Business Challange

(WARNING: profanity in first line of post) Do you have any idea what you are getting yourself into?

Faaaaaahhhhhhck.

That’s my general feeling about business right now. And, I put it right up front to weed out those of you who are too sensitive to be part of my Eyes Wide Open community and don’t actually want to hear what’s real.

[If you don’t like it, you can still benefit from my work through people I have trained as Personal Family Lawyers, Family Business Lawyers, Creative Business Lawyers, or Money Map Masters, most of whom would never use a “bad word” right up front in an email like this.]

eing Afraid and Doing it Anyway…Not Anymore

I’m done pussy-footing around trying to make everyone happy.

I’m building businesses to support people who want to live life and do business awake, aware and on their terms, with their eyes wide open.

I’m putting in a HUGE amount of effort to make the work I’ve created accessible to people without requiring the hundreds of thousands (millions?) of dollars of investment I’ve made along the way to learn how to do the things I teach.

I once invested $25,000 for a DAY of coaching with Lisa Sasevich on how to structure my business model.

I once invested $100,000 for a year long mastermind with Ali Brown. Out of that mastermind came my willingness to teach my LIFT System so you can be smart about the legal, insurance, financial and tax parts of your business.

Would I have created that system if I hadn’t made that investment? No.

As I was making these investments, I promised myself I would make my programs accessible to more people than just those who could afford $25,000 and $100,000 investments in their business.

It’s right about now, when I’ve circled back for a 4th time in the life cycle of these businesses to build the next level systems necessary for scale that I begin to wonder — have I chosen the wrong business model?

What the heck have I gotten myself into?

Currently, I sit behind my computer for 12 hours a day writing copy for sales funnels, reviewing opt-in sequences, creating autoresponders, talking to my team members, coaching my team members to make it through the conflicts, firing people, hiring people, writing job descriptions, creating organizational charts.

Training sales teams.

Considering new governance models.

Should we implement holacracy or keep the traditional hierarchy based governance structures in place?

Daily, I wonder if I should just say fuck it and stay a high-end coach, delivering expensive one-to-one services and going seriously deep with private clients.

I know how to do that, and I do it well.

As I am re-building the systems for both companies, I am working with two private clients and woah, the work is deep.

Both of these clients came to me to discover their own foundation of Enough, and who they are and how they be in the world from the spaciousness of Enough. They both happen to be navigating divorce settlements.

In one situation, I am supporting the entire multi-generational family dynamic, working with the young adult children, and the elder parents in addition to my client.

I LOVE the work.

And, I know it’s not yet time for me to do it full time.

I am compelled to build the systems in New Law Business Model and Eyes Wide Open for them to serve at scale.

All the components have been created.

The only thing in the way is my own ability to stay focused, keep my eye on the ultimate vision, and keep saying yes.

The resistance is alive and well.

I want to write my book. I want to post on Facebook. I want to be done with this part already. My mind tells me I should have done this years ago and tries to convince me I won’t be able to do it.

I know it’s a lie.

I know I can.

At least, I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.

If I had known what I was getting myself into with the Star Creator Archetype path would I have chosen another way?

I can’t say yet. I’m not at the end. I’ll have to let you know.

For now, I am in it.

I am doing the work that I’ve discovered only I can do.

Each time I have tried to hire this work out to others, an interim CEO in one case, marketing funnel automation specialists twice (to the tune of $40,000), a promised Chief of Staff … what I discovered is that this part requires me.

If you could just hire it out, everyone with money would have successful, sustainable, make a difference businesses.

But it’s not as easy as that.

It requires determination, focus, grit, persistence, willingness, learning, growth, evolution.

I’m in.

And I’m going to do a better job of communicating and sharing from here.

I’ve been hiding out a bit.

Because I wasn’t sure I could keep going and frankly didn’t want to share from my uncertainty.

But when I got this message from Facebook yesterday, from 4 years ago, literally the month before I filed bankruptcy, I remembered ….

I chose this. I want this. I don’t HAVE to do this, I want to do it.

And I can share my uncertainty. It’s okay. Valuable and helpful even because you are probably uncertain about whether you can do it too (whatever your “it” is.)

Where I got trapped back in my last iteration of “success” that ultimately led to my giving it all up was that I stopped sharing vulnerably.

I listened to the voices that said “you can’t do that, you can’t say that, you can’t write that, you’ll hurt the business.”

So I fired everyone, let it all go and traveled around in my RV, lived on the farm, and said whatever I wanted for a couple of years. Remember the Whole Truth Show? I loved that show! I loved speaking my truth.

But I missed the businesses.

I missed knowing that when I am being all of myself, and speaking at events, and writing what’s in my mind and heart and soul and people are inspired that they can easily flow into business structures of support that can help their learning, growth and evolution.

I want the both/and.

I want to be a free spirit with business systems to support my freedom.

Ali and Alexis, integrated.

And to have that, I need to put in the effort and focus to truly build the next level scalable systems that work to support it.

So I am.

What are you building  that’s forcing you to face all of your resistance, all your old patterns, all your places that you just want to play small?

Are you compromising your life just because it seems easier to do that than to stretch?

It’s time to stop doing that. I’m stopping with you.

Love beyond,

Ali

PS — On July 7, I’m hosting my first live training in 6 months, specifically for those of you who want to stop compromising and start building your life and income awake, aware and on your terms — with clarity about what you are doing and what you really want so you can choose the “how” strategically and wisely, instead of just throwing money at problems like I’ve done so many times in the past OR being stuck in your head wondering what your next steps should be. Sign up here.

How to Handle Haters With Eyes (and Heart) Wide Open

I knew it would happen, but I didn’t think it would be so intense so quickly…

I’ve always had a polarizing personality and over the last several years decided to stop hiding from that and instead step into it fully.

During the analysis of my decision about whether to file bankruptcy or whether to keep working a business model that required me to suck as much money out of the marketplace as possible so I could pay back $500,000 of debt (not a way I was willing to live anymore), I had to face the reality that if I decided to go bankrupt, I would one day be derided for that choice.

My decisions would be torn apart and I might even be villain-ized.

I decided to do it anyway.

I decided to ruin my reputation, kill my brand and withdraw into a two-year journey into “who am I if money is off the table?”

What I discovered in that space not only transformed me, but it allowed me to discover a truth I had suspected, but hadn’t actually lived, which I now understand as the path to financial liberation.

As a financially liberated being, money no longer rules your life.  It’s a tool and nothing more. – Tweet It!

How much money you have or how you have chosen to use your resources is no indicator of your worth.

Money is a tool to use to do as much good as you possibly can in the world by living in alignment with the truth of who you are and how you want to be, your personal money map number and your entrepreneurial archetype.

As I went through the journey to my own financial liberation and dropped the old paradigm ways I was raised in and by, I became available for relationships, community, connection with my kids and myself. Those connections simply were not available when I was working 12-16 hours a day to hoard as much as I possibly could so I could one day be financially free.

I broke free and there’s a lot of people who not only don’t like it, they have decided they full on HATE me and have made it their job to try and make sure as many people know it as possible.

I don’t know if you’ve ever been hated before, but it’s quite the powerful experience.

For years, I avoided it. I did everything I could to be liked by everyone.  And, I was quite successful at it. But it was so damn unfulfilling because there was a way I compromised to keep from pissing people off.

So I decided to stop and face what I was most afraid of, again. (I used to be most afraid of running out of money, so I faced that. Then, I was afraid of living alone on a farm with my kids, so I faced that. And, now, it’s time to face not being liked, and even worse, being hated.)

Facing my greatest fears and diving in has time and again proven to be my most direct path to liberation. –  Tweet It!

So, here it is.

The thing I’ve feared (for eons perhaps), villainized and hated.  They hate that I’ve filed bankruptcy, that I allowed my CA bar license to lapse for three years while I chose not to take on private clients or practice law.  They say I’m a horrible parent.  That I’m in an abusive relationship. I’m ugly, not aging well and … I’m sure there’s more. I’ve stopped reading.

Through this experience of facing my biggest fears and diving in and being willing to he hated publicly, I have learned that I am okay if not everybody likes me, I feel sure it’s pulling me into an even deeper experience of life and I’ve learned how to handlehaters and why I’ll even welcome them in more in the future, even though it hurts.

How can you turn around the experience of being hated publicly into a positive growth experience instead of something to hide from and do everything possible to avoid?

First and foremost, see it as an opportunity to really look at the decisions you’ve made and the way you are appearing from other perspectives.  I read some of the negative things people write about me so I can take in and digest what’s true and as Nicole Daedone says, “poo out the rest.”

Try to read what people write about you that is disparaging with an open heart and mind, feel their perspective and see where there might be truth. Can you learn and grow from their perspective?

Once you’ve taken it in, let it go.  I’ll admit it, this is hard, but it’s a powerful practice because life is all about letting things go and not holding on to what’s yours.

Sure, some of what a hater says might be true, but it’s not all true — master the part of your mind that is drawn to the negative again and again and retrain it to take that energy and fuel it into creative pursuits and endeavors you can control.

This is a powerful practice you can use whenever anything disheartening is happening.

I used it first when I was being audited on my 2005 taxes. I was devastated, in tears, beating myself up for two days.  Until I decided to harness all that energy into building my business because I could control that. So each time I felt that energy of despair and self disdain, I asked myself — what can I do now that is within my control?

And I did that. Within a year, I had built another million dollar business impacting thousands of people with that energy. Far better than crying in my soup. Oh, and I handed the audit off to my accountants and it resulted in a no-change, no additional taxes due.

Make changes that feel appropriate.

being hated

One of the things I saw from what my haters wrote is that it was time to reactivate my bar license. I let it lapse by not submitting my CLE because I wasn’t practicing law or taking on one on one clients in anyway anymore, I needed to cut my expenses and this was one expense that simply didn’t make sense.

And, now that I’m back in the world of business, to avoid any confusion and now that money isn’t as tight as it once was, I’ve reinstated my bar license. Why not? All I had to do was an additional 2 credits of CLE and pay my dues. So I did. I wouldn’t have done that without the negative reflection. And maybe now I’ll even start to work with people one on one again. Maybe.

I’m even considering whether there is some benefit to paying back the debt I discharged in bankruptcy and if that’s the best, most responsible use of resources, when I do have an extra $500,000 on hand. I have no requirement to do so, but if it serves the message and mission more than using that money for something else, I’ll do it.

I won’t do it to quell the haters and not even because I think the banks who invested in me deserve or need the money back; I’d do it if that’s of greatest service to the world.

Here’s what my experience is of when I’ve “hated” in my own life (and it’s certainly never been to the extent these folks hate, so maybe it doesn’t apply), but when I’ve hated anything in the past, I was actually attracted and energized to what I thought I hated and secretly (it turned out) I really wanted what I thought I hated.  I wonder if it’s the same for you.

How does all this help you to build your life and business awake, aware and on your terms?

Ideally, you’ll stop compromising any part of yourself to avoid being hated or even just to make sure you are liked by as many people as possible. Instead, perhaps inquire into the possibility of what would you do if you weren’t afraid at all about being hated, but instead saw it as an opportunity for more impact?  It doesn’t mean you have to act on it, but just asking the question could be a life-changer for you.

Leave a comment and let me know what you think, even if you hate it.

What to Do When Your Company Won’t Make Payroll

bunniesBuilding two businesses at the same time is not something we would recommend to anyone. Both businesses are growing more slowly than they otherwise would as a result. One, on the brink of death.  As of now, we do not know how we will make payroll for the next month.

As Craig frequently asks “how do you chase two bunnies without losing them both?”

With the Eyes Wide Open business, we serve creative visionary entrepreneurs. With New Law Business Model, we serve lawyers.  Two bunnies.

So why are we doing it?

Because we love both of these darn bunnies, the people who work for them and the people they support.

Tonight we were out to dinner with one of the greatest online entrepreneurs we know and he asked the question that every smart entrepreneur asks when they hear about what we are doing — “why don’t you just focus on the lawyer business? That’s clearly the smarter financial choice.”

Yes, it is. But, neither one of us has ever been primarily motivated by money. And, our hearts won’t let us just drop Eyes Wide Open, even though it’s really hard right now to chase both these bunnies.  We love to support entrepreneurs up to great things in the world.

As a result of a challenge with our merchant account, and a big overhead because we’ve built a team so Ali can focus on what she’s best at and give up running the business and doing all the work herself, Eyes Wide Open is struggling to make it’s next few payrolls.

In the past, Ali would just whip out her credit card or dip into the line of credit to save the day, but that’s no longer an option.  And no one else is swooping in with big bucks to do it. So, it’s time to get resourceful.

It’s sure easy to think about throwing in the towel when it gets hard like this. But, we see it as an opportunity for innovation. And the truth is that it’s provided a tremendous chance for the Eyes Wide Open Biz Dev Manager, Danielle, to step up and show us all what she’s got.

So we’ve cut our payroll to the bone, eliminated all non-essential expenses and Danielle’s been charged with innovating an offer or two that can bring in enough income to get the business through 11/27 when the merchant account releases funds again and the money from the Nov. 1 LIFT Live Implementation launch hits the bank.  Her limitation is that the offer cannot involve Ali’s time and all payments must run through PayPal so the money gets into the bank and the business can make payroll.

So, in the name of innovation, if you subscribe to the Eyes Wide Open newsletter (enter your name and email in the box up there in the right column) watch your email inbox very carefully over the next week for an email giving you the chance to get in on something that will never be offered again (Craig and Ali don’t even know what it is for sure), that will help you tremendously and will bring us the revenue to make payroll.