Most of us are looking for love and are focusing on becoming better people. Paul Carrick Brunson, the Modern Day Matchmaker, has made it his goal to assist his clients do just that. I was able to speak with Mr. Brunson and pick his brain on a few things. To see what’s going on his world, read the interview below.
Elle: How long have you been a matchmaker and life coach?
Paul Carrick Brunson: Unofficially for 10 years. I began doing this officially in early 2009. I began by attending conferences and trainings. I also did an apprenticeship under Rachel Greenwald.
Elle: What made you choose this profession?
Paul: There were actually two drivers and one incident. First, while working for a Turkish family, I was a world traveler. I was always in conversations where relationships were brought up. At times I was the only American/male/married person. And I enjoyed answering questions. Second, I work with a non-profit foundation that runs a summer camp in DC. Not one of the 100 students had both parents in the home. Lastly, the incident is what I refer to as the “Obama Epiphany”. When he was elected, he stated that you can achieve anything you want and that we must do something in this space. A year after that, I made my decision to pursue this full-time.
Elle: What are some things that people should look forward to from you over the next 6 months?
Paul: A tour is coming in 2011, we’re making upgrades to the website and blog, and we’re premiering the new season on the web series, hopefully by September 30. There are some possible television appearances and special events I’ll be attending. I’m always looking to push the envelope and do something different.
Elle: What’s the most difficult thing about your career?
Paul: From a business standpoint, I’m still in the beginning stages. I’m pulled in various directions-I have so many opportunities. I have to be disciplined and focus on what I do well. Also, I’m the first full-time black male matchmaker in a historically white, female occupation. Clients are typically based in the upper socio-economic echelon; most of my client’s make less than $100,000 a year. I also use social media a lot. I still get resistance and have to continue to prove myself. But the distinct challenge as a pioneer is that the sky is the limit for what can be accomplished.
Elle: Are more of your clientele men or women?
Paul: Women, but we are getting more male clients. The ratio changes day-to-day.
Elle: What’s your greatest matchmaker success story?
Paul: We have a couple that is married. 90% of our clients who have worked with us for 6 months or more are in a committed relationship. Also, we’re able to send out great information via Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.
Elle: Have you ever had to tell a client that you were unable to work with him/her anymore?
Paul: Absolutely. The #1 reason is that they don’t want to work. There is a myth about matchmakers that the matchmaker will do 90% of the work. The truth is that the client needs to put in about 60% of the work.
Elle: I know you have a web series; are there any plans for you to write a book?
Paul: Yes, and it will be sooner than you think. I’ve waited because I want to be emerged in the industry. No one knows that I was planning on writing a book. I want to see if any patterns or trends exist. The book will be from my point of view and observations.
Elle: Who do you look to for inspiration?
Paul: In the industry, Evan Marc Katz and Rachel Greenwald. Evan is one of my mentors and is a great date coach. I saw him at a conference in 2009. Rachel is the best in the world. Non-industry, I look at Kanye West. As a producer, he takes hip-hop and gets unconventional. I also look at Gary Vanyerchuk. He’s a social media leader. Everyone should read his book “Crush It”.
Elle: How do you improve and become a better matchmaker/coach?
Paul: I continue to ask for feedback. I listen to peers and clients, and I’m open to what they say, whether it’s critical or not. I treat this like it’s a craft. I continue to study, read books, observe clients, and read blogs. I believe in getting my feet wet by putting the things I learn into practice. There’s a big difference between those who are talking heads and those who are service providers.
Elle: How can people get in touch with you to find out more about the services you provide?
Paul: The best way to get in contact with me is through the website, One Degree From Me, and Twitter and Facebook.
Elle: Is there anything else that you would like to share?
Paul: Absolutely. For everyone reading this, you should all support the “Freshman and Sophomore Class” of life coaches. The best relationship coaches are also life coaches and are sending out totally new messages. Some young black men with terrific messages you should keep your eye on are Thomas Edwards and Tony Gaskins.
I want to thank Paul Carrick Brunson (again) for allowing me to interview him and pick his brain. What are your thoughts on the interview? Are there any questions you would have liked for him to answer? Share any thoughts that you have! Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!