How I turned a terrifying tax audit into a million dollar business

Welcome back to my special tax time series to help you see how you can bring awareness to your patterns around taxes and use that awareness to uplevel your life and income.

In my first message I shared three tax time tips to help you immediately whether you are getting a refund, have a big payment due or ignoring taxes altogether.

In my second message, I shared my $100,000 tax mistake and how it can help you.

Today, I want to share how a terrifying tax audit got leveraged into my 2nd million dollar business. This strategy is going to help you understand that every conflict, challenge or struggle is actually a huge opportunity or gift for you, if you use the practice I share here.

How I turned a terrifying tax audit into a million dollar business
Desk basket full of bills

The year was 2007. I had just made it through my divorce, which had started in 2005 and wrapped up in 2006. During the divorce, my husband had made us hire a forensic accountant because he was a stay at home dad and was in the dark about the finances. After reviewing my books, the accountant looked at me and said “wow, Alexis, your books are seriously messed up.”

I was embarrassed, but I really didn’t know what I was doing when it came to the financial side of my business, so I just looked at him, nodded and went back to what I did know how to do (and at the time felt way more important, especially now that I’d be paying my husband child support and alimony) which was to focus on earning more money.

As you read in my last message, I really didn’t heed the warning. I just kept focusing on where I was strong and brought in more clients.

And I kept ignoring it until I went to my mailbox one day in 2007 and saw a thick envelope from the IRS. My belly knotted up and my heart sunk. I had a feeling I knew what it was.

terrifying tax audit into a million dollar businessI was right. It was a letter telling me the IRS was auditing my books from 2005, the year that forensic accountant had looked at me and said “your books are really messed up.”

I wanted to die right then and there.

How would I make it through? Here I was a single mom now, running a million dollar law practice AND I had just started a second business, training lawyers on my methods for engaging clients and serving families with young children.

I broke down in tears and the tears didn’t stop for two days.

There was no way I could face this. I was beating myself up constantly over those two days. “Alexis, how could you be so dumb? What are you going to do now? What’s wrong with you?” were the words I heard over and over.

Until suddenly, I got a clear message from the Universe that this was actually a huge opportunity to wake up and shift. And here’s what it said:

“Stop focusing on what you did wrong and what you don’t want. You are being audited. That’s what’s happening. It’s okay. This is an opportunity to practice focusing on what you do want. So, do this now:

  1. Focus only on what is within your control.
  2. Use this as an opportunity to learn, grow and evolve by finding a great bookkeeper and accountant to handle everything that doesn’t require you.
  3. Be willing to invest in getting this all handled so you can free up your time, energy and attention to focus on what’s next.
  4. Tell your new bookkeeping/accounting team to only talk with you about the audit when there is something you can take action on or when there is something you must do.
  5. Every time your mind wants to focus on the audit, consciously shift your attention into something you can do right now to build your business that is within your control.”

So, that’s what I did.

And each time I found myself thinking about the audit, I took one action to build my new business.

By mid-2008, I had cleared the tax audit with no additional taxes due + I had built my 2nd million dollar business using all of the energy that I would have otherwise put into my tax audit if I had let it take over my life, as it easily could have.

Yes, hiring a great team to take care of the audit cost me quite a bit of money, but I earned way more than it cost me and I created a revenue stream and path to service that has served me ever since.

So where are you wasting your energy right now on something that is not in service to creating more in the world?

Where are you trying to control the uncontrollable, or beating yourself up or punishing yourself for something you did wrong, rather than learning, growing and evolving through it?

Where can you free up your time, energy or attention by investing money instead and refocusing your attention on something far more valuable?

 

If you need help answering these questions, or making better decisions this year to lead to a more easeful tax time next year, we’ve got some special tax time gifts for you that you are going to love.

With so much love,

Ali
PS — I’d love it if you sent me a note at alexis@eyeswideopenlife.com and let me know what you have learned from this tax time series so far and what questions you are left with that I can support you with.