Introducing Laurie: Our Weekly Woman Entrepreneur

Meet Laurie: Founder of eFlirt Expert, created in 2009.  Laurie Davis has become the ultimate dating lifeline for singles. She fuses her personal experience with her professional background in marketing to help singles date online and transition their digital selves offline for meaningful in-person experiences. She assists men and women of all sexual orientations and ages by strategizing their 2.0 life to create dating opportunities and make the ultimate virtual first impression. What truly makes Laurie special is the amount of personal attention she gives each client.  Laurie meets individually with each lost fish and listens to his or her special needs, concerns, and questions.

What inspired you to start your own business?

I started my business during the recession, but little did I know that I had been grooming myself for this job for 10 years. See, I’ve been online dating since 2000. Yes, I was only 18 at the time. No one was talking about back then, but I was having  a blast on the site. As it became more socially acceptable, I started convincing my friends to date online too. After a month or two of unsuccessful eFlirting, they would always return to me virtually kicking and screaming. I’d take a look at their profiles, re-strategize their online dating techniques and soon they were meeting fantastic people. Meanwhile, I was in marketing professionally. I consulted for Fortune 500 companies … until the Madoff scandal happened. One of my biggest clients was directly affected and canceled my contract. One unemployed day – while brainstorming what hidden talents I might have – one of my friends called to tell me he was moving in with his girlfriend! The light bulb suddenly switched on; I’ve been helping people date online and transition their flirting offline for years! I developed eFlirt Expert soon thereafter on a budget of $50.

What did your parents or friends say when you told them you wanted to start your own business/about your business idea?

My family is always on my side – they are super supportive. My friends are another story though. Some people called me crazy and some called me brilliant. Now that eFlirt Expert has been successful though, all of the nay-sayers have converted!

What was your proudest moment?

Here are my top three, in no particular order:

1. Taking on my first full-time employee. While an exhilarating feeling – and one that allows me to actually sleep from time to time – it was also initially terrifying.

2. Being featured in the New York Times. Need I say more?!

3. Every time a client meets someone awesome online. It might be sappy, but the real reason I’m in this business is to help singles find love. Even if it doesn’t always blossom to full blown can’t-live-without-you feelings for the two people, it doesn’t matter. At the end of the day, I’ve helped people smile … big time.

What is the craziest/most interesting business experience you have ever had?

There are so many interesting and funny experiences that naturally occur when you own a company in the dating industry. Some happen daily – like when I’m working from a coffee shop and someone comments on me perusing women’s profiles or when I take a client on a mock date and pretend to be his girlfriend. Others happen here and there, like when my assistant and I both locked our keys in my apartment/office. We had a posh event later which I was ill-dressed for. Did I mention that it was raining and my umbrella broke? With one hour to go, we went shopping to buy me a new dress and accessories, and then dashed to Sephora for hair product and makeup. By the time I stepped into that party looking polished and poised, party goers were none the wiser.

How do you stay calm when your business stresses you out?

The technique that works best for me is to take a break. When I leave my laptop behind and go see a movie or head to the beach, amazing things always happen in my absence. I love releasing stress at yoga or the gym as well, but sometimes it’s easier said than done. When I schedule “me” time in my calendar, it reminds me to breathe and prioritize. Physically deleting my favorite vinyasa yoga class in my calendar holds me accountable for my
work/life balance.

What is the best lesson you could give a young women who wants to start her own business?

You don’t need an MBA or even an associates’ degree. You just have to be driven, incredibly resourceful and great at what you do.

Laurie Davis.
Twitter. @eFlirtexpert
Tel. 781.603.6703

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