bankruptcy

Ever Want to Quit?

I wanted to quit, and it was all I could think about. Giving it all up, moving to a farm, growing my own food, and not having to earn any money.

This was at a time when I had already built two million dollar businesses, written a best-selling book and was known as a family, financial and legal expert on Good Morning America, the Today Show and more.

But, despite all the external appearance of success, I just wanted to run away from all of it.

So, I did. I walked away from everything I created, moved to a farm and filed bankruptcy.

I indulged the escape fantasy, ran away, and spent a year asking the question:

“What would I choose to do if I was only going to do it for free?”

“Who would I choose to be if never made another choice through the lens of money?”

“What do I really want my life to look and feel like?”

Now, in order to make the choice to walk away, I had to get in very close connection and right relationship with money. 


I had to break the reality I was living in of making every choice through the lens of money.

But I didn’t know that’s what was happening at the time. In fact, I really didn’t know WHAT was happening at the time.

Frankly, as you can see in this video recorded from my bathroom as I was packing up my house to move to the farm back in July of 2011, I thought I was going crazy.

Gratefully, this time around, while there are just as many tears, I do know what’s happening. I’m not going crazy, I’m upleveling.

And the answer to the question I asked in that video, and asked many times throughout my life when things I had seen visions of ended up happening: “was this a premonition or a self-fulfilling prophecy?” is yes. 

So stick with me here because this one can be a little hard to wrap your mind and head around, but it’s also important to try and understand and hold:

You really are creating everything. Where you direct your thoughts is creating your reality. And, you may even have some psychic awareness of what’s going to happen.

And, at the same time, it is all already happening.

What does that mean?

It means that all realities, all possible timelines for your life already exist, and all you are doing is choosing into the one that will serve the evolution of your soul.

The timeline I needed to choose back then was the one that would allow me to see my distorted relationship with money so I could wake up and create a new future reality not based on that distortion, and as a result heal the past generations of money dysmorphia and create a new future for myself and my family.

By doing so, I was able to step into this current reality — one in which the company I founded is likely to be at 8-figures in revenue this year, and I’m gearing up to build my next company, which will be a billion dollar transformer of the financial services industry, if I succeed. Yes, the vision is that big.

And, so, I need to not quit this time … 

When I forgot that I could choose into the timeline I was creating, I would fall into hopelessness and despair, believing I had ruined my life, and would never recover.

But the truth was I was just visiting a stage on the spiral that I needed to actually begin to learn to feel, and heal, all the pain of my lineage that had not been felt and healed up to that point, at that time specifically around money.

So now, as I’m revisiting many of the same feelings I was having then, this time I am not running. 

I am staying.

I am allowing myself to feel this desire to give up, and breathing with it, crying when needed, asking for help, and receiving the support to stay, move forward, and keep going.

This is what that looks like. Me, being held, as part of a 2-day offsite immersion with my business partner + COO, Andrew (not pictured) but watching this unfolding next to me as Molly Strong and Jana Ravenheart (formerly Kim Harrison) help me move through some big emotions as I feel a lot and expand my capacity for even more.

Molly and Jana built the first iterations of Simon Sinek’s companies, and now they are doing this — holding CEO/Founders like me through the expansion of their capacity into the change required for their own next level.

So, if you are also facing a lot of feelings around wanting to quit, or the fear of going to the next level … DO NOT GO THERE ALONE.

The very best investments you can make at this time are investments in expanding your capacity to feel more, heal more, and grow (or be part of) a business that you can count on for yourself, your family, and your community.

We are about to go into a recession, no doubt. Maybe even a depression. But if you are investing wisely now, you don’t have to freak out about it. Instead, you can utilize this time of transition to serve at an even greater level.

But that will require you to have the support you need to work with the fear, to work with the parts of yourself that want to quit, and to keep moving forward. 

Eyes Wide Open …

Lots of love,

Ali

Upcoming Events for Lawyers:

June is an incredible month filled with learning opportunities so you can love your life and law practice again. I’m excited to invite you to the first events of the month, one is this afternoon!

YOU’RE INVITED TO TUNE IN LIVE:

How to Attract More Clients Through Effective Storytelling

TODAY June 8, 2022 at 4:30 ET/1:30 PT

It’s important that your clients understand the “why” about what you do, along with “why” it matters to them. Telling your story authentically—complete with the missteps, pivots, and learnings—helps clients connect to you as a person. They will see why you’re the right lawyer for them and they will trust you to bring results.

Here’s what you can expect to receive at our FREE NLBM Storytelling Marketing workshop:

  • Live coaching on how to leverage storytelling to attract clients and stand out from the competition
  • Step-by-step instruction on how to outline your compelling firm story using our Character Arc Worksheet 
  • Actionable methods on how to implement your new firm story in your marketing and attract new clients

Show-up Bonus #1: Storytelling Marketing Starter Kit

Show-up Bonus #2: My Proven Firm Story Template

This is the same exact template that over 3,030 NLBM Member Lawyers have used successfully to create their own compelling firm story, helping them attract and engage more clients and, ultimately, build the law practice and life they desire.

I’m looking forward to seeing you there as Kim and Allison help you create content you can use right away!

Reserve your seat here right now because it’s today: https://get.newlawbusinessmodel.com/storytelling-workshop-nl

Then, save the date for the rest of this goodness happening in June!

PLUS, WEEK-LONG SPECIAL SYMPOSIUM:

5 Ways to Prepare for Web 3.0 in Your Digital Business

June 6-10, 2022 

If a good number of your law prospects come from online, you can’t afford to stand still and stick your head in the sand right now.  

Changes to how emails work…

And how websites have to handle data privacy…

Changes in the banking space as blockchain continues to disrupt how people exchange currency…

Changes to algorithms…and AI…and Facebook even changed its name too. 

So what do we do about it? 

Well, my friend and colleague Ryan Levesque at the ASK Method Company has been hard at work doing research, running experiments, and seeking some of the advice from the best and brightest out there. And they’re sharing what they’ve learned at a one-time only virtual event called The Web 3.0 Future, happening from June 6-10, 2022. 

It’s 5 talks, over 5 days, about 5 ways you can prepare for the NEW world of digital marketing. I’ll be attending and want to welcome you to join me.

Here’s the lineup of topics for this week: 

  1. Monday, June 6: Web 3.0 Traffic: 
    1. Effective Lead Generation in the Cookieless World
  2. Tuesday, June 7: Web 3.0 Product: 
    1. How Blockchain is Going to Disrupt More Than Just Money
  3. Wednesday, June 8: Web 3.0 Email & Follow Up: 
    1. How Email And Follow Up Marketing Must Evolve to Keep Up
  4. Thursday, June 9: Web 3.0 Data & Privacy: 
    1. The Changing Laws and How to Use Privacy as a Strategic Advantage
  5. Friday, June 10: Web 3.0 Funnel: 
    1. Why Standard Marketing Funnels Won’t Work in the Web 3.0 Era 

This event is designed for any small business owner or entrepreneur who relies on finding new clients/customers online—and that’s why this series of events will be helpful for you and your law practice. The talks will be equal parts theory and practical teaching to help you adjust your business- because Web 3.0 isn’t coming, it’s here right now.

You can still catch some of these talks, so get registered.

Reserve your seat here. https://cu262.isrefer.com/go/22symp/alikatz

Quick Links:

I’d love for us to stay connected! Follow the links below to engage in ways that are meaningful to you.

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Two strikes, Bases Loaded and I’m at Bat…Again (What to Do When the Pressure Is On)

I’m at quite the interesting place in my life and business. I’ve been here twice before and both times before, I struck out.

The first time was in 2008, I had hit a million dollars of revenue in my first business for two years in a row and I had started a second business that was on track to a million.

I had published a bestselling book and I was ready to shift from my one-to-one service based law practice into spending all my time coaching other lawyers and educating families and business owners about the benefits of legal planning.

So, I sold my law practice. But, I did it all wrong. Instead of making any money on it, I lost $250,000.

Strike 1.

By 2009, I had recovered from that loss and once again I had two businesses. They would bring in $2,000,000 that year.

I was appearing on national TV regularly.

House by the ocean, kids in private school, first class travel.

I was living the dream.

But, I felt trapped by the dream. It was becoming a nightmare. I couldn’t figure out how to maintain this dream AND be all of who I really am.

Heck, I didn’t even know what that meant. I just knew the way it was all happening looked awesome, but it felt terrible.

So I gave it all up.

It was a somewhat slow and torturous process, but by 2012, I had dismantled everything in such a way that while the businesses would earn $1mm that year, I was only earning $5,000/mo, living on my farm and preparing to file bankruptcy.

Strike 2.

After the bankruptcy, I made the decision to rebuild, but on a whole new foundation.

As J.K. Rowling once wrote, “Rock bottom became a solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”

So for the past 2.5 years, I have been rebuilding. And facing all my old dragons. The one’s that led to my past successes and the failures that followed.

One by one, they have arisen.

The temptation to cut corners.

The temptation to abdicate my leadership.

The temptation to swing between micro-managing and not looking at all because I don’t know how to find the middle ground of true health.

The temptation to give away my power, again and again and again. And then be surprised when I’m not respected for that.

And each one I have faced and met and made hard choices and slayed the dragon. I have had incredible guidance along the way.

Now, I’m back on the plate. Right back where I was in 2009. The bases are loaded.

Last year, the two companies that support my work in the world did $2,500,000 of revenue (combined).

More than in 2009.

They were led by CEOs other than me, which was great, but ultimately not sustainable.

I used the time and space I was afforded by their leadership to grow up. To discover the truth of who I am. To upgrade a major piece of my work (in the form of the Money Map) that was screaming out for my attention.

And now, I’m back in the game. I am being called to step back into leadership. This time with the understanding of what it means to be a leader.

I feel a tremendous sense of resistance, uncertainty and fear. I can’t believe I’m right back here again.

I’m scared to death. I can feel my life being taken over again, just like it was pre-2009.

The count is 3 and 2. It’s the ninth inning. The score is tied.

We’re either going big or we’re going home.

I want to go home. The pressure feels way too intense. I am not sure I can really do it. I want to sabotage it like I did in 2008, when I sold my first business, and in 2010, when I shrunk everything I had created down to “manageable.”

Lost and confused, I reach out to everyone I know and trust for help and guidance.

I even call in my astrologer friends for answers.

And then tonight, I watched a video that caused it all to click into place. I dropped the resistance immediately. I saw the big picture so clearly.

It all makes sense now.

The resistance falls away.

The clarity rushes in.

Of course…

Of course…

Of course…

I’m up at bat.  Ready to hit it out of the park and bring all the runners home.

More details tomorrow …

To your eyes (and heart) wide open life,
Ali

PS — the video I watched is by one of my mentors, Justin Livingston.  Justin has created a video series on mastering the art of building a transformational business that reminds me of exactly why I got into business in the first place and is exactly what I personally need to make the leap beyond where I’ve been twice before.

I’m ready to breakthrough this place I’ve been twice before and step into my next level.  If you’ve got a multi-6 or early 7-figure business, you’re going to want to watch this video too.

How I Ended Up in Bankruptcy Blog Series {Video FINALE & Q&A}: Should I file bankruptcy?

Today, I’m going to answer some of the biggest questions I’ve received from the Bankruptcy Blog Series.

In this video, I cover:

  • Questions you should ask yourself BEFORE filing bankruptcy
  • What factors you should consider when filing bankruptcy: how much debt do you have, who do you owe it to, etc.
  • What to do instead of filing 
  • Asset Protection
  • And the truth about what would happen to our economy if we all paid off our debt

I’m making this video for you as a wrap up to the Bankruptcy Blog Series.

If you read the series, you heard me talk about my decision to file bankruptcy: how I made it, why I made and how I protected my assets so I was able to bounce back really quickly afterwards.

Today, just two years after filing bankruptcy, my companies are doing better than ever. They’re run by CEOs, and I’m doing just what I do best in those companies as opposed to before I filed bankruptcy when I was trying to hold it all together myself.

I had great companies in some ways, but I was struggling to do it all. I felt like I was all alone. I felt very burdened. I had the wrong business model. I really was making a limited impact in the world.

Today, my impact has expanded greatly, and I’m able to serve in the deepest possible ways. And that was because I was able to make the decision to let go at the right time. And that’s what I covered in the bankruptcy blog series.

So, you all had some questions, and here I am today to answer them for you.

The biggest question that I got asked is:

When should I file bankruptcy? Should I file bankruptcy?

Here’s my answer to you on that: If you are going to file bankruptcy, don’t do it on a small amount.

I filed bankruptcy on over $500,000 dollars of debt. What that meant was that I really, fully leveraged my credit score completely before making the decision to file bankruptcy. Now, if I only had $15,000 or $75,000 worth of debt, it probably would’ve been just as easy to figure out how to make the money to pay off the debt.

And that’s where I want you to start.

If you only have a small amount of debt, I want you to be focused on How can I make more money to, not only pay off the debt, but maybe even take on more debt and leverage all of the resources you have available to you?

That’s really important.

If you’re looking at bankruptcy, you’re really looking at What is the most responsible thing that you can do for the overall situation?

That’s what I did.

I looked at what would be the most responsible thing that I could do. Could I have earned the $500,000? Yes, probably. But would that have been the most responsible thing to do? No, because the way that I would have needed to do it would not have been in deepest service to the world. I could have continued to run the business models that I had created, which were serving in some ways, but they really weren’t of deepest service.

So for me, filing bankruptcy, letting go of $500,000 of debt really made sense.
should I file bankruptcy

For you, would it make sense? Well, we have to look at:

What would it take for you to earn the money to pay back your debt?

If it wouldn’t take much (and sometimes like it feels like it would take a lot, but you just haven’t gotten the right guidance yet, you haven’t got the right support to really tap into the gifts that you have to give to the world. If you can tap into the gifts that you have to give to the world – in the right income model – and pay back the debt, I say do. that. In fact, maybe the debt can be a motivator for you to do that instead of sapping your energy.

Now, if the debt is such an amount that it’s just sapping your energy, and you see no way you could possibly give your gifts in the world and pay back your debt, that’s the time to file bankruptcy.

But again, look at, have you leveraged all of the available credit that you have before you make the decision to file bankruptcy? Have you really tapped all the resources available to you? Because you don’t want to file bankruptcy unless you’ve done that.

There’s another question..

Who do you owe the money to?

If you owe the money to family and friends and colleagues and clients, I don’t think you’re really a good candidate for bankruptcy. Because, is it really the most responsible thing to not pay back those people? No, probably not. Instead, if they are people that are going to be significantly impacted personally in their lives by your decision to file bankruptcy, you really have to look at how can you earn the money to pay back the debt that you’ve borrowed.

In contrast, if you owe big banks and credit card companies, they have built into their algorithms and metrics that some number of people are not going to pay back their debt. So the impact of you not paying back your debt is much, much less significant and in some ways, is part of what keeps the economy going.

If we all decided to pay back our debt, the economy would actually collapse. 

Not paying back your debt is built into the economy as it stands right now, when you are not paying back your debt to big banks and credit card companies. But, if you’re not paying back that debt to clients, friends and colleagues – that’s a whole different story.

In that case, you really want to look at how you can earn back that money. And maybe it involves talking with them, working with them, asking for their support – not just financially but emotionally, maybe strategically. Maybe saying, “Hey, we’re all in this together. How can we come up with the money to get you your money back using the gifts and services and talents that they invested in you in the first place?”

So, those are some of the biggest questions that I got after the bankruptcy series.

Another question that I received is about…

Asset protection – When is the time to do asset protection?

The time to do asset protection is NOW, before you’re facing bankruptcy.

My asset protection started in 2005. I had no idea I was going to file bankruptcy at that point. I barely had any debt at that point. In 2010 I did more asset protection, again, not knowing that I was going to file bankruptcy.

It wasn’t until 2012 that I did file bankruptcy.

So why did I do asset protection in 2005 and in 2010 if I didn’t know that I would be filing bankruptcy?

Because…
I’m a business owner.
I’m a risk-taker.
And I want maximum reward for the risks I take with the least amount of personal risk.

I know that setting my assets up from the beginning was the right thing to do regardless of what might happen down the road.

If you have a vision and you’re doing big work in the world, it’s the same for you.

You set your assets up right, out of your estate, outside of any risk of creditors, divorce – anything like that, because you believe in what you’re doing. You believe in the work you’re doing in the world. And you want to set it up to benefit for multiple generations, not just for right now.

So the time to do asset protection is… as soon as you’re thinking about it. 

Once you’re already in debt or you already have risk from creditors, it’s really too late. At that point, any form of asset protection can be considered Fraudulent Conveyance.

Thank you for sticking with me through this series and taking part in the journey.

I hope to see you in the comments!

If you have any questions about anything in the Bankruptcy Blog Series or anything in the video, please leave a comment below.

For anything super private, feel free to email me at support@eyeswideopenlife.com – otherwise, do post it in the comments and share so that everyone can benefit from your question and our answers.

See you next time!


And keep an eye out for my books “Financial Liberation” and “You Are Not Your Credit Score” in 2015. 

Read the full series here: Part OnePart TwoPart ThreePart Four, Part Five & Part Six.

Bankruptcy Blog Series {Part 6}: How I Protected My Assets & Rebounded From Bankruptcy Better Than Ever

So, the bankruptcy was filed. Now, the story of how I rebuilt my life and my businesses and protected my assets…

(Get caught up on the whole series here: Read Part OnePart TwoPart ThreePart Four & Part Five.)

So now, the question you’ve all been asking…

How did I bounce back from bankruptcy so quickly and protect my most important assets along the way to make rebound, rebuild and repair easier than you would think?

Before I share the details, let me remind you that it was only two years ago (nearly exactly two years ago in fact) that I filed bankruptcy. Two years later and my work is being supported by companies that are ten times (maybe even 100x) as strong as the companies supporting my work then. I am making far more money than I was even at the height of my pre-bankruptcy success in 2009, the year my former companies were earning just shy of $2,000,000. And, conflict has nearly been eradicated from my life. Contrast that with a life full of conflict prior to the bankruptcy.

Now, I’m not saying that bankruptcy is the solution for everyone. There’s a lot of people who should NOT file bankruptcy. I’ll speak more to who those people are and what kind of debt is not appropriate for resolution via bankruptcy in a future post. But I am saying that when it’s time to let go of anything (whether through bankruptcy, divorce, breakup, or even death), when done well and right, you will be rewarded. As I am being rewarded today.

So, how did I do it well? And what can you learn from it? failures

First of all, I invested my credit in things that could never be taken away from me via the bankruptcy process. My education, coaching, self care, well-being, travel, experiences, and community. Ultimately, I invested in my resourcefulness and creativity. The best part about that is that no matter what happens in your life (unless its death), resourcefulness, creativity, and true community is never at risk.

Second, I didn’t own the pre-bankruptcy companies that supported my work and I don’t own the post-bankruptcy companies that support my work now. All of the companies that support my work, our customers and clients and pay me to do my work in the world are owned by irrevocable trusts of which I am just a beneficiary, but have no direct control over the assets. My stepmom and grandmother each set up a trust for me and it was these trusts that started the companies to begin with. I never owned them, therefore they could never be taken from me in a bankruptcy.

Before you go off thinking I’m some kind of trust fund kid, let me correct that misperception.

My grandfather left my grandmother enough money to live on after he died, if she would have died 10 years ago. She didn’t. She’s still alive. And has outlived her savings. She has social security and kids who make up the difference in financial and personal support. Back in 2005, she put a few thousand dollars into a trust for me and the Trustee of those Trusts used that to start the first two businesses to support my work outside of my law practice, which was owned directly by me.

Then, in 2010, my stepmom created another trust for me and also put in a few thousand dollars of what my dad had left to her after he died. That trust started two more companies to replace the initial two that had not been built properly with the right foundations, team support or structures. Today, those companies are worth millions of dollars and if they are ever sold, all of the sale proceeds will be protected in that Trust, excluded from estate taxation at my death, and totally protected in the event of my death, a divorce or any type of creditor event.  The Trust is set up to exist for generations.

And, so, all of the businesses supporting my work in the world, including my intellectual property, client lists, and the income coming into those businesses, were totally protected and I was able to bounce back from bankruptcy quickly leveraging the resources I had invested in (like my education, my network, and my community) that could never be taken away from me.

I wonder … are you investing in things that can never be taken away from you?

By intentionally setting my life up to be able to take big risks and then taking them, I have been significantly rewarded. And, you will be too, when you do it.

When you know the value of what you offer, invest in long-term asset protection to assure your work serves for generations. Tweet It!

This is the final written post in this series of How (and Why) I Ended Up in Bankruptcy. And it’s been less about the debt, money and bankruptcy, and more about the story of my own personal Heroine’s Journey. 

So many of us are in the midst of some sort of big shift, ripping away of past comforts and beliefs, stretching further than we believed we could. And being rewarded for it greatly.

We come out on the other side better and stronger than we could have ever imagined. 

Thank you for coming along for the journey. I’ll be sharing more details about all of it in a future book, “You Are Not Your Credit Score.”

Next week, I’ll be posting a Bonus Q&A video for the FINALE, where I’ll be answering your biggest questions from this series. If you’ve got a question for me, be sure to post it in the comments below (or on any of the previous blogs in this series) and I’ll personally answer them in the video finale next week. 

Can’t wait!

Big Love,

Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 7.52.36 PM


Stay tuned for our big FINALE, and keep an eye out for my books “Financial Liberation” and “You Are Not Your Credit Score” plus Get the Financial Liberation Mini-Course here, nowRead the whole series here: Part OnePart TwoPart ThreePart Four & Part Five.

How I Ended Up in Bankruptcy Blog Series {Part Five}: Finally, My Decision to File

We’ve finally arrived to the part in the story where I actually make my decision to file bankruptcy…

 (Get caught up on the whole series here: Read Part OnePart Two, Part Three, and Part Four.)

So how did I ended up in bankruptcy after building two million dollar revenue-generating businesses?welcome to Bankruptcy

First, let’s do a recap of the main decisions that brought me to bankruptcy:

  1. I incurred $250,000 in debt by selling my million dollar a year law practice to a person who didn’t know how to run a million dollar business, and then having to take back the firm and run it out of my savings and credit. {Part One}
  2. I made a $100,000 commitment (with $87,000 put on credit) to join a mastermind program. {Part One}
  3. I had a $100,000+ tax bill that I didn’t have the savings to pay. {Part Two}
  4. I used my great credit score to purchase land (you know, the farm I swore I’d never live on?) I took on even more debt to purchase land & finance the build-out of a farm. {Part Three & Part Four}
  5. I dipped into the last of my savings & credit to produce a life-changing event for entrepreneurs. {Part Three & Part Four}

All of this landed me in over $500,000 of debt. And, I don’t regret taking on a single bit of it. Most of it was used for very good purposes (I learned a tremendous amount from all of it) and yes, there were some frivolous purchases as well. All of it is and has been repaid back many times over as I use what I learned from each of those investments to participate in creating a world that works for everyone.

So now that I had all this debt, I had to make the decision about what to do with it.

Should I negotiate down the debt? Should I make the money using a business model I no longer believed in? Should I file bankruptcy?

What was the truly RIGHT thing to do?

Negotiating down the debt would take a lot of time and energy. PLUS, it would likely stick me with a big tax bill based on the amount of debt forgiven. That didn’t seem like an awesome plan.

Making the money to pay back the debt felt as if it would suck my soul. The business models I had created were not serving at the highest possible levels. I knew I could do better in and for the world. I also knew it would require a degree of letting go that I had not yet previously experienced to discover something entirely knew.

As I dove into the inquiry around “right” I had to give up all of my preconceived, conditioned notions of right and wrong. My conditioned mind told me that the “right” thing to do would be to pay back the debt, of course. But when I felt beyond the conditioning to what would be truly “right” from the perspective of learning the biggest lessons, making the most space for my gifts to come through most powerfully, and most deeply serving the world, I knew that I would have to give up everything I thought I knew, including my brand, my reputation, my image, my ego and do the unthinkable — file bankruptcy.

In reality, filing bankruptcy was the most responsible decision I could make. So, I did.

I consulted with bankruptcy counsel, two astrologers and decided on the most perfect date to file the bankruptcy, August 24, 2012 it would be. And with that, I was given a Fresh Start.

I moved off the farm and back into Boulder and began to rebuild.

Just two years later, my work is thriving more than it ever has before. The lessons I learned in the process of filing bankruptcy have supported me to create businesses that are sustainable, not just for me, but for all the people who work for the businesses and for the people served by the businesses.

I also got to test out the asset protection strategies I had the foresight to put in place many years before bankruptcy was on the horizon, strategies I believe every entrepreneurial risk-taker should be using in their own lives to protect their work, their families and allow for maximum risk-taking and commensurate impact. They worked. While I had to give up all of my personal assets, my business assets were safe and I was able to rebuild again very quickly.

In next week’s installment, I’ll share some of the details of how I structured my assets for maximum protection as well as how I was able to rebuild and recover so quickly and today be better than ever.

I’ll see you then.

There are just a 2 more installments of this series left!

In the next installment I’ll be sharing how I rebuilt and recovered after the bankrutpcy…
-AND-
I’ve got a juicy FINALE that you’re not going to want to miss!


Stay tuned for the rest of the story in the upcoming installments of this series where I’ll be discussing my decision to file bankruptcy, how I got there and what happened after I did. And keep an eye out for my books “Financial Liberation” and “You Are Not Your Credit Score” in 2015. Read Part OnePart TwoPart Three & Part Four.

How I Ended Up in Bankruptcy Blog Series {Part Four}: How I Ended Up Moving to the Farm

Now that you know where all the debt came from, let’s dive further into my road to bankruptcy…

 (Get caught up on the series: Read Part One, Part Two, and Part Three.)

In the last part of the story, I had hosted an event at my favorite hot springs, investing even more of my debt intending to create something sustainable. There’s just a bit more to tell before I make the decision to file bankruptcy.

So, I returned from Eden Unplugged expecting my new team (handling the business that was supporting the Money Map) to have taken the next step in the business.  We were delivering on our $250,000 January launch, people were happy and ready for next steps.

The team was to have strategized the next launch as well as the launch of our program to train and license other coaches, financial advisors and lawyers to create additional revenue streams and more business for their practices by using the Money Map as a tool with their clients.

Nothing was done. Nothing. Not one thing.

bankruptcy blog seriesI was heartbroken. I honestly cannot remember how I handled it because I’ve blocked it out. It was that painful. I think I just said “okay” took a deep breath and moved on.

That was May. It was beginning to look hopeless.

I couldn’t see a reality in which I could fully give myself over to this transformation and run my business. It was one fucked up thing after another.

The lawyer business shifted into maintenance mode, so that didn’t require much effort and enough came in to just keep it floating along for the most part because the expenses were so low.

But the Money Map/LIFT business was falling apart. The $250,000 launch had been nice, but after affiliate fees and expenses to the team, there wasn’t much left.

We invested around $10,000 to bring everyone into Boulder for a team retreat so we could plan for the next level and zero follow up happened afterward. The entire team would be dismantled within 6 months.

So now it’s June, 2011.

I took the very last bit of my credit and invested it in the farm.

My man on the land created a place that looked gorgeous.

We held a yoga retreat there. We invested in filming on the land for the beginnings of a reality show. We had visioning sessions. And volunteers working the land. The gardens were abundant and gorgeous. The food plentiful. We had pigs and goats.

The events were so much fun. Martha and Timothy got married at the farm. Kimba and Chris became good friends. We had dance parties each solstice. And hosted ceremonies. Sweat lodges.

And people were making their way out from the community.

It was so promising.

But the cracks in the veneer were as massive as my ignorance.

The ceiling of the retreat space was covered with flies because the pigs were right outside the door with the goats just a few feet away. The guys on the farm were high constantly and I wasn’t too far behind. The heated floors never got hooked up to the plumbing and the ceiling began bubbling because our contractor was a fly-by-night drunk.

I didn’t understand the concept of discernment. I had no idea how to be a leader in the new paradigm ways I so desperately wanted to understand. I was the only source of financial contribution on the project. I didn’t understand how to communicate clearly and establish boundaries.

I didn’t understand the nature of addiction. This would be my training ground. It would cost me everything and give me more than I ever thought possible.

I thought we would be able to create a world that worked for everyone.

We didn’t.

By August, it was clear – I could not hold it all together.

My man on the land had started drinking sometime that summer when I made a massive mistake and brought an assistant out from California who turned out to be a total and complete whack job and who I had to pay $1000 just to leave.

But before she did, she went out to the farm and invited him to have drinks with her. He was lonely and probably sad that I was developing a relationship with Craig and not with him and he started drinking.

Four times, I brought him to detox. FOUR times. And he couldn’t stay sober.

There was constant fighting on the farm. A hated T. T hated himself. J seemed happy most of the time, but A and T were convinced he was shirking his duties constantly. K was holding space, but not really doing much of anything else. And the space was getting messy. N was sweet. And Y, a young man who came out from NYC, was willing to do whatever if only someone would tell him what to do. (Yes, each initial represents someone who was living on the farm.)

We flew T’s girlfriend from LA, Yv with the hopes she could exhibit some leadership and create order, but she became just another mouth to feed.

I had a sense they were all just putting in enough energy to make it appear they were contributing, but really were just waiting for the ship to sink so they could move on.

Truth is, that’s probably just a story I created and then saw fulfilled because it’s what I focused on.

It’s very likely that I could have stepped up into leadership in a different way and inspired this ragamuffin group of hippies into something amazing and meaningful, but that was not to be.

bankruptcy blog seriesBefore I could be that kind of leader, I would have to die and be reborn.

I would have to learn how to inspire from desire rather than drive from fear. I would have to learn how to let go, but only of the things that were not mine to do. I would have to learn how to own what was truly mine. I would have to learn to expand my heart more than I ever imagined possible. I would have to learn to express my desires and boundaries, clearly. I would have to learn to say no. And to say yes.

During those days of the community at the farm, I was constantly hearing from everyone (and probably mostly from myself), “Who’s responsible for this? who’s doing what? what is so-and-so responsible for? Is anyone going to fucking do anything around here?”

Turns out, no, not really. Once T started drinking, that was the beginning of the end.

As the Summer of 2011 came to a close, things started to get really ugly (and incredibly beautiful at the same time). Ah, paradox.

My landlord in the Longmont house decided he wanted to sell the house. He wanted me to buy it. I considered it, seriously. It was a beautiful house. But I never really felt at home in it. It just felt too big for me. Cavernous. And separate. I really prefer old, cozy homes. I do miss that bathroom though. That was the only part of the house I really loved.

Plus, the suburban families who lived on the double cul-de-sac fanciest sub-division in Longmont on Lake Macintosh weren’t liking that my house was starting to become a hippie haven.  My friends Annie, and Ben, their son Seamus, and their two friends, all moved in with us to fill up some of the space in the house and to support the next level of my transformation (or dying as I had begun to understood it).

The neighbors weren’t happy.

And I couldn’t both buy the house and continue to support the farm. I’d have to choose. Big, fancy house. Big mortgage. More of the same. OR move to the farm. Cut my expenses to the bare minimum. Discover who I am if money is taken out of the equation.

If it wasn’t for my partner, Craig, and my sister savior, Annie, I wouldn’t have had the courage to do it.

With their support, I decided to do what I swore I would never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever in a million years do. I would move to the farm.

Come August 2011, I was moving to the farm. I swore I never would. I couldn’t believe it was happening.

But, I had so much to learn. And the only way to do it was to go within and discover what I didn’t know and couldn’t see.

For example, I had no idea how to ask for help moving, so instead of making a clear request of the community I had only begun to get to know, I threw a moving sale and then when my friends showed up, I tried to rope them into moving stuff for me. Awkward. I really had no idea how to be in the world.

That was why I needed to leave the world for a while. I had to learn to live in it.

So, I did.

One of the things I now realize is that part of the reason I couldn’t keep expanding was that I didn’t appreciate the people supporting me in my life and began to feel burdened by them and their needs.

Part of the reason I contracted was so I wouldn’t be able to support everyone anymore. I had to test out the question I had first raised with Hitch, “would I still be loved if I stopped paying everyone in my life?”

It turns out, for the most part, yes.  Some people fell away and I learned that they were not my friends to begin with.

I moved to the farm. I cut up my credit cards. I fired the last of the people I was paying to support my life. And I learned to live the cash lifestyle.

It turns out that I would be even more loved, in a myriad of different ways, than I had ever imagined possible.

The next year would be the most transformational of my life.

>>Read the next installment of this series here.

In the next installments I’ll be discussing my actual decision to file bankruptcy and how I rebuilt so quickly.


Stay tuned for the rest of the story in the upcoming installments of this series where I’ll be discussing my decision to file bankruptcy, how I got there and what happened after I did. And keep an eye out for my books “Financial Liberation” and “You Are Not Your Credit Score” in 2015. Read Part OnePart Two & Part Three.