Why Does Evan Coach Smart, Strong, Successful Women?

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Evan,

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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Comments:

  1. 21
    Lia

    @ Some other guy # 20
      
    Very succinct.

  2. 22
    Michelle

    @Jenna, maybe it’s just not your time OR you’re too picky, and no man is going to meet your ‘standards’.   Lori Gotlieb, Marry Him.   And before you go off on a tangent about settling, no one is saying that.   It’s about really looking at our standards, do they make sense for what we’re trying to achieve?   This could be what men are sensing, your belief that no man can ever live up to your expectations, masquerading as ‘independence’.

    Believe what other people say, they can view us more objectively.   Perhaps going back to  your  friends (men) and question them more on why they think you won’t end up with anyone because you’re deep down independence (whatever that means)

    Finally, if you live with these false, limiting  beliefs, you’re too independent, there’s no one out there you  can click with–that’s what you’re going to  get.    You get what you think; change your thoughts, change your life.

    All the best, I’m confident you WILL get to where you want to  be!

  3. 23
    Helen

    Oh Zann and Ruby: go a little more easily on Ivy Leaguers. 🙂  It’s impossible to completely avoid grammar mistakes, regardless of one’s intelligence; and Ivy Leaguers don’t appreciate nitpicking any more than anyone else.   Zann, I’m sure  Mimi wasn’t trying to “wave the Ivy League banner;” she seems insecure, and wanted to indicate that she did attend a competitive school, even if she’s not currently successful professionally. But it seems that one can’t talk about having attended an Ivy without others thinking that  she is  bragging.
      
    Sparkling Emerald 17 wrote: “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.”
      
    Why SHOULD a woman micro-manage every breath around such hideous men?   We should always just be ourselves. The men (and women)  who  are right for  us will love who we really are, and those who are hellbent on nitpicking are not worth our efforts. I’ve met both men and women who were determined to focus on my flaws, and needless to say, friendships never blossomed with them. The men and women who appreciate me, flaws and all, are the keepers.   So don’t worry so much.   Relationships are a two-way street, not just you under someone else’s microscope. You can be yourself, and you, too,  can be observant of others’ behaviors for your own good.

  4. 24
    Karmic Equation

    @Sparkling Emerald 17

    The book is based on 1000 interviews with men. Maybe some, if not most of them, were picky. But the point wasn’t that men are picky, but rather that marriage-minded men date women to RULE OUT women not suited to them rather than to RULE IN. So yes, behaviors they think aren’t worthy of a wife would get you ruled out. Men are gatekeepers to commitment and they know it, so yeah, if they’re a high-quality man they’re going to get picky when they’re ready to settle down.

    Yet while that sounds depressing, that isn’t what you should take away. Here’s an excerpt from the book that more clearly shows the intent of the stories she shared. Remember, part of her process before she does the exit interviews with men, she asks the woman to guess why he didn’t call back.

    “…Of course, in the beginning some of the reasons men cited DID refer to timing, fear, or a feeling of “why bother,” but when I peeled back the layers of the onion, this was rarely the real issue. Second, most women’s guesses reflected reasons *beyond their control.* Yes, sometimes that was true: remember that 15 percent of men said their no-callback reasons were due to things beyond the woman’s control, but [that means] *85 percent* said that their reasons were directly related to a negative impression they got after she said or did a few things they didn’t like. The good news is that I found those things were often very much under a woman’s control, which is empowering.”

    If you read the book with the intent to learn about how men think, you’ll get a lot out of it.

    I read relationship books and blogs and “how men think” books not because I need help, but rather to augment what I already know and gain insights to what never occurred to me. To a large extent most books I’ve read have validated my own beliefs and behaviors. Some books had crazy guidelines–like Steve Harvey’s “wait 90 days before you have sex–or from another book, where the author, while being courted by her future husband, NEVER HAD SEX with him until he proposed, 9-months after they met! But that didn’t mean she was celibate during that 9-months, she was getting it from FWB relationships and she presumed he was getting it from HIS FWB relationships. She was pretty blase about that. Neither of those guidelines would fly with most women or men on this board. But other parts of their book had other concepts that I found interesting and applicable to my life.

    So I would suggest reading the book and don’t make any judgments on the men. That’s not the purpose and judging the men in the book won’t help you in your own quest for a relationship. However, you SHOULD make some judgments on yourself as you read the book to evaluate whether any of her examples apply to you. If the examples apply, then make the adjustments you need to make to present a better first impression.

    For most people, not only men, perception is reality. But the stakes are higher in dating, so do your part to control your date’s perception of you when first dating. Always present your best feminine self. This book just makes you aware of what that means.

  5. 25
    Goldie

    ##15, 17 – I own that book. I thought it was a really good book, not even just about dating, but about how we apply our own preconceived notions to new people that come into our life, and jump to conclusions about those people’s personality and character based on something minor they’ve said or done. And, of course, the book is also about how people do the same to us when we meet us, and how to avoid triggering their hangups.
      
    “I think when 2 people really are into each other, all the petty non-sense goes out the window.”
      
    Eh, I’m not a believer in love at first sight, instant chemistry and all that. When two people are really into each other within ten minutes of meeting in person for the first time, to me that’s reason to worry — why do I feel like I am so into this guy, whom I do not know? am I so in lust with him right now that it’s going to make me overlook his real flaws? etc. But really, in our age group, when everyone has a sizable past and is afraid of repeating their past mistakes (whatever they are), I don’t think this instant being into each other is very likely to happen.
      
    #20: “Lacking the courage to be vulnerable is not “independent”. It’s just “cold”.
      
    Yes, this is a really good point. I think this is something everyone who has ever been mistreated in the past (myself included), needs to watch out for. I have only met one male in my whole life that I am 100% sure I can say “I love you” to and not have him use it against me later, and that’s my dog. With everyone else, you have to take risks and yes it is scary. But worth it 🙂

  6. 26
    Rochelle

    Hey Jenna, I’m around your age. (I’m 29) You mentioned how some of the men you have met and paid you compliments were “too young, too emotionally immature”    Are you mainly meeting men in our age group?   I had a tendency to stick to guys only a few years older and a couple years younger.   I think age *can* play a role since in our society people are *generally* settling down later than they used to.    I came to terms with   that I am going to be 30 in a few months so   I should be more open to men who are 40 and late 30s, who may be more relationship-oriented and commitment ready.
    While women can do things to inspire commitment, and sometimes for men it is just a matter of meeting “that special person” I believe the man’s mindset also comes into play, and that he may meet someone who is the “right person at the wrong time” So it doesn’t make sense to over-exhaust our energy over men who aren’t making themselves available–not to say you are trying to do that, but I think it explains what goes on with a lot of men in their 20s.
       I had a conversation with my mom about the age thing last month, and I said “you know, maybe I put too much weight on age.   I don’t see why I couldn’t date a 40 year old man if he still had a ‘youthful spirit’ like myself.   Then the next day, my aunt (who has good judgment and has been married over 20 years) said she met someone she thinks I will get along with, who is 40 but she thought he was 20-something at first.
    Shortly after that, one of my friends, who is a couple years younger recently started dating a man almost 40 (or maybe he is 40) and things from what she says, seem to be developing the way they should when a man is serious. He’s made his intentions clear and he’s being consistent with her. She’s never been in a relationship before but she wants to settle down, and is very emotionally mature. She’s the type of person who is really big on being treated well– when she wasn’t meeting the right guys,   she was totally happy to stay single this long.   so it all gets me   wondering.

  7. 27
    Lia

    @ Michelle # 22
      
    It’s about really looking at our standards, do they make sense for what we are trying to achieve?
      
    I really like how you put that.   I don’t think that it is an easy thing to do and there is obviously a lot of resistance to giving up fixed ideas.   I think that people are afraid that if they don’t cling to the fantasy, they will have a reality that is the opposite of what they want.   
      
    I don’t have a fixed idea that my partner needs to make X amount of money, or have a certain type of career, or a degree.   However that does not mean that I don’t have my own fixed ideas.   One thing I felt was important was that someone be on the same spiritual path that I am.   Now to me that made perfect sense.   It was spiritual, and spiritual is IMPORTANT!   
      
    My sister told me about an audio thing I missed where Evan addresses this very thing. I really had to look at my “must have” on that issue.
      
    Once I stepped back and took a look at that belief here’s what I realized.   I believe that everyone has a right to their own spiritual path – be that Christian, Buddhist, Jewish, New Age, or Atheist.   I truly believe that.   I was open and supportive of others having their beliefs but I was resistant to having a partner who had his own beliefs.   How hypocritical is that?   And I couldn’t even see it.
      
    We are often blind to our own stuff.   That is why coaching is necessary.
      

  8. 28
    Tom10

    Evan
    “In 2001, I was the most successful screenwriter in Hollywood…I had to face facts: I was a 30-year old penniless and didn’t even have a resume.”
      
    Sometimes I think it’s uncanny how similar I am to your younger self. I’m almost 30 and I thought I had everything sorted…until last week. Then I got hit by a car and lost my job. Not a great week. Now I’m wondering “What should I do now?” Well I always intended started my company so I might as well do it now.
      
    Amy #2
    “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 agree 100% Amy. Being smart, strong and successful is a function of character and mindset rather than a string of letters after your name / salary etc. I’m always amazed at the resilience and fortitude of some single mothers I know who manage to provide for themselves and their children – I find it difficult at times on my own nevermind having to look after others too.
      
    Jenna
    “I’m too independent. Wtf?”
      
    I’m a bit skeptical that this is the real reason. Men are notorious for giving backhanded compliments to their female friends when trying to assuage their anxiety (kind of like in an interview when one is asked their biggest flaw and they say “I’m too much of a perfectionist”). I personally find independent women very attractive.
      
    “Well what on earth am I supposed to do?”
      
    One thing I notice about the tone of all your posts in contrast to posters like Karmic Equation, Sparkling Emerald, Helen etc. is your lack of smiley faces, lols, jokes, tongue-in-cheek references, exclamation marks etc. I’m always very attracted to women who communicate in this manner. I know it’s not always appropriate to write and speak this way, but it might be no harm to try it now and again — i.e. lighten up a little and just enjoy the dating process (I mean that in a positive way, not a derogatory way).
      
    Just a thought.

  9. 29
    Fusee

    A comment on how some dating advice looks like we must “micromanage” our every movement and word on dates:
      
    First off, I think it’s a problem that both genders run into. Men too get disqualified for petty reasons. A couple of inches, anyone? Secondly I believe that we indeed have to be extremely careful on the first few dates and take them as a job interview. Do I like that concept? No. But in this day and age of people “wanting it all” and of men being able to afford delaying making a commitment, it puts a lot of pressure on the necessity of standing out from the crowd and fast. I do not engage in online dating, but I suspect that online it’s even more necessary to make a strong first impression given all the competition. After all, I can understand a man who has three dates lined up and have a choose which woman to continue with: he will have to disquality the others for whatever reasons, and at that point everything will be fair game.
      
    Things will loosen up a bit once some emotional connexion has been established. So, be really careful on the first few dates and if appropriate, do your best to create an emotional connexion fast. That’s the best way to stand out and to be able to relax more in the following dates.
      
    And finally, not all men are the same. If you are at one end of the independence/dependence sprectrum you will be more suited for a man a the same end. If you are a bit in the middle, which is always the best place to be by the way, it’s easier to adjust to your specific audience once you know your date better.

  10. 30
    Fusee

    Sorry for the double post. Just read Tom10’s comment.
      
    Tom10, really sorry about what happened to you last week. I’m sure you will rebound quickly, but still, it sucks.
      
    I agree about your comment about compliments coming from male friends. Guys who want to sleep with their female friends will subtly discourage them from other men to increase their chances of bedding them, and the ones who are not attracted to them will say whatever it takes to justify not dating them but still keeping them around for beer, sport, and dating help.
      
    Jenna, something does not add up. If you are all of what you describe, which is obviously attractive, you need to dig deeper. Not knowing you, I will refrain from making guesses but it could be anything from one too many cats, a too “exotic” appearance, too many attractive men around, a foreign accent, excessive use of swear words, too rigid schedules, or even bad breath!

  11. 31
    Ruby

    Jenna
      
    “…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.”
      
    I think you’ve answered your own question. It may be frustrating, but you’re still quite young, with experiences still ahead of you. A lot of 20-something men aren’t ready to settle down yet. The right man will appreciate your independence and your free spirit. Be sure that you are focusing on the men who are ready to get serious and are emotionally mature, and be sure that you are ready for that as well.

  12. 32
    Lia

    @ Karmic Equation # 24
      
    Sounds like and interesting book, thanks.
      
    @ Goldie # 25
      
    Pure gold thanks!!!!!

  13. 33
    Jennifer

    Very interesting read up.   There is one thing I’ve been wondering about your services, Evan, as I have been considering them for myself.
      
    I notice a trend, when you write about clients in your blog, you always mention that they are also attractive.   I am not particularly attractive and so wonder if A) You would accept me as a client (as many dating coaches and services refuse service to those overweight and unattractive) and B) If you *would* be able to help me find love or rather, your advice would be simply lose weight and look better otherwise, I can’t help you much.

    1. 33.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @Jennifer – Now THAT is a question I will answer in this space!

      1. For what it’s worth, I don’t always mention that clients are attractive. I mention that they’re attractive when they’re attractive. In other words, I’d bet that in over 50% of my posts I DON’T mention that my client is attractive because she’s not exceptional in that regard. My clients are a representative sample of smart, strong, successful women; not necessarily more physically attractive.

      2. Your sensitivity around this issue has allowed for somewhat selective reading. I’ve told stories – in my newsletter and on this blog – of how I’ve helped women in their 70’s, women who were 80lbs overweight, women in wheelchairs, and so on. Is it EASIER for attractive women to get more attention? Absolutely. Which is why you don’t need me to tell you that losing weight will confer a relative advantage in terms of the quantity and quality of men that are available to you. If you’re content with how you look, my job is to make the best of your circumstances. And that is something I’ve been doing, to great effect, for nearly a decade.

  14. 34
    Michelle

    #27, excellent example and  I couldn’t  agree with you more Lia.   I  felt the same way about political views.
    I’m not sure we need coaching to see that, but if coaching helped you, that’s great!

  15. 35
    Jenna

    Thanks, all, for the insight. As I’ve reflected on how I used positive attitude and action to transform my social life, I wonder if it’s a similar thing to apply to dating. I’m not sure if Evan has gotten much into this, because I know (at least on an intellectual level, if not always in practice) that attitude and thoughts could play a lot into whether a strong, successful, independent (or otherwise) woman finds what she’s looking for. For example, I used to be shy and think that making friends was very difficult, that perhaps I didn’t have enough to offer people, and mentally only imagined myself with only a few people in my life. Well, after I moved to a friendlier city last year, and had a few successes to build on, I began making quite a bit of effort to ask people out on “friend dates” when I met a cool person at work, at a party, through friends. I threw some parties of my own as an excuse to meet more folks. A year later, I’ve got a ton of awesome people in my life, and even when people reject me or fall through, I always operate with the assumption that making friends is easy, and if one person doesn’t work out another person will. And while a lot of people around me complain it’s hard to make friends at our age, I just keep meeting a nonstop stream of friendly people who are looking to make friends – hell, now people are turning to ME for social direction and inviting me to a million things and seeing the good qualities that for so long I feared were getting ignored. If I could transfer this experiment to the dating realm I’d be unstoppable, I think …

  16. 36
    lucia balbini

    Hi Evan. I fully agree with everything you write. I was one of those women and I was lucky enough to marry one of those men. Fast forward a couple of years and two children, I discovered that to keep our marriage happy I had to become less busy and less….. “smart”….or maybe “smarter” in a different way.
    xoxo
    Lucia

  17. 37
    Sparkling Emerald

    Lucia #37       ” I discovered that to keep our marriage happy I had to become less busy and less….. “smart”….or maybe “smarter” in a different way.”
    I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want in my next partner, and ideally it would be someone who is a tad bit smarter and stronger than me. (I’m not particularly career successful so that’s a moot point) One of the many problems in my marriage was that I had a stronger personality and hubby perceives me as being smarter.   I really never thought about our relative IQ’s but since we’ve been separated he has made reference to me being smarter than   him.   During the last years of my marriage, I gradually became this mousy little nothing, walking on egg shells, so as not to incur his wrath.  
    It’s not that I particularly want someone with a stronger personality/higher IQ to be happy, but I think men are happier that way, and I certainly don’t want to have to turn into some 98 pound weakling personality wise to keep my many happy.

  18. 38
    Sparkling Emerald

    *Last sentence should read “. . . keep my man happy.”
      
      

  19. 39
    Rochelle

    Jenna #36 your story of being more shy then suddenly widening your social circle primarly from changing your mindset sounds freakishly similar to mine. lol    I   believe the same   positive thinking will also help you transform your dating experience. Our mindsets have more influence in what we experience than we were raised to believe.   I’ve seen in my own life that when you take in   too much negative talk like “it’s difficult to find love” “it’s difficult to make friends ou age” it’s difficult to find a new job” etc, that’s what you tend to experience. Best of luck to you

  20. 40
    amydk

    lucia,
    I also have to use Evan’s advice in marriage. I can become too nitpicky and bossy sometimes, and my husband loved me because I was carefree and easy going. So it ain’t over at the alter! As Ben Affleck said, it’s work!
      
    Jenna – I am sure if you redirect your energies you will meet someone. I just wanted to add a literary analysis. In writing workshop, there is often the critique — your character isn’t vulnerable. I don’t identify with her.
    Often this is in essays or memoirs. When everything is too perfect, like, the character begins in an okay place and ends in an okay place — no one can identify with the writing. “Make me worry you’re not okay” is a mantra my writing coach loves. We fall for characters with imperfections.
    In real life, this explains why men love craaaaazy women and women like to “save” depressed men.
    This does not mean that you have to be crazy or need saving. It’s just that you need to share some of your struggles and dreams and ambitions and let men see both the happy part and the other, more hidden part.
    I’m sure you’ll find someone soon.

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