Being an entrepreneur looks different for many people, but most would say that to successfully run a business it will take lots of dedication, focus and late nights. But that doesn’t mean that a dating life can’t co-exist with you launching the next big app. At least that’s what we thought at MillionaireMatch. We decided to reach out to entrepreneur and ex-matchmaker, Paul C. Brunson, on tips for the dating entrepreneur.
Brunson, who is now focused on his platform on mentoring and mastermind groups, stepped into the dating service industry in 2008. Creating successful relationships started off as just a hobby for Brunson. The consistent success of matching up friends was a clue that this was something he should take seriously. He’s since sold his business, but he still gets calls from those looking to find love. MillionaireMatch had to know, can a busy entrepreneur really have a healthy, successful relationship? The short answer is yes.
“It’s important to feel that you are loved. It’s important to know you are loved. And this includes the notion of self-love. Which, I know it sounds cliche, but it’s important. It’s important to feel that you can become your optimal self. You need those things in place before starting a business, because if you don’t have those things self-doubt creeps in. Business is not all up. It’s a lot of down and pivoting. You need a support system,” Brunson said. “If you want to give yourself the most optimal chance to starting your business, if you think about Maslow's hierarchy of needs, it starts with food, water, and then moves up to this feeling of love, support, which transcends into another area of becoming your optimal self,” he continued.
So, according to Brunson a relationship just may be what you need as you take over the world with your amazing entrepreneurial ideas. Brunson does say you need all the basic needs intact when you are starting your business. Not just love. “If you can’t eat everyday, it’s going to be incredibly hard starting a business,” he explained. “If you have those needs in place, then it’s always a good time to meet people. It’s not necessarily the business that determines whether or not it’s a good time to date. It’s the state that you are in in your life,” he said.
We had to go a little further, and dive into those moments of failure and setbacks that are inevitable. How can you maintain a healthy relationship when your business looks like it could be going under? Brunson said, it’s all about how you react. “There’s always going to be adversity in every relationship. It’s how you react to the adversity. You should react in concert,” Brunson said. Brunson told us about a recent medical scare that when notified he and his wife began doing research without hesitation. They began researching, and coming up with a strategy. “If you are in a relationship with someone and you have the same values and vision, adversity in a business is not going to drive you apart. Matter of fact, it could push you closer together. But, it’s not the business that’s doing it. It’s your reaction,” he explained.
In 2015, Brunson caused quite a stir when he uploaded a video to Facebook to address a statement released by a popular show, Married at First Sight. The show released a statement saying they had very few matches for black women. In addition, the show also said that for many of their black males looking for love it was a deal breaker to be matched with a black woman. Brunson’s video had over 80k views. With black women on the rise to being the largest pool of entrepreneurs, we wanted to know where does that leave black women killing it in their business pursuits? “What I find interesting is that when I entered the space of dating and matchmaking, that was the story. It was black men don’t exist, and they aren’t interested in black women. I thought this was a new phenomenon,” Brunson said. It’s an extraordinarily dangerous narrative that needs to be battled any time it comes up,” Brunson continued.
For Brunson, the bottom line is this, “Anyone who is successful has a hard time in relationships.” According to Brunson, thought leaders, celebrities or those who have obtained a certain amount of wealth are in an exceptional category. He pulls from one of his favorite books, Mindset by Carol Dweck, that some have a growth mindset and some have a fixed mindset. Exceptional people need to be with other people with a growth mindset. So how do two people who seem to be worlds apart when it comes to success make a great relationship? “It happens through values. That’s the bottom line. What adds to the values are experiences. Then there is vision. I would also add mindset. Those become the key denominators for there being a connection and there being success in a relationship,” he said.
Brunson is an avid reader so it was only fitting to ask what his favorite books are for the beginning entrepreneur. This was quite a difficult question to answer, as it should be for anyone who consumes books often. “Books meet you where you are at,” as he explains how past significant books don’t hold the same weight as of now. But he was able to give us, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Brunson said entrepreneurs just getting started should read books that cover skills like willpower and self-promotion.
For the single entrepreneur looking for the basic needs including love, Brunson had a few recommendations including online dating or as he likes to call it online connections. “It’s become more casual. It’s the most effective way to meet lots of people,” he said. Brunson also recommended getting involved in networking, mentor groups, and attending conferences.
To keep up with Paul’s next chapter of mentoring groups, follow him on social media @PaulCBrunson.