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Ep. 116 Andrea Lo from the Toronto Dating Hub

By January 9, 2023July 21st, 2023No Comments

Episode Guide

Episode #125 with Kay Peacy from Slick Business

Episode #124 with Marc Toews from Gateway Web AR

Episode #123 with Sherry Pratt from Sherry Pratt Health Coaching

Episode #122 with Aaron Strauss from Cache Tactical Supply

Episode #121 with Cedric Delavaud from Ludoland Regina

Episode #120 with Jasmine Patterson from BDC

Episode #119 with Jeff Harmel from Realty Executives Diversified Realty

Episode #118 with Shahzad Khoja from IBITS

Episode #117 with Kathy Sabo from QC Gifts

Episode #116 with Andrea Lo from the Toronto Dating Hub

Episode #115 with Karey Kapell from Next Level Coaching

Episode #114 with Joel Sopp from Socially Acceptable Marketing

Episode #113 with Annabel Townsend from The Penny University

Episode #112 with Cathlyn Melvin about her Tedx Coaching

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Episode #110 with Quinn Nikulak from Kustom Kitties Canada

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Episode #107 with Dan Celis from Tommy's Speakeatery

Episode #106 with Ann Corcoran

Episode #105 with Louise Yates & Jennifer Berg

Episode #104 with Jule Gilchrist from Cuppa'T Teas

Episode #103 with Annika Mang from TrailCollectiv

Episode #102 with Ronley Arnold from OSI-CAN Sask

Episode #101 with Susan Robertson from Susan Robertson Pottery

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Episode #97 with Carmen Johanson and Kimberley Baldwin from PayTrail

Episode #96 with Meg Casebolt from Love at First Search

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Episode #67 with Kait Waugh from Fat Plant Farm

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Episode #64 with Adele Buettner from AgriBiz Communications

Episode #63 with Mary Weimer from Conexus Credit Union

Episode #62 with Winter Fedyk from Silo Strategy

Episode #61 with Heather Day from C.S. Day Transport & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #60 with Amber Goodwyn from Regina Folk Festival & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #59 with Cari Bode from South Country Equipment & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #58 with Donna-Rae Crooks from Brain Snacks Co & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #57 with Michelle Grodecki from  Deaf Crows Collective & YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

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Episode #55 with Dr. Sharon Leibel, YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #54 with Doug Yaremko from Paddock Wood Brewery

Episode #53 with Madhu Kumar, YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee

Episode #52 with Eric Oelson from Mortise & Tenon Store

Episode #51 with Kim Korven from The Gentle Way Divorce

Episode #50 with Erin Vaughan from Kinetic Auto Service

Episode #49 with Lisa Brice from Brice Photography

Episode #48 with Colleen Strauch from Luther College at U of R

Episode #47 with Doug Pattison from Pattison Health

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Episode #45 with Carly Patryluk from House of Paws Pet Boutique

Episode #44 with Erin Caleval from Erin & Associates Insurance

Episode #43 Part #2 with Nikki Jacquin from Nikki's Portraits of Childhood

Episode #43 Part #1 with Jess Tiefenbach from Stay n Play Parenting

Episode #42 with Nadene Joy from Nadene Joy

Episode #41 with Richard Arockiasamy and Sanjana Kumta from GreenMache

Episode #40 with Jodi Barrett, CEO of Kettlebell Kickboxing Canada

Episode #39 with Erin Kinder from Kinder Surprises Antiques

Episode #38 with Tanner Goetz from Munz Media

Episode #37 with Jessica McNaughton from memoryKPR

Episode #36 with Wendy Turner-Larsen from Turner Larsen Consulting

Episode #35 with Jill Poulton from Transformational Leadership

Episode #34 with Janci Templeman from Walker Wakefield

Episode #33 with Denise Anderson, Author, Divorce in a Small Town

Episode #32 with Anne Gibbons from Gibbons Travel Consulting

Episode #31 with Charlene SanJenko from PowHERhouse Media

Episode #30 with Dr. Vianne Timmons from the University of Regina

Episode #29 with Margaret Kisikaw-Piyesis, from All Nations Hope Network & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 28 with Dr. Renatta Varma, Vitreo-Retinal Surgeon & YWCA Woman of Distinction

Episode 27 with Jo-Anne Dusel from PATHS & YWCA Woman of Distinction

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Episode 23 with Gr. 5 & 6 Students from Argyle School

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Picture your perfect first date. Do you see a quaint little coffee shop? Maybe drinks & a movie?

How about puppy yoga? Or jet skiing?

Meet Andrea Lo and her not-so-conventional singles service. Andrea plans events through her business, the Toronto Dating Hub, for singles across the area. From how to dress, what to wear and how to pose, Andrea helps all of her guests have a fun, safe and comfortable group first date experience.

In the Toronto area, interested in attending? Check out Andrea’s contact details below. Curious to learn more about her “real guests” approach to marketing her business? Tune in to today’s episode!

 

 

Transcript

Andrea 0:00
Hey, how are you? I’m more than five right now because it was all quiet and then I don’t know if you can hear the drilling and I’m like, No,

Barb 0:08
I can’t I can’t hear anything.

Andrea 0:09
Okay, because I’m like, the worst thing that can happen is the drilling and renovations in a condo and I’m like a great yeah, it’s gonna be very

Barb 0:24
Exciting. Oh, you don’t know.

Andrea 0:26
Like it’s different people in the building will do renovations and they’ll send out a notice but it’s like, Thanks for the notice, but there’s nothing I could do except I guess, you know, leave my place and go to a Starbucks instead. But yeah, the problem with that, that a lot of the places is like they’re not there’s not a strong signal for Wi Fi. So it’s

Barb 0:49
Terrible. Yeah. When you’re trying to hop on those calls. Yeah. It’s absolutely terrible. I agree wholeheartedly. Okay, cool. Thank you for being so accommodating. I will take too much of your time, but I am super excited to hear about the Toronto Dating Hub. And so that’s exactly how I should refer to it right is the Toronto. Yeah, okay. Okay,

Andrea 1:13
Perfect. And so and then you said, I know you’re gonna record both, but it’s really more of my voice. Because I was just like, do I have to like, change it? Because, you know, I’m used to zoom and I got to zoom background and like, I don’t know.

Barb 1:23
Yeah, no, you don’t do anything like you can see like, I’m in ponytail. And I’m not sure if I brush my hair today. I’m sure I tried but I was on the phone at the same time. And I’m just like, Why do I have all these knots in the bottom of my ponytail? But anyway, that’s a whole other issue. No, I used to do a video podcast. And it just you know what, it was a heck of a lot of work for both me and guests. Because you did you want to do all that shit to prepare. And it was like, Yeah, you know what people want to listen when they’re walking the dog and stuff like that. So yeah, I kind of went away from that and instead, I Yeah, we just get to like, let it all hang out and not worry about it. So it’s kind of nice. Nice. Okay, so tell you a little bit about how this works. The podcast is 25 minutes long because it does air on our local radio station first, so I have to fit into their time slot. And yeah, so 25 minutes we get to just chit chat. Obviously this is the first time we’re meeting but usually what I’ll say to guests is he’s just like the first time we met and all ask you questions about your business and yeah, so it’s really just a 25 minute promo for the Toronto dating how we’re gonna air just before Valentine’s so timing wise, I think it should work out pretty good for you. Yeah. So it’ll just be kind of fun. And what else can you tell you going in? I’ll do a bit of an intro. I usually trip on my tongue a couple of times in the intro so I’ll clean that up. If something big happens like let’s say they are drilling and like your bookshelf behind you falls over.

Andrea 2:57
I heard about that on your one of your podcasts I was listening to. Yeah,

Barb 3:01
That’s exactly. So a big step happens. I do absolutely go edit that out. But unless it’s big, I don’t go back and do a lot of editing. So it’s pretty raw and authentic. If you make a mistake if you if you need to say something again, just tell me and we’ll totally take that out. Exciting part might be that we’re waiting for a pickup and if they ring my doorbell, I’m in my basement by the way, if they ring the doorbell, my dogs are going to go apeshit Now, the good news is there are no dogs in my office right now. And so what I’ll have to do is like pause the recording, run upstairs, give them the pickup, then come back downstairs. It’s almost it’s inevitable that you know it’s gonna happen while I’m in the middle of recording because that’s everybody’s favorite time to ring the doorbell right? Worse. Cemeteries There we go. All right. And with that, if you are ready, I will start the intro and start the recording.

Andrea 4:03
Yeah, and you can hear me okay like it’s coming clear.

Barb 4:07
Yeah, I’ve been watching it my end watching our audio levels. Were pretty pretty level I might adjust you know a little bit kind of as we go. The one thing that sometimes happens is guests lean back from their microphone. So if you see me doing this, it just means come back closer to your microphone. And when we get close to that 25 minute mark, you will still see me hold up two fingers just to say like we’re in that last couple minutes. And I’ll make sure that you have time to like promo how do people find you? How do they sign up? You know, that kind of stuff. So we save that kind of to the end. And yeah, otherwise it would be as if we’re having a glass of wine on the patio in Toronto. Exactly. Okay, cool. I will I’m not gonna be able to see you for a second because I have to switch screens to read my intro. But I do try and do like a live intro so you will hear all of it so here we go. Ready? All right. Are you ready to make the door swing, the phone ring and the website ping? In this episode, we’re talking about one of the best kept secrets in any community. Its network of local businesses, businesses that rely on foot traffic, phone calls, and in today’s case, website pings from those skinny lessons that will make you wince to the tell all expose as these everyday people are doing extraordinary things in their businesses. Welcome to The Secret Life of local. I’m your host Barb McGrath, Google girl and local business cheerleader. I’ve been helping local businesses thrive for over 20 years. From online businesses tell multilocation stores you can turn browsers to buyers and thinkers to doers. Today we’re going behind the scenes with one Toronto business owner who is changing up the dating scene. Yeah, that dating scene. So tune in and let’s he see. Let’s hear oh, Andrea is changing the dating scene. In Toronto. Welcome, Andrea. Thank you

Andrea 6:20
So much for having me. I’m so excited to be here. Yep,

Barb 6:23
Absolutely. It’s a pleasure. So you know, let’s kick off. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Andrea 6:29
All right, my name is Andrew Lo. I’m the founder of Toronto Dating Hub. We’re in race here in Toronto. Simply put, I plan events and connect people.

Barb 6:38
Awesome. Okay, that’s where the dating piece fits in there. Very cool. Now, how did you get there? Because something tells me you didn’t finish high school or university and say, hey, I want to start connecting people. So yeah, what’s your what’s your story? Yeah, so

Andrea 6:54
I went to University of Toronto for business and marketing. I always knew I loved working with people being around people being creative. So, you know, I did you know, finish school and still you know, doing something that I studied but you know, I worked for marketing agencies did a lot of experiential marketing. So working on a lot of corporate brands doing a lot of events and marketing campaigns. And during the pandemic while I got laid off like many others, and honestly, it was a really dark time for me. I’m sure many people, you know, can say the same thing. But for me during the pandemic in 2020, you know, three awful things kind of happened. One obviously being laid off after working for that company for almost nine years was a good chunk of my career. Yeah, and then and then the boyfriend at the time broke up with me. Oh, goodness, it’s always great. And then I live in in a condo downtown, which is great. But my family being strict Asian parents and family, because they live with them and then during that start of the pandemic, where you know, the whole lockdown. So, you know, if you’re not going to be in our bubble in our home, then you can’t see your nephews you can’t come over, you know, and it was like, oh, no, I lost my job, my career. The boyfriend at the time, my family doesn’t want to see me it was really dark time. And

Barb 8:26
So no kidding. Wow, that’s hard. That’s very isolating, which makes all of that even harder.

Andrea 8:34
Exactly. And so you know, it took a while of course to get over it definitely did the ugly crying to find you know, some kind of source or something to take my mind off things refocus and I took all that sort of negative energy and was like, Okay, if I am feeling isolated and awful, I can’t imagine what other people are feeling who who are also single but have less of a network that than I do. And so I said, Okay, I’m going to start Toronto Dating Hub. I’m going to start doing singles events. And at that time, it was you know, online, but I figured, okay, you know what, I’m gonna I’m gonna do something for the singles community because at the time, there were no events, you know, virtual in person. And so I channeled all that energy towards trauma Dating Hub, and that’s where it’s sort of all began where the virtual events at first you think of them like virtual house parties, I was gathering, you know, men and women who are single and doing icebreakers, doing breakout rooms. It was really cool. And then, you know, fast forward today, I’m doing two to five events per month. This is on top of my day job.

Barb 9:55
There’s another day job to you. Oh, my goodness. Yeah. And

Andrea 9:59
But I’m, it’s been such a wonderful time to help other singles out and you know, see some of them transform, you know, from being super shy and introverted to you know, someone who’s getting matches now and going on dates. So it’s, it’s really cool. I love what I do. And that’s sort of how I found my calling through a dark time to now doing something I’m super passionate about, and it’s so impactful.

Barb 10:27
Oh, absolutely. And you know, it’s interesting, because it’s so many entrepreneur entrepreneurial journeys, there is there’s that dark time to come to a better place. Right. And sometimes I think we have to go through that. We have to be in a really gross place to be able to go okay, I need to change something and then that’s when we, you know, the whole Caterpillar becomes a butterfly thing. Right? Okay, so tell me about the hub. So is it all in person? Is there an online component still? And you know, like, what are some of the stories you’re seeing as a result of the hub?

Andrea 11:07
Yes, so I try to do really different things. You know, I’m certainly not the only player in the space here. However, I feel I’m super different. I’m the first in the world to do jetski speeddating. Yep, you’re jet skiing. You’re on jet skis and your speed dating and so that’s really cool. But I’ve done super other cool things like E scooter speed dating, you know picnic speed dating, Puppy yoga. Now, just I’ve always said you know, even when you’re when first dates right, it’s it’s important. To have some kind of activity. Yes, you different, right. Otherwise, it’s just like, Okay, let’s just go for coffee and chat. Like, you can do that with anyone at any time. So I really want to make sure my events were different and if you don’t find was a romantic connection. You can still check off something from your bucket list, right? Because Absolutely, you go you know, jet skiing, let alone use that as a form to meet other singles in the city. So it’s super cool. And yeah, like I said, I’ve seen people go from, you know, super introverted, super shy you know, not a lot of friends. Maybe they’re new to the city and they’ve flourished in terms of, you know, after coaching or coming to a few events and getting comfortable in their own skin, learning how to converse with others right from their shell. And, you know, being able to finally connect with someone else over some fun over fun activities, finals matches and finally date or date again, for some people and I have anywhere from, you know, students like coming out of university or just graduated to divorce dates. Right? Like you see a whole gamut of different people from different walks of life come out, right. Again, just really nice to see people come out, have fun come out of their shell. Talk, be lively had read somewhat so many people. My events were their first you know, like coming out to events again, like my friends, were there first events coming out of the pandemic.

Barb 13:17
Exactly. Being in person again. Okay, I gotta take you back to this jetskiing speed dating, speed dating or like even like I’ve done speed networking, so I’ve done that thing before. So usually they give you like, one minute or five minutes or 15 minutes. How do you jet ski speed meeting people, like just explain what that looks like for me. I need a visual for this one.

Andrea 13:40
Yes, for sure. So basically, depending on the event, like how many jet skis I’m able to source with the vendor, the partner and one event there was like five jet skis. So instead of you each each have a jet ski to ride like a female and a male on you know, because there’s not enough I would actually play some together. So it’s even more like oh, my gosh, like I’m sharing a jetski. Yeah, super cool, because you’re learning to trust one another. Yep. You’re helping each other get on the jetski because you can flip off just trying to get on a jetski. Right. Oh, totally. So you know, you’re helping each other out. Potentially that means you’re holding hands right? You’re You’re I think of Aladdin remember the to you trust me when he holds up his hand to go on the magic carpet. Right? Yeah. So you know you’re doing that and also, right? Everyone always thinks is it the guy that operates the Jetski? Well, no, it’s up to those two individuals because you are trained to be able to operate or be a passenger. And so it’s up to that couple to design decide who would like to, you know, you know, operate and sit in front while someone learns to to be in the back and you’re kind of CO piloting. So I always thought well, eight it’s super fun to go jet skiing. If you’ve ever been on a jet ski. It’s it’s, yeah, 100 kilometers an hour, which you’re flying. So there’s the thrill, the exhilaration, and then you’re now you know, meeting with someone else and you’re trying to have a conversation so you can’t go 100 kilometers. But, you know, I think it’s about 20 kilometers before you can’t really hear them if you go too fast. But we’re just having loads of fun and it’s like I said, building trust as we go too fast. You might scare the person or the person might fly off. Right, exactly. And but it’s super fun. So you do that but then I just do I just basically rotate them I just stay they go off for let’s say 510 minutes, they come back and then we switch partners. I have a list that we rotate them. It’s very organized in that sense. And usually a lot of times I might have jet skis plus kayaks and paddle boards. So it’s a whole water sports event. And so again, some people don’t feel I have people who don’t know how to swim come out.

Barb 15:57
Oh, wow. Oh, that’s so great on their farm. Oh, wow.

Andrea 16:02
So like I said, it’s amazing to see what people are willing to do and to come out of their shell or comfort zone to to do that. And that’s part of why I love what I do is to push people beyond their comfort zone to get out there have fun and potentially meet your your match.
Barb 16:22
Okay, so the part you didn’t mention and I was I was actually kind of waiting for you to say it was it also means showing up in a bathing suit. Potentially your first date like that

Andrea 16:34
Crazy. Well, I mean, it’s not mandatory per se like to wear you know, bikini. I mean, obviously if you’re going to, you know, go into the water and again, we’ve had some people capsize in the water. Yeah, exactly. And they lost her sunglasses are hanging out there, but definitely before every activity and that goes for jet skiing or anything. Even puppy yoga. Yes, cute by the way. We always do I always do icebreakers. Okay, and and that for example, Jetski. That’s when maybe you’re wearing your whole outfit and not in your bikini yet. But you know that is to get people comfortable. And that’s when you’re introducing yourself and make people do a 32nd intro when it’s a small, smaller, intimate group. So everyone kind of gets a 32nd highlight. So before you’re getting in the waters and on the jet skiing, you get to know people a little bit and then sort of hop on the jet skis. But yeah, we have people like have cover ups or maybe they’re, they’re wearing a bathing suit underneath, you know, set of rules. But yeah, it’s super fun. And again, it just pushes people outside their comfort

Barb 17:42
Zone outside their comfort zone. I think puppy yoga would be hilarious because as a woman with flexibility, even trying to watch my husband do anything that involves stretching. That’s just a giggle fest for me. Like he’s hilarious. I’m like, What do you mean you can’t touch your toes like serious? Right? But he’s never had flexibility and neither does my son. So it’s, you know, it’s kind of an you know, meanwhile, here’s me three times my son’s age and I’m like, Yep, no problem, touch, have, you know, like, I just don’t even think about it. So I think yoga, that would be so, so entertaining to watch. And then

Andrea 18:21
you throw the puppies in like, what yoga are you doing? Really? Yes, exactly.

Barb 18:25
Yeah. Especially if the puppies are trying to crawl all over you like my dogs do and yeah, so yeah, the floor to do like, anything yoga oriented. The dogs are like, Oh, thumbs on the floor. That means she wants to play. Here’s your role. Here’s her like gross, slimy rope. Like,

Andrea 18:41
Let’s go. Yeah. Oh, that’s how this works. Yeah, we bring, you know anywhere from eight to 10 puppies. Yeah, we work with an ethical breeder and you know, it’s, it’s so awesome. And, and throughout the class, actually, we put the puppies like, you know on them if they’re wearing a hoodie, we kind of put them in their hood behind and it’s like puppy love. They’re kissing you and hugging you. And it’s just like therapeutic.

Barb 19:10
Also. Oh, absolutely. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Okay, so, have you met your match through your program?

Andrea 19:20
So funny enough, and people always ask me like, So Andrew, are you single? Like, what’s your story? And I try not to talk about too much. I’m like, It’s not about me, everyone. It’s just let’s focus on on you guys. So I honestly I have met many wonderful people through through my events or at my events, especially as soon as they if they catch when I am single. Then they’re all like, oh, wait a second, like you know, powerhouse. Who’s organizing events she seems super bubbly and fun. So you know, I definitely have note there’s no shortage of people. I definitely meet through my events and you know, going out and all that. But I’m still you know, looking for the one so if anyone’s listening and you’re eligible bachelor.

Barb 20:07
Exactly. No, you know what’s interesting to me. So you and I were talking just before we got started, and I went to university out there. And now I’m back in Saskatchewan. The it was so much harder to meet people out there. Unless you were going to school with them or working with them. So you just didn’t meet people the same way. Now, it’s definitely changed here somewhat, you know, since I was out there going to university, but everybody tends to know everybody here like we’re just so much a smaller environment, or culture or population. And and so it’s you know, it’s easier. Now having said that, a I haven’t been on a single scene for years and be you know, I had never tried the dating apps never did any of that. Do you find that a lot of people who come out to your events, they’re kind of tired or that online virtual meeting like they’re ready for honest human connection again.

Andrea 21:12
Exactly. So the dating space definitely has changed over the years and especially during our during after the pandemic. Yeah. You know, some of the changes they will during the pandemic, the apps were flooded, like you see an influx of people who jumped on the apps, the zeros like how else will I meet people now? That’s right. Yes. That has it’s good and bad, right? Good. You have lots of options, many plenty. of fish in the sea as however, too many options overwhelms people and then you start to think like, Well, someone better might be out there so you get super picky and no one’s good enough. So that causes a lot of these complaints of like no one good is out there are no one serious or, you know, this and that are being ghosted, many, many stories. And so dating in a big city, there’s definitely a lot of complaints about that. Yeah. And that’s why, you know, with singles events, it’s complimentary to dating apps, right. You can still use the apps. I certainly also recommend this for my coaching clients where, you know, they’re like, I’ve given up I’ve tried everything, and I’m like, usually when I talk to them, they haven’t tried everything or they haven’t tried long enough, right. I always make a lot of parallels to you know, in the interview and job hunting process. You wouldn’t, you wouldn’t just, you know, job hunt for five minutes per day when you’re job hunting. Right, exactly. Yeah. Just try it for like a week and then say, you know, it’s, that’s enough for me. I’m not gonna find a job now. So I’m just gonna, I’m just gonna stop right. So the same thing when you’re searching for that special someone going on an app for example, five minutes a day or doing it at 1am Just before going to bed like that. It’s it’s not going to work right? That’s right. But you know, the singles events creates a different option for people to definitely create connections in person. But that’s because we’re not like those apps where when it gives you a name tag, you know, so just imagine bar if you were single and came out, but I’m not asking you the bar. What’s your age? Where do you live all that stuff? So that it’s like the swiping right. As soon as I see you, I’m like, Oh, you’re you know, you’re 25 No, that’s too young too. Old, whatever it is, and you kind of swipe left in person. Yeah, I’ve seen people because what I’m offering is a chance to connect and build deeper, meaningful connections. I see because I do the match forums. I’ve seen people who are maybe, you know, eight years apart 10 years apart or they’re not from the same city. They chose each other because they had a connection at the event. And that, again, people on apps there you could be swiping away or you could be going on it for months and not even you find someone to finally meet with because that’s how hard it can be. Yeah, so this is expediting that process, but also ensuring that you’re having that meaningful connection. You see the person right away, so there’s no like, I wonder what she looks like or what he looks like because they’re right there. Exactly. And you know,

Barb 24:13
I think some people take great pictures. Some people don’t you know, so there’s when you’re looking at that online, it’s so what is it objective, right? I liked the picture. I don’t I like the age I don’t wear when you’re in person with people and you actually have that opportunity to create a common bond a common experience. It makes a world of difference. The irony in this conversation is I always talk about Google being Tinder for business. I don’t know if you’ve seen any of my social media. But but but that’s the whole purpose behind Google is they want to make the match between customers and businesses. And you’re looking to make the match between you know, people. What’s funny to me about the whole thing is if we only look at a business online until let’s say somebody goes to your website, they go to the website, they’re like, oh, I don’t like this and they just keep on going but if they come out to an event, experience it, then they tend to have a very different response. Because they’ve, you know, taken the risk, so to speak and said, Hey, I’m gonna go out and I’m going to try one of Andrea’s event, or, you know, on the business side, they go out, you’re like, Oh, I’m gonna you know, try going into this business. So, you know, I think there’s some real I don’t know, there’s just a common thread in there. And then that we as humans, we’re drawn to, you know, the experience itself and, you know, being able to do all of these things. Absolutely. So we’re go ahead.

Andrea 25:47
No, we’re definitely visually and it’s funny that you mentioned about pictures and well, first of all, by my website, in order for people to guess for some people still, there’s still some stigma and taboo like, oh, I don’t want to be caught like doing a singles event, especially for women. Right. And so for me, me being female and it’s a female owned business, and I’m, you know, bipoc own business. You know, I’ve seen women like and I’ve heard women say, because you’re a female, you’re the face of your brand. I’ve just felt more comfortable. I discount tickets for women, right? And I try to make that experience but I my website, I use real photos. They’re not stock photos. There’s a lot of my competitors that use stock photos and yeah, maybe they don’t feel comfortable. Because again, like you said, what if someone goes to my, my pictures, I’m like, Well, I don’t like what I see. So I’m not gonna go to this event, but I just found that it’s more authentic that I just lead with these are real photos from my events. You are liking what they see. And you know, I give advice before every event because I send detailed reminders, you know, where is it to dress up and I give examples of what what does it mean to dress up? Because that is your, your brand you’re representing and that’s your first impression, but I actually do photo shoots. That’s one of the services that I offer. I do makeovers so I can go over you know, the written portion but also the photo. So for those for example gentleman who, like I don’t take photos, I can’t take photos. I actually do photo shoots and I consult them on what to wear how to pose shoot so that they stay authentically them. We’re not trying to make them look like Brad Pitt or somebody that they’re not right. I stay authentic to them. So you know, if they let’s say I like working in video games. We might have a photo that really, you know, is done playing you know, we stages so there’s like a board game at play. And so we get to see their personality, their photos, but much better pictures than their gym selfie or the selfie with really bad lighting and then they have like a double chin. That’s you know, like all those like really bad photos. Yeah, it is really important to have great photos or if you come in person that you dress up because that is the first impression and people wake will make a judgment call. Just it’s they say it’s within two, three seconds. We’ll make a lot about somebody and whether we want to connect with them or not. So it’s super important.
Barb 28:10
Perfect timing. That was my doorbell. Hold on Yeah.
Hate Amazon be right back Yeah, no worries.
Hear me Amazon needs your firstborn now to return something. Okay, so that was perfect timing. Because you had just like finished a sentence and I was like Oh, alright, and so we have about three minutes left. Let’s didn’t want you to be able to give all the social links how to sign up and stuff like that. I don’t want to quite move into. Is there one quick story that you could share?

Andrea 31:48
I’m like, what kind of story I have many stories but

Barb 31:51
Yeah, I know. That’s the the challenge. Well, you know what, since we’re kind of taking a business focus, let’s quickly talk about how you balance the two. How you balance the two and then we’ll wrap it up because you’ve said you’ve got a job again, plus you’re doing this okay. Oh my balance a picture. Okay. Okay, so I’ll ask my question. You answer and then we’ll move into wrap up. So Andrea, just before we do wrap up, tell me how you’re balancing being an entrepreneur and being an employee again.

Andrea 32:29
I don’t sleep.

Barb 32:32
I’ve heard that Yes. From entrepreneurs.

Andrea 32:34
They don’t want to leave. Yeah, definitely not a good thing. You know, self cares. Definitely. Important and much needed. But definitely being passionate about what you be passionate about what you what you do is super important. I think that’s what keeps me going because, you know, like I said, I found my calling. This is something I’m really passionate about and I love connecting people. So work doesn’t feel like work. It’s just honestly so much fun. And, you know, I’m very on top of like, my Google Calendar. Like if it’s not on my schedule, it’s not happening. So I definitely use my calendars to stay organized. I have a to do list that I you know, check things off. And a long time for but between being very on top of your time being passionate about what you do. That’s and having that sort of end goal that you’re super passionate about. Going that’s how I can

Barb 33:33
Make it all work very cool. All right, just before we wrap up, I let’s find out how folks can find you. Yeah,

Andrea 33:41
Absolutely. So my website is torontodatinghub.com Super easy to remember and I’m Toronto Dating Hub on all the social platforms. So Facebook, Instagram, and on my website, you’ll find all my services, the coaching services like the photo services, mock dates, wingwoman services, very, very unique services, as well as the photoshoot, dating profile makeover, and all my events are listed there. They’re also listed on Eventbrite and meetups. So pretty easy to find me and so I hope that people take a chance to come out and your first 15 minute consultation is complimentary. So that’s also a really great way to figure out if I can help you if we’re a match and get started.

Barb 34:29
That way. Awesome. Well, that was fantastic. Thank you so much, Andrea, for joining me today just to talk about Toronto Dating Hub, how you’re balancing it and like so many entrepreneurs, how you got where you are having to go through that really crappy place that you were in when COVID first started on that note, if you want to sell your story, then you need to tell your story and there’s no better place to start than being a guest on The Secret Life show. If you’d like to be a guest you can email me at barb at above the fold dot live or reach out on our Facebook and Instagram pages at above the fold. Ca I’m your host Barb McGrath, Google girl and a local business champion. Remember, you worked hard for your success. Don’t keep it a secret. Bye for now. Oh my god, I just had a total heart attack. I looked when I went to click the stop button. I knew for sure that I had clicked the unpause button. But I thought for a second that I had actually clicked a stop button instead of the N pause and I was like No but it did. We’re all good. Oh my god. Amazing. So I’m still going on upstairs because the dogs are still going apeshit God, I hate Amazon. I don’t know if you’ve ordered anything from Amazon lately, but their return process has totally changed. And it’s gross. Yeah, like now somebody actually comes in picks it up. So they were supposed to pick it up Tuesday. And so I skipped my swim practice on Tuesday to stay home so they can pick this thing up and then show up and show up. Yeah. So then today like back to back recordings, meetings, everything else I knew I knew they would come right in the middle of a recording. It’s just Murphy’s Law. Anyway, I’m done griping.

Andrea 36:23
Well, at least you returned it and now you can focus on doing your other meetings without hopefully
Barb 36:29
Without worry, right? Exactly. What happens if they like what if they say well, we didn’t pick it up or we we have I don’t know because like I feel like I have no control where it used to be you would just return it no way put the post office and you know you instantly got credit but now like it’s kind of a guessing game. Not liking it. Anyway, it was a total pleasure to meet you. That sounds so cool. The stuff you’re doing. I wish there had been stuff like that when I was you know, out there and single and yeah, I like I had a I was in a pretty serious relationship when I was out there. And honestly half the reason I came back to Saskatchewan even though it’s home for me was Yeah, I don’t want this relationship to go anywhere. I’m leaving.

Andrea 37:14
Exit Strategy.

Barb 37:16
I know exactly. It’s it’s not a common exit strategy. I have another place I can call home See you later.

Andrea 37:22
And I guess like if there were from here, they’re like, I’m not going to Saskatchewan.

Barb 37:26
Oh god. No, he came here for Christmas one year and it was funny. Because it was a brown Christmas which like happens once every 20 years. He didn’t mind it but you could definitely tell he was like, I’m not sticking around here for too long. I’m always Okay, nice guy. I actually his birthday is Saturday. Yeah, like I like every once in a while. Right. Yeah. So, you know, it didn’t end terribly badly. And yeah, whatever. Anyway, it was a pleasure to meet you was very cool. Thank you for having me business. Yep. And we’ll start to keep in touch because, as I say, I don’t know what we’re going to do at the back end. Now that my partner’s gone back to work full time. But like it’s been a good experience for me because I’m trying to you know how sometimes you have to take your own business stuff back in, figure it out, untie the knots, and then you’re ready to share it with someone. Right and because he did it for so long. There’s a lot of not tango, like an awful lot of not. So let’s go on Okay, I just need to get that all sorted out. And then the new year will be a whole new thing.

Andrea 38:35
Well, hopefully you figure it out and on titles not

Barb 38:40
Exactly. Hey, so what is your full time job now? What are you doing? Um,

Andrea 38:44
I worked for the government on contract also, I don’t get the lovely benefits but yeah, contract and but it’s still like very easy. Pretty easy job. And so that’s why I keep it because a good secure income coming in. And obviously I don’t work that many hours with them.

Barb 39:06
Like it’s gives you a little bit of freedom to be what you want. I do so yeah. What are you actually doing for them?

Andrea 39:14
I’m in short, it’s like it’s like customer service for the ministries. Okay. Yep. So it’s, I answer emails.

Barb 39:23
Yeah. Pretty low maintenance kind of stuff. Yeah. Not very

Andrea 39:27
Stressful at all, which is great. So I already got enough stress during the events and all that other stuff. So

Barb 39:33
Totally, yeah, but then you know, you’re leaving work every day, whatever, four o’clock, five o’clock, whatever time work ends and you’re done. You don’t

Andrea 39:42
Have to go in the office because I am on contract and they don’t have space for us. And I think their government they they definitely want to like I think the full timers are only there three days a week. And you have to like book your desk and yep, they’re trying to keep it like you know, COVID friendly kind of thing. So for us, like they don’t even want to like spend resources on having us in there. So I’m like, no problem. I’ll come in

Barb 40:07
So yep, yeah, exactly. I’m sure they monitor can monitor everything remotely nowadays. Right. And so, yeah, yeah.

Andrea 40:16
I’m not sure I move the mouse. Yeah.

Barb 40:21
That’s like when you hire on Fiverr. It’s like okay, great. You moved your mouse serious? Yeah, they know Oh, God. Yes. I totally understand that. All right. I’m gonna go bitch at my husband about this hiccup that I just had to endure. You have a fantastic Black Friday if you’re doing any shopping. And yeah, let’s keep in touch on LinkedIn there and that’ll be good.

Andrea 40:44
For sure. Thanks for having me. Thank you for doing

Barb 40:46
This. Absolutely. Yep. Before your episode goes live. You’ll see a couple of emails from me, you know, just reminding you and whatnot. And if you want to promote it on your social to say hey, have you ever thought about then you can

Andrea 40:57
Share it there? Yeah, for sure. Yeah, absolutely. And I sent you some

Barb 41:01
Photos and all this. I did see it I didn’t haven’t had a chance to click the link or whatever. But yes, but you look perfectly fine. By the way. I have you fullscreen like I’m like off squished in the corner.

#GoogleGirl

Barb McGrath’s been cracking the online code for nearly 20 years. She helps local businesses get to the top of Google with digital marketing training, web design, SEO, online reputation and advertising. Most importantly, she’s earned the trust of Google.Barb runs the only Google-approved agency designed to show you how to turn the online “stuff” into in-store buyers.If you depend on in-person customers, you need Barb’s step-by-step, online marketing plan to generate a steady stream of onsite buyers and make it rain money. She is the host of the Secret Life of Entrepreneurs, a local radio show and iTunes and Google Podcast.