We are in the midst of what is clearly a global economic meltdown. To categorize this time as merely "difficult" is a gross understatement. Like every other industry, adult entertainment is clearly affected. Many of us used to laugh and believe that we were immune to tough financial times. We thought that the industry was recession-proof, much like we imagined owning a bar would be. Wow, were we wrong!
People are spending less money, trying to save where they can, and many of are getting declined for purchases when they want to continue spending because their credit limits have been reduced. When you add Tube site proliferation and low consumer confidence from deceptive billing practices to the list of challenges, what we're left with is an utterly frustrating paradigm shift.
Human nature results in any individual with a pulse reacting as a result of financial stress. Is it time to panic? Is it time to lose emotional control? Absolutely not! For those of you who view the glass as half-empty, now is the time to get positive, accept reality, and revisit your business plan for the future.
I have been involved in all facets of adult for a decade now and have seen a fair share of challenges. The simple fact remains that with new global markets constantly coming online, along with a growing, aging population, and adult entertainment revenue continues to grow despite economic turmoil.
What's happened to my revenue, you ask? I believe that although the proverbial cheese has been moved, most of us—out of laziness, neglect or habit—are still returning to the same spot to eat, even when nothing's there. Market segments such as retail video distribution and magazine publishing are now taking a second "beating" due to the financial crisis, but the first beating was a result of business operators who were unprepared for the future, which is now here. Opportunity is everywhere, but continued long-term success will only come to those who innovate, work smarter, and not rest on their laurels.
It does not make a difference what part of the adult industry you're a part of; being the master of your product and a step ahead of the competition will keep you strong and growing, no matter what external factors are at work or play. Staying positive and having a sense of humility about your business decisions is equally important in order to keep your emotions and people’s impressions of you in check. It's very easy to jump onto a message board or chat session and be negative, but these dialogues are often counterproductive. Glean facts from these venues, but focus your time studying your business, the competition, or learning how to be more efficient or innovative, instead of focusing on the negative.
Expand your business network and surround yourself with positive, creative thinkers who approach each day with vigor to solve their own problems. When those around you share the same outlook, it is great for morale and momentum. Whether you are an employee or business owner, the call to succeed is the same, and meeting the challenge is always going to rely on your emotional well-being. Patience is essential. Just because things aren’t the way you want them to be doesn’t mean they can’t be the way you want them if you work hard, stay positive and go the distance. Along the way, be sure to revisit all your expenses as well as the symbolic reasons for your pursuit in both your personal and business life. Learn from the past, but don't live in the positive or negative of it. Whether it was an accomplishment or a failure that you continue to dwell on, let it go, because it's what you do today that defines you.
I am excited to see what innovation results from the current economic woes. Inevitably, the pendulum will swing the other way, the economy will recover, and we will enter into another boom time. How would you like to be positioned during an economic upturn? Will your business even survive that long? I have no doubt that our ranks will thin but the overall opportunity will continue to grow while breeding new faces and competition. Stay positive, continue to master your business, be patient, and continually self-improve. Celebrate small victories while working toward larger goals. Remember, if the journey doesn't hurt at least a little bit, then chances are you will not be among the last standing.
Brad Mitchell is CEO of MojoHost.
This article originally appeared in the August 2009 issue of AVN Online. To subscribe, visit AVNMediaNetwork.com/subscribe.