In her own words
“I grew up in a loving family with educated parents who immigrated from Bombay, and one younger brother. If you’ve ever seen the beginning of the film, the Namesake, their beginnings were pretty similar ☺. My Dad – who was a chemist for a big corporation – was also always an entrepreneur at heart, and became a minority (10%) partner in a chemicals/coatings business when I was in Junior High.
After I graduated from the University of Illinois (Urbana), I went to work in Mergers & Acquisitions consulting with Arthur Andersen. My dad’s business had expanded quite a bit by then, and he wanted to build his business in Europe. I knew that this could be a great opportunity — so I went to work for his company, called Coatings and Chemicals (CCC) in 1994. My Dad was harder on us than anyone in the company – his mandate was that we would be the people who would turns the lights on in the morning, and turn them off after everyone left in the evening. I learned every aspect of owning a business – and developed a thirst to do more and more during these years. Working in the family business is what I call “Best.Decision.Ever” (well until Smart Dating Academy) – and we sold it in 2001.
Now…what’s interesting is that during that entire time, I was THE go-to girl for dating/love advice, AND had set up many happy couples (on gut!) — that were getting married and having kids. Literally, I would say, “I found a guy for you – go out on one date, and I know you will marry him! “and it started to happen. My first match ‘officiated’ with their engagement in 1999 – and I KNEW at that moment that I wanted to help people find love as my purpose. It took me ten years to build up the courage, stop fearing failure (this was a BIG deal for me – I was paralyzed for a long time), leave put a plan together, and jump into Smart Dating Academy.
Smart Dating Academy is my third child (besides my 15 year old daughter and 11 year old son), and a big love of my life 🙂 We help single professionals all over the country figure out WHY they aren’t meeting the right people (dating patterns? family of origin issues?), and then help them to put a plan together to have fun, meet the RIGHT kinds of people that will give them happy, healthy love. We coach, consult around best online sites/apps (depends on each client), take client’s photos at our awesome studio in the West Loop, write their profiles, teach them how to write emails/texts that get responses, help them get GOOD set ups, strike up conversations with cute strangers, find good places to meet people in person, and so much more! We are like personal trainers for their love lives – and it works. We have helped hundreds of people find love – and have lots of amazing success stories from singles in their 20s to their late 60s!
There is nothing better for me than helping someone find the “lid to their pot.” When I hear anyone doubting if they too can start something on their own, I encourage them to “JUST DO IT!” Don’t waste years obsessing on thoughts that will keep you stuck (like I did) and not walking towards what you want. There is no such thing as failure – setbacks are just part of life and learning that moves us in new directions.
Remember, love exists for you and everyone on the planet that wants it – adopt this ‘psychotic optimism’ about your life with whatever you want, and watch yourself start to move those mountains. ☺ “
*** Please follow along on instagram as well and learn more about Bela. This year for my birthday, I am embarking on a weekly photo essay project highlighting 52 Phenomenal Women. This is week 25 of 52. Participants in this project will be supporting the efforts of Dress for Success Worldwide – Central. We are all stronger together and it is my sincere hope that we will be inspired by each other’s stories. Now is the time to celebrate as well as encourage one another. Tell your story!**