5 Things My Tinder Dates Taught Me About Business

TINDER = AMAZING BUSINESS LESSONS.

I know right? Who would have thought. I’m not talking about the business of pimping yourself out (although I’ve heard that spam accounts on Tinder are everywhere). I mean your actual entrepreneurial venture.

I don’t even know if I could call 5 pictures of myself and no description on my Tinder account a dating profile.

But, as of February last year, there it was. I was ready to try it out.Translation: I was bored, curious and a little bit lonely.I’ve since moved from NYC {I’ll save that for another post} and turned the app off. But I learned a lot along the way about myself and dating, and why it’s really not that different than business.

HERE’S WHAT TINDER TAUGHT ME:

1) I KNOW RIGHT AWAY IF I WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME WITH SOMEONE.

Every. Single. Date. I went on, I knew in my gut by the time I got home (and often within the first 10 minutes) if I cared or wanted to see them again. I’m all for giving yourself time to open up and get to know someone. But if there’s something pulling at you that it just isn’t right, it usually isn’t. For me, that basically meant not seeing most people again after the 1st date. The more I started to listen to that right away, the less in my head I became. I wasn’t upset if I never heard from them again or wondering if I did something wrong.It was mutual, and trust me, the gut feeling only gets louder the longer you ignore it.

Biz translation: If something feels “off” about the client or the project, trust it. It’s a lot harder to do when there is income involved, but the long run payoff is your sanity.

2) I WAS GIVING PEOPLE I KNEW WEREN’T WORTH IT A CHANCE BECAUSE THEY WERE HOT.

I’ll call this: “OMG – he’s talking to ME?” syndrome. You know, the super hot one you show your roommate before they even say more than “Hi”.Then they say something stupid, but you keep engaging because maybe they’ll make up for it?

I tried it out a bunch of times. They never did.

Biz translation: Sometimes the big client with all the money, or the job you’ve been fangirling over for the last 6 months, really isn’t that awesome. It’s cliche I know, but when someone shows you who they are, trust it. Do your research, vet them as much as you can, and check in with yourself if you’re wanting this because it looks good, or if it really feels like a fit.

3) SOMETIMES YOU’RE JUST USING EACH OTHER

As a small caveat to the first two, maybe you’re just tired of being alone. Maybe you’re lonely and want someone to take you out so you have an excuse to dress up. Maybe you just want to hook up.

This happened with me in one case. We talked upfront on our second date about how we couldn’t actually be together for various reasons (aka Rachael stop dating international guys).

I was okay with that and we kept seeing each other for a few months. It was super fun and even a good distraction at times. There were no hurt feelings or awkward conversations. We shared how nice it was to connect with someone and feel comfortable, and that was that.

Biz translation: You might just need a client for the money. You might hate the company that hired you but it looks really good on your resume. You don’t want this to happen a lot, but sometimes it DOES. That’s okay. What’s important is that you’re honest with yourself about why you’re doing it, and if at all possible, upfront with the client or other people involved. Sometimes, they just want to use you too.

4) OWNING WHO YOU ARE UPFRONT SAVES A LOT OF TIME AND ENERGY

I stopped drinking at the beginning of January. As I was phasing into it, I remember telling a guy who asked me out for drinks that I was up for hanging out at the bar but just warning him I would probably only have one drink if any at all. His response: “HAHA you mean one bottle right?”

No.

A little while later, I went out with a guy who didn’t give me a hard time about it, and I drank my soda and lime while he enjoyed his own drinks. It was probably the best date I’ve had in a long time.

Biz translation: If a potential business partner or client is asking you if you do X service (like VA services when you’re more of a Manager, or one-off projects when you want long term) you have a right to say no and let them in on what you CAN offer for them. Do this from the gate so you don’t start resenting them later when they start asking for something outside your scope of services. You didn’t let them know, so they’re going to try.

5) YOU COULD MEET YOUR NEW CFO (AKA DON’T KILL THE RELATIONSHIP BEFORE IT REALLY STARTS)

The guy I went on my very first date with turned out to have a bunch of mutual friends and went to the same University as me. We got along super well and had really honest conversations about what we were looking for. We weren’t a long term relationship match, but 10 months later I hired him to take care of my biz finances and consider him an awesome friend.

Biz translation: This kind of goes with #4, but specifically when you’re “ending” something with someone, client, partner or even a job, stay KIND and honest. Even if you might be hurt at first. This way you can walk away with no resentment. You never know what can come of it. They could come back later and it’ll be the right time, or they could refer you to an even better prospect.

In summary, it’s all about experimenting, like everything in life is.

But when you keep an open mind and are in alignment with who you are and what you will or won’t do with someone, stress and weight is lifted off of your shoulders.

And you can meet some really awesome people along the way. In business and in life.

Have you had any online dating experiences that were teachable or interesting? What tools do you use to help keep you honest in relationships, business and personal? Let me know in the comments! I would love to hear.

xoxo

PhotoCreds to PicJumbo