I can't quite believe that I met Patti Stanger!
I guess I should start with a bit of background for those of you who are new to the blog. I'm a dating coach (helping singles find real love and lasting happiness) and for a few years now I've been sharing my unique system with my clients. Part of this system has me doing something broadly similar to matchmaking, it's my secret ingredient (you'd have to be a client to know what that secret ingredient is, but for now it doesn't matter to the story). One of the problems I face with my clients is that when they're looking for men online they apply their ‘looks' filter which means that they automatically discount men they don't immediately find attractive.
Why is this a problem?
Filtering men (or women if you're a man reading this) based only on the photo they have online might mean that you aren't disappointed when you have a first date, but it doesn't allow for the fact that most photos are rubbish and don't look like the person in real life anyway and also our idea of what is attractive changes over time.
So you can see that applying the ‘looks' filter means that my job takes a whole lot longer than it really should. This got me thinking; what if I removed my client from the matching process? I wondered if this would speed the process up. So I decided to explore matchmaking in more detail to see if it might be an area I'd like to move in to more specifically.
So this is how I came to meet Patti Stanger.
I was looking online for certification programs aimed at Matchmakers when I found details about the Matchmaking Institute's latest training event. The Institute was running a training program for matchmakers in Los Angeles and one of the guest speakers was Patti Stanger. Patti would be delivering a comprehensive training over half a day and there'd be opportunities to meet and network with her too. I couldn't resist! I booked on to the program immediately and then set about working through the enormous file of information that the Institute sent me. I booked the flight and organised an hotel. I was counting the days.
I had a great time getting to LA. It was my Birthday on the day I travelled so it was extra nice to get a glass of champagne on the flight and a little goody bag too. A huge shout-out to the staff on the KLM flight who went out of their way to make my flight perfect! They are my favourite airline for customer service <3
After arriving in LA, I made my way to my hotel, which was in Santa Monica. I met up with my great friend Louanne (she's a successful matchmaker in Perth, Australia), and we headed off in to town for dinner (and to celebrate my Birthday properly). Next stop was a restaurant called The Lobster in Santa Monica! We had the most amazing meal there, the wine was like nothing I've ever tasted (in a good way!) and they even brought me out a little Birthday surprise cake too. (The photo of the scallops doesn't do them justice at all).
I can't even begin to describe how amazing the food was at The Lobster. The zesty, sweet (raw) Peruvian Scallops in the photo had a lovely little salty aftertaste, they were the most perfect scallops I've ever tasted. We followed that up with the American Lobster Cocktail, Sautéed Blue King Prawns, Fried Oysters (which were a taste sensation of epic proportions) and a portion of Truffle Parmesan Fries. It was the best seafood meal I think I've ever tasted. They even brought me a little Birthday celebration dessert to end the meal with, obviously we devoured it between us as you can never waste a dessert! As for the wine, we polished off a bottle of Cakebread Cellars Napa Valley Chardonnay, which just blew my mind (wishing I could get hold of some here in the UK!). If you're ever in Santa Monica I'd highly recommend you check out The Lobster.
We ended the evening by watching the sun set from the restaurant and then we headed back to the hotel to get some much needed sleep. The program was starting at 9am the next morning and we were both suffering from jet lag by this point.
The Program Commences
Day 1 of 3 and a variety of high profile matchmakers are in the room delivering great content, helping matchmakers old and new streamline their businesses and learn about the changes that are happening in the industry right now. I took so many notes that I began to wish I'd learn shorthand at school instead of commerce… Overall the program ran for 3 days and the fabulous Patti tied it all up by sharing her vast knowledge and top tips. We each got one-to-one time with her so that we could ask her questions relevant to our business and clients. Q: What did I ask? A: A lot of questions! I'll be sharing the most important thing I learned in my post tomorrow, right now I wanted to give you a little insight in to how Patti in particular has shaped my business.
So, what about Patti?
Most of the time, when I tell people that I'm a dating coach, they ask me if I'm like Patti Stanger of The Millionaire Matchmaker. They get a bit angsty and tell me they don't want someone who's going to shout at them. They tell me they don't want to change their hair colour or lose weight and then they add that they aren't a millionaire either. I chuckle to myself. “It's ok that you aren't a millionaire, neither are most of the people on the planet”.
As for changing your hair colour or losing weight, I'm happy to work with you if you're happy being you. If there's something about you that you'd like to change, we can work on that together (I also have a team of stylists and photographers who can help you with image etc). I'll be honest with you, for example if I think your look or weight or something else might make matching you difficult I'll be candid and kind enough to explain it to you. I'm not here to take your money and leave you still single at the end of your membership. Just to be clear, so far I've yet to meet anyone who had anything that might prevent them from finding love.
I saw a very different side to Patti Stanger during this program; she was very confident and assertive but she wasn't the woman we see on tv. That's hardly surprising though given that most tv celebrities play the personality that will make their ‘character' compelling tv viewing. In reality, the person is always only a facet of the character. I get the impression that Patti's clients love her no-nonsense approach but that her priority is to get them perfectly matched. She's a third generation matchmaker who worked her way through a broad range of dating businesses as she honed her business skills before finally choosing the venture we all know and love her for: The Millionaire Matchmaker. She's amazing at what she does, that's a fact, and I have to say that I really liked her.
Meeting Patti Stanger was a huge eye-opener in to the dating industry. I came away with a clear vision of what my business will look like and how it will appeal to the people who most need my help. The biggest takeaway was when she agreed that I should brand myself as the The Love Cook. If you've been following me for a while, you might've noticed that I'd removed The Love Cook from my branding but it will be making a return in the near future (with a twist, thanks to Patti and two other amazing Matchmakers Rachel Russo and Marni Battista).
So, here's to Matchmaking, The Love Cook and Santa Monica – it was a blast and the future is looking even more exciting!
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