Love and relationships are at the core of our lives. Creating meaningful relationships is essential to our well being and happiness, yet so often, we struggle to make them happen.
I was quite a shy bookworm when I was growing up. It took me quite a journey to build my confidence up around the opposite gender but one that I'm extremely grateful for. Besides the fun factor, this journey gave me the opportunity to discover more about myself and connect with some incredible people.
Chris Manak is one of those people who made a similar journey and transformed from introvert to an outgoing social butterfly. He is now a successful dating/lifestyle coach and speaker on the theme. We're fortunate to have him share his thoughts with us.
1. Hey Chris, please tell us a bit about yourself. How did you end up coaching men as a profession? Have you always been confident with women?
No definitely not. According to my mother I was a quiet kid, and from memory I was pretty much the same in high school. Even now I happily admit to not being an unwaveringly confident guy because the thing is – you don’t need to be. You don’t need to be really confident to accomplish things. You just need to build enough reference points in your mind that certain things are possible.
It all started for me some years ago after a break up left me feeling like I was missing something – an understanding of myself more than anything. But it also made me realise that my inability with women meant a bleak future, be it alone or in a relationship that I was not secure in. So I just started putting in the time and effort to meet and talk to girls. Then soon after I’d moved to Melbourne, regular requests to take people out were often accompanied by comments like “you should be charging for this”. So I did, with no real expectation of anything, I initially just wanted to pay for a $400 tooth repair. Then word just spread.
2. Why did you feel that you needed to go through this journey?
I wanted to be the best man that I could be. Ultimately I want a great career, a great partner, a happy life and an awesome story to tell at the end of it. And I felt that I needed to better understand myself and fully experience the world around me, women included, in order to have that. I didn’t want to settle leaving stones unturned. I believe that we all crave stomach-churning love and deep emotional connection, and for me the best way to get that was to build my self-esteem to a point where I knew that I was worthy of it.
3. How do you feel you've developed during your journey from your early days to where you are today?
I’ve would definitely say that I’ve come full circle. When you first want to be more successful with women it’s very easy to believe that you need to be a confident, macho, party guy in order to do so – because they’re the guys that you see getting the most attention. But once you stop trying to be something and fully accept yourself, flaws and all, you find a new sense of ease and happiness, and it all becomes a lot easier. So I would say that I am much more accepting of myself now. I know that the right people will love and be attracted to you for being you, whereas several years ago I believed that you needed to be the stereotype of what everyone wanted.
4. What is your best advice for someone suffering from shyness and who wants to get better with the other gender?
Don’t use your shyness as a reason to not take action. I am by nature incredibly shy and I’ve accomplished more than I ever dreamed of. Rise above your shyness. Do something. Plan something. Go somewhere. Know that you as a human being are malleable and ultimately you are what you decide to be. Don’t see shyness as a bad thing. Shy people are often the most intuitive and insightful, and you can be shy and still get what you want. Confidence will increase once you start taking consistent action.
5. What is the most common trouble with which people come to you? What is the number one goal your clients usually have?
The most common trouble is that guys simply don’t know how to go about meeting women as they go about their lives. They see women that they’d like to talk to everywhere but feel that it’s impossible. They feel lost, trapped, frustrated and want change.
The most common goals for guys are to simply be able to talk to women instead of feeling paralysed, and to get a girlfriend whom they have chosen, someone they really like.
6. What is the number one mistake that you see guys make when they approach a woman?
Trying too hard. They try to fake confidence, or to be the entertainer, or the loud party guy, or the cool cocky guy. Most of the time, none of this is in their nature at all so it’s incredibly see through and gets them nowhere.
7. Can you give us an example of a success story you’ve recently had with one of your clients?
Just one of my favourites is a guy who is now a good friend of mine. He had just broken up with his girlfriend and wanted to get over it. He was a determined, fun and motivated guy – my favourite to work with. He did a couple of nights with me, went crazy in the dating world for about a month, and then got back with his girlfriend. I have no doubt that there are a lot of guys out there who need to just get ‘that’ out of their system in order to fully appreciate what they have.
8. I know most of your clients are men. What kind of advice would you give to a woman who has no luck with men?
I have to say two things:
1) Get your appearance as good as possible. Looks are obviously not everything, but men are attracted to attractive women. It’s perhaps an unpopular fact, but a fact all the same. And I know that all women can be utterly beautiful, it’s just that many have unfortunately given up on themselves.
2) Let go of any cynicism for men and/or the dating world. I come across this a lot – an otherwise great girl who is so bitter and angry from previous experiences that she radiates it, and it can deter a new guy quite quickly.
9. What do you think stops people from taking action and going after their dreams? What is your message to someone who's stuck and can’t seem to go forward?
Simple fear of failure stops people doing most things. This can often manifest itself in a feeling of laziness. I believe that everyone has at least one talent or passion that, if honed, could make them a career. If you’re unhappy with your life, find out what that passion is and do something with it. Passion is much more important that ability I believe. You just need to be driven by either the pleasure that you feel from doing that something, or by the pain that you feel from your current situation. Pain, discomfort and unhappiness are the best motivators for change.
10. Do you follow any "dating rules" that you live by? Do you have any guidelines that you think are actually helpful or make sense when dating someone new?
Not necessarily. I would say to just be strong. A new partner will stir in you both amazingly beautiful feelings, as well as bring to light all of your insecurities. You just need to love yourself, be accepting of the fact that you aren’t perfect, neither are they, and that the end goal is worth it.
11. How do you stand-out from the crowd in your business?
I really love what I do. I feel truly blessed. And seeing the smile on client’s faces is so incredibly rewarding for me that I will do anything within my power to make that happen. Clients aren’t dollar signs to me, they all become a friend and part of my life, and I will go out on limbs to help them. I also only coach one-on-one allowing me to really get to know someone and work with them personally. Lastly I walk my talk. Everything that I get my clients to do and strive for, I have done myself.
12. What goes through your mind when you approach a woman you don't know and that you're interested in?
I think what should go through your mind is that she could shut you down in a second or that she could be your future wife. That she could be a horrible person or that she could be an amazingly inspiring person in your life. You just never know until you meet her. Also remember that you’re doing something which most men will go their lives without doing, so regardless of how it goes, it is an accomplishment. Imagine that you’ve just dropped $100 on red on the roulette table. You’re excited and a little scared. I think that’s how you should feel when you approach a girl. Unlike gambling through, there is nothing to lose.
13. Talk a little about your personal life. What do you think your readers would be most surprised to know about you?
That I am very real. People hear “dating coach” and assume all kinds of things, from living in Armani suits, to schmoozing models every night (think Barney Stinson or Hitch). No. In fact I face my own dating life dramas often. I deal with my own fears and tackle the problems of attaining my own life goals, every single day. Everyone is dealing with something, regardless of where they’re at.
14. What do your parents think of your job as a dating coach? What do your current/previous girlfriends think of your job as a dating coach?
My Dad was quite proud by what I do. He would rant about how I need to “expand my business and be like that millionaire matchmaker woman on TV”. My Mum is the same, but I think still finds it a touch weird. She is amazingly supportive and listens to my rambling on the phone all the time.
15. What's your take on online dating?
From my own experiences I am not a huge fan. But I have friends who have been with partners for 10+ years from online dating. I just can’t help but to feel that the time spent online could be better spent meeting people in person. I think someone’s vibe is incredibly important which is hard to tell from a profile. Obviously though it really suits some people perfectly – like older people and people living remotely, so definitely each to their own.
16. Do you recommend any books that helped you along the way?
When I was 16 I first read The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy which was like me discovering God. The concepts in that are still a big influence on me – just this notion of us having much more control over our lives that we’re lead to believe. But obviously that message is not only in that book, there are thousands of books and webpages on that you can learn from.
Jim Rohn is also a huge influence on me. I’ve referred to him as “my dead mentor” before. An amazing self-help guru which I would recommend everyone to learn from. I like that there was no wishy washy stuff with him, he had a cut throat attitude and told it how it is.
17. How did your journey change the way you feel about women?
I definitely believe in the quote “Behind every great man is an even greater woman” Although you could easily argue that men run the world, I think women are the backbone behind us. They’re our muses, our inspiration. Men drive nice cars for women, wear nice clothes for women. We reach the height of our existence because of women, but also the scary depths of our existence. There is a definite yin and yang balance there, a dance of seemingly opposite drives and desires. We’re all just people, going through one issue or another. No girl out there at her core is different to you. She is just another soul trying to make do and be happy.
18. What's next for you?
Only time will tell. Mainly I would like to do a lot more writing, like ebooks or websites designated to self-improvement, so I’ll probably be focusing on that in the coming year.