“Fuck them, this is TOTAL bullshit!”
These were the words going through my head last week as I was finding out thousands of dollars was missing from my bank account.
It was a heist, an extortion, a grand theft.
I had some slow months in my business, but hadn’t reconciled the payment processor numbers with my bank account. I just kept coming up short, detecting that something was wrong but concluding that “I just need to make more money”.
Turns out, there was what is called a “Federal Withholding” on my processor account. I had never heard of such a thing. Apparently, I had submitted 2 different EIN numbers to my processor for my business. So in cahoots with the IRS, they decide when something isn’t matching up- it’s time to start withholding chunks of money from that account.
This all started in January.
Did I get a warning?
They could have sent me an email saying “Please update your records. We are showing inconsistent EIN numbers.” It would have taken me all of 30 seconds to clear this up and be on my way. It was a simple mistake to begin with, which required a simple resolution.
Stewing in anger, I felt completely helpless. This was a good enough chunk of money that had disappeared to be alarmed. I had anger at myself for not catching this sooner, and for making the mistake in the first place, anger at the IRS for being ruthless, and anger at my payment processor for not even giving me a warning on this.
I saw nothing positive about this situation. All total bullshit. Thinking “lesson learned!” wasn’t helpful. I wanted to teach everyone involved a lesson!
So how to proceed?
I thought about how to feel a little less powerless. I went through these phases:
1. I let myself be angry. I didn’t try to block or not feel it. I went through it in my head, gave myself a good hour to feel this anger. Fuck everyone involved. How horrible an organization the IRS is to enforce ridiculous rules like this. Why do Americans put up with this nonsense? Why did my processor just not inform me, ever? Why did I have to be the one to see the withholdings first? How can payment processors in general just be ordered around by the government like this? My conclusion: This is the most ridiculous nonsense I’ve ever dealt with in my life. I listened to some heavy metal music and stewed. I felt 1% better.
2. I got the facts. With blood boiling, I decided I needed to get all the facts. It’s very difficult to operate when not in reality. Nathaniel Branden wrote a great book about how important reality is to happiness and well being in The Art of Living Consciously. I pulled together all the numbers, and it was a bit uglier than I thought even before, but now I had a starting point. $4400 was the total missing. January was the month it started. The IRS is saying that in order to get the funds back, you have to wait until next year when you file your taxes. Ok, this raised my blood pressure even a little bit more. But the facts are landing, and I’m getting some clarity on the issue. My processor now seems to be on my side and is helping me to get everything together. All positive signs on their own, and I begin to feel 1% less angry.
3. I made an action plan. Ok, I still wasn’t ready to take action yet, other than punching my fist through a wall. But I decided to write out a list. What are 10 things I can do to make $4400 quickly? One of the items on my list stood out to me. I remember years ago running an offer to my list where I made $11,000 in one week. It’s called a “Quick Sale” and Jeff Walker covers how to do it in his Product Launch Formula course that I went through years ago. The idea is, you create a sale around an actual event in your life. His example was an unexpected tax bill, which is what I had years ago when I did this. Now I have unexpected processor bullshit involving the evil IRS. It’s a great story, and it’s true. I now felt a burst of confidence that I can quickly make this $4400 back. And this idea would not have come to me had this bullshit incident not happened. At this point I’m feeling about 60% less angry overall. Whew!
I don’t believe in “blessings”.
I don’t believe that “everything happens for a reason!”
But, I do believe that it is possible to take a bad situation, and create something positive out of it. This all has to come from within. Now, a few days into my bullshit scenario, I feel more at peace with things and equipped to move forward with clarity and confidence that this was just a bump in the road, and it will strengthen me in the long run. And it may even profit me in the short run.
I still have anger around this. It’s completely unfair. The IRS gets an interest-free loan from me that I never agreed to? I got screwed!
But the worst case scenario is, that $4400 is completely gone. Right now, that hurts. At the end of the year, I will have forgotten about it, as the quick sale succeeds, and my businesses grow.
Pulling out of this will likely make me stronger, more confident, richer, and more easily able to deal with situations like this in the future.
Winning in reality. 🙂