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.
I 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.
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.
Before 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 One, Part Two & Part Three.