The Joke That Changed My Life

Imad Jbara | September 19th, 2023 (Volume 1)
Imad Jbara recounts his unexpected journey from a self-doubting teenager to a successful dating coach and actor, all sparked by a single joke. Initially struggling with dating, his life changed when he jokingly offered dating advice seminars in college, leading to a growing clientele. This accidental start later intertwined with his foray into acting where a casual Craigslist posting led to commercial roles and a reality TV opportunity. Jbara's humorous and unplanned path demonstrates the power of embracing opportunities, however improbable they may seem, leading to unforeseen success and personal growth.


This is a story about the single joke that changed my life. Okay?

So when I was younger and in high school, I thought I had game. And for those who don’t know, being good with women. But the reality of it was, I had a skinny boy six-pack and I was a soccer team captain. So in my head, I really thought I was good with women, until one day, after I graduated, I went to go dance salsa and bachata, if you guys know, and I remember getting rejected by every single woman in the club, even an old lady. She was at least 65 years old and she said no. I mean, in my head I’m like, “Excuse me? I’m doing you a favor. You should be happy.” And at that moment it hit me. I was like, “Damn, maybe I suck at this.”

So one day I’m just sitting in my kitchen in my Pikachu boxers eating Nutella, and I hear this ad on Pandora. It’s this guy that can talk to any woman. He’s been a master. He’s traveled the whole entire world speaking to women, getting them to like him. And I’m listening to this ad, I’m like, “All right, I’m not going to read the guy’s book on how to get girls. That’s stupid.”

So whatever, I keep eating my Nutella right there in my Pikachu boxers, those exact ones, and I hear that ad six more times that day and I’m like, “You know what? Maybe I’ll read a couple pages.” Three turned to five, turned to 20, turned to the whole entire book. And I realized I actually learned a lot, but it was one of the worst books ever written on dating. So then I actually bought the good books and I’m like, “Oh, this is pretty legit. I can communicate, I can socialize.”

So I went to college and I was a freshman talking to all the prettiest seniors. They all loved me, all wanted to go on dates. And my friends were confused. They’re like, “Dude, no offense, but look at you.” And I go, “What does that mean?” He was like, “Well, I mean, dude, you’re funny, but why do they like you?”

And my insecure self wasn’t going to tell them that I read a book and had to talk to women. So as a joke, I was like, “Hey, bring $5 and come to the common room tonight and I’ll teach you everything,” not thinking anything of it.

Fast-forward to the night, I get a knock on my door and it’s my three friends and they’re like, “Dude, where are you?” and I’m like, “What are you… I’ll be right there.” Go to my closet, get my whiteboard, go to the common room. And I have my first seminar. Made $15 that day. Great day. I can’t believe these three idiots paid me.

But what that taught me is if these three idiots paid me, there were going to be more idiots that will pay me. So we were engineers at the time so they came and they told their engineering friends who were sophomores, who then told their junior friends who were juniors, and then who told their senior friends who told people with jobs. And as you can see, I started making more money. I kept on making more money. It was great, it was growing.

And then I met one of my other friends in college and he was a famous model and actor. And I bet you’re wondering, what does this have to do with dating coaching or whatever. I’m like, “You’ll find out.”

He was like, “Dude, I got famous by getting my head shots, posting them on Craigslist, and I got…” if anybody know Bad Girl Club, the reality TV show, that was his first show. And I’m like, “Yo, that sounds cool. I think I should do it.” He’s like, “Yeah, man, just take your headshot and go to Craigslist.” I’m like, “Hypothetically…” He’s like, “No, just do it.”

So me being me, I was like, “All right, let’s try it, see what happens.” Went and got crappy headshot, went to Craigslist, and the first audition I booked was a New Balance commercial that got me a New England’s Patriots commercial that got me a D’Angelo’s Pizza commercial. And then technically I was legit, but not in the eyes of the world.

So I kept on getting more and more gigs, and then I used those stuff and I went to New York and I got to sign on a big agent. Again, this is all jokes, I’m surprised this is happening. So they signed me up, I moved to New York, my life changes.

And then my agent, he calls me one day and he’s like, “Hey, dude, I have a great opportunity. There’s going to be a reality TV show looking for a guy that sucks with women, and I think you’re a great fit.” I’m like, “What does that mean?” He was like, “Well, I just think you have the vibe.” And I’m like, “Okay. Well, in the past, I’ve taught people how to do this, so I can do this. It seems pretty simple.”

I get in there, I get out of the audition, they fall in love with me, and I end up telling the producer, I’m like, “Hey, listen, I used to do this.” She’s like, “Really?” I’m like, “Yeah, yeah, no, honestly, this was just acting. I’m actually somewhat decent.” And she was like, “Okay.” And I’m like, “So here’s my number. And after the show’s done, you should just hit me up and I would love to possibly work for you.”

So I thought I was going to get a call the week after, maybe the month after. Six months go by, I don’t hear anything. And then one day she messaged me because she was desperate. Her coach was sick and she needed somebody to come in and help her work with one of her clients.

What you guys don’t realize… You guys have had stressful interviews. Imagine being a dating coach and going on a legitimate, actual interview with a client and having to prove to them that you can actually know what you’re doing.

I’ve never been so stressed out in my life, but somehow, some way, God, life, universe, whatever you want to believe in, blessed me with the two kindest women I have ever met in my entire life that were friendly enough to give me their phone number in front of our client that was paying thousands and thousands of dollars to learn that stuff.

Long story short, I ended up impressing them. I felt great, complete like BS in my heart, whatever, but I was like, “All right, this is working.” Worked with the guy and three weeks later he had 15 dates. And now a year and a half later, he got married. And I kept working with the company, and a couple years later, I became the head coach, led the whole entire team, scaled them to six or seven figures, changed the whole outcome of the whole entire company. And what’s crazy about it, this all happened as a joke.

So I’m not going to sit here and tell you some crazy moral of the story, but the reality of it is if you hypothetically make a joke and you have to fall through with it, just do it. What’s the worst that can happen?

Thank you, guys.

Imad Jbara
Former dating coach and actor. Present day sales performance coach.