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Financial Planning for Sex Workers with Lindsey Swanson

Mission Driven Business

Release Date: 04/26/2022

The Mission Driven Business Podcast Episode 77: Master Your Mid-Year Business Review In 3 Easy Steps show art The Mission Driven Business Podcast Episode 77: Master Your Mid-Year Business Review In 3 Easy Steps

Mission Driven Business

On this special episode, Brian dives into the all-important mid-year business review. Whether you’re navigating the early stages of entrepreneurship or deep into running a medium-sized business, the mid-year business review is the perfect opportunity to take stock of your progress so you can stay on track toward your goals. Learn why the mid-year review is essential, what key areas to focus on, and three practical steps to conduct a thorough assessment. Episode Highlights 1. Revisit your mission, vision, and values. Your mission statement is the heartbeat of your business, articulating its...

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Brian chats with marketing expert Cara Bedford. As the founder and CEO of Infinite Marketing, Cara leverages the global talent economy to drive impactful campaigns for mid-to-large-sized businesses, startups, and Fortune 500 companies. On the episode, Cara shares why having a clear vision for a business can create an authentic, cohesive brand narrative. She also stresses the importance of clear communication, effective delegation, and asking the right questions. Episode Highlights Mission-driven businesses are vision-driven businesses. When Cara thinks about mission-driven businesses, she...

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Brian chats with diversity, equity, and inclusion trailblazer Ken Janssens. During his 25-year-long career at JPMorgan Chase, Ken co-founded and chaired the company’s LGBTQ+ Executive Council, championing diversity and inclusivity at the highest levels. He’s also the former Board Chair for leading LGBTQ+ Workplace Inclusion non-profit Out & Equal. On the episode, Ken discusses his new venture, Windō, which aims to make corporate sustainability transparent and to connect young people with employers that share their values. He also shares his journey from activist leader to visionary...

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Brian chats with Amanda Wilson, the co-founder of #open, a dating app for ethically non-monogamous relationships. On the episode, Amanda opens up about the fear she faced pivoting from running political campaigns to launching a sex-positive tech business with her business and life partner. She also shares essential strategies and tactics for navigating the challenges of entrepreneurship and how she utilizes AI to fuel growth and innovation at #open. Episode Highlights Mission-driven businesses balance making money with benefiting society. Amanda defines a mission-driven business as one that...

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Brian chats with serial entrepreneur and visionary leader Amanda Bauer-Frisch. As the CEO of Small Legacies, Amanda creates a way to give thoughtful, high-quality learning tools that enhance a child’s development. She also oversees several other small, legacy-driven businesses under the Enduring Legacy brand. On the episode, Amanda opens up about how becoming a young widow and being open to the right, new opportunities shaped her entrepreneurial journey. She also provides a behind-the-scenes look at how she’s purchased several existing brands and shares tips for finding and acquiring...

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The Mission Driven Business Podcast Episode 70: How To Create Powerful Mission, Vision, and Values Statements show art The Mission Driven Business Podcast Episode 70: How To Create Powerful Mission, Vision, and Values Statements

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The Mission Driven Business Podcast Episode 69: Building A Business For Financial Independence with LaSean Smith show art The Mission Driven Business Podcast Episode 69: Building A Business For Financial Independence with LaSean Smith

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Brian Thompson chats with Lindsey Swanson, a certified financial planner and founder of Stripper Financial Planning. Lindsey started her fee-only financial planning firm after noticing a severe lack of financial advice for workers in adult entertainment. Through her company, she offers tailored advice in a supportive, kind environment.

On the episode, Lindsey shares financial challenges that workers in the sex industry face, including restrictions from banking institutions, payment processors, social media companies, and website hosting firms. She also discusses the importance of choosing the right people to seek advice from, and why she’s thinking of changing her company name.

Episode Highlights

Mission-driven businesses have integrity that others can see.

It can be hard for people within an organization to self-diagnose a mission-driven business, according to Lindsey. She believes that others outside of a company may be better at recognizing whether a mission-driven business is truly accomplishing a higher goal.

“So many times, there’s a business that alleges they have a mission, but I don’t see any actions coming from that,” Lindsey said. “For me and my own business, it comes down to having a direct line between what I’m trying to accomplish and making a profit.”

Seek advice from supportive people.

Although Lindsey knew the sex work industry is stigmatized, she was surprised that some people wouldn’t give her good business advice if they didn’t believe in her business’s mission.

“One of the things that I realized not early enough is that I can’t ask for advice from people who don’t want the same things as me,” Lindsey said. “I could talk to whoever in marketing or branding or whatnot, and if they don’t think that what I’m doing is worthwhile, they don’t give me good advice.”

For instance, some marketers don’t want sex workers to be seen or heard, and Lindsey felt their advice was tainted by a belief that they didn’t actually want her to succeed. Now, Lindsey specifically seeks out advice from people who are supportive of sex workers.

“Otherwise, I’m not going to get people who are supporting me,” Lindsey said. “And that sounds obvious if you say it, but I thought anyone could give me good advice because everyone has something they can bring to the table.”

Not all industries are treated equally online.

One issue Lindsey faces is online censorship of the sex industry. She initially thought marketing and publicity would revolve around SEO and key terms, but she says the reality is more of a nightmare.

“A lot of my clients are starting to create their own websites and host them offshore not because it’s illegal but because there’s so much censorship that happens on Squarespace and Wix and Wordpress,” Lindsey said. “I built my site on Squarespace, but I’m anticipating that at some point it’s going to get taken down. … And it’s so much harder for people in the business.”

Help your audience find you again and again.

Website hosting is only one censorship-related challenge for Lindsey. One of the main words in her business name -- stripper -- gets censored on social media, which prompts the sex industry to use an evolving litany of alternative terms to outsmart the algorithms.

While Lindsey is leaning into her company name as she grows her publicity and brand recognition, once she’s successful, she’ll likely have to create a more veiled version of her business so she can stay on the internet. It’s a move she’s learned from her clients.

“It’s just amazing how good these individuals are at branding and recreating themselves and having an audience that’s so sticky that they are willing to find them again,” Lindsey said. “I have one client that has put up her TikTok 20 times. … She’s been taken down, and she's recreated that 20 times.”

Resources + Links

About Brian and the Mission Driven Business Podcast 

Brian Thompson, JD/CFP, is a tax attorney and certified financial planner who specializes in providing comprehensive financial planning to LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs who run mission-driven businesses. The Mission Driven Business podcast was born out of his passion for helping social entrepreneurs create businesses with purpose and profit.

On the podcast, Brian talks with diverse entrepreneurs and the people who support them. Listeners hear stories of experiences, strength, and hope and get practical advice to help them build businesses that might just change the world, too.