I’ve always had fun looking at the income reports of others, as it’s so interesting to learn how people are doing, how successful they are, and where there is money to be made.
On the other hand, can income reports be a dangerous thing? Is it like walking down the streets in your underwear — showing too much?
Upside of income reports
- People are voyeuristic. They love to come and see how you’re doing (yes, people love to know how much others make). If you’re doing well, more people will be interested in coming to check it out, and you might be able to gain a lot of traffic and followers from your success.
- Publishing your income reports can be a way to keep yourself more accountable. If you had a plan to go out on your own, then people will have an objective way to see if you’re succeeding or failing, at least by the standard of income.
Downside of income reports
- If you don’t make a lot of income, it might be embarrassing to publicize that fact for the whole world to see. However, if you make a lot of income, it might be even worse for you, because now you might be seen as bragging. Even with the best of intentions, people can get jealous and upset.
- Large income reports can attract competition, which can eat into those earnings. It might not be such a good idea to advertise that you’re making an absolute killing, because you’re essentially giving away all of your market research for free and opening the door wide open.
I personally published how the first three months of freelancing went for me, and as you can see, I didn’t exactly make a lot of money. This did help to keep me accountable, and show everyone that it’s not a quick way to riches.
However, let’s say down the road things really take off; someone might come to a new income report and see the good, without realizing all the hard work that it took to get to that point.
As an example of a good income report, read the June 2012 Wealth Report by Zero Passive Income. They really go into detail, so everything is laid bare, both the good and the bad (I also love the charts). On the other hand, they’re not losing much by advertising their income, because they appear to derive the lion’s share of this income from their employment. I don’t see how they’d be opening themselves up to competition or other adverse effects, at least not directly. Maybe in situations like this, one can be open with their income.
Is it sometimes better to STFU? What do you guys think?