The Business of Love

Saturday, December 03, 2011

I'm Back!

It's been a long 3 1/2 years since I last posted on this blog, but with new chapters in life come new insights. This new chapter in my life that I want to chronicle is my attempt at online dating. Yes, I realized that whatever I had been doing in my dating life wasn't working and that only crazy people do the same things and expect different results. So I took the plunge.

Step 1 - Join

On my 29th birthday I signed up for my first online dating site, I've been frequenting the site for about 4 months now and success has been mixed. On a positive note, I have been able to significantly expand my reach to girls I wouldn't have met otherwise. I have also been able to have a lot more dates. However, I am still finding that positive online interactions aren't turning into positive dates. Perhaps I'm expecting too much from these dates or perhaps I'm not very practiced, but I will place the responsibility on myself.

What You Can Expect

So instead of relating business to dating, here is what you will be seeing on this blog from now on:
  • What I like/dislike about the dating sites (yes, I'm going to be trying other sites soon)
  • How my dates go (all names will be changes to protect me, uh, I mean them)
  • My observations on dating habits, culture, etc.
If you read, please comment as well. I value your feedback and any humor is doubly appreciated.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Surviving A Recession

The nation's economy is currently in shambles. Home prices are falling, the price of food is rising and gasoline prices are so high you'd think the stuff cured cancer. Recessions are tough on everyone, but three pointers can help you not only survive, but thrive in tough times.

Define Your Strategy

When things aren't going well you need to focus on what's important. Many businesses have a lot of products and services they provide with vastly different margins and differing levels of expertise. During hard times the wise move is to focus on high margin, core activities.

Trim Expenses

Now that you've identified your focus it's time to start cutting off excess. Say hello to plain Bic pens (the ones with the cap you actually have to take off before you can use the pen) and goodbye to those fancy Parker clicky pens. Adios to catered company parties. Hola to chips and salsa.

Strengthen Your Weaknesses

Every company out there has areas they know could use some improvement, but never have the time to address. With a slow economy these shortfalls become magnified to current and potential clients. During tough times you can't afford to give clients a reason to say no to your products and services.

Relating to Dating

So what exactly is a recession in your dating life? Well, it's just like a recession in the economy. Opportunities and resources are scarce. Perhaps you've moved into an area with few potential dating prospects or your new job requires 60-hour work weeks. Anytime you feel that outside influences are cramping your style I submit that you could be in a recession, so you've got to enter survival mode to outlast the famine.

Define Your Strategy

Desperate times require desperate measures, but they don't require settling. All of the time you spent in the promised land should have taught you what you like and don't like. Remember. Write it down. Don't forget. Now that you're in the desert you'll need to look even harder to find that oasis of love. I repeat, don't settle for the "best of."

Trim Expenses

In the desert your resources are stretched pretty thin just to survive. Time is likely your most valuable resource. Finding suitable ladies or guys will now take you much more time and effort. Multitask. Do you plan on watching the big game? Invite some prospects over or go watch it where you can meet some prospects. Do you like exercising? Play some pickup frisbee at the park (if it isn't coed this isn't helping) or enter a local 5K. And don't just put yourself in good situations, take advantage of the situation. Talk to people. Introduce yourself. All of the situations I've mentioned have a common interest built in. Starting a conversation won't get much easier than "Hey, how did you get so good at frisbee?" It's open-ended and contains a compliment. Money!

Strengthen Your Weaknesses

If you feel you're in the desert, your prospects might feel the same way. They're analyzing you with a fine-tooth comb for flaws. Minimize them as much as possible. Feel like you've gained a few pounds? You may want to drop those. Bitter about your breakup? Be optimistic and outgoing. Whatever you feel your flaws may be, take this opportunity to improve. Good luck out there.

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Saturday, March 15, 2008

Corporate Restructuring

When a company changes strategic direction a restructuring of top management is often necessary for a couple of reasons. First, in a practical sense, the departing management reached a plateau with the company. Second, the physical change reinforces the psychological change needed to springboard the company forward in the future. So basically this post is a followup to the September 19th post titled Firing Your CEO.

Use Discretion

The search for new management must be undertaken with great care. The company is already on shaky ground without a CEO and investor confidence needs to be maintained. Thus, the search for a new executive poses significant difficulty but offers great opportunity.

Managing the company without a CEO requires utilizing your resources. Work with your partners, seek the advice of mentors, and rely on your experience to keep the ship afloat. This is likely the easier part.

Interviewing for a new CEO is more difficult. The recent firing may have tarnished your image and interviewing must be extensive to ensure a proper hire is made. Multiple interviews are needed to find if the potential hire fits the culture and is qualified. However, if everything works out the company can regain a solid footing and continue growing.

Relating To Dating

I think you can figure most of the correlations out, but corporate restructuring refers to your newly regained single status. Keeping your social life going at this stage requires you to keep a positive attitude and use your resources. Look up some ladies from before your recently ended relationship. Ask friends and family for references. This won't be easy, but keep the goal in mind to keep you going: finding a new lady to help you be your best.

Cautionary Note:

If the previous CEO was dismissed you may be prohibited from disclosing details. While this may seem secretive you need to honor the trust established with your previous CEO despite the added difficulty this presents.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Developing Partnerships

Trying to succeed in the business world is hard. Succeeding alone is even more difficult. So while out in the business world you're always trying to develop partnerships. Partnerships come in two varieties.

1. Most partnerships are formed for synergies between the companies involved. One of the main benefits from partnerships is access to new clients. Manufacturers want to partner with retail outlets to access the customers these stores bring in. Retail stores benefit from the partnership because people come to purchase the manufacturers product but hopefully buy other products as well.

2. Though in the minority, you can also form partnerships with an eye toward a merger. Often these relationships start out as type 1 partnerships and grow into type 2 relationships, but if a merger is on your mind you'll find that this type of partnership usually fails if a merger isn't completed. So how does all of this relate to dating?

Partnerships = Friendships

I hope that didn't surprise anyone. Friendships provide you with access to a whole new group of customers (for me that means more ladies to date) and can lead to a merger (exclusive relationship). Just as good partnerships provide benefits to both parties, good friendships benefit everyone. So what should you look for in your partnerships?

Building Quality Partnerships

First you can look for areas of common interest to build on. Look for friends that like the same activities and have similar personalities. Then you can spend time with your friends doing activities you already like. Secondly you can look for friends who like activities you would like to try and just need a guide as you learn. They can also have personality traits that are complementary to your own. These basic rules should help you form positive partnerships.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Job Interview: Part III

Congratulations. You've now set up an interview, dressed for success, and are ready to nail your interview.

First Impressions

I can't overemphasize the importance of a good first impression. Interviewers meet many applicants in a very short time. If you don't make a good impression right away, you'll get filed away in the "everyone else" bin of the interviewer's mind.

So how does one make such a positive impression? Remember that non-verbal communication is more influential than what you say. First, use good posture. Second, look the interviewer in the eye. Lastly, once seated, sit up straight in a relaxed position. Now that you know how to walk the walk, how do you talk the talk?

Talk the Talk

You look and act the part. Now you've got to seal the deal. This part of your interview will be extremely dynamic, so all I can do is provide a few principles that will guide you:

1. Be Yourself.
2. Be Positive.
3. Respect the Interviewer.
4. Have Fun.

This is a gross oversimplification, but these principles should help guide you toward a successful interview.

Dating Applications

I hope the connection between interviewing and dating are crystal-clear by now, but just to have a little fun I'll walk through what I would consider an average "interview" (1st date).

I arrange the date at least 3 days in advance and let the girl know what the plan will be so she can dress appropriately and eat before if necessary. I usually dress pretty casual, but I try to wear clothes I've been complimented on in the past. I always make sure to be on time or a couple minutes early. Sure you may end up waiting since many ladies are NOT punctual but that's the game.

When I meet the "interviewer" I always make eye contact and smile while introducing myself. I believe in chivalry, so I open doors whenever possible and I pay. Conversation is usually light and I try to inject as much humor as I can. Of course you should avoid any potentially offensive material. Always be extra cautious until you know the "interviewer" better.

From there on it will come down to chemistry and all that other frustratingly ambiguous "stuff". So good luck on your interviews and hopefully some of you will get second interviews and maybe even get "hired".

Tip of the Day: Smile. Unless your mouth is an orthodontic massacre, this will single-handedly make you 25%-50% more attractive.

PS Sorry to keep you waiting Julie.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Job Interview: Part II

Now if you've followed the advice from part I on job interviews, you should have set up an interview with a potential employer. For some of you this will be the first impression and for some it won't, but you can rest assured that making the right first impression at your interview is critical.

Dress for Success

First, you need to know what to wear. There isn't one guideline that fits all situations, but there are three guidelines that should ensure you are dressed appropriately.

1. Find out how the interviewer will be dressed and dress to match. So if you're interviewer at that internet startup is wearing jeans and a polo shirt, go ahead and wear jeans and a polo shirt. I mean, if you get the job that's what you'll be wearing for the next few years right?

2. If you don't know what the interviewer is going to wear, you will likely be better served to dress nicer rather than more casual. Rarely will being overdressed be a liability.

3. Inside of guidelines 1 and 2, favor styles that are more conservative and fit your body type. Nobody wants a lady with the muffin top waist or a guy who's shirt is so tight you wonder if you should duck for cover in case the buttons pop off.

Social Application

Remember that our "interview" is in fact a first date and the "employer/interviewer" is the lucky lady/guy. You'll always feel the most comfortable if you've matched the level and style of your interviewer. Nobody wants to show up for a date wearing their Little League Boston Red Sox jersey and your date is wearing a dress and heels (not that I personally would be uncomfortable since I love the Red Sox, but she might feel a bit out of place.)


For a job interview you should be clean and well-groomed. Again, matching the company culture is best. However, avoid anything distracting (such as really potent aftershave or colognes like Sex Panther). Brush your teeth, comb your hair, and wear deodorant. If this is news to you you really need this advice.

For dating you can take a little more liberty with your scent of choice. However, remember when selecting your scent that you're trying to find something you can tolerate, but drives your "interviewer" crazy. My advice is to seek help from a trusted friend of the opposite gender. A good decision in this category can pay big dividends.

Tip of the Day: Wear something that you really like and look good in. This will give you confidence, which, as was mentioned in our last Tip of the Day, is always a turn-on.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Job Interview: Part I

For the next couple of posts we'll be looking at how the dreaded job interview is actually quite similar to a social practice commonly referred to as the first date. Before we begin though, you need to switch your paradigm just a little bit. Usually I prefer to think of myself as the company, Handsome Inc. For our discussion of job interviews though you need to think of your romantic interest as the company and you're the applicant looking for a position with the company.

Getting the Interview

We've all heard the phrase about how it's not what you know but who you know. Well, there is a lot of truth to that. You get a lot of interviews because of connections you have that alert you that a position is open and/or gets an interview for you (yep, the blind date.) So networking is very valuable if you want to get an interview with your ideal company. But what if you don't know someone who can hook you up?

Don't panic. There are always companies looking to interview acceptable candidates. Many companies post open positions online or in the classifieds with contact information. This is exactly what it sounds like, online dating sites and personals in the newspaper. However, many companies try to get applicants before going to these methods. So how do you know a company has an opening?

Inquire Within

Many companies will start by putting up a sign in the front window requesting applicants just stop by and ask for an interview. This translates into a lady getting dressed up and going to a social event. While not fool-proof, this is a pretty clear sign that she's taking applications. Another rare situation is when a business isn't really looking for applicants, but is willing to make an exception if the applicant is qualified. You'll never know if this is the situation without the confidence to ask for an interview and convey that your are adequately "qualified" for the position. To summarize, you need to be looking for and correctly reading those enigmatic "signs" that ladies (and guys too) put out.

We'll keep it short today and next time we'll talk about how you prepare once you've set up that big interview.

Tip of the Day: Confidence is attractive (avoid confidence' cousin arrogance though, he's ugly) and you'll never know how things might have been if you never had the confidence to try.