Financial Transparency: Should you Share Your Income?

In this week's episode of Chill & Prosper, we’re talking about financial transparency!

Should you share your income with your community? Who gets to hear the money details of your business? 

For the first 5 years of my business - I’d publish an annual post with all my revenue and expenses. Totally transparent. 

And some people really loved it. Others really hated it. 

I'm the kind of person who is happy to share anything - I’ll tell you all my secrets, how much tax I pay and how much I earn.

You might find it weird to talk so openly about money and that's okay too. 

Let’s have an honest chat about the pros and cons of financial transparency.


I talk about ...

  • How money was talked about in your family
  • Sharing your numbers on your own terms
  • Do you have to make more than your clients?
  • How much I make and why I talk about it so honestly
  • Having good money boundaries


Hey, Hey. Hey, today we are talking about a kind of a juicy topic and you might agree, you might disagree, but we're talking about being transparent about how much money you're making in your business. So this might bring up some stuff for you and I totally get it. So just a little bit of background on this, when I first started my business for the first, probably five years, each year, I would do a Roundup post about exactly how much money I made, what my expenses were, all that kind of stuff. And some people really loved it. And some people really hated it. And even now, I'm the kind of person that if you ask me how much I pay for something, if you even give me a compliment, I'll probably tell you how much I paid for something or how much discount I got and where you can get it from.

I'm just that kind of person. And you might not be, and that's okay. But I thought we could have a little chat about it and what the pros and cons are around talking about how much you make. And even, literally even what contexts and stuff that you should do it. So, as I said, I did that for the first couple of years, and then I stopped doing it. And the reason why to be really frank, why I stopped doing it is because I started making so much money, that it brought up my money blocks of "oh, if I make too much money, people won't like me anymore." Isn't that funny? I was like, "people won't like me anymore if I tell them how much I make." And so I'll still do it occasionally. I'll do a post saying I don't know "here's what, how much I made" but usually I'll do it to make a point.

And I'll tell you one thing that I did recently that kind of, I don't know if it was good or bad, but it was when, during the Trump presidency, when a New York times article came out about how little tax president Trump paid, and it turns out he'd paid something like $750 in tax and actually zero for a long, long time. And that really pissed me off because I believe in a fair world, I believe in fair taxes. I think everyone should pay tax, but also as someone who is a high net worth individual now, I pay a ton of tax. And so what I did from that was I released my tax returns for the previous year. And I really looked at them and I was like, "okay, should I take out my tax number?" And, you can look me up. That text numbers are not private in Australia.

You can just look up a register and find out what they are. But I was like, "Oh, what are the downsides of me just posting it?" So I literally just screenshot and I was like, "This is how much tax I paid in that particular year." And I mean, I can't remember the exact figure off the top of my head, but I regularly pay at least half a million dollars of tax each and every year. And there was not much backlash on it, but I think it brings up a lot of stuff for people. And so, one of the things that might bring up for you that we can learn from is this idea that it's impolite to talk about money, that it's rude and that we just shouldn't mention it. Now, I learned something from one of my early money mentors, Kendall Summerhawk, who was an amazing mentor in business marketing and money.

She said that talking about money should be just like saying, "Pass the salt" and just saying, "Hey, can you pass me the salt?" And if you ask somebody to do that, you're not like, "oh my God, they're not going to like me" or "it's impolite" or whenever you just like pasta. So, and so I think when we can break through this feeling of "I'm not allowed to talk about money" or "girls don't talk about money" or "it's impolite or it's tacky" or whatever it is. That could be a really interesting lens to look through in something to heal, regardless of if you want to be transparent about how much you make or even talk about it ever. But just think about some of the things that maybe you were told as a kid that you're not allowed to talk about money. And I remember, as a kid, it wasn't taboo, but it was just something that was just not talked about at all.

And I was aware of the fact my mom had to work for a living as a single mom, but, we just never talked about it. And I remember when I was 16, my uncle who was a successful car salesman, we're in Sydney, we're going to something we're going for lunch or something. And he said, "Oh, do you want to sit in on my meeting with my accountant?" And I was like, "What?" He goes, "Yeah, let's do it." And so his accountant was into me, extremely fancy building. It probably wasn't, it was really just like a random building, but it was right in the center of Sydney. I could be high-rise and like, we sit there, we could see the Harbor, they were all wearing suits and stuff like that. And I just sat there and was like, "Oh my God, this is so cool."

And they had this really frank conversation about business and tax write-offs and stuff like that. And it really made me so excited to, it felt really grown up. And that was the first moment at age 16 that I felt like, "Oh, wow, you can talk about money." So I just want you to reflect on what was the conversation around money in, in your household? Was it something that you felt like you were included in or was it actually a bad thing? Maybe your parents confided too much of their money woes as a family, or maybe you felt too responsible or too aware of money as a kid. And it just felt like a yucky experience. So that's one thing is just, yeah, reflecting on that. Are you allowed to talk about money? Is it rude or is it impolite?

The other part of it is, is it safe for you to talk about money? Is it safe for you to talk about money? So something to reflect on here is maybe you were told off for bragging. Maybe you told people about your pocket money and it was stolen from you, it was taken from you in some way. So have a little reflection on that, because that could really bring up some stuff for you. If the trend is, "Oh, everyone's sharing their income." And you're like, "Oh my God." And it's bringing out this, these feelings of dread for you, but you're not quite sure why. Maybe it just feels totally unsafe. And again, I've been part of masterminds where it's just one of those conversations, "Hey, who wants to celebrate making money?" My husband Mark, he's in a mastermind at the moment with Taki Moore and they get badges for hitting a new income level.

And it's just one of those things. It's just like, "Oh, this person's hidden income level." Does it make it right or wrong? Even in my money bootcamp, I really encourage people just to talk about money in just an easy breezy way. And so we celebrate someone making their first dollar. We celebrate people making their first million dollars, because we know that that usually the money mindset stuff is the same. And it takes just as much effort usually to make your first dollar as it does make your first million dollars, I know you don't believe me, but it's true. So yeah, reflect on that, where it's not safe for you to share. Where it's been discouraged, where it's been mocked, where you've felt ashamed either way for not making enough or for making too much. And that's really a great mindset lesson, regardless of what you decide later on to really heal that part of yourself.

And this is a lot of the work we do in Money Bootcamp is we look at the origin stories of some of our pain. We connect the dots to how it's impacting us now, and then we heal it. We come up with a pattern interrupter or mantra or something like that to interrupt that pattern later on. And sometimes awareness of this is the work. Okay. So it's totally up to you. You don't have to share a lot. You don't have to share a little, but it's really interesting if I said to you, "Okay, you have to lay it all bare." What are the fears that come up for you? Cause that's the lesson. It really doesn't honestly, it really doesn't make a difference any other way. Now, the third thing to think about is how this helps other people sometimes.

So I've seen movements about this in the freelance world, for example, where people share your numbers, share what hourly rate you're getting, share what you're being paid, because we know that there are often massive wage gaps. There are wage gaps for it, between men and women. There are wage gaps for within that. So wage gaps within women of color or trans women, or people with disabilities. There are wage gaps within wage gaps. And often when we're transparent about how much we're making, it can really help people step forward and ask for what they deserve too. And again, you don't have to do this, you do it in the comfort zone level that you're at. Okay. So it could be that you do it just within groups, you do it anonymously. There are ways that you can do it and share.

I've seen this, as I said in the freelance world where it's like, "How much did you get paid for this?" I've also seen it in the publishing world where people have said, "Share what your advances share, how much money you get paid for things." And that's why I did a whole episode about, I got $30,000 as my book advance. It's bigger than some it's way smaller than others, but it just is what it is. You can share your hourly rate, you can share what you're charging for different things. On the flip side, I think it's really good to share what you pay other people too. There's a massive movement in the entrepreneurial world about making sure that you're not exploiting people by outsourcing wages and not giving people a livable wage. So transparency helps all of us around that.

And it's something you can totally do on your own terms. Okay. So hopefully that's brought up some stuff for you that is useful to heal and to share. And that's really the lesson. Right? See what it brings up for you. Now, after the break, I want to have another juicy conversation about how... Do you have to make more than your clients? And how you can get over that and actually work with people with a much higher net worth than you and who make more money than you. All right, so juicy conversation, I'll see you after the break.

Hello Denise. My name's Catherine. I run a ceramics company in Oxford called Oxford Clay. And so I've loved your books so much. They'd been given me so much confidence to start my business and just try different things and enjoying the process as well and not worry about getting things wrong. So since reading your books, I've actually written an ebook on eco-friendly pottery, which I'm just about to release. And it was really down to you. Just giving me the idea of the new book and just the confidence really. So thank you so much.

Hi, everyone, Christie Grey here, and I'm a life strategist and an astrologer based on the gold coast in Australia. Coming into 2021, I knew I had some money blocks I needed to work through. So I picked up "Get Rich Lucky Bitch." What I loved so much is Denise's approach and useful actions built into the book because I need that as a Virgo. But my biggest light bulb moment that created in the meantime was decluttering money blocks as a daily practice. And you need to do it at every income level. I doubled my income in February from January this year. And I'm set to double my income this month from February. This work works, read the book. It's totally worth it.

Okay. Welcome back. So thank you for sticking with me in that conversation. I think it's, as I said, I love transparency around money, but remember, it's totally on your terms and you can do it in a way that feels safe for you. Now let's take this to its other conclusion. I get people who say something like, "Well, do I have to make more than my clients do?" Or, they feel intimidated by working with people who make more money than them. So I think this is a really great conversation because again, it brings up that sabotage stuff that lives inside of all of us about feeling not good enough or having imposter syndrome. So the first thing that I want you to remember is, no matter how much money somebody makes, they are just a normal person. And maybe you haven't really internalized that yet.

Okay. So I make, I think a ton of money for where I grew up. I make about three and a half million dollars a year. In my mind, I'm like, "That's a ton of money." And yet, I'm still just such a normal flawed person. I yell at my kids all the time. I'm super grumpy. I'm just, I have to have the same bodily functions as anyone else. And so I would hate for anyone to be intimidated because I make money. But also I have learned that when you just realize that you're a normal person and you give yourself permission to be rich, first of all, it makes the process much quicker because you're not pushing away and waiting for the perfect day, the perfect moment, your perfect weight, all that kind of stuff. So you're just like, "Oh, I'm allowed to be rich how I am cool."

And then I find too that it helps you to be really chill around people richer than you. Cause you just go, "Oh, I'm normal. I accept myself. Oh, they're normal too." So this isn't about all of us having this pyramid scheme that you can only like work with people who are richer than you all the time. I hire people at all levels of income because they have something that I don't have. They can teach me something that I don't know, or they can provide support for me in so many other ways. So I want to give you some food for thought or a food for thought. Sometimes I, I struggle with my T's and my, "Th's" so there you go. If you think that you have to change your accent or get elocution lessons before you can be rich, take it from me. One of the words I can't say is I have to think about really carefully thief.

I say feeth, thief, thief. Okay. So if you... Rich people buy products and services that they think will improve their lives, just like anyone else. So you don't have to make more money than somebody to be a value to them. So here's what you need to know. Number one, rich people, value efficiency. So once money is no longer the primary currency for people. A lot of the time it's time, it really is it's time. So if you can add value to someone's life and save them time, then that's hugely worth paying for, because at a certain point, price alone is not the deciding factor in a buying decision. It's "How is it going to save me time? How is it going to improve or enhance my life?" So there are a lot of people and not just the super wealthy, who actually don't care what something costs if they want it or need it because price is not the primary goal of getting a bargain is not their primary goal.

So don't feel like you have to automatically offer a discount just because you want to work with someone or because you're intimidated by them efficiency, saving them time, saving them effort, fulfilling a need that they have making them look good and helping them achieve mastery in areas that they need help in so they can learn and grow. So I often buy things that just save me time and they free me up to make more money in my business. The other thing is that I don't always have the time to learn how to do something myself. And I don't know if that's just because, well, yeah, I've got money, but also I am such a lazy person. If I can get someone to hack something for me or offer a DIY solution where I don't have to go through the lessons myself, I will always pay for that.

And then when it comes to being intimidated by rich people, remember that they're often experts in one area, one field, not yours. So you can teach people what you know, what you're an expert in and sell them the thing that you do well, because just because someone's wealthy doesn't mean they're good at everything. Okay. So that's where you can stop saying things like, "Oh, but people can find this information for free, everyone knows how to do this." You know what? I don't have time and I can't be bothered to sift through the entire internet to find solutions for things. I want to find someone who's already curated that information and put it together for me in a neat package. Okay. So yeah. Now you might not want to market to rich people. That's totally fine. I just want to bring this up because I feel like it does bring up some stuff for people where there's often this hierarchy or, feeling like you have to know everything before you even market your stuff.

And a really great example of this, by the way, is Olympic athletes. Being a coach and being an Olympic athlete at two completely different skillsets. So you don't have to be the best at everything to add value to people. Some people hire coaches for accountability, for sounding board because they don't have people in their life to hold space for them. And if you're an Olympic coach, so you're an Olympic elite Olympic swimming coach, for example, are you the best swimmer? No, because some people who have mastered that like an Olympic swimmer, they don't make the best coach. They don't make the best person to hold someone else to account. So one thing just to get over I think, is that feeling of, "I have to be good at everything to be worthy of someone paying me" or, just say in general, just being intimidated by other people.

So I will say, as someone who is wealthy and someone who... I hold space for people all the time. So I am constantly holding space in my Money Bootcamp group. I hold retreats and you know, I have to hold space for people. And so I don't always have someone to hold space for me. And that's why I still go to conferences, I still go to events, I have massages. I go and see a kinesiologist, I get psychic readings, I get work with intuitive business coaches. And I'm not looking at them going, "Oh my God, they need to up their game. They need to have premium prices." I'm coming to them because they have something that I don't, or I'm coming to them to hold space for me because that's really, that's super important as well. So let's talk about branding.

Do you have any to have super fancy branding to market, to rich people? You know what? Not necessarily. And what I find is that actually the thing that's more important for me is that that person has worked on their money staff, that they send the invoice, that they don't apologize and they don't let their money staff come into our session. And that doesn't mean that they're an expert in money mindset that they've got it all sorted out. But, I just find it really uncomfortable if someone's like, "Oh, that's fine. Just pay me for 30 minutes." I'm like, "no, we didn't. We did 90 minute session." Just have just have clean boundaries. But I really don't care if have super fancy branding and or things like that. It's efficiency being an expert in something and someone who has clean kind of money boundaries.

The other thing I want to say when it comes to marketing to a higher price point is, not everyone's looking for a bargain and sometimes the way you price yourself can turn off people. So if you are too cheap, sometimes that brings up a question mark in someone's mind of, you don't value yourself or that you're not good at what you do, which might not be the truth at all. So be strong in what you offer and the price is the price. And don't cheapen out on yourself. Okay? If you want to attract, just attract people who have cleaned money, boundaries and who have money to spend. Okay. And so you might need to do some work on your inner self-worth around this. And I highly recommend going and reading my books, "Get Rich, Lucky Bitch" in particular.

So can just showcase what it is for someone who has good money boundaries, who has worked on their money staff. And of course come and join my money bootcamp if you know this is something you need to work on. The other thing is if you do want to market to richer people upgrade your services. As I said, some people are cash rich but time poor, they're willing to pay extra. They want it to be fast. They want it to be VIP. So you could create a VIP option. So some people want instant gratification. They're willing to pay for it. So some things that I bought that saved me time and money, I was reading this book when my kids were babies about how to do sleep training. I know I book that's like $10 to $30 and then I was like, "Oh, screw this."

So then I hired someone to come to my house and it's like 10 times more. So I think it was like $500. And I've seen way more expensive ones than that, for someone to come to my house and teach me face to face. Same with things like an interior designer. I often pay someone just to help me pick paint colors and say to curate things for me, they saw this. Oh, great. I don't have to think about it. I have hired people to help me brainstorm solutions for my business. Like I hired someone for an hour to help me brainstorm subtitles for my book. I'll hire a handyman to assemble flat pack furniture. I will hire, now I've hired someone to cook for me, but I started out with a healthy food delivery service. I'll have someone come to my house to do yoga because otherwise, I could hire... I could buy a gym membership, but then I don't have the accountability.

So I've got someone literally who knocks on my door and every week I'm like "I don't feel like doing yoga." So I'm hiring her for accountability just as much as anyone else, I have hired accountability coaches to help me write my book. So I have to send chapters to them every week. Now these are all fairly ordinary things that anyone can buy but often they're premium service because it's convenient and someone who has a skill that I need. Okay. So even if you know, rich people, aren't your target market, having a higher price option for people who value instant gratification, they value time and speed and all of those things, they're all something that you can offer. Okay. So today was a bit of a twofer, right? You know, we were talking about, should you be transparent in how much you make and what that brings up for you about transparency and maybe imposter syndrome and stuff like that, but also talking about what does it bring up for you marketing to richer people?

Does that again, bring up imposter syndrome or feeling like you have to be someone you're not, or you're not ready for that? Well, hopefully that has brought up some interesting stuff for you around your own money mindset. And of course, as usual, my books are a great place to start. If you want to explore this further. So my book "Get Rich Lucky Bitch" is available in audible format. So it's me reading it, Kindle paperback from all the usual places. If you want to get it from an independent bookstore, you can get them to order it in, or you can just get instant gratification and get it on Amazon right now. Or if you know that you have some money mindset issues that are stopping you from marketing your business, that are keeping you small, come over and join our money boot camp. It is an amazing way to really look at your money stuff and a supportive community to help you go through that too. And all the information for that is at denisedt.com/bootcamp. All right, I will be right back for some final thoughts after this little break.

This is Victoria Gibson. And I want to share with you the magic of money bootcamp by Denise Duffield Thomas. You'll think, "Hmm. I'm okay about money. I want more of it." That's until you do this work, until you go deeper. And I know that's what happens to me going through some of the exercises and uncovering those hidden sneaky beliefs that just keep you from your dreams. Denise will help you easily unlock it. And this course will help you do that too. I am forever grateful to her for changing my perception of not only money, but what's possible. And I thank you Denise for that.

Hi, I'm Liv and I found that a blog called "The Indie Mood", which is a platform for small beauty business. Reading "Get Rich Lucky Bitch", totally changed my life. There were so many emotional blocks around money that I had that needed healing and clearing. And since reading the book, I've logged as had its highest earning month yet, and I've exceeded my monthly financial goals a day after reading the book, I began writing down affirmations like "it's okay for me to win." And that same day, found a lottery ticket inside a book at a store that won $20. I saw it as a sign and have been doing the work ever since to manifest larger goals. And it works.

Hey, gorgeous, Welcome back. And here's my final thought for today, might actually be a little bit morbid today, but you know what? Here is something that actually does motivate me. And it's the thought that we're all going to die someday, someday, we're all going to die and none of this is going to mean anything. And I know that sounds super, super morbid, but like, have you ever been to a cemetery and you walk through and you see all those headstones and you should think, "Well, all of those people had dreams and all of those people probably wanted to do things with their life" and they... Some of them achieved it and some of them didn't. And so I often do this, I'll look at a newspaper and I'll look at those obituaries. And I just think, "well, that will be me one day." And why not just like write that next book?

Why not just do the thing that I want to do? Because, I don't know, one day I'm not going to be here and I'm not going to have the opportunity to do it. And also who cares? Again, that sounds so morbid. What a lovely final thought for today. So we're all going to die one day, but it's true. And so why not do the thing? Why not just try? Why not write that book? Why not do your podcast thing? None of it's going to matter. Just do it. Does that feel good? Or does that feel morbid? I don't know. It really helps me one day. We're all going to die. So it may as well do it. It's meaningless anyway. And it's full of meaning and why not? Why not do the thing? And you know what you think of some of the dreams that your grandparents and their great-grandparents and their great-grandparents had, and now you can do it.

You have the energy you're alive, you can do it. This is actually super morbid. But sometimes I think with my kids and I, I sit and I just go, "I love you guys." I think "What if this is just me visiting from the afterlife and I was granted one more day to come back and be with my kids." And so I really take that moment and like sniff the back of their neck and just go, "Oh wow, thank you for this extra moment." And maybe this is all that there is maybe we've just come back for one extra day to achieve some cool things. Why not do it? Yeah, super morbid. As I said, any way, go forth chill and prosper. You have today, you are alive And you can do it. So peace out from me. I love you. And I will see you on the next episode. Bye.

About the Show

Chill & Prosper is your weekly dose of money mindset, marketing and humour from best-selling author and entrepreneur Denise Duffield-Thomas.

Denise's philosophy is that there is ALWAYS an easier way to make money and that's what she's here to help you do. Each week, you'll get actionable advice to help you make more money, with less work. There's no need to hustle - let Denise show you how to embrace the Chillpreneur way.

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