Neely Steinberg has been a coach in various forms throughout her life, so she was ready for her current venture when everything came together. As she says herself, she created her love life, built it and shaped it like the CEO of a startup creates a meaningful business venture.
She believes that everyone is the CEO of their own life, having created everything from their career paths to their education, home, and other accomplishments. She believes that love is simply an extension of this idea, and she wants to help everyone she can.
Neely’s goal as a dating coach and personal image consultant is to help smart, savvy women take back their power and become the CEO of their dating and love lives.
What are some common missteps you see people making when it comes to online dating?
Online dating is, first, a visual medium. Photos are the first thing a person sees when they’re looking through profiles. Whether that’s a good or a bad thing can be debated, but it is what it is. Men and women are visual creatures. And typically, the first thing a person does is look through a person’s photos before going on to read the profile.
So if a person posts bad photos then they’ve immediately lost a potential date’s attention. Sure, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but avoiding some general no-nos in terms of pictures can help a person’s chances of having better results. Avoid anything grainy or fuzzy or too far away. Avoid having too many or all of your photos with your sunglasses on. Avoid selfies, especially in random bathrooms (why?!). Avoid too many or all of your photos with other people in them.
You should be smiling in most if not all of your photos. Avoid extreme close-ups. Avoid anything scary or super strange/weird, as these types of photos will turn a fair amount of people off. Avoid posting too many photos of your abs or muscles.
Have an opposite sex friend (assuming you are straight) look at your photos and give you their honest opinion. You should have a nice mix of 4-7 photos: Professional photos are often a good idea, and maybe add in 1 or 2 of you traveling somewhere or doing something you love, like a hobby or sport. When you choose your photos, ask yourself: Are these the best photo representations of me? And, if not, how can I do better?
How can people make sure that their online persona helps to put their best foot forward in an appealing and realistic way?
Be honest about who you are and what fills up your life. Be authentic in your writing. Write about things that might pique another person’s interest. Are you writing about things that would make a person say, “Hey, it would be fun to get to know this person or go on a date or have this person in my life!”
Don’t lie. Don’t say you love to cook if you really hate to cook, just because you think that will appeal to a man. Don’t be negative about life or your past relationships. What have you learned from life and exes that have helped you grow and evolve. It shouldn’t be about what or who you don’t want. You profile should be positive and fun. But you don’t have to be over the top, either. Admit your foibles. Are you a klutz? Do you have a weird/funny habit? Be real. Be human.
What’s your process like when it comes to working with someone to do a personal style/image makeover?
The goal is not to make them over through my eyes of what their style should be, but it’s more about working with what they want their aesthetic to be and how they want to present themselves to the world.
What feelings do they want to feel through their clothing and outfits? Polished? Sophisticated? Feminine? Flirty? Classic? Then we go out and find clothes that make them feel whatever adjectives they choose.
I try to push a little outside their comfort zone and encourage them to try things they’ve never thought would look good on them, but I’m not trying to turn them into someone they are not. I show them how their body shape can be an advantage (not something to be ashamed or embarrassed about) and what types of pieces fit their shape best.
They fill out a form before I do a wardrobe makeover or before we go on a shopping trip, so that I have a better understanding of their mindset when it comes to personal style, fashion, etc.
It’s really about thinking of yourself as a brand. How do you want to present this brand to the world? The internal coaching work I do with clients is HUGELY important, but the external work is a piece of the puzzle. Often, the external presentation of someone reflects what’s going on internally. So the two work hand in hand. I also do virtual makeovers, which I love, because it’s all about empowering the woman to do it for herself (obviously, I’m not there working with her in person).
You talk on your website about having created your love life. Would you tell us more about what you mean by this, and how people can take steps toward creating their love lives, too?
I think a lot of people have this fantasy that love should just happen. There are a lot of rom-coms out there that brainwash women, especially, into thinking that it all comes down to fate and serendipity.
While everyone should be open to surprises and twists and turns in their dating and love life, it’s not the best strategy to rely on fate or luck. For the most part, you create your fate in life and love.
See your love life as a start-up venture and you are the CEO and entrepreneur of that venture. What do you want to do in this venture? What do you want to create? What is your vision? And then, what steps are you going to take to create, build, and shape that vision? How are you going to invest in this venture — monetarily, emotionally, physically, spiritually, mentally?
So creating your love life is about taking the reins, and realizing that you’re not powerless in your life. It’s about creating your own rules, learning to trust in yourself, taking action, experimenting, trial and error, reflection, bouncing back from failure or wrong turns, creating your own opportunities, growing, evolving. I created my love life because I took the necessary steps to open the space for me to give and receive love.
For me, this meant a lot of action (getting online, going to various events and activities), experiencing and learning from relationships, going to therapy, journaling, reflecting a lot on my own, learning how to become resilient, investing in myself and my journey, keeping hope alive.
When people ask me, “What do I do about my dating/love life when I don’t know what to do or how to start?”, I tell them, “You take one small, smart step, breathe, and then take another.” So maybe one small, smart step for one person is to buy a self-help book, and for another maybe it’s to book and appointment with a therapist, and for another it’s getting online, and for another it’s working with a coach, and for another it’s getting off the couch one night each weekend rather than hiding away from the world every weekend.
What did you learn from that step? OK, breathe. Now take another. When you break it down into small steps, your love life may not seem so daunting.
What drew you to coaching, and what’s your favorite part about your work?
I’ve always loved coaching and motivating people. I spent years as a tennis coach. I got my Masters in Counseling, because I enjoy working with and understanding others. My interest in relationships, the dynamics between men and women, and human psychology coupled with my love for motivating, inspiring, encouraging, and coaching others is what led me to dating/relationship coaching.
I found a way to combine the things I love, and even better, I get to be the entrepreneur of my career. I get to create, shape, and build this incredible venture/business of mine all while trying to inspire others to think of their dating/love lives in much the same way.
My favorite part of my work is seeing the changes my clients go through, from insecure and cynical to open, more confident, more trusting of themselves, and more open to forgiveness of and gratitude for others. When I help a client have an “a-ha” moment” I get huge sense of satisfaction.
Of course, seeing a client find someone and fall in love is the ultimate satisfaction, but every client has different measures of success, and if by the end of our coaching relationship they’ve achieved what they set out to do (whether it’s gain more confidence, more understanding of self, more awareness, more dating savvy, better ability to set and hold boundaries, etc.) it doesn’t matter if they haven’t met someone, because they have grown so much. They are a success in my eyes.
If you want to understand why you keep attracting the wrong men and how to end the cycle of dead-end dating, check out Neely’s free 3-part video by signing up on her home page: www.thelovetrep.com