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Can we PLEASE talk about money?

“The world will become a much better place when more women prosper financially and are financially independent, including you!” Denise Duffield-Thomas

How do you feel about talking about your financial success?

I’ve hit a financial milestone and I’m going to tell you about it.

June was not only the best month I've had since starting my business this year, it was the first time I banked not only my old monthly salary but a little bit more.

In my Facebook group, I put up a post every Friday asking people to share their wins for the week, small and large. I normally put up a celebration type GIF but last Friday I put up one of Daffy Duck rolling around in piles of money.

And then I froze when I went to hit the post button. “What will everyone think of this? Will they find this image crass? If they’ve been thinking about working with me, will this put them off because they’ll think I’m just about the money?”.

And then I hit post.

Let me honest here.

A year ago, I would never have written that Facebook post. Never. Money, sex and politics – the three taboo conversation topics when you’re with polite company.

Or so we’re told.

Over the last year, I have done a ton of work on my money mindset. I adhere to the belief that money is energy. After all, it's exchanged for energy isn't it – you’ve spent your energy doing something for someone or creating something and in return you get money. So why should we hesitate to celebrate a milestone in our business around money?

How many other milestones do we celebrate? Our first client. Our tenth client. Being in business for six months or a year. Hitting 1000 followers on Instagram. Getting our email open rate above 30%.

A lot of us get caught up in the "serving" part of running a service-based business.

When we’re running a service-based business we’re constantly being told we need to serve our clients. We’re told to ask ourselves, how can I serve more deeply.

We focus on what our clients need from us, what we can provide for them. Often, we use a “client first” philosophy to underpin our business vision.

We’re so focused on the “service” bit, we tend to gloss over the "business" part because that can feel like it cheapens what we do.

We can’t be of service if we’re focused on the money can we?

You can serve your clients and your business!

I love what I do. I love helping women get their new businesses up and running so that they don’t have to go back to the 9-5 grind.

Women’s businesses give them freedom – to be with their family, to skirt that dreaded glass ceiling, to run a business the way THEY want and not have to play by the big boy’s rules. Their businesses put food on the table and give them the financial freedom they might need to get themselves out of a relationship they need to escape.

But if you don't get the money, the freedom won't come.

Recently, I changed around my payment schedule to suit a new client because I really, really wanted to work with her. I know that our work together will change her business beyond recognition for her. You can find ways to make the service and the business parts co-exist.

“A lot of people are afraid to say what they want. That’s why they don’t get what they want.” Madonna

For most women, money isn’t just hard to talk about. A lot of us are awfully messed up just in the way we think about money. Seriously, did you know that a money block that is almost exclusive to women has to do with receiving?

Think about the last time you received a gift from a friend out of the blue, one of those “I saw this and thought of you” moments. You will have had one of two reactions:

A. “Oh wow, I love this. It’s so me. I’m so lucky to have friends in my life who know me so well and are so kind.”

B. “Shit, what can I send her in return.”

Did you answer B? Guess what? You’re the proud owner of that receiving mindset block.

A brief history of mankind…

For centuries men have controlled the money.

That’s my TED talk, thanks for coming.

We’ve only started reaching the point in the timeline of humans where women are not only controlling the purse strings of multi-million pound businesses but gradually moving onto Top 500 Richest lists around the world.

History is against us but it’s catching up. My generation has been raised watching some women do this, my daughter’s generation will see scores more women reach the millionaire milestone. My 22-year-old daughter has already watched more than a handful of girls her age become millionaires the last two years!

Seriously, think about the women that you were aware of growing up that were making big bucks running companies that were making big bucks. Here’s the list that comes straight to my 80’s child mind; Oprah, Estee Lauder, Coco Chanel, Katherine Graham.

Not a lot eh?

It’s no wonder that so many of my clients find the hardest part of running their own business is having conversations around money. These are the ones who state their prices and then start talking. And talking.

They justify why their prices are what they are. They offer discounts. Or extra services for free. They start talking about a payment plan.

All before their client has a chance to say anything. You know, like “Sounds good to me.”.

If you can't have those money conversations with ease and confidence though, chances are your fledgling business isn't going to be around much longer.

We need to take the emotion and the shame away from talking about money. That doesn't mean we have to be in your face about it or constantly talking about how much you're making.

Nobody’s saying you need to be dancing around on social media waving wads of cash and bottles of champagne. But you need to be able to sit comfortably with the money that you want to make.

And those times when we hit a special money milestone, we should take the time to appreciate the work that has gone into it and the satisfaction we get from hitting that target. Which means we should be setting money milestones for our business.

As they say, money makes the world go ‘round. But sister I am here to tell you, it makes your business thrive or die too!


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