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What going home with a hooker taught me about my business

8/04/2010

These nuggets of wisdom shared by a brothel worker are more useful than most pieces of business advice you’ll read in a book.

Back in my days of crazy clubbing, I was talking to pretty much everyone in the nightclub (as you do) and met a chick with whom I quickly became friends. When the club closed in the early hours of the morning, she invited a bunch of us to go and hang out at her place.

Back in her gorgeous apartment overlooking the water, we sat out on the balcony with her husband while her four-year-old daughter slept inside. In passing conversation, it came out that she worked in a brothel.

I was fascinated by this — not so much by the industry, which I am in no way trying to glamorise — but by the fact she seemed to be relatively normal and not totally screwed up by the whole thing. So I asked her how she did it? How she managed to do her job and maintain a relationship with her husband? How she seemed to be so normal about the whole thing?

And she said to me:

“I find something to love in every client.”

This blew me away. My initial reaction was, “You are a far better woman than me.”

This conversation is something that’s stuck with me over the 10 years since. It’s something I think about often — when stuff gets bad in my business or I think I’ve got it hard, I think back to meeting this chick — to what she must have been going through on a daily basis in order to do her job. And I realise that if she can find a way to love every client, I have no right to bitch or whine.

The further conversation that morning gave me even further distinctions that I’ve carried forward into my business.

Hookers aren’t afraid of the money

It’s a cash-based transaction, baby. And if you don’t like it, that’s too bad. There are no freebies.

Pimping 101

While hookers aren’t afraid of the money – they also don’t do their own sales. On the street it’s the whole pimp culture thing. In a brothel, there’s management. Either way, the girls aren’t expected to do their own haggling. They provide service only.

Hooker Syndrome

Not mine — this is an actual business syndrome, wherein any transaction is worth more to the purchaser beforehand than it is afterwards.

Get your cash up-front and you don’t have to worry about accounts — and you don’t have to worry about chasing them afterwards.

The Ultimate GFE

There’s this concept called the “GFE” — or Girl Friend Experience — wherein the client pays the hooker the compliment that being with her is like being with someone he isn’t paying.

And, of course, the girls foster this. They sell the guys what they want — the “fantasy” — and then give them the dream they’re after — the “GFE”.

Because guys aren’t really buying sex — they’re buying the fantasy.

So what’s the GFE in your business? What are your clients really buying? What do they get on forums and talk about behind your back? What do they say to their mates about you?

When you know this, that’s where the real marketing magic takes place.

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