#48 Marni Kinrys and Kristen Carney

On October 3rd, James Altucher interviewed Marni Kinrys (@WingGirlMethod) and Kristen Carney (@KristenCarney) to talk about “dating, sex, and comedy.” Marni and Kristen host the Ask Women podcast.
Altucher begins the interview by talking about how both Marni and Kristen have “created an industry by yourselves.” Kristen – the standup comedian – tells James that she was very observational. “I remember being, like, nine years old and thinking to these girls, you know, go to the bathroom by yourselves. Like, you don’t share a bladder.” Comedians often say they feel like outsiders and their comedy comes from observations like this. In his book, Dad is Fat, Jim Gaffigan tells the story about how his role in the family was the comedian and he liked making his family laugh. Even now he comedy focuses on being an outsider, how many other fathers of five live in a two bedroom NYC apartment and look like ghost who needs a tan?
Marni created the career of “wing woman” after she worked in PR and hated it. Then she reframed the issue. She hated PR for companies, but PR for individual guys looking to get dates she could do. Marni has been a wing girl since 2003 and she talks about David DeAngelo and pick up scene. Altucher shares a story about an ad he put up on Craigslist saying he had psychic powers. I’ve been reading Jams for a few years and this is one of the crazier stories he’s shared.
Marni goes on to talk about being invited by DeAngelo to speak at a conference where she met Mystery – a famed pick up artist.. I know next to nothing about pick-up artists, but have heard that Neil Strauss’s The Game is the definitive account. You can hear Strauss talk with Tim Ferriss about this and other things in their interview from June 2014.
Marni and Kristen then share a bit of their stories. They are both attractive women but from the interview, it sounds like it took time for both to see themselves that way. It took time for them to work through some insecurities to get to where they are now. If you’re a guy, and haven’t done this yet, they call that “Pretty Boy Syndrome, you know, when you are pretty when you’re younger, you never really have to think about having a personality because things just came to you really easily.”

Their pretty boy syndrome isn’t baseless. The idea of having to overcome obstacles comes up with many successful people. Malcolm Gladwell wrote an entire book about it, David and Goliath. One example from the book is the number of dyslexic executives at major companies. It’s a larger number than what their overall percentage in the population might indicate. Gladwell’s theory is that these individuals developed other skills to overcome their handicap. Steve Pressfield approaches this same idea from a wider angle in The War of Art.Marni talks about her testing grounds, Whole Foods. “ I know that if I want to get attention from other people, from men especially, I can walk a certain way. I know if I wanna be seen as open and friendly, I can walk a certain way.” Marni’s focus may be getting people from the bar to the bedroom, but the research on how you hold your body works for the boardroom too. In her widely popular Your body language shapes who you are TED Talk, Amy Cuddy reports on research about how fast we make observations about people. A one second clip of a political candidates face can predict their success 70% of the time. Researchers can show an audience a silent film of a doctor and patient interaction, and the audience will correctly predict whether or not the doctor gets sued.

Altucher brings the conversation back to the pickup scene, but asks what men should really be doing. Marni says, “Well, the first thing that I do in all of my programs is I have these guidebooks that I give to them that really gets them to know themselves and identify what their values are.” One method for this is BET. In her book, Do Cool Sh*t, Miki Agrawal outlines that BET stands for bullet, eliminate, take on. Agrawal suggests you list everything in your life. Relationships, projects, bills, commitments and so on. Once you have everything listed, start eliminating the things you don’t like. Once you whittle everything superfluous off, double down on what’s left. Greg McKeown writes about something similar in Essentialism, his book is a more comprehensive approach to it, providing many steps along the way.

Marni says something interesting about confidence, “confidence doesn’t mean that you’re, like, 100 percent confident 100 percent of the time and you never have a down moment. It just means that you can help yourself a lot faster and you don’t get into this depression hole from something small or even large happening to you. You have the tools and the skill sets to be able to handle whatever comes your way. That’s what confidence means.”

The interview ends with a bit about the books they’ve self published. Marni’s book is Get Inside Her: Dirty Dating Tips & Secrets From a Woman.

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