I never felt it was fair for someone to be alone if they didn’t want to be. I love love, and have always been obsessed with helping singles find it. From a young age I felt it was my calling to set up friends and acquaintances. As a hobby, I was pretty good at it, and some of my amateur matches actually ended in wonderful marriages.
Taking the road that many find themselves on after high school, I went to college and then on to receive my Masters in Social Work from the University of Michigan. As planned I started my career as a social worker, but after 12 long years in the industry, I found I longed for a change. Instead of damage control, I knew I wanted to focus on the creation and positivity of love.
One morning, in the midst of all this career indecision, I happened to pick up a newspaper and saw an ad for matchmaking. I instantly had a huge Oprah-esque “AHA moment”. It had never even occurred to me that matchmaking was a career option. I was instantly so excited that I started dancing around my apartment. (Literally!)
From there, I made the leap. I moved on from my career in social work, and began working as a relationship expert for a matchmaking company. Eventually I met the wonderful Patti Stanger and helped launch her East Coast Division. Through Patti and other successful individuals in the matchmaking world I learned so much, and fell in love with the industry. From there I knew I wanted to create a matchmaking business that represented my New York life and style. In 2001 my matchmaking company VIP Life was born.
I quickly found after branching out on my own that I was feeling a bit lost. In the social work industry, there is a very large network of professionals, certification programs, ongoing training opportunities, and resources that I constantly utilized. With my new career in Matchmaking there seemed to be a lack of that same sense of community. There were no professional training opportunities, or official guidelines to abide by. With no one to turn to I made a lot of mistakes as a newbie in the business, and longed for help and structure.
So, what do you do when you find a gap in the market? You start something yourself. In 2003, two years after VIP Life was born, I co-founded the Matchmaking Institute, the first institute offering a professional matchmakers trade association, matchmaking workshops, and a yearly world-wide professional Matchmaking Conference providing matchmakers with a network of peers and support.
When Patti approached me to write a column centered on the business of Matchmaking, I was thrilled. Matchmaking as a career is mysterious and extremely exciting to so many people. At every party or social event, I am always asked what a day in the office is like. In short, I always say that it combines a dash of networking, a pinch of social work, and whole cup of playing cupid. It’s the perfect career– stimulating, never boring, and now finally recognized as a legitimate and respectable field. It’s a career so many people do not even know is an option.
There is so much that goes on behind the scenes, and I can’t wait to share my experiences in the matchmaking industry with you. In an effort to keep expanding the resources available for individuals in the “love industry” and to those of you looking for love and advice, my hope is that this column will provide a platform to learn more and to join in on the conversation. Along with articles on the business of matchmaking and the spreading of love, I am also opening myself up to answer any questions you might have about matchmaking, relationships, dating, or anything else that’s on your mind. If you have any questions, please send to Lisa@matchmakinginstitute.com.
I look forward to inviting you into my world, and opening up the conversation about what a career as a New York City Matchmaker is truly like!!
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