In this week's episode of Chill & Prosper, we are NOT talking about million-dollar businesses.
We’re talking about six-figure businesses.
I've been at the million-dollar mark for about 6 years, but so many entrepreneurs start out aiming for that six-figure level.
So today’s episode is for you!
If you're already at that six-figure level, can I tell you a secret?
It's pretty much the same stuff to get you to the next level, too.
Today’s podcast episode of Chill & Prosper is perfect for everyone.
I'm sharing the six biggest things that took my business from earning $225 in its first month to the six-figure mark and beyond.
Today we are not talking about million-dollar businesses. Today we are talking about six-figure businesses. Now I've been at the million-dollar mark for a couple of years, but a lot of our listeners for the podcast are aiming for that six-figure level. So today is for you.
Now, if you're already at that six-figure level, Oh, can I tell you a secret? It's pretty much the same stuff to get you to the next level, too. So today's video is perfect for everyone. I'm going to share the six biggest things that I did to take my business from earning $225 in its first month to that six-figure and then to that seven-figure and growing every year. And it's honestly easier than you think. But a quick word on mindset before we start, because this is the name of the game.
It took me five years to go from earning $225 to earning a million dollars in annual revenue. It actually was a really quick... relatively quick way to that six figures. I made six-figures pretty much like at the end of my first year in business. That might make me seem like a little bit of an overnight success. But I've been working on money mindset and mindset stuff for quite a long time. And this is what it's going to take for you to get to that first big milestone and to get to the next one, as well. But let's go through these six tips because I want you to get to that six-figure level really, really quick.
Tip number one, focus on making money. I know that sounds so obvious, but it doesn't mean that you're doing it. So focus on the money-making stuff. I'm not telling you, you can't have a beautiful website. I'm not telling you to not have nice business cards. I'm not telling you to not invest in things like great headshots before you get started. All of those things are really, really awesome, but focusing on them exclusively, that's not the thing that's going to get you to the six-figures and beyond. And hey, I love a good photo shoot. I think it's important to have some good photos. But so many people get stuck in the procrastabranding phase.
I have been there myself. My first year of business. I remember really angsting over the color of my website and I picked purple. My first website was actually purple because it was the exact... I'm embarrassed to say this, exact hex shade of oprah.com at the time. And I was like, "If it's good enough for Oprah, it's good enough for me." But I was tweaking stuff all the time. Then I realized I could be stuck in that procrastabranding stage for so long and I had to get out of it.
So even though my website wasn't perfect, my headshots weren't perfect, didn't crack that perfect hex color, I had to start on focusing on those income-generating activities like signing up coaching clients. Even though I don't do that anymore, I had to just constantly say, "Hey, at the end of every blog post, I do one-to-one coaching. If you'd like to book in with a coaching session with me, click here." I'd send them straight to my calendar. I did that on every single blog post, no messing around, that's money-generating activity. I would do paid workshops and I would focus on creating income-producing assets like my first e-book, my first e-course, things like that.
Nowadays, that money-making activity for me is all roads lead to Money Bootcamp. So I make sure I mention Money Bootcamp everywhere. It's on my website. I talk about it here on my podcast. I mention it on social media. That focusing on the money. So focus on bringing in the money. What is that for you? You can park a lot of the other stuff... That's a nice to have for later on. But what is bringing you the money right now and how can you do more of that? More clients, more widgets sold, focus on that and don't get stuck in procrastabranding. That's number one, the money. That's what will get you to the six figures.
Number two, this is a hard one for people. Off of one thing to one target market at first. So recently, I had someone on one of my retreats and she wanted to run a course like mine. I was like, "Yep. Great. That works well." And at the same time as launching a course for the very first time, she wanted to create a mastermind for the very first time, too. And I was like, "Oh look, they're two different businesses right now, two different target audiences."
And yes, they fit in really well for each other. You can get your mastermind clients from your course. That's great, but they're just two different businesses at the moment. And it takes work to run both of those. It takes energy, it takes resources. So to get to that six-figure mark like market. If you get there by doing a whole bunch of different stuff, you can do it. It's just, you're going to be kind of tired and it takes a while to truly figure out your perfect client. That's not going to be a perfect client, but don't try and do too many businesses to too many different clients at the same time.
When I started, my one business was I was a coach, and that's all I did. You could book in one hour with me and that was the thing, didn't mean I had to just do one topic yet. People would hire me for anything. I'd be like, "Hey, you want to hire me to find your soulmate? I'm in. You want me to help you quit your job? I'm here. Want to start a business? I'm your gal." But the one thing was a coaching session, because that's all I had. And my business has gone from one-to-one coaching, and I did group coaching, then now I do my Money Bootcamp. And that has really helped me focus. "All roads lead to Bootcamp." That's my motto.
That's when my business really took off is when I focus really on one problem. And I didn't try and solve everything. Honestly, when you get focused on solving one particular problem, your income will grow because you won't reinvent the wheel. You won't confuse your audience and hey, you might be on your practice business and you haven't cracked it yet, but do your best to not try and be everything to everyone.
Tip number three. Oh gosh, this is really important. You have to have a group and a community around you. Working on your own every day is so isolating. Even if you're a massive introvert, like I am, I love being alone. But you can't believe it's possible for yourself if you never say it.
I remember my first year of business I was in a community group, a business group that I'd bought into. I just bought a course, came with a community. And I remember I met my friend Leonie Dawson there. She was always a year ahead of me in business where she'd always hit milestones before me.
But I remember she had a launch and she made $30,000 out of a launch. And I said to Mark, I was like, "Oh my God, come and have a look at this. She made $30,000 in one month." And Mark was like, "Whoa." He didn't believe it because he wasn't in there every day. He wasn't saying that she was just a normal person. "Oh, she's just like me. Oh, she's got a kid the same age as me. Oh, she's a nice person. Oh my God. I can talk to her. Oh my God, I can be her friend. Oh my God, this is so cool." But I had to deliberately find those people because they weren't in my town. I tried when I first moved to this town, I joined her, like a networking group, but I didn't find my people who really made me feel inspired about growing a business.
They didn't make me feel like it was possible for me. So tip number three is to get the right community around you. You can buy into it. You can find someone that you want to work with and buy into their course. You don't have to organically manifest the right people. It's a buyable experience, as I always say, it's a buyable experience. And it's important to find a group that you're in the middle of. That there's people ahead of you that you can aspire to and you can see and you can stretch what's possible because that 30,000 blew my mind. I make multiple millions of dollars now, but I needed to see it for myself, to believe it for myself. So maybe your next investment is upgrading your coach.
You're not the big fish in a little pond anymore. If you're the highest earner in your friendship group, community group, you're not going to grow to the next level. And that's fine. Maybe you're not there yet. But if you're surrounded by people who think six figures is always out of reach, you're always going to believe that. It's going to feel harder than it needs to.
So one of those things you can do is you can come and join my Money Bootcamp. That's a buyable experience. You don't have to be perfect to join and we've got people at all levels. So to find out information about that, you can go to denisedt.com/bootcamp and that is a game changer for so many people. But this is the same. If you want to grow to seven figures, you've got to be in the room of seven-figure earners.
That's why I regularly invest in myself to go places like Necker island. It's a buyable experience to go to Necker island. It costs me $30,000. I went with an amazing group of other seven-figure entrepreneurs. Did we learn anything different? Like there's no silver bullet, there's no advanced strategies, but it was just being in the energy of other people who go, "Oh yeah, I make this out of this." You go, "Wow, maybe that's possible for me, too." It changes the way you feel about yourself when you have a good community around you. And there's no mystery to it. As I said, you can just buy into those community groups.
So they're the first three things that I did to get to six figures. One, I focused on money-making stuff, not procrastabranding. Number two, I offered one thing to one target market. I didn't try and be everything to everyone. And number three, I really deliberately upgraded the people that I was hanging out with in community groups and business groups and masterminds and coaches so I could believe it for myself.
I've got three more tips for you and I will be right back after this very quick break. See you in a sec.
Hi everyone. I'm Jo McKee. I live in Caloundra and I'm a marketer who works with brands that are making a positive impact on the world. I joined Money Bootcamp in 2020 after nine years of watching Denise grow it. I knew that what Denise teaches is effective, but I kept thinking it was effective only for other people. Making the first payment to enroll to back myself was scary.
Since joining Bootcamp, my biggest shift has been erasing the fear that I would have to start all over again financially... again. I was able to trust that what I would build will last. I also felt like if I wasn't working really, really hard, then what I did wasn't valuable enough to others. I carried a lot of fear.
After joining Bootcamp, I found an incredible group of Lucky Bs who support each other, regardless of whether they're going for the first 10K a month or their first million-dollar month, because it's not about the actual dollars, so much as our perception. The biggest things I got out of Bootcamp and still do is that the income I create will continue to increase, that I have just as much right to be in a particular lane as anybody else and that the assets I build up will last.
For anyone considering Bootcamp, I say, go for it. Even if you're scared, even if you're not sure whether the investment will be worthwhile. Trust yourself, back yourself, give yourself the gift of this investment and watch as you enter a whole new space of generosity, confidence, ease, and financial growth. I've created a strong vision of where my agency will be in three years time. And it's already starting to become reality.
Welcome back. I want to do a big shoutout to everyone listening in their car. I love listening to podcasts in my car and I've spent so much time waiting outside my kids' school and building my business.
When I first started my business, I lived in a town where I knew nobody so I would just drive around and just think, "Wait, maybe one day, it's going to be possible for me, too." So today's shoutout is for all the people listening in their cars. Hi, send me a selfie not when you're driving obviously, please keep your eye on the road. But self me up, tag me, my handle on all social media is @denisedt, that's Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. So take a picture of you and your car. Maybe you've got sleeping babies in the back. Maybe you're just waiting, you're doing your commute, and I would love to see you. So please tag me.
So we did three things that got me to six figures. And now let's look at tip number four of things that got me to six figures and beyond.
Oh my God. Better business boundaries. This was so tricky for me at the start because so many of us going to business to help people. That's what we do. We've got big hearts. Also, I found that a lot of entrepreneurs are the go-to person for their friends and family. So this was me as a teenager, my friends would come to me with problems. They would ask me how to deal with tricky things at home or what to say, or just confidence stuff. So I was the go-to.
I was also the go-to for my mum for a lot of stuff. My mum had me at 17. So she was really young when I was growing up and I was her confidant or I just had to learn to figure out things by myself. So I found this in my 20s and 30s, that friends and just clients would come to me for really unrelated things because I was the go-to girl. And I get this occasionally now, but not as much. But people would go, "Hey, Denise, I'm going to New York. Where are the best places to stay in New York?" And I'd Google it for them. I'd be like, "Let me find that out for you and... everything."
Like, "Oh Denise, I want to start a business. I'm in Australia and you're Australian so I thought you could help me with what's the best business insurance to get if I'm starting a product in Australia?" Someone asked me recently about, "I've got a client, she defaulted payment and she lives in Australia. What's the Australian Consumer Law around refunds?" And I was like, where I started my business I would have expended time and energy on just solving those problems for people, because I didn't want to set any boundaries.
If you're a coach where you have a time-based business or a consulting-type business, one of the first boundaries you can start to put on and to really focus your business is around time. This is what's going to get you to six figures, having time-based boundaries.
So I started out as a coach. And someone bought an hour coaching session with me. Three hours later, I'd still be trying to solve every problem they've ever had in their entire life. It was so hard because I just wanted to help so much, but I wasn't helping them. I was trying to compress 20 years of Personal Development study in three hours. That was too much.
By the end of the session, they were exhausted. They felt like they couldn't win. They couldn't implement everything I told them and they just felt like losers, to be honest. Then I'd be like, "Would you like to book the next session?" They go, "Oh, let me just implement those 50,000 things you told me first and then I'll call you." So it wasn't their best interest to not have boundaries around time. And what I realized is that was my responsibility. Your clients will take and take and take, not even maliciously. But if you're a website designer and you're doing 20-page websites for people, but they're buying five, it's not their fault for taking advantage of that necessarily. That's your fault for not having boundaries in place, not communicating those boundaries.
So here's some tips around that if it's a time-based thing. This is what I had to implement at the side of that one-hour session. I'd go, "Hey Jess, we've got an hour together today. What three things would you like to talk about?" Actually, I started implementing, I'd send them a form and say, "What are the things that we can talk about this week?" And when they'd email me and say, "Hey, Denise, can you solve this problem for me?" I'd go, "Hey, great. Let's talk about that on our session. Just pop it in the form." More often than not they'd go, "Oh, I don't want to waste our time together on that." But they'd waste my time and I'd let them because I'd respond in two minutes.
Anyway, at the start of the call I'd say, "Hey, great. We've got an hour together." Like, you've put down, you want to talk about these three things. Let's prioritize them so we can make sure we get through them. So it'd be like, "This is the most important thing. Great. We'll start on that." At the halfway mark, it was my job to look at the clock, not theirs. I'd go, "Great. You know what? We've got 30 minutes left together. I see we've got another couple of points. Which one of those would you like to talk about? Oh, let's talk about this one. Great."
At the quarter-two mark, I'd say, "Look, we've got 15 minutes left. So let's just go onto what actions are we going to take. Let's go into the part to, "What would you like to commit to before we talk again next time?" And then the two minutes I'd go, "Great. What one thing would you like to remember from this call?" The problem was I used to say it the one-minute mark. "Is there anything else you'd like to talk about? And they'd go, "Actually yes." And it would turn into another hour-long conversation.
So at that five-minute mark, when we were wrapping up, they'd go, "Oh Denise, I forgot about this, this and this," and I'd go, "Great. Let's put it on your form for next time."
So you're responsible for your boundaries. It's really hard to get to that six and seven-figure mark if you are constantly overdelivering. I was too available to people. I would let them text me and then message me. And it just wasn't teaching them to be accountable and responsible for their own stuff. I needed to put boundaries in place around people asking for refunds, defaulting payments, just showing up when I'd be available to my community.
I used to work Christmas. I'd answer questions on Christmas day in my Bootcamp community. Then I realized I was role modeling really bad boundaries for people.
So now we take two weeks off over Christmas because I want everyone else to take two weeks off their communities at Christmas. You didn't have to do everything at once because even just setting boundaries for you might feel really harsh. It might bring up, stuff you around feeling like a bitch. But I would have burnt out. I probably would have got to that six figures of sheer willpower and I did. I was still pretty burnt out by the time I got to that first six figures. But I wanted to build it in a sustainable way. I had to say to people, "Hey, just to let you know, unlimited email support is not included in your policy or in your package."
So you might actually need to tighten up some terms and conditions. You might need to tighten up some client onboarding processes. You might need to push back a little bit.
"Hey, that's great that you want those extra five pages. Remember in this package, only five pages are included in your website and I'd be delighted to do an extra five. Let's park that and you can add that onto your package at the end. Does that sound fair enough?"
I learned that. I didn't even know who taught that to me, but it was like, "Does that sound fair enough?" is a really great way after you've just set a boundary.
"Hey, I'd love to talk about that on our next call. Why don't you pop that on our form so we don't forget it and we'll talk about it on the call. Does that sound fair enough?" So that works really, really well. But I'm a big believer that you have to teach people how to treat you and also that boundaries are your responsibility.
Now, if you really struggle with boundaries, my friend, Randi Buckley is on Instagram, she's on Facebook and she's got a course called... I think it's Boundaries for Kind People. But she... Go follow her on Instagram. I think she's randi.buckley on there. You can Google her very easily. Randi Buckley Boundaries. She has got some really great resources around that because boundaries aren't a bad thing. They don't make you a bitch, but it will really help you to get to that six-figure mark. So bout, we could say a lot on that and I'll probably do a whole podcast episode just on boundaries.
Tip number five of the six. Focus on the bigger picture. You know that saying, "Shoot for the stars and you might land on the moon." That's how my mindset was around that income goal, too.
So getting to six figures... I actually started working on my money blocks that I had around getting to seven figures. When I wrote out and visualize my ideal day, I imagined having a million-dollar business, not just a six-figure one. So as you're doing some of these things, putting boundaries into place, working on your mindset, looking at your mastermind groups that you're a part of. Even putting together some of the foundations of business, you can start thinking about your seven-figure business, your million-dollar business, and thinking beyond the goal. It might make it actually easier because your six-figure goal might just get swept up in your seven-figure goal. So if you believe and start to think like, "What would a million-dollar business person do that might actually help you get to that six figures even quicker?" Because honestly the money blocks are pretty much the same.
One of the big blocks I had with getting to six figures was us thinking, "People are going to think I'm not down to earth and humble." And you know what? That was the same money block that I had to deal with to get to the seven-figure mark. "People aren't going to think that I'm humble and down to earth. If I'm a million-dollar business owner, they're going to think I'm a rich bitch." And I would say that, "You know, I make about three and a half million dollars now a year at the time of writing. To get to five million, 10 million, I'm probably going to have to work on that same block. So you can figure, look at that million-dollar you. What decisions would she make? What blocks would she have and what are you going to deal with to get around that?
The sixth thing that got me to six figures was really leveraging my time. I've met heaps of people who've gotten to six figures, just doing one thing like, "Cool, I will make websites. I will coach you. I will do this one thing for you." I've seen it happen and you have to up your prices and make sure you're not burning yourself out. But if you can really get to this place of leveraging your time and you can do that in a couple of different ways, you can create a passive income product. Maybe the coaching you do one-to-one, you can create a DIY version for people in the form of a book or an e-course. You might think that cannibalizes your one-to-one work and it doesn't, it just helps people who want that instant gratification. They want to taste her and then they'll still work with you because you offer value in a different way.
So instead of coaching people one-on-one, you do a group coaching program. That actually was my first leverage leap. I was coaching people one-to-one and I just kept on upping my prices. And then finally I created my first group coaching program. So it was less work because I had to do group coaching calls, but I could impact a lot more people with the same or less work.
Now this might bring up some stuff for you. It might bring up stuff of not really working for it. This is the mindset piece that I obviously teach or that it's cheating or it's like not giving people value, but not everybody wants to work with you in the same way.
Some people would be happy doing a group thing with you because it might bring in more community. Some people want to buy an e-book version of what you do. And that's what I find happens with a lot of people who joined my Money Bootcamp.
First of all, they read my book because it's just an easy win to figure out if they like me and they like my voice. So there's a lot of different ways that you can leverage your business and leverage your time. But it's going to be the mindset piece that gets in the way.
Now in my book Chillpreneur, I've got a ton of ideas for you about like creating a passive income, switching up your business model and really working on that mindset piece too, that comes up around this concept that you have to work really hard to make money because that's what it really comes down to. You can impact a lot more people and you can work way less. As I said, you can get to six figures just by sheer hardwork. But if you do a lot of these things, it's going to be a lot easier.
So just to recap the six things that got me to six figures... Just a reminder, the first one was focusing on money-making stuff, not just getting caught up in the procrastabranding or waiting for perfection.
Number two, offering one thing to one target market, not trying to be everything to everyone.
Number three was getting a really great mastermind around me, so I was surrounded by people who were talking big numbers, bigger figures.
Number four, setting some boundaries in place so I wasn't burning myself out or overdelivering.
Number five, focusing on the bigger picture, asking myself what millionaire Denise would do, which helped the six-figure Denise, just be part of that journey.
And then number six, I leveraged my time with group coaching programs with passive income stuff so I didn't just have to do it one by one by one.
So that's the six things that got me to six figures and I would love to hear from you as well. You can always reach out to me on Instagram. But if you know that you want to go further, if you want my help around this, obviously you can read my books. That's a really great starting point and you can come and join us in Money Bootcamp as well. All the details are on my website, denisedt.com/bootcamp because honestly, mindset is going to be the thing that's going to get you to six and then seven figures and eight figures, too.
I've working with someone at the moment who's like, "Yep. Eight figures. That's where I want to go." Same stuff, friends.
All right. I've got some more little good nuggets before we finish our podcast today. So stick around after the break.
OMG Denise, a huge congrats on the launch of your new podcast. Your book Get Rich Lucky Bitch! changed so much in my world, especially around creating my upgrade plan. In your book, you talked about the importance of creating a first-class list, a list where you'd add what you like in your life if money wasn't an issue if you had a choice. You then suggested to me to create an economy list, a list which is the complete opposite to first-class. Anything that annoyed me, embarrassed me, made me feel poor or connected to the economy class. This exercise got me thinking of how I was living life to these, what relationship I had with money, but it equally excited me about what I could do to upgrade my life. I started making small upgrades in my life. A new office chair, a new hoodie, even starting small had massive shifts for me.
Why? Because each time I upgraded my life, it helped me to change my story around money. But at the same time, as sending out a clear message to the world, that it's safe to have these things, it's okay to have these things and I'm equally worth having these things. Over the years, I've started to incrementally increase my upgrades from my first-class list.
18 months ago, I had a full-body lift. I then only stay at five-star resorts. This year, I bought a purse that cost me $180 versus a $10 Kmart ones. I also bought a $4,500 British bulldog puppy. I thought would only ever stay on my vision board. And I finally bought my first commission piece of art this year from Devin Dalton and I paid cash for it, too.
Denise, you've taught me that your new way of being becomes your minimal standard. So thank you Denise for your wealth of knowledge, your awesomeness, but also for your friendship. Much love, Anj.
Hey you beautiful. Welcome back. Thanks for being with me today. Here is my final thought for today. This is an affirmation that I've used whenever I felt shy or I couldn't be visible. And it is, "My face is my fortune."
I started using this right at the start of my business when I was like, "I'm not good enough. I'm not thin enough. I'm not pretty enough." Whatever it is. And I just decided to show pictures of myself everywhere not even because I wanted to. Just because I was like, "My face is my fortune, my face is my fortune, my face is my fortune." I don't know if you remember in beaches, one of the songs that Bette Midler character does on Broadway, it was, "My face is my fortune that's why I'm totally broke." And I started just to be like, "My face is my fortune and that's why I'm rich."
So try this affirmation out for the next couple of days and just see what it brings up for you. It might give you the courage to get up and do a Facebook live or Instagram live for your business. It might encourage you to book a photo shoot. It might encourage you to actually share photos of yourself.
I'm not saying this is for everybody. You might have a product-based business and you don't want to be that. And you can put, "My product is my fortune..." or whatever, but for those of you who really need like a little bit of a visibility nudge, try that affirmation because it really helped me at the side of my business. And it still does when sometimes I don't feel like I want to be visible.
This is particularly important if you have any judgment around yourself, because everybody needs to see different versions of wealth and success. And so you might be exactly what someone else needs to see right now. They might need to see someone with your hair color, your skin color, your nose, your eyes, your lips, your weight, your height, everything. So anything that you might judge about yourself is exactly what somebody else might need to see. Your face is your fortune that's why you're rich.
All right, my gorgeous. Go forth. Chill and prosper. Peace out from me and I will see you on the next episode. Bye.
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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