Denise Duffield-Thomas on money-blocks, love and energy, women in business and why her husband told her to ‘get a job’.
Don’t miss this fantastic interview.
Enjoy and if you want more of Denise and here life-changing money-block busting goodness then it’s definitely worth signing up for her Lucky Bitch Money Bootcamp of which I am a proud partner of.
Seriously! You can check it out here
– You can find Denise at her website LuckyBitch.com
– The VIRAL video of the amazing, hilarious and SPOT ON account of the way women sell vs. the way men sell is here. Take a moment to have a watch.
– You can get access to a free money blocks course here
– You can join Denise’s Lucky Bitch Bootcamp here.
I’m very excited to have with us today Denise Duffield Thomas. I think she was actually the first person I reached out to, pretty much immediately when I realised I wanted to be able to share with you the messages from other women who have created success as to the vision they see and who have also moved through blocks to achieve their current goals and to also make a profit out of their business.
Denise, I am really focused in allowing women to connect with the fact that success can be very individual and it is not specifically what mass media blogging and marketing can present to people. I’ve realised that a lot of women are exceptionally held back by fear and anxiety about what they perceive could happen in the future.
A lot of that anxiety and fear is typically involved around finances and what they believe can and can’t be done through an online business. So, my goal is to kind of pull the curtains back, from both myself and other women who have created success in their online businesses.
I wanted to have a chat with you because you are a money mind set mentor, is that right?
Yeah, that’s right and thanks for having me on, I think it’s so important doing this because you want to hear from real women and I think the mainstream media are completely ignoring this ground swell of women who are creating their own lives. We’re opting out of the work force in droves.
Entrepreneurship can give you so much flexibility and freedom, whether you have kids or not, but you can really get rid of that glass ceiling and earn what you want to earn. But, on the flip side of that there’s some stuff that comes up that we’ve probably never dealt with before.
When you’re in a corporate job, you have to ask your boss for a pay increase once a year or once every six months. However, once you have your own business, you have to ask for the sale every day, you have to do your prices and you have to deal with it if you have a client who defaults and it’s totally normal for us to have some fear and anxiety around that.
It’s totally normal.
So that’s what I help women with, that mindset around money and how to deal with the money side of things if you’re a business, because most of us have never been taught that.
Exactly, and you know it’s really interesting because my first question I was going to ask ties into a blog post of yours which I read this week which is freaking brilliant, to be just completely transparent and I can hopefully link it back to that for you.
You wrote about what can really occur within your first year of business and my question to you was how long did it really take for you to create a profitable online business because I do think there’s a kind of vision that has been presented, that as soon as you switch your Mac on and put a Facebook post up, you’re going to be making a million dollars a year.
Yeah that takes time and I was thinking about this today, because before we got on the call I was driving around and I realised that it really took a while to get attraction.
I published my income reports on that blog post. In the first month I made $225 which still felt amazing to me. It felt better than the money I made in my corporate job because it was money that I had made and it was from coaching with a client.
I don’t think that everyone should be a coach or a business coach, but I think a lot of us, when we go into being a blogger, you can sell services, and you can sell your time because what’s easy for you might be difficult for someone else. I’d always been really good at helping people set goals and just have motivation to get stuff done, so I thought well that’s how I’ll start.
I sold one or two packages to people that first month and I got off the phone with them and it was just this feeling of, wow I could really do this, I could really make money doing something that I love.
But that doesn’t mean that it happened over night. I think the second month I made $400 and the next month I had made $800.
So I was on this really good upward swing. But I think it’s really difficult when your numbers are so small at the beginning, one to have the motivation to keep going, two to have the consistency to keep going because you just start to think ‘oh’ and you get a bit scared of money, and also because of the other people in your life. My husband said to me “that’s great that you made $800 but I really think you should maybe just get a job, just in the meantime”.
I would say it took me 6-8 months before I was consistently making say $3-5,000 a month but it really took me a good year before I felt that it was really consistent. I did take on a few little extra jobs here and there as well. I took on a contract for a company, but I think that if you’re in the early stages were a lot of people drop off, it’s because they just get de-motivated and you can’t. You have to have one eye on what’s happening day to day and one eye on the future and work towards that, otherwise it’s easy to get discouraged.
So in regards to you speaking about clients, I first started meeting with clients perhaps two years ago and I remember sitting there with my first client and I just couldn’t imagine charging them the amount of money that I really wanted to charge but I knew my hour and the time that it took me to prepare for that meeting before and afterwards and so I really struggled to charge what I was worth.
I literally dropped my fees within the first meeting I had.
Why don’t women charge what they’re worth do you think for their time?
Well, because it’s so new for us. You know money is very symbolic in our society and money is very symbolic for women in our society, so if you think of your experience, and I know for me, I didn’t have that many role models around women and money growing up.
I never really saw women in my family earn their own money and be very powerful around money and I didn’t know any rich women in my family. However, most women whether you grew up with money or not, we’re only one or two generations were woman have been able to have their own money and to really be independent around money.
So we’re just forging new territory, I don’t think we need to make up too many stories around it, it’s just that it’s new. It’s new for us women and we’re still exploring how to be powerful and all those things that come up around wanting to help people, and feeling guilty around charging things that come easy to us.
So that’s why I say to people, don’t worry if you feel bad about money because most women I know have money blocks. Very successful women I know, still have money blocks and that’s okay. We’re forging new territory.
And so what’s the definition of a money block?
It’s something that stops you from earning your full potential and it’s different for everyone.
I find that most people have got one or two that are re-occurring money blocks for them. My particular one is that you have to work hard to make money. See how I paused there, I’ve really tried to stop myself from thinking about it.
For other people, it’s greedy to make money or I should help people not make money and feel like they’re mutually exclusive. I find everyone has their own flavour of money block and it comes up again and again. So someone said, “oh I discovered new ones” and I say to people, they’re probably the same ones.
The money actually doesn’t make any difference because I still have that money block that you have to work hard to make money. Even though I earn a lot money, it still came up when I was earning no money because I thought because I felt bad about charging my first client or I didn’t charge enough for those first clients.
But then it still hits me. Whenever I hit a new income plato, even though the figures are so different now, I’m like “oh I have to check in with that, am I making this hard on myself to for fill that money block?” But I say that everyone has their own and you just have to try and identify what your re-occurring one is.
I mean for myself and you’ve probably heard this a lot, I grew up in a household that didn’t have a lot of cash around and so I grew up with almost a pre-ordained idea that anyone who made a lot of money was an “asshole”.
Yeah big in Australia, right?
Yeah and so, I think in Australia even I’m noticing even more, I mean I used to work for a couple of US software companies , and in the US they speak about money really openly and about what they earn and I think that they see they have a value attached to how much they earn, where as in Australia I find that women especially, someone like yourself who is very successful in your business, I don’t even think that everyone needs to share their income but I think there is a real hesitation about actually sharing it, even if you want to, like “should I do this?
Is it going to make people feel bad?”
Do you think that that’s also a bit of a money block or where do you think that stems from? That inability for women to discuss their financial success in business.
Absolutely, I did share my income quite early on and I actually don’t share it anymore and there’s a few reasons for it. One, I don’t find it’s useful so much for my audience because a lot of people in my audience are in their starting point of their business, you know and I think it is inspiring to see people who are ahead of you.
The second thing is that you have to share it in appropriate ways and a perfect example of this is, one of my girls from my “Lucky Bitch Boot-camp” said she was out having dinner with her friends and family and she said “oh guys this is how much I made this month” and I remember back when I was starting my business, I remember saying to someone randomly “I made $1200 this month, can you believe it? This is so amazing!” and they said “oh great you can pay for dinner.”
So I said to her, look you have to find appropriate places to share your income because not everyone is going to understand. People might get triggered, they might get jealous and she was like “oh god I haven’t received any of that income yet” and then she felt so bad that she paid for the dinner. You just have to find the right places to share your income were people aren’t going to get triggered and you’re not going to get triggered by sharing.
Yeah and I agree with you as well, I think say if I share my income with say my sister or someone in my family who’s not very tech savvy, they don’t really understand that to then take out every third party service I’m paying for, all the other things you have to take out of it to run a successful online business and I know you spoke about kind of you know, that block of not working hard, but in those first years or two, I can tell you that I have never worked so hard in my life, as what I did in those first years and if you were to actually put a figure around that, it may even be less of what people believe as being “successful” from a financial perspective, when you kind of break it down like that.
Now (from an online business/website point of view), I have to congratulate you because I’ve been on your website a lot, and I remember I first signed up for your newsletter sometime and during that process I noticed that every part of your email subscription process, from your about page all the way through to your double opt in, you’ve really obviously, when you know where to look for it, have optimised your website and your sign up process for sales or for conversion and to get leads.
I think that’s amazing. I remember when I subscribed to you again all of the sudden your voice started talking to me and I was like “where is that voice coming from?” and you had an after the sign up, a sales message coming through that was really nice.
It was like a free audio that you shared. I think it’s really amazing and you’ve got calls to action right through your about page which I think is really important and I can see that your website works in a really proactive environment versus a really reactive environment.
How important is it to be able to optimise your processes so that you can optimise your business passive income and therefore not to maybe have to work as hard as you’ve spoken about?
You know what, it’s a process and I think when people start in business, sometimes you feel the pressure to be perfect straight away. But it does take time and I think it’s a process of constantly making tiny improvements. I learn a lot from men and the way men do business and I’m so not even there yet to where I want to be in things like that.
I started doing very small split testing to see which headlines worked, and I would just dip my toe in the water. I find that women are very scared to do stuff like that sometimes and I don’t know if that hits our money block sometimes around cheating.
As though this is too sleazy, or it’s scammy or salesy and what I found is that I started with a really basic website that I created myself and then every couple of months I would just do one thing on my site. However there were so many things I wanted to do and sometimes this can be really easy to become so overwhelmed with that because you’ve got a list of 50 things you want to improve.
It really has been a process for me, fixing just one little thing at a time and learning about how men to optimisation and I’ve got an analytics guy who helps me sometimes with that part of it. That’s it, just constant little improvements.
That’s excellent. And so just to go back with the money blocks, in an online business and knowing that you work with women who have money blocks and your helping them through that through your programs and your courses…
What can happen in an online business if you don’t create a better relationship with money?
Well, sabotage will get you, it gets all of us.
I think it’s really normal to feel that your blocking your success sometimes and that can come up in different ways for different people. It’s like the money block, everyone’s got their own flavour. Everyone’s go their own flavour of sabotage as well. It might come up as procrastination were you know you really want to launch something or finish something and you just never do it.
It might come up in unhealthy ways, such as you overeating or you pull all-nighters when you really don’t have to but you refuse to delegate or you burn yourself out. That’s a really common one for women, they say “oh I’ve got this really important call today and I’ve lost my voice because they’ve burnt themselves out and they’ve completely sabotaged themselves.
It could come up as fights with your partner, all those kinds of things. I think that that stuff still happens when your recognise your money blocks by the way, but you can move past it quicker and I’ve seen a lot of women quit their businesses way too early because they didn’t realise that that sabotage is just the business of being in business.
However, they thought it was real or they thought it was a sign from the universe that they weren’t meant to be successful or they didn’t have the support to help them get through it.
I always say that when you launch something that is the most epic, intense personal development I think you can ever do in your life.
If you want personal development, write a book and put it out there!
It hits a really important point for women too, about the fear of being visible. I think that is so tied up in money “stuff”. For myself, when you were talking about my website, something I realised about two years ago was that you couldn’t find anything on my sight to buy. It was all so hidden. My cell pages, you really had to know how to get there.
That’s really common, I think.
So common. So without having the awareness, or the tools to deal with that kind of stuff, that stuff is just going to drown you because people won’t be able to give you money, you will sabotage it in every turn.
Amazing. Now is this the type of stuff that you teach within your Money Boot Camps?
The Lucky Bitch Money Boot Camp.
Yeah well the biggest thing that I teach is how to identify those blocks and then what to do about them. I actually have quite a gentle approach and I think that’s about being Australian.
My whole things is, you are enough. It’s okay, you are going to have money blocks.
There is no black or white cure for anything. You’re going to have them and you may still have them after you do my boot camp, but at least you’ll know what to do with it. Knowing that it’s okay, we all make mistakes and we all screw up. It’ funny with the boot camp, I find people come back to it again and again.
They do the six weeks, they might clear a lot of major blocks, that real surface stuff and then maybe they hit six figures and then it’s like everything falls to crap and then they go what’s going on? I say go back to step one, go back to week one of boot camp and you’ll see it through new eyes and then you can go through the next one and so forth.
I hazard a guess that your community would have some of the funniest conversions on the web talking about this type of stuff?
We do, and I think it’s a really supported community as well it’s not like the male world were you can’t admit weaknesses. And also in the personal development world, you’re supposed to be like “I’m healthy and wealthy in every way” and the truth is, sometimes you don’t feel like that and it’s okay to admit it because that just valuable information to clear.
I think it’s a safe space for women to have those conversations. It doesn’t stop you from making money because you can work through your money blocks and make a lot of money like I do all the time.
So one of the things I noticed, is that reading any part of your website and really focusing on your about page, there is no way that you are not authentic. I’ve read a lot of about page and I think you get to the point sometimes where you’re like “oh it’s this about page again” the same old, and how many people are doing the exact same people right now?
And you are so unapologetically, it sounds like it’s harsh, but it kind of is unapologetically you in your about page and it screams authenticity to me and I imagine that’s why a lot of women are attracted to you, to work with.
I think deep down we all want the whole no-shit approach and I think you really put it out there.
How big of a deal is authenticity to you in creating an online business and being able to actually build a profit from an online business?
Yeah, that’s a good question and I think there’s two answers to it because there’s being authentic an then there’s being really super transparent about everything in your life. I try and go into the middle ground and I know people think I share a lot but I am quite strategic in what I share because I do want to keep some privacy for me and my family, but also I want to make sure that what I’m sharing is useful for people.
When I first started out, I loved the fact that people found myself inspiring and motivating. But now I get more buzz out of being useful and helpful to people and when someone says “I read your blog post and I put a practical action in place that to me, feel so good to be useful. The other thing I got really clear on is what I can and can’t help people with. I know that my topic is money, my audience is women in business and I want to make sure that I’m being useful and funny because I like entertaining people.
So everything I put out, has to hit those four points. If it doesn’t, I chuck it out. So that’s to be useful and entertaining, my topic is money and my audience is women. This gives me a lot of scope. I’ve also narrowed it down, so I’ve got an age range for my audience of women. My sweet spot is between 30-40 and obviously I have heaps of people outside that range but I think once you know what your topic is, your audience and you’ve got just a few key things that that you want to make sure that you tick the box, it’s actually really easy to create content.
What I do is, I look at my whole year and I go okay, what are some of the things I can talk about? You can come up with so many different topics around that framework.
Well I want to thank you for joining me for this call, I have a VIP question that I’m going to ask you once we’ve finished this, but now I want to say thank you and I’m going to link back to my favourite post that I’ve reads this week by Denise about what really happened in her first year of business as well as all of her website and social media.
Make sure you do subscribe to Denise’s website so that you can see the flow that happens after you do pop your name down because it’s really valuable. So thank you so much for that Denise and I’ll keep you on the line and ask you one final question if that’s okay.