University of Western Ontario (Canada) - B.A. in Psychology
It only takes a few years of dating to figure out one of the many truths of the dating game: men aren’t always very smooth. And while pretty much any woman can tell you more than one dating horror story, Marni Kinrys decided to be a bit more proactive and do something about it.
The Wing Girl Method, Marni’s solution to chronic nice-guys-finish-last syndrome, was the result of a rabbi-led singles’ mixer, wine and the realization that men need some major training when it comes to women. And now, what began as a somewhat tipsy idea is a hugely successful business a decade in the making.
Since declaring herself the Wing Girl, Marni has helped men around the world understand women and ultimately find their ideal match by “manning up.” That’s the kind of advice we think applies to work almost as well as dating!
People who are truly successful become that way because they try things.
How did you discover your current job?
The same way most people discover their jobs: I was drunk at a Rabbi’s house! Isn’t that how everyone does it?
Back in 2003, I was invited to a singles’ mixer at a rabbi’s house with one of my girlfriends. I had actually just met my husband one month earlier, so I was only there to window shop. When I got there, no one was interacting. The room was split like a junior high dance with boys on one side and girls on the other. So, I started grabbing men and introducing them to women. I would tell them what to say, what not to say, how to stand etc. By the end of the night, everyone was mixing, numbers were being exchanged and the night was a success.
I went home, buzzed from the night—and the wine—and I told my roommate (a man) how much fun I had breaking the ice for men and giving them insider female advice. I hated my job at the time and said to him, “What if I were to do that for a living? What if I was a wing girl to men?" My roommate responded with, “Men would never pay for that service, because they don’t care what women think. You’d have to throw in a case of beer and possibly a sexual favor if you ever wanted to make money doing that."
I didn’t agree with him, so I marched into my room, put an ad on Craigslist and immediately, the responses came rolling in. By the time morning had come, I had more than 75 responses and a business. Of course my business has morphed since then, but that’s how it all started.
What responsibilities do you have as a Wing Girl?
My job as a Wing Girl is to teach men how to understand women, so they can get the women they want. I work with men all over the world and tell them how to get and connect with women based on the information I’ve gained from interviewing more than 3,000 women (plus my own POV).
Behind the scenes, I’ve run my entire business for the past 10 years. I answer all the emails, do all the marketing, create all partnerships and leverage them, do all the PR and all the coaching. It’s only recently I’ve really started to understand the importance of delegation and trusting others to jump on board and help me grow my business. I used to think of my business as my baby, which I realized was stopping me from growing. So once I let go of the mothering, my business morphed once again and has continued to double in income for the past three years.
Why do you do what you do for a living?
My job is to teach men from around the world how to understand women so they can attract, date and keep the women they want, without being jerks or wimps. I teach men how to man up and I love it! I get to work with unbelievable men who want to truly understand women and better themselves.
When people used to ask me why I do what I do, I would try to come up with some prolific response, because I truly didn’t know the answer. Now I know that I do what I do because I used to be exactly like these guys: I used to not understand women, even though I am one. I was always afraid of women; I put them on pedestals; I had extreme social anxiety around them because I wanted them to like me. So I get where these guys are coming from. And through working with them, I’ve learned about myself and how to really connect with women.
What was it about your job that makes you feel it’s the right fit for you?
I have to admit that I’m extremely lucky to have the job I have. I basically get to create my own hours, create my own role and do whatever I want to do. I started my business out of a natural skill and now I get to do it every day of my life. Of course there are days where I don’t want to do things, or things get boring, but overall, I get to dictate what my business is and how it’s run.
What challenges keep you awake at night?
Oy. The pressures of becoming irrelevant. It’s honestly my biggest fear that one day, my advice will become of the “has-been” variety. Something that people used to listen to, but now there are new and improved methods that they want to hear instead.
The other thing that keeps me up is thinking, “Wow, I did great this month. How am I going to keep doing it over and over and over again?" I know it could all go away at any time.
Is work/life balance ever a problem with you? If so, what is one no-fail tactic you use to create balance?
Honestly, work does tend to consume me. I think it about it constantly and I talk about it a LOT. But my private and personal life is extremely important to me. I used to get down on myself that I wasn’t pushing harder, doing more seminars, etc. However, these were all things that would keep me away from my husband, friends and family, and I realized that’s not the type of life that I want. Sure, I could make more money, but I wouldn’t have this same life that I’ve built. I coach men on how to build a life that they love; that women will be drawn to and that they’ll enjoy living. And I want the same thing for myself.
Was there ever a moment in your career where you’ve thought, “I made it!” What was it?
Yes. At the end of last year was when I really started to feel accomplished. I had finally hit the monthly income I had been aiming for for the past 10 years, I was doing tons of media, including co-hosting Loveline, my site's membership hit 50,000 and I had just been asked to be a spokeswoman for Gillette. I was—and still am—on cloud nine.
What are some of the rules you live by?
You've gotta trust your gut. Just because something worked for someone else does not mean it will work for you. I spent countless years trying to be everyone else and do what they were doing. This never worked for me and always felt awful. Once I started to run my business the way I wanted to and stopped worrying what everyone else was doing, I felt so much better and my business did so much better.
Also, always ask questions and never be afraid that you’re insulting someone by being diligent.
What qualities does it take for someone to be successful in your line of work?
Being really open and being able to shove your ego aside. I’ve honestly learned more about myself through working with these amazing men over the past 10 years—like how to be a calmer, more understanding woman, which, in turn, makes me a better wife to my husband. Self-soothing!
What one piece of advice do you wish you could tell a 21-year-old version of yourself?
Don’t feel like a failure if you try something and it doesn’t work out. People who are truly successful become that way because they try things. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t, but either way, you’re pushing forward. Don’t be afraid to keep trying!