Denise Duffield...: Hello, hello, gorgeous. It's Denise here, and welcome to another edition of my podcast. Chill and Prosper. I'm always thrilled that you listen and that you spend this time with me. I know that some of you listen in your cars, a big shout-out to all the kids who listen as well. Hi, guys. Hi, kids, from that Australian, Aussie lady, the B lady, that some people call me.
Today, we are talking about something that is really dear to my heart, and that is boundary lessons, especially if you have a Facebook group, but boundaries with your clients in general, but I have learned so much, I've learned so many good and painful lessons about setting boundaries with clients, and that's what we're going to talk about today. Let's do it.
All right. So for those of you who do not know what I do, I have a course called the Money Bootcamp, And as of recording this, we have seven and a half thousand people in that group. So it's not a free group, it's a paid... Well, they pay once to join my course, and then they get that group forever. So I, like everyone else, started that group from scratch. I think the first round of Money Bootcamp, I had 20 or so people in it, and it has grown, and grown, and grown over the years. So I started it in 2012, so it's a 10 year course, and people, people join all the time, so it constantly, constantly grows, and this has been such an area of growth for me around overgiving, overdelivering, and being brave enough to set boundaries with clients.
So when I actually started my business, I was a one-on-one coach, and what I realized is that I had really crappy boundaries, because I had crappy boundaries around time. I had very long coaching sessions with people, instead of an hour, I'd have two hours. I would let clients contact me day and night, they'd text me, they sent me DMs, they would email me, and it was really not fun sometimes, and then when I started my Money Bootcamp group and it started growing and growing, there was a time where I actually wanted to quit that group completely and quit that course. I think it was about when there was about 2,000 people in there. And so you can see, we've had an extra like five and a half thousand people through that, right? Which is like over $11 million. So imagine if I had stopped at that stage, just because I was afraid to set boundaries, because I was scared to say no, and to set some limits around my time and energy in that group.
So you might be at a stage where you're about to set up a group, or you're about to start working with clients in that way, and you're scared about setting boundaries, or you might be listening to this at the moment where you're in of a pain point where I was at, and I totally understand both of those places. Now, you might actually have an amazing big group and you're better at boundaries than me, which is great. I would love to hear your tips around it, but wherever you are, I think there's lessons with no matter who you're serving, about setting boundaries.
Okay. So what was really painful about that 2,000 person mark? First of all, what I found really difficult was setting rules in that group, because I have this perception of myself as someone who's very fair, egalitarian, and I want everybody to prosper. Where that was doing me wrong though, was that I was trying to set up Money Bootcamp as this equal opportunity democracy. Everyone has equal say in how this space works, because I wanted it to feel really fair and friendly, and so, I would let people basically use the group however they wanted to.
So people would come in, they would do the six week kind of course, and then they would stick around, and then they would just want to talk about anything in the group. They wanted to use it as a general business group, and I was like, "Well, that's how they want to use it, so I kind of have to let people," and I didn't realize that I had a lot of money blocks still about being the boss. I had to unlearn that horrible feeling from being at school and being called bossy, and there's so much unlearning, I think for us, when we go into business for ourselves. Often, we are holding back parts of ourselves because of these earlier money blocks from these lessons or these painful experiences that we've had, and for me, it was being called bossy. And so, I was like, "I'm not the boss, no, everyone in here is equal. You get to just do whatever you want, guys," and I had to get over that.
I really had to get over it, because it was causing chaos and pain, not just for me, but for other members too. It wasn't clear. There wasn't clear expectations about how they could use the group. And so, when people don't know, they'll make it up, but when they know, they know what those rules are, right? So that's when I started setting the first rules around the group, I was like, "Hey, guess what?" I can't even remember what the first group was, but I think I was like, "You can't share outside links. This is not a promotional group," and that was really hard, because I was like, "But I really care."
And you know what? When you set a boundary, you probably will get one or two people who push back using the exact language that will trigger you, and for me, it was, "Well, you don't care about helping people succeed in business, if you don't let people promote themselves in here," and it was horrible. It made me want to vomit because I was like, "No, but I really do care, and I really love, and I really want to support you," not realizing that it wasn't my job to support them in every aspect of business, it was my job to support them in their money mindset and to do the course, to do the course. And so, although that was hard, it was a black and white lesson. There was no ambiguity around it because at first I was like, "Oh, but if you've got something that helps someone, yeah, okay, you can post a lesson in a comment," and I went, "No, no, this has to be just like, no, it's no outside promotion, and that's it."
The next one that I brought in was around topics, what's in and out of scope. Now, I've also done a podcast about how Bootcamp is an evergreen program, people can join at any time, so look out for that one, but the only way that that works with new people joining all the time is that you have to be clear what's in and out of scope for your group. So I started to say, "Look, this is for Bootcamp only. We're only talking about Bootcamp in here," and again, I got pushback, "Yeah, but I want to hear what the Bootcampers say about what's the best webinar software to use," and I was like, "Yeah, but you've got heaps of groups to talk about that in."
People wanted to talk about, sex and relationships, and parenting, and physical body stuff, and things like that, and I was like, "All of those things can be in other groups." And so, you don't have to be everything to everyone, and now I say to people, I say, "Hey, part of your upgrade for Money Bootcamp is making sure you have support in lots of areas, making sure you have a coach, making sure that you're in general business groups to ask questions about webinar software, making sure that you're in parenting groups to get support around that, making sure you're in groups around sex and relationships, so you can get support around that. Not everything has to be talked about out in this group."
And again, that was a money block for me, because I was used to being everyone's go-to girl. I had to give up my identity about being everyone's source of knowledge. And you know what I had to start saying? Well, first of all, I'd say, "Well, that's not my zone of genius," and I'd just have to say, "It's not what we talk about in this group. It's not my expertise." And I realized that even with my family, my family asks me questions all the time about everything, and I had to start saying, "I don't know. I don't know. I don't know," and even my husband, Mark, will be watching a movie and he'll ask something about the movie, and I'll go, "I haven't seen this either. I don't know."
And it was really hard for my ego to accept that first of all, I didn't know everything, because I totally do. I'm a Virgo, I know everything, but that I don't have to use my bandwidth for people in that way. I don't have to use my brain power solving problems for people. I've got one remit in that group, and that's how I solve their problem, and I do that through the course. I do that through the course.
All right, so I'm going to take a quick break, and then I'm going to share some stuff around time and energy that I learned, and also my resistance. I had a massive, big resistance to one boundary. All right, I'll speak to you in a sec.
Melissa Hadley ...: Hey, Denise. My name is Melissa Hadley Barrett. I live in Perth, Western Australia. I'm a sexologist, and a nurse practitioner. I read the Chillpreneur last year, and I loved it so much. I listened to the audio, and then I read the Lucky Bitch as well. I've told all my colleagues and friends about these books. It's totally changed my mindset, and consequently changed my business. Two things really stood out for me. First, I really had to work through the belief that I had to work harder to make money, as I've been flogging myself my whole life. The other is that we value the things we pay for more. I've since created an online program for erectile dysfunction, employed a coach, and I'm on my way to becoming a Chillpreneur. Once I finish this coaching, I plan on doing your Money Bootcamp, because I loved the books so much. Thank you, Denise, for speaking openly about a taboo subject, money.
Denise Duffield...: Alrighty. Welcome back. We are talking about setting boundaries, if you have groups of people that you serve. So in my case, I have a Facebook group where all of the clients who join my Money Bootcamp join that group, but you might have a forum, you might have a free popup Facebook group, you might have other groups that you're trialing out. I've learnt so many boundary lessons from this and it's been such great personal development, but you might think that I learn and all of those in the early stages and the truth is even in the last year or two, I have learned so many money blocks that I have, and so many money mindset lessons from being the leader of that group.
So in the first half I talked about how I had to be the one to set rules, and I had to unlearn that feeling of being called bossy, by setting rules. Now, what happened was I started to get really, really burnt out on trying to be there for every single person. Now, the way Money Bootcamp works is that people pay once. So you pay, at the moment, it's $2,000. It could be more than that by the time you're listening to this, but they pay once, and then they stay forever, and that's one of the reasons why I had to set boundaries around what people could talk about in the group, because new people were joining all the time, but here's a mistake that I see people make around things like that.
So, don't confuse a one-off course with a membership. So, I actually don't put pressure on myself to create lots of new things for my Money Bootcamp and the group, because it's pay once, it's not membership. So you pay once, you pay once for a course, and then you stay as a bonus, and you learn the same lessons again and again. That does not mean that I have to create new content every month. That would be a membership, that would be an ongoing mastermind. And so, that's a really big mistake I see people make, is feeling like they have to constantly entertain people in their groups, instead of really being clear what the business model is. Okay?
So if yours is a pay once thing, you don't have to constantly entertain those people. They bought that core, and for me, if someone's joined 10 years ago, they can come to the calls, but I'm not creating Money Bootcamp 2.0 for them in those calls, they're reminded of the core of the work and they get new things out of it every time, which is what I absolutely love, and it means that I value those members that have been there for a long time, but their role in the group is to work on the basics, work on the core of the course, and they can do that at different points of their journey, and get new things out of it.
Okay, so here's where I was getting really, really, really, really burnt out. Oh my God. So, I was answering every single question in Money Bootcamp, every single post, I would acknowledge and answer, and as it got bigger, as it got to that 4,000, 5,000, 6,000 people, this is where I was really stuck at 5,000. I was like, "I can't add any more people to this group. I can't," because it felt like every single one of the people who joined were attached to me via an umbilical cord, and this is just my stuff, not theirs. They did not expect this. No one expected that I was going to answer every single question in the group, right? But for me, I felt it.
So I was like, each new person that joined, I was adding this new umbilical cord, and I was so burnt out, so burnt out. The group was open all year round, so I would get people tagging me on Christmas Day, "Hey Denise, I just wanted to get your perspective on this." I'd be like "Really?" Weekends, everything, and it was really tricky, but what I was training them to do by answering everything and being there all the time was one, I was just part of the furniture. I was just like, "Oh, mom will answer it. Mom will do that," because I was like the mom of the group. Right? I wasn't special. I wasn't the leader of the group, I was their mom. And if you're in Money Bootcamp, know that I love you and all the things, but if you've been around for a long time, you've probably seen this evolution as well. And in any group, there's always people who are a little bit more high maintenance than others, and you have to train them, you have to train them that you're not available 24/7.
So I made one little simple shift that was so powerful, and if you're in Money Bootcamp, you might've seen this happen recently. Instead of answering the question, sometimes if I knew it was something where I was like, "That's in the freaking course," I would say, "Hey, what part of the course are you working on?" And they would go, "Oh, I haven't done it," and it's like, "Well, great." They didn't buy 24/7 access to me, and that might be applicable to you as well. They're not buying 24/7 access to you answering every question, because if you've created a course, if you've created curriculum, if you've created the resources for them, that's what they've bought. And so, I would just say, "Hey, what part of the course are you up to?" And so, people started to learn to not just ask a question that was in the course, and you have to do that visibly because then other people go, "Oh, wow. Yeah. Okay. I better actually do the course before I ask any stupid questions."
But the other thing that I started to do was to say, "Hey, that's in this module," and I posted the link, because at first I just started saying, "Oh, go and do that module," and then I realized not everyone has the login details to hand. Not everyone remembers where things are. So, I've got all the links on a doc, it's on my phone, it's on my computer, and it's also in the Money Bootcamp, in the files section on the Facebook group. So all the links are there, so I'll go, "Hey, yep, that's in this lesson," and I'll post the link. "Come and tell us your ahas afterwards," and that simple shift reminded people that they're there for their own transformation. They're not there to be spoon fed, they're not there to have everything done for them, they're there to have their own transformation.
And you know what? Changing those two things, saying to people, "Hey, what are you up to?", and "Hey, by the way, that's in the course," it actually even shifted the people that I started to attract. I started to attract more people who were self-reliant, people who took responsibility for their own actions, and realized that they were responsible for their own ahas. Really. And I even did a post about one of the lessons was Help, I Suck, and how to use the group, and I said, "Hey, you can come to the group. You can share whatever dirty laundry you want to share, but here are some guidelines. One, we don't just rant for the sake of ranting. If you're coming to post in the group, have some ahas to share, have some self-awareness to share, Do some of the lessons." And so, you can say, "Hey guys, I've got this situation. I think it's this. I have an aha around this. Can anyone else help me?" Because otherwise, then groups just become really boring places of full-on just rants and negativity, and not people taking responsibility for their own learning.
Okay, and then, so hopefully this is helpful to you in your own groups. I actually hired a community manager about two years ago, and this is Mara, who's in our group. I had so much resistance because I was like, "No, I have to be the one. I'm the special one. I'm the mom." I don't know. "What if they like her more than they like me?" But I had to hire in extra people, especially someone on a different time zone to me, because I found that things would kick off at like nine, 10:00 PM my time before I was going to bed, and I'd sneak in and go, "Oh God, all these people have got all these questions," or people were fighting before we had guidelines, and just having someone else take that and hold the space for me, meant that we could grow really quickly.
So when I was stuck at that 5,000, we actually grew pretty quickly to six and then seven, only because I had someone else shouldering that energy with me. And then even recently, we've hired an extra two people, so we've got those weekends covered as well. In the future, I might even close the group down in the weekends, or I might make it so just admins can post, and so, they can post on a thread. I'm not sure, but the thing for you is it's totally safe for you to make it work for you. We close the group down now over Christmas for two weeks, we give our staff paid time off, even our staff who are on casual. We closed it over Easter this year because I wanted to go on holidays, and so, we'll do it again this year.
So if you've got special family time or celebrations that you want some extra bandwidth around, it's totally okay to close down your group, put it on archive. You can pause groups now if you've got Facebook groups, but I think the big lesson that I just want to share with you that it's safe for you to have boundaries. It's safe for you to set things up that work for you first, because if I didn't, if I set things up that worked for thousands of different people's preferences, I would quit it. I've been, as I said, like at least two or three times, there's been times where I felt like completely closing down my Money Bootcamp group, because I just couldn't handle it anymore, and I don't want you to do that. I want you to give yourself permission to set it up that works for you. Set boundaries, get help if you need to. Take holidays, take time off. And it's totally okay if groups no longer serve you and you've fulfilled your part of it, it's totally okay to discontinue groups as well.
Ah, okay. This was a big one. I think there's so much there around boundaries and money blocks, and all the things so, I'm sending you love, and I've got one more thing to share after this quick break. I want to share with you some final thoughts. All right, gorgeous. Bye.
Michelle Armita...: Hi there, my name's Michelle Armitage, and I live in Bristol in the UK. I'm an interior designer and owner of Light & Frank Interiors. I specialize in the psychology of design. I help people by creating a space where meeting their personality needs comes first. Our environment has such an important impact on our physical and mental health, so it's really important to get it right. So now I've said all that, I think it sounds quite good, doesn't it? But I lack confidence in myself, and I often work for free or under charge. I have a huge tendency to work too hard and overlook my value. Through Money Bootcamp, I can feel layers and layers of old beliefs and money blocks rolling off me. Work doesn't have to be hard, it can actually be fun, and I want to work with people who value me and what I do, and can offer. I want to feel joy in my work.
I'm now super tuned into the negative languages that people use when it comes to success and money. We drag so much of our past around with us. With Denise's help, I'm letting it go. As I make changes in myself, I see the nature of opportunities around me shift in alignment with my new beliefs. In the last month, I've put my rates up, won an exciting commercial contract, I made really good progress about publishing and marketing my book. I've got clarity and confidence like I've never felt it before. I'm so excited about what I'll create this year and in the future. I'm so glad I joined Money Bootcamp.
Denise Duffield...: Hi, and welcome back to my final thought. This one is about celebration, celebrating. I had a massive aha recently that I really struggle celebrating successes, and I really wanted to dig in why that was, and I realized that if I acknowledged my success, if I really sat with it, I thought, "Wow, that would make me really egotistical. I'd be so up myself, if I really sat and acknowledged some of my successes." The other aha that I got was that if you acknowledge success and you celebrate it, then something bad will happen to balance it out, and I felt like, "Oh, if I really acknowledge that, then the rug will be pulled out from under my feet, and something bad will happen to balance the scales."
So if that's you, I've got some affirmations for you this week. So it could be something really simple like, "It's safe for me to celebrate. It's safe for me to celebrate my success. It's safe for me to acknowledge my success and to look at my success. It's safe for me to tell other people about my successes." So maybe you've got some stories around that, or you not don't have enough positive people around you. It could be "Celebrating won't jinx my success," that could be your thing, "And it's safe for me to have more good things happen to me. I can handle success."
I would love to hear your ahas around that, if you've got a similar money block to me around celebration, and the cool thing is you don't have to celebrate like everyone else. You might have seen people, they go, "I always celebrate with champagne." You know what? I'm allergic to champagne, so that's not me. I thought I had to celebrate with buying a handbag or whatever, and what I celebrate with these days is I buy stuff for my farm. So we're renovating and decorating my farm, and so, I buy myself a brass duck from Etsy, from an antique dealer, and that feels really good, but it could be just putting your hand on your heart and saying, "Yeah, wow. I really acknowledge that," and just taking the moment before you rush onto the next thing.
Okay. I'd love to hear our thoughts about that and your ahas, so yeah. Hit me up @DeniseDT on Insta, on Twitter, I'm Denise Duffield-Thomas on Facebook, and I will see you next week for another edition for more chilling and more prospering. See you next week. Bye.
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