Today I want to talk about something that can be really empowering, but also a bit taboo…
I’m talking about money!
I believe, especially as women entrepreneurs, we need to normalize money talk.
We need to celebrate our financial wins.
Share in our financial struggles.
And empower each other to charge our worth, smash our goals and diminish bad feelings surrounding income, salary, pricing, investing, and our perception of financial value.
I know you have some big goals.
And chances are, you may not be comfortable sharing them with family and friends out of fear of what they will think or because it could make them uncomfortable.
And so sometimes, I bet you even play down big wins or financial success.
Or you undercharge your worth, discount your prices or shy away from the promotion or big opportunity to play it safe.
Am I right?
Then you’re going to love this interview with Money Mindset Mentor, Denise Duffield-Thomas. (if you want to skip the blog and jump right to the interview, scroll on down!).
She’s a a mindset coach, author and entrepreneur.
You might be thinking: Money-Mindset-What?!
And I totally get it.
I didn’t give much thought to money (beyond just knowing I wanted to make some!) and especially not to money mindset until a couple years ago.
I came upon Denise after getting her money mindset course as a bonus when I was in another program. I didn’t give it much thought because I was pretty certain I didn’t need a course about “fu fu money feelings!”
But, over the course of a year, I started to experience some major money mindset shifts via osmosis– or more specifically, her amazing community of thousands of women who banish money blocks and support one another in financial success.
So I started to pay attention and actually dove into the course a bit.
And it made me realize just how much our mindset about money can impact our success.
Have you ever hit a big money milestone and felt guilty, anxious, or awkward about it?
You’re not alone. Most people have big blocks and fears around money!
A lot of these blocks/fears about money are from being raised with certain beliefs about money that we subconsciously carry through life and assume to be true.
“Money doesn’t grow on trees.”
“That’s too expensive.”
“They’re greedy (referring to someone wealthy).”
“What a waste (referring to how someone spends their money).”
Or maybe you’ve accepted your worth as the salary your employer determines for you. Or you’re busy running a hobby more than a business because your rates don’t leave room for profits.
So, I’m excited to share this interview with someone who is an expert in the field.
By expert, I mean she’s coached thousands of female entrepreneuers to release their money blocks and enjoy greater success. And by doing so, she has built a million dollar business that she runs from home during the 12 hours a week she has a nanny!
If you’re intrigued after our interview, she has a special free resource – a 30 minute money audio class where she takes you through 7 common blocks (like bartering or undercharging) and helps you clear it right then with scripts of exactly what to say and do. I love when successful people share their exact scripts or process- thanks Denise!
When you’re ready to take the plunge, you can join me and other female entrepreneurs in her amazing Money Bootcamp and valuable, private FB community (because this money talk is still pretty taboo in most social circles!).
Those links are referral links so if you choose to join her program, I receive a commission. You can trust that I only share what I have truly found valuable in my business and something I think you would benefit from too.
In the meantime, enjoy the interview and please let me know in the comments below: what is the one thing about money that you struggle with most? I’d love to hear about it and it helps us all to acknowledge our money blocks!
(Emily) Denise Duffield-Thomas, thank you so much for taking some of your precious time out, cause I know you are nearing maternity leave coming up here soon as well… so thanks for chatting with me!
Denise: Thanks Emily, thanks for having me.
(Emily) How much time do you have left, do you think, until you’ll be on maternity leave?
Denise: 4 weeks until the baby’s born, I actually don’t know how long I’m going to take.
(Emily) We’re in the same boat! Well, I’m so excited to be talking with you.
A little bit of background, I kind of came across the Lucky B Money Boot Camp a bit on accident because I went through B-School with an affiliate and this was just kind of an added bonus course.
(Emily) I remember thinking: “I don’t know what that’s all about!”
Well I have to say, it ended up being one of the most impactful aspects of any of these courses I’ve ever taken, so I’m looking forward to diving in a little bit. I’m going to let you start by telling us a bit about your journey becoming such a sought after money mindset mentor.
Denise: Sure, like a lot of entrepreneurs I’ve wanted to have my own business my whole life and if I look back at how I was as a kid, not only did I start little businesses. I had a bracelet business and I used to do yard sales and I was going to sale horse poo one summer, but I was always the kid that people would ask advice from, even as a really young kid and I didn’t know that was a job for a long time.
It wasn’t really until my late twenties that I realized that maybe I could be a life coach and that’s how I started off my business as being a life coach.
And like a lot of people that go through that path I was a very generic life coach meaning that I helped everyone with any problem that they had and after a while I realized I really had more energy for the entrepreneurs rather than the people who were in jobs because kind of when they would say to me well what do you think I should do, I would say just quit your job and start a business because as an entrepreneur why would you do anything else.
So I realized I need to specialize in business here because it is people who are stuck and not wanting to quit their job, I had no idea what to do with them. And again what I started to realize is I started to niche down, or niche as you say in the states, because I realized that most of the people that I was coaching on business it wasn’t about business.
Each week it would be: “I got really stuck doing my webinar and I felt really blocked writing my book” and what I realized was it was a mindset problem more than anything else.
Because women are smart! If you’ve had a job before, you know how to do a project plan and get it done.
So it wasn’t about doing the stuff… it was what was happening inside their heads that was preventing them from being successful in business.
Then I realized that pretty much every single one of my clients had a massive fear around money even if they didn’t acknowledge it at the start.
So I did some investigating around because I know I needed to work on my own money books as well, so I spend about a year really exploring what money meant to me before I even taught it to any of my clients.
Once I started to really focus in on money, I realized it was a huge calling from the universe to focus on it and it was a calling that I resisted for a long time and I want people to hear that because sometimes that thing you know that you should do, it’s not the universe going no you shouldn’t do it because you’ve got the fear and that’s what women think.
They think just because I am fearful about it, means that I shouldn’t do it. I was saying “I don’t want to be the money girl”, “who am I to be the money girl?”
And then this is where I think women need to hear this as well:
You don’t have to be the expert of the experts to be able to teach a topic.
It’s okay for you to contribute to the conversation.
And once I gave myself permission to contribute to this conversation around women and money that’s when my business really took off and that’s when I decided to really go all in on the topic and just focus on money so it was a long journey.
It didn’t happen overnight necessarily, but it’s something I really enjoy and I’m really passionate about, women empowering themselves with their money.
(Emily): Well you’ve become so great at it, running a million-dollar business now and you have an incredible tribe of ladies that are passionate about this topic.
I never knew it was something I should focus on. I remember I just thought I was thrown in the Facebook group and I just kind of ignored it but what’s happened over the course of a year was… I just absorbed being virtually around women who celebrate money or talk about fears in such a transparent way that is not common in our culture and it’s really impacted how I run my business and think about money and life overall.
So let’s talk about those feelings of fraud… cause I think all entrepreneurs, no matter what kind of business you’re in they can relate to that.
I read somewhere on one of your blogs that when you got started you were coaching people about money yet you weren’t really bringing in a ton of money yourself. How did you fight those feelings of fraud and knowing that you’re still providing a value?
Denise: Well I didn’t talk about money for a while actually, so when I first started my coaching business I didn’t talk about money at all and I did feel like a bit like a fraud but I knew what I knew and I think that’s really important.
I knew what it was like to set goals; I knew what it was like to have a big vision for your life. I knew what it was like to start working through some of the blocks in your life.
So I used to run goal setting workshops in my town which was really fun, that’s actually how I got my first couple of coaching clients. I literally went out and it wasn’t like I didn’t have the internet, this was six years ago, but I got in my crappy car with the ceiling that fell down around my ears and I drove out and to do these goal setting workshops and I felt really good about that because I felt like I’m just teaching what I know and I think one of the big important things to overcome this feeling of being a fraud, which all of us have, is to be really clear and feel good about teaching what you know.
If you know how to get your first three clients, you might be only on your first 20 clients but you can teach that to someone else with your hand on your heart integrity that you know how to do that, and I think that is really important.
Where I see women get tripped up is, they think that they have to start teaching other women things that they themselves haven’t experienced or thinking that they have to be a solution for everybody.
It’s okay to focus on a particular type of market because then you can hand on heart feel good about teaching them something that you know.
So don’t teach people how to have a 6 figure business if you’ve never done it yourself but teach them how to make their first thousand dollars. If you’ve don’t it once, you’ve done it a first couple of times, you know how to do that, teach that and then you’ll feel integrity.
(Emily): One of the things that I loved as I started reading your blog was how transparent you were about your life, about money in general.
It’s not something I see a lot of women being open to discussing.
You’ve discussed how the evolution of how your business came to be a million-dollar business which was great.
What advice do you have for entrepreneurs, especially female entrepreneurs, if they want to start to share some of that transparency, but they’re worried what their friends might to start to think of them or their family, or their employees?
If all of a sudden everyone knows exactly how much you are making are people going to want more of you or treat you differently, are they going to expect you are always going to be picking up the tab at lunch, do you know what I mean?
Denise: I do, it’s a great question!
I am known for being quite transparent and I think there is a couple of keys to it that’s really helped me:
One is I really write about stuff as I am going through it, so there is a little bit of hindsight there.
Every year I usually do a yearly recap like what I learned, even how much money I made, how many clients I got and I don’t write it as I’m experiencing it and usually it doesn’t even happen in December of that year, sometimes it happens a couple of months later.
So give yourself some time to digest some of the lessons, because otherwise you’re just kind of being transparent for no reason. You are kind of opening up your chest and letting people kind of see everything.
You need time to let lessons digest and then you can come up with what did I learn from that and make it useful and helpful for other people. I totally experienced that same thing that you mentioned about “oh my, people are going to know how much I make” or “people are going to know a lot about my business,” and so for me I always think:
“Well, why am I sharing this?”
“What’s the point?” If it’s just to brag than it’s really not that helpful for other people, yeah in a way it can be inspiration for other people to hear about your successes but I think when you share the lessons and the challenges then you kind of feel okay about sharing that kind of stuff because you’re kind of saying, “I’m not perfect either.”
I did a post recently about how much it costs to run a million-dollar business and it’s just to tell people I’m not taking home a million dollars, there’s expense involved in this like this is how much it really costs and that doesn’t even include taxes.
So it’s fun to do, and yes it will make you feel vulnerable so always just ask yourself “why am I sharing this, how is this going to be helpful to other people?”
The other thing to know is you don’t have to share it really publicly maybe you could just share it within your business groups or within a set of your client groups.
I don’t put it on my personal Facebook page for all my family to see, they can only see it if they like my business page and then we don’t really talk about it.
I remember my brother was like, “I wish I had your bank account,” I just kind of smiled and said okay cool.
I’m not going to be triggered by that. It’s one of those thing if you don’t want to be transparent you don’t have to be either, don’t feel like you have to because you see other people do it.
(Emily): Sure, it may not just be for everyone.
(Emily): What is one thing that really helped you amplify your business— when you already had a successful business and you were still making 6-figures for quite a while and doing really well… what was the switch that you made that all of a sudden really amplified your business and helped turn on the revenue even higher?
Denise: Yeah sure, I actually got really blocked straight after hitting 6-figures and I’ll be really honest about that.
I thought “I’ve worked my butt off to get here, I don’t see how I could make any more money than this” and the 6 figures was great but the first year that I did it… I actually spent most of it!
(Emily): I read that blog! About the mastermind… I was like “whoa I can’t believe she was able to do that.”
Denise: I did.
I spent most of it on travel and conferences and really great stuff but I realized it wasn’t sustainable to do that business model.
I think that even the first year that I hit 6-figures I wasn’t paying myself a regular salary. I was just kind of taking money out of the business as I went, so that was a real wakeup call when my accountant said: “well great, you’ve reached that 6 figured mark and you don’t have to pay taxes this year.” I was like “yes! How smart am I?”
And he goes, “well that’s because you didn’t make any money for yourself.”
It was a wakeup call for me so I had to explore it from a few different angles.
One, I had to explore it from “is this going to be sustainable for me to run this business and how can I keep an eye on costs?”
I think some women think, “I want to make more money so I never have to think about money.”
No… you’ll still have to think about money. You still have to sometimes budget and work out what you’re spending.
So I did a massive spending audit and realized I was probably wasting money unnecessarily.
The second thing for me that was more of the mindset pace is that I had to really explore for myself: What did I think it meant to make more than that and I had to be really honest… and I thought if I want to double my income this year I’m going to have to work twice as hard and we know that’s not true.
(Emily): I admire that you were able to get beyond that.
Denise: Well it’s very common and I was thinking: if I’m making 6 figures, I think it was about $120 that I made and I was thinking… if I want to get to a million, does that mean I have to work 10 times as hard? Like there are no more hours in the day!
So, I had to get really clear around the mindset of that correlation I had between working hard to make money and if you want to make more money you have to work harder instead of being really smart about it.
So as I said I did kind of an expenses audit but I also did an audit about where am I spending my time: Am I spending my time on income producing activities or can I delegate a little bit more?
After that, I doubled my income the next year working less and I think I did almost 3 times the year after working even less.
And this last year I worked probably less than ever and I did well over a million dollars… so I had to do that mindset shirt first.
So, anyone listening… it’s usually mindset. It’s very rarely the practical stuff.
(Emily): Well let’s go ahead and jump right in and talk about the Lucky B boot camp, because like I said, I didn’t even know this was a thing that people were seeking and I was just kind of dropped into this group and I was even trying to explain it to my mom.
I don’t know, I imagine you have family or friends who are like, “I have this friend Denise and I have no idea how she makes money, I don’t even get what she does!”
But I was trying to explain this to my mom and I was like, no mom this is what people do online as a business and I’m sad for people that don’t know this exists… I feel really lucky that I came across it. What will people experience and how do they know if the Lucky B money boot camp is for them?
Denise: I think introducing this whole concept of money blocks to people to people who don’t know what it is, is really powerful because, I think, even if you’re not quite sure what that means a lot of us have experienced times where we feel kind of a bit icky around money — which is not a very scientific way of saying it.
But that ‘ickiness’ sometimes what you feel when you have to ask for the money, whether that’s in a job or in a business where someone says, “well how much do you charge?”
You feel that feeling inside and it’s kind of like… oh crap! Or, you want to increase your prices but you feel like you’re a bitch for doing it or you feel guilty about making money when other people aren’t making money.
Maybe your parents had to work really hard for their money and suddenly you’re doing something that feels really enjoyable and easy in this new kind of online economy.
All of those conflicting feelings that we have around money are incredibly normal and all I do is I create a very safe space for women to explore those feelings, to identify the feelings that they didn’t even know that they had.
For example, in one of the exercises in the money boot camp it’s called the sabotage exercise and there’s something like 50 different sabotages in there that are really common for women.
Usually when people go through that exercise, they go “I can’t believe I do those things! I can’t believe I sabotage my income in this way!” So it’s really about spreading that awareness and giving women the tools to deal with those feelings but then also creating a really great community where it’s normal to talk about money, it’s normal to talk about successes, it’s normal to talk about your fears and some of those icky things that no one wants really admits.
It used to be kind of like, “oh it’s a 6 week course, you do your 6 week course and then you go on with the rest of your life.”
Now, what I’ve realized, it’s kind of like a lady mafia.
You’re in it for life because it’s a lifelong conversation.
I’m still having these conversations all the time with my mastermind group. When we get to new levels in business we’re experiencing the same stuff.
So I created this group so women can come back and explore those questions whenever they need to no matter what income level they’re at, because it’s usually the same stuff that you have to deal with again and again. And it’s turned into this amazing kind of global network for women.
(Emily): It really is! Every time I want to post something in the group I have to triple check it is going in the private group and not on my actual Facebook page, because that’s how comfortable you feel and how open you want to be to get advice or support from all of these ladies.
I haven’t even finished the boot camp… I really want to because I say “wow, if this is how much I’m getting from the group I need to finish this boot camp!” but I would say joining for the community alone has been worth it and then those first few lessons I’ve done are an eye opener to elevate your life to a first class lifestyle which I love too.
Let’s see… you have done speaking engagements around the country and the world, you’ve done luxurious retreats, you’ve created courses, you’ve written books, you have failed your attempt (that you admit) at making some branded products… What is next for this Lucky B?
Denise: Oh great question. So, obviously maternity leave is coming up, and so for the rest of the year I’m actually taking things kind of easy. I’m starting to work on my third book towards the end of the year and this one is going to be about business because my first book was kind of investing in general and then my second book was money and the third one is really about business and entrepreneurship and what it really takes to be successful in business.
So it’s going to be a lot of mindset lessons in their as well as kind of some kind of practical stuff as well. The other thing for me is I used to feel like I had to do everything in one year.
I was like… if I don’t speak everywhere this year I’m never going to speak again and if I don’t create all of my courses this year I’m never going to create another one.
I think I’ve got a bit more long term view for my business now and I feel like this year is definitely a setting up year, we’ve done a lot of rebranding behind the scenes we’re setting up a lot more systems and processes.
I learned this from my friend Natalie McNeil from ‘She Takes on the World’ and she said that sometimes she deliberately holds back her growth so she can build the foundations out. She doesn’t grow really fast and then all topples down and I feel like this is the year for us to do that, to really gear up for some big growth next year and beyond.
So it sounds bit unsexy to do that sort of stuff but it’s really great to have that long term view of my business, I think for a change instead of feeling like you have to do everything at once.
(Emily): I love your blog where you share how you prepare your business for maternity leave and I think that is right about the time I joined the course. We both have almost 2-years old and now we’re both due even in the same month… so I’m curious, what are you doing differently for this maternity leave for your business than you did the first time around?
Denise: Well the first time around everything was new for me around delegating which was really true. I was such a bad delegator, I tried to do everything myself. I had a really great assistant that I would never give things to do.
I still did my newsletter when I was in the hospital when I had my first baby, even though for months she’d been saying I’m ready to take that newsletter on.
This time I did very similar things: I batched a lot of content.
I recorded all of my videos for the year in January.
We took on a few new contractors to help out, like people doing editing and stuff, so nothing crazy just sort of the stuff that you’re supposed to do in business anyway, that for some reason I never do unless I’m absolutely forced too with a deadline like baby.
So yeah, I just got even better at delegating and refined my business a little bit and one key thing that I did which was really surprising for me— I was going to launch another course this year and I was looking at my calendar and I was like, I can do the course up until the babies due, no problem!
It was really powerful for me to go, “you know what, it’s not the right time for that course and kind of just delay it.”
I’ve never done that before.
I’ve always been the person who just pushes on through things and just thought no suck it up and just do it. And there are a lot of other personal things going on in my life at the moment… we’re selling our house, we just bought a new house, all these things are happening and I just thought, wow maybe for maternity leave this time I just thought I’d give myself a bit of a break!
(Emily): Good for you!
Denise: What a concept!
(Emily): Do you think entrepreneurs are born or made?
And I’m sure you’ve thought about this a bit with your next book that you’re working on…
Denise: I have thought about it and I used to think that they were born, but I have met a few people who have kind of stumbled in and are being forced to go into the role.
I will say one thing, when I see people who say I want to start a business because they don’t want to be in a “job,” I think that’s the wrong reason.
You have to want to be an entrepreneur from your heart and your sole, and it doesn’t matter if you’re born into it or not, but you have to be pulled towards it and you have to almost think I wouldn’t want to do anything else.
It can’t be just like, “I think I want to do it because I can’t really go back to work.”
That is not going to be enough for you to be able to get through the challenges of being an entrepreneur.
You have to want it for its own sake and you have to be so pulled towards it and that is the vision that it’s going to help you, cause it’s not easy, we know it’s not easy, Emily! Some days it sucks, it can be really hard… it can be the best personal development you’ve ever done, but those of you who know you’re an entrepreneur you’d never do anything else.
Denise: That’s how you know.
(Emily): Yes, when you’re doing those emails from the hospital bed and you’re okay with it because you never have to go back to an 8 to 5 afterward or leave your baby after 8 or 12 weeks.
Denise: Exactly, and my hubby quit his job last year and he is not a born entrepreneur.
It was something that he had to gradually come into, and the desire for him because he said let’s have a second baby, but if you’re going to be working from 8 to 6 that doesn’t work for me, so for him he suddenly developed a bigger vision for himself and that’s what pulled him into entrepreneurship.
So, it’s okay if you weren’t the kid selling stuff around the neighborhood, you still are allowed to be an entrepreneur but you have to have a bigger vision for your life and why you want too.
(Emily): Well I have all of the links if anyone wants to sign up, dive in to the boot camp, cause even while you’re on maternity leave you have a built a smart sustainable business and people are able to still read your books and take your courses and engage in your groups which is wonderful. Thank you so much for taking the time… and as you would say “putting on a bra” for this moment.
Denise: Ha, How do you know?
(Emily): Haha, but I have taken that advice…. I have built a segment of my business that now just only requires a nursing bra. I haven’t gone completely braless in business but I’m working on it.
I also think that’s a great tip— to build a business that you really only have to put on a face for the outside world when you want to.
Denise: Exactly, thank you so much Emily and everyone I just wish you all the luck, love and abundance in the world.
(Emily): Thanks Denise and best wishes to you on baby number 2.
Denise : You too!