November 2021

By: 
Tom Qiao
 | 
Updated: 
December 1, 2021
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Welcome back to Flexibility Is Freedom!

We are close to the end of another year and (can you believe it?) the second year of a COVID-19 pandemic.

Fortunately, I think 2021 was a much better year than 2020, as we received vaccines around the world and learned to live with in this "new normal".

November was a busy month for me - I purchased a property in Hamilton, Ontario, completed another month at my full-time job at Treefrog Inc., and recorded another milestone month for TheDermDetective.com.

Key Metrics

  • Revenue: $1,654 (+37% MoM, +45% YoY)
  • Sessions: 13,108 (+2% MoM)
  • RPM: $126 (+35% MoM)
  • Amazon Risk: 32% (down from 40% last month)

In November, revenue reached a milestone of over $1,600, largely thanks to the Black Friday & Cyber Monday shopping period which increased conversion rates and revenue per thousand (RPM).

Traffic remained steady (+2%) while overall profitability increased (+35%).

In addition to affiliate marketing income, I'm seeing around C$100 per month of income from Google Adsense which is a welcome addition to the overall revenue mix.

In terms of expenses, there was the usual hosting and CDN fees plus my content writer and virtual assistant.

Buying A House in Hamilton, ON

After a few months of real estate research, weekends and weekdays visiting properties with my real estate agent, and a couple of failed offers, I was able to successfully secure my first property in Hamilton, ON at a reasonable valuation.

The real estate market in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) has been nuts (similar situation around the world) with average sale prices increasing 20-30% from a year ago - driven up by a pandemic-related shortage of inventory plus a frenzy of home buyers.

The other major factor, and one that has driven me into the housing market, is the current & future risk of inflation - especially as shortages continue to disrupt supply chains and erode consumer confidence, while central banks continue to maintain historically low interest rates.

Aside from buying gold (and possibly a case for BitCoin), owning real estate is the best hedge against inflation. You are essentially long real assets and short fiat currency (by borrowing in fiat dollars which are losing value).

My goal is to rent out part of this property and live in the remaining unit to generate additional passive income to pay down the mortgage and other home ownership expenses like property taxes and insurance.

Managing A Full-Time Job and My Business

In the last month and a half, I've been less active on my business while I ramped up my house hunting efforts and transitioned into a 9-5 job at Treefrog Inc. as an SEO Specialist.

Thankfully, with a property now secured, I will (hopefully) be able to spend more time on my business. However, part of this equation involves more outsourcing & efficient processes as well.

To that end, I've been relying on my content writer and newly hired virtual assistant, both of whom have been truly fantastic to work with! The main obstacle, however, is still the fact that I am the bottleneck most of the time to review completed tasks and assign new ones.

As I continue to progress down this road, I will need to level up my outsourcing skills and promote my freelancers as well to give them more responsibility and control over aspects of my business, including Wordpress management, creating content briefs, and publishing content.

December 2021 and Beyond

Thanks so much for reading and I hope you are as excited as I am about the future, no matter what it may hold!

I am excited to spend a joyful holiday season with my family, see a few friends, and just relax this Christmas.

Health has been my #1 priority this year and I have been slightly neglecting it in the last few months, so I look forward to taking better of my health and my fitness as well.

By the way, have you heard about the "Great Resignation"? It's currently the hottest topic on Wall St. and Main St. as millions of employees have chosen not to return to their old jobs.

So many have woken up during the pandemic and decided to pursue a life of Flexibility & Freedom where their main priorities in life - such as health, family, personal fulfillment, happiness, and financial ownership - are better served elsewhere than working in a traditional job or industry.

To Flexibility & Freedom,

Tom

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