Finding Your Business Cheerleaders

In this week's episode of Chill & Prosper, we're talking about finding your very own business cheerleaders.

Masterminds, friends, community and business besties. It’s a crucial part of your success.

Entrepreneurship can feel really lonely. I totally get this. 

I started out being the only entrepreneur in my family and friend group, to having an incredible community of friends and business cheerleaders all over the world.

I want this for you too!


I talk about ...

  • How to find an incredible mastermind
  • How to develop organic friendships with business superstars 
  • The secret tool of “buyable experiences”
  • Building your dream team of cheerleaders


Hey. Today we're talking about finding your community, finding your cheerleaders in business, finding your mastermind and making sure that you are surrounded by entrepreneurial friends who have your back. Now, why is this an important topic? First of all, if you are someone who is the only entrepreneur in your family, you know how this feels to be really lonely, to feel like nobody understands you. And even just, nobody really gets why you want to go to conferences or read books, or why you're investing so much in your business. I totally totally get this. I grew up in a small town, Central Coast in New South Wales, and all my friends ... I love my friends. I still see them. And some of them are actually entrepreneurial, but at the time, especially when I was a kid and then in my early twenties, they didn't really understand why I was reading books about personal development, writing my goals down in journals, spending money to go to conferences, especially when it seemed like I actually wasn't making very much money at the start.

And it took me a while to find my thing. So a lot of my friends told me go from business idea to business idea and understandably, they were quite skeptical, I guess, about some of them, especially since some of my early businesses were probably a bit, either slightly dodgy or they didn't get it. So those early days, especially in my twenties, when I was starting my business, I would go to these conferences, and I'd be the only woman in the room. And I would often be the youngest, and I'd see these guys up on stage, or I would look at some of the people in the audience and think, "Maybe I'm just not meant to be in business if this is what it's all about." And I joined this group when I was living in London, and it was a group that was kind of Tony Robbins groupies, and they were all people who'd been to Tony Robbins seminars.

And you're just forming kind of groups. What I noticed was that all the men were trying to look like Tony Robbins, and it was the era of Tony Robbins, where he was wearing a black turtleneck shirt and he had a goatee. I don't, follow him much anymore, so I don't know what he's wearing now, but you'd go to these events. And there would be a ginger guy wearing a goatee and a black turtleneck, a tall guy, an old guy. And they were all wearing the same thing. And I'd go there and just go, "Oh my God, I'm just not meant to be in business if this is what it's about." And then something happened that completely changed my life. I went to a women's event in Vegas, and this was Ali Brown was running it.

And it was the first time that I'd been to one, a conference that was mostly women; all women speakers, and run by a millionaire woman, where everyone pretty much in the audience was a woman. And this is so common now. So, so common now, but at the time it was really revolutionary and Ali Brown is very glamorous. She's really beautiful. And I just looked at her like she was a fairy princess. I was just like, "Oh my God." and I was, she had a beautiful pedicure and like beautiful high shoes and just perfect hair makeup. And I was just like, "Oh my God, is this really possible? Women are allowed to be rich too." So this was 2009, and you might think, "What? There are so many places and conferences now that you can go to." And I totally agree with you, but at the time it was a bit revolutionary.

Now you might not have the ability to go to conferences right now. You might not have a ton of money to invest, but there are still ways that you can experience that for yourself. What that gave me was, oh my God, maybe I could do it as well. And this is the cool thing about the world that we live in now is that we can curate our experience to see what we want in the world and to start to change our mindset about what's possible for ourselves. So this starts with our social media feeds. So maybe at the moment you get on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, whatever, and all the other things, Clubhouse, TikTok, and you see things that make you feel like that, make you feel like an outsider. And the cool thing is that algorithms will help you once you start to change and deliberately curate your own feed.

So if you want to see more queer millionaires, for example, it might take you a while to seek those examples out, but you can follow hashtags to see more of that in your feed. If you want to see more black millionaires, black female millionaires, if you want to see millionaires with disabilities, there are ways that you can seek out. And yes, it might be quite difficult at the start to find that exact thing that you want to see, but the more you search for it, and also the more you share your experiences, the more you'll see it in your feeds. And this is super important to start to believe it's possible for yourself. And everyone can do that starting now. You can look at your Pinterest, for example, [inaudible] boards, follow hashtags. You can do all of that. And then the algorithm will start to work for you to make that possible for yourself.

Let's talk about the people that you are surrounded by though. Often people ask me, "How do I find a mastermind? Or how do I create one?" There's not many secrets around this. Let's say for example, you don't have a ton of money to invest in things like that right now. One cool thing that I've seen is for people to showcase those people that they want to be friends with. And this is why it's so cool now that you can start your own podcast. You can just start your own podcast, and you can interview those people. You can write a book and interview those people. Of course, you have to be respectful of their time, and you have to make sure that you actually follow through and make sure you market those podcasts and things like that, but you can have your own.

I was actually ... I'm in a podcast studio at the moment, which is cool. And just before we started it, I was saying to my engineer guy, I've been watching this show about morning TV, and they have to get up at 3:30 in the morning. And I just never would have gone into TV or radio if I had to get up at 3:30 in the morning. But I can start my own. I can start my own podcast. And you can pretty much start that now with your phone and the headset that you get from Apple. You can just start that with a computer and a cheap headset. Now you might not at the start, be able to interview people who are superstars in your industry, but it's a really great way that you could make Mastermind Buddies, where you make friends that you can connect with.

So that's one thing that you can do if you don't have the budget yet to buy into a Mastermind. Another thing that you can do. And this is what I did in the early days, I was so active in free business groups, giving, giving, giving, and actually to the point that one time I was at a conference and I was like, "Hi, my name is Denise Duffield-Thomas." And the speaker was like, "Oh, you're the girl who's always on Facebook." And I went, "that's me" because I was always there. I was always there in groups, giving advice, giving tips or if I didn't have something to say, giving cheerleading advice. And I still do that to this day. I still in groups that I've been in for years. And sometimes I'll just be like, "Hey, that's great. Well done." And I'm just a cheerleader for people.

And that can really develop those organic friendships that are so valuable to you in business. Reach out to people with no agenda just to help them. Give resources, be the go-to girl for people. And then afterwards, you can curate that a little bit. At the start, I was just like, "Let me Google anything for anyone." And now sometimes I'll let things pass and go, "Wow, growth. I didn't have to be everything to everyone. I can let somebody else take care of that." and that feels like growth as well.

This is all super important. You need to have people who have your back. You need to have business besties. You need to have someone that you can call on to say, "Hey, I'm experiencing this low moment. Or I feel like I've got imposter syndrome." And those are the ways already that you can kind of start to curate that.

                                                After the break, I'm going to tell you about some other kind of, more advanced ways that you can get into cooler, more exclusive groups. But if that's something that you feel like you see people and you go, "Oh my God, how do I get into the cool kids club?" Trust me, there's some smoke and mirrors around it, and I'm going to reveal all after the break.

Hi, I'm Teddy Hicks, a coach and intuitive eating counselor. And I live in Maryland. I run the Food & Body Love membership, where ambitious women learn to stop battling food and live their best lives in the bodies they have right now. I joined bootcamp in 2017, and, to be honest, I didn't know much about Denise before I joined. I was just drawn to the program because I knew I needed to work on my money mindset. And I loved Denise's energy. Bootcamp helped me discover all the deep money blocks I had that were preventing me from gaining any traction in my business or feeling like I deserve to be happy. Since joining, I've completely transformed the way I think about myself and my value as a coach. I know I can build a business in a way that works for me. And I have big inspiring goals that I know I can reach.

Now I know I can have absolutely anything I want. The best thing about Bootcamp is having tangible tools that help you shift your money mindset like decluttering, tapping, and forgiving that you can use again and again, as you move to new levels of wealth and success. I highly recommend Bootcamp to anyone who wants to break through their money blocks and be successful. No matter what your current income level or experience in business, the supportive Bootcamp community will elevate you to achieve absolutely anything you want. I am so grateful to Denise and all the Lucky Bees who inspire me every day.

So sometimes people look at me and they go, "It's all right for you to see you're on the cool kids club. You're in the inner circle." And I'm here to tell you that there is no inner circle of anything. It's usually totally made up. And sometimes it comes from, honestly, it comes from people who have still things that they haven't worked through around high school and being excluded because even when you see people and you think everyone knows each other, chances are that they don't, but they have deliberately put themselves into, I don't know, rooms where discussions are made. And I sound like I'm being really cryptic. Let me say it how it is. A couple of years ago, I went to Richard Branson's private island called Necker Island in the Caribbean in British Virgin Islands. Sorry. And it is such a cool place. It's an island that billionaires have gone to. It's an island that the Obama's have hung out, Princess Diana has hung out there and it's Richard's personal private island.

Now often when things like that happen and there's people Instagramming, it and stuff like that, it can bring up a lot of FOMO for people about, how come I'm not invited to things like this. And let me break down how that happened. So my friend, Natalie MacNeil, she's known for her business, She Takes on the World, and she's a podcaster. She's an Emmy award-winning producer, and she's just an all-around amazing, amazing woman. So anyway, she was invited to go on an entrepreneurial trip to Necker Island, and it was mostly dudes there. And she was like, "Hey, I would love to come back and, bring women here." So instead of waiting to be invited, she was like, "Hey, maybe this, you could just make this happen."

And so for a lot of these experiences, it seems like it's a really exclusive invite only thing, but it's actually a buyable experience. Anybody, within reason, anybody can buy a week on Necker Island, it's a buyable experience. And she went to Virgin and she was like, "How much does it cost?" And let me tell you, it is multiple, like almost a million dollars. It's almost a million dollars to rent Necker Island for week. And you might just go, "Oh my God, that's outrageous." But then she was like, "Well, I just need to find enough people to share this cost with me. And we can, we can go together and experience this together." And she did, she found a whole bunch of people who wanted to go and have this experience.

For me, I was like, "Yeah, this is an expensive experience, but it's something that I want to experience for myself." And here's the thing though. It wasn't like we all sat down at Necker Island and was like, "Okay, now let's talk about secret, you know, million dollar strategies." It was such a weird, organic experience where it would be like, "Hey, does anyone want to go and jump on the trampoline in the middle of the ocean?" And so we'd swim out ... just took my thongs off, classy. We just ... oh my God, sorry. I have to clarify that thongs in Australia means flip-flops. I didn't just take off my underwear. I just literally just took off my flip flops. Anyway, we'd be there. And it'd be like, "Hey, does anyone want to swim out to this trampoline in the ocean?" And we'd swim out there. And then it would be like, "Hey, what email system is everyone using these days?" Someone would be like, "Oh, I'm on Infusionsoft. Oh, I'm on Kajabi." And those discussions happened really organically.

And yes, it was an incredible abundant experience, but it was a buyable experience. I didn't have to be in the cool kids club. I wasn't excluded from it. I literally bought it. And so sometimes, yet, who you know, but I would say there are things in your life right now that you're waiting to be invited to. You're waiting to be invited to the fancy hotel. You're waiting to waiting to be invited to a mastermind. And the truth is that a lot of those, when you really break it down, they're buyable experiences. You can find that mentor that you want to work with, and you can probably buy a VIP day from her. You can buy her course, where she has her community. You can probably, go to an event that she's doing. It's, nobody's excluding you from those things. You can literally just buy into them. And yes, I know that sometimes it feels that way. And sometimes there is, I'm sure there are some snobby people, but it really isn't like that as much as you think.

Now, the other example that I learned from this, my friend, Laura Roeder, who she's an amazing entrepreneur, she founded B-School with Marie Foreo. She has a scheduling app called MeetEdgar. I always get the G and the J mixed up. And I can't say it. And she's created Paperbell, and a few other software systems as well, but she's just a really pragmatic person. And she really taught me this because I remember she won this award and it was like the White House, 30 entrepreneurs under 30. And I remember just feeling so jealous. And I was just like, "Laura, like you get these amazing things. Like, I was just like, it's not fair." And she goes, "I just applied for that." And I was like, "Oh, what do you mean?" She goes, "Denise, Barack Obama is not sitting there Googling, 'Who are the best entrepreneurs in America under 30'. I put myself forward for these experience. And the pool is never as big as you think." And it just blew my mind. And then I looked into some other things and often you can buy an award, really, if you want to. You can just apply for it.

It's just ... even some people who start award ceremonies, they've just created it. And they've just made up an award. It really is smoke and mirrors a lot at the time, but what does it bring up for you? Does it bring up again that there is this cool kids club that I'm excluded from that I'm never chosen that I have to wait and someone will select me. Really you can self-select. As I said, you can find those mentors that you want to work with. And you don't always have to beg for free time from people. You can usually purchase. I know it sounds very transactional, but, same with me, you might think, "Oh, I want to be friends with Denise." Well, come to one of my retreats. Join Money Bootcamp, and be in my community. It's a buyable experience. Literally it costs you $2,000. Come and join my Money Bootcamp, and you have bit more access to me then you don't.

So this whole episode really is just about demystifying that, but you really have to go out and seek other people. You want to be able to reduce your six degrees of separation away from you and your goals. And if you are in communities, if you're in friendship groups with people who are doing what you want to do, you feel like it's possible for yourself. And, technology makes it possible now. There is no excuse you could live in the smallest most remote town, as long as you've got internet, online friendships are real friendships. Take a really good look at who you're following on social media, the groups that you are in. The free and the paid groups. That you are graduating yourself. Making sure that you're not in groups where you are being taken advantage of. That you're just giving, but you're not stretching. Making sure that you're kind of in the middle of the fishes. You're not a big fish. And you don't have any more to learn and that you are stretching yourself to that next level.

The other thing to look at is what Bible experiences you want to put on your dream board on your goal list for this next year. Is it a place that you want to go to, a conference, a meet up? Is it a VIP day with somebody that you would admire and aspire to work with? Or you can create those things yourself. You can create them. And I remember Ali Brown talking about this, actually, she would go to these conferences and she went, "You know what, I'm going to start my own networking events." So she would hire a suite, and she would get people to pay an entry fee, and come to this party at these conferences. She'd get some catering in. And I was a really creative way of putting yourself in those rooms by creating them sometimes.

So I would love to hear what this episode has brought up for you, what ideas that it sparked for you, whether you agree with or disagree with me. My social handle across the whole interwebs is @DeniseDT. You can always send me a DM. I love hearing from people, and I want to hear what's come up for you around this, and what ideas you might have for the rest of us as well. So remember, there's no room that you can not be in, and you belong and it's your time. You don't have to wait for anyone else to give that permission to you. I'll be right back after the break with some final thoughts.

Hi, I'm Karen Graver and I'm the business owner of Healthy Homeopathy. And we're based in London. I'm an actual health care expert. I love art and culture. And I'm also momma to two kids, two beautiful daughters, a cat and soon to be a puppy as well. Denise I think is fantastic.

The book that I've read is Get Rich, Lucky Bitch, and it sits on my desk and I look at it nearly every day. I particularly liked the idea around money blocks. I think my main block was actually getting paid and getting paid what I really needed to get paid, to have a good lifestyle and to be able to look after my kids, and myself well. I think it probably stems back from my parents' attitudes to money. My parents were very successful. It was very much driven by my dad and his own business. He was an entrepreneur too. And also I think a little bit to do with culture too. I'm of Indian background. And sometimes I think women have to play second fiddle to men when it comes to taking money. Anyhow, magic thing. Every time I read, Get Rich, Lucky Bitch, I seem to get a new client instantly. I love its coaching. I love its focus. I love that it's practical. It's helped me in every way. Thank you so much, Denise.

Hey gorgeous, welcome back. Thank you for joining me today and spending this time with me. And here's my final thought for today. There are so many opportunities for you to practice abundance and practice receiving abundance. And I'm going to share one with you that was just such a fun, little, cool thing for me. And I still do it today. When I fill up my car with petrol, with gas, whenever I see the petrol numbers go, I used to remember as a kid, it was a real stress for my mom. And she could, had to watch it and be like, "I can only afford to put in $5." And back in the day where you had to pump it exactly. You couldn't just press the exact amount that you wanted to. And so I remember that stress of that for my mom. And I realized that every time I went to the gas station and the petrol station, we call it in Australia or the petty, petty station. I would feel that same stress of lack and not having enough.

And so I decided that I would turn that into a positive anchor. So now when I fill up my car and I see the numbers go, I imagine that that's how much money is coming into my bank account. And so I'm like, "this is my bank account. This is my bank account. This is my bank account." And it feels so good. It feels good to see those numbers go up, up and up and up and up and up and up. And so that could be for me, someone just bought an ebook for me. Someone just bought my book on Kindle. Someone just bought my money bootcamp. I don't know what's happening behind the scenes, but I do know that my bank account is filling up each and every day.

And so each time you can practice those feelings, practice the feeling of abundance, especially if you catch yourself having the opposite. If you have old things that remind you of a feeling of lack or poverty or bad experiences from your childhood, if you can switch it around and make it a positive. So now every time I pass a gas station, I'll think of that. I think money in the bank, my bank accounts are rising so rapidly, so exciting. And I practice that little anticipation feeling in my stomach. Now I did this in my very first couple of years of business when I really wasn't making any money and I still do it today. And it's super fun.

I want you to try it, and if you don't have a car and you don't ever go to a petrol station, see where else you can find those moments to go, "Ah, my money is just coming at me so quickly and it feels so cool." And I would love to hear from you once you've tried it, tell me how it feels or send me a selfie from a gas station. You probably not allowed to do that. I want to hear about how that's landed for you because it was a super fun one for me.

Just go forth throughout your day, chill and prosper. Peace out for me, 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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