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What is your best IPA? And worst?

Aug 16, 2020

What is your best income producing activity (IPA)? And worst?

When you have a lofty income need looming over your head, discovering your best IPA is crucial. Because it will make the difference of creating real sustainable financial freedom vs. meeting a need and being so damn depleted energetically or compromised physically after achieving the goal that you collapse and set yourself up to cycle through this ugly pattern or worst yet, create medical bills that consume even more resources or tragically break you mentally.

I have been in way harder situations with much more at stake than needing to create an extra $10,000 in 90 days. I once had to come up with $250,000 in less time. It feels like a lifetime ago, as I really was in a different life that I live currently. It was 2005. I was a new mom, running a wholesale seed business with my former husband and living in Bozeman, MT. It was our 9th year of being in business. We were grossing over $1M in sales and with that comes big royalties. As you can imagine, the seed business is very seasonal. We made all our money in the first quarter of the year, and it is a business that required much management and strategy because you have contracts with growers for seed that will be sold in the future year and with customers who have an intention to buy. I remember it well, it was late summer when we were called into our bank that we had worked with for years from an invitation to meet their new commercial banker. We had a big line of credit that we’d tap into in the fall to pay royalties on seed sold for the year. It was routine, we did it every year and without fail we paid it off in the first quarter of the next year after the harvested seed was cleaned, bagged and delivered to our customers. But this new commercial banker was uncomfortable with our seasonal seed business, so much he called us in to let us know he was closing our line of credit. Just like that. I don’t remember the exact date, but it must have been in July or early August and royalties to Monsanto were due Sept 25. That date I remember well. I reacted much differently than my husband at the time. Instead of using being angry and hateful, I tapped into my life energy. That energy that is fueled with passion, grit and resolve. It was the same energy, just months earlier, that brought me through a near death experience from a MRSA mastitis staph infection I contracted in the hospital during delivery of my baby. I felt it rise up again -- no fucking way was I going to let a man who didn’t know shit about me, my integrity or my business take me down because of his aversion to risk. I ran my numbers and scrutinized them with my trusted accountant. I told my story to more than 15 commercial bankers across 3-4 states where we operated our seed business. The last one, heard me and had great compassion. Because of the amount requested, he wasn’t able to help me in the time I needed. He convinced me because I had an established relationship and good credit with my bank, I had to go back. He was confident they would listen because my numbers and track record were sound, and they were really the only bank in a position to reinstate the line of credit to get us the money we needed by the time we needed it. I made the appointment and for extra support, I invited my accountant to join us. 

Meanwhile my account manager with Monsanto had been pleading with me to go into terms with them. He assured me it was the only thing I could do to not go bankrupt and lose our business. I knew that I knew that I knew, I did not want to go into terms with Monsanto and have them bankroll us. I was willing to take the consequences of not meeting our obligation and go bankrupt rather than to sign that agreement. My husband however did not hold that same stance. We were at odds. I remember him acting out his frustration when I turned Monsanto’s plea down for the last time and dramatically shouted “WHAT DO YOU THINK, GOD IS JUST GOING TO DROP A BAG OF MONEY ON OUR FRONT YARD?!”. I replied, “Maybe?”. I remember being headstrong, calm and knowing what was non-negotiable and being steadfast in my willingness to trust the unknown.

I don’t remember the dates, but I remember the meeting with the bank was on a Thursday. We circled the conference table. The meeting was brief; the answer was no. I remember the feeling of being so depleted energetically and the words of my accountant behind me as we walked out of the room “we need to find you some fucking money”. You see the upcoming Monday, if our invoice of $250,000 was not paid in full, Monsanto was terminating our license to sell their genetics. Which meant even though we had seed to sell, we would not legally be able to sell it without a valid license and our only option would be bankruptcy. 

It was a long drive home. My husband had already blamed me for the destined loss of our business. I remember me and my 6-month old daughter remaining quietly seated in the vehicle long after my husband had gone into the house. I didn’t even have the energy to open the door, get out and walk into the house to only get an ear full of hatred and blame for the situation. My emptiness was disrupted by a call from my accountant. He told me he thought he found me some money. His appointment that followed our bank meeting was a couple who had come into some money and was seeking an investment. I agreed to meet him in his office the next morning, Friday at 11AM. I remember it like it was yesterday.

I showed up with my baby, my husband/business partner and a pocket folder. In the right side of the folder was the invoice due to Monsanto, and in the left pocket, a deposit slip. Gary, my accountant, met us and introduced us to a lovely couple. He said he was in an awkward position of representing both parties and his only role was to bring us together. We chatted briefly and she was the obvious business driver, so it was woman to woman. She said she understood I needed some money, I was asking her for $150,000, thinking I was going to fire-sell $100,000 of inventory that day to cover the difference. I handed her the invoice. She questioned why I was only asking for $150K when the invoice was for $250K. I told her anything over $150K, was icing on the cake. She looked me straight in the eyes, “honey, today I am going to ice your cake”. She asked for 5% interest, I told her I’d give her 7%. She wrote me a check for $250,000 and I wrote her an IOU on a post-it note with the terms and promise to pay in full by Jan 31, 2006.

I made the deposit, and the call to my account manager with Monsanto for him to make arrangements to have someone be there Saturday to accept a FedEx delivery for a check to cover our payment in full. He agreed and questioned how I came up with the money because he had a stack of files on his desk that represented businesses that were not as fortunate. I told him that it was a private lender -- an angel fund. That it was!

I had no idea that I was going to tell this story as part of this post and I cannot tell this story without being completely undone and overwhelmed with gratitude. Perhaps writing this story was the greatest IPA I could have done today. Not for the act of telling you the story, but to anchor that level of faith in my body. I needed to remember so that I could ask myself the question: If I could do that back when I was pretty unaware and taking actions out of fear, what could I do now that I take action from a place of love and inspiration, having spent the last 15 years shifting layers of limiting beliefs, cultural constructs and collective agreements while cracking, shedding and peeling off masks that I used to hide behind.

Seriously?! What could I do now, if I could do that back then?!

In reflecting on this story and the fast forwarded to current day, I realized that this event was the initial “domino” that essentially transported me onto a new trajectory for my life. Do I have a subconscious fear that if I surrender to this level of faith, I will somehow trip the ‘portal’ and be transported back to my self-sabotaging, abusive and fearful lifestyle? Why would I believe that lie? Why wouldn’t I stand in knowing the highest, most soulicious agreement I can hold is available to me now, and I am worthy of the claim?

Is my best IPA to surrender my will to my true, inner knowing and energetically step into my authority and stand in a higher agreement to allow my life to align to my needs being met by the Source of all things? Will this step shift me from efforting and asking, to receiving and witnessing myself take seemingly involuntary action steps based on the lessons and opportunities that come in the moment to guarantee my needs are met in perfect ways? Do I trust God, the Source of all things, to be fully aware of my tax bill and need to take care of my family? If this is truly my best IPA, then my worst IPA is to continue to take action from a place of habit or thinking of what I should be doing based on collective agreement, or worst yet from a place of fear that compromises my body and my values. 

The seed business was not sustainable -- financially, mentally, emotionally or physically. I was spent. So when our largest customer, a national chemical-fertilizer company, requested to buy our company I leaned in and said yes. We negotiated and sold the business -- the brands and inventory. The events that unfolded in the months and years that followed is a story for another time, but when the dust settled I felt like me and my daughter had landed in another dimension. 

Once again, shift needs to happen. And I clearly understand that crisis is the great revealer. I am asking myself: “where is the kink?”. Is there a kink in my energetic flow to realize myself as free, is there a leak or am I claiming myself as the one who struggles and requires a crisis to give herself permission to generate significant, or even sustainable income? 

What do I need from a higher perspective to generate significant, life sustaining income flow for me and my family, by doing what I love with those I love that will help shift the economic paradigm for all, allowing us to freely serve one another through selfcare and authentic expression?

I am in a quandary, because I continue to focus on my worst IPA -- the income stream that is not sustainable financially, mentally, emotionally or physically, since it is the thing that is currently paying the bills. I am pretzeled because I do not have time in the day or physical ability to job enough hours to pay my bills at my currently hourly rate AND build Raindrop or my coaching business or better yet, both or something better yet. Something has to give.

Here’s the deal: It’s been almost a month since I gave myself the challenge to reach Diamond ranking in doTERRA by Oct 15. Ideally that would mean by Aug 15, I would need to rank Elite. THAT DID NOT HAPPEN, even with all the effort I put towards making that happen. 

I am not a social media marketer, but I spent $300 to boost three posts (Facebook and Instagram) and the Raindrop Inc website that reached a total of 139,387 people and generated 5,115 post engagements. As a result of the boosting, I have 28 new followers on Instagram and following 53 talented artists who “liked” one or more of my posts.

I also reached out to 61 collaborators on Bumble Business and had two very nice, authentic conversations with men who were genuinely interested in networking and supporting like-minded business owners. In addition, I have freely coached some wonderful women who shifted and gained great clarity in their lives. It’s all respectable activity and results. Yet none of these converted into enrollments with Raindrop. So what, I am unattached to the outcome of my individual activities, but what I am not unattached to is creating income to meet my needs in a sustainable way. As long as I am on planet Earth and in this body, I need to generate income that supports me and my family. And I am determined to dissolve the ‘starving artist syndrome’. 

If it kills me?! No, I am not aligned to it having to compromise my health; my body is already screaming. The past two weeks I have had surging pain and numbness in my left arm and entire hand, including all fingers. I have learned to honor my body, it’s intelligence and “voice”. I sought medical attention and started physical therapy to reverse the degenerative damage in my neck and back due to overuse and am vowing to do things differently.

Perhaps ranking doTERRA Diamond in 90-days is too focused on HOW to claim a new way of being, for me and all artistic humans who want to create a sustainable living doing what they love with those they love. So I will release the how, listen to my body, create more mindful movement in my day and stop what is not working. 

Therefore, I am not going to invest money to boost social media posts this month, or create any FB ads unless I have inspiration, support and strategy. I will continue to engage with those who have connected with me on social media, because I care about them. I will continue to offer Know Who You Are, (free monthly coaching, the first Tuesday evening of each month) because I love the energetic flow it gives me and the transformation and clarity it provides to those who show up. It provides an opportunity for those who want free coaching and a standing event that I can invite those requests to who reach out. Even though it does not generate immediate income, it does my soul good to be in that intense flow giving my gifts freely. And I am hoping Kajabi Support can help me understand why there were 113 visitors to the landing page to register for the free coaching session and no one signed-up through the pipeline so that we can fix it and create more breakthroughs and attract more potential clients or enrollments that can be served in a higher way. 

I am trying something new, as I was inspired to enroll in Pamela Bruner’s Transform Event, Aug 31 - Sept 2, 2020 after participating in her recent “Upgrade Your Success Mindset Coach-a-Thon” where she personally coached me through my belief of not liking the clients who can pay me for the value of my coaching. So we’ll see what inspired actions come from that shifting and event.

Non-negotiables serve as a reminder to what we are not willing to compromise when our energy is low and willingness to compromise is high. In 2005, my non-negotiable was to be free of financial entanglement with Monsanto, it was my guiding force. I’ve created a new list to guide me: 

  • Deep connection
  • Being in expression and free-flowing with Source
  • Respecting the value of my services, gifts and presence
  • Personal authority and speaking my truth
  • Loving myself holistically (mental, emotional, physical, spiritual)
  • Realizing I am free, always and in all ways
  • Seeing God in all things
  • Faith -- knowing my needs are met in perfect ways, regardless if I can pay the IRS in full or not by Oct 15

What does this look like in a practical way?! 

DO FROM the deepest aspects of MY BEING! Simply ground and feel into my body, do the things that inspire me and make my heart sing. This shifts me out of a lack mindset and creates the awareness required to take the highest action available to me in the moment and puts me in a place of receptivity. Seriously, how many ways do I have to be shown and come back to the realization that selfcare is my work?! 

In a nutshell: My greatest IPA is selfcare*, my worst IPA is anything that compromises integrated well-being. 

A challenge to myself, if I choose to accept it: Go on a 7-day fast from doing or consuming anything solely out of expectation or habit. What would that give me? Who would I become? What would I learn? Do I have the courage to experience a week of disciplining myself to listen deeply to my inner self and seizing opportunity and inspired action IN THE MOMENT and only do and consume the things, and only those things, that bring me joy and inspiration, allowing love to flow through me freely and say NO to everything else? 

So that when asked “What do you do?”, I could reply with this truth: “I do and consume all things and only those things that bring me joy and inspiration, allowing love to flow through me freely.” This may be a bigger WHY than “Compassionately connecting humanity through the way we work, think and live.” That still feels true, but certainly not at the cost of experiencing union with God and Love flowing through me freely. 

I am not yet committing, because already a lot is coming up for me. Silly stuff, but stuff none the less and I know I will not cheat if I do this, so I need inner resolve. I will do this with kindness and willingness of my small-egoic self to come along for 7 days. It’s just seven days. 

Stay tuned.

 *  “True selfcare is not salt baths and chocolate cake, it is making the choice to build a life you don’t need to regularly escape from.” - Brianna Wiest.


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