Women in Business Q&A: Talia Goldstein, CEO, Three Day Rule

12/06/2014 07:57 am ET Updated Feb 05, 2015

Talia is the CEO and founder of Three Day Rule. After studying communication at Tulane University, Talia worked as a TV producer at E! True Hollywood Story, where she quickly became the office dating expert, setting up many co-workers with matches and handing out insightful dating advice from her cubicle. Recognizing her hidden talent for matchmaking, Talia quit her full-time job and began hosting popular singles events and offering personalized matchmaking services. Three Day Rule was officially created in 2010, allowing Talia to turn her lifelong hobby of matchmaking into a thriving business.

Leveraging her extensive network of successful, attractive singles, Talia has found matches for hundreds of clients, including top executives, entrepreneurs, and everyday young professionals. Among her clients, Talia has been recognized for her strong instinct for what drives lifelong connections between two people. She has made it her mission to help clients on their quest to find true love, and is thrilled that her work allows her to make a difference in people's lives.

How has your life experience made you the leader you are today?
From an early age, I begged my parents to work. It wasn't something that they told me to do, but I decided on my own that I wanted to experience and learn from it. In high school, between school, tennis, soccer, student government, and track, I somehow made time to work at a restaurant and frozen yogurt shop. In college, I interned at Ford Models in New York, a sports magazine in Los Angeles, and Susan Blond, a PR firm in New York. I was ecstatic getting coffee for executives and learning about why their chose their particular field.

After college, I landed an advertising job for Nissan at TBWA/Chiat/Day. That's where I met Suzanne Kisbye, an executive whom I admire to this day, and who has helped shape me as a leader. From day one, Suzanne took me under her wing. She would stay late to help me finish a project, even when she was finished with her own work. She pushed me to present to the client, even when she knew I wasn't completely ready. It was my first time working when I truly felt like I was part of a team. In turn, I worked extremely hard because I didn't want to let my team down. People respond to different leadership styles, but that was the one that resonated with me the most, and the one I try to emulate at TDR today.

How has your previous employment experience aided your tenure at Three Day Rule?
Before starting Three Day Rule, I worked in TV on documentary shows such as VH1's Behind the Music & E! True Hollywood Story. As a Producer on the shows, I found that I had a natural ability to connect with my interview subjects and many of them trusted me immediately. As a result, they would end up telling me everything - the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I find being a Producer is similar to being a Matchmaker. I don't care as much about the surface information. I'm fascinated by the psychological element. I love learning about what makes my client tick, what happened in their childhood that molded them into who they are today, what went wrong in their dating past, etc. The more info I get up-front, the easier my job is. And, just like in my documentary shows, my clients have happy endings.

What have the highlights and challenges been during your tenure at Three Day Rule?
Attending my first TDR wedding. I think I was more emotional than the bride. I feel so lucky to have the best job in the world - helping people find love.

Becoming Match.com's exclusive personalized matchmaking partner. Securing this partnership has been instrumental in helping us professionalize and disrupt the matchmaking industry, helping us get one step closer to our ultimate goal of becoming the leading matchmaking company in the nation.

Building our team. I have the most dedicated team of people who left very lucrative jobs in corporate America and Fortune 500 companies to work for a start-up that helps others find love. We have Harvard Business School grads, former Google executives, and former Investment Bankers on our team.

Right now our biggest challenge is rapidly scaling a business that is high-touch, while maintaining quality, which is of utmost importance to us. We are very careful and selective in hiring new matchmakers so spend a lot of time thinking about how to recruit the best talent for our team. We are currently in four cities (NY, LA, SF, CHI), but aim to be across the country in the next two years. It's a lofty goal, but one that I believe is absolutely achievable.

What advice can you offer women who are looking to start their own business?
Opinions are just data points. Listen carefully, take in the feedback, but don't make decisions based on what other people say. You know your industry better than anyone so trust yourself and make your own decisions.

How do you maintain a work/life balance?
It's really hard. I think of the day as a pie. There are only so many slices. A big piece goes to work, a slice goes to my husband, another to my baby, and I do my best every day to get a small slice to myself, even if that means waking up at5am to go on a walk. I am much happier and more productive if I get some time for me.

What do you think is the biggest issue for women in the work-place?
I think some men believe that once a woman has a baby, she will leave the company, or not work as hard as a man would. As a result, some men are nervous to hire women, or give them funding. This was a common theme when I was fundraising. Many of my own advisors told me not to fundraise while pregnant. What they didn't realize is that a determined woman is unstoppable.

How has mentorship made a difference in your professional and personal life?
When my business partner and I went to our first tech event in LA, there were about 400 men and 5 women. One of them was a woman named Robyn Ward. She knew the tech scene like the back of her hand. She was so generous - she took us under her wing and introduced us to as many people as she could. She helped us with our elevator pitch, funding strategy, etc. I'm not sure we would have made it this far without her support.

I love meeting with female entrepreneurs and helping them any way I can. It's extremely important that we all help each other out. We're a small community and encouragement goes a long way.

Which other female leaders do you admire and why?
I admire Mindy Kaling for her fearlessness, intelligence, and sense of humor. I also admire Alexis Maybank and Alexandra Wilkis Wilson (the women who founded GILT) because they seamlessly merged technology & luxury.

What do you want Three Day Rule to accomplish in the next year?
Over the next year, my goal is for Three Day Rule to become the country's most trusted matchmaking company. We have the team, the tech, and the dedication to scale this business, alongside Match.com. And obviously, our goal is to have hundreds of success stories along the way.