Why Does Evan Coach Smart, Strong, Successful Women?

a smart, strong, successful woman on a black car


What do you mean by smart, strong and successful women? If a woman doesn’t meet those criteria, does that mean that she can’t find love or just can’t be coached by you? I ask because a lot of love coaches out there use the same terminology and since I am a lawyer with an Ivy League background whose practiced for over 13 years but have had sporadic employment over the last five years. I wonder if I meet the criteria or have to “fix” something or figure out what’s wrong in my life first before I can attract the right man? —Mimi

Hmm. Interesting.

It honestly never occurred to me that anyone would think:

a) A woman can’t find love if she’s not smart, strong, and successful.

b) I would refuse to coach someone who does not fully categorize herself as “smart, strong, and successful.”

So let me do something unusual for you, Mimi.

I want to pull the veil off my business and be fully transparent about how I came to do this job and choose my clients.

It’s a far more interesting answer than my answer to you: (which is, in a nutshell, “No”)

In 2001, I was the most successful unsuccessful screenwriter in Hollywood. I’d written a dozen sitcom scripts, a dozen feature film scripts, had agents and managers, and took meetings with executives at every network and studio in town. But finally, after a brief flirtation with success in the form of a Top 3 finish in Matt Damon/Ben Affleck’s Project Greenlight, I had to face the facts: I was 30-year-old, penniless, and didn’t even have a resume.

Men need help, but only women ASK for help.

I took a job answering phones in customer care at JDate, and enrolled simultaneously in UCLA’s MFA program, so, at the very least, if I couldn’t get paid to write screenplays, I could get paid to be a screenwriting professor.

Predictably, I got fired from JDate after 9 months (something about telling a verbally abusive and mentally unhinged caller to “fuck off”), but used my free time to write my first book, “I Can’t Believe I’m Buying This Book: A Commonsense Guide to Successful Internet Dating” and build my first business, e-Cyrano.com, an online dating profile writing service.

Fortunately, the book got a great write-up in Time Magazine, which led to features in USA Today and on CNN, and the next thing I knew, I dropped out of film school to make a go of running e-Cyrano full time.

Suddenly, I was writing ten to twenty online dating profiles a week, and achieving great success. Clients confided in me:

“This is working great. I’m getting so much more attention. The emails from strangers are even better. What should I do now?”

The next thing you know, by late 2004, I was an online dating coach, charging a minimal amount to help people with their online dating usernames, headlines, photos and emails.

Online dating coaching led quickly to dating coaching. Dating coaching led to relationship coaching. I wrote “Why You’re Still Single: Things Your Friends Would Tell You If You Promised Not to Get Mad” in 2006. This blog began in 2007. I got married in 2008.

While I was officially a “dating coach”, it became readily apparent that my clients were, through no doing of my own, 80% female.

It was further verification of my theory that men need help, but only women ASK for help. After a few years of playing with pronouns and trying to write content for both genders, I was forced to make a business decision as I built a new EvanMarcKatz.com in 2010.

I was going to cut men off of my mailing list entirely.

Not because I didn’t like coaching men — as a man with vast dating and coaching experience, I LOVE helping guys and often find it easier to lead them to success. It was simply a matter of economics.

Why was I contorting myself to attempt to offer paid advice to a demographic (men, 35-55) who pretty much never ask for it?

The only question then was how I was going to market myself. And after years and years of teaching myself to be an entrepreneur and businessman, I learned something valuable — the narrower your niche, the more passionate your following.

I asked myself, “Who are the women who are most likely to be receptive to my services and shell out hard-earned money for them?”

It took me 10 years, 300 dates, and nearly 5 years of coaching others to figure out what I was doing wrong.

Was it the 80-year-old woman on a fixed income?

Was it the 50-year-old struggling single mom, who can barely put food on the table for her kids, much less worry about dating?

Was it the 21-year-old college graduate who gets hit on everywhere she goes and isn’t close to settling down?

Of course not. It was the woman who was already hiring me. I knew who she was. I’d just never labeled her before.

She was the female version of me.

Very bright. Very driven. Very ambitious. Very busy. Very social. Very confident. Very picky. Very critical. Very difficult. Very blind.

It took me 10 years, 300 dates, and nearly 5 years of coaching others to figure out what I was doing wrong.

Once I did, I was able to create a system that would allow women to achieve results much quicker. Who were the women who were most likely to sign up? Smart, strong, successful women, of course!

These are women who have everything going for them but their dream man.

These are women who have masculine energy but want a man who is “more man” than they are.

These are women who have worked so hard in life to achieve independence that they can’t even see that their own good qualities are the biggest obstacle to their own success in love.

I wrote my third book, “Why He Disappeared” in mid-2010, when my business coach, another smart, strong, successful woman, told me that the most important question I could answer for women like her was “Why did he disappear”?

In that last book, I articulated the same thoughts I’ve formed over the years on this blog: how smart, strong, successful women struggle because:

a) They want the 1% of the men who are more impressive than they are.
b) These men often have serious downsides and flaws, including selfishness, narcissism, workaholism, and commitmentphobia.
c) The best of this 1% often doesn’t want to date the female versions of himself.

As a result, smart, strong, successful women can either modify their behavior and become more traditionally feminine (supportive, warm, patient, nurturing, playful) OR simply choose DIFFERENT men who DO want women who are – for example – tough, blunt, critical, and busy.

Remember, the reason I am successfully able to give this advice is because a) I am very much like the women I advise and b) I am also very much like the MEN they seek.

So, Mimi, is there something wrong with you if you’re not an alpha female? Absolutely not. In fact, dating is probably easier for you.

And if you’re wondering how you should interpret my advice, here’s all I got for you: everything I write here is something I deeply believe in, something that I’ve lived through, and something for which I have considerable evidence to support.

If you want to date a smart, strong, successful man, you will find that my advice works wonders. If you want to date a shy, insecure man who is afraid to ask you out, waits for you to call him, and never looks at/thinks about/slept with other women, I’m probably not your guru.

But make no mistake, Mimi. You don’t have to “fix” yourself. You just have to understand the behaviors and thoughts of good men, and make better decisions and choices. That goes for all women, not just smart, strong, successful ones.

Join our conversation (44 Comments).
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  1. 1

    I’m the 45 year-old single mom. Great, now I feel inadequate.

  2. 2

    I’m not an alpha gal, far from it, but instead an artist, homebody, and also a single mother of two. I know I am smart, strong and successful, although not in the same way that your lawyer, corporate, and doctor clients and readers might be. I would imagine I have struggles that your more typical clients don’t have, but in the end, I doubt we are all that dissimilar. I’ve always been able to take your advice Evan and tweak it for my own personality and needs. This is a great blog entry. Thanks.

  3. 3
    Jackie Holness

    Well, Evan has great advice for all females…alpha, beta and on down…of course, you have tweak whatever advice you get for your own personal situation…but it’s solid advice…

  4. 4

    Haha and I’m the 21 year-old college graduate, except I never get any attention from guys or get hit on and, even though I ain’t getting married in the next 5 years (maybe not even in the next 10 or 15 years) I want something serious and not just one thing stands, which is why I come here.  

  5. 5
    Some other guy

    Evan: do you actually turn down men who seek coaching?

  6. 6

    I don’t think it’s necessary to be at the absolute top of your game to find love. It’s more about making the most of all of your available resources (time, attention, intelligence, charm, looks, sincerity, moral integrity, fitness) while keeping your attitude open and positive as you make any changes necessary.  
    I met my partner when I was at a ridiculously low ebb, but instead of sitting at home, I went out and sought all the uplifting experiences and help I could– in fact, we met in a depression support group (we were the two most high-functioning people there). As we got to know one another, I controlled what I could in my life– got super fit, volunteered, and built myself up emotionally *as* we were dating. If I’d waited to get all of these ducks in a row before trying to find a partner, we may never have met.
    Honestly, I don’t think it’s a good idea to ever take yourself out of the dating game for very long unless you’re healing from a break-up, recent life trauma or illness. Dating only gets harder as time goes on, especially for women…
    I was lucky enough to meet my partner at 28 (almost 29). I could see the amount of available men shrinking day by day. Waiting around until I was at some point of arrival in my career wasn’t a viable option when the dating pool was getting so scanty… and I feel confident that I made the right choice. The qualities my sweetheart likes about me frankly have nothing at all to do with my resume or professional successes (and he’s really progressive and five years younger, too).

  7. 7

    I consider myself strong, smart and successful, but not in the way Evan describes his clients. I’m not bossy, don’t always need to be right, or argumentative, and don’t make six figures. I also am not looking for a guy like Evan, and sometimes find myself shaking my head at his advice. But I still get a lot out of much of his advice, particularly as it relates to not giving up and putting effort into meeting men. I’ve also followed his advice to play up my feminine side, but at the end of the day, several male friends conveyed to me that despite those things they can’t see me ending up with anyone because of my deep-down independence. Well, what on earth am I supposed to do? I don’t have a ball-busting demeanor and never say anything to the effect of not needing a man. But I’m turning 29 this year and have no serious prospects on the horizon despite knowing many men (meet plenty in real life, too, not just online). I organize social events, have a lot of friends, and am out on the town sometimes six nights a week and am just not finding an appropriate match.  

  8. 8

    As has already been said in the comments above, the terms “smart, strong, and successful” are all relative and subjective. At any one moment in time, I may be securely in one, two, or all three of those categories…and sometimes in none of them. But I still get a lot out of Evan’s posts and advice.  
    But what is Mimi’s question, really? It sounds more to me like what she really wants is Evan’s validation, asking him to confirm that she does, indeed, fit the criteria of smart, strong, and successful. To prove her qualifications, she lets us know that she is not only a lawyer but also has an Ivy League background. I don’t begrudge her those accomplishments, but they don’t necessarily make anyone strong, smart, or successful — either in the world of relationships or in life in general. But (snark alert) for the record & because I’m a grammar snob, the 3rd sentence of her letter is an incomplete sentence, lacks appropriate punctuation, and incorrectly uses the word “whose” (implying ownership) when I believe the correct word is “who’s” (which is a contraction for “who is.” Normally I wouldn’t point that out to someone, but since she’s waving around the Ivy League banner, I simply could not let it go by.   My bad.

  9. 9
    David T

    Jenna 7 said: several male friends conveyed to me that despite those things they can’t see me ending up with anyone because of my deep-down independence
    That makes no sense to me.
    A healthy relationship is two independent people who come together and have created a third entity between them (the relationship, that is.)   They can develop an inter-dependence, while still maintaining their individuality.   Perhaps, Jenna, you need to find a man who is independent and doesn’t have a need to be be needed. I suspect your friends are the kind of men who don’t feel like they can have a stable relationship unless the woman “needs” them. Maybe you need to start exploring different circles.

  10. 10

    If you are over 30, have a good job earning a decent salary, reasonably fit and grooms well, have no huge deal-breaking personality defects, crazy habits that might get you institutionalised and no criminal history, YOU DO NOT NEED COACHING !!!!  
    Women, particularly older women HAVE IT MUCH MUCH HARDER !!! Hence the need for coaching because over a certain age, men can afford to be picky and are buying in a buyer’s market.

  11. 11

    Starthrower68 (born in ’68 I suppose ? well I’m not that much older than you).
    You need to know what you are “selling” and understand who your “buyers” are – pretty much like Evan has had to work out – ie understanding who his clients were and focusing exclusively on them.
    You have to be realistic and not expect buyers in the early 30s, never been married men who are spoilt for choice. Once you have worked out who your “buyers” are, you can then apply Evan’s teachings.

  12. 12
    Some other guy

    @Androgynous #25 – you don’t have to be a drooling psychopath to benefit from refinements in dating approaches.

    Coaching is not about having somebody find you a match, and it’s not about how to work an angle to trick somebody into a date.   From everything I read about Evan’s coaching, it’s about how to understand the whole dating and relationship process, and it’s mainly about understanding yourself.
    It’s not all that different from having a good mental health coach (aka: a good psychotherapist). Having more insight into yourself makes you a better person, which not only makes you a more desirable person, but it makes it easier to identify those who are not-a-match sooner rather than try to fix the guy or pretend a show-stopper isn’t going to stop the show. It’s a huge time saver.
    There is no more useful skill in navigating the world than knowing yourself.

  13. 13

    Zann #8
    “Normally I wouldn’t point that out to someone, but since she’s waving around the Ivy League banner, I simply could not let it go by.”
    Yes, I noticed that too, and wonder how that might impact her employment prospects.
    I’m struck by how anyone’s fortunes can change over time. EMK went from struggling writer to successful dating coach. The young student can go from not-ready-to-settle-down to college grad who wants a husband and kids in a couple of years. The struggling older single mom goes back to school, and winds up getting a high-paying job. her kids leave home, and she wants to start dating again. The well-paid Ivy League lawyer becomes a victim of downsizing and sporadic employment. And judging from the number of men who do comment on this blog, and the myriad problems that women encounter with men in dating, men may not ask for help (or directions), but it sure doesn’t mean that they couldn’t benefit greatly from some advice.

  14. 14

    David – it makes no sense to me either, trust me. I love to ask men for help and thank them affectionately for doing so. Many men have conveyed to me how I inspired them, impressed them, and introduced them to interesting things and people, that I was sweet and super attractive. But at the end of the day they were not in a position for a relationship — too young, too emotionally immature, too busy starting a company, different places in life, etc etc. The friends who commented on my independence are young (26 and 27) and one is dating a college dropout who still lives with her parents in the suburbs – he is concerned by her lack of drive. And then he tells me that I’m a great catch, obviously have everything going for me, but I’m too independent. Wtf?  
    My point being … As we reflect on the type of clients Evan coaches, are there some women who are just too independent to ever marry, even if they play up their feminine side? I dont click with betas, even when they like me they are so wishy washy with me and dont know how to pursue and escalate. I deserve a man who asks me out and doesn’t make me do so much of the work.  

  15. 15
    Karmic Equation

    You might want to read this book by Rachel Greenwald. Cheesy title, but the info garnered from her “exit interviews” with women’s dates that didn’t work out are really interesting. She actually has a chapter talking about how the men she interviewed described their dates with “too independent” women.
    This post on The Rules Revisited might be good reminder to all what it means to be feminine (not saying you’re not feminine, btw). I really liked this summary:
    You only think of behaving in a more feminine manner as “compromising yourself” because you’ve been conditioned to think of your personal value in purely masculine terms. But why is it “compromising” to be MORE feminine? You are too fixated on the fact that you are being LESS masculine. Yes, you are LESS ambitious, LESS witty, LESS assertive; but why think of these changes in negative terms? What about the fact that you’ve become MORE receptive, or MORE radiant, sweetER, or MORE beautiful?

  16. 16

    @Jenna #7 & 14:
    “Too indepedant” might be man-speak for not looking like we are able to allow a man to contribute to our life. Being available for a relationship means being able to let go of a few % of independance to build something new with someone (an inter-dependence as David T wrote @9). It means allowing a man to contribute to our life, not by simply carrying something heavy, but by bringing their own flair to the relaitonship. It shows by demonstrating that there is “emotional space” in our life, by having areas that are not perfect and that could use someone’s inspiration, by talking about activities that are still mysterious and intriguing to us, and by expressing some emotional vulnerabilty. Basically anything that would make a man feel like he could contribute to our life by complementing, inspiring, teaching, or holding.
    It can sure look like “Damned if you do, damned if you don’t” with independence. As women we HAVE to be/become independent, it’s the only way to function as singles on the way to hopefully build a healthy relationship since singledom is the new baseline. But we have to be able to maintain some space for someone to feel inspired to fill as they WISH. We have to be willing to yield, to be receptive, and to show it. It’s a difficult balance to find when it does not come naturally, not unlike the work a man has to do to find balance between confidence and sensitivity if he finds himself on one end of the spectrum…

  17. 17
    Sparkling Emerald

    Fusee   – It IS a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation.   Men complain about women being “too independent” and “too needy”.   Sure there must be a healthy balance, but the territory seems so narrow, trying to guess and become the EXACT amount of needy/independent is like rocket science.
    Karmic Equation   #15 – I didn’t read the book, but I did read what I could online.   The men she interviewed seem so picky & petty.   She even admitted that men put women through a fine sieve just looking for an excuse to eliminate them.   No wonder so much dating advice for women seems more like micro-management of every breath, then sensible advice to improve social skills.
    I was a tad skeptical of her book, because it almost seemed like she “twisted some arms” to get men to come up with a reason for not calling for a second date.   She said they initially gave vague reasons, but she basically needled them for an answer.   I sometimes decide I don’t want a second date, and I really can’t put my finger on any reason, but I guess if someone whom I was paying to find me dates kept pushing for an answer, I would go over the evening with a fine tooth comb, looking for “errors” to report.  
    One of the examples was the man tried to order dinner for the woman.   It came down to a “he said” “she said”.   He claims she said, “I like to make my own choices”, she claims she said “No thanks” or some such thing.   I believe that was under the category of women who are “too bossy”.   So now, unless we let a man tell us what to eat for dinner, WE’RE to bossy ?   This is what I mean about the micro-managing date advice.   If ALL men were really that nit-picky about ALL women, I would have given up long ago.   I think when 2 people really are into each other, all the petty non-sense goes out the window.   If 2 people really dig each other, it will not be shattered because of an incorrectly spoken word, not getting the hair toss just right, appearing “too independent”, etc.

  18. 18

    But I’ve read all this advice and do let men contribute. I ask their advice, show interest in things they can do that I can’t and allow them to show me, warmly show my appreciation, and share some vulnerabilities. I have enough time to regularly see   someone I’m into. I never tell a guy what to do, and had some pua friends teach me how to flirt and be playful.I’m a pretty girl and always have guys around. It just .. doesn’t turn into anything, and at the end of the day I’m a very free spirited independent type. I do think any guy should be thrilled to have a girl like me, but who knows? Many of the girls I know in relationships are nice but fairly dull, dont have much of a life or dreams outside coupledom, and seem to lack the vibrant life I’ve built for myself (some are also really cool though).   It’s hard to find someone on my wavelength who I like, and who also gets me.  

  19. 19

    @ Fusee # 16
    Damn girl you could have just prefaced that post with – Lia,… Really, every word just hit home.   
    I have had to be independent.   There was no other choice.   Now I would like to make room in my life for someone but I have gotten so very good at being alone.   
    I feel I should thank you for the great post but I am not so sure how grateful I am…LOL.  
    David T #9 and Some other guy #12
    Well said!!!

  20. 20
    Some other guy

    The problem with the term “independent” is that it’s way too vague.
    If it means a woman who stands on her own and has the ego strength to not take bad behavior from a guy (and in cases where the guy might not be fully cluefull, to approach the matter with confidence but tact, attempting to improve the relationship), that’s really great.
    But if “independent” means putting up a wall where she simply will not be emotionally intimate (aka vulnerable), there’s no real chance for the kind of close, trusting bond that makes for a lifelong partnership.
    Lacking the courage to be vulnerable is not “independent”. It’s just “cold”.

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