debt

Why college is failing students and what we can do about it now.

The average 4-year college degree is a $150,000 investment. That investment is either made by parents who are already terrified about not having enough saved for their own future (and they secretly know it’s not likely even going to be valuable) OR it’s made via loans taken on by the students who will leave college with limited job prospects, drowning in dischargeable debt.

Only 1 out of 5 college students leave with a job on graduation day. And only 48% of those jobs even require degrees. The other jobs are server, barista, and nanny type jobs that didn’t require a degree anyway.

College debt is the second largest source of debt in the country, to the tune of $2.1 trillion. We are saddling our future with obligations before they’ve even begun. 70% of all Americans who have gone to college have an on average debt of $35,000. Go to a private school or out of state and you can easily triple that.

We are facing a reality where investing in your child’s college education or persuading them to do it themselves could actually be the biggest detriment to your family’s overall wealth for generations to come.

We’ve known this for a while.  I imagine it may even keep you up at night to some degree. And if it hasn’t, perhaps it will now because it’s actually something fairly easy (within the context of the major issues we are facing as a global family) to fix.

Until now, there have not been clear solutions.  Fortunately, our youth are coming of age in a way that has them envisioning a new, sustainable future.  They’re asking the right questions, and they have the right answers.

Now, what they need is us.  And, finally, there is a solution you can say yes to easily, right now, that will begin to create another possibility and provide our next generation with the resources they need so we can all sustain.

Please go to this link now.  

When you get there, read about the initiative that my good friend, Jules Schroeder, is creating to provide an alternative path for higher education, a path that is critical for us to step into now so our youth generation stops wasting our resources on education that doesn’t pay off and shift our investments into an education that will create more for all of us.

If you have any questions, I’d love for you to ask them, send me a message at alexis@eyeswideopenlife.com. Or, if you see the critical importance of this issue, as I do, please share this post with anyone else who may be ready to shift the way we are supporting our youth to step into the future.

So very much love,

Ali
PS — Please do not leave this page without reading the info from this link and making the choice to invest as much as you can into creating a new paradigm of higher education that truly serves us and our youth.  We all thank you.

Loveletter: Worst advice ever?

Recently, a guy tagged me on Twitter and said:

I totally get why he would say that. It’s certainly not what the mainstream financial advisers are teaching.

How can I possibly be teaching that people should stop worrying about paying off debt and saving for retirement?

Because I know that if most people follow the traditional personal finance advice they will likely not have what they actually need for the rest of their lives.

To ensure you can care for yourself and your family for the rest of your life, you need to learn how to give something of value in exchange for money in a sustainable way.

If you do not have enough in retirement now, will you ever if you continue to do what you’re doing now?

Probably not. If you died with debt, would it matter? No.

But if you learned to earn what you need, when you need it, on demand, doing meaningful work you enjoy, could that give you what you need to live the rest of your life and even pay off your debt in the future? Yes.

So why focus your life energy now on perpetuating a norm that likely isn’t working for you instead of creating a reality for yourself that gets you the liberation you are truly seeking?

Sure, it requires you to buck the trends and go against the traditional advice around money, retirement and debt, but that’s okay so long as it has you create the life you really want.

Want more?

Join us on Saturday, October 21st at 12:30pm ET / 9:30am PT for a live webinar. Register at www.moneymap.tv/webinar to get your seat.

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.

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.

How Alexis Neely Ended Up in Bankruptcy {Part Three}: Facing My Greatest Fear & Letting Go

So, as we left it last, I had just packed up everything and headed to the farm in Colorado…

Before you dive in, be sure to get the full story: Read Part One here & Part Two here.

I tried to hold it all together in this transition, but I could sense that it was becoming less and less tenable.

I wanted to hand the business off to my right hand gal and have her run it for a while, but when I hired a coach to help with that transition, he told me I was crazy. This business would fail (just like my law firm did after I sold it) if I handed it off before it was ready and before I had someone in place who could handle the hand-off of a million dollar plus business.  I would end up with another failed transition.

So, instead, I fired my right hand gal. While her husband was dying of cancer. It was not a shining moment in my life, that’s for sure.  I didn’t handle things well, at all.  And, I didn’t feel I had another choice. There was a great deal of lack of trust between the two of us. I was falling apart and I either needed to shrink things back to a level I could manage with very little overhead or have a team that could run the business without me.

My team was not really running the company, depending on me for so many little things, creating tons of drama and conflict (which I contributed to greatly) and constantly pissed at me because more and more this “other part of me” (now known as Ali Shanti) was slipping out through the cracks in the veneer.

I began to get a sense that I might not be able to maintain things as I once had.

So, I decided to use my great credit score.

I used it to buy land. It seemed like it would be a good investment.

My ex-husband was going to grow medical marijuana on the land and, in the back of my mind, though I was sure it would NEVER happen, I could live there, if necessary.

But, let me repeat, that was NEVER going to happen. NEVER. I was NOT GOING TO LIVE ON THAT FARM, damnit. No way, now how. facing my greatest fear

I bought the farm in mid-2010. Then, after firing my right hand gal, I broke up with my boyfriend who was also a key supporter in my business and hired an interim CEO. Hitch McDermid. Little did I know, he would lead me on what I now know to be, my Fearwalk.  Back then, I just needed someone who could hold me and the business while I figured out what was going on.

Hitch was more like a coach than a CEO. Everyday, I would cry. “Hitch, I can’t do this.” And he would say “Lex, what do you want?”

Round and round we went as he systematically dismantled the companies, bringing my overhead down from $70,000 a month to $20,000 a month and creating something that I could likely run myself rather than relying on a large team, which I simply couldn’t manage.

By August of 2010, I was starting to face the reality that something serious was going to have to shift. Hitch and I had a transformative conversation while I stood at a gas station and cried to him that I couldn’t run out of money because no one would like me anymore if I did.

He said, “Lex, everyone likes you. It’s okay, just run out of money. Stop paying all the people you are paying and just let go.”

I asked him if that meant I could stop paying him too and he said yes.

The seed was planted, but I wasn’t ready yet.

This would mean facing my greatest fear of all.  

I had built multiple million dollar businesses, precisely because I was afraid of running out of money, so to now actually do the thing I was most afraid of seemed, well, ludicrous.

But, I could also see that he may be on to something. Maybe, in order to stop being ruled by my fears, I would have to dive into them head first. I took it under consideration.

Considering the possibility of facing my greatest fears and running out of money gave me the courage to face smaller fears, such as losing face, which led to me getting married at Burning Man that August. Yes, married.

When I came home and posted about it on my blog, I got more negative feedback than I had ever gotten in my life.

I (mistakenly) took the feedback to heart. I thought it meant that lawyers would no longer respect me and invest in my programs. Forget about the results we were having for the lawyers we served, I figured they cared more about the fact that I was a freak than on their results. So, I shrunk.

I stopped posting anything too personal on my blog. I stopped marketing to the lawyers and I decided to offer the lawyers already in our program the option to stay with us at either $197 a month or $497 a month (down from $1,500/mo.)

I went to Peru with my new husband, launched his book Heart Wisdom into the world plus his Clean Up Your Life program and then the relationship blew up and came to an end.

But he left me with something far more valuable than his love. He left me with an emerging vision around the part of myself I now know as Ali Shanti. bankruptcy blog series

On New Year’s Eve 2011, as 2010 drifted away, I sat in ceremony and heard the words “Shanti, Shanti, Shanti, Shanti” being chanted from across the room. As I heard the word, I also heard a voice in my head that said, “That’s your name. They are calling your name. Shanti is your name.”

Shanti’s my name?!? What? Alexis Neely was confused. But the part of me that is Ali Shanti was not. She knew. It was true. Now, how to integrate that?

It would take a few months and I would add Ali to the front of my name, but the gift of that awareness — I am Ali Shanti — was seeded during my time in relationship with Russell.

2011 began with a bang. A $250,000 launch of an early iteration of the Money Map program.

At the same time, my first ex-husband’s medical marijuana farm collapsed.  So now I had to figure out what to do with the farm.

You remember the farm, right?

The farm that I was never, ever, ever, ever going to live on. It was supposed to generate income, not suck all my resources. So, I decided to create a community/retreat/co-work space.  I recruited a former boyfriend (the first man I dated after divorcing my husband) to come out to Colorado and build out the space and the community.

bankruptcy blog seriesAt the same time, I was producing an event at the land I had fallen in love with, Eden Hot Springs, 50 Entrepreneurs, unplugged. We called it Eden Unplugged and it was amazing. Almost everyone who attended that event has had their work emerge and evolve gorgeously since then. Life-changing.

It was another hit to my bank account though. More Debt.  I was reeling from the end of my relationship with my Burning Man mate and delivering on the sales of the Money Map launch and trying to figure out how to live as an entirely new being (Ali Shanti). It was exhausting. I didn’t have time to market the event as well as I could have and while we got 50 people there, we made a lot of deals on the tickets.

It’s probably one of the very best investments I’ve ever made, considering the businesses and people who grew out of that event. So lives were changed significantly, but once again I dipped into the last of my savings and credit.  

Plus, I took on even more debt to finance the build-out of the farm and turn it into a community/retreat/co-work space. It would be my last ditch effort to create something sustainable that would allow me to pay back the debt I had already taken on. It was another financial nightmare. But, infinitely worth it in terms of the lessons learned about living in and building community, lessons which serve me deeply today now that I’ve rebuilt.

I do not regret the investments I made with the debt I took on. I invested in things that couldn’t be taken away from me, no matter what. Lessons learned, personal growth, connections with community, my own creativity and resourcefulness, all of which I now give back via teaching, coaching, and supporting others.

So, between this post and the prior post’s in the series, you now know where all the debt came from.

In the rest of this series, I’ll share how I made the decision to file bankruptcy and was able to rebuild so quickly and easily after filing bankruptcy.

Stay tuned and please share in the comments any questions you have so I can make sure they get addressed.

>>Read the next installment of this series here.


Stay tuned for the rest of the story in the upcoming installments of this series “How Alexis Neely ended up in bankruptcy” where I’ll be discussing where the rest of the debt came from and how I was able to rebuild so quickly and easily. And keep an eye out for my books “Financial Liberation” and “You Are Not Your Credit Score”. Read Part One here & Part Two here.