My authorship and speakership is a side hustle. It means that commercial success is one of my goals, but tracking said success is really a low priority. Especially considering my two beautiful, but very small children. The last thing I want to be doing is manually mucking with spreadsheets to track my expenses and earnings.
Hurdlr makes the operations side of my hustle simple, fun, and ensures that nothing important falls through the cracks. Oh, and importantly (because spreadsheets don’t do this), it makes it dead simple to understand my quarterly tax situation.
Hurdlr just launched on ProductHunt. You can find them in the Tech section on the home page!
I think I was very early with Luke and the team, at least on the author/speaker side of things. They have been doing this for a while — ‘this’ being creating an app that helps freelancers in this new digital economy manage their businesses.
What do I mean by “freelancers in the new digital economy”? Uber/Lyft drivers. AirBnB hosts, and now authors. I consider that my opportunity to publish a book is available simply because of the digital publishing economy. Maybe I could have pitched a traditional publisher, but who has the energy? Same with those who are drivers, though maybe less so with hosts. It’s the mobile & digital economy that has created these opportunities, and Hurdlr is there to help.
I first saw the Hurdlr apps for drivers and hosts. I emailed to see if they’d do anything for authors. They have a beautiful app style, and at the time from what I could tell without using the app for real (I’m neither a driver nor a host) a real useful app.
Turns out, they were considering it. We chatted and they were off. The results are really outstanding.
Setting up the app is easy. You have to create an account, but can use Facebook or Google IDs.
As you might imagine, you can add data manually or hook up a bank or credit card. I’ve had to add my earnings manually because my bank (Fidelity) isn’t supported. I get paid weekly for book sales from Gumroad. It’s easy enough to add my income to the app when I get my Gumroad notification email.
My expenses are another matter. I hook right into Citi (their 2% cash back card is killer). As I use my card it’s as easy as tapping to either add or ignore the charges. It works better if you have a dedicated business account, or don’t use your credit card for everything like I do because you’ll have a higher density of what matters in the total charges. As I mentioned, this is a side hustle, so my business expenses are a small fraction of my card charges. I might actually be better off to manually enter them in my case. The good news is that I could. This would be very different if you were speaking regularly, and tracking, for example, speaker travel expenses.
The more business you do, the more you will get out of Hurdlr.
Getting data out of Hurdlr is easy too. Just email yourself a report. You can easily bring that data right into excel to share with an admin or accountant.
I mentioned earlier that Hurdlr is fun. Fun is important. Especially when you’re doing stuff that you have to do that might not be natively fun – like track your business expenses.
The app’s color scheme is bright and distinct. It’s got a powerful feel to it, that also manages not to take itself too seriously.
And it’s easy to use. The main dashboard shows you how you’re finances are tracking to the timeframe you choose. You can get more detailed reports and drill into data to track trends, but you don’t have to if you don’t want to.
Hurdlr also has a lot of built in reports that I’ve found very helpful. I’m sure you will too.
Powerful tax features
For me, the competition to Hurdlr is a spreadsheet. But there’s one important thing a spreadsheet can’t do – tell me about my taxes.
As an independent I’m going to owe taxes. Quarterly. Hurdlr handles that for me.
Specifically, Hurdlr tells me what I owe, when to pay it, and sends me a report with the details. This alone makes it worth changing my habit of data entry in a spreadsheet to working with Hurdlr.
No one likes paying taxes, Hurdlr makes it simple to ease the pain.
What more would I want?
Hurdlr automatically track income from Uber for drivers, I wish they’d tie into Gumroad to track digital author sales. Gumroad is a popular and simple platform for publishing electronic goods, and it makes sense to me to provide a bit more end-to-end of an experience. It’s minor as things go, but would make it a better story for digital authors.
The easiest decision you’ll make today is to download Hurdlr.
Of course, if you’ve read this far, why not have a look at my book?
If you’re an author, speaker, driver, or host, or simply want to get better at building long-term wealth or another income stream my investing book is for you. Written in plain English, it’s a quick authentic story that will take you from “what the heck is a stock” to “whoa, I’m an investor” in a couple of hours.
In addition to a great story, there’s a whole step-by-step guide on buying your first shares. You can get started investing with as little as $250, begin to grow your financial mastery, reduce your investing risk, and (importantly) learn to replace your fear of investing with fun.