Eyes Wide Open

Tax refund, big payment or ignoring it altogether? My best strategies…

Tax time here in the US is just around the corner and you are either excited to be expecting (or have already received) a refund, stressed about paying or perhaps you are ignoring it altogether.

You can e-mail into [email protected] to let me know which category you are in and I’ll hit you back with some guidance specific to your situation.

My personal tax story is instructive for you, no matter which category you fall into.

I’ll be sharing some details over right here, so keep an eye out for my tax time insights.  Most importantly, I’ll be sharing the story of how I ended up with an unexpected $100,000 tax bill and how I handled it. Plus, what I did after I was audited that built me a $1,000,000+ business. Seriously, this is huge and applies in many areas of your life.

Today though, I want to share some tax time tips that could help you immediately:

 

  1. Tax time can be a wake up call to approach your finances with eyes wide open: see it that way and grow your income in alignment with your life.

Looking at the numbers of my life and business was terrifying for years. Rather than paying attention (which felt either obsessive or overwhelming), I decided I would just make more money so I didn’t have to really pay attention.  

That’s one strategy I see a lot of entrepreneurs who are scared of their numbers using and while it can work for a while, it will ultimately backfire on you and result in extremely costly mistakes, as it did for me.

The other option I see people using is to just ignore tax time altogether by making so little that filing taxes isn’t necessary.

Either of these options is not in alignment with the truth of who you are. Making so little that filing taxes isn’t necessary or making so much that you think you can just pay in advance for your mistakes are both avoidance strategies that take you away from the truth.

Face your taxes with eyes wide open, with regular monthly meetings with your bookkeeper (or yourself if you don’t have a bookkeeper yet), reconcile your books, categorize your expenses properly each month, and review your profit and loss — those are recipes for success.

If you don’t know how to do these things, hit reply and let us know. If there’s enough interest we’ll create a training.

There was a time I didn’t know how to do these things, so I just avoided it.  

Today, I have clean and clear systems to manage my financials that allow me to look clearly, use my numbers to tell the story of my business so I can make wise decisions and I can relax knowing I’m earning what I need, when I need it, on demand and there’s no tax time scrambling anymore.

 

  1. Use your refund wisely to invest in resources that create more in the world.

The other day, I supported one of my on-site team members to get his taxes done. He was going to go to H&R Block and they told him it would cost him $100 to do his taxes plus he would owe $300+ (because he is a 1099 independent contractor with us and that means he has to pay all of the taxes himself on his income).

I used Turbo Tax and deducted some of his expenses for him. We ended up getting him a $300+ refund from the taxes he paid via his W-2 job.

So I asked him, how are you going to use this money?

He told me he was going to buy parts for his car so he could make it even more tricked out.

A part of me cried inside. That’s consumerism at it’s finest.

Investing in tricking out his car isn’t going to create more of anything in his life or the world.

Instead, he could be using the money to invest in gaining a new skill that he will be able to use in service to creating more in the world.

I invite you right now to consider where you might be using your resources to consume more rather than to create more and what you can do to shift that with your very next investment, especially your tax time refund, if you are getting one.

 

  1. Don’t beat yourself up, rather commit to make changes and learn, grow and evolve.

Remember, we learn by making mistakes. Every challenge (including the challenge of managing the financials of your life with your eyes wide open) is your greatest opportunity to be more of who you really are. And you get to choose that in each moment.

Don’t beat yourself up. Trust that you are being shown exactly what you need to learn next. Our purpose here at Eyes Wide Open is to lovingly support you to see what you may have been missing up until now.

I hope these tax time tips have showed you how you can use even the most practical of life experiences to expand your consciousness and live your life awake, aware and on your terms.

With eyes and heart wide open,

Ali

 

PS — We started our Enough Course yesterday, April 6th. Everyone who attended had huge ah-ha’s and breakthroughs on their own awareness of what they have and what they actually need to have the life they really want. It’s not too late to join us for the rest of the sessions. If you would like to consider whether it’s right for you, send us a note ([email protected]) and let us know so we can send you a recording of the first session and you can check it out and see if it’s your right next step.

In the fire + pictures from Costa Rica (including my boyfriend!)

A quick love letter from Costa Rica to share with you some of my experience here in this beautiful place.

First and foremost, for those of you who are most focused on the Eyes Wide Open business teachings, and not so much in the Raw and Real parts of what I share, I’ll warn you now that this love letter is a mix of both.

There’s a little business and a little raw/real happening in this love letter. If you are all business, all the time, you may want to close this one down now and get on to the next. But if you like the raw/real, read on and you’ll get some business goodness as a bonus.

I came down to Costa Rica a week and a day ago with my family, so I could speak at Envision Festival. I haven’t gotten all the pictures uploaded yet, but you can see a few on my private Facebook profile.

And here’s a quickie of the whole family as we were sending Melina, Lotus and the boys back home after Envision. The boys (men really at this point), are my son, Noah, Kaia’s boyfriend, Max, and my boyfriend (yes, I did just say that), Rainbow. Yes, his name is Rainbow.

Kaia and I stayed on for a women’s retreat with Jess Magic and Elena Meta, and in it we are exploring the elements, dance, voice and writing.

Today, the element was Fire. Breath of fire, dance of fire, sweat lodge, fiery food, and a fire ceremony to burn up whatever is ready to be released.

For me, it was the control paradigm and the last vestiges of my need to prove myself.

So, what does all this have to do with building your life and income awake, aware and on your terms?A few things …

#1: Integration of the learnings

In the past, I’ve moved so quickly from one thing to the next that I have not had time to integrate the learnings. Just last month, I went immediately from a private event at Esalen (called Return) to lead my Money Map Masters in a retreat and then immediately after that into a month of intense focus to prepare for me to be out of the office for two weeks.

This time, I decided to stay on here in Costa Rica for an extra week to attend this retreat with Kaia and to integrate the teachings and learnings from my time at Envision.

Taking my whole family to Envision was a big deal. It’s really a working event for me, not just a vacation. I’m there to speak and network, not just to hang out and have fun. And having the kids (particularly my 12-year old who still really needs a lot of me) with me was an added challenge.

But having them with me was also really fun and I had a lot of support from friends, as you can see in the pictures. Plus, I always feel really great when the kids get to hear me speak because I’m teaching some radical money concepts that they aren’t going to get in school or from the media, so I’m glad they are getting it from me and not just by osmosis, but consciously and intentionally.

#2: How to free yourself in your business

I’ll be gone a total of two weeks. Most of it off my computer, other than time to write a couple of emails, do Facebook and chat about a few things with my team via Skype.

A month ago, I was working like crazy. I wasn’t sure how I was going to manage getting out of town, let alone being mostly offline for two weeks.

So I decided to make the investment in hiring someone who could really stand in for me in both businesses and bit the bullet. I brought in Brenda Mathisen (most recently Chief of Staff for one of the PayPal investor/founders), spent a month connecting deeply with her and providing training and then left town so she could take over with minimal interference from me.

This is the counter-intuitive way to free yourself in business. Get the right person or people on board and then leave town. In the past, I thought I needed to hold on and oversee things for way too long. What I realize now is that was disempowering and indicative of my lack of trust.

By leaving town, I showed my team (and Brenda) I trust them and while I know some mistakes will likely be made, I trust them to learn, grow and evolve from those mistakes, which includes figuring out how to fix them when they happen.

Repeatedly, I have seen this with women lawyers in my New Law Business Model coaching program — they get pregnant, and if they coach with me ahead of their maternity leave to hire the right person then hand off systems with trust at the foundation, they leave to have a baby and come back two months later with a practice that is thriving far more than it would have if they had been in the office micro-managing every day.

Try this one yourself, even if you aren’t having a baby. Just plan a vacation and then actually take it. But do remember to hire a great person first.

#3: Death

The last thing I want to mention in this week’s love letter is Death.

Confronting the reality of your mortality will result in you having a better life. It is coming up in my reality frequently and I want you to start to consider how that might be true in your life.

Have you confronted your mortality? If so, have you planned to make life better for your loved ones after you are gone or are you starting doing that now? How is your own life getting better by looking at the reality of your own death?

I know this may not be an easy conversation or consideration for you, but it is an important one so you can make the very best decisions regarding the use of your resources that you possibly can.

If you want any support with that, please send me a message at [email protected] and let me know. It’s something I’m being asked to do more and more lately and I’m feeling called.

Love beyond,

Ali

PS — we have twenty new Eyes Wide Open members who are also B-Schoolers and I want to send a great big welcome to you all! If you have not already received your invite to our private member’s forum and requested to join, please check your email including the spam folder. Welcome! I’m excited to see you there.