Sex and Cash Business Theory

Kevin Smith is one of my favorite directors and he has this Sex and Cash Business Theory thing down.

FYI: All Kevin Smith related links are Amazon Affiliate Links.

He directed Clerks. It was a labor of love and passion. = Sex. Then few years later he directed Clerks 2. The movie was ordered by a movie studio and he did it for cash.

He directed Chasing Amy. Sex. Then he directed Mallrats. Cash. And this much he admits in his interviews.

He directed Dogma. Amazing movie. One of my top 5. Sex. Then he directed Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. Again, studio-ordered endeavor that payed well. Cash.

He doesn’t have the monopoly on this Sex and Cash Personal Business Model.

My friend Frank DiGiovanni has produced some amazing photos (check out his website). One of his photos is used on the cover of Dogopedia Fantastica ebook.

I really can’t say enough about how great his stuff is. It clearly radiates passion and love of the process. Sex. But it doesn’t pay the bills, so he makes his living shooting weddings. Cash.

The starving artist look wears great on somebody else and it makes for a fascinating narrative. But it’s not fun for the artist.

In other words, don’t quit your day job while you pursue things that turn you on.

Based on a brilliantly delivered book Ignore Everybody and 39 Other Keys to Creativity by Hugh MacLeod.

Meanwhile, on the flip side

There is also the “Death Ground” Business Theory. And I’m a huge fan of it.

When allied troops landed in Normandy during the WWII they had the deep blue sea behind them and Germans in front. There was nowhere to go but forward.

Necessity is the mother of invention they say. And when your choices are go-back and definitely die or fight-forward and maybe live, you do what’s necessary and fight forward.

This military strategy is known as Death Ground and it works in business just as well.

It was first discussed by Sun Tzu in The Art of War (Amazon Affiliate Link). In modern times, it was popularly covered in Robert Greene’s 33 Strategies of War (Amazon Affiliate Link), who has this to say on the subject:

Placing yourself on death ground creates a sense of urgency and desperation. Both powerful motivators.

Which approach is right for you?

Only you can answer that, but I would urge you to take to heart something Harry Lime (awesomely played by Orson Wells) once said in The Third Man. (1949)

In Italy for thirty years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love; they had five hundred years of democracy and peace and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.

I have experienced both strategies and favor Death Ground. You?

Human generated related posts:

What’s Holding Your Business Back and a Simple Fix You Can Implement Right Now

To Fail, Expect to be Discovered

Devil Gets His Due Either Way So Choose Wisely

Ignore Everybody

Good Ideas Have a Lonely Childhood

Dino Dogan

Global Force for Badassery | Founder of Triberr | Refugee from Bosnia | Writer for Technorati | Speaker | Lousy Martial Artist | Pretty good singer/songwriter | Hi 🙂

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  • JeromePineau

    I did want to point out that besides cuckoo clocks, the Swiss also produced chocolate and watches 🙂 [disclaimer: I’m not Swiss, I just happen to live there].

    • Dino Dogan

      They also produced Michelle Hunziker which I think is their crowning achievement lol

      • JeromePineau

        She ain’t no Micheline Calmy-Rey, that’s a solid! 🙂

        • Dino Dogan

          oooh…right you are my friend…NICE!!! lol

  • Lesley Rice

    Death Ground results in sleepless nights, high blood pressure and irritability as well as, in my case, an abnormally high consumption of chocolate covered shortbread. Health wise it is incredibly bad, but hey, since we’re quoting, I’ll see your Harry Lime and raise you a Queen ‘Who wants to live forever?’

    • Dino Dogan

      Devil gets his due either way…we must choose wisely 🙂

  • Lisa

    AWESOME post. I think I am the death ground type. Continue to fight fight fight! I really enjoy your writing style.

    Have a great day,

    • Dino Dogan

      Thnx Lisa…I prefer Death ground strategy as well….clearly, we’re not the “safety motivated” types 🙂 and I like it that way

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  • Brankica U

    OK, I don’t think I’ve seen any of these movies, and I was hoping the post has something to do with Sex and the City movie or series.
    So I had to read through all this until I realized it has nothing to do with THAT movie.

    Also, I don’t understand anything except that you mention one of my favorite books (Sun Tzu).

    So I have absolutely nothing to add to this.

    I am only commenting because in your right sidebar say that you will love people who comment forever. I can always use that.

    • Dino Dogan

      oooh…I think you have something there…there should be a Sex in the City Business Theory lol But I wrote about those ladies in my What Makes People Buy series so…perhaps not 🙂

  • Julie Nutter

    Beautiful. I’m all for Death Ground. Give me fight and flourish or die and all the high blood pressure, sleepless nights, and stress that goes with it.
    The sex/cash way seems… lazier. And much less fun.

    • Dino Dogan

      yay death ground. sex and cash approach does seam smart but I’ll take death ground any day 🙂

  • Start Your Novel

    Dino, this is right on the nose. I decided to create the Start Your Novel blog motivated by the “sex” drive, and the “cash” drive is the reason I work as a professional translator. “Sex” is also pretty much the reason why I got involved in photography and got published here and there.

    But then you mentioned the Death Ground. Yeah. For me, that lies at the root of everything. Survival is the most powerful driver of them all. If you can’t guarantee survival… need I finish this sentence?

  • Start Your Novel

    … and yeah, I saw all the Kevin Smith movies you mention. The great thing about Smith is, whether he is directing for “sex” or “cash”, the same commitment shines through. The man just loves making movies. You can tell.

    • Dino Dogan

      For sure…I love KS. His movies are dope 🙂 I cant help but be reminded of that Tosh line when he sez: “what? You caught the acting bug? You mean the one where you don’t work hard, you make tons of money, and everyone kisses your ass? Yeah, we’ve all got that bug.”

      But I guess with dual jobs (director and actor) KS is considerably more “under the gun”.

      Anyways..I love the idea of Start Your Novel…you got some interesting “starts”. Love it 🙂

      • Start Your Novel

        Thanks. The kind of story prompt that I found online, before I decided to start the blog, was not very satisfying. It’s OK to give people something like “The setting is an old body shop. The characters are two estranged brothers. The theme is trust.” (I’m paraphrasing here.) But there was room for improvement and I saw a way forward.

        Many writers who are starting out have trouble crafting a compelling first line or first paragraph. And let me tell you, it is not easy — but you know that. Inspiration is fickle. What I do is, I go through a number of drafts. You’ll never see anything on the blog that isn’t, at the very least, a third draft.

        One of my favorite bits in KS’s movies is in Clerks 2, when the guys are at the diner discussing the relative merits of Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. Oh, and Pillow Pants! How could I forget Pillow Pants.

        • Dino Dogan

          Are you ok with your work being used to start a blog post? I think that might be an interesting experiment, esp if I had to take “Uncle Berry Bug Wants You” and make it into a nonfiction, business-y type post lol

          • Start Your Novel

            Now I’m really, really curious. Be my guest.

  • ronika

    One of my favourite lines of dialogue from one of my favourite movies! Graham Greene wrote the script (an amazing partnership), but this particular line was supposedly added by Orson Welles. Of course when the movie was released the Swiss apparently politely advised Orson Welles that they had never actually made any cuckoo clocks…

    • Dino Dogan

      wow…you are amazing…how did you know all that?

      • ronika

        As much as I would love to attribute it to my incredible well of knowledge, sadly the source is Wikipedia. I looked it up (as I often do when I really enjoy something) after watching the movie (3-4 years ago), as I thought the movie, and that line in particular, were brilliant.
        BTW Really interesting article, As someone who is fairly risk averse I’m definitely in the Kevin Smith school. As an aside, I thought Cop-Out was hilarious (Cash + Sex), but it seems that critics did not agree (Rotten Tomatoes gave it 20%)

        • Dino Dogan

          Holy crap..I saw Cop Out but had no idea KS directed it. t was funny enough but very safe and mainstream….so I can see why critics didnt like it…not that I put much stock in critics but I get it.

          I actually never saw The Third Man. I got that quote from a book The Great Escape: Nine Jews Who Fled Hitler and Changed the World by Kati Marton…a fascinating read. I guess I should go watch the movie, shouldn’t I? 🙂

          • ronika

            It’s funny – I didn’t realize it was KS either, until the end. It was definitely more mainstream, with some classic KS touches.
            You absolutely have to watch the Third Man. Orson Welles is a genius (given the right material) and well ahead of his time (Citizen Kane etc.)

          • Dino Dogan

            Will do…thnx for recommendation. Im dwnloading the movie right now 🙂