Sami Wunder is in the business of love. And business has never been better. Today, Wunder is a leading international dating and relationship coach for high achieving women and her company just had its first seven-figure quarter. That’s right, quarter. But when she started her business just five years ago, she was giving away free dating advice in her Facebook group and getting paid just $97 per client. Wunder was working twelve-hour days and responding to clients on her phone at 3am after breastfeeding her baby. “That was a hard phase,” admits Wunder, who says she felt like she was managing two start-ups at the time: her business and her baby. “Everyone thought my business was a side hobby and couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t pay more attention to my child instead and be content.”
To complicate matters even more, she wasn’t sure where to direct her business energy, so she was spreading herself thin. “I used to believe that as long as I was doing something—live streaming on Facebook, offering free advice to anyone who would tag me, posting on social media without a strategy—it would help my business grow,” says Wunder, who has helped more than 255 single clients get married and more than 300 partnered clients avoid divorce. “I was just throwing spaghetti at the wall. Now I realize I only need to focus on two specific things for my business to succeed.”
Despite her busy work schedule and her commitment to spending as much quality time with her husband and (now) two kids as possible, I was able to catch up with Wunder to get more details on those two specific things that led to her meteoric business growth.
Stephanie Burns: How did you decide to get into the business of love and romance?
Sami Wunder: By having my heart broken by a man who I thought was the one for me. After two months of intense dating, he told me I wasn’t right for him. I spent a weekend crying in bed and feeling angry at men. Then I dried my tears, acknowledged that my approach to relationships wasn’t working and decided to make a change. I ended up downloading dozens of relationship books off the internet and devouring them one-by-one. I took courses on self love. I realized that there was a lot of superficial dating advice out there, but I went deeper. I explored how our self-esteem is reflected in how we show up in our romantic relationships. I started embracing my feminine energy and leaning back in my dating encounters—letting the guy approach me—instead of harnessing my masculine energy and leaning in and pursuing men. I used to be so resistant to the idea but once I understood that embracing my feminine energy is actually powerful in love, it made the biggest difference for me. I attracted men who wanted to make an effort to be with me. Nine months later, I was engaged to my husband.
We moved to France when my husband got a high-level government position, which meant that I ended up leaving behind my career in the international development sector. I didn’t even speak French. I was sitting at home all day in tears wondering what profession to pursue that would enable me to have a positive impact on the lives of others when it hit me. I realized how many successful women could benefit from the relationships techniques I’d learned. So I decided to start a business teaching them.
Burns: What are the two things you focused on to grow your business?
Wunder: First, I had to invest in myself to develop coaching skills, because I didn’t want to speak from personal experience alone. I wanted to bring an expert perspective to my clientele and give them a professional service. I took more than $8,000 out of the bank—the majority of my savings—and invested in a coach training program. It was scary, but I knew I had to dive in with both feet to make this a real business. I also believed it was hypocritical to expect people to see the value of hiring a love coach without being able to invest money in my own coaching mentorship. Walking your talk is so important.
Next, I started showing up consistently, every day, on social media and spreading my message. I remember feeling stupid, like nobody was watching or listening. But if you try to avoid feeling uncomfortable as an entrepreneur, you’re going to delay your success for a long time. Finally, I started a Facebook group and invited my single college friends to join. It began with fourteen women, but within two weeks we had 200 members. I asked them if they’d pay $97 for a five-week program and 40 people signed up. My business was officially off the ground!
Burns: Your business has done exceptionally well. How were you able to grow so quickly—especially in a non-traditional field?
Wunder: Receiving coaching and mentorship played a huge role in my success. My mentors and coaches are the people who taught me how to sell my programs without feeling guilty, raise my prices to protect my private time and hire a stellar team that supports me in serving successful women in 50 countries across the globe. People think that you always have to shell out six figures for a good coach, but that’s not true. No matter what level you’re at, there is a level of support that you can access. For example, in my first year of business I spent $5k on six months of private coaching. As my business grew, so did the amount of money I spent on coaching, as did the caliber of the coach I obtained access to.
Burns: You talk about the importance of working smarter, not harder. How can entrepreneurs achieve that?
Wunder: You do have to do the work. There is no magic pill. But you don’t have to buy into the hustle or get obsessed with the hard-work energy. My company made so much money this year but I still woke up worrying about what I would post on social media today. That’s the hard-work energy I’m still trying to heal on some days. What helps is replacing this mindset with focusing on what really moves the needle in my business. For me those two things are getting phenomenal results for my clients who put their trust in me and getting the word out about my business so these women can find me.
When it comes to getting great client results, you have to have the courage to ask for feedback and the humility to use it to tweak your process. After someone has gone through your program or worked with you one-on-one, have them fill out a survey or email them some questions about how you can support them even better. Sometimes, no matter what you do, you can’t help a person. But most of the time, people will come back with constructive feedback and you need to have an open mind about it. Then tweak your process and make it better for the next client.
In terms of getting your message out, look to the media. As I was building my business, I spent time pitching myself to podcasts and newspapers to get the attention of high-achieving women who were struggling in their love lives. By my third year of business, I appeared in a national newspaper that dubbed me the “Get The Ring Coach” and my Instagram exploded overnight. I had 10,000 new followers and my inbox was overflowing with requests from other media outlets. It catapulted my business to another level. I had to raise my prices and hire more staff so we could help more people who started finding us through these channels.
Burns: Why are you so passionate about helping successful women find and keep love in their lives?
Wunder: I believe that love is the single most important thing in life. When you’re on your deathbed, you won’t think to yourself, “I wish I’d sent that newsletter” or “I wish I’d automated my evergreen webinar.” The moments that flash before your eyes are the ones where you felt seen, heard, loved and accepted. Those are the kinds of romantic relationships I help my clients have, especially strong and successful women who often mistakenly believe that they cannot have amazing love and amazing career success!
Today my Facebook feed is full of clients kissing men they love, getting married and having babies. I’ve worked with women who become mothers for the first time at 42 or walked down the aisle for the first time at 45. It means so much to me that there are all these people in the world being positively impacted by my work. I live for this feeling!