Meet Laura Lee Wood, a certified dating expert, relationship coach, and certified matchmaker. A self-confessed sweet-as-pie-but-tough-as-nails coach who teaches high-achievers like you how to create remarkable relationships and lasting love–even if you’ve been burnt before, always seem to attract the wrong partners or feel jaded by today’s casual dating scene.
A reliable one-woman mission to redefine modern romance through the timeless principles of courtship, so smart, sexy singles (and couples) can finally have the relationships they long for, built on mutual respect, quality communication, deep connection, and real intimacy.
Hey Laura, can you introduce yourself to us?
I’m a lawyer-turned-love-coach with Southern charm with a tough-as-nails-yet-sweet-as-pie approach to coaching. I practiced law for over a decade before making the transition into dating, love and relationship coaching. Over the last 20 years, I’ve learned everything there is to learn about love–from earning a degree in psychology to devouring “Undefended Love” (and every other book on love, relationships, attachment, and love languages you can name) to racking up four different certifications. I serve as a member of the Dreams Recycled divorce coaching team and me, also a Licensed Desire Map Facilitator which helps clients deeply connect to their desires–in both their professional and personal lives. But I’m not just ‘book smart’ on the subject–I’m living it. As a once-married and forever-high-achieving woman myself, I know what it’s like to date in 2019. I also know the struggles and demands of balancing a successful career and a love life. I understand what it truly takes to create space for the love, companionship, and intimacy we deeply desire.
As a certified dating expert, relationship coach and certified matchmaker, I help my clients heal heartbreak and find forever love using a modern courtship model. Specifically, I help my clients gain clarity on what they desire in a partner while also gaining closure from past relationships, create deeper connections through mutual respect and trust, communicate in a way that is honest and open, implement more courtship principles replacing the casual rules of modern dating, and finally create a mutually committed relationship with the forever one. Finally, I am honoured to have been a featured as a dating expert on all things courtship as well as a global love mentor on a wide range of podcasts, guest expert appearances, love summits, and Nashville based media outlets.
Can you take us through your journey to where you are now?
Over the last few years, I’ve transformed from a soul-broken lawyer who was barely able to love to now living a life with a totally open heart. But… not so long ago (in a place not so far away), I was an expert at compartmentalising my head and my heart. just a few years ago, I was a highly-respected lawyer whose life looked pristine and perfect on the outside. But inside, I was cut off from my intuition. And on the outside, I simply couldn’t connect on a real level with others. Yep, I looked fabulous on paper, but inside, I was as disconnected as you could get. Now, the disconnection didn’t happen overnight. But every time I stepped into the courtroom and heard the clickety-clack of my own heels, I switched my emotions off and my logical lawyer brain on. Then, when my 10-year marriage ended in a heart-wrenching divorce, things got worse. I decided the courtroom was safer than the bedroom, buried my head in my work, and apparently (but unconsciously) vowed to keep my heart and my head completely separated.
As a result, I watched years roll by rarely experiencing true joy or happiness. I struggled to feel truly connected in my friendships and intimate relationships. I had zero clues on how to allow myself to be vulnerable–with anyone. I was no longer in touch with my intuition and worse, struggled to connect on a deep emotional level with basically everyone, not just in romantic relationships.
Until one fateful day that changed everything… One day in December of 2015, my son’s teacher told me that when she passed out holiday party forms, my son immediately said, “oh no, my mom won’t be here.” My son knew I would be in a courtroom and not his classroom–and he was right. The trade-off suddenly seemed overwhelmingly unfair, and this simple conversation felt worse than any broken heart. My soul was broken. Suddenly, working hard and collecting accolades was not enough anymore. My career didn’t love me back–but my son did. And I felt like I was letting him down big time. I knew I couldn’t continue to put courtroom cases before love–of any kind.
I was ready to make major changes so I could love deeply again and feel connected to the people who mattered most. I craved more intimacy and deeper connections. so, I did what no one expected and sauntered away in my 6-inch heels, never to return. I left the “perfect” (on paper) career, hired my own coach, and immediately started to learn a fresh, new way to experience and perceive life–and love.
With distance from the courtroom and learning to live my life by my own rules, I was able to drop my guard, stop being so private and also stop expecting perfection from myself–and others. I Learned How To Open Myself Up To Loving My Imperfect Life–And Also To Wholeheartedly Falling In Love Again. Within a few short months, I went from high-achieving attorney to love coach, focusing on dating for divorced women.
But there’s more, my loves. Because dating itself? It wasn’t easy, even as a love coach. ‘Cause when I strolled back into the dating scene in 2015, dating was–well–different. (I hadn’t dated in over 14 years, mind you!)
The silver lining? I really ‘got’ my clients because I was playing the game right alongside them. I understood why they were riddled with frustration, disappointment and deeply confused by all the so-called modern dating “rules.” I got why they constantly felt disrespected, struggled to understand the status of their relationship and generally felt defeated by the dating process. I hated that most of these incredible men and women were forever worried they could easily be replaced–with a literal click of a button!–and as a result, felt lonelier than ever.
I saw in my clients what I had seen in myself: a deep disconnection from themselves and a deep distrust of others. Luckily, because I’d enjoyed a very classic courtship before my first marriage–I’m talking real dates, romance, falling madly in love, knee on the ground with a diamond in hand and all–so I knew there was a more respectful way of dating. And I knew I wouldn’t settle for anything less. I also knew my clients didn’t need to settle for less either.
That’s when redefining romance and teaching the time-tested courtship principles became my obsession. I knew that in order for my clients to finally open up to love again, they had to (pardon my French) “screw the new rules.” So, my coaching transformed from “just for divorcees” to “for any successful man or woman looking for lasting love.”
I began teaching these sexy, smart and successful women (and men) the principles of courtship–and it worked. my clients have seen incredible results like finally experiencing the true intimacy and deeper connections they craved, healing their scarred hearts and finally feeling confident that they are deserving and worthy of lasting love and remarkable relationships.
I took my life back, and I continue to center my own life around love, intimacy, and true connection. I allow myself to be seen. I allow others to be seen by me. I adore my life and adore helping my high-achieving clients do the same, so they can create the remarkable relationships they’ve always longed for.
I believe wholeheartedly in successful, lasting love–for everyone. And, I believe courtship is the key to finding forever love and creating a truly remarkable, lasting relationship. I’m living out my message every single day and looking forward to sharing my story of healing heartache so I could find my forever love too. The most epic love story has yet to be told and I can’t wait to share it with you.
How much research did you do on the market prior to getting started and what were your findings?
Actually, I knew very little about coaching when I left my legal career other than the knowledge gained from reading dozens of books about the industry. I flew to Los Angeles the week I resigned to attend my first live event with other coaches from all over the world. Shortly after, I hired my first coach and joined an international female entrepreneurship program. When I launched my coaching business in 2016, I was primarily working with divorced women because I knew the struggles of starting over after a 14-year relationship myself and understood the challenges of being a single mother. I quickly created a community of women who were starting over after divorce during my first year.
I knew there weren’t many coaches at the time focusing on divorced, single mothers so it seems like a natural space for me to begin. I spent most of the first year of my business learning about marketing, conducting target market research, and focusing on my own personal and professional growth. As my brand evolved, so did my target market. About a year into my business, I launched the male branch of my business Nashville Wingwoman focusing more on the local market which had very few dating coaches at the time. After working primarily with men for a year, I merged my coaching practice to serve both men and women who were ready to find forever love and open to using a more modern courtship model to create a truly remarkable relationship.
As a relationship and dating expert, how you are standing out from the crowd?
My work with clients focuses on creating a solid foundation of essential relationship skills so they can find love and create a relationship built to last a lifetime. My area of focus is on teaching my clients how to use courtship to plan real dates instead of feeling the pressure to follow the modern dating rules. I also teach my clients how to create deeper connections and how to communicate using love languages so they can express that they desire to find a committed relationship and that their heart is open to finding their forever one. Using courtship creates mutual respect, fosters mutual trust, and allows clients to create a depth of intimacy far beyond what they would experience in a casual dating relationship.
“When you date from a place of mutual respect, honest communication, and openness to create a deeply intimate connection, you change not only who you attract, but the caliber of relationship depth you can create.”
Can you give us highlight 3 ways we can be as equally successful in our love life as we are business life, and how are you using your platform to help us?
- When you date using the timeless principles of courtship, you create a solid foundation for a truly remarkable relationship that includes better communication, deeper connections, and courtship with commitment. When you seek the same level of respect in your dating life as you do in your career, you can transform not only who you attract but the caliber of relationship you can create. I empower women to make themselves available for courtship a.k.a. real dates and I teach them how to ask for exactly that. The high-quality men that high-achieving women desire to meet, date, and marry are the kind of men who would be honoured to plan a date to spend quality time in your presence. You are worthy and deserving of a man giving you the courtship experience. Finally, courtship naturally paces a relationship because dates are planned in advance typically in a public place and, thus, your emotional, as well as physical investments, are more intuitively guided in a way that feels natural. I believe in the power of courtship so I have created a guide with over 60 date ideas so that you never run out of suggestions when a man asks what you would like to do on your date. The goal is to create plans that you both would enjoy so you can better assess the compatibility from the very beginning.
- When a woman holds her standard at a place where casual, last-minute date planning is acceptable, her experience likely will be frustrating, confusing, and ultimately interfere with her deepest desire to find lasting love and a fully committed relationship. You wouldn’t expect a colleague to drop everything to rush to meet you last minute when its been days or weeks since you last spoke. So, why would you be willing to do so in your dating life? I find that when I work with women who are struggling with the closure of a past relationship, many times it was because there was never any definition in the relationship. Contrast that to what I teach women in courtship which is to openly share your desires for a committed relationship in your profile, in early conversations, and even on the first date. If you deeply desire to find your forever love and are committed to creating a lasting relationship, you’ll more naturally attract a man who shares the same desires so long as you are communicating openly and honestly.
- I see so many single women who have had bad experiences with online dating and, therefore, they have dismissed it as a way to meet high-quality single men. However, I believe online dating is a great resource and an excellent way to meet people you otherwise would not meet in everyday life. I teach women how to create a profile that is true to who they are, what they desire, and also focuses on the caliber of the match they desire to attract. I’ve created a guide for understanding what kind of photos and specific language I recommend as a best practice. For each of my private clients, I create a newly written bio as well as hand-select the photos that are sophisticated, diverse, and professional. For clients who are willing to travel to Nashville, I have a team of experts I collaborate with to schedule style sessions as well as a professional branding photo shoot. Every woman deserves to feel her best in her photos and by collaborating with other female entrepreneur’s in Nashville, I am able to offer clients a unique experience designed to help them feel more confident in their search for their forever one.
Where can you see yourself within the next 3-5 years?
I am fully committed to deep transformation within my personal and professional life as well as the evolution of my brand and coaching practice. I am determined to create deep love, connection, and intimacy in all of my relationships. After much guidance from my own coach, I completed deep healing after a devastating heartbreak. On the other side of my pain loss, and heartache, I found an abundance of love and allowed the miracles of love to flow in and through me. I created an intention for 2019 to be one of great love, and I am excited beyond words to share the epic love story that’s being created each and every day with the remarkable man I called into my life.
In addition to creating a life with my forever one, one of my top priorities is finding more ways to share my message with a global audience through speaking and teaching. I’ve had so many opportunities to speak as a guest expert on courtship and desire to create more collaborations in doing so in the future. I envision massive growth within my coaching practice and creating a platform as not only a global love mentor but also as Nashville’s premier dating expert hosting retreats, conferences, and events for singles.
What are the key tools that you use for your trade?
My work with clients is focused on deep healing as well as transformation coaching to prepare clients with the tools as well as beliefs to find forever love and create remarkable relationships. I use a variety of coaching methods with clients focusing on identifying dating patterns and old relationship wounds, building self-worth and confidence, trusting your intuition and your own judgment, fully opening your heart to love again, learning to be vulnerable in creating deeper connections and in learning how to communicate, and in helping clients not only build but sustain a relationship in the first 3-6 months.
I also use curriculum from Danielle Laporte’s Desire Map Program as well as resources I have created to help clients create clarity of what they desire, plan memorable dates, and understand how to effectively use online dating and small talk to create real connections and real dates.
What outlets do use to market your ‘Single & Over it’ guide?
You can find my ‘Single & Over It’ guide as well as the ‘Date Destination Guide’ on my social media outlets, on my website, when I speak as a guest expert, as a giveaway at love summits, and within my email list.
What or who inspires and motives you?
I am motivated by a desire to experience the kind of love every single day that many people look for their entire lives. The power of loving, being loved, and being in love is a human experience that is unparalleled by other relationships. I am inspired by the love I experience and by the love my clients experience in their own relationships.
What is the number 1 critical business lesson you have learned so far?
Looking back, I was on such a steep learning curve after leaving a 10-year legal career that I struggled to find my voice, understand my message, and how to deeply connect with my audience. Understanding and being able to share all of my stories was such a challenge for the first two years in my coaching business. As my own deep personal transformation occurred, so did my brand evolution and eventually, my story was born and along with it my desire to be able to tell it effectively. So, I sought out a story coach and worked diligently on understanding how my own story and my ‘why’ fits into my brand moving forward. This was a huge piece for me and make a significant impact on how I was able to relate to my audience and finally share my story with ease.
A highlight in your career so far?
I was recently featured on Nashville’s NBC morning news station on Valentine’s Day which also coincided with my guest expert interview on courtship in a global love summit. This Valentine’s Day was pretty special for me both personally as well as professionally.
What gives you ultimate career satisfaction?
The best part of the kind of coaching I specialise in is that I get to celebrate with my clients when they find their forever love and as they build the foundation for a true lifelong partnership. There is no greater satisfaction than helping someone find the love they’ve deeply desired in their soulmate and watch the beauty of such a relationship flourish.
What challenges have you seen to have been presented during the growth of your business?
I enjoy creating social media content and this process has gradually become much more natural for me. But, keeping up with multiple social media platforms, their various ways to share content, and the constant changes to algorithms has certainly been challenging for me to say the least. One other area where I experienced frustration has been using social media to advertise and the strict regulations imposed on the dating industry. I am constantly seeking ways to grow organically and ways to collaborate with other professionals who have similar ideal clients. Finally, I have been blessed with so many opportunities for media exposure simply from people finding me online that I am now finally in a place where I feel fully confident in reaching out to create even more opportunities to share my message.
Which other leading entrepreneurs and pioneering game changers do you also admire and why?
I have been blessed to have worked with Adam Quiney as my personal transformational coach and he is the man I credit with my ability to write with so much transparency, honesty, and authenticity. He has taught me that I can’t take a client any deeper than I’ve been willing to go and he has facilitated deep transformation within me so I could help my clients heal from heartache and face the truth in their own lives so they too could experience transformation. Adam is also a member of Rich Litvin’s 4PC group and he brings to the table diverse marketing ideas as well as his experience from years as a coach trainer for an ICF accredited coaching program. I admire Adam Quiney both for the incredible coach, mentor, and friend he has been for me over the last three years as well as his dedication to working with brilliant coaches so they can live their lives in a way that is richly fulfilling every single day.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
If I only had one to book to recommend, I would suggest reading ‘Undefended Love’ by Jett Psaris and Marlena Lyons. This book was truly transformational in my own personal journey in finding forever love and in creating a deeper understanding of the depths of love we can create in our intimate relationships.
Top 3 go-to Podcast channels?
- My favourite podcast of all time was a series by Desire Map author Danielle LaPorte called ‘Light Work.’
- I subscribe to and very much enjoy Gabby Bernstein’s ‘Miracle Membership’ where she shares a monthly podcast episode exclusively available to her members.
- Finally, I listen to ‘The Best Version of You’ podcast by Shawn and Megan Huber. I am currently working with this power couple in a group coaching program and they bring a dynamic to the programs they have created that is otherwise not available in any other coaching programs.
How do you define your own success?
For my entire legal career, I defined success based on prestige, power, and position. Yet, when I started my own coaching company, I learned to define success by the depths of the joy I experienced in life and the love I shared. Every morning when I get ready, I put on three rings that remind me that living out my essence of love, connection, and intimacy is why I’ve been given the desire to help others find their forever love.
What does #BEYOUROWN mean to you?
It means that I am no longer defined by the old beliefs, stories, and expectations of relationships of the past. It means that being imperfect is far more beautiful than the perfect life and career on paper. It means fully embracing brilliance and sharing it with the world without fear of judgment from anyone. For me, it means living out my truth and belief that everyone can find their forever love. And, finally, it means we are each worthy and deserving of the love we desire.
Finally, what are you working on throughout 2019?
My focus this year is on developing and nurturing relationships for future collaborations as well as building a full private 1:1 coaching practice. This year, I am eager to reach a broader audience with my message and create more opportunities to speak on stages both online and within my local community in Nashville, Tennessee.
This year is off to an amazing start and I am so grateful for the love I experience in all of my relationships each and every day. I am looking forward to sharing my own epic love story as it continues to deepen and flourish this year.
Latest podcast and tv appearances, and guest expert appearances can be found online at https://lauraleewood.com/podcasts
Check out Laura’s “Single & Over It” guide http://bit.ly/2WOkFtu