We don't do a great job talking about money as a society. There's a lot of shame, fear, and guilt that gets tied up with our feelings about money, and that's one of the things today's guest Denise Duffield-Thomas is on a mission to change.
We don't do a great job talking about money as a society.
There's a lot of shame, fear, and guilt that gets tied up with our feelings about money, and that’s one of the things today’s guest Denise Duffield-Thomas is on a mission to change.
Denise Duffield-Thomas is the money mentor for the new wave of online entrepreneurs who want to make money and change the world. She helps entrepreneurs like you charge premium prices, release the fear of money, and create First Class lives. Her books Lucky Bitch, Get Rich, Lucky Bitch, and her newest Chill and Prosper, give a fresh and funny roadmap to living a life of abundance without burnout. Her Money Bootcamp has helped over 8,500 students from all around the world.
I’ve been following Denise's work for years; having her here on the podcast is a dream come true. Denise and I are talking about the power of money, how our thinking about money can affect how we make it, save it, and spend it, the unsuspecting ways our money mindset impacts our businesses, and more.
Our conversation got pretty honest, and after sharing some of my experiences and stories with money, I had a bit of a vulnerability hangover. Still, it’s entirely worth it because I know we can only remove the stigma around money by having honest, powerful conversations about it.
I know you’ll get so much from this interview. Enjoy the episode!
- How Denise helps people as a money mindset mentor
- Why finding Denise and her approach to money was transformative for me
- The stigma around talking openly about money
- Stories we tell ourselves about money and gender roles
- Denise’s journey to becoming a money mindset mentor
- How our relationship with money shifts and changes throughout our lives
- Denise’s evolving writing process
- Why you can’t wait until you’re perfect to start helping others
- The deep connection that comes from sharing your genuine self
- Our collective fears around making money and paying taxes
- What our money mindset shows us about how we view ourselves and the world
- Why Denise asks her clients about their school shoes
- Denise Duffield-Thomas’ Website
- Denise Duffield-Thomas’ Course | Money Bootcamp
- Denise Duffield-Thomas’ Book | Chill and Prosper: The New Way to Grow Your Business, Make Millions and Change the World
- Denise Duffield-Thomas’ Books
- Denise Duffield-Thomas on Instagram
- Denise Duffield-Thomas on Facebook
- Denise Duffield-Thomas on Twitter
- Denise Duffield-Thomas on YouTube
- Coach with Clarity Podcast Facebook Group
- Coach with Clarity Collective Waitlist
- Connect with Me on Instagram
- Email Me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Now it’s time for you to show the world what it means to be a Coach with Clarity! Screenshot this episode and tag me on Instagram @coachwithclarity and let me know what you’re more excited to explore in future podcast episodes!
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Well, hello my friend. Welcome to a very special episode of the Coach with Clarity Podcast. I am so honored that you are joining me today. I'm your host, Lee Chaix McDonough and I have the great honor of sharing my conversation with Money Mindset Mentor, Denise Duffield-Thomas with you today. That's right, my friends. I have the privilege of interviewing Denise DT on the Coach with Clarity Podcast, which I have to admit is a dream come true. I have been following Denise's work for years. I started by reading her book Get Rich, Lucky Bitch! I then joined Money Bootcamp, and one of my favorite books that she's written, originally called Chillpreneur, has just been released, completely revised, brand new edition, under the title Chill and Prosper. It is a fantastic read, you will definitely want to pick up a copy. And we've got links to do so in the show notes. So on today's episode, Denise and I are talking about the power of money, and how our own way of thinking about money can affect how we make it, how we bring it in, how we save it, how we spend it. And I'll be honest with you, our conversation gets pretty real. There were moments in which it felt less like an interview and more like a conversation, where I shared some of my experiences and stories with money. And I won't lie I had a bit of a vulnerability hangover after my conversation with Denise and I might have it after I publish this episode today. And yet I know it is entirely worth it. Because as a society, we don't do a great job at talking about money. There's a lot of shame and fear and guilt that gets tied up with it. And one of the things Denise is on a mission to do is to remove the stigma around money. And we do that by having honest, powerful conversations about it, which is exactly what she and I did. And that's why I am so excited to share my interview with Denise Duffield-Thomas.
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Lee: Well, hello, Denise, welcome to the Coach with Clarity Podcast, I'm so excited to have you here.
Denise: Oh, thank you so much! I know we're gonna have a great conversation.
Lee: I know we are too. And when it comes to building really sustainable businesses, building wealth, I just think that your voice is such an important one in our industry. And so I'm just thrilled to have you on the show today.
Denise: Oh, thank you.
Lee: Let's get right to it. I would love to kind of hear from your perspective, how you describe yourself and the work that you do for the world?
Denise: Well, I call myself a “Money Mindset Mentor”, which is a totally made up term. I'm not an accountant. I'm not a financial adviser. I help people with the mindset around pricing, around their ability to receive money. And I would say that I like to do it in a way that's very friendly and easy. And from a place of curiosity, about how we psych ourselves out when it comes to making more money. And I do that through my books and my courses. And personally, it's a really big mission of mine to help more people, especially women, make more money, so we can change the world together.
Lee: That's one of the things I really appreciate about your approach, because for so long, certainly in my life, money was a bit of a taboo topic, we didn't talk about money. And so growing up, it felt really secretive. And so then all of a sudden, you start a business, and you're looking to support a family. And there's not a lot out there in terms of how not just to make money, but how to manage it, and how to manage the internal relationship we have with money as well. And so when I stumbled upon your work, it was such a breath of fresh air, because for the first time, it was someone who was making money approachable. And that relaxed approach gave me permission to relate to money in a whole new way and to actually talk about it.
Denise: Well, it's funny, my daughter, who's eight, she was talking to one of her friends, and she mentioned money for some reason. And a friend said, you said a bad word. And my daughter is a real goody goody, right? She would never swear. And she went, “What! What do you mean?” and her friend said, “Money. Money is a rude word.” And I just thought, wow, even still, now, we have all these messages that it's a, it is a taboo topic. And what is interesting about that, though, is that, you know, especially me, you know, as a woman with my friends, we talk about very intimate details of our lives. You know, if you're friends with someone, you know, you know about their partner, and you know about their, you know, all of their secrets. But yet money is still something that we seem that when we're not allowed to talk about or it's rude, or it's impolite or, or we feel like we're not smart enough maybe to talk about money. There's so many different reasons that are all personal to ourselves. But we're allowed to talk about, like, we're allowed to talk about anything.
Lee: And I think that permission that you offer is really liberating. And it gives us kind of that permission to redefine our relationship, not just with money, but with wealth, and, and with power, because there is power that comes with money, as well. And that can be just as much, if not more, so difficult to navigate, then the money can be.
Denise: Honestly, it really is. And I had a quarterly planning session yesterday, my husband's in my business. And the lady who does that with us quarterly. You know, she was saying to us, “You know, the dynamics between you two, it's unusual. Because Denise, you're the face of the business, you're the CEO,” and it has shifted the dynamics around and not everyone is. I mean, Mark is cool with that, you know, he has done his own internal work, but I see other people come in and see it. My mom used to say, “Oh, poor Mark,” you know, and I just think, but she grew up seeing her dad be the breadwinner, come home, everyone had to wait on him hand and foot because he was the breadwinner. But yet there's something weird then about thinking “Well, I am. I am the breadwinner. My energy is important in the family and in the company.” And it goes against sometimes our grain of wanting to be everything to everyone or what we've seen in our own lives. And so it is tricky to navigate around that, that power and how other people perceive it too.
Lee: It is. That really resonates with me because in my own marriage, my husband is a periodontist. So as a dental professional, he makes a really good living and quite honestly he would be able to support our family independently. So when I started my own business, it was actually my own self limiting beliefs that was treating it like, “Well, this, this is just a hobby, this is just side money, it doesn't matter as much, it's not as important.” And what I realized is that when I was having those thoughts and allowing that to inform the decisions I was making in my business, I was really doing myself a disservice. And I had to unpack a lot of that, and also look at what am I really afraid of here? You know, if I'm really going to step into my business and own this, what fears are behind that? How will it affect my relationship? What will it model to my kids? What will, what will other people think? So there's a lot baked into, to money.
Denise: Wow. It’s juicy. I remember, we went to see a financial advisor, because my business was starting to make, you know, enough money that we were, we had money to invest, you know, and I remember sitting down and I had one of our babies, I can't remember if it was our first or second. And my first thought was, “Oh, she needs to be changed, I’ll go change her and let the men talk about money.” Even though it was my business that was creating that extra abundance. And so I actually, I felt a bit of a, I did a bit of a power move I said to Mike, “You know, Lily needs to be changed. Can you go change her and I'll just fill these guys in about, you know, my business and what I do.” And it felt like, it did feel like a power play. But it, it was important to me for them to see that it's not just I'm, you know, in the corner, that I am powerful, I've created this amazing abundance, and I'm going to be part of the conversation about how we invest it. But it w-, and they wouldn't have treated me any different. But it was my thought of going, “Let the man talk about money.” The other part of that is that I am not good with numbers. You know, as in, I'm not good with math, I have to use a calculator to do very simple sums. And so I was like, I'm not good with money. But money is separate to being able to do a times table off the top of your head.
Lee: Exactly. Thankfully, we don't need to know calculus in order to make money and to manage money. And yet though, there are those beliefs that even if we don't want to have them, it's almost like they've been ingrained. Where we'll let the men talk about the money and we'll go handle these things. And so to acknowledge that to notice it when it comes up and catch ourselves in the act and then redefine “Wait, how do I want to show up right now? How do I want to relate to this?” I think, I think that is a power move.
Denise: Well, I want my kids to see that too. You know, and I was, I didn't have a lot of role models like that growing up. But my uncle was a successful business businessman. And when I was a teenager, I went to Sydney with them, my auntie and uncle. And he had to have an accountants meeting. And he said, “You want to come into the accountants meeting?” And I was like, “Yes.” And it was in this big, you know, Tower, overlooking Sydney. And I was just like, wow, this is so interesting. And so I think those little things really helped me to think, oh, maybe, you know, maybe I can be in business for myself. Because he never thought I'm not going to bring my you know, teenage niece into this meeting with my accountant. But I was like, wow. And I was asking questions afterwards. And I think I want my kids to see that. And almost sometimes they see it too much. Because I've had my son who goes, “You know, Daddy's are allowed to do stuff, too.” And I'm like, “Oh, yeah. Yeah, yes, they are.” But it's weird that I have to acknowledge that. But it's just how they're seeing the world. And we didn't see that.
Lee: No, we didn't. And so you are showing your children what's possible. And I think also through your books, through your podcasts, through your programs, you're showing generations of women and men alike, what's possible for them as well. And yet, I know that this wasn't necessarily where you started. And I'm just curious what brought you into this world of being a Money Mindset Mentor.
Denise: I think I was honestly destined to be in some sort of teaching kind of profession. If I was born, you know, generations before, I probably would have been a teacher in some way. And for me, I did that really young. I would watch Oprah after school, and then I would tell people about Oprah the next day and have little sessions with my friends. And, and then I would find ways that I could do that at school. So I would teach dancing. Instead of going to PE I started a dance group. I was on the yearbook committee. You know, I was all that kind of stuff. And at university, I was president of my business club, where I got to teach people, you know, things every week. But I actually, when I went into the real world business world, I couldn't figure out how to do that as a job. It just didn't feel like it existed yet, or it just, it felt like I wasn't allowed to be in that space. And so I did flounder for, for most of my 20s. And then I became a life coach when I was 30. Because I just thought, I just want to help people and I don't know how to channel that and this sounds like it could be an interesting way. And then it was just, you know, I went, “Oh, come to me with any problem.” And then I was like, “Oh, I really like working with entrepreneurs. And I was like, Oh, I really like working with female entrepreneurs. Oh, I really like working with people at this stage of their business.” And it was just, you know, kind of elimination. And then I realized how many of my clients – I thought it would be really, really simple, like, “Just do a blog post, you know?” And then they'd be like, “Why didn't you do that?” And they’re like, “I don't know.” And I was like, “Yeah, cool. We can go through the mindset stuff a bit. But why are you so resistant to making money?” And that was a really good exploration. And, you know, I was exploring that myself in my personal kind of finances. And so I went uh, maybe I'll just talk about this, and I'll just do it one time. And, um, so I launched a course 10 years ago, called Money Bootcamp. I thought it was just a one off thing and then I've been doing it for 10 years, and I still find new nuances every single day. I found one today, in an interview I did, where I just, I'm so curious about how we are around money and why we are like that around money.
Lee: I have been in Money Bootcamp, actually, for three or four years now. And I think that's one of the things I appreciate so much is that it is an evolving approach. It's not a static curriculum. It's not a one and done. It's a conversation that's ongoing. And so it is fluid. And it does evolve. And I appreciate that because money is fluid, money evolves. And so if we're going to be looking at it in terms of abundance, and receiving, then we have to be willing to grow and move with it.
Denise: Because our life changes too. You know, there were nuances that I saw once I had kids that I wasn't aware of before. One of those examples is, I almost said to one to one of my kids, “Oh, don't put money in your mouth. Money's dirty.” And then I went, “Oh, my God, all of us have heard this.” We had an energetic scare in our nervous system, the first time we tried to interact with money, because we went to put in our mouth like we do with anything. And I didn't get out until I had kids. And then I got a new nuance as my, as our parents are getting older and feeling the power of that of going “Wow, I'm responsible for more people.” Going perimenopause that gave me a new layer. As we, you know, as we go through our life, we're going to see things in a different lens, we’ll experience things in a different way, we’ll experience our power in a different way, we’ll have different, you know, goals. And collectively we've all been through this in the last couple of years where we've, we had to reevaluate so many things in our life and business. How do we want to show up? How can we serve? How do we juggle all of this? How can we pivot? And, you know, money, money is going to shift and change around that.
Lee: It is, and I think, too, when we view money as a tool, maybe even more than a tool, as a process that we can engage in and create a relationship with, have a dialogue with, then it can really redefine how money shows up for us, how we can show up for it. And then I really through your work, it's allowed me to view money as a relationship and as a partner. Not just this static thing that either I have it or I don't, or that I have to work hard for it and if I'm not working hard enough, I'm not going to get enough. It's more like that's not how it works. Actually, money wants to be present, and it wants to be in collaboration with me. And that's an entirely new way of viewing it. It's certainly not what I was raised with.
Lee: So I would love to dive in a little bit around your new book. I know at the time that this interview goes live, your book will have just come out. So congratulations on that. Yes.
Denise: Thank you.
Lee: Yeah, so I'd love to hear specifically about the process of writing. Whenever, whenever I speak to authors, I'm so curious about what their writing process is like. What was it like for you to write this book?
Denise: You know, I think I've always wanted to be a writer. You know, my mum bought me a typewriter when I was nine. It's, it looks very similar to the one that lives in my office. You've probably, might have seen it before, the silicon blue typewriter. And so I kind of had that in the back of my mind that I always wanted to do something like that. But again, I just didn't know that it was the job or whatever. I wrote my first book when I, in 2004, I did internet dating, a new thing called internet dating, and I realized I was like, “Man, all these guys are making really dumb mistakes. I'm gonna write them a book.” So I wrote a book called Internet Dating Tips for Men in 2004. And it was just because I saw a problem and I wanted to, I wanted to help people with it. And then I wrote a couple of books about the wedding industry when I was going through my own wedding. And so I think that's just always been my nature of just, I'm just going to tell you what I know about it. And so I think that's where I’ve probably been really good as an author, because I don't feel like I have to have the definitive word on anything. I'm just like, “I'm just going to be honest, and just tell people what I know, and that's going to help somebody where they're at.” The first book that I wrote in the business kind of world was called Lucky Bitch, which was in 2011. And that was a really special book for me, because it really felt like the seed that, that, you know, I call this house that I live in by the beach, the house that Lucky Bitch built, put it that way. Not because it sold millions of copies because it was a seed of faith, of saying, “I've got something to say, and I just want to share it.” But the way I wrote that one is pure white knuckle accountability, because I'm such a procrastinator. So I pre sold it and I was like, “Here's the link, it's going to be available on the 7th of September 2011,” which was my birthday. And because people preordered it, I had to finish the dang book. And I literally was just like, “Ah, ah, ah.” The second book, though, Get Rich, Lucky Bitch. It was based on transcripts of my course, Money Bootcamp. That's how it started. And so again, I didn't have to start from scratch. When I wrote Chillpreneur, which was the first version of Chill and Prosper, I hired a writing coach. And we had a couple of sessions together, where we outlined everything that was in and out of scope, all of my ideas were put in a framework we put into chapters, and then I had to pick a chapter every week and send it to her by Friday. And I did and then she would read it over the weekend, she'd send me feedback on Sunday, I had to send her notes by Tuesday, and then a new chapter on Friday. And we did that for you know, a couple of months. And so I'm the kind of writer who I'll like, write one sentence, and then I'll go scroll Instagram for four hours to reward myself. So I think the theme throughout all of that is accountability. Sometimes you need the accountability and the deadline, because otherwise I find that books are never done. You know, and I still write, I self published some books too. And I find that they can be really hard because there's an open ended deadline for it and books are never done. So even with this new book. So, Chill and Prosper is an updated version of Chillpreneur and the way that that came about is I wrote Chillpreneur, started writing in 2017, handed it in 2018. It was published in 2019. But some things happened over the last couple of years. They've changed the whole world.
Denise: And I find that when I read books, pre pandemic, they're just missing a little nuance sometimes. And so my publisher asked me to do an update. And I said, “Yeah, cool. But I really didn't like the cover last time.” And they said, “Well, we didn't really like the name last time.” So we went, let's do a new version. So I got to put in case studies, I got to put in things that people had asked me about that they felt were missing from the book. And I got to, you know, do a whole bunch of cool new bonuses and stuff like that for it as well. So by the way, the links to get all the bonuses, is at denisedt.com/prosper is the link for all those bonuses. And, yeah, I needed a deadline. And you know, it was really funny, I handed this version in on a Google Doc. So it was a live version. And then the next day, I handed it in like midnight, the next day, I went in there and changed, like, one or two words, because I couldn't resist. But it's. I find books at some point, you just have to let them let them go.
Lee: Yeah, it's like a book is never really done.
Lee: It's just polished.
Lee: And as is the case with Chillpreneur, you can always go back and do a second edition, a revised edition, take what you've previously written and expand on it. And so it doesn't ever have to be done. And again, I think that just speaks to the evolution of well, human beings, but also how we want to express our message to the world.
Denise: Absolutely. And even I mean, self publishing is such a great tool, right? So Lucky Bitch, I did it in 2011. I did two different versions with different covers. And then Hay House bought it and we did a new edition with them. And so now it's the you know, it's a traditionally published book for something that's 10 years old. I still get people you know, every day who contact me about those books that I captured in the moment, of where I was at, and it helps someone a decade later.
Lee: I think that is so powerful and it actually makes me think about something that comes up with a lot of the coaches that I work with, they have concerns about whether they are adequately prepared enough to serve their clients, to serve their people, because they themselves are still working through some of the very same issues there people are. And they'll ask how can I coach someone on mindset when I'm still struggling with my own mindset? And so this idea of like having snapshots of your life and seeing “Oh, this is how I thought, then and this is how I think now and I'm a work in progress,” just feels like, again, we're giving permission to people to show up to do the work as they are now understanding that we may change as we move forward.
Denise: Well, you know, after this interview, I've got a session with one of my practitioners, because I hold the space for people all week long. I do tapping with people, I do all of those things. I need it for myself too. Because otherwise, you're constantly giving and you're never receiving. So I need to give that space for myself. And you know, we'll spend an hour together today, we'll go through some of my limiting beliefs. I still have them, I'm really conscious of them. And I can talk through them in a really logical way. And I can find them quicker than I used to. But I still have them. It's never, I'm never going to be perfect. And so I think, it's that thing of not being not being a guru, being a contributor. Just talk honestly about what you know, it will help somebody. But if you wait till you're perfect, you're never going to do it, you know, and that's why I call, you know, this house, the house that Lucky Bitch built, because I'm so proud of myself for backing myself. And I keep the original copy of that I keep that at my farm, which is also another house that Lucky Bitch built really, with all the handwritten notes, because I remember that first edition. I sat down with it one time and I, you know, I wrote all over it to be like, “Oh, this, I need a new example here.” I've got that copy there just to be like, but I did it.
Lee: Yeah. Yeah. And it was enough. You know, of course, we could go back and say, “Oh, I wish I'd done this, or I could do that.” And in that moment, it was more than enough. It was exactly what it needed to be, and exactly what your people needed at that time, too. And so that really comes into trusting the process.
Denise: It really does. But you know what, even with the new book, if they'd given me just a couple more weeks, a couple more months, a couple more years, I would have tinkered with it still.
Lee: Yeah. And that's the hard part of knowing like, “Alright! Nope, we're done. Enough is enough.” Because now you'll move forward to your next adventure to your next creation. That's the other thing too. So do you think that you'll be writing more books in the future?
Denise: Yeah, I'm already, I'm already doing it. Don't tell anyone. I already have deadlines. Yes, absolutely. And in my, in my fantasies, I think, Oh, I'd love to just be a writer. That's it. But I do find the process tricky. You know, I really do. And so what's beautiful about the world we live in now, especially, is I find courses, creating courses and creating things like that. It's so fun, because I find that they are easier to create than books. But also you can change those to, you know, 10 year anniversary of Money Bootcamp, I've done six different versions of that over time, I can tweak things and change them. And you know, but we live in this cool world where nobody can stop you, no one can stop you from self publishing this month, no one can stop you from creating a course, creating your own show, creating your own podcast. Whereas for our mothers and our grandmothers, they had so many rules that you had to quit your job, if you wanted to get married in some professions, you know, you didn't have those choices. And so now we've got this abundance of choice, but we, we still get scared. And we still worry that people are not going to like us. So we'll get criticized or people are gonna say it's not good enough. And yeah, the first version of my first course and my first book, they weren't good enough. They had typos in them, for sure. But it was, it helped someone and they were out there and existed and then I can improve on something that exists, it's really hard to improve on something in your own mind, because then you just, you just go with it forever.
Lee: That's exactly right. I mean, we're not going to get better if we don't get started. And so it really is just about putting that first initial effort out there. And a lot of times I'll think about it as being my before picture. You know, 3/5/10 years from now, when I'm looking back, I want to have that contrast. I want to see where I started my humble beginnings. And so when we frame it like that, it's like alright, well, let's just get going. Let's just do the thing.
Denise: Well you’re in Money Bootcamp, right? So in the bonus section, there's a little mini course called Do it Quick. Do it Quick, over 10 days, whatever. And every year I want to delete it because it's literally, it's 10 years old. It was the first version of Money Bootcamp I created. And it's just like a little mini version and people are always like “Don't delete it. We love seeing where you started from!” Because now it looks shiny, now I have a video guy and a makeup person. And, you know, there's a stylist, that's helped me get dressed. And but the first couple of versions were not like that. And so people really want to see that, you know, they want to see someone who's imperfect, who’s showing up. And I also think sometimes when someone is too big, they're not as nimble. You know, so when you're starting, you can change, you can be so nimble. And, you know, it's, it's fresh, where sometimes people get stuck in a rut, and they can't change anymore, because it's too hard for them to change.
Lee: That's exactly right. And I think to what we're seeing more of, especially, I would say, since 2020, is a desire for deeper connection, a desire for true relationships, and at risk of using an overused word, you know, there's a, there's a real craving for authenticity, people want to see the real deal. They're over the shiny, polished, you know, “Instagram ready” look that, you know, 2017/2018. That was kind of the norm. Now, I think we're seeing people show up in much more, maybe casual, but I would say in a more true way. And that's what people are responding to. And so this idea that you can have your original 2011 material still there, and that people are responding to it so deeply, it's because you tapped into that early on. People see that and they feel connected to you as a result.
Denise: I think that came for me of going, it helped with my imposter syndrome. Because I thought if I just tell people what's true, nobody can criticize me because that's just true. And so I think that's always just been my easy go to, of just going, I'll just tell people. That's why I do things like publish my tax returns, because I just think it's just, it is what it is. What we take from that can be so different, but I'm making that money and paying that tax whether people see it or not. So I may as well share it with somebody. And so I think that's always been my go to, it's just like, I'll just tell the truth, and then that'll be easy.
Lee: Yeah. And I think that's what people really respond to. And then that also encourages the conversation and strips the taboo away of talking about money and talking about taxes. And, personally, I love your approach to paying taxes, because you take a very abundant perspective on it, which is if I'm paying all this in taxes, it's because I'm making a lot of money and I'm doing something right. And it's a way of contributing to, to the cause, to the community.
Denise: But in my first year, I was terrified of making money, because I felt like I was going to get in trouble. I was gonna get audited, I was gonna get put in jail, I don't know, something like that. But the first year of business, I got a free tax session with my local tax office. And I was, I almost had a heart attack, I was so sweaty, and my heart was beating. So I had to go and do that mindset work of going, “Why am I, why am I having this reaction? Because this is going to hold me back in business.” And I see that when we, you know, when I talk to people and say, “What? Where are you stuck?” and sometimes they're stuck under a tax bracket. Sometimes they're stuck under a, you know, a threshold where they will have to pay, they'll have to get a license, or they'll have to charge tax to people or they will have to do something that is official. And I mean me growing up in like welfare system, I was, we were terrified of the government, you know? And so other people's reasons for being scared of tax might be completely different to mine. But I find that collectively we have this story that tax is a bad thing. You know, I think growing up too I would watch something like Robin Hood, you know, those medieval kind of shows. And it showed like the taxman would come to your house and if you didn't have money, they would burn your field down. And they would like take a kid with them or something, they would do something horrible, or they'll put you into jail, or they put you on a slave ship and send it to Australia or something like that. And so I think that collectively lives in us of just this fear of, you know, the IRS would just go [gasp], just strike a fear into your heart. And if you can deal with that and deal with that fear, then that might just be it could just be one thing. But it could be just a little bit of extra bandwidth that you have to go, you know what, it's safe for me to make more money, it's safe for me to grow my business. And so just me publishing my tax returns. It's just a little bit of that, because I actually found it was harder to think about paying anything in tax than it is to pay $700,000 in tax, which is what I did last year. By now it's just like, “Oh, money is just money. It's just a figure. It doesn't mean anything about myself.” But back then it meant if I make money, I'm going to be known by the government and they're going to put me on that list. And then they're going to watch everything I do and I'm gonna make a mistake and I'm gonna get in trouble. And that's why I was sweaty and scared.
Lee: Yes. You know, I think for me too, doing some of the money mindset work through bootcamp. What I realized was that the thoughts that I was having around money, I was really having around everything in my life. For me the core messages of, “I can't be trusted with money. It's not safe for me to have money. And I'm going to make a mistake with money.” Those, those were some really big fears I had. And then I realized, “Oh, Lee, this is not just about money,” like, look at how this is showing up in other ways, with your relationships, with how you view yourself, with your spirituality. And so, so much of the money mindset work, yes, it's about money, but it goes so much deeper than that, and really can encompass how we view ourselves and how we want to show up in the world.
Denise: Really, it really is. And one of my Money Mentors says exactly that. She says, Kendall Summerhawk, she says “How you do money is how you do everything.”
Denise: And that's why when we do the work, sometimes it's finding the symbolic things that will make a difference for you. And one of them for me was I never felt like I had the right clothing. I was never warm enough. I never had the right shoes, all of those things. And so for me upgrading and allowing myself to have a warm coat, for me was symbolic of “I'm allowed to be taken care of. I'm allowed to be comfortable. It's safe for me to have what I need.” And that's why this money work, it's so personal because we've all had different experiences, we ascribe different meaning to different things. We see the world in different ways. And we have to do that inner work for ourselves to make it personal. I asked this to someone the other day because I said if I – I can ask people, tell me about your shoes at school. And I can get so much information from that. Because people might say, “Well, I was only allowed one pair of shoes.” Or “I had, I had to wear the fancy buttoned up shoes, and everyone could wear cool Doc Martens” or, you know, there's all this stuff. And I asked a group of five men, because I don't normally talk to a lot of men about money. And it was interesting; two of them were just like, “Oh, I don't know, we just, everyone wore the same shoes.” And already I even got from that of going, “Wow, okay, cool. So you never had to hear your parents fight about school shoes. You never had to even think about it.” Whereas someone else in the room, a woman actually, she was like, “Oh, man, like, it was such a big deal. Like we had to take care of our shoes, because we're only allowed one pair. It had to last the whole year, by the end of the year they were really tight. You know, I remember hearing my parents arguing about it.” And even just something like that. And I would love to hear you too, Lee, tell me about your school shoes. Like, because there could be so many things under that.
Lee: Oh, yeah, the minute you even mentioned that I was six years old, again, in my mind, remembering that pair of Keds that were so bright white, and inevitably got dingy and dirty in a couple of weeks. And I felt terribly guilty about it. And the stories just connected with that. It's it's really powerful. And it tells, it tells so much about what we were taught, what we were conditioned to believe and how it's still kind of baked in to our default way of viewing money and viewing the world. But just because it's default doesn't mean we have to surrender to it. Like we do have a sense of agency and we can recreate those stories. We can come up with new ways of relating to it. And I think that's, that's really the through line in your work, Denise, whether it's your books, your podcasts, and so forth. It's about empowering women to redefine their relationship with money and with themselves.
Denise: Well, because the awareness of it is so powerful. You know, knowing that about your shoes might not magically grow your business. But the next time that you go, “Oh, I'm, I can be trusted.” It could show up in so many ways where it's like, “Oh, I'm not allowed to have a new laptop until I do this. Or I'm not. I can't be trusted with this thing. Or I have to suffer or I have to get every single drop out of something even if it's not working. Even though I know this, you know, this client doesn't work for me, I have to do it.” There's so many lessons that you can learn from one, one little thing of, you know, your shoes as a kid. And this is a place of curiosity, when you can come at it from like, “There's nothing wrong. I'm not bad. I'm not horrible. I'm not a horrible person.” But that's why I love my work because I'm not getting people to like cry and you know, get traumatized by their past. But it's like, “Well, cool. What could that mean for you? How is that showing up for you today?” And I would love to again, Lee, how is that specifically showing up for you in your business today or in your life today around money?
Lee: Yeah, and I would say it's about wanting to be really careful and protective and make sure that everything goes well so that I don't screw it up. And that's not a fun way of approaching business. It's not a fun way of approaching life. Because while there is a need for security, of course, sometimes in our efforts to make sure we stay safe, we can really miss out on the opportunity for joy. And, and for me when we think about when I think about money, and I think about how money contributes to wealth, it really is about then how that can translate to joy. Like I see a very clear connection with money to wealth to joy. And so when I see the ways that I related to money, or what money procured, that didn't feel very joyful. It's just, it's just a little arrow pointing at it saying, “Okay, this is something you might want to take another look at, this is something you might want to redefine.”
Denise: Oh, absolutely. I've shared this quote, a lot, actually, this week of Sara Blakely. And she says, “Money is fun to make, fun to spend, and fun to give away.” And I find that sometimes we have our own relationship with one of at least those three, right where it's like, “Oh, I can earn it, but it has to be hard, or I can earn it, but I feel guilty spending it or I should give it all away and that would make me a good person.” And I really see them as like how can you joyfully do all three? And without the guilt or but with giving yourself permission to see the stories behind the guilt because the guilt is just an emotion, right? It usually can just teach us something. But how much fun to make it, spend it and give it away?
Lee: I love that. Denise, I have so enjoyed our conversation today.
Denise: Oh, are we over already?
Lee: I think we're getting there if you can believe it. Which you know, I really could talk to you for hours.
Denise: Yeah, me too!
Lee: But I just cannot wait to read Chill and Prosper. I've already pre ordered it and –
Denise: Oh thank you!
Lee: Oh my gosh! Of course. So I know that people who are listening to the interview right now are going to want to get their copy. So where can they learn more about you, your work and your books?
Denise: So my website is denisedt.com and if you go to slash prosper that gives you the links to where all the books are available all around the world. But it's also where you can get your pre order bonuses or if you're listening to this afterwards. It's same. Same, same bonuses, things like I just recorded a whole album of meditation audios with money affirmations in them so you can sleep and meditate or work while you're upgrading your money mindset. And so yeah that's it denisedt.com/prosper. And I'm @DenisDT, all around the social places, and I love hearing people's stories. So feel free to DM me and tell me what you got out of this or, you know, tag us both. And let us know your ah has.
Lee: Excellent. We will make sure that we have all of those links in the show notes so that you can check it out. Denise, this has been such a pleasure. Thank you again for coming on the show.
Denise: Oh my gosh. Thanks, Lee.
Lee: I want to thank Denise and everyone at Team Denise DT for arranging this interview, it was such a pleasure to speak with her. And I have to say, the fact that her book is called Chill and Prosper and I can't think of two better words to describe her. When I was speaking to Denise, I really felt like I was talking to a friend, someone I had known for years. And it's because she is chill in the sense that she knows how to put people at ease and connect with people on a deep human level. And it's clear that she understands what it means to have a prosperous business and life. And yes, money is a part of that because it can help fund what we do. But prosperity is also about living a life in accordance with what matters most to us. And I feel like Denise is an example of someone who is living her values in action. So what an honor to have her on the Coach with Clarity Podcast, you will definitely want to check out her book Chill and Prosper, as well as her podcast and Money Bootcamp. We'll have links to all of those in the show notes.
I hope you will join me for next week's episode of the Coach with Clarity Podcast. And to make sure you don't miss it, be sure you are following or subscribe to the show. You can do that for free in whatever podcast player you are using. That will make sure that next week's episode shows up automatically in your feed, so you'll never miss a show. Until next week, my name is Lee Chaix McDonough, reminding you to get out there and show the world what it means to be a Coach with Clarity.