We are thrilled to welcome Certified Life Coach, Melissa Snow, to the blog this month. Today, she’ll be sharing six powerful observations about the similarities between dating and starting and running a business. One of our favorite lines: “Here’s the thing – just because the last ten people said no, doesn’t mean the next one won’t say yes. Just because the last ten dates were awful, doesn’t mean the next one won’t be amazing. If you spend all your time obsessing over the ten who said no, you’re probably not even going to notice the one who would have said yes. You have to keep showing up and doing the work anyway.”
You’re in for a real treat!
1. You have to be willing to sell. Whether you like it or not.
Webster’s Dictionary has two definitions of selling. First, selling is “giving up something to another for something of value.” In business, you’re usually giving up your product, your knowledge, whatever it is you offer, for money. In dating, you’re giving up your single life to have everything that comes with being in a relationship – security, comfort, companionship, affection, etc. You have to know that what you’re “giving up” is worth what you’re getting in return from the other person.
The second definition of selling is “persuading someone of the merits of something.” In business, you have to be able to clearly and persuasively communicate why what you offer is worth someone spending money on. In dating, it’s a little more abstract, but by spending time with you, someone is able to decide whether being in a relationship with you is worth giving up their single life.
Whether in business or dating, people are far more interested in the benefits than the features. They don’t really care what you offer, they care what it will do for them. How will buying your product (or being in a relationship with you) make their lives easier, better or more enjoyable than it was before? They too have to know that what they’re “giving up” is worth what they’re getting in return from you.
2. You have to actually leave your house.
Neither your ideal client nor your ideal partner is just going to show up at your door. You have to actually leave your house and talk to human beings if you want to find your ideal client or your ideal partner. You can’t always count on referrals or introductions from mutual friends, you have to do some work yourself too. However, it’s not enough to just show up – it also matters what kind of energy you show up with. If you show up to a networking event out of obligation, feeling annoyed and defeated and thinking thoughts like, “This is a waste of time,” or “No one here is going to want to buy from me,” you’re never going to create the result you want. If you keep showing up to dates with people you met online feeling skeptical and defensive, thinking thoughts like, “These people are all the same,” and “I’m never going to meet the right person,” you’re not going to create the result you want then either. This is true 100% of the time.
3. You need more than a flashy sign.
In business, it’s easy to convince yourself that the reason you aren’t succeeding is because you don’t have a website, you’re not running Facebook ads, you need business cards, etc. In dating, it’s easy to convince yourself that the reason you haven’t found the love you want is because you need to lose weight, change your profile pic, dress differently or re-do your online dating profile. In business and in dating, these are all just shiny objects your brain comes up with to distract you from what really matters.
Imagine you’re going out to dinner. You find this fancy restaurant with an extremely cool website and a menu that makes your mouth water. When you get there, the ambiance is amazing and the wait staff are super friendly but the food tastes like shit. Suddenly, none of that other stuff matters – you’re not going back to that restaurant ever again. The same is true for dating – when the sparks stop flying and the butterflies migrate, there has to be something left. No matter how gorgeous you are, if your personality sucks, you’re not going to get a second date. No matter how warm and fuzzy you feel when you see the other person, if they’re mean to you more often than not, it’s not going to work out.
4. You have to stay in belief, even when you have no evidence.
This summer, I planted flowers from seeds for the first time. I went out there every day for weeks and watered those seeds because I believed something was happening under the dirt that would eventually turn into a flower. I had no idea if that was actually true or if I was just watering dirt for no reason, but I kept showing up anyway. This is one of the hardest but most essential parts of both business and dating – continuing to show up, to move forward, to put yourself out there, to believe it’s going to happen for you, even when you have ZERO evidence that that’s true.
Here’s the thing – just because the last ten people said no, doesn’t mean the next one won’t say yes. Just because the last ten dates were awful, doesn’t mean the next one won’t be amazing. If you spend all your time obsessing over the ten who said no, you’re probably not even going to notice the one who would have said yes. You have to keep showing up and doing the work anyway. In order to do this, you have to accept that you are the only person responsible for your success and your failure. You have to want to succeed really badly and you have to keep reminding yourself of why every single day. You will be rejected often. Some people won’t even give you a chance. You’re not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. You have to just keep it moving anyway, believing in the possibility that “the one” is out there somewhere.
5. You need periodic performance reviews.
Yes, you need to keep moving forward in belief, even when you have no evidence. But you also have to realize that in business and dating, you are going to screw up sometimes. You’re going to bomb a consult, you’re going to over-react to a text, you’re going to offend someone without meaning to and you’re going to miss some serious red flags. This is all part of the process and if you learn from these mistakes, you’ll get better every time. You can’t just keep plowing forward in the same direction if it’s not working. This is the definition of insanity.
You have to stop every once in a while to evaluate your results and figure out why what you are doing is not working. Maybe you think your marketing is really clear but to an outside person it’s not. Maybe you think you are showing up as your best self on dates but you’re holding some things back. No one is born knowing how to do business or dating – this is why coaches exist. They can help you see what you are missing and help you make the small tweaks you need to get the results you really want in a way that is simpler, faster and usually more fun.
6. There is a lot of stuff no one tells you about.
Sometimes dating and having your own business look way more fun on FB than they are in real life. Sometimes both can really suck and you’ll find yourself wondering, “Why did I ever think this was a good idea?”
Having your own business seems like a really good idea because you can work as many hours as you want, you can work from home sometimes, you can take time off whenever you want and you can be the boss of yourself…
No one tells you you’ll end up working 16 hours a day for yourself just so you don’t have to work 8 hours a day for someone else. No one tells you how scary it is when you haven’t made money in months and you have no idea why. No one tells you how devastating it is when you realize no one is providing you health insurance and no one is paying you for your sick days. No one tells you about the family vacations you’ll have to work during or miss altogether because if you’re not working you have no income. No one tells you that you’ll have to put $10k into your business just to make $5k.
Dating seems like a really good idea because you’ll have someone to cook dinner with and play mini-golf with and snuggle and have hot sex with…
No one tells you how hard it can be to navigate life with another person who has different opinions, values, beliefs and experiences than yours. No one tells you how hard it can be to communicate effectively when you’re angry or hurt. No one tells you that one day they will start burping and farting and leaving their shoes on in the house and their half-drank soda on the counter and snuggles and hot sex will be the last thing on your mind.
But you know what else no one tells you? How elated you’ll feel when everything finally starts falling into place. How rewarding it can be when you finally see what all your blood, sweat and tears were for. How amazing it feels to look at your business, or your relationship, and know, “I earned that. I worked for that. I did that.”
Melissa Snow is a Certified Life Coach who helps women improve their relationships, starting with the one they have with themselves. She is an international speaker and the author of “Ten Secrets to Having the Love You Want.” Melissa is passionate about helping women learn to love and value themselves, so they don’t have to rely on other people to show them their worth.