Tax season is upon us now, but good money management is a skill for every single day. This is part two of a three-part series about responsible money management featuring female financial trailblazers Denise Duffield-Thomas and Kate Northrup. Read part one here. Read part three here.
Meet Denise Duffield-Thomas, Also Known As The "Lucky Bitch"
I adore and respect Denise Duffield-Thomas, a money mindset mentor and the author of the best-sellers Lucky Bitch: A Guide For Exceptional Women To Create Outrageous Success (2012) and Get Rich, Lucky Bitch!: Release Your Money Blocks and Live a First Class Life (2013) because she’s so consistently down-to-earth, and shares how it really is to deal with your money blocks and create a business for your self. From her first free workshops through to her blog and Money Bootcamp course, she’s consistently shared with her audience on a weekly basis, how she’s created her incredible lifestyle biz by teaching others about the biggest thing that had been holding her back – money blocks, and how to release them.
Her weekly blog is one of the Internet’s most-loved havens for female entrepreneurs. It's a place where Duffield-Thomas openly shares exactly what it’s taken for her to create the success she’s had, including her mindset, fears and mistakes. Plus, she shares behind-the-scenes spreadsheets detailing how and when she broke into a six-figure income to now earning over $1 million a year with her Money Bootcamp.
Also on Z Living: Learn good money management weekly by tuning into Z Living's popular show House Poor, which features homeowners with a large house debt and finds practical ways to help ease the burden. Watch House Poor Thursdays at 4 PM. Find out where to watch the show here.
Denise Duffield-Thomas Spoke To Z Living About How She Formed Her Money Mindset:
Z LIVING: Tell us how your book Get Rich, Lucky B*tch and your Money Bootcamp course were ignited within you:
DUFFIELD-THOMAS: "My book Get Rich, Lucky B*tch and my Lucky B*tch Money Bootcamp are designed to change the way women think and feel about money in a fun, easy and chilled way. It’s deep work but it’s still light and fun. (Editor's note: Start reading Get Rich, Lucky B*tch now by downloading free chapters here.)
Ever since I was a little kid, I wanted to help people achieve their goals or motivate them. I just didn’t think it was a proper job. And I definitely didn’t think I could earn money from it.
Just like my money mindset clients now, for some reason, I ignored the “path of least resistance” and tried all sorts of other things to make money, including wildly boring corporate jobs and failed entrepreneurial efforts. My first ever book was an Internet dating guide for men!
I finally gave myself permission to become a life coach, even though I secretly feared it was the most naff thing ever, and finally all the pieces of my personality and skillset clicked into place."
Also on Z Living: 5 Money Practices To Put You On The Path To Prosperity
Z LIVING: Did your signature program come about by you wanting to achieve or change something within yourself, or was it a repeating need you saw in the initial clients that came to you in your earlier days as a life/business coach? Or a combination of the two?
DUFFIELD-THOMAS: "Very quickly, I realized that all my life coaching clients had huge money mindset blocks — not necessarily on how to manage money or market their talents, but giving themselves mental permission to earn it in easy, fun ways.
I realized I had a knack for helping women overcome these blocks, and following the “easy path” route, decided to make money mindset my signature topic. That’s not to say it was all smooth sailing.
I remember early on feeling the calling to talk about money, and I resisted it really strongly. I even said, “Universe, please go away, and make someone else the money girl”.
But I had an inner fire for the work. I finally said,“Okay, I’ll take up the mantle, but you have to make it really easy for me!”
But the biggest realization for me was that it was okay to find my niche and not have to be the Oprah of money. I decided that I was so passionate about women and money that it was okay for me to contribute to that conversation, without the pressure of being the Guru of all Gurus."
Also on Z Living: This Is What It Means To Live Beyond Your Means
Z LIVING: Obviously people are wanting to create a better money story for themselves when they seek out your work – can you give our readers some examples of what people are wanting to heal or change within themselves when they buy your books or sign-up for your signature Money Bootcamp course?
DUFFIELD-THOMAS: "So many people come to me saying, “I don’t have any money blocks” but then they read my book and realize that they are just under the surface. A lot of people think it must be something else — maybe they aren’t ambitious enough, or they just don’t have the right education or something, but money blocks impact people of all walks of life and level of income.
What I help do is to unravel all those years of stories — mostly from our childhood or early life — and help you give yourself permission to earn more. Whether it’s an ingrained mantra of “you have to work really hard to make money” or “it’s greedy to want more," pretty much everyone has something, no matter how much money (or not) your family had growing up.
The other thing I provide is community. It’s almost taboo to talk about money, and my course has a really active and supportive community where we discuss pricing, salaries, money memories and more. Since I’ve always loved talking about money, I find it so satisfying to help people release the fear and shame related to finances."
Also on Z Living: How To Feel Abundant Even With A Drawer Full Of Bills
Z LIVING: Do you see an instantaneous shift with your Bootcampers, or does it take months of perseverance?
DUFFIELD-THOMAS: "It really depends. Some people join my course and pressure themselves to binge on all the modules, and then get frustrated that they aren’t “fixed” in a day. Other people take the first lesson and have such big a-has that they don’t complete the course for months.
What makes the difference is paradoxical — giving yourself permission to be enough right now, while also being open to change.
The interesting thing is that more money itself doesn’t solve money blocks forever – it’s life-long work, so my students are always uncovering new layers to the work, either finding new money blocks or a deeper understanding of old ones. The most successful students are the ones who are open to continuous self-discovery."
Also on Z Living: Are You 'House Poor'? 5 Reasons Why & 5 Solutions
Z LIVING: What stories or negative self-talk do you still deal with even though you’ve created this work?
DUFFIELD-THOMAS: "I still have to deal with fear and the “fraud syndrome”. I know I could help millions with this work, but I deal with the “Who do you think you are?” story every day.
I’m also an introvert, so I go between “I want my own show!” to being reluctant to leave my house."
Z LIVING: What’s the #1 thing you do everyday that has made the biggest impact on you living a life of financial freedom that anyone just starting out on their own path of feeling financially free could easily implement?
DUFFIELD-THOMAS: "A few years ago, I started tracking every single cent of money that came into my life (I learned this from my money mentor Kendall Summerhawk). But I also kept a separate list of all the free things I received, so I could feel grateful for abundance even when I was broke.
There were many days where I had to write down a big fat zero, but it energized me to take income-producing action in my business, not just faff around on social media.
This daily habit can be started by anyone (and I even have a free spreadsheet or an iPhone app here). It’s life changing, so I still do it today."
Also on Z Living: 3 Smart Tips To Track Your Cash
Z LIVING: Could you speak to how you cope when something financially completely unexpected happens – for example, a huge bill comes in, or on the positive side, an event comes up that you’d love to attend but there’s just no financial wiggle room for it. What do you do to not go into fear, or allow yourself to get excited and get the cash together for it?
DUFFIELD-THOMAS: "Some people have this tendency to internalise really normal life events into bigger stories about themselves. Things like “this always happens to me!” or “the Universe doesn’t like me”.
Life happens. Cars break down, expenses blow ou,t and things like parking fines just happen sometimes.
But most “unexpected” bills shouldn’t really be a surprise, so it’s valuable to look at why these things keep happening. Do you have an underlying story that you’re not good with numbers? Do you ignore your bills and have to pay late fees? Do you neglect simple car maintenance so it always breaks down? I was totally guilty of all three, and would regularly ignore the warning light on my car!
When you do the money mindset work, then these things won’t feel as scary. You’ll be able to talk to your accountant about an upcoming tax bill without feeling like you’ll get into trouble.
When you deal with underlying fears about being greedy, you’ll feel okay having savings in the bank, without the need to “consume it all”. So when “sh-t happens," it will just be no big deal."
Also on Z Living: How To Turn The Direction Of Your Life Around, Fast
Z LIVING: What’s been the most surprising thing about creating this body of work that you couldn’t have possibly guessed or imagined prior to doing it?
DUFFIELD-THOMAS: "Because I grew up in a family with not much money, I just assumed that poverty was the only cause of money blocks. Now that I have helped tens of thousands of people around the world, I know that’s not the case.
I’ve seen people who have grown up super-poor and super-wealthy and have almost identical money blocks.
A perfect example of this is the “money requires hard work” block. Someone whose parents worked minimum wage, back-breaking labour can repeat this pattern, but so can someone whose parents were high-earning professionals.
Then it manifests as guilt if something comes too easily (the reason why some people dismiss their really obvious calling), or they resist delegating work to others, or they create really unhealthy working habits like working late, because it doesn’t “count” unless you put blood, sweat and tears into your work.
Money blocks affect almost everyone, so it’s no big deal. And everyone regardless of background can completely change their relationship with money to a better one."
Ready To Change Your Own Money Mindset? Keep These Takeaways From Denise Duffield-Thomas In Mind:
- It’s okay to take the path of least resistance and to make money out of things that are easy for us and make us feel good.
- Money blocks are NOT about us not “being enough."
- More money doesn’t dissolve money blocks – it’s life-long work, and the most successful students are the ones who are open to continuous self-discovery.
- Even people who are thought of as “gurus” within their field still deal with fear, “fraud syndrome” and questioning themselves with “who do you think you are?” to do this.
- Money mindset work shows us that the financially “unexpected” stuff isn’t really unexpected at all, but rather a reflection of the stories we tell ourselves, and what we focus on.
- Tracking our money on a daily basis is what helps increase our awareness of how abundant we already are, a key step in receiving more, and what needs to change in order feel better about our financial situation. That where our attention goes, energy flows.
If you’re ready to find and release your money blocks this year, start by downloading some chapters of Denise Duffield-Thomas's book Get Rich, Lucky B*tch for free and check out the rest of her website where you can also join the other thousands of women who are already part of her Money Bootcamp.
Emma Bathie is a Soul Happiness Coach. Learn more about her work and how to create more of life's meaning and magic HERE.