Book Review: Business Model You
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Kayla has asked me to review books that smutlancers like us might overlook. There aren’t many books that I know of that specifically address writing about sex (and getting paid to do it), but with a little imagination, many books about writing, creativity, and business can be re-contextualized for us pervs. In this series, I hope to provide an overview of books that I’ve found helpful and share how I translated the information for my smutlancing journey. Ultimately, I hope that we can expand our skills together.
About Business Model You
The first book we will be taking a look at in this series in Business Model You by Tim Clark. Business Model You’s core foundation is based on the Business Model Canvas tool developed by Strategyzer. The basic idea is that the nine components of a business are visualized, and when you change one part of the business model, other corresponding components must change as well. This is a great way to put the vital information of a business onto a single page. I’ve used the Business Model Canvas when sharing business ideas with potential partners or helping clients to clarify the way their business works.
Business Model You introduces the Business Model Canvas and goes into detail about each of the components. Clark then asks you to imagine yourself as a 1-person business. If you work for a company, imagine yourself as a value provider. If you’re a freelancer, that’s even easier. Rather than a Business Model Canvas, you’ll now use a Personal Business Model, which is essentially the same with some wording changed. The majority of Business Model You includes activities to visualize your current Personal Business Model, and, if you’d like to change it, how you might go about doing so.
How I Used Business Model You
I read Business Model You after the COVID-19 crisis ended several of my projects, and I was lacking direction. Moving through the activities truly provided value. I was able to create a Personal Business Canvas that provided me with a purpose when I felt that I had none. I also was able to visualize my steps forward rather than floundering and worrying about what to do next.
The most powerful activity for me was developing a purpose statement. I’ve always struggled with developing a personal purpose or mission statement. People have prompted me with, “What do you want to be remembered for?” and I could only think of personality traits. When asked what I wanted to do for a career, I artificially limited myself based on what I saw as possible. Business Model You offered a formula that allowed me to leap past those limitations.
After several activities to get you in a reflective state, the purpose statement activity begins. We are asked to list the activities we enjoy doing, types of people we care about, and the way we want to help people. We’re then asked to connect these three columns using the sentence “I would like to (help) (people) by doing (activity.)” These are the first drafts of our purpose statements. We’re encouraged to flesh these out more and play with the wording. For example:
I would like to heal queer folks by mediating.
I am called to heal relationships between queer folks and their families by using restorative practices to encourage trust and compassion.
I would like to protect sex workers by teaching.
I am called to prevent violence against sex workers by teaching crisis de-escalation skills in the sex worker community.
Even if the Personal Business Model idea doesn’t jive with you, I encourage you to buy this book to work through reflective activities like this one. I truly believe that developing these purpose statements changed my life.
Another aspect of Business Model You that changed my perspective was the idea that work can function in many different ways. Is work a way to make money so that you can find fulfillment elsewhere such as music? If so, what kind of job is best to prevent burn out so you can spend more time playing the clarinet? Is work something that the universe, God, or your innate talents call upon you to fulfill? There are a few others, but most people I’ve asked see work as either a money-making endeavor or a calling. You might be able to tell from my purpose statements that I believe that my career is my calling. If I don’t do these things, no one else is coming to do them, so it has to be me.
Who Business Model You Helps
For those hoping to pivot from a vanilla job into creating content about sex, you’ll get a lot of value out of this book. If you’ve been smutlancing for a while, but feel disheartened about what good you’re doing, if any, Business Model You can help you visualize the value you provide.
In the case that you’re stuck in a vanilla job for the time being, this book might be helpful, but it’s equally likely to bum you out. Tim Clark doesn’t seem to realize that most people can’t change their life with the flick of a switch, so planning out your Personal Business Model doesn’t help if you’re not in a situation to change your entire career.
On the whole, I think Business Model You is a wonderful tool for smutlancers. I look forward to hearing about how the activities helped you. If there are any other business books you’d like reviewed from a smutlancer perspective, leave the title in the comments below!