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IF LOVE IS the institution then the couples involved can be considered "franchise owners" of the relationship. Both of the people involved in it are responsible for the way they manage and oversee their piece of the bigger puzzle. Your partner is your business, and vice versa, and it's important to treat it as your investment. Thee words "love" and "business" are the key terms. When people ask "What is love," many expect to have an object or "thing" that they can reference described to them. But I always say "love" is an action verb and that it actually expresses action. Love also isn't one "thing": it's the foundation of things that exist, and it's specific to you and you only. If someone tried to describe cake, he or she would proceed to name things that the cake was made of because it's hard to describe a cake without discussing at least some of the ingredients that it takes to make the cake. If you took a moment to set out all the ingredients to make a cake, i.e., flour, butter, eggs, etc., you wouldn't actually have a "cake" per se until everything was put together. That's exactly how I describe love. If a person broke down love, he or she would have to provide you with the ingredients he or she personally feels are included in the recipe of the relationship that he or she is describing. All those things mixed together is what can be considered love.
Before you begin a new job or a new relationship, you have to go through the process of searching for what you want. This process often begins with exhaustive research into available openings for jobs, or, if it's a relationship you're looking for, a perusal of dating websites or networking events. Either way, your attitude when approaching your search is important. Positivity and a clear idea of what you want, as well as what you're not willing to settle for, are important things to keep in mind.
This chapter focuses on the issues you should consider either when you decide that you want a new job, or when you determine you're ready for a relationship. In either case, it's important to make sure you go into things with your eyes wide open, fully aware of what's out there for you.
When you are looking for a job, you'll often hear people say, "No one is hiring right now." You'll also hear complaints that there aren't a lot of good jobs out there. Chances are, you've heard the same sort of thing when your friends talk about the dating pool. When was the last time you heard the phrase, "A good man is hard to find," or, "I can't find the right kind of woman"? It probably wasn't that long ago.
In both cases, the truth is something other than what it might seem. While it is true that the country and economy is rebounding from one of the biggest recessions in history, there is still plenty of work out there and opportunities for many people. The same is true for relationships and dating. The expression, "There are plenty of fish in the sea" exists for a reason! You may not be interested in many of the available people, but that shouldn't blind you to the fact that there are undoubtedly plenty of people out there who would be an excellent partner for you. In fact, someone whom you don't know and who is hoping to meet someone just like you is out there right now.
In both situations, it is important not to get caught up in the fatalistic attitude that you'll never find a job or a relationship. Forecasting failure can become a self-fulfilling prophecy in these times, and it is important to believe that what you want is out there. If you believe that you'll never find a job that you love or a person whom you can care deeply about, you're already setting yourself up to fail. Just remember that whether in jobs or relationships, it's really about the connection and finding a job or a partner that brings out the best in you. To do that, you have to have the right attitude.
THE JOB MARKET
It is commonly said that for every job opening, there are five hundred people applying for that one position. Many say the same thing about the dating world. Such statements are often correct. In such a competitive field, making the most out of your one opportunity is the key to landing a job or relationship. With so many people competing for work and partners, you have to ask yourself, "What makes me different; why would someone choose me?" There are countless people who check the necessary boxes for employers and potential partners, but very few people are interested in average! People always want to choose the best of the bunch.
Therefore, if you are looking for a life-changing career or deep and meaningful relationship, you should be looking to create a situation in which preparation and opportunity collide. Doing that takes practice and work. Very rarely do opportunities fall into your lap. You must network, attend social events, and utilize your resources to connect to the hiring manger or potential partner. You should stay active on business-professional sites such as LinkedIn and Meetup.com and dating sites like Match.com and eHarmony to enhance your visibility and attractiveness to potential employers and partners.
Many people believe that while finding a job should entail a fair amount of work and research, finding a potential mate should be effortless. But ask yourself why would this be so? So many of us have full schedules of work, family, and social events. How are we expected to dedicate even more time and energy to finding a partner? And yet, that is what we must do. Many of my lady clients tell me they want a good man to just come into their lives. They know that the dating market is filled with men who are qualified and loving and who are also seeking a great mate. But they are at a loss when it comes to finding them. They are concerned with finding the time to put into searching for a partner. But the reality is that if you want something, you must work to achieve it. Thinking back, you'll realize that this has been true for nearly everything you've accomplished in your life. Success in school, at sports, and with the job market likely came after much work and sacrifice on your part. Finding a fulfilling relationship is no different. Just as you dedicate time to finding the perfect job and making yourself the ideal candidate, you must put time and energy into finding a good partner for yourself.
THE JOB SEARCH
Lewis Carroll, in an exchange between Alice and the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland, suggests, "If you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there." Having a goal in mind when searching for a job or a relationship is in fact important to help you find the road that is best suited to your finding what you want. Otherwise, you run the risk of wasting time and wandering aimlessly in a sea of choices.
When looking for employment, instead of considering any possible job or career path, you can try conducting an advanced search to narrow your search. If you've looked for a job on the Internet, you know how important it is to select a specific location, salary, and type of position. This saves you both time and energy and allows you to focus your best efforts on the areas that matter.
The same is true when looking for someone special. Although love can be found in unexpected places, it's extremely important to have an idea of the values you want in another person. I encourage my clients to come up with the top three things they require in a mate and to look for people who possess those qualities. But I caution that those qualities have to be substantive. If a client tells me that their ideal mate has to be six-foot-five, have long, black, curly hair, and drive a Mercedes-Benz, she is not thinking about her potential partner's substance. None of those qualities have anything to do with a person's ability to treat a mate well; they are all superficial. However, if a client said, "My ideal mate has to be ambitious, believe in a higher being, and be adaptable to change," she is considering valid qualities, qualities that speak to a person's character. Ideally, someone looking for these qualities would hone in on these things in potential partners. Do not waste your time dating everyone available. Instead, focus on those people who meet your needs. Just as you'd do while searching for a job, you should narrow your search to people who possess your essential needs to find a partner who can best complement you.
Businesses are always advertising, whether consciously or not. They use word of mouth, billboards, commercials, radio ads, or print media. Advertising has the specific intention of motivating customers to buy a particular product, bring attention to a company's work, or subscribe to their service. Advertising is directed at a target audience. Effective advertising is always a key factor in earning profits. When you fill out a job application, most companies will ask how you heard about the position. This is a way for employers to determine which advertising is the most effective.
Whether you realize it or not, searching for a relationship involves a great deal of advertising as well. When you present yourself, either in person or on a dating site, you are marketing yourself to your target audience. Some of it is subliminal or unconscious, but it all affects how others perceive you.
Two years ago, one of my favorite clients told me that she wanted to find a businessman who loved kids and family, took ownership of his life, believed in a higher power, and was looking to settle down. Her vision was great, and I congratulated her for having a genuine, honest expectation of what she was looking for. However, she was not advertising herself to the type of person she desired. One session, this client came into my office wearing a miniskirt, thigh-high boots, and a crop top T-shirt and mentioned she wore something similar on her last date. She asked for my male perspective and if in honesty I thought men would approach her differently based on her attire. While she looked great and exuded confidence, she was unaware that she was not advertising herself as someone interested in a long-term relationship.
Without knowing it, she realized she had been targeting the wrong type of audience. Instead of attracting men who fulfilled her criteria, she was appealing to men who were only interested in sex. She eventually came to understand that what she was advertising and what she was seeking were diametrically opposed. She began seeing a pattern in the men she attracted and realized that she was advertising herself inaccurately.
By understanding how others perceive you, you can adjust your target audience. In both employment and relationships, it is crucial that you are presenting yourself in the best possible light to both potential employers and partners. Just as you can evaluate employers and mates by how they advertise themselves, you must ensure that when someone looks at you, what they see is what they get.
Referrals should be one of the top marketing strategies organizations use. Why? Because referrals are twice as likely to translate into more clients than leads generated through other marketing methods. There are two types of referrals, those derived from experience and from reputation, and your marketing strategy should take advantage of both. Experience-based referrals are a direct result of working with people in your business. A previous client who recommends you is a prime example of an experience-based referral. Reputation-based referrals come from people who have previously seen your advertisement or engaged with your content online and who tell people about your product. Knowing this information, you can leverage it to your advantage when seeking the ideal mate. During today's ever-complicated dating scene, it has become increasingly difficult to figure out how or where to meet people. Between the seas of online dating apps and speed-dating events, the options are endless. Since I'm a fan of referrals, I encourage you to look inside your network. Good people usually know good people, and an experience-based referral will likely be a friend or close acquaintance who might consider introducing you to a person whom he or she has a great working relationship with and has character that can be vouched for. In other cases, your friend may be interested in introducing you to a person whom they are not as familiar with but know has a great reputation through word of mouth, has an extraordinary personality, and perhaps loves traveling. Both types of referrals could go hand in hand, which is never a bad thing. The bottom line is referrals are an essential component of your relationship tool belt.
JOB VS. CAREER
While the terms are often used interchangeably, there is a difference between a job and a career. Jobs are often simply activities performed in exchange for payment, whereas a career is often long term with the potential for great personal and professional satisfaction. There are many people who are not looking for a career and who are perfectly happy with simply having a job. These people often have a passion outside of work. To them, their job is merely a means to an end, a means by which they earn money to pursue their true passion. On the opposite end of the spectrum are those people who are searching for a career, something in which they can invest their time and energy and leave their mark. They often have a passion for a particular career path, and it defines them as a person.
In relationships, there are comparisons to both jobs and careers. Casual relationships — non-exclusive, physical partnerships with little long-term potential — are like jobs. Many people are perfectly happy in such a situation. They are not searching for more, and they do not want to engage in a long-term mutually exclusive relationship. There are, by contrast, those people who are searching for a mate with the potential to build a future together.
Just as with part-time and temporary jobs versus full-time employment, it is important that you know what you're looking for before embarking on something new. Relationships are emotional and personal, and misrepresenting what you want (i.e., a job or a career) can cause a great deal of pain. Honesty is always the best policy, and when meeting someone new, it is important to be up front about what you want. If you are looking for a career with long-term potential, you would not apply for a job with no possibility of advancement. The same is true in a relationship search. People generally advertise what they're looking for, and if you're searching for someone with whom you can build a life, you'd do well to steer clear of those people who say they only want to date casually.CHAPTER 2
WHEN YOU'VE MADE a decision to search for a career or a partner, you've already taken the important first step. Now it's crucial that your decision-making supports your choices. At the beginning of either process, you'll face a series of questions you'll either be asked or that you'll ask yourself. Being prepared with the answers is the best way to ensure that you get what you want. Just as in the previous chapter where we discussed the difference between a job and a career, it's important to know the differences between what you may be offered both in the employment world and in the dating world. Read on to explore the initial decisions you'll need to make when embarking on a career/partner search and some of the first hurdles you may face.
PART TIME VS. FULL TIME
In the United States, part-time employees are not typically entitled to the same employee benefits as full-time workers. Some of these benefits include a pension, health insurance, paid vacation, and sick time. If you're looking for a part-time job, you should expect to work less than thirty hours a week. Some companies consider 30 to 40 hours a week to be fulltime, but for many companies, 40 hours is the norm. When you're searching for a job, it's important to know whether you're seeking full-time or part-time employment. If you do not need benefits, you may be free to pursue part-time employment, which may give you a more flexible schedule. But if it's crucial for you to have health insurance and put away some money for your retirement, full-time employment is a safer bet. Regardless, know going into your search what you need out of your job.
The same is true when seeking a relationship. You have to know whether you're looking for a full-time partner, a true equal, or a part-time relationship that is flexible and not overly committed.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Love Is A Business"
Copyright © 2018 J.L. Kirkwood.
Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
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