Paul Carrick Brunson needs no introduction. 7 years of matchmaking, numerous critical acclaim, a television show on OWN, a T.V. Host, and much more. Father of two, husband of one, Paul had a vision for the right reason. Helping to restore the nuclear family through healthy relationships was his goal. He stuck with it, and the rest is history.
Shenelle Wallace: I want to start with purpose. Prior to becoming a matchmaker, you worked in banking. You took a huge leap of faith and started a few businesses which eventually led to you becoming a matchmaker. What is it about purpose that drives you to leave something that’s so sure, to pursue something that’s unsure?
Paul Brunson: We all have different values in life, and when you are someone who has a combination of ambition, innovation, and creativity as a high level of value, and you mix that with a dire need to solve a problem, which is really the heart of entrepreneurship, that’s the reason why you would leave something that would be perceived as so sure into something that’s perceived to be unsure. I emphasize on the word unsure because I always viewed my career in investment banking and finance as unsure as anything else. People were getting fired every day. So in my mind it was never a for sure thing. But my vision in starting my business was so clear that I never viewed it as an unsure thing. I never walked into my career as an entrepreneur with a plan B. In my mind it’s a combination of what you value and your desire to genuinely solve a problem.
Shenelle: In one of your videos, you shared that in pursuit of a new home, you started packing even without having solidified a new place to move into. You said that act of faith led to the purchase of a new house. And then you stated “Our beliefs shape our behavior, but our behavior can also shape our beliefs.” What has been the pattern that you’ve seen abiding by that thought system?
Paul: Well that’s a new one for me. We’ve only been in the house for about 7 weeks. At the time that I did that video, up until that point I never thought about how much our actions shape our beliefs. I always looked at it the other way around; our beliefs shaping our actions. But what I realized from that huge blessing that happened in our life, is that our actions shaping our beliefs plays a huge role around us forming habits. When I look at people who are extremely successful, whether in business, or with their health, or in marriage, they’re always consistent. And underlying that consistency are habits; those things that we do over and over again. But habits begin as choices. You decide, ok I’m going to wake up at 6am and go to the gym. But you have to make that choice over and over and over again. And then, 2 to 3 months later, it becomes a habit. It becomes something that you do almost unconsciously. Once you develop these habits, that’s what allows you to be consistent at what you do and that’s the only way to develop success. That is action forming and shaping belief.
Shenelle: You made a statement, “The more you give, the more you win, the wealthier you will be. The key to self-preservation is being selfless, not selfish.” When did you find this principle to be true?
Paul: I learned this earlier in my career when I got my deal with Oprah. The reason why I say that is because what led me to working with Oprah and developing two television shows with her network, which really just changed my life, was that I created a video series. A modern day matchmaker video series way back in the day. When I did the video series, I spent a few thousand dollars every time I did a video. It was pricey. And I did it without thinking that I want to make money from it, or that I want to gain a lot of clients doing this video series. I did it because I genuinely wanted to give people hope. So I produced the first one, and then the second one, and by the time we got the third one done, we were getting 12 to 20 views per video. Nobody was watching. And despite the fact that no one was watching, we continued to do it. We put out maybe 13 videos and spent maybe 20,000 to 30,000 dollars. But while no one was watching those videos, Oprah and her team were watching. I wasn’t even thinking about T.V. at that point, and then you have the most powerful woman in T.V. offer me a deal. So there are two lessons here that really goes to show that one, when you give and you give genuinely, you get a massive return. The second part to that is the importance of quality over quantity. We get caught up in how many followers we have and how many people are viewing certain things. But it’s really about the quality. I was in business for the right reason.
Shenelle: You’ve been married for 16 years, which means you were married fairly young, in your twenties. What advice could you give to singles over 30 regarding where they are right now?
Paul: I would emphasize that love comes when you least expect it, and it comes in unexpected packages. Love won’t come unless you believe it’s going to come. Some people will get that, and others will say I’ll wait until I see it. But you have to believe that it will come first. And that’s with everything in life, not just love. You truly have to believe it’s coming to you. Because if you don’t believe, when it [love] does happen to you, you think that you’re not deserving, or that it was by chance. In other words it’s not something that’s for you. And when you view love that way, it becomes less serious and something you can lose without it being an issue. But when you believe that something is specifically for you, then that’s something that you’re willing to fight for.
Shenelle: And lastly, let’s talk about [your relationship with] God. You wrote a blog post about when you were just getting started as a matchmaker and things for you were picking up. In the article you shared that you were advised not to mention Jesus, or Christianity, or God, or anything that had to do with your faith. First you rebelled against that advice, then you complied, and then you were true to yourself again. Why is it important to not publicly deny that part of you?
Paul: Because that’s authentically you. What’s great about the time that we’re living in, is that whether you are working for a conservative fortune 500 company, or you’re an entrepreneur like myself, it’s becoming more and more acceptable and more desirable for people to display their authentic self. Years ago, you would be appreciated if you fit the mold. This is what people applauded. I’m a generation X, and what I find to be one of the biggest differences between generation X and millennials, is that we were taught that we should be a part of the system rather than create our own system. Millennial’s are taught to be proud of who they are and say what it is that’s on their mind. So we’re at a point in time where it’s more important than ever to be your authentic self, and if your faith is a part of your authentic self, it’s more important now than ever to speak to that.
You can keep up with Paul by clicking here.
By: Shenelle Wallace