The Unsexy Truth About Running a 7-Figure Business

In this week's episode of Chill & Prosper, we are talking about some of the unsexy truths behind running a seven figure business. 

Now, I love in this podcast we can talk about all stages of business. So, we talk a lot about when you're starting out, when you get hitting those transition points, when you're hitting those symbolic levels like when you get to six figures. 

And sometimes people are so curious about the seven figure mark because it seems like it's a really big symbolic milestone.

But also, sometimes people think that everything must be super perfect before you even get there and that you have no mindset issues at a seven figure business, which is not true.

This is why I love talking honestly about being a millionaire, being a self-made millionaire, being a female self-made millionaire.


I talk about ...

  • Working on your money mindset
  • You don't have to work really hard to make money.
  • Upgrading your network
  • Being really focussed 
  • Building a strong foundation


Today, we are talking about some of the unsexy truths behind running a seven figure business. Now, I love in this podcast we can talk about all stages of business. So, we talk a lot about when you're starting out, when you get hitting those transition points, when you're hitting those symbolic levels like when you get to six figures. And sometimes people are so curious about the seven figure mark because it seems like, it's a really big symbolic milestone. But also, sometimes people think that everything must be super perfect before you even get there and that, I don't know. You have no mindset issues at a seven figure business, which is not true. So, which is why I love talking honestly about being a millionaire, being a self-made millionaire, being a female self-made millionaire. You can ask me anything about it.

So, if you have an idea for an upcoming show around money or what you want to know about a million dollar business, then please reach out to us and let us know and maybe it will be featured in upcoming thing. So, you might wonder about, how do I even get to that million dollar mark in your business? Before I got here myself, I was mystified about how I could do it without completely changing my personality or without having to work really super hard. So, you might be surprised about some of the unsexy truths behind that. But that's great because even though there are some really simple things and boring things that go into running a business, the great news is that these are things you can start applying now to get there no matter where your business is today.

So, the reality is... I run a business. I have a cioppino business but it doesn't work without effort. It doesn't work without some stuff, without me having to show up occasionally. So, I always say it's effortless, not effort none. Effortless, we can all effort a little bit less but doesn't mean its effort none. But, doing these very unsexy but vitally important things in your business can really spell the difference between something that grows quickly or one that stagnates at the same income level for a long time and you can make it easy and fun. All right.

So, what do you think is the first unsexy truth behind a seven figure business? It's probably something that you're already doing, and that is working on your money mindset. I know that you're already doing that because you're listening to this podcast. Maybe you've read my books, maybe you're in my Money Bootcamp and I find that a lot of people in our community in this [lucky be world] like we're no stranger to self development. So, you might've been reading money mindset books for a long time, or even just personal development books.

So, really, the first thing that I had to do to create a seven figure business was to make this commitment to myself that I would continually work on my money blocks. As far as I know, there is no vaccine for money blocks. It's not like one shot and you're done for life. So, that's the commitment I made. I will do what it takes mindset wise, but also knowing that it was going to be an ongoing process.

So, Zig Ziglar. Zig Ziglar, the famous sales and mindset author, and he was a speaker... He would say that, "Working on your mindset was like taking a daily shower." You could skip a day or two, but after a while you start to stink. That's what it's like with mindset. You can't just go, "I'll work on my mindset until I get my client and then I'm going to stop." Because then you'll start to feel, maybe, vulnerable again. Maybe you'll start to psych yourself out. Maybe you'll second guess yourself, those negative thoughts will creep in again.

Same with business. Each milestone that you hit, it's not that you have to work harder on your mindset, but it's the same work. And so, that might sound really unsexy because you might think, "Oh, Denise has figured out some million dollar way to work on her mindset." She can just plug it in like in The Matrix, and I don't. I have to work on this all the time, but I'm not starting from scratch. You have muscle memory around it, which is great. You'll start to build in layers. I can't undo the beautiful community I have around me anymore. I can't let go of the knowledge that I've acquired from books. But I still have to take a shower every day or I'll stink.

So, when I made six figures, and it was really cool, I was like, "Oh my god." No I wasn't. But I can remember being at the $250,000 mark which is a ton of money, right? It's more than I could ever imagine in myself earning in a job, for example, unless I was the CEO. Then I remember thinking, "Oh man, to get to a million dollars, how am I going to work four times harder. Denise, four times harder. I don't even have the hours in a day to work four times harder." And so, that's one of the first mindset lessons that you really need to work on no matter what income level you're striving for. That, you don't have to work really hard to make money.

That's not the place where money comes from, its hard work and effort. It comes from your ideas, your creativity, the value you offer. It doesn't have to come from the hard work. But, we're so ingrained in this culture of hard work and I mean, I talked about this all the time. If you've listened to any podcasts I've ever done, I always mentioned this. That, I was born in 1979 and I grew up, I didn't have a cellphone, a mobile phone until, oh god, probably, 18. Maybe my last year of high school. We only really got the internet my last couple of years of high school. And so, up until that point, when I thought about work, when I thought about having a business, it was in a very small town way. My stepdad had a business, he repaired washing machines. So, you repair a washing machine, you get paid for a washing machine. It was just like, here's the effort, here's the reward.

If I ever saw anyone have their own business outside of that, it was like, "Oprah. Well, she's on a TV show. Well, there's only one Oprah, so that job's gone. Oh, I don't think I want to be on TV. Well, I guess, that's it for me. It's a job, or I can sell washing machines or I can be Oprah." I'm just being a bit facetious here, but if you're like me and you grew up in a childhood where, like that's just how work was.

If you wanted to start a business, you needed a massive capital. You need a lot of money to do it or you maybe have seen people starting a business and they had their garage full of stuff. I saw that definitely growing up that families who did run businesses, they had stock, they had a warehouse, they had a shop, they had staff, they had, it was just harder. And then, even when I started my online business, you couldn't even take payments online when I started my online business. You had to give your bank account details, and then when they sent you the money, then you sent them the thing. My first ebook, Internet Dating Tips for Men in 2004. I was like, "Let me email you this [inaudible] but the PDFs was so big." It was a nightmare.

But anyway, this is where this work hard thing is so difficult for, if you're within a couple of decades of my generation, that's what work was. And not only that, there might be people in your life who... That is what work is as well. Work is work for an hour and you get your reward for an hour. And so, that is one of the first mindset lessons that is ongoing, is that working hard doesn't equal money. Working harder doesn't equal more money. Money can be easy. Making money can be fun. But, you're going to have to work on that constantly, you really are. That's the unsexy truth. It's going to be an ongoing process of working on your money mindset and finding new layers all the time.

Okay, the next thing around having a seven figure business beyond and I'm not talking about marketing and stuff like that. I know that you might be wanting to hear, what's the nuts and bolts. Anyone can do the nuts and the bolts. The nuts and the bolts are the same throughout your whole business. You can Google how to do any of these things, but without the mindsets, it's really hard to do it. The next thing that I think has been really crucial for me is being around other million-dollar business people. So, you might need to upgrade your network. That doesn't mean letting go of all your friends like going, "You don't make enough for me, and so go away." But, we creatures that needs proof. We need proof. So, you need to see it to believe it for yourself.

So, if you're only surrounded with people who are at a certain income level, that's what you're going to believe is possible. That is what will stretch your mindset of what's possible, you'll just go, "Well, I guess this is what we make collectively." You might be in an industry group where people go, "Oh, you can't charge more than this." That's the real. Computer says, "No, you can't charge anymore." And that's not true, but unless you see something different and really seek that out, then that's what you're going to believe.

When I wanted to make more money, when I wanted to become a millionaire, I sought out people who are millionaires. You know what, one of the first millionaires I met was someone in my town. I don't know how, I can't even remember. I think someone else told me she was millionaire. I remember just thinking, "But she's so normal. She's just normal. She's just a normal girl, normal body type." I was like, "But she's not super fancy. She's just like a normal person." And that's why you have to surround yourself with people who are normal and rich, because you have to see it to believe it for yourself. You have to see that it's normal and nice. You have to see that it's all body shapes and all body sizes. You might need to curate your feed in your social media to make sure you're seeing people who look and sound like you.

This is really important because 10 years ago, it was mostly books were written by white men. Now, there's a lot of white women who've written a lot of business and money books. So, now you might have to seek out women who look like you, non-binary people who look like you, [quire] entrepreneurs who look and sound like you so you can believe it's possible for yourself as well. And so, sometimes at the start, it feels like you have to really artificially create that. As in, you have to curate your feeds, you have to curate your communities, you have to really seek out those communities, you have to buy into masterminds, sometimes. You have to pay for access to that, to those bigger rooms, to be in shinier rooms.

But that's what you need to do, and I know it doesn't just happen organically, you sometimes have to recreate that. You have to seek it out. I hear that from people they're like, "Oh, but how do I get into that mastermind? How do I go to Nika island?" I'm like, "You just pay for it." You don't have to organically find millionaires in your town. You can learn from them. Join their masterminds. Be a coaching client of theirs. Join their programs. Join my program. I'm a multi-millionaire and you can join my money boot camp for $2,000, and I can be one of your examples of someone who's a millionaire.

So, this is really important. You need to believe it's possible for yourself and you need to see, that you have to normalize it and you have to acclimatize it for yourself. So there, just two unsexy truth behind having a seven figure, million dollar business is one, it's an ongoing process of working on your money mindset, finding those new layers. And secondly, you need to be around those people all the time so you believe that it's possible for yourself. Okay. I do have some other tips for you and, oh my god, I'm loving this already. I will be right back after a break.

Hi, I'm Denise Michelle, located in Los Angeles, California, and I am a life purpose coach, RTT hypnotherapist and self-love expert. And I have read two of Denise's books Chillpreneur and Get Rich, Lucky Bitch! And I have the app, and I will say, all three of those have really helped me up-level in my business and observing my limiting beliefs and removing blocks and learning how to keep track of money and it has been amazing. My business is now thriving, and I am so grateful because this year, this is the year that I am going to have a quantum leap in my business. And these tools have truly helped me change my money mindset, and become and feel more secure with money. Denise really taught me that money can be easy. It can be fun. I would say that, I have really adopted the lessons more, totally chillaxin', relaxed entrepreneur lifestyle. I want to do what I want to do, how I want to do it and Denise really gave me permission to do that. Thanks, Denise.

Don't forget, you can get all of my books in Kindle, Paperback and audible versions, all the normal places you buy your books.

All right. Now, you might not want to hear this next unsexy truth because you might again, it might bring up stuff for you. But, I've had to be really focused to make seven figures. By that, I haven't been perfect about it. I've definitely had my share of shiny objects. But I've had to be quite focused in making money and being consistent in showing up and making offers, basically. So, a lot of things that I see from my peers who run million dollar businesses, as well, is that they have been pretty focused. That doesn't mean they've only had one program or one thing that been known for. But they haven't jumped around too much or they haven't reinvented the wheel because they get bored or distracted by shiny objects.

Maybe you've done it yourself, maybe you've seen other people that things get a little bit too good and so they break their business. It's like, "Well, I'm bored of that now, or I want to do something else." They just throw away a business that could actually be really successful. Now, I have had to resist the temptation, and I constantly have to just make little tweaks to make sure that I'm facing the right direction. Because have you heard that analogy of like, "If someone's flying a plane, if you set the course off just a teeny tiny bit, you can end up in a completely different country." So, I have to keep myself accountable. I have quarterly sessions with my business coach, and she always reminds me of my mantra. Are you ready to hear my million dollar affirmation? So even affirmation, mantra, whatever, it's, "All roads lead to Bootcamp." This is my accountability measure, this is what keeps me on track. All roads lead to Bootcamp.

Now, that doesn't mean I can experiment. I can do all sorts of things in my marketing. I can speak, I can do a podcast, I can... There's a million different ways I can talk about money. A million different ways I can talk about mindset. But, I don't fiddle with my program because all roads lead to Bootcamp. I'm not sending you off in a million different other ways. I'm not saying, "Hey, you can buy my t-shirt that says Chillpreneur on it." I still love to do that. "Hey, come and do this other program that I've got." If I talk about other stuff, it's because it's an affiliate partner. It's not something that I'm creating all the time.

So, I am so serious about this. I even, for Mark's last birthday, I created him a little light box for his office, and it says, "Sell more Bootcamps, sell more Bootcamps." Because Mark used to come to me as well and say, "Hey, let's run a mastermind." He's like his people in your community would join a mastermind. And he was like, "Oh, you can make millions of dollars out of mastermind." And I was like, "No, let's focus. Let's not start different things. Let's just sell more boot camps." And he's like, "Yes, you're right." And then each quarter, I have to go, "Oh, why didn't I do this thing? No sell more boot camps." So, I can start new things as long as it eventually leads you to bootcamp.

A couple of years ago, I did Get Rich, Lucky Bitch. So, this is my book about money. You might've seen this book, you might've read it. Then I was like, Get Rich, Lucky Bitch! That's so snappy. It's really not, but anyway, I was like, "I'm really good at helping people manifest things in their life." What other things do people want to manifest besides money? I know. They want to manifest a partner. They want to manifest a soulmate. So, for a while, I did coaching for women about how to find a soulmate because actually a lot of the things around the money stuff and the relationship is the same. You've got to work on your self worth, you've got to declutter, you've got to set your intentions, you've got to go out and take action. And so, I had some coaching clients around this, I had a soulmate course, I think there was like four people in it, and I had a book and I called it Get Hitched Lucky Bitch.

Because I was like, "huh, Get Rich, Lucky Bitch. Get Hitched Lucky Bitch." I might even do, Get Fit. Lucky bitch. I'm like, "Where else can I take this brand?" And so it was about manifesting soulmate. It was really cute and I wrote the book, did the cover was about to launch it had already done the some of the course. And I was like, "Oh my God, I've got to get rid of this." Wow. I was so bummed about it because it was a good idea. But, this is the unsexy truth behind a seven figure business is that if you're trying to do everything for everyone, you try to solve every problem of everyone's life.

It's just not, it just doesn't get traction because sometimes people are confused when they come to you, they don't know what to buy. They don't know how you can help them. You get exhausted, you get burnt out. It just scatters your focus and then comes up with practical stuff. Do you do two different newsletters? Do I start doing a soulmate newsletter? And then a monthly newsletter? It's just, it's confusing. A confused mind says, "No." A confused mind says no. So I doubled down on my zone of genius. I'm really good at helping people with money. I gave myself some rules around it. Here's what's in scope. Here's what's out of scope. I can talk about money, mindset, pricing, business marketing, but all roads lead to Bootcamp because money loves clarity. Money loves clarity.

Now, that might be hard to hear because you might want to do lots of different things, but that's okay. You can find an umbrella. Maybe you're really good at ideas and generating ideas. And so, you try and do all these businesses, but you're not meant to do all the businesses. You meant to help people with their ideas.

Okay. So, I know that can be hard to hear sometimes about the focus, but it doesn't have to be boring. It just means you want to have clarity and you want to just give money a really easy place to flow in your life. Okay. So that's that. And then, you know, the last thing I'm going to say is around building a strong foundation, the unsexy truth behind a seven figure business. So, I remember my friend, Natalie McNeil, we were talking at the start of the year and I was like, "What are your plans for the year?"

And she said, "Actually this year, I'm not going to market too much. I'm actually going to have a foundation year." And I was like, "What do you mean?" And she goes, "You know what? We've got some of our systems need some work. Some of our behind the scenes stuff needs to work." I was shocked because I was like, "Oh my God, you're allowed to do that? You're allowed to like deliberately create your business foundations. You don't, you don't just do everything on the fly. You don't everything like in reaction? You don't just like scary alone or like a hamster wheel?" And it just changed my viewpoint. It started making me think of like, "Oh, what's the next foundation for my business?" So, sometimes you have to stop and just take a little bit of stock and go, wow, do I have the systems for a million dollar business? Are there some leaks that yeah, I could do on the fly, but what if we could feature proof some of this stuff and I don't have to live in stress and overwhelm to do it.

Okay. So, I started looking at my customer service systems, for example, instead of doing everything in g-mail, I upgraded to a dedicated customer service portal, so my team could go in there and I didn't have to look at those emails anymore.

I upgraded my assistant. So, instead of just having five hours a week, I started increasing her tasks. I looked at my web hosting. So we could hand, literally handle more growth. People skimp on things and go, "Oh, I'm only allowed to have 3000 contacts in my system and all, I'll upgrade that in the future." No, upgrade it now. If you've got the money to do it, you can future proof some of those things and actually make space for more customers. It doesn't mean you have to hire a ton of people actually have a very lean team, but you can really embrace those systems. So as your business grows, it doesn't all just fall apart. You can actually hold it and make space for that. It might even be that you have to just upgrade some of your boundaries.

So, your capacity building might not be around, your website or your team. It actually just might be around your energetic stuff. So, I had to change the way I interacted in my money bootcamp community. I needed to set rules. I needed to set standards because I knew, especially when we were stuck at that 4,000 person mark, I just felt like, "Oh God, I can't grow this anymore and it was because I needed to set some boundaries." I needed to bring in extra community support. I needed to take time off on the weekends and over Christmas and not be everything to everybody. I needed to upgrade, just the professionalism of my business and have that capacity for growth.

For you, this might be you need to upgrade your branding or you need to upgrade just some systems along the way, okay. So I believe that anyone can grow a seven figure business, but you can really put yourself in a place where it's more likely. Just to recap that, it's like working on that million dollar mindset stuff all the time, making sure that you're investing in your money mindset. Whether that's reading books, being around other people, like coming and joining my Money Bootcamp community.

I just think that's a must. It's a $2,000 course that I think every entrepreneur just needs to tick off. That doesn't mean you do it once and you're cured, but that's lifetime access for you. It's just one of those things you have to invest in. Investing in the masterminds and the communities that you're around, getting really focused. Some things might have to wait and you can say to your brain, you can go, "Hey, you know what brain, when we've got a million dollar business, you can pick up that random and an idea again, just for fun." I could say, I've over the Get Hitched, Lucky Bitch idea now but I could say to my brain, "Hey, when you're at that seven figure mark, you can have a random project as a little trait." As a little trait you can do that, but not at the start, not when you growing it. Don't reinvent the wheel cause you're bored, and then build those foundations.

Those really unsexy things look at where you think you're going to cap your growth and take some time to think about those, so you can have a really strong place for that money to come to. Money's attracted to clarity. Money is attracted to systems and just ease, right? Just create that space for it to flow into, make a nice safe home for your money to come. Okay. So, there's some unsexy traits behind a seven figure business. As I said, I'm always an open book, if you're a super nosy about other things related to being a millionaire, again, I'm just a normal person, a normal, I pick my nose. I fought still, I'm just a normal person. But if you're really curious about an aspect of my seven figure business, then reach out to me on Instagram. I'm @denisedt, I would love to hear from you as always. But you are really, it is your time. There's nothing holding you back and you are. If you're not already there, remember you're in process. You are building a million dollar business. Alrighty. I'll speak to you after the next break.

Hi, I'm Dr. Jennifer Harrison. I live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and I'm a stress and body-mind health expert. Certified Canfield success trainers, success mindset coach and EFT practitioner. I help heart-centered entrepreneurs relieve stress and optimize brain power and create a success mindset so they can manifest the results they want and both their life and their business. I read Denise's amazing book, Chillpreneur in November 2019. Then in early 2020, I signed up for money bootcamp as part of an affiliate program she was promoting. One part of money bootcamp deals with money, memories and forgiveness. There was one issue from childhood that I had already cleared parts out of using EFT. However, Denise's program helped me to uncover another aspect of this issue that I was able to work on and clear out. This resulted in me creating some new coaching packages with pricing, more in alignment with my expertise and experience. One month later, I had a new client who purchased the package at full price.

One of the things I love about Denise is that she's really transparent about her business and her own money mindset blocks that she's continually releasing as she grows new parts of her business. In money bootcamp, she's created a really safe space for her students so we can share both our money stresses and successes. Denise, thanks so much for your work, helping women with their money mindset. I'm really excited about your new podcast, all the best.

Hey, beautiful. Welcome back and here's my final thought for today. Don't read the reviews. Don't read the reviews. I made this mistake this week because I was actually preparing for these podcasts and sometimes I'll go in, look at the reviews to see what people are talking about, about my books. So I can go, "Oh yeah. Cool. I do say that. That's great." And so I started reading the reviews, oh my God. Do not just don't read your reviews because what I find is it's so random. Like there'll be someone saying, "This is the best book I've ever read. Like it's so practical. It's so full of wisdom." And then another book, "Oh, this is like, there's nothing original here. I've heard it all before. It's crap."

So it's such a roller coaster to read reviews and this isn't even your own reviews. Like you might have a store and you can go read the Yelp reviews or whatever a year or three, you can go read the reviews. But even reading other people's reviews, it is so disheartening sometimes. It feels really, really unfair. Now, occasionally, occasionally I will, I'll go look at a really popular book like someone who sold thousands or even millions of copies. Go and look at the one-star reviews and you'll see that they're so unfair and it's just like, "Oh, it's so meaningless."

The other thing for me is at the start of my business, my assistant, she would send like good reviews to me of someone saying, "Oh, I love your program or I love you. Or I love that blog post or whatever." She'd send those to me and at some point I was like, "Hey, if I don't believe the bad reviews, I really shouldn't believe the good reviews either." So, I keep myself in just a little equilibrium, a little bubble. I put my stuff out there. It is what it is. And so, maybe that might help you as well. Don't read the bad reviews, but sometimes don't even read the really good reviews, just like yourself. But just never, ever, ever read the bad ones, even take off the unsubscribe notifications on your business because it's really none of your business. It's really not. I think you're great. Right? I give you five saws, okay? So go forth, chill and prosper, piece that 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.

Be sure to hit subscribe so you don't miss an episode!