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Despite the cash that is overflowing from their coach bags, most strippers have a fair amount of unmanaged debt that they do not know what to do with.   Borrowing money is part of our culture, and since most everyone we know is drowning in debt, maybe you jumped on the bandwagon of irresponsibility.  Maybe you got screwed in interest, and now you’re paying 10 times as much as you spent originally, now you are taking a stand against them and vow not to pay them at all.  Maybe you are a little lazy and paying them means doing a bunch of things you don’t feel like doing right now, but you swear you’ll do it “later,” and maybe you think you are being good, you pay all your bills on time, but you pay the minimum due and your balances never seem to go down?  (Maybe you have no debt at all and this post doesn’t apply to you, in which case, please comment how you managed your debt and give yourself a hug!)

Whatever the reason is, if you carry ANY debt as a dancer you are doing yourself a grave injustice.  Strippers should be investing and MAKING money in interest on all the cash we make (even if you’re a low earning stripper, you can be providing for your future more capably now than possibly ever.)  Right now, you make the cash that it costs to earn a Ph.D.  Even if you have NO IDEA what you want your future to be like, trust that one day a plan will show itself to you (please watch this video).  Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to quit dancing and dedicate 40 hours a week towards YOUR DREAM?  You don’t have to run in the rat race like everyone else.  If you pay off your debts and manage your money, you can live the life you want to live, without many of the limitations that keep people down.  You don’t need to have a plan for the rest of your life right this instance to prepare yourself for a comfortable life, and there’s something you can do RIGHT NOW instead of browsing the internet to improve your life.

IF YOU PAY OFF YOUR DEBTS AND SAVE YOUR MONEY, THE LIFE YOU WANT IS YOURS, so the first step is to gather a list of all the people who you owe money to.  If this seems daunting, just answer every blocked call, 800 number, or unknown call for a month or two.  Also, check the mail daily and open everything that looks like a bill the second you get it.  Write down all of the information from each-what you owe, whether the account is in collections, if not, what the interest is on the balance, and how much they want from you.  Then start going through them one by one.  Lots of places will settle your debt for less, and if it’s in collections I say do that.

Please don’t go getting student loans, either.  If you have one, pay it off, if you don’t, get on a payment plan, work more shifts, put a little more work into refining your hustle so you make more money, and pay for school up front.  “Dancing your way through college” is a bullshit excuse for what you’re doing if you are graduating with the same debt as your cousin who works at Whole Foods.  Don’t take loans for ANYTHING but a home if you can avoid it (which you can).

I am not a financial advisor, but there are ton’s of books on debt management that can help you.  I definitely recommend Suze Orman, I got through all of my debt while reading Women and Money.  Lots of the advice in personal finance books don’t apply to dancers because we make cash, but paying off your debts is a must for all people, it just so happens that it’s actually POSSIBLE for strippers.  The bottom line is, even though you can’t see it, the interest on those cards is eating away at your hard earned money.  These credit card companies are in business to make LOTS of money off of you, and if you aren’t paying attention, they will.  Carry a low balance on your cards, and pay it in full each month.  Don’t borrow money you don’t have.  Save.  Pay for everything you have up front.  I never tell someone to “bill me.”  and ALWAYS pay cash when possible.

I will post more on earning back interest with IRAs, savings accounts, and mutual funds later on, but while you wait, pick up the phone and cancel that Victoria’s Secret Card.

xxx

Chase

related post: Control your Credit

 

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I was talking to an industry friend today about ploys to make money, and how strippers manipulate customers into spending.  My friend, who has been dancing for a year, said that it’s a guaranteed good night if you say it’s your first day. I have known strippers who have a birthday every month, and those who have made up elaborate crises on a weekly basis to get money. While I know that it’s true that these things DO work short term, I have found that in the long term it really messes with you and your money to use hard lies like that to hook customers in, not to mention the type of customer it attracts.

This kind of money is “easy come, easy go” money.  Fortune favors those who show it respect.  I love money, truly and deeply.  I treat it like I treat a lover.  I protect it, spend it on things I truly cherish, collect it in neat stacks, NEVER waste it, but loving the money isn’t enough.  You have to love the source.  Imagine you had a chicken who laid eggs made out of gold (bear with me here), if you fed the hen hormones to make it lay more often, shocked it into laying cycles by starving it or dehydrating it, you would get more eggs for a little while, but eventually, your hen would die or the quality of the eggs would suffer.  Your customers WANT to give you money, they are already going to do it, but if you treat them poorly and milk them too often (switching barnyard animals), eventually they will be drained.  Not only will they stop responding to you, but they may avoid the clubs all together from then on, labeling strippers as “manipulative, lying, thieving assholes” who don’t deserve love, attention, or financial help.  For the good of your money and the good of the lovely people in this industry, don’t paint us that way!

The strip club offers you a marvelous opportunity to meet people who can and will definitely help you in your future.  Business men from all over the world hang out in strip clubs, looking to find that perfect stripper to give their money and affection to.  If that person is you, and you make a goal of showing that person a good time, letting them get to know you a little, and building a relationship based on trust vs. manipulation, you can keep these guys.  Don’t be so cocky to think that you will magically “find” this right guy if you don’t show respect for your customers.  The rich guys will pass right over you, whales know a snake when they see one.  If they are suckers and fail to see it, in time your true colors will show and they will either become hopelessly addicted to you (check back tomorrow for an article on this), or leave you in the dust.  If  you are a snake, will be stuck nickel and dime-ing suckers for your entire career, eventually getting too old to make money that way (or any way) and you will have built NONE of the sales techniques that stripping provides, which are the things that qualify us so well for PR, marketing, entrepreneurship, psychology, public speaking, sales, and countless other “customer centered” business ventures later in our lives.

When you don’t respect your money, and you don’t respect your clientele, your money doesn’t stick to you.  Although the strip club seems like a place where all the laws of nature stop applying, it’s not true.  Karma is real in all places.  If you are an asshole, life will be shitty to you.  If you are good and genuine, life will be good to you.

Like I’ve said a million times before, your habits determine who you are, and while “hustling” might get you ahead for the moment, being manipulative will in the long term destroy your money AND your character.  Am I saying never lie?  Of course not.  White lies protect your identity, your safety, and your privacy.  (Read Maintaining your Privacy)

Are some of the guys in the club assholes who deserve to be robbed?  Maybe.  I guess there are quite a few bad apples in the club, but in my experience avoiding these customers all together rather than ripping them off seems to improve my overall mental health, which I think is the most important thing, but the other thing I want thing to stress here is that without lying (much), without stealing, manipulating, or selling hard extras, my money has actually improved quite a bit over time, and I rarely have to “hustle.”  It’s so often that I have a regular who I don’t even dance for.  I just hang out and have a good time, tell jokes, and laugh.  I have one customer in particular who I have stayed close with for YEARS who still regularly gives me money, often times without even seeing him.  I have countless others who I could call if I ever really WAS in a bind (unlikely).  They will always be there for me because they know I won’t take advantage of them.  I won’t fake a crisis to get money, I will respect them, care about their well-being, and stay in touch.  When these customers “help” me, it’s with my tuition, my car payment, putting new tires on my vehicle, vet bills, etc.  I don’t fake things, and I CERTAINLY don’t create crises in order to sucker someone.  Don’t purposely ruin your life so someone will feel like they need to save you.  That logic is so illogical, that I can’t even call it logic.
Everyone knows that all regulars have a shelf life, but how do some girls keep their regulars for years?  How do the hose people you have heard of who have gotten houses and cars?  They have built relationships that last with people who are happy to help.  When you are the kind of person who exploits people’s loneliness to make a cheap buck, you poison yourself and your golden egg-layin’ hen.  When you share a moment, uplift your customer, and see yourself as a positive force, you are nourishing your hen, ensuring that it lives a long life, and maybe even survives long enough to support you during a career change.

You’re easier to love if you’re a good person all the time.  Your actions define you to your customers AND to your real life friends.  Make them virtuous, you will be happier.

xx

Chase

What to do with your cash

Chase Kelly —  September 3, 2012 — 3 Comments

I saw a post the other night that reminded me of what it was like before I had a system in place for handling my cash.  I remember the state of fear around my money, never knowing what to do with it.  When you don’t know what to do with your cash, the short answer is to spend it as quickly as possible.  Having a system in place will make you feel SO much more relaxed and confident and will help your savings grow MUCH faster!

IF you are a tax-paying stripper, you should open a savings account with a high interest rate, like an ING account and certain money market accounts (check out http://www.bankrate.com for the best ones in your area).  Dancing when you are young can make you a VERY rich woman later in life if you play your cards right, so if you are stacking back lots of cash, consider going the bank route.

That being said, I think we can all agree that banks can be pretty awful.  Credit Unions can be a really great alternative, but if you still can’t get down or are evading your taxes for some reason (I did this by accident for years…just too drunk and stupid to get it together, but it was an AWFUL idea).  If you are a are a cash girl you lose TONS of money on interest, but cash feels powerful, so if you want to keep it at home, make sure you do it safely.  Keeping your cash at home is a great feeling and totally fine until you have a “real” amount of cash.  At some point, it is just no longer safe to hoard it in your home without locking it down.  Keeping your cash in a drawer or under your mattress is not safe ever.  Most robberies are committed by people you know, and being a dancer, people know you have a lot of cash.  You NEED a safe.  Make sure it is fireproof, waterproof, and can be bolted to the ground.  Don’t tell people where your safe is (any fancy jewelry should live in there when you aren’t wearing it also.)

Not only will this safe make you feel, well…safer, but you will feel great going home and unlocking your safe to stuff cash in it.  If you think rolling it up and putting it in a jar in the pantry feels good, wait til you experience the magic of unlocking your safe.  Don’t get the cheap one, either.  You can start with a walmart safe until you have a couple G’s, but move it to a real one when you have a sizable amount of cash.  At that point you might as well use your little cheapy one as a “dummy” safe to fake out any possible intruders.

Another alternative is the safety deposit box, which can be rented at any bank.  Remember that the IRS does have access to any bank boxes if you were to ever get audited (happens!)

 

This is the last post in response to dealing with there not being any money at the club you’re at.  The original post is here, and covers some things you can do to increase your profits.  If you have done everything you can and have upped your game and nothing is changing, you just need to accept it.  If there are customers, you can entice them, but a club without customers and with too many girls is impossible to change.

Clubs with no money are dangerous, in my opinion, and as summer sets in, all clubs that are affected by the sluggishness of the industry tend to get a little grimier.  Strip clubs are full of desperation, and we all know what happens to people (especially addicts) when things get depressing.  If your club is inundated with junkies and prostitutes, for your sanity, you need to leave.   I know I have briefly said this before, but I cannot tell you how important I think meditation is for dancers.  Whether you choose to wait and see if money gets better, you leave in search of greener pastures (no pun intended), or you fall into a pit of depression and anxiety, you should meditate.  Our world is crazy, and its important that you’re comfortable and relaxed when you spend time just with yourself.

People, especially those who spend a lot of time together, form a collective consciousness.  At the club I currently work at, I’d say at least half of the girls are going through some major breakdown.  Although I am considering switching clubs, my comfort at my home club is standing in my way (plus I am still making money, albeit slow summer money).  During the summer, I am usually relatively dependent on regulars, but I moved this year, thus losing most of my best customers.  I have not been able to add to my savings at the rate that I try to, and the summer blues are getting to me.  So what do I do to deal with the fact that there is less money and that the girls are taking it hard and becoming prostitutes?

I took it as a sign.  Hardship forces change.  I’m not sure whether we do it subconsciously or there is some unknown force at work here, but regardless, every time there has been something awful that I’ve had to deal with, I have come up with unique ways to deal with the issue.  To deal with not making money at your club, you can either switch clubs, rely on regulars, or wait it out, but freaking out won’t change it, and although lowering your standards can increase your profit, it can destroy your soul.  I realized the dancers at my club were freaking out and treating themselves badly, so I started this blog, continued to try and bring only positivity into the club, and started writing a business plan.  I am concerned about the collective consciousness of women in this industry, and I am setting out to change it.

Accept, grow, smile.

Love Love Love Love,
Chase

Promoting your Business

Chase Kelly —  September 1, 2012 — Leave a comment

If you are reading this, you are already on the internet.  What that means is that you have a valuable marketing tool right in front of you, and you should definitely use it.  In order to effectively promote yourself, you are going to need to set a schedule.  Working the same days every week is really the best way to go, but since I can’t manage to do it, I am not going to suggest that you do.  Just know at the beginning of each week what days you’ll work and MAKE SURE TO SHOW UP.  If a customer comes to see you and you aren’t there, you are running the risk of losing him to another dancer.

Right now, set yourself up a work email and a google voice account, even if you’re not a “give out your number” dancer.  You should set your google voicemail up to that account, and at the beginning of each week you should change your voicemail to say something like, “Hi, you’ve reached Chase, thanks for calling!  If you want to catch up this week, I will be dancing at the _____ club from 7 to close on Monday, Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday.  I hope to see you soon!”

There is really no reason not to do this.  It’s free, it’s simple, and it keeps you from ever having to say, “I don’t give out my number,” or giving a fake number and losing him forever.  There is no reason to lie to customers about how to get in touch with you, make it easier for them, just don’t let them into your real life.  You can even get business cards made up with your google voicemail number and stripper email on it if you really want to. These are great to hand out to creepy old men who hit on you or look at you uncomfortably while you’re putting gas in your car.  If a guy is being a creep, that means he wants to see you naked.  If he wants to see you naked badly enough he will pay you for it.

Another thing I suggest is to do what this girl did.  What a brilliant idea.  You can use a twitter account, facebook, tumblr, wordpress, blogspot, etc. all to promote yourself without giving yourself away.  Men love mystery, so not showing your face or blurring it out is totally acceptable for promotional purposes.  Do not see each customer as a one time deal, get him back, build your customer base, and watch your stress about the summer blues fade into the past.  Loyal customers will get you through all sorts of lulls and are almost as important to your security as your savings and health insurance.

Ain’t no Money

Chase Kelly —  September 1, 2012 — Leave a comment

I got a request today for a blog post on what to do if there just isn’t any money at your club. I think it’s a really awesome topic that I most certainly have struggled with myself.  It feels really good to be able to share my experiences with you and help you cope a little better.  During the summer most clubs die down a lot, and by mid-July it’s almost unbearable in some places.  There are a couple of different ways to go about tackling this problem, although not all of them are applicable to everyone.  Let’s outline some of your options, discuss each one briefly, and then go into each a little more in depth in follow up posts throughout the next couple of days.  Each one has so much merit that I would be doing you a great injustice by trying to squeeze in all the information you need to really begin to master each.  In my experience, these methods will not only increase your profits for the time being, but each has a special element to it that will aide you in your own personal (non stripper) journey.

1.Leave

2. Evolve

3. Promote

4. Supplement

5. Come to terms

Traveling Dancers are more abundant now than ever.  I remember the first time a dancer told me she was going to dance cross country, and I was thrilled for her.  If you have ever wanted to travel, summer is the best time for it!  Sometimes you just about break even, but there are definitely some things you can do to cut your cost.  Clearly, traveling to dance is not an option for everyone, as many of us have children or day jobs, but if your club really sucks, I suggest traveling to dance as much as possible until you find a place that you like better, at which point I urge you to relocate.  More on that later!

Evolving as a dancer is one of the most exciting things this job can offer you.  When you decide to graduate from being a run of the mill stripper to a business woman, all sorts of new worlds will open up for you.  Learning basic sales tactics, cutting back on your drinking, being a better conversationalist, and understanding what men want and looking and acting the part are integral to your continued success in the business.  I urge you to read anything you can on how to get people to say “yes” and how to close sales.  Google and Amazon are going to be your best friends here, and they’re going to have to do until I write my book and give you all my secrets.

Promoting your business is something that all successful people do.  I am pretty sure that somewhere between shame and ignorance lies the reason why dancers do not follow suit.  Trust me when I say that building yourself a following while maintaining your privacy is absolutely possible!  If there are only 10 guys in your club all night, but 2 of them come specifically to see you, you may be well on your way to a $1,000 night, while everyone else settles for $50.

Supplement your income with other things.  Whether you start an etsy and sell things you make, become a phone sex operator (surprisingly lucrative), start camming (do your research first), get a day job, procure yourself a regular, or get paid to take quizzes online is irrelevant.  If you’re not making money dancing, start looking for something else.  There is NO REASON WHATSOEVER to put yourself through the mental anguish of stripping if it does not pay off monetarily.  You are literally just stroking your inner dysfunction, and that’s something we want to fix, not encourage.

Come to terms with the fact that there just isn’t any money.  Accepting the truth gives you power.  If you are consistently a top earner at every club you work at and just can’t seem to get it going where you’re at, then you just need to be honest with yourself and either switch clubs (if that’s an option) or change the truth.  If you aren’t making a lot of money right now dancing, consider that maybe the universe is urging you to do something else or to come up with a creative solution to the problem.  Whatever you do, don’t ever bend or break your personal rules or cross your personal boundaries in the name of money.  Instead, use your brain to tinker with reality.  In the midst of tragedy is when your best work will come out.

*please watch yourself this summer.  When we’re bored at work is typically when we numb ourselves with drugs and alcohol.  It would break my heart to see you develop a chemical dependency just because things are slow.  It’s really important to realize that long after you are ready to quit dancing, your cravings to get fucked up will continue.  They will impact everyone in your life, especially your children.  Please stay sober or choose pot.

Control your Credit

Chase Kelly —  September 1, 2012 — 1 Comment

Hey ladyfriends-

I have been talking to some girls and as it turns out, most of us have no clue how to manage our FICO scores and have pretty much just given up on credit cards since we typically just max them out and then pay the bills when we feel like it, if ever.  I really want you to feel in control of your finances and your future, and I think having one credit card with a decent spending limit for “just in case” scenarios is important.  Girls turn ankles and can’t work.  We go through break ups and can’t bring ourselves to dance for a few weeks, we have deaths in the family, car accidents, kids with broken arms, etc. We also need to rent or purchase homes, we will need to get jobs or start businesses of our own later.  Many of these things wil require credit checks, and those of you who have proven irresponsible in this area will be shit out of luck, so I am going to give you a basic plan to get your credit cards under control:

1. Pull your FICO scores.  Your FICO score is basically your Bill Paying Grade, and it ranges from 300-850.  There are 3 different bureaus that are keeping track of your spending record, so you should probably get on top of it, too.  You can pull this from MyFico.com.  Beware of sites that offer free credit checks, they will often bill you for other services that you don’t request, and you cannot stop the payments without canceling your card all together, so try and avoid those.

2. Scour what you see.  Make sure everything on there is real, and you actually charged those items.  Start calling any companies that have closed your account or have gone to collections and ask for a settlement.  Pay off all of these and keep the accounts closed.

3. Get down to only one credit card with the lowest interest rate possible.  Close all store cards (these are a trap) and never open another one.  I don’t care if they give 90% off at the register, these cards are a scam!  Work out a payment plan for anything else that comes up.  Your goal is to get your debt down to zero.

4. Understand how interest works, don’t pay the minimum!  So basically here’s what happens.  You have a 10% interest rate and you charge $300.  When you get your bill you pay on time, but you only pay the minimum payment of $25.  You now have a balance of $275 on your credit card, all of which is charged a 10% interest immediately.  You just got charged $27.50 for nothing.  Credit card companies are banking on the fact that you cannot make your payments and therefor need to pay only the minimum, this is where they make their money, so don’t charge what you can’t pay off in full.  Pay in full as soon as you get your statement!  Late fees are also subject to being charged interest, and your rates will likely drop if you pay on time for 6 months.

5. Your FICO score is determined by the ratio between these 2 things: your credit limit vs. your current debt.  If you have a $500 limit on a crappy card, and you owe $400 on it, your credit is going to suck.  Keep your balances low and your payments regular!

These are just some basics, we could of course go way deeper, which I advise you to do!  Any questions, feel free to post them, I’ll try and address whatever I can!