This Q&A is the 20th in a series of profiles on my blog. What’s the criteria, you ask? I think you’re cool and want to ask you questions. I was fortunate enough to meet Laurie through a mutual friend, the one-and-only Alexa Scordato, and have always been impressed with her genuine nature and incredible work ethic — not to mention that beautiful smile! Here, she talks about being a published author and her love-hate relationship with New York City.
You grew up using chat rooms and Instant Messenger. I have to know: 1) What was your most embarrassing screen name? 2) What did you learn about online dating in those early days?
Most embarrassing screen name, oh my! To be honest, I stuck to “liltinykahuna” for most of my days online. (It seems I was in-the-know about self-marketing before I hit high school.) Back then, dating online was completely different. I mean, we all secretly “cybered” — the IM version of sexting — usually before even meeting face-to-face! (Actually, sometimes the goal was to not meet up offline, LOL.)
But I learned that connecting wire-to-wire with someone was a powerful way to not only begin a relationship, but develop romance as well. And if you do want a relationship with someone IRL, it’s a must to get offline soon. I can’t even tell you how many digital dates of mine fell by the wayside because we spent too much time as pen pals.
You recently published a book called “Love @ First Click: The Ultimate Guide to Online Dating,” which promises to teach readers the digital dating essentials. What were some of the best things about writing it, and what was most challenging?
Writing this book was seriously the most challenging thing I’ve done in my career thus far — and that’s coming from a girl whose other professional highlights include hiring Richard Branson, managing keynote speeches for CEOs of Fortune 500s, and starting a company with only $50 and a Twitter account! But I would write this book all over again (and I do hope to pen another someday soon).
The most challenging moments for me were dealing with terrible carpal tunnel and tenosynovitis mid-book writing (and living my life in wrist braces for 8 months), letting go of a few acronyms in the name of appealing to multi-generations (like IRL) and managing the loneliness that comes from making your laptop your temporary BFF (drinks for two, please). But my favorite moments outweighed the tough ones – crowdsourcing character names via Facebook, discovering new writing nooks around NYC and Boston, and putting my gratitude into words by writing the acknowledgements from my parent’s patio.
What would you say to someone who is thinking about dipping their toes in the online dating world, but is apprehensive about the whole process?
Look into different sites to start. A site is only as good as your matches on it so before you become a paying member, make sure there are some keyboard cuties on there that you would want to message. Also, have a trusted friend once-over your profile, just in case. If you need a few pointers on how to write your profile, the “Self-Digitize” chapter of “Love @ First Click” is available for free here.
You have a great sense of style. What are some can’t-live-without items in your closet?
Aw, you’re making me blush! For me, clothes are all about how they make you feel. So the two pieces in my closet right now that I adore the most are by Raquelle because her use of silk makes me feel sexy and sophisticated, but still edgy. For my book tour, ANYWAY MGMT hooked me up with her. I’m particularly head over stilettos for her fuchsia and black cropped, swingy, “River Top” and her black, high-waisted “Afternoon” pants.
Then there are heels. I have at least 50 pairs, all in different colors and heel heights. Most recently I bought a pair of black stilettos with a shimmery gold detail by Jessica Simpson, which are what I throw on when I need to feel my flirtiest.
You no doubt get to do a lot of traveling, but your home base is NYC. What do you love about the city? What annoys you the most?
I love that in one New York City afternoon, I can have a variety of experiences, from high-powered biz dev meetings in Midtown West offices to client coaching sessions at a West Village tea shop and cocktails with my girlfriends in Hell’s Kitchen. Then, I’ll head back up to my tree-lined Upper West Side neighborhood for peace and quiet.
“Diversity” in this city extends beyond race, religion and culture — it’s an everyday definition of our lifestyle. I’m most annoyed by the 24/7 pace of it all. While I enjoy the ambitious environment, being all go-go-go can get stressful. For me, it brings a greater appreciation of downtime in my hometown.
Besides helping people find true love online, what else are you passionate about?
Tea. Tech. Running. Yoga. Entrepreneurship. Mentorship. Sparkle.
Your fantastic fiancé is a professional wingman, and you’re a frequent contributor to The Huffington Post. What else would people be surprised to learn about you?
I’m a klutz. Thomas, my fiancé, nicknamed me “Murph” because I am Murphy’s Law in the flesh. One year, I broke 21 glasses. It started getting so ridiculous that I began counting.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
I started my business during the recession with lots of resourcefulness and nearly no money. I identify with the recession a lot as a result. But recently a speaker at the Stiletto Women in Business Awards said, “We are not female entrepreneurs because it is a recession. We are business women because we have a gift and we can change the world.”
It really stuck with me and is my new motto. It’s time I stopped defining my business by circumstance. It’s still a part of where I came from but it’s only a small piece of the story — the more important factor is that I help people find love every single day and created an innovative way to scale. We’re successful because we have a purpose.
You’ve got one whole day to yourself, no obligations. What do you do?
Pamper myself! I’d fill my day with a massage, mani/pedi, yoga class and, if it’s a warm day, some solo time reading in Central Park. Of course, it wouldn’t be complete without a date night with my hubby-to-be!
Where can people find you online, both personally and professionally?
You can virtually meet me on basically any platform under eFlirtExpert. I act like a human, not a brand, so it’s always personal and professional mixed. I’m most active on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. And of course, you can pick up my advice in book form at any bookstore or eReader. Just look for “Love @ First Click.” For one-on-one support, eFlirtExpert.com is your best resource.