You’re probably wondering why I would write about searching for a soulmate on a blog about improving your success as a entrepreneur. Recently, I have noticed that there are parallels between how you approach your professional and personal life. Your willingness to take risks and open yourself up to new experiences, for example. Last year, I supported a friend when we attended a singles mixer to kick off the summer. There, I realized the key to success in finding a soulmate was similar to the key to success in achieving your business goal.
The event began in the same way as business networking events, only with more booze and loud music. The place was crowded when we got there. We were each handed a number, a paper with questions, and a matchbox that would lead each of us to our soulmate counterpart. As I caught up with my girlfriend, I saw glimpses of men, some strikingly good looking, others forgettable. So the adventure began, with the goal of finding my special match by the end of the night.
Step 1: Leave Your Comfort Zone
To find my soulmate, I had to be willing to try out new places and activities. If I hadn’t found him yet, there was the possibility that he wasn’t where I normally frequented. Time to change my routine. This night was unusual for me. Having a number stuck on my arm, like I was an item at the auction house was atypical also. I’m more accustomed to carrying a business card for identification.
When I walked into the room, I reminded myself to check off all the pointers on that mental list for making myself more noticeable. Look confident. Check. Meet guys with solid eye contact. Check. Smile. Appear as if searching a crowd of singles for the guy who had the corresponding matchbox was a totally normal activity. Check and check.
Step 2: Engage in Conversation
We were given a piece of paper with statements in a grid pattern, like a game of Bingo. The purpose was to approach guys and ask them questions from the paper. For example, I had to find someone who owned a truck. If the guy I spoke to owned a truck, then he would sign his name in that square. When I filled all the squares with names, I could enter my paper in a draw for a prize.
The benefit of this set up is that shyer folk would have a purpose for approaching a complete stranger and speaking with them. The questions could begin a conversation, or, if the conversation fell flat, you had a reason to move on and ask another guy another question from the paper.
The disadvantage of this set up is that more outgoing folk had to ask questions about things that weren’t relevant to their interests. In the spirit of completing the questionnaire, I had to find a guy who liked the colour pink, and another guy who used to wear braces.
I can hold my own in a conversation with a stranger, and I would have preferred the chance to just mingle and ask questions about what I really wanted to know, such as what brought him to this event. Or whether he was there as a wingman for a friend (like I was… as winglady). And I would ask if there was one thing he could change about the world, what would it be. The writer in me wanted to feast on these insightful bits of information.
The most important tip for getting to know someone, though, is picking the right venue. The music was blasting into our ears, dampening the atmosphere for mingling. I spent the next few hours yelling at people, or screaming into their ears.
I would rather have gone on a coffee date in a quieter place. If the chemistry is right, no conversation is ever dull.
Step 3: Look for Common Goals and Interests
At the singles mixer, we were each given a matchbox. When I slid the box open, the word handwritten inside was WEALTH. A guy in the crowd supposedly had the matching word. Someone, maybe, who shared my dream of having a successful business that would allow for early retirement.
I wondered what he looked like. I dreaded that he would turn out to be the much older man by the table who might converse about politics until I drowned in his words. Or that he would turn out to be the younger man who was ambitiously drinking several bottles of beer at once. A few guys looked at my Wealth box, and said, I wish I had that, and showed me their box with their non-matching word. But all night long, my box’s mate never appeared.
At least I could still dream, and consider it a metaphor for my life – I was still searching for this soulmate who would say the magic words: We share the same dream.
Step 4: Don’t Give Up, Don’t Give In
My girlfriend was disappointed in the mixer and returned to her previous belief that she’d met so many guys – none were The One. If he hadn’t appeared in her life by now, he wasn’t going to. There was someone in her life at the moment – they fought a lot – but she thought he was okay and she was pushing him to discuss having a common-law relationship. I really hope that she won’t settle.
My soulmate wasn’t at the singles mixer. I laughed, thinking that maybe the matching box had never been made, or the owner of that box had left early. One of these days, we would cross paths if we continued to do the things that interested us. Just not that day. After I returned home, I placed the matchbox on my kitchen counter. It’s a beacon for The One.
Life, whether personal or professional, is about the small steps you take. Every lesson learned will eventually get you closer to where you are going.