Mixing Business With Pleasure

If you are a single woman over 35 and would like to get married very much, it is worth calling Rachel Greenwald and asking her to find you a bridegroom.

If you are a single woman over 35 and would like to get married very much, it is worth calling Rachel Greenwald and asking her to find you a bridegroom. After reading the advice manual she wrote - "Find a Husband After 35 Using What I Learned at Harvard Business School" - which is currently receiving rave reviews in the United States, the reader will not be certain she can efficiently apply all of Greenwald's suggestions, but it will be quite clear that the author is likely to get everything she wants.

Greenwald, a graduate of the prestigious School of Business Administration at Harvard University, takes advantage of her educational career. "The Program" she offers in her book has 15 steps based on what she learned at Harvard, and is explained in great detail. Greenwald uses examples from the business world, including charts and indexes.

Conducting business is almost always conceived as more serious and legitimate than searching for a life partner, which is supposed to be spontaneous and romantic. So applying the rules of the business world to such a search is an original approach.

Originality is very important to Greenwald, who wants her book to stand out from others. One of the business-like suggestions she makes is for women to use the book to help sell themselves like a brand. In order for her brand to stand out, the woman has to differentiate it from others and ensure it is not only different, but also will suit the target audience. A woman must be able to state clearly in just three words why her brand is preferable to others.

Greenwald teaches women how to transmit the brand's message without declaring it artificially, and uses the advice herself - readers of the book will quickly realize that it is worth availing themselves of this manual because it is candid, practical and effective.

The author proves that it is possible to apply business world principles to an advice manual for single women, and indirectly convinces them that these principles then can be applied to finding a husband. Greenwald cautions her readers regarding the unpleasant things she is about to say. What is all the stubbornness about, she asks, and then replies: "Let's use a diet analogy. If you were 5 pounds overweight, it wouldn't be critical to find a strict diet plan, but if you were more than 100 pounds overweight, you might feel a sense of urgency to find an effective diet plan right away and stick to it."

According to the book, when a woman is 35 and unmarried, there is an emergency situation that requires drastic measures.

"It costs money to find a husband. I wish it were free, but sadly it's not," she says in the same tone.

Greenwald advises husband seekers to open a separate bank account and deposit 10-20 percent of their annual income in it. That money should then be used to join dating services, to improve looks, to throw house parties and to send thank you letters to everyone who ever introduced them to anyone (so that these people will by happy to do so again in the future).

The third step in the book shows how much it differs from other manuals. This is the packaging stage (of the product, meaning the woman) and contains the Dow Jane Index. After the book's reader asks six people (three men and three women) their opinion of her external appearance and makes adjustments accordingly, Greenwald offers her reader the Dow Jane Index to promote her personal brand.

Are your clothes too tight or too loose? Do you wear clothing that is too sexy? One is supposed to look like a future wife, not someone hot for a one-night stand. Do you wear clothes that are too glitzy? One should stick to plain fabrics with elegant designs. One must not wear clothes that are too trendy, and not wear too much black or business suits. And always, ALWAYS, wear a push-up bra.

Apart from that, long hair is always preferable to short hair, never wear red nail polish, and if you have to lose 15 to 20 pounds, or even less, to reach your optimum weight according to the charts, don't do a thing. "Most men do not see what you see," says Greenwald.

The author offers suggestions not only in changing appearance, but also in creating a daily routine: It has to be changed completely. Cancel that subscription to the newspaper and buy it at a different place every day. Drink your morning coffee at a different coffee shop each day, and even change your job or move to a new apartment. Greenwald even has an answer as to when to have sexual relations for the first time, and it isn't particularly pleasant either. "The date sex rule: You must have a minimum of two dates per week for a minimum of two consecutive months before having sex with the men you're dating seriously."

If you have done everything that Greenwald demands (a seemingly impossible mission) and have not succeeded in finding a husband, it means that you are not sufficiently committed to "The Program."

Greenwald is currently on a lecture and book-signing tour throughout the United States, and took some time off to answer a few questions.

In the introduction, you tell readers "to set aside their personal baggage." Often the reason that the reader did not marry by that age is precisely the baggage.

Greenwald: "I find that most of the time the baggage is just an excuse."

Were you single at 35, and did you meet your husband by following a similar program?

"Those are two questions that I am asked constantly. My ready response is `no' and `yes.' `No,' because I married my husband Brad when I was 28, but `yes' because I followed the program, because I did not want to be single at 35. I planned ahead. I needed what I learned at Harvard Business School: a strategic plan.

"So I did in the dating world what came naturally to me in the business world. I focused on my priority, found a mentor, improved my packaging, expanded my market, created my personal brand, advertised my brand, focused on niche marketing, guerrilla marketing, mass marketing, and telemarketing, and eventually arrived at what is now known as "Step #12," Event Marketing: Throw a Program Party.

"I was living in Boston at the time, and decided to create a big event. The event would enable me to do three things: network with other women who could eventually introduce me to other people, broaden my circle of friends, and meet new men. One of them was Brad. He and I talked alone much of the night.

The findahusbandafter35 website notes that rights have been purchased for a film. Will it be a documentary or a feature film?

"It is a romantic comedy about a 35-year-old woman who follows the 15 steps and finds love.

In an article published in Forbes in 1994, there is a story about the first Harvard Business School class that included women - the class of 1965 - when eight of the 624 students were female. That was one of the last barriers to be broken in the struggle for sexual equality. In the end, however, it turned out that most of those pioneering women gave up their careers for husbands."

Is there not something ironic about completing such a prestigious program just to be a matchmaker?

That question Greenwald left unanswered. Perhaps because even if it is ironic, the book is a big business success.