letting go

(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.

Perfection Not Required

Recently I was in Esalen for 4 days (check out the pictures here) and then leading my Money Map Masters Founder’s Group retreat here in Boulder (here are some pictures from the retreat).

I didn’t open my computer for the whole week.It felt great. And then on Sunday, I got anxious. Probably because I hadn’t yet written this Love Letter, or the emails announcing the end of the discount code for our annual membership offer, or the emails announcing our payment plan options.

Rather than succumbing to it and getting back onto the computer before I was ready, I let it be. I felt the anxiety, tried not to create any story about it, and spent time with my family.

Then, the work week started and I was deep into re-entry with focus on the expansion of the New Law Business Model business model. I’m bringing in a COO so we can go to the next level of growth while I step more into creating content and away from running the company.

I’ve tried to break through this level three times and I haven’t made it yet, but I’m betting the 4th time’s a charm.

So, here I am, sending this out half a week late and remembering (and reminding you) that it’s okay. Perfection is not required here.  Sure, consistency is best in business. If you can send out your newsletter the same day every week, awesome. And, if that’s not a match with your life, don’t beat yourself up for it.

Just get it out when you can and trust that the people who need to get it will.

I am making a conscious decision to not push myself the way I have in the past, to really live my Money Map and put myself first, family second and work third, knowing I have enough.

Pre-Money Map, I would push myself way harder than was really sustainable to make sales, to be “successful” by someone else’s definition and to keep up with the launch whizzes who are part of my peer group.

When I updated my own Money Map last year, I realized that it was not reasonable to have two businesses that were doing regular high pressure launches of products/programs to different audiences. Not without burning myself out.

So, even though I had invested $24,000 in a mastermind designed to support me to take my business to the next level and $15,000 in a launch manager, I decided to take a different path. I chalked those investments up to learning what I didn’t want, and sunk more deeply into what I do.

While I want the work of Money Map and Eyes Wide Open out into the world, it can’t be at the expense of my well-being and my relationships.  Those are priority.

So, I did end up getting out emails about the end of our payment plan, but I didn’t announce the end of the discount, which means I’ll extend it a couple of days. And that’s okay.

When you are in business for yourself, you get to choose what gets done and what doesn’t.

And I hope you choose wisely, putting yourself first, relationships second and earning money only last, with a clear plan to know you have enough so you can.

To do so will require you to get beyond your Money Dysmorphia (the distorted view of our finances that causes us to make poor choices around our non-renewable assets, time, energy and attention) and start making life and work choices from clarity.

My friend Myka did this and she was able to carve out 6 weeks to write her book, trust that she doesn’t need to take on revenue generating work for 3 months and is freeing up the space to live the life she’s always wanted.

Why wait to have the life you really want?

This is the time, your time is now. My work is to guide you to see the resources available to you to live that life today and stop putting it off until you have enough. You have enough now. It’s time to mine it and truly live.

I love you so much. Keep showing up through all of it.  Perfection is not necessary.

Love beyond,

Ali

 

PS — We have 10 spots left in our annual membership using code BOGO500OFF to take $500 off your investment (only with pay in full option) or you can pay over 12 months and get started for as little as $199. It’s our wisdom and experience on your life and income for a full year. Many of our members have been with us for years because they know you can’t find business model building, pricing and packaging, launch strategy, sticky situation management and legal, insurance, financial and tax knowledge anywhere else for this low of an investment. Would love you to be one of the remaining 10 to join us!

SAVE $500 with code BOGO500OFF: eyeswideopenlife.com/membership

START FOR ONLY $199 with payment plan.

 

Can’t we all just get along?

I’m curious … are you feeling a massive shift since the start of the New Year? I am. All of the sudden the people and resources I have been dreaming of and envisioning for the past several years are showing up in my life with a full bodied yes to fully diving in together.

I’m experiencing this sense of “whaaaaattttt? this is all really happening. finally. dreams. coming. true.”

  • A new romantic partner who is blowing my mind and heart wide open.

  • An investor for the lawyer business.

  • An operations manager for the lawyer business with ten years of experience running Eben Pagan’s companies.

  • A partner for the Eyes Wide Open business who I’m not sure I could have even dreamed up, if I was making a list of my ideal partners

It’s all happening. And, I would really love to bring you with me, if it’s a match and you desire to create this kind of alignment in your life and income.

I sense a big part of the key is that I’ve finally accepted that we can’t all just get along because … we don’t. And that’s not only a-okay, but it’s valuable. I can stop fighting for what’s not a fit.

The people and situations that are not a 100% match are dropping away with ease, making space for those that are to fill in.

I didn’t always used to think this. I thought if I didn’t get along with everyone, there must be something wrong with me. And I would fight to get along.

Conflict was rampant in my life and my companies. It tore me apart. Trapped me in drama, self-judgment and tremendous doubt.

I often felt wrong. And bad. And sad. And frustrated beyond belief. I couldn’t understand where I was going wrong. I was trying so hard to do it all so right. And I was failing.

Over the past year, I’ve seen a massive shift in my experience.

Today, I see that my belief that we all need to “get along” was keeping me trapped. I see that I didn’t truly trust that if it didn’t feel good, I could walk away and make space for what does. I thought I was a bad person if I didn’t stick it out and make it work.

Today, there is harmony in my life and my companies. This harmony springs forth from within me and radiates out among those around me. Where harmony doesn’t exist, the relationships drop away with ease, making space for those with which I am in full resonance.

It’s so much easier than the way I did things before.

In the past, I struggled to fix things, sure I could make it better, I would hold on to situations, people and resources that I thought I needed or who I thought needed me. It was a scarcity mentality.

Not anymore.

My new mantra is show up as all of myself, and if it’s not a match, let it go. And fast.

Not to say that it’s always easy. I can still get hooked into patterns of wanting to save people (and thinking I can), believing if I just try a little harder, I can make it work, and wishing it could be different.  I can still sometimes be tempted into the idea that compromising myself to “fit in” is necessary.

But now I can see when it happens quickly, come back to myself and let go of what doesn’t resonate much more rapidly.

I wish the same for you.

Because what will happen is when you let go of everything that is not a match, you’ll either find yourself surrounded by the most amazing people and relationships you can imagine or you’ll find yourself alone and having to face where you were not being the person you want to be and become that person before you begin to rebuild your relationships.

Either way, you are on the path to creating your own version of heaven on earth.

I desire that for you, whether we get along or not.

With love beyond the beyond,

Ali

PS — My son started cotillion today. I love that I am teaching him that he can be a suit and tie kind of guy and I can be a freaky feather wearing kind of gal and we can love each other fully and accept each other completely. Here’s a couple of pictures of his first night: me and him(Facebook); sparkle Noah (Instagram).

PPS — If you have not yet watched our New Year’s Eve Webinar and you want to work with me to fully align your life and income in 2016, this is the time to watch. We are 2/3 full in our program and if we are meant to work together, the time for me to get to know you is now. E-mail me at alexis@eyeswideopenlife.com


And watch the recording of the webinar here to determine if my support to align your life and income in 2016 is in the cards for you.

Dear Fear, I just can’t do it anymore…

I’m writing this at 2am. Inspired. Activated. Charged up. And ready for a shift.

I just got back from Mexico where I had a week with one of my favorite communities. I worked while I was there and had my daughter out for half the week, for mother/daughter bonding time.

Dreamcatcher Mexico Ali ShantiWhile we were there, I decide to invest in Kaia starting a business by buying a number of dream catchers and handmade huichol jewelry that she can sell to fund her life. I’m hopeful that this learning experience will be valuable for both of us and I intend to share the learnings with you here as we go.

So, what am I all riled up about?

I cannot continue to operate the way I have been. And, honestly, I don’t know how to make the transition.  The old way has served me so well, but it’s stagnated now and I’m ready to be done with it.

You’d think by now I’d be really good at transitions. If you’ve followed my story for any length of time, you know that I’ve made a lot of transitions over the years.

I left the big law firm and the 6-figure paycheck to start my own law practice. I left the law practice to build an online business. I gave it all up and moved to a farm and filed bankruptcy. I rebuilt it all again. Lots of transitions. Lots of change.

And, this one feels different. It’s the one I’ve been longing for, the one I’ve been avoiding, the one that has me most at my edge.

The old way of being is the reason I created the Money Map back in 2009 — I needed a way to get into truth and out of a survival mode that was plaguing me even with a business making $2mm a year.

It’s the reason I filed bankruptcy — I needed to confront my greatest fear of running out of money so I could stop being ruled by it.

 

And now it will be the reason I make my most radicTransform from old to newal shift yet.

I am 100% ready to release fear as a motivator in my life.

I’m not sure what will happen when I do, but I can tell you I’m not going to let the fear of not knowing stop me. I’m ready now.  I haven’t been ready before. Fear has served me so well as a motivator in the past. It was responsible for my graduating first in my law school class.  It was responsible for me building multiple million dollar businesses. It was responsible for me hitting the top of many leaderboards and becoming almost famous.

You may have heard me mention before that there are a few powerful men in my life who have been supporting me to see that I no longer need fear as a motivator. And while I’ve been hearing their words, I wasn’t really ready to let go of it. It still had a hold on me and I was giving power to it.

I’m ready to stop now. And I’m curious if you’d like to join me in living into a world beyond fear. If so, we can do it together, right here over the next several weeks.

The first step on that path, I believe, is to see all the places that fear has been a motivator and acknowledge them. I’m going to start a list and share it with you soon, or perhaps on a post on my Facebook page first. Be sure to watch for it there.

Once you are clear where fear is a motivator, you can begin to look at what your life would look like if you were truly motivated by Desire. If you want to explore that, I’ve shared what I really, really, really, REALLY want my life to look like here and I’d love for you to share whatever clarity you may have as well for your life. Let’s speak these realities into existence together.

Because seriously, I cannot do it anymore the other way. I am ready to root out any place I’ve used fear to motivate myself and others. And I invite you to send me examples of where you see fear being used right now as a motivator in your own life or out in the world generally.

Let’s make a shift together, okay? Let’s create a new reality that is based in the true light of Love.

eliminate fear

Will you do it with me? If so let me know (alexis@eyeswideopenlife.com) or comment on one of the Facebook posts and help me spread the word.

And the next time you have a choice to make, please ask yourself — what would I choose if I wasn’t at all motivated by fear here? What if pure Desire or Life’s Call was what was drawing me and not the fear of losing something?

Thank you for joining me on this mission. I feel fear in saying yes to it. And it’s not the fear that’s motivating me. It’s simply what’s happening and when I feel more deeply into it, I recognize it’s not actually fear at all — it’s the excitement of saying yes to something I truly Desire — a life built around the joy of being, rather than the fear of not having or being enough.

Can you feel the difference? If so, let me know, hit reply, or better yet post in one of my Facebook comments so we can spread the message of life beyond fear.

Love beyond the beyond,

Ali

Burning Co-Dependence at Burning Man

These love letters are my raw and real direct communication just for those of you who are part of the Eyes Wide Open community by choice.  While there are business lessons you can receive in this long letter, this is not business, it’s personal. So many of you responded to last week’s love letter and I am so grateful that so many of you want to hear more about how I’ve come to handle many of the challenges and gifts I’ve been offered throughout this life.

I strongly desire to spend a lot more of my time making love to you through my creative heart than I do selling you things.

I am still deciding which to start with, so if you have a preference, please send me a message (alexis@eyeswideopenlife.com) and let me know. If you didn’t get the email, you can read the message here.

My intention at Burning Man this year was to discover how I can have “adult fun”, meaning that I can remain in my adult and still have fun. In years past, I was really living my fully-embodied teenager, but quite often my adult was nowhere to be seen. Except when it came to business.  When it came to business, my adult was fully online and she was definitely NOT fun.

So, as I step into the integration of my parts — Ali Shanti and Alexis Neely and everyone in between — my exploration is how I can have adult fun, and not just the kind that happens behind closed doors, but truly and completely live my maturity and have a great time while I do it.

It turns out that one way I can do that is to completely and totally let go of codependent patterns that have held me back from living my full truth for a very long time. Can you relate?

If so, here’s a post I wrote as I left Burning Man without my honey (who now has the Playa name of Pimp Lion, yes that’s right Pimp Lion — you’ll see what I mean when you see his picture) that lets you in on one stage of co-dependence burning away.

What I didn’t say there, but I will tell you here (because this is where you get the most raw and the most real that I have to offer) is that Pimp Lion (as he shall now be referred to forever more) showed me the path to releasing codependence when we went to a “play party” together and he left before it even started.

I made you a quite edgy video (20-minutes) that won’t be shared anywhere besides here about how that experience of him leaving me at the play party alone was the path to ending our codependence, I hope for good.

If you’d like to read about Michael’s experience of what’s happened since we’ve been home, you can do so here. I’m looking forward to sharing more of what’s coming through as it does. Big, beautiful shifts, recognizing addiction and codependence and becoming free, together.

And for a public video about the whole Burning Man experience (10-minutes) that began as a Periscope and answering the question about whether Burning Man is worth it and, if so, why. In it, I share the 5 main things I discovered about why we make this pilgrimage to the desert each year.

One last thing about my personal Burning Man experience … a few years ago when I first began to redefine what success meant to me, after I had “made it” in the traditional sense and found it empty, I discovered that I would feel most successful if/when I was in my body, feeling sexy, and dancing, specifically on stage at Burning Man.  Well, this is now the third year it happened.

You can see a picture and description of the dance here. Before reading the description, can you tell which “life reflection” I was dancing by the look on my face in the image? Video to come.


I’m deep in creative development of a few things I hope to share with you soon, including my next book (I signed on with a fantastic agent, so excited!), a show I hope to launch in November (could be January), a REALLY big project for Burning Man next year (message me asap if you might want to bring your parents to Burning Man) and of course the fully integrated rebrand/reconstruction of Alexis Neely/Ali Shanti.

And through it all, taking the New Law Business Model, Eyes Wide Open Collective and my personal relationships with my honey and my kids to the next level.  Whew, that’s a lot. And, I’m grateful to be able to experience it all and share as much of it with you as possible.

Next week, I am hoping to share more about how Michael and I are moving through relationship. It’s suprising me to no end. I asked him to move out last week, which he did. And it’s brought us closer together than ever.  Who knew boundaries, when shared cleanly and clearly and from a place of total love, could feel so good?

Love to you,

Ali xoxo

How to Let Go of a Team Member with Grace

This business stuff isn’t easy, but it sure is worth it.

There are many paths to awakening. For me, it’s been relationship, parenting, and business. Each one forcing me to look at the truth of who I am and come into ever more alignment with how I choose to be.

This morning I had to let go of a team member.

In the past, I would have known it for months, but avoided it, finding reasons to not let go. Then, I would build up resentment and anger until they could feel my unhappiness and leave on their own. Or, if they never did, I would eventually fire the person, generally at the worst time possible. And then feel like shit about it.

In business you are going to have to let people go. There is a way to do it with grace. {Tweet It!}

I feel grateful to have discovered (and been coached) over the years to discover the path of grace.

How to Let Go of a Team Member:

It starts with carefully clarifying. I learned this one from the current CEO of my lawyer training company. Before doing anything, always carefully clarify. In the past, I generally jumped to conclusions rather quickly. So, I spent the past few weeks carefully clarifying what this team member was doing and whether there was actually a match I was missing.

After carefully clarifying, communicate clearly. Once I knew what this team member was working on and what I needed, I clearly communicated what I needed to be done. Then I gave her some time and space to do what the company needed.

After communicating clearly, give some space and relax. Another thing I was generally not the best at in the past. Maybe I would communicate clearly, but then I would get impatient and anxious. Breathing and relaxing is far better.

After I gave space and relaxed, I was able to see that this team member really didn’t want to do what I needed done. There were other things she was doing, but those things could easily be absorbed by another team member and didn’t justify a full position.

So, this morning, I called her on Skype and in a voice to voice conversation, shared what was true and let her go.

In the past, I may have done this via text Skype because having the voice to voice conversation would have felt so hard. Part of me wanted to do that this morning, but I worked with that part and then made the call because voice to voice connection was the right thing to do, even thought it felt uncomfortable.

And now this team member is free to find a role that is truly in alignment with her highest and best work in the world. And we are free to find someone who wants to do what needs to be done.

This all may seem pretty basic to some of you, but this is not what I had modeled for me growing up as a kid or growing up in the business of law. I had to come to this after years of getting it wrong, learning, growing and evolving from my mistakes, and my hope is that sharing this here with you will help you learn to do the right thing from the start.

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Right alignment. Doing the right thing. Growing up.

Business as a path to awakening.

Now I’d love to hear from you…

Have you ever had to let a team member go? Share your experiences below (good or bad) and the process you used. Or, join us in our Private Facebook group where the best conversations happen.