Archives for September 2016

The Story of My Deepest, Darkest Money Mistakes and Learning the Hard-way So You Can Get Business Money Smart

I knew nothing about business when I first went into practice for myself.

Reluctant entrepreneur, anyone? Yep, that was me.

But after three years at a law firm, seeing my life get sucked away in billable hours, I had to make the leap.

And it was terrifying.

Especially the money part.

Because I barely had any idea how to manage my personal finances, let alone the finances of a business.

I was financially illiterate. And experienced a ton of shame and fear along with that.

[If you want to skip the rest of this post and just register for the live training I am hosting in partnership with my financial management team to teach you the hard and expensive lessons I learned from not knowing how to manage the money parts of my business so you can manage your business money easily, use this link to RSVP here now.]

So I just kept focusing on making more.

And the more I made, the more went out the door.

And the more expensive, and ugly mistakes I made.

I knew there were reports I should be looking at, but I didn't know what they were or how to read them.

When I asked my accountant what I should be looking at, she said, well it depends on what you want to know.

But, I didn't know what I wanted to know!

So I just ignored it.

Then, I got divorced, and the forensic accountant we hired looked at me and said, “your books are seriously messed up.”

My face flushed with shame, but I still didn't do anything about it. Because I didn't know what to do!

Then, I got the unexpected $113,000 tax bill. Had to take out a loan to pay it, and fortunately, back then credit was flowing freely. Today, that's not the case.

And then, I hit a cash crunch and didn't have enough to make payroll.

You might think these things couldn't happen to a 7-figure entrepreneur.

But, when you don't know how to look at the numbers of your business and cancel every financial meeting because “something comes up” that keeps you from making it (because you secretly don't understand what you are supposed to do or ask on the meetings) and instead think to yourself, “I'll just figure out how to make more” it's bound to happen no matter how much you are making.

And, if you aren't making much, it's even worse, right?

You would think the final straw would have come when my taxes got audited, but no that didn't force my hand either.

It wasn't until I ended up $500,000 in debt with $70,000 of overhead choking my creativity each month and facing down the reality of bankruptcy that I finally woke up and decided to do something about it.

So, I bit the bullet and learned everything I could about how to understand the numbers of my business.

The Story of My Deepest, Darkest Money Mistakes

Today, I LOVE looking at my financials. Not because they are always great.

Sometimes, I still hit cash crunches.

Sometimes, I still have to come up with the money to pay my taxes.

Sometimes, I still have to hustle.

But, it's never scary anymore. I always have plenty of notice so I can put my creative mind to work and get busy when I need to and relax my mind and let it focus on other creative endeavors when I don't.

I never have to take on a client I don't want to serve, just for the money, because I know exactly how much money I have, how much I need and where it's coming from.

I get a succinct weekly report I can read easily. I have a monthly financial call I look forward to, and when I review my financials quarterly, I understand what I am seeing and what they tell me about where I need to take my business next.

Ah, sweet relief.

Over the past ten years of all these crazy mistakes and lessons, I trained my financial team on everything I learned and created easy systems that would have me feeling smart.

I have been begging them to put together a training on these systems, so you no longer have to operate blind like I was for so long.

And, finally, they are doing it!

The Story of My Deepest, Darkest Money Mistakes and Learning the Hard-way So You Can Get Business Money Smart

We've teamed up together to offer a live workshop this coming Tuesday, and if you are ready to fall in love with the numbers of your business, and stop being scared, or not knowing what you are doing, I hope you'll join us.

You can use this link to register now, and we’ll send you the call-in details.

A staying home experiment, 747 on the Playa, + enrolling high end clients (so much to say!!)

Consider today's post a long overdue catch up with you.
Yes, you heard from me the last couple of week's about Marisa's Experience Product
Formula, but that's not the same as a good ole' Love Letter straight from my heart to yours.
This is that.
I'm now about ten days back from Burning Man, and finally think I've caught up on my
A staying home experiment, 747
I was supposed to travel for the next two weeks, a week in Esalen and then another week
in LA for an Evolutionary Priestess Training, and I decided to cancel it all. I'm even considering
the possibility of a longer-term no travel commitment, to see what would happen if I relaxed
more into being here. You can read about more about my inquiry and talk with me about it
here, if you have thoughts.
This year, Burning Man was more of a family reunion/work trip than an exciting adventure
into the Desert. Sounds kind of strange to think of Burning Man as a work trip, but in some
ways that's what it was — an opportunity to link up with community folk I don't see all the time
and to converge and dream into what's next.
I flew in and out, so minimal travel time, and was there only Sunday until Friday, early am.
I only slept about ten hours in all that time, so I got the full experience for sure, but it was
different this year.
Honestly, there wasn't even a whole lot of dreaming into what's next because what's next
seems to be already happening. You can watch a video of me dreaming with Stephen Brooks
at Burning Man last year, here.
And, all that we dreamed into is in process now. Amazing.
Before leaving, I had a Human Design reading update with a new friend, Karen McMullen
and she reminded me that more than most people, my job is to sit back and wait to respond,
see what shows up and not push in, leading with my own ideas.
Oh, it's such a challenge for me, but when I do it, I do get big rewards.
Most recently, I got called in to resolve a conflict between two business partners that felt so
good for me to work on, it seriously has me questioning whether it's time to make even more
space for me to get back to the roots of my 1:1 work, as a lawyer, but far more than a lawyer,
At Burning Man, one of those was that I got to meet the creator of the Big Imagination Project,
Ken Feldman.
Ken dreamed of bringing a 747 to the Playa. And while I have mixed feelings about why that's
valuable, and the amount of resources it costs, including Ken's energy (!), meeting Ken was a
great reminder of why dreaming big is so important, even when you have no idea what or how
you will get there.
You can read about the project (and even contribute to it) here.
It seems silly, right? I kind of thought so.
But, when you see it and experience it on this remote strip of Burning Man Desert, it helps to
remember that truly anything is possible when we use our creativity, our community and our
resourcefulness — the best investments we can possibly grow in these curious financial times.
Next week, I'll share with you another project that has truly blown me away, the creation of the
Camp Mystic Art Car — the Mystic Flyer.
In the meantime, something important for you, if you are ready for a meaningful shift in your
income model …
My dear friend and past client, Elizabeth Purvis, teaches women (and men in touch with their
inner Goddess) how to turn their service offerings into high-end packages that clients love.
In fact, one of our Eyes Wide Open members has already shifted her offerings just as a result
of what Elizabeth is teaching in her free educational series that she has out right now, and will
likely never offer again, as she is shifting her focus for next year.
So, if you are ready to shift into packaging your services into high-end offers (instead of hourly,
or one-off transactions), download and watch Elizabeth's teachings right here OR download them
and save them for later, when you will be ready.

Okay, I think that's enough for now!

I've got a huge day ahead of me – we just let go of the sales and marketing director at NLBM AND
my marketing manager is out with salmonella poisoning. Plus, I coach lawyers back to back this afternoon.

So, I guess it's a good thing I stayed home this week, eh!?!
To your eyes and heart wide open life and income,
PS — If you only get one things from this email, go download Elizabeth's 7 Steps to a Sold-Out High End
Program if you are ready to package your services into high end offerings your clients love. It's the fastest
path to increasing your income and one of our Eyes Wide Open members already implemented it and
put it into action with just what Elizabeth is teaching in this free series.