When you close your eyes and think of a businesswoman, I bet that you envision a pants suit clad figure grasping a finely crafted attache (briefcase) Sure. I was that figure but not for long.
You see, I also carried another bag. The bag where I got most of my business sense and well, a ton of bravery. It was a pretty pink dufel bag. It didn’t contain files, calculators or, fancy pens. Inside of it was a collection of 6 inch heels, sequined costumes, a cowboy hat, makeup and a ton of courage.
As a divorced mom of 2 kids, I needed income and fast. A friend of mine was a “dancer” so I let her talk me into giving it a try. Was I scared? Yep. After a while, it became easier and it surely fed and housed myself and my children so it became what I did.
Now, sure, there are stories of strippers gone wild and sex, drugs, and rock and roll but that was never really my style. I worked smart. I treated it as a business.
Being a stripper taught me a lot about self esteem, honesty, and even marketing.
How can swinging around a pole teach anyone about marketing? Well, think about it. Marketing is marketing, no matter if you are selling a product, a course, or yes, even a lap dance. It is promoting what you have to who wants it or needs it. Right?
Imagine being in a building with hundreds of other women all trying to get the same customer to buy some time with them. (honest, most of the guys really enjoyed great conversation) You HAD to be different, you HAD to stand out in the crowd. That took branding. Yep. Personal branding is even essential in a strip club. I tell ya, I increased my income massively when I decided to take on a true persona of the cute cowgirl in a hat and chaps. People would hear about me and drive from other states. I was like a celeb in a thong. lol
Even little things like your introduction given by the DJ was marketing. Think about it. It was much cooler to hear “people come from other states to see our own resident cowgirl!” than “blah blah.. here she is.” The song choices mattered, everything was on brand.
Dancing taught me about money management, time management, marketing, branding, but most of all bravery. OK, maybe also some cool dance moves. 🙂
Do I wish it for my daughters? Well, no way! I SO hope and pray that they never end up in a situation that they are forced into choosing a profession in order to earn fast money to feed their kids either.
We make choices and we live with them.
Part of me would love to hide from the fact that I walked the path that I did but it is part of who I am and what I have learned. I choose to use my past to better my present and future. Maybe, I can help others do the same.
Now, that I have it off my chest, I hope to be able to somehow incorporate the mad stripper skills into how I teach business.
I feel much better just writing this. I preach for you to be brave and to be real and needed to do the same.