9 reasons not to talk about how much you earn

9 reasons not to talk about how much you earn

Or, stop waving your cash in my face you big fat show off


I’ve just launched the latest round of my Recipe for SEO Success course.

And it sold out—fast.

Financially, it was a fairly monstrous success.*

And yes, part of me wants to show off about it.

I mean, I’ve worked hard to reach these financial goals.

I’ve done the hard years of earning a pittance and eating TOAST for breakfast, lunch and dinner.


I’ve sunk long, seemingly fruitless hours into projects everyone told me would fail.

So the figure at the bottom of my sign-ups spreadsheet feels like validation.

But its for my eyes only.


Because no-one, and I mean no-one, wants to hear my  money talk.

And they don’t want to hear your money talk either.

That certain kind of boastful money talk is mostly icky, unpleasant, and doesn’t do the talkers any favours.

And in this article I want to explain why.

1. Money talk reduces customers to numbers

The big lump of money you just made that you’re showing off about on Facebook?

It’s made up of lots of little lumps from real people making real sacrifices to pay for your thing.

As Melinda Dunlop from MelindaDunlop.com puts it:

As a customer Im buying the experience, the knowledge, etc. It might be a big leap for me to sign up for your course, so for me its significant. But when its seen as just a dollar sign, that doesnt leave me feeling good about my purchase.

Talking about money relentlessly makes each customer a price tag, not a person.

Psst: This is one of the reasons I limit the numbers on my course. Yes, I could let more in and earn oodles more money. But I actually like to learn a bit about the people on my course, give them personal attention, and feel as if I could meet them in a pub and know who they are. It’s not the way to huge riches, but it works for me.

A post shared by Kate Toon (@katetoon) on

2. Money talk makes you look boastful

I remember several years ago seeing a supposed ‘heart-centred’ entrepreneur boasting about earning 10k in a day.

And I use the word ‘boasting’ because it wasn’t part of a general discussion about earnings.

It wasn’t helpful to other readers.

It was just a “Yay, look at me, I’m awesome”.

She just wanted her back and her bottom patted.

Now, I’m all for celebrating wins and being proud of yourself.

And I’m all for inspiring others.

But pick your moment and consider your audience.

Sharing your juicy successes in a group where others are just starting out (or struggling), may just bring them down and may make you look like a boastful shitgibbon.

3. Money talk is rarely substantiated

I could tell you I made two dollars yesterday. I could also tell you I made $20k, or even $200k.

So which one is the truth?

The people shouting about their dosh are often the ones trying to sell you a business course or get rich scheme.

They use themselves as the result.

But they rarely back it up with facts and financial proof.

Cassandra Scott from Laurus Bookkeeping had this to say:

If you’re using your money bragging to flog your product, then I’d like to see your financial statements please. Profit and loss AND Balance sheet #runbutcanthide.”


Psst: I’ve talked about money before, a few times but I backed it up with hard facts, and figures – you can read an example here:

How to Create a Bum-Clenchingly Awesome eCourse: The Ultimate Guide


4. Money talk isn’t always powerful proof

So you earned this amount of dollars selling your course. Well boo for you.

But rather than telling me the results, why not show me?

  • How many people completed your course?
  • What results did they get?
  • What do they say about the experience?
  • Can you prove to me you’re an authority in other ways, instead of just waving the money flag?

As Jane Tweedy from FAQ Business Training said:

I prefer third party proofthings like being the #1 SEO Copywriter in the Google rankings. Because you can’t fake that.

5. Money talk can be little crass

Maybe it’s because I’m British, but I often find this kind of money talk just a little crass.

I’m all for informed discussions about what to charge.

I’m all for transparency when discussing salaries, to set expectations.

I’m totally into surveys discussing rates for types of work, levels of experience and areas of the globe.

But I’m not a fan of random unsubstantiated whoop whoop statements about the oodles dollars stuffed under your mattress.

The ‘why’ behind your money discussions is just as important as the ‘how much’.

The ‘where’ also matters, sure share comparisons in a private setting, but don’t throw out fat fluffy figures pointlessly in public groups.

Ask yourself what are you’re trying to achieve by talking money?

Are you genuinely trying to help, or really just pooting down your own trombone?


6. Money talk focuses on revenue

So you made $100k this week.

Big whoop!

Now, how much of it is actually yours?

After you’ve paid for the ad campaign, the team to deliver the product, the trendy warehouse, the bean bags, and all the other business frippery, what is your actual profit?

Bernie Morris from MindfullyHappy and Flourish Yoga told me:

I always find it a little odd when they talk about income but not expenses. ‘Yep, I made $10K this month. But it cost me $8k to run my business.’ 

Chris Green from Food Strategy introduced me to this phrase:

Revenue is vanity. Profit is sanity. Cash is reality.

She said,

The conversation needs to shift. Many businesses can sell a shit load. The real talent lies in managing that beast to get profit. If the balance sheet is healthy, then profit will provide cash”.


7. Money talk is all about six figures

The six-figure earning bleat doesn’t seem to be dying.

But let’s be honest: there’s a big difference between earning $100,000 and earning $999,999.

As Jess Riches (an ironically perfect surname) from Enrich Business said:

“Six figures” isn’t that far off what I made at 24. (I mean a bit, but my point is that it’s only 30k difference. These people are trying to make it sound like they’re worth millions).

Money doesn’t talk to me unless we’re talking ROI. And in that case I want to see the numbers, not hear about them.”

8. Money talk doesn’t sell

While you may think flashing your cash is going to lure customers in, that’s not always the case.

A lot of selling is about building a connection with the customer, along with building trust and warmth.

Yes, we want the great end result.

But we also want to feel good about our purchase.

Emotion and liking someone can be a powerful part of the sales process.

Here’s how Jane Tweedy feels about it:

I really don’t care either way, as long as my gut feel is the person is honest and genuine.

So think about why you’re sharing?

Are you trying to help or just wanting to show off?

We all know you have an ego, but please don’t make us stroke it.


Maybe you think you’re building a connection with us.

But in reality you’re like the person with B.O. at the school disco, showing off his flash new trainers.

The trainers are rad, but you still stink.

Instead of dishing up the dollars, focus on caring about your customers and being helpful.

Rebecca Bigg from Meticulously Managed Bookkeeping believes that:

“They should be focusing on forming connections with their audiences—not making it obvious to the online community that all they care about is the amount of money they’re making.

I feel no connection to these people, nor do I think their voicing their income to be appropriate. Stay humble.”



9. Money talk doesn’t inspire

While it’s nice to earn money and live comfortably, not all of us are driven by our wallets.

Sasha Dumaresq from Mind Love Coaching says:

I’m bored by money talk. Every second post is about “I earnt x by lying on the beach”.

Be original guys. Think of something else aspirational other than the BS about how much you earn.

While money is great, it’s only one aspect of having a successful business.

Try to think about what other benefits you can talk about.

Perhaps tell everyone that your product:

  • improves the quality of someone’s life in some way
  • gives them more time to spend with their family
  • gives them confidence to try something new
  • helps them become their best self.


My final thoughts

I have talked about money many many times on my blog.
I’ve shared financial breakdowns.
I’ve recommended rates.
I’ve launched money surveys.

But my point has never been to use MY financial success to sell myself. 

Yes, it’s important to be more open and honest about money.
Yes, sometimes we can be inspired by the wins of others.

But I believe talking about money with no context, no purpose and no proof is crass and utterly pointless.

So in the end I’ve only flaunted my financials to my husband, my parents and my CFO (Chief Furry Officer).

And that’s as far as I’ll go.

Shannon Morrison from Mighty Social World put it best:

“Unless you’re gonna give me some, keep ya dirty cash talk to yourself.”

I couldn’t agree more.


Over to you

How do you feel about people talking about how much money they make on social media?

Especially when they also sell coaching/business programs? Please tell me in the comments below:

Psst: Between you and me, I could buy a few spare kidneys and some new boobs, and still have change left over.
Second psst: I’m actually considering new boobs. I can tuck my current ones in my socks.


Did you like this post?

You might like my book ‘Confessions of a Misfit Entrepreneur | How to succeed despite yourself’ – buy it online here.

9 reasons not to talk about how much you earn was last modified: by