I hate Internet dating, and I only do it because I have trouble meeting people now that I work at home. In the month since I put up a profile, I have been on a slew of truly horrible dates (including one with a guy so creepy I ended up hiding in the ladies room in hopes he would get the message and bail).
But however painful it is, I'll admit Match.com has taught me certain life skills.
For one, it has given me a ton of practice talking up total strangers, breaking the ice and listening actively through even the most painfully boring of conversations.
These are good skills to cultivate if you're contemplating making the leap from prospecting primarily through LOIs to putting the real thing out there -- your voice, and ultimately, your face -- to clients.
I think Internet dating has also taught me patience (which I'll admit is not one of my virtues). Just like I may go out with 10 guys and see nothing I like, I may call 300 clients without a job offer. S'OK. That's just the way the game is played, and if you don't like it, try a different marketing method (or take down your profile).
During both dating and cold calling, it pays to admit you have absolutely no control over the outcome. For this reason, I give both dates and prospects complete freedom to behave irrationally.
They can ignore me for weeks or months and then call me up out of the blue.
They can express enthusiasm and then disappear for months.
They can pull the "I really like you, but the timing is bad" card and revoke it later.
Yup, marketing is a lot like the early stages of dating. Can't say I'll miss either one of them when I'm happily coupled/rolling in assignments, but I'll never forget the lessons they have taught me.