“When I was at the crossroads whether to devote my life to investigative journalism or to change my career path, a twist of faith sent me my ex-partner who changed my life.”
shares the international matchmaker and founder of Find L’Amour, the private matchmaking agency for successful, active and commitment-minded singles.
What did you want to be when you were young?
Since my childhood I was humanistically oriented. Like most kids, I kept changing my dreams about what I was going to be. I dreamt of a writer, private detective, pianist, singer, dancer...later on a lawyer, diplomat, translator, teacher, researcher, animal shelter owner and many other professions. I was a pioneer and intellectual warrior full of new ideas with a high level of independence, curiosity and determination. I was writing a diary for many years sorting out my thoughts, dreams and wishes. Since childhood I was interested in the Chinese cosmological and physiological system Wu Xing. I quickly realized that my main element is water, which is all about love, wisdom and emotion, nurturing, healing, purifying and intuitive, but it is also free-flowing and out of structure. So, I was quite stubborn and hard to control. My personality is also strongly influenced by the element of metal, which is all about strength, persistence, determination and stability. Running a school magazine (which I set up at the age of nine) showed how ambitious, controlling, self-reliant, business-oriented and good at organization I was. All in all, I was and still am, full of ideals! I knew I had to be able to cover more areas and grow if I wanted to try and “change the world” with my small but significant contribution to making it a better place.
Do you agree with the approach “build on your strengths and make your weaknesses irrelevant”?
I find it absolutely critical to build your future and career path upon your strengths, talents and passion. Everyone is talented in different ways. People don’t always recognize their talents and waste their lives off the right track. In some cultures, when a child is little, parents simply go to a numerologist or a specialist to help them reveal their child’s potential to save everyone’s time and energy. I believe that people can reach their true potential if they use their natural talent, skills and abilities. Developing your full potential leads to a more successful, productive and happier life, and this will eventually help the community around you. For myself, I strongly felt my life mission was to connect people, inspire them and show them boundless opportunities in their lives. I wanted to help them figure out their way and find the answers they already had in their subconsciousness. I wanted my work to bring smiles to people’s faces and to touch their hearts. I chose the path of a matchmaker and relationship consultant to help people find their right match and most importantly, to find themselves. I feel good about my life and what I do and I am grateful for everything.
What about your studies? Are you happy with the education you received?
First of all, I am very grateful to my family (parents and grandparents) and that I was blessed with such great conditions to receive my education. Both grammar and the university classes I attended were full of intelligent, talented and determined people most of which became very successful. Although we could debate usefulness and practicality, what I received during my education was knowledge and opportunity to meet wonderful people many of which are still my friends.
You have two degrees in multimedia and communication from Slovakia and Denmark. You also did MBA in Taiwan and took a number of additional courses and trainings in Communications, Psychology, Event and Wedding Planning and Professional Matchmaking around the world. What were the turning points in your career?
I chose to study journalism because I loved writing, current affairs, and the idea of influencing people through communication. I got two degrees from Slovak and Danish journalism universities but shortly realized that my freedom to write “authentic content” would be limited to “politically correct” texts. To me that would mean losing myself, my integrity and the morals I was raised with. When I was at the crossroads whether to devote my life to investigative journalism or to change my career path, a twist of faith sent me my ex-partner who changed my life. Neither of us liked to waste time, so I moved to Prague where we lived together for two years. This partner had a very good effect on me and inspired me to live more consciously. I found a job in a specialized recruitment consultancy where I used my communication, networking and sales skills to build an HR career while keeping a life-work balance.
My boss gave me opportunities to grow with his company quickly. He taught me to be flexible, resilient and diplomatic in a highly competitive environment. Moreover, I succeeded despite tight deadlines, pinch-points, and I was able to bounce back from setbacks and focus on results, and close the sale. When I won the Employee of the year award, I reassured myself that working with people provides an opportunity to influence them and the path they’ve chosen. Although my primary function was to assist with their employment often times I found myself helping people realize their dreams. Clients were revealing much from their personal lives and in a sense making me their “Therapist”. A couple of years later I simply followed my heart and moved to Taiwan with my ex-partner. In short, I spent five years focusing on me in Asia and New York. During this time I learned a lot about myself through meditation. Self-reflection finally helped me listen to my inner guide.
You worked on very nice positions of Communications and Marketing Managers that many people dream of, did you like these roles? And when did the idea of setting up an exclusive matchmaking agency come?
I absolutely did enjoy all of my previous jobs to a certain extent for a period of time (laugh). Ultimately I lacked freedom - freedom to make my own decisions, to do the things the way they made sense to me. I wanted to do right things, meaningful things. That moment of realization came in New York City. At first, I wanted to set up a boutique travel agency but I did not get the visa I needed to run business in the US so I returned to Prague. I was penniless, I had spent all of my money on education and traveling around the world. So I got the job that enabled me to build my own company from a scratch in my free time. But it wasn’t until I quit my full-time job, that things started to happen. An exclusive matchmaking agency headquartered in Prague appeared to be the right choice for many reasons.
What were the most difficult challenges you had to overcome at the beginning of your new career journey?
Any new career is a challenge in itself. As you know, the entrepreneur path means uncertainty, especially at the beginning. I had to make sure that I was ready to take risks related to the starting my own company. When one thinks about the future and about the responsibility of owning a company, they realize it is a big step in life. I didn’t regret for a single minute though and I feel happy.
What makes you busy these days and what do you find most satisfying?
Apart from identifying new business opportunities for Find L’Amour, networking and matching our clients I devote a lot of time to training Find L’Amour ambassadors and delegating work onto our Account Managers. These individuals are in key locations and must know how to find the right clients and how to serve them extraordinarily. It is very satisfying to see the people I introduced to each other getting married and having children but I find it even more satisfying to see an individual changing their attitude and becoming more radiant and happy. This positivity is attached to opening up, and believing that they can achieve anything they want and making their wishes come true. I am happy to see aware, strong individuals who don't need the other half to be happy but who want that half to share their happiness and to create new energy surplus together for everyone around.
So far Find L’Amour matched about 150 couples. Do you have any favourite success story to share with us?
My favourite couples are mostly those who break all kinds of concepts and stereotypes as well as those who don’t give up when the first challenge comes. For example, I like the story of a 39- year old single mother who realized (after the burnout in a corporation) that her soul needed a completely different partner as she originally thought and she switched from dating wealthy white-collar professionals to a ten year younger, consciously living farmer whose vital spark and life energy was priceless. They fell in love and set up the family they were both dreaming about.
What are your career plans?
I believe that a goal without a plan is just a wish so a well laid plan is important. This must be balanced with flexibility. Unclear or unstable political and regulatory environments require start-ups to be flexible and I am very responsive to opportunities as they occur in such changing environments. We are quickly expanding, especially in the UK, Austria, Germany, France and the United States, including the gay community. We recently launched a new custom-made service - Personality Analysis using BaZi Profiling based on clients’ date and time of birth which helps our clients to truly understand themselves and make the right choices in all areas of their lives. A new private client zone where clients will be logging in through our website will provide them with a brand new customer experience, tracking every detail of their case. I am as well considering sharing part of my company with the right investor in order to move Find L’Amour to another level, because of the plans related to expansion. The company is well established, managed and deserves to cover more markets and match more people all over Europe and United States.
What would you recommend to those who want to kick-off their own startup?
Your business plan should be stating the problem (what are you solving?), solution (how is your business solving that?), business model (how does your business make money?), secret sauce (what is the underlying magic?), sales and marketing (how will your business go to market?), competition (what your business can do that they can’t?), team (who is on your team and why are they good?), projections and milestones (identify important metrics), status and timeline (where is the business now?) and visualize next steps. Make sure your knowledge works hand in hand with your intuition and experience.
What would you say to all those who are currently unhappy at their work?
Stop waiting for miracles! Take responsibility for your life and start running it instead of letting it run you. Everything you want is on the other side of fear. I wish you all good luck and have fun on the way!
Thank you very much for sharing your story Katarina. I wish you loads of energy and success in your future business and adventures, but most of all many happy clients who find their love!
If you are looking for a professional yet very kind matchmaker, connect with Katarina or sign up through their website - http://findlamour.com/