Keys to Biz Success in a Legally-Challenging Industry

Keys to Biz Success in a Legally-Challenging Industry

Check out the latest episode below. Mr.Biz Radio provides business owners with the knowledge and insights needed to drive their companies forward.

Mr. Biz Radio: Keys to Biz Success in a Legally-Challenging Industry

Unedited transcription of the show is included below:


Welcome to Mr. Biz radio, Biz. Talk for Biz owners. If you're ready to stop faking the funk and take your business onward and upward, this show is for you. And now here's Mr. Biz, Ken Wentworth.


All right, welcome to another episode of Mr. Biz Radio with me, Mr. Biz Ken Wentworth. And you know, I say this all the time, often at the, at the outset of shows is, you know, we try to cover new topics and broaden and expand the horizons of our, our viewers, our listeners. And we're certainly gonna do that today because literally in six and a half plus years of doing the show, we have never talked about at least some of the topics we're gonna talk about today. And I, before I even introduce our guests, I'll tell you that we are going to talk about later in the show, we're gonna talk about the sex industry. Oh, yeah, that's what I said. The sex industry. You guys are gonna love this one. So our guest today is Madam Olivia LaRue lives an independent Courtesan and madam in Reno, Nevada. In addition to this, she is also a certified sex therapist, working as a surrogate partner and relationship intimacy coach. She's an advocate and educator for safe sex work who mentors new clients and escorts in best practices and safety. She has been in the business for 10 years and in her spare time, and before that, she's a classically trained master chef. And prior to becoming a Courtesan, she was an executive chef and ran a successful catering company among other culinary endeavors. Liv, welcome to Mr. Biz Radio.


Thank you so much for having me, Ken.


Yeah. So I've been looking forward to having you on, like I said, we try to cover new topics. I know we were talking before the show started, before we went on air about covering new, new and cool things. And, you know, I think really, like we typically do with our guests, we'll get started with talking about your entrepreneurial journey because, you know, we're not gonna just talk about sex industry, but I think you know, your entrepreneurial journey leading up to, you know, what kind of what you're doing now will be really interesting for everyone to, to learn about.


Oh, well, thank you. Thank you for offering me the opportunity to talk about my entrepreneurial journey. I think like many entrepreneurs, I was born, I was just a born hustler. You know, I remember selling candy at the pool and, and all these little startups I had, and this is before the internet. I know I'm dating myself, but this is before we could do things online to make money. And so I was very crafty. And I'm actually an artist. I was a a glassblower, professionally, traveled all over the country doing craft shows and whatnot. And and then I became a chef. And like you said, I am a classically trained master chef. And I did that for quite a while. It's when there, where, where there's a will, there's a way, you know, Ken and I just had a hard time working for other people, working for the man.




Call me stubborn obstinate. But that's just the way it is. And I became what I would call successful with very little startup, very little startup capital. The first time I opened a real business, my catering $2,500 on a credit card I could use. And I managed to make that really thrive. And I was able to support my young family with that income and grow my business and do amazing things. I really surpassed all the goals I had set for myself. And we'll talk more about that in my tips about setting goals <laugh>. But then one day came where I just had like a, some people call it a moment of clarity, <laugh>. Are we allowed to use adult language on this video?


Absolutely, yeah. Whatever you're comfortable with.


I, I feel like the universe kind of just bitch slapped me because Ken, I, I <laugh>, I always wanted to be a sex worker ever since I was young, ever since I was a little girl. And I think many sex workers have that in them, that they know that they're going to be a sexual woman and that they have this power and that they can use it to get ahead. I, I think that is a common theme among sex workers that can't just be me,


<Laugh>. And I was literally, I was mopping my kitchen. I had just sent all my staff home to save on labor costs, you know, that bottom line. And since you're the boss, you're the last one there. And I was mopping my kitchen and I literally threw down my mop and I said, f this. And like the next day, took some selfies, put 'em up on the internet, and away I was going on My journey of being a Courtesan, which was is a very exciting journey, <laugh>. But it's just all about that following that passion inside of us, right? Following that fire, that spark, that voice that tells us that we need to be doing something else and we're gonna make it work no matter what. And I had that and it was so strong, I just couldn't ignore it anymore. And I'm really glad I didn't ignore it anymore. Cause I really blossomed into the woman I am today. And it was an amazing transformation.


So I guess going back, you know, you were do, you were in the art work, you were doing a lot of art. You're traveling around, like you said, doing shows and things like that. Obviously it's a, I think at least a very related field. But what, what was the transition and what, what caused you to transition from, you know, sort of the art world into becoming a chef even?


That's a good question. Thank you. Well, I'm from Ohio. We were talking about before the story. Yeah. Before the the podcast. I'm, I'm from Ohio, and there's a big art community in Ohio. You know, people might think that there isn't, but there really is. And that whole frontier, like glassblowing and blacksmithing and ceramics and woodworking, and that American craft movement is really strong in Ohio. Well, I moved to Reno and there's not really a lot of that out here. <Laugh>. I was surprised. Yeah. I mean, if you go to California, 12 more miles west, there's all kinds of art, but, mm. I'm not going to California, so I, I need to do something. And I always wanted to be a chef. And again, with that passion at that time in my life, the passion was to be a chef. And so I, I'm, I just, I got a cooking magazine and I started making some of the recipes.


I was already a good cook. I'd already been working in restaurants, waitressing, bartending, cooking, whatever. It's put yourself out there, you know, and I just put myself out there. And I feel like entrepreneurialship is so much about just being brave and following a, a spark and just, and just doing it. You know, maybe not knowing what's gonna happen next, just doing it and finding out as you go. So that's what I did. That's how I became a chef. I don't know if I answered your question, but it was basically out of need. I needed to make some money and I couldn't do it. Making art <laugh>.


Yeah. Well, yeah. And like you said, you transition into, you know, you, you move west and Nick said the, the art scene wasn't as, as plentiful out in, in Reno and not Nevada. So, you know, you had to shift gears. And you know, what you said, we talk about that a lot on the show is, you know, the, the idea of an entrepreneur is, you know, I've heard it, I didn't, I didn't coin the phrase, but someone said, you know, an entrepreneur is someone who jumps off a cliff and then figures out how to build a plane on the way down. Right? You're just confident in your abilities. You know that you'll make it work. You don't know how the heck it's gonna work. You don't possibly know all the obstacles and challenges that are gonna be thrown at you, but you know, and you're confident in your own abilities. You'll figure it out some way or come higher or high water, you'll figure it out.


You're absolutely right.


Yeah. So did you, so it sounds like you, you did actually go on and you went to culinary school of some sort and all that.


I did, yes. I went to culinary school and got trained and it's, it's a whole interesting story, but I eventually did start my own catering company and, and worked my way up into a corporate chef or corporate executive chef position.


Nice. Nice. We're gonna hit a break here. We, I got, man, I got lots more questions, guys. Look at this. I got all kind of questions here, <laugh>. We're gonna hit a break. You can find out more about Liv and what she's got going on at We'll put it in the show notes as well. And you can also connect with her on LinkedIn. We'll come back after the break. We'll give the Mr. Biz tip of the week, and then we'll continue talking with Liv. We got a whole bunch of other questions to ask Liv about her entrepreneur journey, as well as diving into the sex industry.


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All right, welcome back to the show. It is time for the Mr. Biz tip of the week. This one's a short one, but one, I I say this to my, I've said this to my kids, and I say it to people that I mentor. People probably roll their eyes a lot when I say it, but the tip this week is stop talking about it and start being about it. Especially as an entrepreneur or a entrepreneur, as I often say mm-hmm. <Affirmative> people who are talking about, oh, I got these ideas. I wanna do this, I wanna do that. Do something. Take imperfect action. Just like we were talking about in the first segment with Liv. She didn't know how the heck all this stuff was gonna play out, but she just took the leap and she started taking action. I'm sure she had a bunch of challenges and things that came outta left field that she didn't expect, but she took action.


She didn't just sit and talk about, oh, I think I one day I wanna do this. Oh, I wanna do that. She took action. And that's what you need to do as an entrepreneur, as a business owner. Don't be afraid of taking some risk. You gotta take some risks sometime. High risk, high reward, as they say. And so that's the tip of this week. Stop talking about it. Start being about it. All right, so again, this week guys, we're talking with Liv LaRue. Find out more at So Liv I was saving this from the last segment. So we talked about, you know, your transition from a bunch of different things, but essentially we picked up with, you know, your craft and, and your art stuff into being a chef. You said you had your catering business, and you mentioned that you were, you're mopping a floor one day, everyone's gone, and you're like, okay, this is it. I'm done. Was there a particular thing that was an epiphany? You said you'd always, even as a young child, wanted to be in the industry, but was there something that, was there like an epiphany, like that's it, that caused you to think that way? To think, I'm done, like I, I gotta do something different?


Very good question. Thank you for asking. Yes, there was an epiphany, and I think that if there's anybody out there listening who is in this industry or who, I don't wanna trigger anybody is what I'm trying to say. I have a disclaimer to my epiphany that it could be triggering. But many, many sex workers have sexual trauma in their background. And I had an event, a sexually traumatic event, and after that, it, it was like something clicked in my brain and it was like, if that person can do that to me and hurt me that bad, then what really could a stranger do? You know, it was like one of those things where freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose. Right? I, I felt so hurt and broken from this event, and I was like, well, I don't think that anything could make it worse, so I'm just gonna go with this. Okay. And funny enough, sex work, sex work is really healing. I'm not saying if you have sexual trauma, that you should go out there and start prostituting yourself. But I'm saying for me and for others that I've talked to, it was a very healing journey, being in sex work. And so I think it was a God given gift, all of it. All of it. Mm-Hmm.


<Affirmative>. So you mentioned during the first segment that you, you know, you took some selfies, put on the internet, and off you went. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>, how did you evolve into the industry? So obviously with the pictures and things like that, but has your, has your entry into the sex industry? How's that sort of evolved over, over the last, you know, 10 years or so?


Hmm. Thank you for asking. It started with like a, a sugar daddy sugar baby stuff. Okay. And then it went into full service escort. I was learning a lot on my own. It was mostly self-taught, actually. There wasn't a lot of people out there to mentor. But however, I did run into a business coach, and I love business coaches. Some of 'em are good, some of 'em are bad, just like every other industry, right? Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. But this business coach, he, he was an old fat guy. You know, he wasn't <laugh>, he wasn't in the industry that I was in, but he had, he my niche, my clients, I'm not gonna say it, I'm not gonna say it, but you know what I'm saying.


I know what you're gonna say. Yeah. Yeah.


You know, my clients are in his demographic, so he could give me an inside scoop onto what my clients are thinking. And that was a game changer when that happened. This business coach paid for itself in, in less than a year in like three months. You know, I met my best clients taking the advice that he gave me, and it was really, really, really helpful. And I recommend that to anybody getting into business for themselves that might not have the experience. And they're feeling a little nervous to talk to somebody that knows what's going on that can help you.


Well, it's interesting you know, I don't know if you purposely did it, it sounds like to me you did, but you know, to think that a business coach in that demographic w would even be able to help you or would be like, oh my gosh, this is crazy. I don't want involved with this. You know, this is bad stuff. And, you know, whatever. So first of all, hats off to him that he, you know, had an open mind and said, look, I know business. I don't care what, that's the way I feel. I know business. I don't care what your business is. I'll figure it out. You know, within reason, I don't wanna get involved in illegal activities, of course. But, but you know, I, I, I, kudos to him and for you for recognizing like, Hey, who are gonna be my clientele? I mean, this guy kind of fits, so he could probably be able to help, right? <Laugh>?


Yep. Pretty much. <Laugh>.


Well, it's interesting. So so now, so define for me as well as the audience. I'm probably, a lot of people don't know what is a Courtesan?


A Courtesan is a, a generally speaking, a Courtesan is a type of word from the 18 hundreds or 17 hundreds. You know, a sex worker who's more educated, more worldly more of a companion sex workers, and they're all good. They all have their, their perks, you know? So that's, that's what I am, you can look it up on a different definitions for Courtesan. So I prefer the more positive ones. <Laugh>.


Yeah, yeah, yeah, for sure. I mean, you know, and again, we should make sure that all the listeners and, and and viewers understand where you're at, what you're do. This is not a legal activity where, where you're located in the United States, this is all legal stuff. It's not illegal. And so I wanna make sure that no one's like sitting back there with their hand on their chin thinking, oh my gosh, this is, you know, craziness and terrible. You know, the way I look at this, I think it's fascinating that, you know, you even had this vision as a young child that, you know, you kind of wanted to be in this industry. Where do you think that came from? I mean, you know, again, I know you said you had trauma later in your life, but was there just always a fascination with it? Or


It was always a fascination? Fascination? It's just a, it was just natural. I think it came from God, honestly. I think this is a calling, a spiritual calling.


Yeah. Well, look, I look at this. I'm a firm believer in like every person on the face of the earth. I feel this way. At least every one of us has at least one skill, at least some that we're really, really good at, really good at. And I feel like a lot of people never realize what that skill is, because they're too, they're too busy and they get too caught up in life, checking the box, I got a job, I work nine to five, I come home, I eat dinner, I go to bed, repeat. You know? And, and they never explore that. And so, you know maybe Michael Jordan in basketball, if he would've never picked up a basketball and he was a plumber, he might have been a decent plumber, but he would've never known that he could be the, you know, potentially the best basketball player that ever played the game.


And I feel like everyone has that. And so I encourage everyone to really explore that and figure out, you know, what is it? Cuz we all have unique skillset sets and different types of, you know, industries, niches, whatever it might be. I mean and it sounds like, you know, you kind of did some different things and kind of meander towards, you know, where you're at now. And it seems like you're, you're very happy and content with what you're doing, and by your success, you must be pretty good at it. So you know, again, I think that's a another testament to that you know, that mindset.


Thank you very much.


<Laugh>. Yeah. Yeah, I agree with you a hundred percent. Yeah. Okay. Well guys, we're gonna hit another break here. We're gonna come back, we're gonna get some tips from Liv because again, she's bootstraps of businesses and things like that. And explored and Landon, where she's at, Come back after the break on Mr. Biz Radio.


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All right, welcome back to the show. And again, this week we're talking with Liv LaRue. You can find out more at Again, we'll put it in the show notes. You can also connect with her on LinkedIn to find out more about what she's got going on. You can follow her there. I will say, Liv, I, I reached out you probably didn't even see it yet, but I reached out to connect with you on LinkedIn. And I gotta tell you, when I was looking through your LinkedIn profile a little bit, I saw that you recently were on another podcast and you were in a, a jacuzzi. <Laugh>.


Yes, I was Ken. It was the inter-professional podcast. And so I thought being in the bathtub pretty inter-professional.


Yeah. Yeah, that's pretty funny. That was interesting though. It was interesting. But so I guess, so one of the, one of the things I wanted to talk to you about, especially in this segment was, and I'm, I think we mentioned it in some of the email changes, was in a, a legally challenging industry that you're in, you know, I'm sure there's all sorts of different boxes, you gotta check and do this and do that, do this. And it made me think a lot of, especially what's been going on, especially in the United, United States here over the last several years in the cannabis industry, right. Another legally challenging industry. So I was hoping that you could give us a little bit of insight of, you know, some of those challenges that you face that maybe, you know, if, again, using the same example I used earlier, if you're a plumber, right? Plumbers have to do certain things, but it's not a legal, I wouldn't call it a legally challenging industry to be in. What are some, some of those hurdles that you faced and how, how do you, how do you overcome some of those obstacles?


Okay, thank you. Thank you for that question. So many places in the United States, it is legal to be an escort. It's legal to have an escort service. And so my first piece of advice is to research where you are and the municipal code. I found that all I needed to do was get a privileged business license, which is a quarterly business license. And I needed to get a a card, a sheriff's card, which a lot of adult cabaret dancers also need to get. Okay. And so it was right in there in that category of adult bars dances, danced clubs and stuff. So if I researched that then I found the steps I needed to take to remain legal. And then I noticed that many places offer that same municipal code privileged business license route to take if, if anybody's interested in becoming a legal escort.






Yeah. So, so if you, during that, you know, once you started getting into business, or have you experienced, like, does, does the law, like, do you feel like they bother you a lot? Do they check in on you often? Is it, is there, are they pretty, pretty chill about it?


They're very chill. I love cops. First of all, I love cops. I offer a discount for cops, and I've had cops as clients. I don't really advertise any illegal services. It's illegal to advertise a sexual service in exchange for money. Okay. And so we, we use wording that kind of skirts around that so that there's no entrapment issues. And this is all about using your brain, right? This is about working smarter, not harder. And then I I just try to be honest, to live outside the law. You must be honest, that is a Bob Dylan quote, and I live by that.


Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>. Yeah. I noticed on your website, I think, and I might get the, the nomenclature not exactly correct, but I think you mentioned something about the girlfriend experience.


Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, yes. GFE, the girlfriend experience. There's many different kinds of services you can receive from a sex worker. You can have a porn star experience. You could have just a full body sensual massage. A girlfriend experience is one of those categories. And it's like having a date with your girlfriend, right? So there's certain things you would do with your girlfriend and certain connection that you would expect from a girlfriend. I pride myself on being able to connect to anybody instantly. Pretty much. That's a skill I've honed in this industry, that I recommend anybody in this industry hones. It's very, very useful.


<Laugh>. So let me ask this. How, how often do you, do you yourself or even other people that you're connected with in the industry? I'm, I'm really curious about this. I, I see, you know, how often are there, you know, high level businessmen that are going to some big event and they're, they're not married, they don't have a girlfriend, and they need some arm candy. Let's be honest with let's, what's, let's call it what it is. And really that's all they want. They just need someone, a, a hot woman to go with them and be the arm candy for the evening. So they have a female companion and you know, they're, they're not showing up by themselves. Does that happen often as well?


That does happen often. I think those women like to call themselves ambiance models. Okay. Maybe I'm using dated words. I don't know what, so that, that is definitely a category. I, my clients will do that with me, but I, I don't get sought after to be the ambience model. I don't know why. I would love to, you know, maybe it's where I live. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>, a lot of people come to Reno to play. Yeah. And you know, if a lot of people also come to Reno and they hire women from the ranches, like the brothels. So maybe that's what's happening. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>, I'm sure. I'm fine with how it is though, but Yeah, that's a thing. Check it out.


<Laugh>. So, so I guess that that brings up another question. As you're, you know, have you thought about becoming associated with a brothel? Or if, if not, why is that? Or have you thought about starting your own? Actually,


Thank you for asking. Originally my original fantasy when I was young was to be a madam at a brothel. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>, the reason I don't work at a brothel is because they want you to commit to three weeks out of the month living on site, which I cannot commit to. I am a mother and I don't do, I don't do that. I'm not gonna do that. Yeah. I would love to manage a brothel one day, maybe when my kids are outta house, you know, it, it seems like it wouldn't mesh with my personal life right now. Other, I have nothing against brothels though. Great. It's a great experience. They're also much more expensive than hiring an independent escort. Just letting you know, for anybody planning to come out to Nevada, you expect to pay twice as much cuz the house takes 50%.


Yeah. and that's what I, honestly, that's what I thought you might say, but it makes perfect sense if it doesn't fit, you know, your lifestyle and your personal life. And that's kind of a deal breaker right there, like you said, especially as a mother and trying to juggle all those responsibilities. And, you know, again, I didn't know that, I mean, you know, wanting that you to live onsite for three weeks outta the month, I mean, clearly that's, there's only a certain population of people that, that's gonna work for mm-hmm.


<Affirmative>. Yeah. Yeah. But I I, I've heard good things from women who worked at brothels. They're a different, it's a different kinda service. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative> more transactional, less personal, generally speaking. Yeah.


Yeah. Well, and as you mentioned, I think a lot of people that travel to Reno travel out there for fun. And so they're looking for fun and maybe that's all they want is, is that transactional type of of experience in a lot of cases. So. Interesting. So, I guess let me see what direction. So I guess one other thing I'll ask is what are some resources that helped you live not only in the sex industry, but you know, even just as your journey as an entrepreneur, what, what's like, maybe one or two resources that were really helpful to you?


Okay. A couple resources that were really helpful to me were actually my knowledge of starting a business. Basically branding, finding a niche promotion having goals, smart goals. And I, these are all resources I found from within or from my own resource, my own research online. I found a couple of resources, but I, they're not around anymore and they're not really worth mentioning. It was mostly experience. Experience was my biggest resource. I hope that was a good enough answer for you.


Yeah. I mean, honestly, the school of hard knocks, right? Again, like we were talking about earlier, is, has just taken action knowing that you're not gonna get everything right initially, but you'll figure it out. You'll learn, you know, what doesn't work and what parts of what you did worked and, you know, get rid of the bad stuff and do more of the good stuff. You, you mentioned branding. I don't want to end the show here without mentioning your personal brand. Wild West.




That's that's a good one. <Laugh>. That's a good one. Well, Liv, look, I, as, as always time flies when you're having fun. I really appreciate you coming on the show. It's been fascinating. And so thanks very much for coming on.


I'm honored to be on your show. Thank you, Ken.


Yeah, absolutely guys. Thanks for watching. Thanks for listening. Have a great rest of your week. We'll put it in the, in the the show notes as well. Have a great rest of your week. And don't forget, as always, cashflow is king


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