From Holy Crap to Holy Wow: Self-Publishing, Crowdfunding and How Everything Fell Apart

from holy crap to holy wow: self-publishing, crowdfunding and how everything fell apart

Less than two weeks ago, everything fell apart.

Lori Portka and I were tired. We’d just spent countless hours preparing the pre-order campaign for our upcoming book, Infinite Purpose: Care Instructions for Your True Calling. And something didn’t feel right.

Back in January, when we decided to self-publish through Wise Ink, we knew it was a huge financial risk. We’d have to raise funds through pre-orders to help cover the cost of mass-printing this book; an 8×10 full-color, hardcover with nearly 200 vivid pages of divine guidance and gorgeous artwork. So we’d signed on with PubSlush, which specializes in crowdfunding for indie authors, and we diligently worked on our campaign materials – from shooting a short film about the book to creating “perks” for those who support the campaign.

But in the week leading up to our pre-order launch, we kept encountering speed bumps. We had a feeling something was up, but we were so eager to kickoff the campaign that we ignored all the little signs. We sent the link early to a bunch of friends, asking them to check it out and to start sharing the campaign with others on Wednesday. Many of them placed early orders, which was fantastic – but also revealed more glitches in the system. Ack! That Wednesday morning, we had to delay the launch by several hours while we waited to hear from PubSlush. With each passing hour, we grew more anxious. We were too blinded by worry to see that the universe was purposefully and lovingly running interference.

I decided to step away from the laptop and check in with Spirit, who encouraged me to be patient (not really what you want to hear when things are falling apart). We would launch, Spirit said, “when the sun meets the moon.” Completely baffled by this, I figured I was so stressed that I wasn’t hearing them correctly. So I dismissed their guidance.

And then the shitty-shit-shit hit the fan.

INFINITE PURPOSE: Care Instructions for Your True Calling by LIv Lane & Lori PortkaLori called and asked if I was sitting down. I braced myself. “The glitches don’t even matter,” she told me. “PubSlush is going to shut down and we have to get out ASAP.” For a good 30 seconds, we muttered every effing swear word that exists. And then we sprang into action.

We didn’t have any more time for sulking, for swearing, for wondering why. We had people to contact and refund. We had to keep folks from sharing the link on social media. We had to find a filmmaker to edit PubSlush out of our short film. We had to re-think our financials. And we had to move all of our content over to crowdfunding site INDIEGOGO. Running on sheer adrenaline, we did it all in less than 24 hours – and then we didn’t know what to do.

We were so tired, we had no energy to officially launch and explain the new pre-order campaign to people. We weren’t even sure we’d gain any traction on such a big crowdfunding site. We went around in circles; should we launch the next day? the next week? or just go into hibernation and launch the book in 2016? With no clear answer, we sat on the phone saying almost nothing to each other. We were that fried.

And then I remembered that weird guidance from Spirit: to move forward “when the sun meets the moon.” Praying it might offer us some clarity, I googled it – and my eyes just about popped right out of my head. I read aloud to Lori as I scrolled through the first site that grabbed my attention. It said there was going to be a new moon the next day – Friday, August 14th – and that this would be a time when “the sun and moon rise together, the sun and moon set together, the sun and moon cross in the sky.” 


We both gasped in awe. 

We immediately looked up the astrological implications of that particular new moon and were wowed by the insight from Mystic Mamma: “A roaring New Moon in Leo is upon us, sparking creativity and originality and igniting our passions with soul aligned purpose.” 

Whoa!! It all made sense. Our timing was not aligned with God’s timing. We had plowed forward despite a bunch of glitches, despite all the delays, until the universe finally stopped us in our tracks and forced us to take a detour. By the time we’d moved everything over to INDIEGOGO, we had to wait until Friday to launch. Online marketers say Fridays are awful days to introduce a new iniatiative, but we didn’t care; it suddenly felt like the perfect day to us!

And, indeed, it totally was. The sun and moon danced, and the campaign kicked off with such a bang that we were trending on the homepage throughout that day! Meanwhile, PubSlush got happy news, too; as they prepared to shut down, they were acquired by another company. We all went from holy crap to holy wow in a matter of days.

Looking back, we realize that when it felt like everything was falling apart, everything was actually working in our favor, for the highest good of all. Once we trusted this, our energy levels shifted and we went from feeling totally fried to fired up.

Now, with a week and a half to go, we’re over halfway to our funding goal and totally delighting in every single pre-order that comes through and in a state of wonder over the divine orchestration of it all. Want to join the magic? You’re right on time. Pre-order your Infinite Purpose book and check out all the cool perks at the IndieGoGo campaign!

i can’t believe this is happening! (dreams. do. come. true.)

Red typewriter. (LOVE) Book announcement from Liv Lane and Lori Portka

Exactly one year ago, I got brave and shared a dream of mine here: I felt ready to write a book. I didn’t have a timeline, nor a story or theme I was desperate to write about. I could just feel the book making its way to me, and I knew giving voice to that dream would pull it closer. And then, quite honestly, I forgot about it. Lots of other things took priority, from work stuff to family stuff, and I put that dream on hold.

But the universe didn’t. With a million little twists of fate, it made that dream come true at the speed of light. And now, I am over-the-moon excited to tell you that my soul-sister-friend Lori Portka and I are writing a book together. WHAT!?

Many of you know that last fall, our worlds turned upside down and inside out when Spirit – the circle of ascended wise ones on the Other Side whom I work with during my intuitive readings – swooped in and teamed us up. Lori had just texted me, feeling deflated because a publisher she was working with on a big project had just rejected eight of her paintings. As soon as I saw her text, it felt like a lightning bolt jolted through me and I heard the voice of Spirit saying those paintings were for us, for a new project called Infinite Purpose. They provided detailed instructions for leading an eight-week online program featuring Lori’s artwork and Spirit’s words (transcribed by me).

To be honest, we both thought it sounded kinda crazy. But it also felt so big and powerful, we couldn’t say no. Lori and I were shocked when 250 people signed up, fast as lightning, eager to step deeper into their callings. And as we sent out a new message from Spirit and the corresponding painting to participants each week, we were blown away by the magic that transpired in their lives and ours.

Seriously blown away.   

Not long after that program ended, Spirit appeared again with a new vision. Those teachings were to become a book, they said – with personal stories, room for reflection and more gorgeous art. All of the pieces fell into place within days and we found ourselves giddy with excitement, toasting over Skype, as we signed contracts to birth this book into the world.

We have spent the last couple of months totally immersed in making INFINITE PURPOSE: Care Instructions for Your True Calling a total treasure for you – a gorgeous, full-color, hardcover gift book/guide book/journal/life changer. Because it will be so different than anything on the market, and because we know it’s meant to be birthed into the world lickety-split, we’re self-publishing this book with the awesome blossoms at Wise Ink. They are total pros and they’re keeping us on our toes in order to release this book on 11/11/15. Holy wow. 

There’s a lot more work to do. And we’ll need your help along the way. So, we’ll be sharing fun behind-the-scenes magic, plus inspiration from the book on our brand new Facebook page (Facebook.com/InfinitePurpose). We’d be so grateful if you’d “like” the page and become part of this wild and wonderful journey with us!

can we connect in the next two weeks? (lots to look forward to!)

By having something to look forward to, you bring happiness into your life before the event actually takes place. - Gretchen Rubin #inspiration

You know how awesome it feels when you’ve survived a punishing round of the flu and suddenly, miraculously, you feel like a human being again? That’s how it feels to ease back into regular life, after weeks of visting Nana in hospice, juggling real life and end-of-life, and another week of crazed prep to celebrate her life with beloved family and friends. I’m relishing the normalcy of bedtime stories and play dates, carpools and clean counters. And a return to the work I love, with a rush of goodness to keep me on my toes these next couple of weeks.

I’m hoping you can be part of it in some way! Here’s what’s happening… 

Rachel Awes, Lori Portka, Liv Lane, Carissa Paige - art sale on September 20, 2014ART SALE! In what’s truly a stroke of perfect timing, I’m about to dive into a long weekend with dear artist friends Lori Portka from New York, Rachel Awes from across the river in St. Paul, and Carissa Paige from Florida. I soooo need this! And on Saturday afternoon, we’re hosting an art sale at Rachel’s awesome-blossomg house! Can you come?? All the details are here on Rachel’s web site.

Art of Choosing Beauty ecourse with Liv LaneCHOOSING BEAUTY! I had to postpone my only-time-this-year teaching of The Art of Choosing Beauty: 4 Weeks to Happiness – so the online class is now kicking off this coming Monday, September 22nd. So you still have time to sign up and join us for this powerful class and community next week! And – BIG NEWS – since I’ve had no time to promote this class and just want as many bright lights as possible to benefit from it, I’m extending the early bird pricing (a 40% savings!!) to EVERYONE. Bam! Beautiful! (Details here!)

Community Resilience InstituteTHRIVING CONFERENCE! Next Thursday and Friday (Sept 25-26), I’ll be at Cornell College in Iowa to speak and lead a half-day workshop at the Thriving Communities, Thriving Lives national conference, inspiring educators and community leaders to experience the power of igniting their innate sparks (the passions, talents and gifts that light them up from the inside out) – and helping youth do the same. Register here.

Presence Summit at Minnesota Arboretum - Oct 5, 2014PRESENCE : SUMMIT! On October 5th, I’m excited to speak at a new event in Minneapolis called Presence : Summit, designed to “open your eyes to a new level of Living!” There are only TWO DAYS left to buy tickets, and guess what?? I have a special code to get you in for $50 off. Woot! Get full details here and when you purchase your ticket (by Sept 19!), enter the code liv914 (it is case sensitive) and please come say hi!

And then, friends, comes the biggest event of all. I turn the big 4-0. I told you my calendar’s packed with gobs of goodness! Hope you can be part of it in some way. xo

here’s who i’m spending 2014 with (squeal!!!)

Christmas star ornament

Merry-making is at full tilt around here. Our boys are so excited – love watching them delight in the magic of it all! But gosh, isn’t it shocking to realize 2013 is almost over?

I love the week between Christmas and New Year’s because I intentionally review my year and plan ahead for the next one. It’s so powerful. I’m already buzzing with excitement for 2014 because, for the first time, I’m leading a YEAR-LONG program designed to help brave hearts like you soulfully create your brightest year yet – and be in community with each other, exploring and sharing and adding light to your lives. Project Light Year is going to be amazing.

Project Light Year with Liv Lane and 8 "dream team" contributorsAnd today, my heart is so incredibly full as I get to introduce you to 8 amazing contributors; a virtual dream team of teachers and visionaries, intuitively and artfully helping women create their best lives. And they can teach it because they have lived it; every single one of these women has transformed her life to do what she loves, to grow from grief and hardship, to live with great purpose. Ready to meet them? Drum roll, please…

Lori Portka: Lori is pure light; she is a brilliant artist whose vibrant paintings honor the beauty of life, cultivating “happiness through art.” Her inspiring work around the art of gratitude will play a huge role in Project Light Year; if you don’t know her yet, you will fall in love with her pronto. Promise.

Susannah Conway:  Susannah is an awesome photographer and author who’s led thousands of women around the world through her soulful online classes, dedicated to leveraging creativity and self-reflection for deep healing. Totally pinching myself over her being here.

Leigh Hopkins: After two decades of working in public education reform, Leigh realized her amazing intuitive gifts could be leveraged for another kind of reform: helping women achieve a greater sense of well-being and connection to their intuitive wisdom. As founder and director of Viva Institute, Leigh is a beacon of light for so many; can’t wait for her to help participants step deeper into their inner knowing!

Kelly Rae Roberts: If you’ve stepped into a gift shop in the last several years, chances are you’ve seen Kelly Rae’s life-affirming work, given that she’s one of the most successful licensed artists on the planet. She’s a girl with a deep, giving soul; her art shows it…but I also know it. Her being here is such a gift.

Laurel Bleadon-Maffei: If it weren’t for Laurel, Project Light Year might not even exist! During an intuitive reading with her, I received guidance to bring this idea back to life – the one I’d sketched out but put on hold. I was instantly energized to finish what I’d started – and I knew Laurel had to be part of it. The messages she receives and shares from angels and spirits are beautiful (no wonder over 60,000 people have followed her on Facebook!).

Rachel Awes: Rachel is like a walking rainbow. A gifted psychologist and soulful artist, her work lifts up people from their most vulnerable places and illuminates goodness in all of our journeys. Her words are like silk on your skin and her joy is contagious. Can’t wait for the ways in which she’ll color our year together!

Michelle Stimpson: Michelle is a one-of-a-kind life coach, guiding women through positive change for over a decade with tremendous success. I’ve never met someone with more integrity and with such passion for living life to the fullest. And the ways she manifests magic in her life is so awe-inspiring; prepare to be wowed!

Carissa Paige: I have maintained for years that Carissa is a real-life fairy, feathers and glitter tucked in her knapsack along with her paintbrushes. The way her intuition and dream life lead her through art-making and storytelling mesmerizes me, and her courageous heart inspires me. So thrilled she’ll be sprinkling her fairy dust on all of us throughout 2014!

See what I mean?? Total dream team. If you’re ready to join us for 12 months of magic-making, soul-deepening, intention-creating, spirit-guiding, purpose-finding content and connection, then click here for Project Light Year. Can’t wait to shine bright with you, all year long.

to the naysayers: making a living by living my truth? priceless.

Money serves my highest good. | Art by Lori Portka, post by Liv Lane

Last week, my friend Lori Portka got mugged – social media mugged. The online trolls didn’t steal her money, but they tried to take away her confidence in it, her love of it, her respect for it.

She had shared one of her paintings on Facebook – the gorgeous one above that says “Money serves my highest good.” Lots of us “liked” it and shared it. But on one page, a heated argument erupted over the painting’s sentiment. Lori was tagged in the conversation, clicked the link and was heartbroken to find people angrily calling her greedy, smug, and misguided.

Anyone who knows Lori or her artwork knows this is a woman who celebrates abundance in all its forms – love, community, creativity, nature, intuition, inspiration. She channels everyday beauty and her God-given gifts into art that soothes souls. And yes, she also honors the energetic flow of money, aware that it gives her the freedom to do her best work, serving the highest good.

Voice trembling and confidence wavering, Lori called after it happened, in part because she knew I’d stood in her shoes only days before. After I shared details about my upcoming Into the Light sessions, I received so much glorious support. But a couple of emails from naysayers got my heart racing. They wondered why I would charge for sharing messages from Spirit: “Should you really make money from something so sacred?” 

It shook me for a minute, it did. But I got still, listened to my heart, re-read the messages from Spirit and found my yes. I know the questions came not to break me down, but as an invitation from the universe to stay grounded in my truth.

Life I Love print by Lori Portka

Life I Love by Lori Portka

Shouldn’t we place the highest value on those moments when divine intervention allows us to do our best work in the world?

I would never think of not paying the poet who says his words just come to him, or the doctor whose intuition leads me to a new opportunity for healing, or the photographer whose innate gift allows me to see the world in a new light, or the pastor who prays for inspiration as she prepares next Sunday’s sermon.

I believe, more than ever, we all come here with innate gifts and hearts wired for deeper connection with the universe that created us. When we listen to that voice within and use the gifts that bring us joy, there is nothing more worthwhile.

And I believe there’s enough of us doing that and supporting that to sustain a kindness economy – where money serves the highest good, where we put stock into what matters most, where sacred and healing work is considered golden, where inspired hearts don’t have to go broke or feel broken.

I believe in the power of creating community and cultivating abundance by helping the divine shine through each of us in its own way, supporting one another with our love, our praise, our trust, our money. There is plenty to go around, for goodness sake.