know at the end of this year when we look back at the last six months of the year so we've already. Just finish the first six months and then to look back at the last six months at the end of this year it will be really interesting to see how our revenue streams have shifted and I really think that this is the inflection point I don't know yet when we'll be in our next season of hyper scaling income and hyper scaling revenue. Um, I think we're still going to be in this building phase for a while longer. I would not be surprised if we stayed in that steady state build phase for the rest of the year for the rest of 2022 and then really am able to see those results finally pay off in 2023? Um, so that's kind of my last reflection for the q 2 income report. As always if you found this helpful to you today I would so appreciate if you would take a moment to screenshot and share this episode with a friend. Text it to someone you think would benefit from this, share it to your stories and tag it at cubicle to Ceo so we can repost it. It means a world to us when we spend a lot of time creating this free content and you know. Truly vulnerably sharing our business books by opening them to you in the world. It means so much to us when we hear from you how this episode personally impacted you and more than anything it is the highest compliment when you share it with your friends. Hope you guys are all having an amazing summer and I will catch you in the next episode. Thank you.