212: Now is the time to reinvent yourself - with Lori Mendelsohn
Meet Lori Mendelsohn
Lori Mendelsohn is an intuitive matchmaker whose purpose is to introduce people who were meant to meet each other. Her company is SmartFunnySingle. She has introduced 15 couples who have said "I do."
Lori had a successful 33 year career as a fashion designer in LA and NYC as well as founding, building and selling Wisconsin's largest and highest awarded pet sitting and dog walking business, Wisconsin Pet Care.
Tell our listeners how you got started as a matchmaker?
So I started it when, when I was 19 years old. I had a feeling when I met someone that I knew someone who would be perfect for them. And then I introduced them and long story short, they got married. And then this kept happening over and over and over again until we got to the number 15. I think it's time for me really to look into this and figure out if this is something that I should be doing for a living? So the answer was yes.
How is networking a part of your business?
I am networking all the time, as a matchmaker, I can't sit in my office and expect people to come to me or knock on my door and say, "Hi, I'm single." So my part of networking is I'm always out meeting people. In fact, I go up to complete strangers, and I will go up to them and ask them if they're single. And if they answer that they are single, I will ask if they'd like to have a cup of coffee with me, I'd like to get to know them, and like to see what it is that they're looking for, and if I can be of help or service to them.
How is it perceived when you just randomly go up to someone and ask them if they're single?
Well, sometimes people think that I'm hitting on them, and I have to preface it by saying it's not for me. Most people are very receptive. You know, at first they're a little put off. But then to me it's a huge compliment that you're going up to someone and saying, you look interesting. It's a compliment.
Can you share some tips on dating? If you're just starting out from a divorce or a loss?
So the first tip is just to get started. Get yourself out there and don't look at it as the first date that I go on. I'm going to meet the man or woman of my dreams. If we go into it with really unreasonable expectations, we're only setting ourselves up to be disappointed. Now's the time to reinvent yourself and figure out what it is that makes you happy, and what it is that you want and need. So the best advice is to get out there and just kind of jump in the pool. And enjoy yourself.
Can you share with our listeners one of your favorite networking stories or experiences that you've had?
Well, I am lucky enough to be in a really great group of networking individuals called eWomen Milwaukee. And I know that you're also a part of that. And actually, Lori, my experience is you came up to me, and I'm gonna use this as an example. And you said, you know, Lori, I have a mother. You start to tell me about your lovely mother. We had lunch together, we got to know each other a little bit better. I think that our purpose really was to get to know each other better, rather than for me to find someone for your mother. But as it turned out, that whole magic happened. And I met your mother and and the rest is history.
How do you stay in front of a nurture your network in your community?
I like to reach out and thank people as much as I can. And using that line, "how can I help you" does just that. Someone may not even be thinking about me. But if I reach out to them and say, what can I help you with? They may think, yeah, you know what, Lori, you may know someone who can help me.
What advice would you offer business professionals looking to grow their network?
Much like dating you just get out there and do it. I don't always feel like going out. But I forced myself to get out. And I forced myself to go to a meeting and show up. And if I show up in the position of, I'm going to meet someone and hopefully help them. I'm doing something good for the community and for the world.
In your opinion, digital networking or traditional networking, which one do you find more value in?
For me in my business, personally for what I'm looking for, it's meeting someone in person. When I meet someone, I want hear their story, and I want to hear how I can help them. And that's hard to do digitally. It takes a lot more time to be texting back and forth or emailing back and forth or instant messaging back and forth. And you're not really getting a sense of what the person is.
If you could go back to your 20 year old self, what would you tell yourself to do more of less of or differently with regards to your professional career?
I would say to my 20 year old self, that everyone has balloons going around their head saying things, and either you can accept the things that are being said, that you think that people are saying, or you can get past it and say, everybody has an issue. Just keep going.
We've all heard of the six degrees of separation, who would be the one person that you'd love to connect with? And do you think you can do it within the sixth degree?
The one person I'd personally like to connect to is Andy Garcia. Although I don't think that he is within the six degrees of separation. I'd like also, Patti Stanger, the Millionaire Matchmaker, I would like to connect to her. There may be six degrees of separation, but I'd really like to know why she felt that it was so important to be so very mean to people. And a lot of that could have been for the show. But I always try to lead with kindness. And, and she liked to lead with humiliation. And I'd like to know, this being tongue in cheek, how'd that work for you?
What final word of advice would you offer our listeners with regards to growing and supporting your network?
You just get out and do it and you set some some goals that you actually can achieve. So the goals could be that you're going to have breakfast, lunch, dinner, a drink with at least three people that week, or you're going to send out 10 emails, or you're going to connect with them on LinkedIn, or you're going to find something interesting about them on Facebook and reach out to them. Set a goal for yourself each week that you actually can achieve. And then circle back after you've met with those people a couple of weeks later just saying how you appreciate their time, and you want to reconnect with them and see if there's anything else that you can offer for them at that time.
How to connect with Lori: