Hot Entrepreneurship Tips with Yana Tallon-Hicks

Brian Thompson chats with Yana Tallon-Hicks, a pleasure-positive sex therapist, educator, and writer. On the episode, Yana shares her unexpected journey to becoming a relationship therapist and business owner. She also gives tips for using a sliding scale fee model and offers insight into the process of writing her upcoming book, Hot and Unbothered: How to Think About, Talk About, and Have the Sex You Really Want.

Episode Highlights

Make money in a way that aligns with your values.

Yana defines a mission-driven business as one that pays attention to its values and goals so that it can make money in a way that aligns with those values and goals.

“It’s a business that pays attention to what their values and goals are every step of the way, to the best of their ability,” she said. “Because at the end of the day, a business needs to make money … and I think that it can still be done with their mission and your values.”

Be intentional about structuring your time.

Yana’s career spans her incorporated work as a relationship therapist, sex writing, and education projects. Juggling all of these responsibilities requires a lot of balance, and she blocks out time dedicated to specific projects, like writing her new book and general administrative tasks.

Yana is also a co-parent, which has prompted her to keep her schedule regimented to ensure she can be fully present for her child when she’s with him. While she felt busy before she had her child, she’s found being an entrepreneur and a parent has helped her unlock a new level of efficiency.

“Having a kid really helped me get into much better balance,” Yana said. “I actually think I’m doing more work, more efficiently, and better.”

Set clear expectations from the start.

Being part of the LGBT+ community, Yana knows that she’ll run into her therapy clients more often than some therapists might, so she lays out ground rules and expectations upfront. For instance, Yana asks current clients not to follow her on social media, and her intake form includes a paragraph that clients may see her while out in public.

She is also clear about her use of a sliding scale fee model and has prices listed on her website and intake form. Her clients have been very responsive to the model, and people who can pay the highest amount generally do.

“Business owners assume that if you do a sliding scale, people will always pay the bottom of your scale, and that is just not true,” Yana said. “The trick is you really do need to be truly okay with whatever people choose.”

Resources + Links

About Brian and the Mission Driven Business Podcast 

Brian Thompson, JD/CFP, is a tax attorney and certified financial planner who specializes in providing comprehensive financial planning to LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs who run mission-driven businesses. The Mission Driven Business podcast was born out of his passion for helping social entrepreneurs create businesses with purpose and profit.

On the podcast, Brian talks with diverse entrepreneurs and the people who support them. Listeners hear stories of experiences, strength, and hope and get practical advice to help them build businesses that might just change the world, too.