An entrepreneur who once thought being a founder was an impediment to finding love shares what she's learned about dating while starting up.
by Alicia Morga (Contributing Writer, Women 2.0)
I used to think entrepreneurship and dating were incompatible. I thought the fact that I was an entrepreneur was the challenge. Experience has taught me differently, and I want to share with you what I learned. It’s all about time, place and opportunity.
I know, I know. You’re busy. But just like you make time to work out, visit your friends, go to a concert, see your family – wait. You’re not doing that? Well then you’re doing it wrong. Entrepreneurship is not the end of life. In fact, making sure to carve out some balance is good for your company. Time away from the business can keep you healthy, productive, and give you the perspective to make good strategic decisions. A love relationship is one of the most important things you’ll experience in your time here on earth. Make it a priority.
While online dating is growing, the number one way people in the U.S. meet their partners is through their friends. This holds true across age groups with 35-40% of all U.S. adults meeting their partners through their friends or their partner’s friends. School, work, and bars are the other top ways research shows people meet their significant others. While you can’t fish in your workplace, you can do for yourself what you did for your company, namely – market. That’s right. Tell your friends you are single and ready to mingle. Throw a dinner party and have friends bring someone they think you’d like. Finally, widen your network of friends. Even weak ties can lead to a lifelong bond.
When you’re out on a date you have to seize the opportunity to show the real you. As an overly educated, successful entrepreneur who is also still single, I've seen a lot when it comes to dating. Here's what I've learned. It's not that guys are intimidated, it's that many women (and I am the biggest culprit) have through much effort acquired titles like entrepreneur and turned their careers into their identities. So when we're out with men, we present our entrepreneur selves. We think our achievements are going to attract men when what's more attractive is our mushy, imperfect, vulnerable insides. Now that I've figured out my career is not who I am, I don't have to tell a guy right away that I’m an entrepreneur. He doesn't care about that. He cares whether I am loving, cool, and will accept his flaws.
Finally, if you find yourself failing to make time, seek out places to meet someone, or optimize opportunity, the best solution is low tech but powerful: get help to understand why. You can start your journey with this book: Calling in The One – Seven Weeks to Attracting the Love of Your Life. It has a hokey title but is an incredibly insightful book. Give it a read.
Companies come and go, but love is forever.
Want to hear more about dating? Check out the awesome speakers participating in The Future of Your Love Life panel at our upcoming conference.
About the blogger: Alicia (@aliciamorga) is founder & CEO of No. 8 Media. Formerly, she founded a venture-funded digital marketing company focused on the Hispanic market, Consorte Media (acquired by Audience Science). She writes for Fast Company, the Huffington Post and the Christian Science Monitor. In her spare time, she created the app gottaFeeling and blogs.