Diana Mandell was a hopeless romantic… who hopelessly fell in love with all the wrong guys. She didn’t realize until much later, after learning the hard way too many times and being betrayed by a close friend, that there was actually a skill set involved with being the right person and finding your best match. So she decided to document her successes and failures of her love life so no one else would have to go through the same hardships and became a dating coach. Read our interview with the lovely Diana below…
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
As a close observer of my parents’ seemingly perfect relationship and watching chick flicks on repeat, I quickly became a hopeless romantic. I have always been fascinated with all things dating, with relationships and of course, with love.
I was not only awkward growing up, I was extremely shy and lacked self-confidence. In turn, I ended up dating guys who were not right for me and frankly who weren’t very nice to me. I made this mistake over and over all through my twenties. I felt like there was something wrong with me. My friends and family often showed their concern. I put so much effort, time and emotion into my relationships but I didn’t get the same in return. I felt more and more defeated and heartbroken after each failed relationship. My friends were getting married and having babies and I was busy being a douche magnet.
After calling off an engagement and dating a good friend of mine who completely took advantage of me, I hit rock bottom and I hit it hard. I was devastated. I was able to help other people but it seemed I was incapable of helping myself. I decided to treat myself like a client and within two months, not only did I find the love of my life, but everything changed for me; my social life, family life, professional life and frankly my relationship with myself. I have never been happier.
Tell us about your business.
I am a dating coach and relationship expert. My passion and specialty is helping men and women find love. My motto is “Find love. Keep love”. I not only help people find love, I help them keep and maintain that love. My mission is to prevent people from not only the mistakes I made but also from the pain I experienced and the time I lost dating the wrong people.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
I’m excited to offer an exclusive promo of 10% off any private dating & relationship package for the first 10 readers who sign up!
Where is your business based?
My business is based in New York City but I have awesome clients all over the country who I connect with over Skype and through my group coaching programs.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
I learned as much as possible about my target market as well as the most effective branding and marketing avenues for my niche. It’s incredibly important to learn the language of your target consumer.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
There are several pieces to the puzzle. Word of mouth has been the most effective way for me to organically grow my business. Networking with psychiatrists and therapists for referrals has been helpful. Being visible online with a unique, personal approach is always a great way to stand out. Being authentic, practicing integrity and always showing passion for what you do.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
My biggest challenge was scaling my business. Gaining my first few clients luckily wasn’t difficult but it took a ton of time, creativity and a lot of hard work to gain as many clients as I have.
How did you overcome these challenges?
I’ve always had a positive mindset (which I exercise daily), even more so on my most frustrating days, which is key to my success. I learned as much as I could about my niche and what kind of help was needed. I was persistent and my passion seems to always shine through. You really need to believe in yourself and love what you do, people respond well to that.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
I have a very strong mindset that has taken me time to develop and strengthen. When I have a difficult moment or perhaps a difficult day, I use it as motivation to keep pushing forward and I shift my focus to be more productive and result driven. I start the following day reminding myself that today is another day and an opportunity to turn it all around.
How did you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
A lot of the dating material I have read in books, on websites and blogs are outdated, ineffective or flat out wrong and it frustrates me because many people, including some of my clients, take this advice and wonder why they’re still single. I yield realistic and tangible results for my clients that are measurable and achievable.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
To wear a red shirt when everyone else is wearing white. It’s important to stand out while still staying true to those you serve, who you are as an individual and what you stand for.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Find something that you love to do, something you are good at and passionate about and carve out a niche for yourself. Don’t be a copycat, use your creativity and your imagination. Never, ever give up no matter what obstacles you face, no matter what anyone tells you. Anything is possible with knowledge and a lot of hard work.
What is your favorite business tool or resource?
I love learning from others – people who are in my professional space as well as people who aren’t. Knowledge truly is power. Give a little and take a little wherever you go, whatever you do.