Archives for April 2014

Getting to the Truth of WHY You Are Here (your purpose may be different than you think)

Recently, I was honored to be invited to speak at Rich Litvin‘s Extraordinary Woman Intensive event.

Going into my talk, I thought I was there to talk about financial liberation, using credit wisely and living your life now.

But as he invited me onto the stage and introduced me, it turned into something entirely more… and different than I had expected. 

You can catch the talk here:

If you've followed me at all, you may have noticed I use two different names – Alexis Neely and Ali Shanti. These two are wholly different expressions of all of who I am. Yes, they both live in this body, but they are not the same.  Though they are integrating, more and more.

ali and alexis 2

Alexis Neely is the bad ass, get-things-done lawyer and business genius who built two million dollar businesses.

And Ali Shanti is the muse, the priestess, the creative and the way I prefer to show up in my personal life, almost all the time these days. 

By fully stepping into Ali, I was able to break free of the traditional financial advice paradigm and discover what true financial liberation looks like and how it works. (Read more on the evolution of Alexis + Ali here.)

Alexis?  She never would have been willing to do it. It was way too edgy.

I've constantly been told that I had to merge the two; I had to become one. What's this two people thing? It's so confusing. Stop doing that. Why are you doing that? they said.

One well-known coach (David Neagle) even told me I should kill of Alexis Neely altogether.

Kill off Alexis Neely, what? Really? That couldn't be right.  And, it wasn't.

Today, there is quit a lot of integration. I have found a way to bring through both Alexis and Ali. But it wasn't always this way.

When in law school I felt a lot of conflict. I didn't know how to be THIS way (the sexual, spiritual, creative – Ali Shanti) and do the things that Alexis does (coach lawyers and entrepreneurs and build million dollar business). I almost gave up. I serve lawyers and I didn't think that I could serve them and still be all of me.

I tried to be the best law student, the best lawyer, but really, the only thing I could actually be the best at was being me.

And being me means showing up fully and freely as all of me. It means sharing exactly what's happening for me as it's happening.

It means sharing my story. All of it. Unvarnished. Unedited. And, often, before it's really ready.

And if you've read any of my Facebook posts on my personal profile, you know this is true.

But the standard advice that's out there says Wait until it's all resolved. Don't share it when it's messy. It's not helpful.

Danielle LaPorte says, Don't share it as it's happening. But I have to!

Brené Brown says, Be vulnerable.  But, what you might not have heard Brené say is, don't be too vulnerable. Sharing too much too soon with the wrong people is what Brené calls floodlighting. (Think of when you shine a floodlight in someone's eyes and th26195679_mey put their hands up and begin backing away.)

At the Emerging Women event in Boulder, after Brené spoke, I left in shame. Oh, the irony!

Maybe I have shared too much, too soon, with the wrong people.  Maybe I should have kept Ali a secret, hidden away, and never talked about the slutiness, the bankruptcy … the split personalities. Maybe I floodlighted the world, hurt my message.

Maybe, I've fucked it all up.

I'm here with a message of financial liberation, a new perspective on personal finance decisions, and who will ever listen to me now? And, of course that got reinforced back to me by various people who just didn't get it (because everything we see outside of ourselves is a reflection of our own internal consciousnessTweet this!).

But what I discovered, standing on Rich's stage …  my truth is that I have to share it as it's happening.

In fact, I made a big error back in 2010 when I first started letting Ali out (and posted about getting married at Burning Man), got some seriously “negative” backlash on my blog and began a long slow descent into hiding out. It turns out that was the major mistake. Not posting too much and over-sharing, but withdrawing and not sharing enough.

I have to take a stand for all of us over-sharers and those who would be if we knew it was not only okay, but welcome and right and good, and be the kind of vulnerable, open, honest, direct, messy and raw that might just be floodlighting, because, well, that's the thing I can be best in the world at. And, so can you.

Sharing my story is the reason I am here.
Sharing YOUR story is the reason you are here. It's your purpose.
And, maybe, THIS is the message I'm actually here to bring.
The meta-message

And guess what? The right people, the people I'm actually meant to serve? They (you!) are drawn to me as a result of this over-sharing. You don't feel floodlighted (or if you do, you are strong enough to handle a little bright light and it draws you in closer.)

Now it's time to share your story with us, right here in the comments.

(Heads-up, if you use the Facebook comments, it'll post on your Facebook. I didn't know that and I basically came out as bi-sexual by posting a comment on a friend's blog. He was coming out to his son and I wanted to share my story of talking about my sexuality with my kids. Little did I know, that comment would be public on my FB wall until a couple hours later when I hopped back on FB and there it was in all its' glory. And, I decided to leave it up and commented that I was doing that, even though it was edgy. And, yep, one of the lawyers in my program saw it and she wasn't scared off. In fact, she welcomed it. Here's another example of a lawyer who saw more than I was ready for and gave me the best feedback imaginable. So be willing to share more than you think you can.)

What is the piece of your story that you're leaving out? What is it that you don't want to talk about? The weight? The pleasure? The debt? The failure? The secret desire?

What is the one thing going on in your life RIGHT NOW that you're not talking about?

Listen in to the part of my talk where I help several audience members discover and share their stories:

An Eye-Opening Experience From a Lawyer Who Was Happy to Discover All of Me

This was an actual email (minus the hotlinks) I received from a lawyer one weekend night.  When I saw the subject line, I was nervous. Very. I thought for sure that he was going to call me out on “Ali”, but that's not what happened at all. Read on and see what I mean.


Subject: An Eye-Opening Experience
From: A Conservative Lawyer‏ in One of My Lawyer Training Programs

Dear Ali,I hope that I can call you Ali now. I've had an awakening, after all, which would not have been possible without you being the “real” you, which opened my eyes to entirely new possibilities. So, I feel the “Dear Ali” salutation is apropos.

I currently work full-time as a high school assistant principal, the culmination of many years in the field of public education. I am also a solo law practitioner focusing on estate planning and transactional business work. Both lines of work are, in their own ways, valuable and rewarding. So, it should come as no surprise that I've found it difficult to effectively divide my time between the two without shortchanging either my students or my clients. This has resulted in me never quite having the gumption to leave a steady paycheck behind and fully devote myself to my law practice.

In my search for balance, or perhaps justifiable reasons for “putting it all on the line” and quitting my day job, I stumbled across your website and the growing number of PFLs/CBLs. I debated with myself for months about whether I should join the ranks. After all, investing $1000 per month in an endeavor that you're only pursuing part-time is a big step to take. Despite my fervent searching, honest reviews of your program were hard to come by, and I've trained myself to take all posted testimonials with a grain of salt. Nonetheless, after speaking to your team member Dawn, I decided to take the plunge, or perhaps just dip my toe depending on how you look at it, in the “Getting Started” program.

As I've watched the videos and worked through the material, I've learned more and more about what it takes to be a PFL and the advantages that come along with membership. Still, I wasn't sure it was something I was ready to commit to for the life of my business.

That changed last night. As part of my assistant principal job duties, on a cold overcast night, I took in a varsity baseball game, watching closely for any shenanigans amongst the students who attended. Bored, I pulled out my phone and opened my Facebook feed. Several months ago, I began receiving updates from a group I had joined for Texas probate and estate lawyers. On my feed last night, I noticed that someone had posted a question about you – something along the lines of…”Alexis Neely. I'm thinking about signing up on her email distribution list. Anyone ever heard of her? Is it worth the time?”

The comment section quickly devolved into a litany of potshots at you, most particularly about your bankruptcy. “You're gonna take business advice from someone who had to file for bankruptcy. That's ridiculous. LOL.” Things like that. Finally someone asked where they could get more information about your business and your bankruptcy and they were directed toward the interview that you did with Mixergy. As the baseball game dragged on, I clicked over to the Mixergy site myself, and unable to watch the video interview, I instead read the posted transcript.

I want you to know that I was really moved. By your honesty. By your courage. By your intelligence.

We've both travelled non-traditional paths to get to where we currently sit. It's nice to know that there are people in the world, like you, who are not afraid to buck the trends and do what is right. Sadly, the practice of law is littered with ne'er-do-wells mindlessly following the trails of the lawyers who came before them. Day by day, it is these people who further desecrate the profession of law in the minds of the general public.

After three months in the Getting Started program, I was still “on the fence” about what I wanted to do next. Your Mixergy interview has changed my opinion. With the attitude that you regularly take toward both your team and the world at large, I have no doubt now that things will continue to grow and improve for PFLs under your tutelage. In short, I'm really impressed. I'm now beginning to develop a plan for a website update, new promotional materials, and a full immersion in “the PFL way.” Long term, I plan to be the “go-to” PFL in the Houston area.

On occasion, I receive a phone call or a letter from a satisfied client or the parent of one of my students complimenting me on a job well done. It never fails to make my day. This evening, I wanted to pass that feeling along to you. I hope my story has brought a smile to your face. Thank you for what you are doing. Keep up the good work.

With clarity and gratitude,


The Biggest Mistake of My Life (cost me 4 years of angst & resulted in bankruptcy)

Some of you might think that the biggest mistake of my life was filing bankruptcy. Or perhaps it was getting “married” at Burning Man. Or maybe you would say, as one commenter said in response to this post about my Burning Man wedding, the biggest mistake of my life was going “from respected business woman, to …. I wouldn't even know how to describe you. Do you have any credibility left?”

But, nope, none of those would be it at all. In fact, many of those things were the BEST decisions of my life, thus far.

The WORST decision of my life was letting myself be influenced by the negative things people said and pulling back as a result.2014-04-27 14.57.37

I became convinced by the haters that I didn't have any credibility left, that I would no longer be able to serve lawyers, that I needed to choose between what I came to understand as my Ali self and my Alexis self, and that I better keep THAT a secret because Ali was simply not acceptable in the legal world.

So, I started to shrink.  I stopped all marketing to lawyers. I decreased the investment in my programs for lawyers down to the bare minimum (from $1,500/mo for membership down to as little as $197/mo for membership) and I let my entire team go.

Ultimately, I moved to a farm where I lived a very simple life and considered who I really was, what I really wanted to do and whether I could let go of Alexis Neely forever.

I filed bankruptcy while living there because I simply did not see how I could maintain the Alexis Neely business model and be all of myself.  And, because I had a sense that filing bankruptcy and releasing $500,000 of debt would open up a portal of seeing that wasn't otherwise available to me when I was trying to hold it altogether according to standard personal finance advice. And, it did.

I couldn't go all the way though.  Letting go of Alexis Neely altogether (killing her off, as recommended by David Neagle) simply wasn't in alignment with the truth of who I am.

I am the both/and that is Ali Shanti and Alexis Neely.

ali and alexis 2

I am uniquely suited to serve lawyers to return to the reason they went to law school and dive deep into the heart of relationship with the families and small business owners they serve.  I am also a creative, free-spirit, hippie chick who loves festivals and community and wears feathers in my hair, a rhinestone on my cheek and even has tooth bling.

What I discovered during this deep dive is that no one else has the same combination of right-brain entrepreneurial creativity and left-brain logical lawyer think to serve these lawyers and they are out there dying on the vine.

I couldn't abandon these lawyers who want so much more from life and business and their law degrees to a life unlived when I knew I held the keys to their fulfillment.

So, after the bankruptcy, when I had a fresh start and a totally clear slate from which to decide what was next, I made the choice to return to the world of serving lawyers while figuring out how to be all of me at the same time.

I still thought I had to keep big parts of myself hidden from the lawyers.

Until something big happened.  Two things, actually.

First, my friend Mia and I were hanging out one night recently talking about life, love and happiness.  It turns out that back when I was on the last legs of trying to hold everything together before I walked away from it all, the guy I had brought in as interim CEO of my company had hired her to talk to all of our lawyers (this was around the time of the Burning Man wedding, 4 years ago).

I had never received a report on those phone calls and had assumed that what Mia heard from the lawyers on the other end of the line was that they no longer trusted me (isn't it funny what our minds do?), but it turns out that's NOT what she heard at all.

What she did hear was that people wanted MORE of the story.

They didn't say to her “I don't trust Alexis anymore or want to learn from her again”, they said “I heard Alexis got married at Burning Man. What do you know about that?”


They were interested. Curious. They wanted to know more. They wanted more of my story.

What a gift for me to find that out now. (Better late than never, right? And, I really do so trust the timing of it all because I really did need to go through the bankruptcy to support the bigger picture work around financial liberation that I am here to offer in the world.)

Then, the second big thing that happened really recently, was when I got a scary email in my inbox.  All I could tell is that it was from a lawyer and the subject line was “eye-opening experience”. I was pretty sure he was writing to tell me he was quitting the program because of some offensive thing I had done. (Isn't it funny where the mind goes?)

But, that's not what he wrote at all!  You can read his whole email here.

The cool thing is that the new business we built to serve the lawyers post-bankruptcy is WAY BETTER than the original business ever was.  It's got a solid foundation, a business model that aligns with my entrepreneurial archetype and we just hired a CEO to replace me so I can do the parts I'm best at without trying to lead the team (which I'm really the worst at).

The best part of is that even though our new CEO is a Mormon (we think), he never says “Alexis, you can't do that. Alexis, you can't say that. Alexis, you can't write that. Alexis, you can't wear that. You'll hurt the business!” as I used to hear all the time from the team that led my first iteration of the lawyer business. Probably because I've fully embraced all of myself and I'm no longer saying those things to myself.

And it has begun to dawn on me, I made a huge error, I didn't need to hide or shrink in the face of the haters at all!  (Except for the fact that it was all perfect and what had to happen, did — it was a mistake that cost me 4 years.  Good news is that what I learned was a huge lesson that we can all benefit from.)  I could have given them more of what they wanted — the juicy story that was unfolding, as it was happening. They would have loved it, I bet.

What's funny though is that there is still a way that I hide Ali Shanti from the lawyers.  Well, not quite hide, but I haven't really formally introduced her to them yet. At times, like with the story I told earlier about the lawyer who stumbled upon Ali, they find this side of me, but otherwise, I tend to keep things separate.

More and more though, the integration is definitely happening.


I can feel Ali merging into Alexis, and vice versa.  I love both (all — there's actually more) sides of me.  So I'm playing with the what's next of all of this.  I've got a photo shoot coming up that might resolve some of it by at least giving me pictures I can use with the lawyers that integrate the Ali part (I still use my photos from 2008 that are pure Alexis now that I'm marketing to lawyers again).

I promise to keep you posted.

In the meantime, I'd love to hear about the parts of you that you've been hiding (either from yourself or others). Each time I talk about this, people come up to me (or send me messages) telling me all about the parts of themselves that they've never let out of the closet.  So, this is your chance to fully express all of you.  See you in the comments.

[PS: If you liked this, you'll also want to read this about your purpose and how it all fits in. With audios too.]

How to Navigate Financial Pressure & See It for the Gift It Truly Is

Financial pressure is an issue that so many of us, actually all of us, are dealing with. But if this is true…

Why is nobody talking about it?

Why aren't you talking about it?!

Well, I'm here to start the conversation around financial pressure…

Because learning how to lean into it is a vital piece for the growth of your business.

Financial pressure is a gift.

financial pressure

Financial pressure… a gift? That sounds like an oxymoron, doesn't it? But the truth is, we can either be empowered by it or become a victim of it.

It seems as though we're each doing everything we can to avoid financial pressure. We're bound by these beliefs of what it should or shouldn't feel like. But I don't know anyone who's achieved any level of success without it. It may look different for each of us, but it's there.

And when we try to hide it or fail to acknowledge it, it surfaces. We act out. We start to make bad decisions. We shrink.

We begin to scramble to make money out of fear, out of push, out of ‘I'm gonna run out', when instead, we should be pulled by desire.

Sure, financial pressure is uncomfortable, but it inspires a level of creativity and clarity that wouldn't otherwise be there.

I used to try to avoid it at all cost myself. I used to think that to be prosperous, to be abundant, to be free, I had to have a certain amount of money in the bank. I needed to have my debt paid off (or be paying a big chunk of it off every month). And at this time, I kept seeing people in my life that had lots of time, lots of energy and they were happy.

But I seemed to be struggling… even though I had lots of money in my bank accounts, lots of  money flowing through my businesses, I was always stressed about money. Even my business were making millions.

Back in 2009, I felt more trapped than I ever felt before.

“Alexis, don't do that.. don't say that.. that'll hurt the business.”

SO many people were relying on me.

I didn't know that what I was feeling was financial pressure. It was super unconscious.

And how I handled financial pressure back then was NOT GOOD. I acted out.

I dealt with it by shrinking. Firing my entire team. Moving to a farm with no help.

I shrunk back to the smallest I could have from a life and business perspective. I needed to go there. I needed to see what it would be like if it was just me. I had to see…

Would people still be my friend?
Would money still come in?
Could I do it?
What would it be like if there was NO financial pressure?
Who am I if I don't need to make money?
What are the ways I'm compromising myself just to make money?

After doing this I realized, there was still financial pressure. I was actually creating it.

But now it's different. I realize that I can choose to experience it in my body as a positive and not a negative.

Right now, I have less money in my accounts than I've had in a long time, maybe since law school. But I realized that when it starts feeling like, “Oh no! I'm gonna run out of money,” I can share it. I can speak it. I don't have to act out. I can come up with a plan.

How do we navigate financial pressure?

1. You've got to realize that you can't get away from financial pressure.

We live in a world of financial pressure – there's no getting out of it.So, get cozy with it. Embrace it. Snuggle up next to it.

And choose what it's going to look like, because it's not going away.

2. Know what you need.

There's no getting out of feeling financial pressure, there's only choosing to see it as a gift. And to do that, you need to know what you need. How much money do you need to invest in yourself, to do what you truly desire, to get bring your message to the world?

(Are you ready to know exactly what you need? Find your Money Map Number today.)

3. Have a plan. 

financial pressureWhen you know exactly what you need you can create a plan; your mind can go to work coming up with ways for you to meet your needs – you know how many clients you need to take on at what cost to meet your need, you know that you need to design a product or program you can offer at what price to meet your need, you know that you need to invest in a skill set you can charge for to meet your need.

And when you have a plan, you find so much spaciousness and relaxation. You aren't pushing. You aren't acting out. You're flowing.

Listen in here on my conversation with Kiva Leatherman about the topic of financial pressure.

So tell me.. Are you going to be empowered by financial pressure? Are you going to see it for the gift it truly is? Or are you going to be a victim of it?

Don't shrink.

It's time we each open up the dialogue around financial pressure. Let's start here.. What are your current struggles with money? Where are you compromising yourself around money because you think you need to?

LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW sharing your story around financial pressure, and let's see how I can help get you clear on exactly what you need. Let's get you doing things that you enjoy doing. Let me help you come into alignment. 




Online Launches: Why the Paint-By-Numbers Approach Is Dead & What to Do Instead

Listen in as the ladies of the Eyes Wide Open Collective discuss the world of online launches:

Let's talk online launches

If you're in business (or looking to be) and want to shift from the one-to-one model (Sage/Guide) to a one-to-many (Star/Guide) model,  you're going to have to get comfortable with online launches – real comfortable. And if you think you've already got launches down, you might want to think again.

Because the truth is, the world of online product launches is changing. The systems and strategies that worked 3-4 years ago, even just one year ago, simply do not work anymore.

The paint-by-numbers approach is dead.

Why? Think about it. The environment of launching is changing in real-time.

So if you're stuck trying to implement a proven system or formula that worked for someone else (maybe years ago), you're probably not going to get the same results.  Not to mention, that person may have a totally different archetype than you.

Maybe you've been there – burnt yourself out trying to implement a formula designed for someone else's business, didn't see the results you wanted, and you wound up discouraged and ready to be done with online launches altogether.

Don't get discouraged.

The problem is not in you applying the formula.

Hell, the problem isn't even in the formula itself (it obviously worked for someone, right?)!

A launch goes well because of your ability to respond in the moment to the environment of the launch and to respond to the key factors that contribute to a successful launch or a full blown flop.

You've got to listen, respond and inform the launch. Constantly asking yourself: Do I need to shift? Where do I need to respond to the marketplace? How can I course-correct? Having a team and/or a thinking partner is also key. [Schedule your Launch Consultation today to see how we can help.]

Often times people following a program or formula end up throwing their hands in the air in the middle of their launch because they're just not seeing the results they wanted.

We've been in that situation – it feels like a million times! We've been in launches for a week with only 6 optins, and then we made a shift, kicked it into high gear, redid the strategy and wound up knocking it out of the park.

Here at the Eyes Wide Open Collective, we're launching all the time! We bust them out fast. We get them done. And we've got them down.

Why are we able to do so many online launches with so much success?

Well, we realize that:

  • Not all launches are created equal. Each product/service/program is launched differently. The way you launch and sell a $50 training is totally different from how you would launch and sell a $5,000 group. It's completely different. You have to discover the appropriate sales vehicle for what you're trying to launch AND what's best for your business and audience.
  • You cannot have a successful launch by focusing on just one channel. A lot of training programs out there focus on ONE channel launches – affiliate marketing, video sales and social media, etc. But just relying on one channel to “fill up your bucket” is leaving a lot of money on the table. Remember, all roads lead to YOUR successful launch.

Another key to our online launch success has been sticking to the 5 Phases of Online Launching. We've learned from experience that each launch phase is absolutely essential. Because each phase builds upon the success of the previous phase, miss one phase or skip one step and your launch will crumble.

Take a Look at the 5 Phases to Online Launches:

1. Planning & Warm-Up Phase
In this phase, you are creating the customer experience for your launch. That means deciding what materials need to be created, how you're going to market the launch, what your sales vehicle will be, who your partners will be (if you're going to have partners), and assigning a timeline to your launch. And at the same time you're planning your launch, you'll start your Launch Warm-Up. This is where you start to warm your community up to the idea of your launch. If you have partners, it would be seeding it to their communities; if it's your own community then you would seed it to your Facebook and email lists, and so on.

2. Registration Phase
There will be some kind of event built around your launch, whether it's a webinar, a telesummit, or an in-person talk, and in this phase, you'll be getting people registered for that event through some sort of opt-in page.

3. Attendance Phase
You can prepare and plan and get all these people to sign up for you event, but if nobody shows up the whole thing falls apart. This is the phase where you can get really creative.

4. Presentation Phase
This is where you actually deliver your presentation and inspire your audience to take the action that you want them to take (buy your program, sign up for you group, pre-order your book, etc.).

5. Follow-Up Phase
This is a phase that many people neglect. Talk about leaving money on the table! If you don't have a follow-up sequence in place to nurture all the people who didn't buy during your presentation phase, you're leaving around half… HALF! of your potential earnings on the table.

Launching is not something you want to do alone. It requires feedback. It requires expertise. It requires an ability to get out of the details, see the big picture, and respond in the moment. And that's where we come in.

online launches

Because we love the idea of you being great at the work you bring into the world and we love the idea of us being great at what we're amazing at (which is launching). Allow us to bring our expertise and guidance to your Great Work and give you in-the-moment guidance, support and love during your next (or current) launch:

If this is speaking to you, fill out an application today and we'll get you scheduled for a Launch Assessment to determine if you qualify for the one-of-a-kind love only our team can provide. 

Happy Launching,