Many of us facetiously claim we're not far from making that move to the pole when we're down and out and when the funds aren't looking right. I've been one of those people, only except I've been deadass. And if I could dance or could find a club that would take me as I am (raw rhythmless talent), I would have no qualms about twerking my student loans off.
I've been drawn to the idea of sex work and sex workers since I was younger. I recall wanting to read books like Diary of an Unlikely Call Girl in high school and taking an interest in sex workers as the subject of class videography projects. I admire and envy their ability all at once. Mostly because the way they hustle has always been dazzling (refer to the second definition of dazzling in a swift Google search before speaking) to watch.
Truly, it's a hustle that's not for everybody. It's a career that requires you to constantly unpack and acknowledge what boundaries you may or may not have. Sex workers have a particular gumption that entrepreneurs in other industries can undoubtedly learn from.
In fact, here are 5 things we can learn from sex workers that can be applied to any and every industry or you could say, the 5 commandments of doing business.
So many of us entrepreneurs and even nine-to-fivers lower our value when it comes to putting a price on our product or negotiating our salaries, but I've noticed that many sex workers refuse to work for free. Not for nothing. At all times, they want to know where the cash at and they want it upfront. Stop lowballing yourself and get this money, unapologetically. Which ties into my next point...
Respect Thy Boundaries
We often lose boundaries that allow for work-life balance once we begin working for companies. We find ourselves doing more than we're comfortable with and far more than we're paid for, blurring the lines of expectation. I know that we, especially women of color, have been taught that we have to work twice as hard but f*ck that! Your job is your job and you're not being paid for anything more than that. Do what's in your job description and do it damn good, but as soon as they up the ante, it's time for them to up the paycheck. Stop allowing them to get free labor out of you.
Thou Shall Care For Self
I'm not so naive to think that every sex worker is afforded the time and overall resources that allow for proper self-care, but I have noticed that there are a number of them who do make time for self-care. Part of this is because their job requires a certain level of maintenance, which crosses over into the self-care department such as maintaining hair and nails. These are things that we sometimes forget to normalize in our lives, they become secondary when really this type of pampering should be made primary. That doesn't mean you have to go to the shop and splurge every time, but maybe you invest in that home spa so that you can budget your money and time for self-care.
Sex workers promote themselves using whatever platforms are readily available and they promote their work well. Sex sells and they play that to their advantage. Although, I'm not suggesting that everyone begin to promote their brand using sexuality and sensuality, you should definitely play up your strengths.
On Their Own Terms
They stay at the party as long as it pleases them (particularly for sex workers who aren't survival sex workers). They have an exit strategy, usually through other means of entrepreneurial endeavors. Meanwhile, we tend to, especially in 9-to-5 roles that we hate, overstay our welcome. We ask God to send us signs that it's time to get out the game when in actuality, we knew it was time to leave days, weeks, months ago. Listen to that feeling that tells you when it's time to exit stage left.
What Sex Workers Need You To Know About Their Careers – Read More
8 Ways to Appear More Professional As An Entrepreneur – Read More
10 Ways To Develop An Entrepreneurial Mindset (Whether You Have A Business Or A 9 To 5) – Read More
I Quit My Job 3 Years Ago And Built A Badass Brand With These 5 Steps – Read More
Featured image by Getty Images.
Motor City native, Atlanta living. Sagittarius. Writer. Sexpert. Into all things magical, mystical, and unknown. I'll try anything at least once but you knew that the moment I revealed that I was a Sag.
This was first evident more than a decade ago when she quit her job as the corporate executive of a Fortune 500 company during a Periscope livestream. “I’m not sure if there’s an alignment of [our] future trajectory. I’m going to work for myself. I'm promoting myself to work for myself,” she said at the time before flashing a smile at the viewing audience. As she resigned on camera, a constant stream of encouraging messages floated upwards on the screen.
By 2021, she’d fashioned her work as a corporate consultant and her personal life with her husband and three adopted daughters into a reality show, She’s The Boss, for USA Network. This year, she released the New York Times bestselling memoir Nothing Is Missing, written as she was in the process of getting a divorce and dealing with her eldest daughter’s struggles with substance use.
Convinced that there’s no way the 39-year-old has achieved all of this without intentional strategic planning, I asked her about it when we spoke less than a week before Christmas. I’d seen videos on social media of her working on 2024 planning for other brands, and I wanted to know what that looked like following her own year of success.
She listed a number of goals, including ensuring that the projects she takes on in the new year align with her identity “as a Black woman, as an African woman, as a mother, as someone who has lived a [rebuilding] season and is now trying to live boldly and entirely as themselves.” But, I was shocked by how much of her business planning also prioritized rest.
Despite the bestselling book, a self-titled podcast, and working with numerous corporations, Walters said she’s been taking Fridays off. This year, she doesn’t want to work on Mondays, either.
“A lot of us think we work hard until retirement hits. I want to progress towards retirement,” she said, noting that she’ll check in with herself around March to see how successful this plan has been. The goal, Walters said, is to only be working on Tuesdays and Thursdays by sometime in 2025. “It is intentionally building out what I know I would like to have happen and not waiting for exhaustion to be the trigger of change.”
"A lot of us think we work hard until retirement hits. I want to progress towards retirement... It is intentionally building out what I know I would like to happen and not waiting for exhaustion to be the trigger of change."
Walters said the decision to progressively work less was partially in response to her previously held notions about her career, especially as an entrepreneur. “When I first started, I thought burnout was a part of it,” she said. “What I didn’t realize is that even if you’re able to bounce out of burnout or get back to it, there’s a cumulative impact on your body. If you think of your body as a tree and every time you go through burnout, you are taking a hack out of your trunk, yes, that trunk will heal over, and the tree will continue to grow, but it doesn't mean that you don’t have a weakened stem.”
But, the desire for increased rest was also in response to the major shifts that occurred three years ago when she was experiencing major changes in her family and realized her metaphorical tree was “bending all the way over.”
“One of the things we have to recognize, especially as Black women, is that there is this engrained, societal, systemic notion that our worth is built around our productivity,” she added. “That is some language that I think is just now starting to really get unpacked.” In recent years, there’s been an increased awareness of achieving balance in life, with Tricia Hersey’s “The Nap Ministry” gaining attention based on the idea that rest, especially for Black women, is a form of resistance. Even online phrases such as “soft life” and “quiet quitting” have hinted at a cultural shift in prioritizing leisure over professional ambition.
"One of the things we have to recognize, especially as Black women, is that there is this engrained, societal, systemic notion that our worth is built around our productivity."
If companies are lining up to consult with Walters about their brands and products, then women have been looking to her for guidance on starting over since she invited them to livestream her resignation 12 years ago. As viewers continue to demand more from content creators in the form of intimate, personal details, Walters has navigated her personal brand with a sense of transparency without oversharing the vulnerable details about her life, especially when it comes to her family.
The entrepreneur said she’d been approached to write a book for several years and was initially convinced she was finally ready to write one about business. “I started to do that, and then I went through my divorce. When that happened, I said, why would I write a book telling people to get the life that I have when I’m not sure about the life that I have,” she said.
Instead, she decided to write Nothing Is Missing and provide a closer look at her life, starting with being born to immigrant Ghanaian parents (“You need to know my childhood to know why I’m passionate about entrepreneurship.”) through the adoption of her three daughters and eventual divorce. Despite her desire to share, however, she said she felt protective of the privacy of her family, including her ex-husband.
When discussing this with me, Walters said she was reminded of a lesson she learned from actress Kerry Washington, who released her own memoir, Thicker Than Water, just a week before Walters’ book release. Washington’s memoir grapples with family secrets, too, specifically the fact that she was conceived using a sperm donor and didn’t learn about it until she was already a successful TV star. While Washington reflects on how the decision and subsequent deception impacted her, she’s also careful to hold space for her parents’ experiences, too. “A lot of things she said was that she had to recognize where she was the supporting character and where she was the main character,” Walter said.
This is something Walter worked to do in Nothing Is Missing when discussing her daughter’s struggles with addiction. “I was very intentional about making sure that I did not reveal more than what was required,” she said. “If I say something about someone’s addiction, I don’t need to go into the list of the substances they used, how they used them, what I found. [I don’t need to] walk into a room and paint a picture of what it looked like for people to understand.”
Walters said some of the most vulnerable moments in the book barely made a ripple once it was released. She was extremely nervous to write about getting an abortion, she said. But no one has asked her about this in the months since the book was released. Instead, people have been more interested in quirkier revelations, such as the fact that she once appeared on Wheel of Fortune.
“I have bared my soul about this thing I went through in my youth that has changed me for people, and people are like, ‘So how heavy was the wheel when you spun it?’” she said, chuckling. “It just goes to show that people never worry about the thing that you worry about.”
With the success of Nothing Is Missing, Walters said she still isn’t planning to release a business book at the moment. But, as she navigates parenting a teenager and two adult children while also navigating a relationship with her new fiancé, Walters said she believes she has at least one or two more books to write about her personal journey. “There is sort of an arc of where my life has gone that I know I’ve got something more to say about this that I think is important, relevant and necessary,” she said.
In just three years, Walters’ life has undergone a major transformation. There’s no telling what the next three years will have in store for her, but it seems likely she’ll retain an inspired audience wherever life takes her.
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Featured image courtesy
The month of love is here, and that’s exactly what energy February is bringing. February 2024 is an emotionally fulfilling month, as there is less chaos in the stars and more room to stabilize and get grounded. Matters of the heart come into perspective, and there are new beginnings taking place in love this month. With all planets direct and no retrogrades, this is the time of the year to set intentions, manifest, and go after your dreams. This is a month to get moving on the things you want and to consider where your heart stands right now. February is bringing in some new energy in love and when it comes to your hopes and dreams in life overall.
February 2024 Monthly Horoscopes: General Overview
The month begins in Aquarius Season, and with a New Moon in Aquarius on February 9. This New Moon is a potent time to manifest, as Aquarius rules your vision, your goals, and everything possible for you in life. The hope is high, and this is not the time to shy away from your interests or what makes you uniquely you. February is teaching us how to shine authentically and to accept love while doing so.
Mars enters Aquarius on Feb. 13, bringing in even more air sign energy, and this is facilitating some room for growth. Mars in Aquarius is insightful, revolutionary, open-minded, and inspiring, and with Mars here until the end of March, changes and shake-ups are happening over the next month.
What February 2024 Has In Store For Your Zodiac Sign
Venus enters Aquarius on Feb. 16, and love needs more space to breathe for the time being. Venus in Aquarius seeks freedom, acceptance, and friendship in love, and relationships take on a more progressive tone in this energy. While Venus is in Aquarius until Mar. 11, it is a time to connect with new people, expand your mind and your heart, and learn something new about love. Pisces Season officially begins on Feb. 18, and this water energy is much needed to help us feel into the next steps ahead.
Pisces Season is a time of emotional clarity, romance, dreaming the dream, and getting creative with life. Mercury moves into Pisces on Feb. 23 as well, and creativity is heightened for the time being. Mercury in Pisces is also good energy to manifest in, and February overall is a time when a lot of positive change is possible.
The Full Moon of the month occurs on Feb. 24, and this is a Full Snow Moon in Virgo. Virgo Moons are always a time to get things together, regroup, heal, get organized, and take care of yourself or another. There is something therapeutic about this Full Moon, and it’s a good time to declutter, clean your space, let go of the excess, and get back to you. February overall is a month of getting grounded, and moving closer to love.
Read ahead for your sun sign and rising sign below to see what February 2024 has in store for you.
February for you is about walking away from the past, Aries. You are doing some healing this month as you take a look at where the emotional baggage in your life has been weighing you down and where you want to feel more freedom in your life. The New Moon in Aquarius on Feb. 9 is opening your eyes to what is possible for you in life and love, and you are making some important decisions and changes as the month begins.
Mars moves into your 11th house of hopes and dreams on Feb. 13, and you are moving through February passionate about your vision and what you are manifesting for yourself right now. There is a lot of hope in the air for you this month, and this energy is helping you let go of the things that weren’t resonating with you but that you were holding onto out of fear or regret. You are creating a new path for yourself this month and are letting go of what no longer serves you.
February is bringing things to fruition for you, Taurus. This is an exciting and fulfilling month as you see some past goals and intentions manifest for you, and you are finally able to feel grounded in your accomplishments. This is a month when you are feeling the success in your life, and you are showing yourself just how powerful you and your mind are. You are ready to experience life to the fullest, and you are accepting new opportunities wholeheartedly right now.
Mars moves into your 9th house of adventure on Feb. 13, and you could be traveling this month or finding yourself in some exciting new places. The Full Moon of the month is happening in fellow earth sign, Virgo, and is occurring in your 5th house of romance on Feb. 24. This is a good time to gain clarity of the heart and to seek gratitude for the love that has come full circle for you. Ask yourself, at the end of the month, where do you feel happy and cherished in life, and how can you be around that energy more?
You are aligning with the divine feminine, remaining open, and listening to your heart this month, Gemini. With the Sun in a fellow air sign for most of the month, you are flowing well with the energy of February, and it’s highlighting the love in your life. Vesta goes direct in your sign on Feb. 8, after being in retrograde since November of last year. Vesta will be in your sign until the end of March, and over the next few months, you are going to be learning more about yourself, gaining some renewed inspiration, and experiencing greater self-acceptance and love.
The New Moon on Feb. 9 is a good time to express yourself and what is inspiring you right now, embark on a new journey, travel, and connect with new people. You are feeling the love in your life and within your interactions with others, and there is a lot of relationship growth taking place for you in February. Overall, this is a month of opening your mind, honoring your spirit, and coming together in love.
Things are heating up for you in February, and you are feeling the passion and rebirth in your life, Cancer. Everything is moving forward for you in new ways right now, and you are the one leading this progression and positive energy. You are ready to fulfill some of your dreams and to be confident and courageous in doing so, and you are putting your past fears aside this month.
The New Moon on Feb. 9 is helping you see a new beginning within your commitments, shared finances, and intimacy in life, and this is a good time to set intentions for where you want to be able to spend more of your time and energy. What transformation is inspiring you right now, and how can you open a new door emotionally? At the end of the month, there is a Full Moon in your 3rd house of communication, and the clarity you have been seeking is coming into clear view. The end of February is a good time to meditate, gain peace of mind, and communicate how you have been feeling with a trusted soul.
Things are turning around for you in February, and they are turning around for the better, Leo. This is a month of reflection, romance, and clarity as you turn a new page and accept the growth that has come from it. With the Sun in your opposite sign for most of this month, your focus is more so on relationship matters in February, and this is one of the best times of the year for you for love. The New Moon on the 9th is creating a new beginning in your love life, and this is a good time to focus on what you want to manifest for yourself romantically over the next year.
On Feb. 13, Mars enters your 7th house of love as well, and there is a good balance between what you are putting out there and what you are receiving in return in love. You are craving more connection and romance in your life right now, and this is a month when you want to be around others more than being alone. On Feb. 18, the Sun moves into an area of your chart having to do with rebirth, and you leave the month on a transformative, yet hopeful tone.
This month is all about honoring your time and energy, deciding wisely, and allowing yourself to just be, Virgo. Overworking is something that is always more likely for you than most, but this month, you are being guided to prioritize and find new ways to bring in more self-care and rest into your life so that you feel balanced and grounded no matter what. The Sun is in your 6th house of health for most of the month, and you are focused on creating a good daily routine for the year and taking care of your well-being.
The Sun moves into your opposite sign, Pisces, on Feb. 18, and relationship matters are heightened for you now. During Pisces Season, you experience the benefits and growth in love, and this is a good time for you romantically. The Virgo Full Moon of the year is happening this month on Feb. 24, and you are closing a major chapter in your life at the end of February. The spotlight is on you as the month ends, and you are fueling your desire to reach your goals with patience and integrity and aligning more with what you want out of life.
This month is about trusting yourself and what your intuition is telling you right now, Libra. Follow your gut instincts and listen to your heart, so that you are never misguided. The Sun is in your house of happiness for most of the month, and you are focused here. You are looking for some more freedom, joy, and excitement in your life and are seeing where that may have been taken away from you recently. This is your month to change directions and move forward toward your happiness.
The New Moon on Feb. 9 will be in this romantic area of your chart as well, and you are getting an opportunity at a fresh start in February. The beginning of the month is a good time to set intentions from the heart for what you want to spend more time doing over the next month, and where you want to express and share more of yourself. Remember that you are loved just by being you, and you don’t have to change who you are for anyone to love you.
February is about connection, collaboration, strength, and dedication, Scorpio. This is the month to work on passion projects or the things you want to see thrive right now and to give yourself the encouragement to do so. You have been working hard on bringing your dreams to fruition, and people are coming in to help you reach your success. With the Sun in your 4th house of home and family this month, you are also taking more time out for family and loved ones, and feeling a sense of renewal in the home.
The Sun moves into fellow water sign Pisces on Feb. 18 and enters an area of your chart having to do with your personal happiness. Pisces Season brings joy into your life and is a time when you come out of your shell more and have some more fun. The Full Moon of the month is happening on Feb. 24 in your house of friendships, and this is another more relationship-focused area of your chart that is seeing growth take place this month. In February, you are connecting, creating, and loving.
This month is about taking a look at the options that are presenting themselves and moving towards where you feel the most inspired, Sagittarius. New opportunities in love and life are coming to fruition for you, but it may be hard to decide what and who to choose from. Pallas enters your sign on Feb. 6 until May 16, and you are being guided to use the wisdom you have gained to expand your life for the better, to remain optimistic, and to focus on the bigger picture.
The New Moon of the month is happening on Feb. 9, and this is a mentally fulfilling and transformative Full Moon for you. You are gaining clarity, having important conversations, and being truly heard. Speak from the heart this month and expect to be met halfway. At the end of the month, there is a Full Moon in your 10th house of career, and you are seeing some goals, and past projects come full circle. At the end of February, you are claiming your success.
February is about speaking your mind, letting go of what doesn’t serve, investing wisely, and seeking clarity, Capricorn. Mercury is in your sign the first week of the month, and you enter February focused on the details. You are looking to execute your vision this month- and are being brave in doing so. Mercury moves into Aquarius on Feb. 5 and moves into your 2nd house, and the focus turns to your finances. Mercury in this area of your chart this month can help you create a long-term plan, organize your finances, make investments, and expand your income.
On Feb. 24, there is a Full Moon in your fellow earth sign, Virgo, and you are flowing well with the energy and culminations of this Full Moon. Clarity is heightened, and you are fueling your more adventurous spirit right now. Revelations are coming to the surface for you this month, but these are surprises and insights that are making you happy and creating new possibilities for yourself and your future.
Your season is here, and the light and healing are shining on you this month, Aquarius. A lot of the energy of the month is in your sign, and with this added pressure, you may need more time to rest, reflect, and rejuvenate in February. The month begins with the Sun and Pluto in your sign and with Mercury entering on the 5th. Mercury in Aquarius communicates well, and this is your opportunity to communicate your needs and to give yourself a fresh start mentally.
The New Moon of the month is happening in your sign on Feb. 9, and this is a time to create a personal new beginning for yourself. When you choose yourself and choose your peace, you make it harder for anyone to disrupt that. On Feb. 13, Mars enters your sign as well, and you have a lot of energy at your disposal mid-month and until the end of March. On Feb. 16, Venus enters Aquarius, where she will be until Mar. 11, and you get to experience the fruition and acceptance of love moving forward. Relationship matters are highlighted, and this is one of the best months for your love life.
PISCESKyra Jay for xoNecole
February is a time of connection, romance, growth in relationships, and harmony. You are balanced and in tune with the energy of the month and are experiencing some positive fruitions and positive new beginnings. The month begins with the Sun in your 12th house of closure, and you are moving through the month, letting go and getting inspired for what is to come. Your dream life is especially heightened in February, so make sure you are thinking over the guidance you receive from them.
Pisces Season begins on Feb. 18, and it’s your time to shine! This Pisces Season is a time of love for you, and also a time when you are feeling the support and nourishment in your life. You give so much to others that it’s time for you to receive that same energy as well. On Feb. 24, there is a Full Moon in your 7th house of love and partnership, and you are ending the month with the same romantic, hopeful, and courageous energy you started it with.
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Featured image by Kyra Jay for xoNecole