Re-entering the world of dating after divorce felt like launching my own startup, except that startup was me. For months, I was trying to build the perfect product in stealth mode–doing therapy, getting stronger through pole, focusing on my new job, and fostering a community of friends.
I thought I was ready to start online dating and look for potential investors, but let’s face it. Dating apps are intimidating–often discouraging–and I wasn’t very confident in my MVP (minimum viable product) or ability to pitch myself. Those first few pitch meetings (dates) were rough, but it was good to fail fast.
Turns out, I hadn’t quite nailed down my target market, despite making a few sales (*wink*) so I knew it was time to pivot. This is when I decided to only date other non-monogamous people, making my startup much more sustainable and scalable.
Despite having a unicorn (my anchor and soon-to-be-nesting partner, not that kind of unicorn) my startup still felt bootstrapped. I told myself I was at a disadvantage, never having practiced ethical non-monogamy before. Plus, the ecosystem of Denver isn’t very diversified.
Throughout this process, my therapist Fiona had been encouraging me to identify my selling points (value proposition) before focusing on the ROI (return on investment) of my prospects. Going to therapy truly felt like being in an accelerator, and Fiona was my growth hacker.
I started gaining way more traction, and my churn rate went down. My startup became cash flow positive, especially as I started traveling again. More prospects were knocking at my door than I wanted to onboard. Not to mention my UX (user experience) kept improving (*wink*).
It’s now one year after the launch of my startup. My valuation feels higher than ever, and I’m happy with the number of investors I have, as well as each of their vesting periods with me. I’ve always been risk-averse to ventures like this (maybe that’s why I stayed in my last “stable corporate job” for so long) but for once I’m not fixated on an exit strategy.
For the first time in my life, I’m excited to see the full potential of my startup. Non-monogamy has inspired me to constantly find opportunities for iterating. And quite frankly, this whole startup metaphor has made re-entering the world of dating much more fun and relatable.
So whether you’re single, taken, or somewhere outside of that, may you continue to improve and find success with the startup of you.