Day four. Man date

Definition of the day: ‘Man date’ – when two straight men do something that would be regarded as a typical dating activity, like going to a film or out for a meal 

I went on my first ‘man date’ today and it was great. A great man date with my new mate. His name is Michael.

I met Michael a few nights ago and was immediately impressed and slightly in awe as he told me his story. I wasn’t shy about letting him know this, and he was (rightly) cautious….who is this guy and what does he want.

Michael is one of a few people I’ve met who I would describe as a force of nature; a super smart, tall, handsome black man, 30 years old with the power to change the world. I’m not even joking. After uni he shunned employment offers from top tier investment banks to work in music, taught himself how to produce, set up his own studio, signed some artists… forward 8 years and he is keeping a low profile (out of choice) but has had some major success and now owns a largely self-sufficient record label, meaning he has the time and money to make a difference by pursuing other projects.

I will always be grateful for the experiences I had at university and the great friends I made, but hearing Michael’s story, and others like it, makes me wonder how many people suffered from a lack of imagination and inadequate career advice upon graduation.

For me the options were consultancy, law, banking, government or a large corporate. Some of my friends have gone on to do great things 10-15 years later in a wide range of industries including those, but it just wasn’t set up for the nonconformists. I do think the world is changing, and that the millennials could end up being our saviours, but I digress….

So this man date. I met Michael on a Tuesday and we agreed to go for lunch on the Friday (very Craig David) to discuss what he was doing and how I might be able to get involved. After a big Thursday night I arrived 20 minutes late (not cool, sorry Michael) and realised I was a little nervous. Lol. It genuinely felt like a first date. On arrival he was sat at the table, menu in hand, waiting patiently. I found myself making small talk, asking lots of questions and trying to be interesting.

lady and the tramp

After getting over my butterflies we had a great conversation. One thing that hit me was the scale of his ambition. He genuinely has a plan to take over the world (in the nicest possible way) whereas I am completely linear in my thinking…..quit job, go travelling, maybe find a new job, maybe something else.

All of my recent ‘big ideas’ usually died after a couple of whiteboard sessions with a mate at work (who was also full of big ideas**) and limited follow up, cos it always just seemed a bit too hard….

Anyway, every day’s a learning day and today was no exception. Michael and I metaphorically swiped right on each other and will be hanging out again soon.


**The last ‘big idea’ from my mate at work was….(drum roll)….toilet doors that can be opened by foot. Designed to avoid that awkward hygiene conundrum when you’ve washed your hands but know that many before you did not. If anyone wishes to invest in this world-changing idea please comment below and I’ll pass it on.

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