On Sandra’s six-month anniversary of working at the club, she asked me if I could answer a few questions she had about the business of stripping.
“Sure, babe,” I said. “What do you want to know?”
“Well, I’m a business major, and we’re learning how to make business plans at school. I heard that you’ve been dancing for seven years and I was wondering if you ever mapped your business plan.”
“Yes, I did!”
After my original excitement, I sighed. “But nothing ever turns out the way you think it will— especially not in a strip club!”
My original business plan was to:
: Make enough money to pay my college tuition.
: Dance for two years.
: Get my apparel design degree.
: Quit the stripping business.
: Become a world-famous fashion designer.
On paper, it looked so simple.
Here’s what actually happened:
: I made enough money to pay my college tuition.
: I got my apparel design degree.
: I didn’t quit stripping (or become a world-famous fashion designer) and instead began working on a Women Studies degree so I could become a women’s rights attorney.
Seven years later, I was still stripping.
“Here’s all you can count on,” I said to Sandra. “Some nights you’ll make gobs of money and other nights you’ll make jack. Other than that, it’s all a mixed and unpredictable bag of fun, cash and creeps. Nothing has turned out exactly the way I had planned.”
“So, in other words,” Sandra said, “put on your push-up bra, slather on some tanner, whiten your teeth, have fun and make plenty of cash?”
“Yes! Now that’s a business plan!”
The Strip-Down: Creating a hardcore, in-depth business plan is a superb idea.
It will force you to identify what you want in your business, what you don’t want in your business and any loopholes in your plan.
It will also help you develop your revenue models.
Once you have your business plan, shrink it down to a loose one- or two-page outline that you can easily update every thirty to sixty days.
Creating short-term business plans— as opposed to locking yourself into a narrow, long-term plan—offers you the flexibility you need for growth.
In most situations, planning beyond three months is challenging, because too many aspects are unpredictable.
Instead of “What if?” you’ll hear yourself saying, “I will,” and you’ll follow through.
Along with this flexible approach toward the future, your business plan needs to be based upon a firm understanding of your values, idiosyncrasies, passions and strengths.
When you adopt a stripper’s business plan, your identity and your sanity remain intact.
Remember that documents, agendas and lists are not meant to limit or strangle your ambitions; they’re there to create structure and a support system for you so that you can live out your Red Carpet Dream.
And, most important, remember that it’s a business plan—not a life preserver.
P.S. This is an excerpt from my book Think Like A Stripper. And if you want to know the other 67 Stripper Tips, you can buy the book on Amazon.