Archives for February 2015

How to Handle A Tax Audit (woo-woo + practical secrets)

I hope you are enjoying this blog series I’ve been writing with some hardcore business advice to support you in building your life and income awake, aware and on your terms.

If you’ve missed the prior two posts, you can check them out here and here.

In my last post, I promised you two important things:

  • the woo-woo + practical strategies I used to get my tax audit handled with ease — resulting in no additional taxes being due AND
  • the reasons to incorporate your business outside of tax savings and liability protection

Let’s start with how to handle a tax audit (or really any challenging business issue).

(Want to set up your business to minimize risk of tax audit? Our LIFT Foundation System™ will help you do that.)

First a bit of background…

It was 2007, I had two businesses running and I was a single mom. I was overloaded to begin with. I knew that my 2005 books were messed up because during my divorce we had hired a forensic accountant and he had told me — “Alexis, your books are really messed up.” Ugh.

how to handle a tax audit

I didn’t really know how to run a business. I had learned a lot about sales and marketing, but the business end of business? Not so much.

So when I got the letter from the IRS that I was being audited for 2005, I burst into tears and spent the next two days beating myself up.

“Woe is me, why is this happening, Alexis how could you fuck things up so bad?” was pretty much my mantra.

I grieved. I wept. I railed against myself. Then, I woke up.

I couldn't afford to lose anymore time to past history and to fighting what was happening. I had to get into alignment with the truth.

The truth was, I was being audited. There was nothing I could do about that. I had to find a way to roll with it and make the best of it.

In the moment of that realization, I made a decision. I would use the creative energy I was expending to beat myself up and rail against what was to create more.

I created a practice for myself that still serves me to this day (and I hope will serve you now as well).

Each time I thought of the audit, I would ask myself — is there anything I can do about this right now? If there was, I did it. If there wasn’t, I would consciously take control of my mind and shift my energy to something that was in my control. For example, I would use the energy to create a newsletter, write an email to my customer list, or create a module for one of my programs.

With that energy, I built my 2nd million dollar business. Had I remained in the devastation of the audit, I would not only have not built that business, but I would have likely tanked the business I did have.

On top of that, I hired out everything I possibly could when it came to the audit. I found a new CPA I could trust and tasked my personal assistant to interact with the CPA and locate whatever documentation was necessary to respond to the audit.

I told my personal assistant and my CPA to please not talk to me about the audit unless they were giving me a specific assignment that only I could complete or answering a question that was only answerable by me.

By doing that, I was insulated from any talk about the audit that wasn’t absolutely necessary.

The end result? The audit cost me some money in CPA and personal assistant time, but I got a no change in the audit, which meant I didn’t owe any additional taxes AND I was able to use my energy to fuel the build-out of my 2nd million dollar business.

The perfect combination of woo-woo + practical strategies for handling any hard life or business issue.

So, I wonder — where are you using up your creative energy fighting against what is, rather than to fuel what you want more of in your life? And, how can you change that today?

Do you have your life and business set up to make any and all bumps in the road, such as an audit, easy to handle or will you be derailed from your creative heart work by the things that invariably arise when you are building an asset to support you for life?

With love beyond the beyond,

Alexis-Signature-Transparent_1 copy

PS — I didn’t get to the 2nd issue I promised to share with you — the benefits of incorporating your business beyond the liability protection and the tax savings, but this email is already too long. Watch for it in a later post.

PPS — Do you have our LIFT Foundation System™ implemented in your life and business yet? If not, why not?

The cost of it is covered the very first time you use one of our legal agreements, buy insurance, protect your intellectual property, hire or fire a team member, set up your financial systems or strategize your taxes. Not to mention the savings that comes just from hiring the right advisors for your business. You can check it out here:


Read More:

“They Stole My Work” | The Truth About Protecting Your Work from Theft

Don't Sign Your Tax Return Just Yet

Don’t Sign Your Tax Return Just Yet

It's almost time to file your 2014 taxes if you are here in the US and the likelihood is that you are signing a tax return you don't fully understand.

Maybe you've been collecting receipts all year and are now scrambling to figure out what to do before April 15.

Or perhaps you've just handed everything over to your CPA or bookkeeper.

Possibly you are even trying to do it all yourself.

Either way, I can almost guarantee you are leaving money on the table. Paying way too much in taxes and maybe even opening yourself up to the risk of audit because of silly oversights on your tax return that would be easy to spot if you knew what to look for.

I remember when I was there myself.

Taxes are likely your biggest expense. And when I first started out, I really had no idea what to do to handle them properly.

So I just gave it all over to a CPA who didn't really have my back, unfortunately. She was super conservative in some respects and just not looking out for my best interests in other respects.

I first found out how much she didn't have my back in 2006. It was the first year my first business hit a million in revenue.

While that was an exciting milestone, my tax bill in 2007 was over $100,000 and I wasn't prepared for it. I hadn't put money aside to pay it and had to take out a loan to make the payment.

The worst part is that if I would have planned properly, I could have cut that tax bill in half. That would have been an extra $50,000 in my pocket that went to the government instead.

When it comes to a CPA, you really want to have a creative CPA and a financial manager who truly gets your business interacting with that CPA on your behalf. OR you want to make sure that you know the ins and outs of what's deductible and what's not so you can be the creative force.

In my LIFT Foundation System™, I guide you on how to find the right people to support you in your life and business so you can cut your taxes by many hundreds, thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars. The “T” for tax section of LIFT alone pays for the whole program many times over.

And that was only the beginning.

One day in mid-2007, I came home to find a thick letter from the IRS. I was being audited for the year of 2005.

I wasn't incorporated back then because my CPA told me I didn't need to incorporate. She said I could just file a schedule C as a sole proprietor. She said I wouldn't see any tax benefits from incorporating and because I had a professional practice there wouldn't be any liability benefits from filing for incorporation.

I didn't understand any of it anyway, even though I was a lawyer. Everything they had taught us in law school didn't seem to apply to my tiny micro business.

Don’t Sign Your Tax Return Just Yet

So I didn't incorporate. It turns out that not incorporating is an audit flag. You are actually 9-12 times more likely to be audited if you aren't incorporated.

That audit cost me a pretty penny to handle although it turned out I didn't owe any additional tax money.

Not to mention, there are many benefits of incorporating your business outside of tax savings and liability protection.  I'll share those with you in my next post.

All this to say, you can be smarter about your business life than I was.

I upgraded my own knowledge by making a million dollars worth of mistakes. Literally.

And then when I got tired of learning the hard way, I did over 100 hours of interviews with lawyers, insurance people, accountants and bookkeepers, tax advisors and strategists to find out what actually applies to micro businesses. So I could get smart.

It's what I wish I had learned in law school. It's why I imagine people go to business school. Unfortunately, those venues just focus on law and business for big business, not micro business.

So I put it all into my LIFT Foundation System™, including walking you through my tax returns so you know what to look for and at before signing on the dotted line this April.

If you are serious about building a business you can count on and want to feel super smart about the things you don't even know you don't know, this system is for you.

In the next post, I'll tell you how I handled that tax audit so it resulted in a no change (meaning no tax due) even though my record keeping back then was totally whack. It's a little bit woo-woo, but I guarantee you'll want to use it if you get audited.

And I'll share the practical business steps I took as well.

With Love Beyond the Beyond,

Get the LIFT Foundation System™ for FREE…

Marie Forleo's B-School is open for enrollment until next Wednesday, March 4th. As a bonus when you enroll through my link, you'll get lifetime access to her acclaimed program as well as my LIFT™ and Phase One of my Money Map™ programs for free. See the whole package including exclusive bonuses here and enroll before doors close next week.

PS – after my blog post “They Stole My Work”, which described how you can protect your work in the world and that the only real risk to your work is you not getting it out there, I was told that my former partners' did not in fact steal my agreements.

One of the gals had bought my LIFT Foundation System™ years ago so to the extent she is using the legal agreements from LIFT, she is doing so under that license. Once you invest in LIFT, it's yours forever and before we were in partnership, she was a LIFTee. Yippee! I feel happy knowing that and I bet you do too.

You can get the LIFT Foundation System™ on its own for your own life and business here:


Read More:

“They Stole My Work” | The Truth About Protecting Your Work from Theft

How to Handle A Tax Audit (woo-woo + practical secrets)

The History of the B-School Promotion Flood (And What You Can Learn from It)

The flood of “B-School is open” emails have gone out and some people are super excited to jump in and get started and others are pissed that their inboxes are overloaded with promotion for the same program again and again.

After talking with some of you on Facebook about it, I figured I'd share more widely about how I understand this came to be and you can use what I am sharing to make non-emotional decisions about whether B-School is the right next step for you.

No need to get pissed, annoyed, or upset about it — and, if you do, a good opportunity to look at how what's coming up for you may be the exact medicine you need for your own next level of growth.

The strategy that is being used by Marie Forleo to sell B-School is one that was first used most successfully online by a group of guys originally known as the Syndicate. (They may not have called themselves the Syndicate, but that's how I always referred to them in my own mind.)

These guys got together and collaborated to cross-promote each other and inspire their audiences (email subscribers) to buy each other's products and programs.

The way it worked was this:

Imagine that there were 12 guys in the Syndicate. Each of them would claim a promotional period and during that promotional period each of the other guys in the Syndicate would write about that guy's promotion and the guy who had his program promoted would pay affiliate commissions on the sales he made to the guys who promoted his campaign.

Over time, the Syndicate members began creating contests in which whoever made the most sales would win outrageous prizes, such as trips, an extra $100,000 and even a Ferrari, Tesla or a Hummer.

In one way, this was collaboration at its best because here were all these guys who would generally be seen as competition for each other working together. In another way, it leveraged the best of competition by using the prizes to ignite the natural competitive spirit of each of the guys to promote and win.

One question that naturally arises is whether these guys were promoting what they actually thought was best for their audience or if they just wanted to win. But, that's not answerable in this forum.

Back to the issue at hand — the B-School Promotion Flood…

Some years ago, I think it was 2010, Marie and her then partner Laura Roeder came out with one of the most fun, hoppin', amazing video series we had ever seen to promote an online program.

If you saw it, you'll remember. It was like a sequence of hip hop music videos. And while Laura and Marie didn't have many affiliates for their B-School program at that time, they were able to build a tremendous amount of buzz because their promotional/pre-launch videos were so hot.

Suddenly, everyone knew about B-School and the following year Marie leveraged the power of that notoriety to expand B-School sales via affiliate marketing.

And, Marie took a note from the Syndicate playbook and offered $1,000 affiliate commissions to those who wanted to promote B-School. Not only that, but Marie taught her affiliates that one great way to encourage sales would be to offer a bonus of their own to encourage sign-ups and then she added in the contest element.

Now here's the interesting thing — I'm not even sure what Marie's affiliate contest is – there's definitely not some huge prize (like a car or a vacation) for winning – and yet, there's still a certain cache that exists around being on Marie's “Leaderboard”.

But more importantly than that, I believe the reason so many people run B-School promotion (including myself) this time of year has nothing at all to do with contests and everything to do with knowing that promoting B-School is going to pay off in a number of ways:

  1. Marie's B-School Sells. I know that if I invest time writing up emails to my list and spend money on FB ads (in the form of boosting posts since ads are not allowed), that time and money is going to pay off because Marie's sales materials for B-School are the best I've ever seen. So if I invest time marketing B-School, I know that she'll close the sale.
  2. People Who Take B-School Are Serious About Their Business. I have very specialized knowledge to offer people who are serious about building a sustainable business around their Great Work. Most people aren't really serious when it comes to building a business. Anyone who takes B-School is serious and will benefit highly from my work. That's enjoyable for me.
  3. Many of My People Need B-School. People who come through the Money Map program and identify as using the Sage Guide, Star Guide, Star Creator, and Star Connector Archetype models for their business need to learn how to leverage the internet to bring their work online. B-School teaches that and then I can build upon what they've learned in my coaching programs rather than having to teach it from scratch. It makes my life as a guide to my clients easier.

So there you have it. No need to get pissed about all the B-School promotion emails, but you certainly can learn from them. And look at what your annoyance is telling you because there's likely an opportunity for growth there for you.

And if you are interested in joining B-School and would love to see the bonus we are offering when you do (to give you the micro-business JD+++ on top of your B-School micro-business MBA), you can take a peek here (and there's a link in there to a page with a roundup of the best b-school bonus offers we could find).

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.

Sometimes You Have to Turn People Off

I sent out last week’s love letter with the word “f*ck” in the subject line and I want to let you know why..

You see, it was essential.

At first, after I got some negative feedback about it this morning, I beat myself up for a few minutes. I questioned my decision. And I could have easily gotten lost in that.

But then, I remembered.

Oh right, I can trust myself. Okay, so if I can trust myself, what is there for me to learn here. I sent that subject line for a reason. What was it?

Oh yes, now I remember. This is sacred space. And I needed to send that message to weed out anyone who doesn’t actually belong here because what I am planning to share over the coming months and years is not for everybody.

Things are about to get a whole lot more real up in here. And I have criteria for who I want showing up here and reading what I write.

Anyone who unsubscribes because I wrote “f*ck” in the subject line of my email isn’t ready to hear what I have to say. {Tweet It!}

Anyone who sees what I wrote in the body of the newsletter – sharing my fear that maybe I didn’t promote the Money Map properly – as overly needy or weak, doesn’t yet have the skills of compassion that I require to be part of my inner circle community.

And, it’s okay. I can let them go. Just as you can let go of anyone and everyone who is not a match with you as well.  Truly, you can trust and breathe and let go, ever more.

You can let go of anyone + everyone who is not a match with you. Trust. Breathe. And let go. {Tweet It!}

The key to that working in business is to be consistently generating new subscribers (in a manner that is in alignment with your Entrepreneurial Archetype — we cover that in Module 3 of Phase 2 of the Money Map™) and remembering that the one’s who stick are your people and the one’s who don’t aren’t. You can bless them and send them on their way without agonizing over every unsubscribe, wondering what you could have done better or different.

There is nothing for you to do different other than to recognize that you are perfect just as you are and the people who resonate will stay and those who don’t won’t.  And that’s perfect too.

So I ask you to reflect on my newsletter last week and invite you to ask yourself…

How can you share more of who you are fearlessly. Or feel the fear and do it anyway? This is you stepping into the truth of all of who you are.

Now there is one caveat here — this is a both/and paradox kind of thing, so hang with me and open your heart and mind to see the higher truth I am sharing — it’s possible that you will communicate in ways that get you feedback that show you that an uplevel is possible. We learn by making mistakes, seeing the impact of those mistakes, and refining based on what we learn from the mistakes we made.

Every teacher of astrology and human design I’ve spoken to has confirmed it for me; we are in a time where we must learn, grow and evolve by making mistakes. You can only learn from your mistakes if you are willing to see them and shift as a result.

So, do not take what I am offering here as permission to be so arrogant that you miss that important piece. Yes, everything you do, say and write is perfect. And, sometimes it’s a perfect mistake.

How do you discern? Was it a perfect mistake that require some clean up or perfectly perfect as it is and can be left alone?

Ah, grasshopper, this is the real key and one I am in process of learning myself.

I have some answers and will share them with you in a few days.  I want to take some time to sit with it and ensure what I am sharing is the deepest truth I have.

More to come soon. In the meantime…

I’d love for you to identify one action you will take today that is almost guaranteed to push an edge — yours or someone else’s — and that is in alignment with you being more of you. Say something, do something, wear something, write something that you’ve been hiding because you are afraid of the reaction you’ll get from the world.  Let’s do this. I'd love to hear about it in the comments below and over in our private Facebook group.


And if you're curious about how to start your own business or how take your online business to the next level, check out this free video training series by Marie Forleo: