Last week, we told you about the great American entrepreneur Jay Thunderbolt
, a 6-foot-5 badass dude who runs a strip club, Club Thunderbolt, out of his Detroit home.
Thunderbolt (not his real name) heard we were talking about him and agreed to share some pearls of wisdom with Asylum from his 18 years in the business of sexy ladies, lap dances
and bottomless glory.
But first he wanted me to meet his ladyfriend, Stacy, as part of a matchmaking side gig Thunderbolt loves to work on for fun. "Stacy wants to be your girlfriend
," Thunderbolt told me in a near-whisper. "Just talk to her. Please. It'll make her very happy."
While wedding bells are not in the air for me and Stacy, I did learn how to avoid bureaucracy, cops and gunshots to the head to create a thriving work-from-home, collect-lots-of-dinero business.
1. Spot a Need in the (Meat) Market
"I had one helluva life," Thunderbolt recalled wistfully. "I was in the Army
, was a bodyguard, did lots of stuff." Eighteen years ago, he decided to start a bachelor party business after a friend complained about having spent a fortune on a stripper who performed for less than 15 minutes. "I thought, Screw this. Naked girls, money... never say die.
2. Get Permission ... or Avoid Having To
When he started out, Thunderbolt checked on the city ordinances and made sure he wasn't that close to any kind of school. He also avoided laws against booze and girls simply by announcing Club Thunderbolt was B.Y.O.B.
Then he approached area residents with his proposal and met with little to no resistance.
"My neighbors all love me because I'm the Great White Hope
, he says. "If there's something broken, glass shattering somewhere in the neighborhood, I'm the first one out the door." Point taken: Be the neighbor everyone actually likes first.
3. Get on the Good Side of the Cops
At first, the club had trouble getting the attention of the police -- and not in a good way. On August 10, burglars broke in and busted the top off of Thunderbolt's door; the police
allegedly waited almost six hours before responding to the 911 call.
Thunderbolt recommends sleeping with a shotgun to ward off intruders who think a heavy cash business on the fringe of the law is an easy target. When he was a kid, Thunderbolt was shot in the face
during a street robbery and somehow survived. "The bullet bounced off my jawbone, smashed my other ear," he explained. "Just so happens I was sleeping on my good ear with the shotgun next to me. When the burglar saw me and that gun, he freaked out and ran."
Later on, once the cops got wind of the operation, they were easily placated with friendly naked girls who professed their love of cops. (It also helped that those girls flashed passing patrol cars before the cops even had a chance to bust in.)
4. You'll Need a Gun
Thunderbolt says the first thing to do if you want to start your own at-home strip club is "what I do every year, which is buy a $750 bulletproof vest
and make sure your gun permit's up to snuff."
"Everybody and their f**king Google
," he says. "Which is another reason why you gotta get a gun -- God forbid you get some idiot parked outside with a gun waiting for a girl to leave ... You gotta have enough balls to do it, to say to people, 'Lift up your arms, I'm gonna pat you down.' To me, it's nothing. I'm worried about the girl's safety -- mine, not so much. No one gets hurt on my watch, period."
Thunderbolt's final piece of advice is to be serious, of course, about your new business ... but he cannot deny you should be enjoying the good life. "You just do it -- hanging out with naked girls
isn't too bad. You get used to working. What's the saying, if you do a job you love and get paid for it, it's not really work, is it? Wanna say hi to Stacy now?"
Brian Fairbanks is an Asylum contributor who does a job he loves and gets paid for it.