Remote bookkeeping side hustle? (really?? How much can you make per hour?)

Resources

  1. Free website tool to promote your virtual bookkeeping business http://nigelchua.com/wealthyaffiliate
  2. Online Payment (paypal.com, payoneer.com)
  3. Accept crypto payments, create account here https://nigelchua.com/crypto
  4. Hire freelancers to design your logo and namecards here https://nigelchua.com/fiverr

Bookkeepers are very, very important professionals in any businesses (even personal lives too, if you take your money seriously).

They

  • make sure your revenues and expenses are tracked carefully
  • bank statements are reconciled and tallies
  • any outstanding amounts are chased after
  • can even do payrolls and more

…but that being said, one of my biggest weakness…is that I cant stand to do bookkeeping and accounting.

I know cos I’ve been paying for remote and virtual book keeping ever since I started my first business, waaaaaaaaay back in 2008. I remember the first month of me futilely trying to do the accounts. It was so difficult, stressful and I dont know how many hairs I pulled out of my head in frustration.

More than 48 hours but still doesn’t tally or makes sense, whimpering, sad noises.

And our accountant sorted out in just 1 business hour lol – very obviously my lack of attention to details works against me. And knowing fellow entrepreneurs like myself, I assure you that bookkeeping will never, ever go out of fashion (you were right, dad, too bad I just suck at bookkeeping lol)

We still pay for bookkeepers and accountants till today.

Why virtual bookkeeper?

First, as I mentioned above – it’s a freaking necessity.

All businesses need to make sure their accounts and books are in order, if not they may be in for a nasty surprise if they’re not clear what’s happening with their numbers eg if they need to do more sales, cut back more unnecessary spending etc.

Secondly, it is behind the scenes and very important role.

Not everyone wants to be CEOs, directors or sales – there are much important responsibilities and things to do such as accounts and bookkeeping and finance that is very important too. Like how I do well in face-to-face, marketing, sales and management, there are others who just shine when it comes to numbers (not me lol.

Third: Remote!

This work can be done from anywhere – your hometown, during your travels, visiting friends and loved ones, or even as you care for sick loved ones.

How to start

No license required

I was surprised when I found out about this, and of course, most employers prefer someone who has formal education eg having a diploma or degree in accounting.

But there are many entrepreneurs like myself who would pay a bookkeeper if the bookkeeper is professional, accurate, efficient and well priced. Having good attitude goes a long way too.

If you want to be a virtual book keeper, you can

Formal studies

This is like going for college and universities for that diploma, degree or masters in accounting.

This is the most formal and long-route to becoming a bookkeeper, and it can take you years to graduate and come out to work as a bookkeeper. Usually a professional bookkeeper.

However, there is another path, which is simpler and quicker:

Self learning

Like attending courses and getting certificates in accounting.

You can do these online or in institutions in your town typically.

Your first virtual bookkeeping client

First, get your basic marketing stuff ready

You dont need more than 7 days (I did say basic eh), just

  • name cards with your name, contact and services
  • website with more details
  • bank account

Then, reach out to your direct network

This is calling and speaking personally to people you directly know, such as

  • First tier: close family
  • Second tier: extended family
  • Third tier: friends
  • Fourth tier: colleagues
  • Fifth tier: social media

Practice sharing what you do eg:

Hey NAME, I’m starting a virtual book keeping service business. I help businesses with book keeping, accounting, monthly and quarterly reporting and even payroll. If you know someone who may benefit from my services, please refer them to me. Thank you so much.

Notice I didn’t market, promote or sell directly – it’s an indirect sale, and I find it works better by not turning people off and when others refer others, word of mouth is even more powerful.

Paid networking?

Consider joining paid networking events and memberships as well for you to get steady referrals and leads.

An example of paid networking is BNI (business networking initiative) which costed me something like $500 per year (weekly gatherings also incur food and beverage costs) and the interesting thing is that the members of the group will refer specifically to someone within that group.

eg if they meet someone who needs your virtual bookkeeping service, they will connect you up

Of course there are more admin stuff involved including one-to-one meeting with each other, larger meet ups, admin duties etc (think of it like a business club).

Fees – what to charge?

The easiest is to call 3-5 of your competitors to ask them for their fee structure and services and then you can collate the information and decide.

Generally it falls into 2 categories

Per hour billing

Per hour billing, as its name, is basically billing by the hour.

Sometimes, some businesses wants a once-off so they go by hourly, but most of the time, businesses like mine prefer something more consistent, bringing us to:

Retainer

Retainer model is the same as membership and subscription.

You can tier up your retainer model by number of transactions or by hours (whichever easier for you) and bill your clients based on their needs on a monthly basis.

Lastly, protection

To be safe, I will always recommend bookkeepers to purchase general insurance:

  • general liability insurance
  • professional indemnity insurance

in the event something goes out of whack (mistakes do happen – we’re all human and sometimes we cock up).

Terra Luna UST Algorithmic Stablecoin Crash (6 painful reminders and lessons learnt)

It was a crazy, crazy weekend in crypto when Luna and Terra’s algorithmic stablecoin depegged from $1 and couldn’t keep the massive selldown from happening.

I never held UST or Luna before this meltdown, and I decided to gamble and catch falling knives, thinking that Luna’s CEO will save the day…but alas! I speculated with $6500-ish, and I think strongly believe that amount has gone for good.

I’ve been reading and listening on how so many people lost their entire life savings, some even their family money and it’s just been so heart breaking. Cry and grieve. It’s brutal. Just brutal.

But pick yourself up again, and start over.

For those who are still grieving, take a look at this from thewokesalaryman.

I was mulling over the events (as well as losing of some money), and was reminded of 6 important lessons in crypto investing:

Crypto is volatile AF

I believe crypto is an emerging sector in the S&P and economy, but right now, it’s not yet regulated. So it can be cowboy town with more than 90% shitcoins, rugpulls and scams left right center.

If you wanna enter crypto, please please please:

  • DYOR = do your own research
  • Don’t borrow money you dont have to speculate and gamble (you can win big, yes, but you also can lose big).

Diversify

I dont recommending going balls-deep and all-into crypto.

At most up to 20% of your total networth can be crypto, but even then, I wont put all this into one or two coins. It’d be diversified within crypto to a bunch of coins to spread out risks.

Yes, the rewards may be lower, but the #1 rule of investing is to not lose money.

Take profits** (rule of 2-5X)

This is a very, very important skill, rule and decision you need to learn and execute.

I learnt this when I entered crypto in 2017, doubled my paper gains, and refused to sell. It came crashing down more than 80% of my original amount (profits wiped out as well as principal — cry me).

Multiple similar experiences happened since then, and I learnt that I cannot always sell at highest and neither can I buy at lowest. The best solution for me was the Rule of 2-5X.

The most conservative approach is Rule of 2X, which means that once I double my money, I pull out my original investment. Eg if I invested $100 and it becomes $200, then I need to pull out $100. I can leave the remaining $100 to run and grow as house money. And take the $100 to invest in another. This is the most basic and conservative approach.

What I prefer is rule of 3X, where I can pull out 1.5X and leave another 1.5X to run. This means that I pull out both original invested amount AND profits already. And leave whatever balance to grow more.

Stable, regulated assets

Stable, regulated assets includes stuff like

  • rental properties
  • index funds
  • ETFs / individual stocks

These may not give the crazy growth like crypto, but they aren’t crazy volatile either lol – rental properties can be great for regular cashflow. Index funds are pretty standard returns, and great especially if you have time on your side.

Bitcoin and Ethereum

I think that in the end, whatever I budget for speculation and investment in crypto (say 20% of my networth), a big bulk of that will be in the blue chip of crypto ie Bitcoin and Ethereum.

These two seem to be the gold and silver equivalent, and maintain their value fairly well, despite market volatility and up downs. So if I have $1000 budget for crypto, what I will do is allocate $800 to Bitcoin and Ethereum; and the balance $200 to higher-risk-higher-return speculative crypto projects.

Diversifying and increasing your income is my answer

Learning to earn more income outside your main job continues to be my focus moving forward.

There are just so many benefits to building a profitable side hustle, from

  • diversifying from one main income
  • meeting and networking with more people
  • side hustle can be scaled bigger and more profits
  • etc

Earn $1200 monthly teaching swimming (just 4 x 45 minute sessions a week)…or more if you want

So I’ve been sitting in with my kids during their weekly swimming lessons (already 3rd lesson last week), and an idea popped into my head:

“How much does a swim coach earn?”

The gears started to turn in my head, and I created a calculation table (in the video), and I realized that getting paid to teach others to swim is a fairly good and nice lifestyle business.

Upsides

Basic calculations based on my own experience: we pay $75 per 45 minutes for 2 kids. Just 2 sessions a day (1.5 hours) x 20 days a month will yield a swimming instructor $3000 a month.

It’s not bad.

Scratch that – it’s pretty good!

Dont forget the other upsides:

  1. There are so many things in teaching swimming, but the basics is making sure newbies wont drown. And many parents are willing to pay for this
  2. Secondly, there are so many things one can thing, ie there is longevity in teaching swimming. From teaching swimming strokes and techniques, to improving stamina, or speed.
  3. It’s very visual AND social. Other parents will see you teaching kids, and they will enquire – if they like you and the way you teach, more often than not, they’d engage you. Also, parents will refer other parents (we refer all the time too)

Quite a lot of upside to make it easy to grow the business.

Are there risks and expenses?

Of course there are, and they include:

  1. transportation costs
  2. insurance costs
  3. certification costs
  4. cancellation due to weather (can consider indoor pools) or others
  5. advertising and marketing costs
  6. injury risks
  7. there are a lot of competition (but this is okay, as people usually follow and recommend teachers they like anyway)

Is it worth it?

That can be a subjective question, but for me, it’s likely a nice lifestyle business which you can choose to grow if you want to, or keep a limited teaching schedule.

It’s similar to how we physical therapists and hand therapists do house call.

And if you’re very driven, you can grow it by:

  1. growing your personal clientele
  2. hiring other swim coaches
  3. selling products such as floaties, swimwear etc (or price it into your fees as part of advertising)
  4. etc

Crypto.com Revives CRO Coin Card Crypto Staking (were we trolled?)

2nd of May 2022, Crypto.com announced in an email that they are killing their famous crypto card cro staking program (see this video: https://youtu.be/M1X9SZxTZok)

Of course there was very vocal hoo-ha and complaints.

There were many large amount sell orders too, in the millions of CRO coin being sold. Personally, as a mixed income investor and growth investor, CRO was up my alley because it provided me with income

  • 12% from Earn and
  • 12% from Stake

When the Earn program was knee capped by adding the tiering in (basically anything above USD 30K, the earn is pittance) – I knew their earn program days were over.

So I felt it was still okay that I could still lean on 12% from CRO card staking.

But when they announced overnight (literally the night before, as I got the email on 2nd May but the effects started 1st May), it was brutal and sincerely, fucking unprofessionally annoying.

I considered, and since I couldn’t get income from CRO, I think my CRO bag is too much, so I decided to

  • unstake my Icy White tier CRO amounts
  • sell those CRO amounts for both top ten crypto as well as to fiat (withdraw to my bank account)

I still have a good chunk of CRO staked in the exchange, but I’ll think about what to do with it later when the staking is finished.

Is CDC out of money?

Some of the hearsay (lol, in a nod to Depp vs Heard case) is that Crypto.com is outta money because they spent too much in adspend (advertising spend).

It’s unlikely they are out of money. This year itself, in January, they set aside USD 500 million to invest in early stage crypto start ups (ie crypto venture capitalism), paid out of their balance sheet (ie cash from business operations). They have cash.

So….if they weren’t outta cash, then why?

A few reasons in my speculated theories (hey, I’m no insider, but I can estimate why)

  1. It was in their plan all along to reduce such non-revenue-generating expenses. Paying out in crypto earn and cro staking doesn’t generate revenue for them at all. It was good and sexy to attract clients and users* (the keyword here is USERS. They want users who use their platforms and trade, so that it generates revenue).
  2. Secondly, they burned 80% of CRO so it’s possible that they need to create a buy-back event AS well as shake out passive, non-active non-revenue generating hodlers.
  3. This isnt their first time reducing earn or stake rewards since they started operations.

What should you do?

Dr Crypto Finance said this in this article: https://drcryptofinance.substack.com/p/crypto-dot-com-cdc-cro-crypto-crisis?

  • Don’t Sell Your CRO Right Now —> CDC is changing its fundamentals. This doesn’t mean it has lost its fundamentals. I, personally, believe it will succeed in its rebrand and will give Binance, BSC, and BNB a run for their money. Don’t sell for a loss now when you can sell for a profit 2 years from now (inflation-adjusted…)
  • Don’t Buy Anymore CRO Right Now —> market conditions are currently very volatile and I, honestly, have no idea where the price of CRO will settle. I believe CRO will not fall below 0.20 USD/CRO but I also might be wrong if CDC takes actions to move the price further down. At the end of the day, I think you have 2 years of bear market instability on your side.
  • Prepare To Buy More CRO In The Next 6-12 Months —> if you haven’t lost faith in the company, you may consider buying more CRO but at the 0.20-0.25 USD/CRO price point. Bear in mind that your DeFi wallet will continue to offer you ~12% returns on staking your CRO through various validator nodes if you do choose to buy CRO in the next 6-12 months.

What am I going to do?

For me, as I prefer and need to have income as well as growth (capital gains), I cannot just wait for CRO price to increase. I know their price will increase gradually with their

  • defi
  • cronos chain
  • crypto early-stage investing
  • others

But I need income to live. So for me, I liquidated a chunk to both

  • fiat, which I’ve drawn out to my bank account
  • top 10 non-stable coin positions

I’ll be withdrawing more crypto to fiat purchasing a rental property that has more stability.

Am I still in CRO?

Hell yeah.

I believe they can be a strong contender to Binance as they grow. I am still annoyed at the way they communicate and do things, and moving forward, I am setting my expectation that eventually there will be zero earn and stake rewards, and my returns on CRO will be purely on price action of CRO coin.

Crypto.com stops and kills card staking program (no more crypto passive staking income!)

Sorry news indeed

I received this sorry, sorry news today, 2nd May 2022.

In a nutshell:

  1. decreased CRO cashback across all cards (most notably, all staked card cashback: Obsidian drops from 8% to 5%; Icy White/Rose Gold drops from 5% to 3%, Indigo/Jade drops to 1.5% and blue doesn’t earn any cashback at all)
  2. capping of CRO cashback below Icy White/Rose Gold and Obsidian – Indigo/Jade max $50/month and Ruby Steel max $25 CRO cashback per month
  3. the hardest hitting was the entire killing of crypto stake returns, which was the primary reason why I (and perhaps many others like me), still held onto staking

End of crypto.com?

To me, it marks the end of good crypto passive income (technically, crypto passive staking income) which I got as a Icy White CRO VISA card holder.

It was pretty good too, at 12% returns per year.

As I mourn this, I’m not dumb – I knew it’s a matter of time, but as I mentioned, there should be better tiering like say, go from 12% to 10% or 8%, is still acceptable.

But oing from 12% to 0%?

That’s way hard nerfing man, crypto.com.

Well, it was good while the earn and stake lasted, and I dont think it’s the end of crypto.com – they still have their developing cannons:

  • DeFi
  • Cronos chain
  • ?NFT (not sure if they’re strong with this).

What am I doing from here?

Well for me, there is little point to hold onto the card anymore, and I have shelved the idea of upgrading to Obsidian black. Zero benefits of locking $40K or $400K for zero stake returns as well as 3% and 5% CRO cashback.

So as my card stake has already hit the 180 days (6 months) staking, I unstaked it and sold my CRO for USDC. I am still holding onto CRO coins, just rebalancing and spreading out the love.

I will also be cashing out a portion to invest in more traditional investments, such as

  • rental property
  • index funds

Still have chunk in crypto of course

I think we’re still early to the crypto party, just that now we’re in bear market and winter, so I’m just gonna hodl after I withdraw profits and principal amounts, and camp on.