"I'm Responsible for 712 Marriages"

How a Harvard MBA reinvented herself as a famous matchmaker.

I’m 45 now, but not too long ago I graduated from Harvard Business School (okay, it was 16 years ago, but it feels like yesterday!). I was on the business fast-track selling designer water to supermodels at Fashion Week in New York City. But when I got married and was expecting my first baby, I realized the corporate mommy-track was not for me. What’s a smart, successful, driven MBA to do when (3) babies arrive? I had absolutely no clue, but I knew one thing: I could no longer go into an office and pretend that $5 bottles of water were the most important thing in my day. I wanted to find something I could be passionate about, but do it from home around a flexible schedule.

So I decided to create a my own "Passion Journal"... this was my own version of a "food diary" when you go on a diet and write down everything you eat each day for a week. Except in my passion journal, I wrote down everything I DID each day, from the mundane (brush teeth, grocery shop) to the profound (read book to baby, kiss my husband), and I’d rank each action on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. One star meant "boring/blah" and 5 stars meant "I’m super-passionate about this!" It was a fantastic experience to help me understand what revs my engine, and at the end of the week, surprisingly there were only 3 actions that rated 5 stars: drinking my strong tea in the morning, kissing my husband, and talking to a 41-year old single friend of mine who was struggling to find Mr. Right. The first two actions didn’t seem like potential candidates for a new career, but the third one was the charm. I loved the excitement I felt that week as I told my single friend how to meet men. I was on the phone with her pacing the floor as we spoke, gesturing my arms wildly as I told her "don’t do that!" and "do more of this!" I realized my dating tips were the same strategies I used every day in the business world, centering around branding, packaging, and niche marketing.

Fast forward to my friend’s wedding a year later (my first success story), and my matchmaking business was born! Since turning 40, I am responsible for 712 marriages, my dating advice books now include a NY Times bestseller and are translated into 19 languages. I’ve been on the Today Show 4 times, plus CNN, Nightline, Fox News, ABC News, NPR, and much more. I even starred in a British reality TV dating show! I think I’m the first Harvard MBA to enter the "love business" (the Harvard Alumni Magazine profiled me in a recent issue). I  am IN LOVE with what I do, my schedule is 100% flexible, and I can safely say this was a very unexpected 2nd act.


First Published Wed, 2009-06-24 12:05

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