The first two weeks of January have been brutal. It has many names, all of which true, all of which can be blamed and shamed for the drought: the “after xmas spending” lull, the “tax season is approaching” doom, or, in the case of southwest Missouri, the “ICE STORM WARNING. BUY 2 MONTHS WORTH OF RAMEN AND STAY HOME ‘TILL APRIL!!1!!” town mentality.
Thus a perfect trifecta of reasons is born for people not to come out or not to spend.
For the first and only time since I started working at Joe’s, I actually lost money coming in. It costs $2 to get on stage (for a two-song set), and by the end of the night, I left with negative $8.00. There were maybe six customers who circled in.
Not to say every day this week was horrible. Just horribly unpredictable.
It’s mentally testing to come in and not know if your efforts will result in reward. This week has put me through that test. There were three bad days (including the negative $8.00 payday) and three good days. I was in a much better place when Saturday rolled around because I had become used to the volatility and found ways to combat it.
Here are some tips if you find yourself in a similar situation, that helped me stay focused, calm, and “in the zone”:
3 TIPS FOR STAYING MOTIVATED IN A DEAD CLUB
- Stay out of a crowded dressing room: The biggest mistake I see co-workers making is sitting on the counters and floor in the dressing room and complaining about how slow everything is. Negativity breeds negativity. You’re not making sales and you’re wanting confirmation that it’s not just you. Once you have that confirmation, it settles in your mind that yes, the club is dead, yes, I’m not going to make money, and yes, it’s impossible to make money tonight. And this is wrong!
I’ll give an example. On a Tuesday in December, the club had been dead for hours. There was only one customer (a regular who doesn’t tip or buy dances) and at least six girls. One of the top dancers eventually left, in a foul mood no less, because she wasn’t making any money.
I sold 10 dances that night. They happened within the last three hours of the shift. And I got tipped $20 on stage twice. I stayed on the floor and away from all the dancers and staff members who were complaining. I watched CNN, crossed my legs, and waited. And I was the only one who was ready when paying customers did come through the door, thus capturing the sale. Don’t let a dead club poison your mood.
- Have something to do: You don’t want to be too involved in something that you can’t easily put away once a customer does enter, but having an activity to keep you busy keeps you entertained and motivated. Watching TV, reading books, and practicing pole work (or stretching!) are little things you can do that are stimulating and engaging enough to stay positive.
- (If you do choose to talk) Engage in actually constructive conservation: I do this all the time. If you have an especially generous and talkative bartender, who loves sharing unsolicited advice, actually solicit for that advice when it’s dead! A bored bartender is more than happy to talk about the club, the girls, and the customers. V loves talking about all the things she sees girls doing wrong, or the kinds of girls customers want but can’t seem to find. And her perspective from the bar is unique and gleams valuable insight into things I don’t notice. The rare times I can pick V’s brain are priceless, because they open doors to new topics and strategies to try with customers who otherwise were unapproachable. And it keeps me in the zone, excited and ready to talk to the next customer.
I’ll be working five days this week, Monday-Wednesday, Friday-Saturday, starting at 5p. Stop in and grab a drink.