Robin Flit Schafer launched her website because she believed in her cause — helping children acquire emotional intelligence. Now she has come to the point where she needs money to move her virtual business, www.masterfulkids.com, to the next level.
She grew up in Teaneck, where here father was a homebuilder and her mother worked in advertising. Graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 1976, she worked as a paralegal, then took classes in landmark restoration and began to restore buildings, with her father’s encouragement, in New York City. Then she took time off to “play” in the stock market and, as an early investor in Google, had some success. She is married to a product development consultant, and they have three children. One daughter is in Israel taking college credits, another daughter, an anthropology major at New York University, is in Germany for the year. The youngest is in his early teens.
It was his problems that triggered her interest in emotional intelligence counseling, as espoused by a Harvard professor. Emotional Intelligence involves positive thinking, resolving conflicts, self awareness, and being able to have empathy for others. It spurred her to take training to be a certified coach: “I feel emotional intelligence is a necessity. In the corporate world, the people who get ahead are the ones who DO have emotional intelligence.”
With the monies saved from her earlier endeavors, plus some inherited funds, she launched her emotional intelligence website to help other families who needed help with stress at school. “My eventual goal is to help people and get a lot of people on the site, so advertisers will be interested in it.”
Schafer sought counseling from the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) but did not like what she heard. “They didn’t believe in emotional intelligence and they didn’t believe in the site. They were discouraging.” But she went ahead. “I felt it would be successful. I thought I would make money.”
She has spent $60,000 so far. That went for setting up the website (she used a company in India and had to have it finished in Rumania), for making videos, and for legal help. Because the site is geared to children it must adhere to the Children’s Online Protection Act.
About 100 children have signed up, but Schafer believes it would cost $100,000 to market it properly, and she has run out of money. “I was paying a lot per month for Google words, but it was like a fire. I kept feeding the fire and not really getting anywhere. I can’t keep laying money out.” So she is trying to do the marketing on her own.
She remains positive. That’s because she has been through far worse. After the birth of her third child she contracting a ghastly infection that involved flesh-eating bacteria and turned her leg black. After being in intensive care for four weeks, she was in a deep depression.
“But I had children to get home to, I had a strong will, and was a fighter. I had to be strong for my kids. I couldn’t allow negative thoughts to enter my mind — and Emotional Intelligence is about replacing negative with positive thoughts. When positive thoughts lead, it helps you through the day.”
“In the end, what helped me was positive thinking. When I was negative, I couldn’t do the physical therapy because I was down. I thought of my father, a positive thinker who had a lot of misfortune and I thought of what he would have done. I told myself that I had to push myself, that being negative was unproductive. By pushing myself, the therapy would eventually help, and it did.”
Masterful Kids, 12 Buckingham Drive, East Brunswick 08816; 732-390-481. Robin Schafer. Home page: www.masterfulkids.com.