What Should I Invest In To Grow My Business? My 4 Favourite Investments


People are always curious about the best investments I’ve ever made in my business. 

In the spirit of Oprah's favorite things list at Christmas (which I love!), I’m gonna give you my four favorite investments to move through your money blocks and get to the next level in your business. 

Let’s talk about how to use the principles of upgrading and investing in yourself to grow your business. 

Firstly, when you upgrade your tools, you’re upgrading your business. You’re no longer keeping yourself small and limited. Next up, investing in a team has been a big game changer for me. For example, outsourcing bookkeeping was a major milestone in my business. Now I have a team that supported me in running a million dollar launch this year!

Thirdly, having a mastermind and coaches has absolutely helped me grow my business. I’ve invested in my personal development and I make sure I surround myself with people who are operating at the next level. That’s how I became a millionaire at the age of 35.

My fourth investment is having lots of help at home. I outsource everything I possibly can so I can focus on my kids and my business. I can help you uplevel too - listen to find out how!


In this episode, you'll learn: 

  • How to create ease for yourself in your business
  • How I’ve scaled my systems in business and at home
  • Upgrading your tools will upgrade your success
  • What’s holding you back in your business
  • How much it cost me to go to Necker Island and what I got out of it



Denise Duffield...:            Hey, gorgeous. It's Denise here and welcome to another episode of Chill & Prosper. This is your podcast for learning about money, money mindset, business. We have real conversations about money and all the good things. So thanks for listening. Today, I am sharing four of my best investments in growing a multimillion dollar business.

                                                And people are very curious about this. And I get asked this a lot of what's the one best investment that you've ever made? And what's the one thing that you've spent recently? Or what's the last tech thing? Or what do you spend your money on basically? And so I've broken it down into four different areas. Some might surprise you, some might be really freaking obvious.

                                                And that's kind of the lesson that I want you to get, is that often you might think a lot of complexity goes into running a multimillion dollar business, but actually there's a point where you can't upgrade systems beyond a certain point, right? Where it just becomes, oh, that's just a system.

                                                And that system, and that process could work, whether you're making $10,000, $100,000 or a million dollars, and it's the same system. And what the lesson is though around that is seeing where you're reluctant to spend money, where you're reluctant to grow, where you're reluctant to set systems, where you're reluctant to creating ease for yourself.

                                                And if you can do that now, then you are creating a really good container for growing your business beyond the six figure million dollar mark. And that doesn't mean that you'll ever find the one perfect system, right? There's nothing that I've used or I've gone, oh, I'll use it forever necessarily. But it's the principle of it that I want to share today, the principle of upgrading, the principle of investing in yourself.

                                                So the very first thing that I see people mess up is having the right tools to do their business. And this might sound really freaking obvious to you. But when I started my business, I had the crappiest laptop in the whole wide world. It was a couple of hundred dollars. It was slow. It was noisy. It had this fan that was super noisy.

                                                It emitted all this hot air. And I would do something and would take it a year to load, right? And so I want you to think about what tools you need to actually do your job that you might be resisting investing in. So this could be having a decent laptop. So you are kind of going, "Hey, universe, send me all the clients. I want to write my book. I want to do this." And then you just do not have the tools to do your work.

                                                And yes, I get that that takes money, right? But there are ways that you can do this. You can buy refurbished laptops. You can make sure that you have the tools you need to do your job, especially if they're tools that save you time and in the long run, they save you time and energy. That time and energy you could use to get more paying clients.

                                                So a phone is a really good example. I love my iPhone. You might have a Google phone, you might have an Android phone. You might love your phone too. But a phone nowadays, a really good phone is such an incredible tool to do business. You could run your whole business off your phone if you didn't have a laptop, if you didn't have a desktop.

                                                You can film your course on it. You can write your book while you're waiting outside of ballet on your phone. You can use your phone to connect with people via social media. You can use your phone when you're on the go answering emails from clients. You can invoice from your phone. There's so many things that you can do.

                                                Yet I still see people cheaping out and not giving themselves the tools that they need to thrive in their business. So that could be your phone, as I said, it could be having a decent laptop, it could be having a decent screen for your desktop, it could be making sure that you have tools that help you sit at your desk for long periods of time. It could be a microphone.

                                                It could be something like that, that will give you the tools to actually do your business. Now, let's talk about other things like tools that other people resist using. Software. If you are having emails back and forward with your clients about time zones, an online calendar is such a good investment. It really is, an online calendar.

                                                Social media schedulers. If you are using tools that are not for purpose anymore, if they're too small, if they're keeping you small, upgrading your tools will absolutely grow your business. And I could really see the difference. When I finally gave myself permission to have a Calendly account or a TimeTrade account that I started off with.

                                                I was like, oh my God, it's $20. But then I was like, but do I really believe that I'm going to have enough clients beyond the four things that they allow me to schedule? Same with social media. If I really truly believe I'm going to build a big business, what tools do I need to do that? And that doesn't mean you need to overdo it and spend millions of dollars on tools and stuff like that.

                                                But I just want you to get really clear on what is stopping you from making money at the moment. It could be Internet, upgrading your Internet, having an upgraded website, having a mobile responsive website. All of these things could absolutely be stopping you from making money at the moment. And it's not like I've got a millionaires phone. I've still got an iPhone.

                                                This comes to a point where you can't get any higher speed Internet. And so this is all stuff that is going to grow your business to where it needs to go investing in it now. All right. Number two is team, team to take things off my plate that I sucked at, team to take things away from me that I wasn't good at that took me time and energy or things that wouldn't happen because I procrastinated them.

                                                So for example, bookkeeping. Outsourcing bookkeeping was a major milestone in my business. It felt like I had a real business. It meant that I had to... I actually wanted to impress my bookkeeper. I remember thinking, oh my God, it's a couple of days to the end of the month. I'm going to send that invoice out to those clients because I wanted my bookkeeper to see that I was making money, not just having expenses.

                                                So for me, that was a big symbolic investment in my future million dollar business. Hiring my first virtual assistant was a very similar symbolic investment. And then I layered things in, what if I got someone to help me make videos? What if I got someone to help me do my website. And I can do all of those things myself. You probably can too. You probably have a lot of different skills.

                                                And at the start of your business, you have to be Jill of all trades, Jack of all trades. You kind of have to suck it up and do it all. But at some point, your capacity and your energy is going to... You're going to lose bandwidth and you're not going to be able to do all of those things yourself. Does not mean you need a big two team.

                                                You absolutely do not need a big team. Does not mean you need full-time staff. It might surprise you to hear that we have no full-time staff in our business. I wouldn't even consider myself full-time or Mark necessarily. But someone, a couple of hours a week, might create some systems for you, help you with your website, help you do things that are holding you back from making money, and it might give you more energy to go out and do more income producing activities.

                                                So think about what could be your first or your next hire, and then see where you are holding yourself back. So for me, I've always been really adamant about having a lean team. And I had a lot of pride about that, right? So at some point, my pride around that was actually detrimental because I'd love telling people, I've got a lean team.

                                                And then I was like, oh, crap. Actually, I feel like we need to hire some more staff here. And my ego was like, no, but, I've told everyone I've got a lean team and I pride myself on the fact that we have a lead team. And so I actually worked with someone to help us hire and help us to really look at what was holding us back.

                                                Do a bit of an audit to see where those gaps were, where the bottlenecks were. And actually the bottleneck wasn't necessarily with me anymore, it was with Mark, my husband and launch manager because he was trying to do too many things. And so we took some few things off his plate, but we did it very cautiously and we did it in a still and a simple way.

                                                Not hiring people full time, really looking for people who were experts, not people who were super cheap and then we had to manage or we had to train. And that's what really grew some stuff for us. And so a really good example of this, we did it at the start of 2021. So we worked with a consultant. We really looked at those job roles.

                                                We spent a couple months onboarding people and getting them up to speed, and then guess what, we had some bandwidth. So I said to Mark, hey, why don't we do a challenge? Why don't we do a launch? And he's been with the company a couple of years. And because he was so full up with stuff, every time I said, hey, why don't we do this? He would just go no way.

                                                Because he was full. He was a bottleneck. And so suddenly we had all this extra capacity. And that challenge for us was a million dollar launch, Australian dollars million dollar launch, which I don't know, $800,000 U.S to give you context. We only could do that because we had extra team capacity. We had mental bandwidth to do it.

                                                We weren't having to do all the things ourselves. So something to think about, about where you could expand your capacity by adding someone in to hold space for you. A big change for me was hiring a community manager so I didn't have to answer every question in Money Bootcamp myself. Gave me so much more bandwidth to then go and tell more people about Money Bootcamp.

                                                And I had to work through blocks around that. So you will absolutely have blocks around investing in these things, and that's totally fine. It could be it's safe for me to invest. It's safe for me to grow my business. All right. I've got two more tips for you and I'll be right back after this very quick break.

Carol Amber:                     Hi, I'm Carol Amber, and I'm a business fear coach based in South Australia. Get Rich, Lucky Bitch was one of the first business books I've read when I started consulting in 2014. The biggest half of my business was the impact a negative mindset has on our income. That includes the negative impact my partner had on our own personal wealth.

                                                I credit the book with us getting 50% more than the market value when we sold our home a few years later. I definitely recommend it to anyone who feels like they never have enough money, as there are top tips in book to help you shift that mindset and get rich.

Carly:                                     Hey, beautiful. My name is Carly. I run Carly Heinz's Coaching. I'm a mindset coach for women who are new to business, helping them step into unshakable clarity and alignment so that they can have massive, massive impact. I've just finished reading Get Rich, Lucky Bitch. And honestly, I cannot believe that I didn't read it sooner.

                                                It came to me by way of a coach and then a client of mine as well. Since decluttering my money beliefs and my money memories, I just cannot believe how much more freely money is flowing to me. It's totally changed the way that I look at money. I'm seeing opportunities and I'm seeing all of the abundance that is truly, truly available to me. So thank you so, so much. And this was just an absolutely incredible, incredible read.

Denise Duffield...:            Hi, welcome back. I just had a quick sip of tea. I have chamomile and honey tea when I'm doing lots of talking like this. So the first thing I said that I invested in was just tools and very simple tools to do my job. And the second thing was team, to take things off my plate and to give us more capacity and more bandwidth to experiment.

                                                So what's number three, some of the invests in growing my million dollar business. So number three is actually mentoring personal development, masterminds, coaching, that kind of thing. And that's really that intangible support that I believe we all need when we're growing a business.

                                                Now, even if you're in a corporate job, usually you have some sort of mentorship or personal growth stuff that your company tries to put in sometimes clumsily, but often you don't need it as much in a job if you aren't putting yourself out there all the time, if you are not put stretching yourself out of your comfort zone.

                                                And most of my jobs I had pre entrepreneurship, I didn't need personal growth for it. It was do this thing, move this widget from here to there, and then you go home and you never have to think about it. And then when I started my business, I realized how paralyzed I felt with fear all of the time because everything was down to me. I had to set my own prices.

                                                I had to put value on what I did. I had to do my own customer service. I had to decide how much I was going to charge for speaking engagement. I had to say no to people. I had to set boundaries. And that takes up a lot of energetic bandwidth. It takes up so much space and the fear can be very paralyzing and very debilitating. So what do you need to invest in around your intangible growth and support that you need?

                                                Do you need a one-on-one coach at the moment? Do you need a mentor? Do you need accountability? Do you need a strategist to help you? Like I said, with the team, I needed to look at those blind spots. Sorry. That's enablers term. I needed to look at the areas that I couldn't see in my business that I wasn't aware, and I needed an outside third party person to see that in just a simple way without all the emotion that came behind it.

                                                So sometimes you need a strategist just to be dispassionate do an audit on your business and tell you what to do. Sometimes you need inspiration and motivation. Sometimes you need sistership, brotherhood. Sometimes you need compassion and understanding. Sometimes you just need literally solidarity in this journey of entrepreneurship.

                                                So think about what you need to invest in at the moment. And here's something that I learned about this area. Everything is a buyable experience, everything. So people ask me, "How do I find a mastermind?" I go, "You buy it. You spend money and you join someone's mastermind." You can't always find the ways to do these things for free.

                                                "Oh, how do I get a mentor to work with me?" Well, most mentors you can buy that. You can buy an hour of their time. How do I get in front of someone? Well, sometimes you can just pay to get in front of somebody. So it's not always about finding those free groups. Sometimes it's paying to learn from people who have curated an experience for you.

                                                This is an example of my Money Bootcamp, right? I've curated an experience where we talk about money mindset. We talk through all the issues that are holding you back and it is a buyable experience. It's a couple of thousand dollars and you can be in there. Same with like, "Oh, how do I come to your Rose Farm?" I go, "Well, a couple of times a year, I'll run a retreat and you can buy it."

                                                So a couple of years ago, I went to Richard Branson's private island, Necker Island, and I'm planning to go one more time again. And I had so many people go, "How do you get to go to Necker Island?" Because it feels like something that you are excluded from. This feels like something you have to be chosen to do.

                                                And the truth is anybody can rent out Richard Branson's private island, anybody. It just costs a shit ton of money. It costs $750,000 to hire it out for a week. And I had a friend who went there and she was with a bunch of guys, and she went, "I would love to bring a group of women back here." And so she just said to them, "How much is it to higher out the island?

                                                And they said, it's whatever it was. I think it was $750,000. Don't quote me on that. And she went, "I will go and find people to share that cost with me." And that's how I went to Necker Island. I happened to know someone who was doing that. And anything like that is a buyable experience. You want to go to Paris and go to a writing workshop, someone has created that for you and you can buy it.

                                                It doesn't mean it's always cheap. It doesn't mean it's always affordable. But if you need that, if you need to be around other people who are going in the direction you're going in, you can buy that. You can just buy it. If you need someone to tell you what to do next, you can buy someone's time in a VIP day. I'm sure, even I've probably got a price on that.

                                                I've done a handful of VIP days by the way. But pretty much anyone can be bought, right? And I learnt this... It was amazing. So a friend of mine was running a conference and she was sending out messages to people going, "Who would you love to see? Who would be your dream speaker?" And people were like oh my God, Oprah, Michelle Obama, Brené Brown.

                                                And my friend was like, "Oh, shit." And then she went, "Hang on. I'm going to see." And so she sent messages out to some of those very, very famous people. And they were like, "Here's my speaker's rate." And she just went, "Wow, you can just buy it."

                                                And so masterminding, mentorship, coaching, all of those things, if you need that, first of all, it's incredibly worthwhile to spend that money because when you are around people who are going where you want to go, it changes your belief that it's possible for you too. If you know someone, if you are one degree of separation from someone who has done something you want to do, you go, maybe it's possible for me too.

                                                And I'll tell you what Necker Island did for me. And I see backlash about it. I totally get it. And it's a very privileged thing to do. And it's very privileged, right? And people go, "Oh, it's not even that good. I would never even want to go." I got so much out of it beyond the investment. So the investment for me, it was $30,000 to go for a couple of days to Necker Island, plus all the flights and stuff to get there.

                                                So it was not an inexpensive experience, right? But what I got out of that was, one, I was like, holy crap, women, we need our own spaces because we were going around in a private boat. And it was like, "Oh, that's the Google guys island, and that's the Facebook guys island, and that's this guys island." And they all meet up and they play golf and, "Ha, ha, we're so rich, we've got our own islands."

                                                And I was like well, where are the women's islands? Where's Sara Blakely's island. And it made me so inspired to come home and create a space for my community to gather. And so going to Nicker island, paying that money, I came home. And when I saw a Rose Farm for sale, a country property, I went that is possible for me to do that.

                                                It made me believe that having your own space, a place for pleasure and fun and connection is a valuable thing to have. And that's what that mentorship, that's what that mastermind gave to me, not the money. And you still might think it's an outrageous amount of money, but I can afford it for the amount of money I earn. It wasn't an outrageous amount of money for me, but it's what it gave me, right?

                                                And so I want you to think about where you need to stretch your belief muscle, where you need to stretch your finding out what's holding you back, finding new nuances, finding new ideas, finding fresh energy, having that accountability, and see what support you need around masterminding and mentorship. Maybe you need to come and join Money Bootcamp.

                                                I think that's an amazing investment. It's not going to cost you $30,000. It's going to cost you a couple of thousand dollars, and it's a worthwhile investment. Maybe you need a one-on-one coach. As I said, maybe you need a VIP day with someone. Write down what you need right now, and that's really going to help you grow your business.

                                                I can just tell you from me, it's absolutely the thing that's grown my business. The very first personal development conference I went to in 2009, run by a woman. She said, "I was a millionaire by 35." And I was... And she's right in front of me. She's a real person. I set a goal to be a millionaire at 35. I did it two weeks before my 36th birthday, and it totally still counted.

                                                But I wouldn't have set that goal unless I'd seen somebody who'd done it, who was just one degree of separation for me. And so my last tip, and this is what's helped me create millions of dollars might surprise you, is outsourcing at home, getting a lot of home help. I don't see business people talk about this.

                                                And because I looked up to a lot of men in the early days and nothing... I know men listen to his podcast. Hi, I love you guys. But you can just say from a general gender role, more women take on household tasks than men do in a lot of cases, right? And so for me, I realized that Mark and I, we had a similar education level. We earned similar things in corporate life.

                                                And then suddenly when I was an entrepreneur and he was in a corporate job, he kind of expected me to do that stuff. When we had kids, it kind of was expected that I would do a lot of those traditional homemaker stuff. And I didn't want to. I was like, it's not my bag. And I have ADHD, things like that take up a lot of energy for me and I didn't want to do it.

                                                So I could see that there was a bottleneck in my energy and my growth, and it wasn't necessarily investing a lot of money in the business, it was investing money at home. So that meant outsourcing laundry, outsourcing cleaning, outsourcing just some of the errands. So now we actually have a housekeeper that does a lot of those errands for us.

                                                We've got someone who does laundry. We've got people who clean. We've got people who do the lawns. We've got people to help us walk our dogs. We've got extra child support. We have a nanny. We have someone to help us with kids stuff, especially in busy times. And this has been crucial for me. This has been a game changer for me.

                                                This is absolutely where it's given me energy and permission to grow my business. And I've done whole solo episodes about this. So you can go check out those things. I've written a media article about this. It says I'm a Self-Made Millionaire. And this is exactly how much help I have at home and I spell it out.

                                                But this has been the key for me, making millions of dollars is not taking up my energy and bandwidth with things that I can outsource and things that I don't enjoy, and things that I can easily find other people to help and support with. And there are nuances around that. Pay your people well. I'm not a slob, but I don't feel like I need to cook every meal to prove that I'm this super mom. I really don't care about that.

                                                If I can outsource it, I will. So there are my four things about how I've grown my multimillion dollar business, and this is how you can as well, having the right tools to help you do your job, getting help to do the things that you suck at or things that take up energy in your business, masterminding and mentoring. Remember you can just buy that. You don't have to find it or convince people to coach you for free.

                                                And then the last one and probably the most crucial is outsourcing at home and getting rid of those things that just take up mental bandwidth. All right. I would love to hear your questions around that. Obviously, always you can hit me up on social media or in the comments of wherever you saw this podcast. But don't go just yet. I've got one more final thought for you right after this last break. Bye.

Tara Wilkin:                        Hi, I'm Tara Wilkin. I'm from the U.S. and I live in Minnesota. I am a wellbeing coach and author. I joined Money Bootcamp in 2020, and I'm so glad I did. I had so many blocks around even charging for my services. And surprisingly, I had a lot of family beliefs and money block issues that were also preventing me from charging for my I services.

                                                One interesting, quick story that I'll share is I decided to manifest an extra $1,000 on a particular month and that money ended up coming in as an inheritance, and it brought up a lot of issues for me. And so it was great to be able to pop into the Money Bootcamp community, and really support and receive some resources to help me get through that time.

                                                I really am appreciative of Denise and the Money Bootcamp Community. Money Bootcamp really has changed how I think about my finances for my business, but more importantly, for my life. You get lifetime access to the Money Bootcamp, and I highly recommend you take the investment and sign up for Money Bootcamp as soon as you can. It's worth the investment.

Denise Duffield...:            Hey, it's Denise again, and thanks for sticking with me to my final thought. This was inspired by the way of Oprah when she used to do What I Know For Sure. That's the last page in her Oprah magazine. And a lot of talk shows and all that, they would do a little final thought. Jerry Springer used to do a final thought, didn't he?

                                                And so I just have this list of things that I just want to give you one little quick thing around. And most of these things are a whole chapter in my book or a whole lesson in Money Bootcamp, but sometimes you just need to hear it in a tiny little way. And today's final thought is about forgiveness. I talk a lot about forgiveness, money forgiveness, forgiving people who have created money issues for you.

                                                And that's not about forgiving horrible things that you probably need to go to therapy for, right? But there's a little nuance that people forget around forgiveness, and that's forgiving yourself. And so if you want to have a bit of a slate cleaned around your money at the moment, here's an exercise that really shifted a lot for me. I wrote a list on paper. I wrote down a list of things that I was beating myself up for that I had money shame around.

                                                And I'm talking about specific things that I bought, mistakes that made around debt, once when I was a student, I bought an antique tuxedo because I thought it looked really cool for $250, which was basically my rent for the week. I got a laptop on higher purchase when I was in my early 20s and I defaulted on the payments, and I had to ask my mom for money.

                                                Things like that. Write a list of things that you've bought, that you've made mistakes around investments, maybe loans that you've given people because there can be so much energy that you're not even aware is caught up in that of you are stupid. You suck with money. You're not good with money.

                                                You don't have attention to detail. Whatever it is and work through that list one by one and do some forgiveness work on that for yourself because it could clear something and it could give you some clarity around what your next step is around money. So it's safe for you to forgive. It's safe for you to forgive yourself. And you could just say that. It's safe for me to forgive. It's safe for me to release these money mistakes.

                                                And then that could just give you a really nice, clean slate for the next step for you. I talk about forgiveness, by the way, in my book, Get Rich, Lucky Bitch, which is available all over the place, Kindle, Audible, Paperback, et cetera. So if you need to do a little bit more work around that forgiveness money thing, go and grab that book. All right. I forgive you for all the money mistakes of your past. I hope you forgive yourself. And I will see you next week for another episode of Chill & Prosper. Bye now.

Speaker 1:                           Thanks for listening to Chill & Prosper. Tell your friends to Chill & Prosper. Review and subscribe. We hope you had a very good time.

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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