Recently I interviewed Denise Duffield Thomas to find out how we can set goals for the year ahead. While I was expecting the topic to revolve around setting savings goals, getting out of debt and investing, what we actually got was planning turned on it’s head!
In the interview, Denise talks about the Law Of Incremental Upgrades to build a first-class lifestyle. This involves looking at your life and making small changes bit by bit to nudge you towards a desired outcome.
It’s like stepping in the shower and heating the water slowly. If you go in full “hot” you would have jumped out, but by increasing the heat bit by bit, you’re tolerating more and more heat without even noticing.
It’s the same with money. 70% of BIG lottery winners lose their money within a few years after they win, because they got too much too quickly. They didn’t have time to adjust to being a person with this kind of money. That’s why the journey to financial freedom is best served slowly – it gives you that time to adjust.
More About Denise
I’ve followed Denise Duffield-Thomas for 5 years now, and I have never been disappointed with what she puts out in the world. She is the money mentor for the new wave of online entrepreneurs who want to make money and change the world. She helps women charge premium prices, release the fear of money and create First Class lives.
Her books Lucky Bitch, Get Rich, Lucky Bitch, and Chillpreneur give a fresh and funny roadmap to living a life of abundance without burnout. Her Money Bootcamp has helped over 6,000 students from all around the world.
She’s a lazy introvert, a Hay House author and an unbusy mother of 3. She owns a rose farm and lives by the beach in sunny Australia.
And there’s that key-word… lazy. She has designed her first-class life to be how she wants it to be, and it involves a lot of delegation and outsourcing to achieve it – something that she encourages more women to do too.
Gone are the days where you have to be “busy” to be successful.
Do You Have A First Class Life?
When someone first enters Denise’s bootcamp, they are given a questionnaire to fill out. This divides your life up into 4 rankings:
- premium economy
- business class
- first class
So as an example, where would you rate your wardrobe of clothes with these 4 criteria? If you are scoring low amounts across the board, there’s a high chance that you’re struggling to allow in more abundance to your life, and this is what is keeping you stuck.
To live a first-class life is to live in a way that is aligned to you. It’s about looking after yourself and not working harder than you need to. It is NOT about overspending on first-class luxury when your budget doesn’t stretch to it. It’s about allowing yourself to say “yes” to the things that bring you joy and help you to feel more abundant. When you feel more abundant, you attract more of it – it’s a positive upward spiral.
How Does This Relate To Tea Bags?
Somehow we got talking about tea-bag choices, and this actually forms the basis of a really great example. Are you the sort of person who will “make do” with a cheap tea bag, microwave your tea if it goes cold, or re-use tea bags? Are you limiting yourself to be frugal, or is there an element of you that doesn’t feel you deserve a nicer tea bag, or to make yourself a fresh cup?
The more we limit ourselves in this way, the more we limit ourselves in the ways that matter – like bringing in a bigger income, or asking for money when we make a sale.
Incremental upgrades are not about intantly jumping to the Harrods tea bags (unless you can afford to of course, then why the hell not?!), but you might upgrade a little and buy a slighter nicer brand.
The same goes for sleep, furniture, cars, housing, technology, your career choice – the list goes on. You can pick anything that makes you feel poor and inconvenienced, however small it may be. It doesn’t have to cost the earth.
“What is something at the moment that makes you feel poor and inconvenienced?”
– Denise Duffield Thomas
It doesn’t Have To Cost The Earth
You don’t need to have loads of money to be able to do this exercise. Look for incremental upgrades that are free, or cheap – perhaps it is sitting in a posh hotel lobby with a cup of tea to soak up the atmosphere and feel like a rich woman for a few hours. Perhaps you could walk the streets of where you would one day like to live. I can’t do that living in the UK (because I want to live in Australia one day), but I can visualise what it might be like to live in Melbourne, or Adelaide and think about the sorts of lifestyle we would lead as a family.
Another firm favourite in Denise’s group is underwear. We short-change ourselves when it comes to our knickers, so upgrading those would be a GREAT place to start!
She also talked about having additional phonechargers in the house so that there is never an arguement about where they disappear to! I did this too and it’s a small low-cost change that makes a BIG difference!
So where can you make small incremental upgrades to your life? It can be hard at first, particularly if you are not someone who is used to spending money on yourself. But start small and see where it leads you. List out all the areas of your house, lifestyle and career and give it a rating. Where can you start with a small upgrade?
It’s not about spending money you don’t have or spending so much of your income that you can’t save or invest, but instead, think of it as a way of acclimatising to a lifestyle that you aspire to. It’s showing the universe that you are prepared to look after your needs, and to stop the “struggle” that we often slip into – if it bothers you, do something about it!
Comment below – what is first on YOUR upgrade list?
Until next time,
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