Woman of the MonthMarch 2016
Meet Linda Elliott
Business Consultant at Elliott Connection, LLC
I’m grateful for the clients and business I have, but my goal is to develop a way to extend my services through the use of technology.
What do you do? Help to develop profitable and strategic business connections.
Length of time at this job: Started the company in November 1999.
What do you like best about your job? Making introductions that turn into long-term business relationships.
What career path led you to where you are today? My first job was as a legal assistant. That led me to spread my wings. I became a real estate broker and obtained several securities licenses. I came to San Antonio from El Paso in April of 1984 to establish a real estate securities company for a local developer. It was important for me to quickly get involved in the community to establish myself and develop relationships.
When did you know that you were in the right place in your career? I guess I have always had an innate ability to connect people (genes inherited from my dad). A good friend asked me one day if I had ever considered starting a company doing what I do best. I thought that was a rather novel concept but had to ask her what it was she thought I did best. She replied that I knew how to connect people for all the right reasons. That was validation that I really needed to create my own company to do what apparently comes natural for me. Being realistic, my goal was to get five clients the first year. I accomplished my goal in two months!
Who were your mentors? My greatest mentor was my dad, but he died 25 years ago. He was my hero. I watched him do every day of his life what I’m doing for a living. I try to live by his philosophies. He believed that “it is better to give than to receive” and that if you are fair with people, they will be fair with you. In my present life, I have two friends I would consider my mentors — Deborah Bauer and Guyla Sineni.
What person do you most admire? Of course, my dad and also my grandfather, who was a medical missionary in South Africa. In this current world, I have great admiration for Bill Gates and where he has turned his focus with the establishment of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. I can’t stop there though. On the local front there are two women I truly admire: Barbara Banker and Rosemary Kowalski. Barbara sets the perfect example of how one should live. She’s achieved business success and now lives to give to those she loves. Rosemary has built a dynasty in the business she started and now is building her legacy with Rosemary’s Kitchen.
What is your all-time favorite movie? The two movies I’ve watched multiple times are The Natural and A Chorus Line. Both are movies that give me the courage to believe that I can do anything I want if I have faith in myself and persevere. In other words, never give up. When I need that reinforcement, I watch these movies.
Who has been the biggest influence in your life personally and professionally? I must put God first and foremost. Of course, my dad has been a big influence as I’ve said. I must also honor my mom, knowing she was the wind beneath his wings. She is 93 years young and the matriarch of our family. She has influenced me greatly through her strength and determination. What a grand lady she is!
How do you find balance in your life — career, community and home life? This has become very important to me. I had to force myself not be a workaholic, as I could see it was taking its toll on me. Paramount is how I begin every day. I start every morning by reading a devotional. On M-W-F I work out at the gym at 5:30 a.m. and on Saturday at 8 a.m. Exercise has become a critical factor for me to maintain balance. I enjoy being at home and make every effort not to bring work home with me. I’ve also stopped working on the weekends. At this stage in my life, I have cut back on my community commitments. Relaxation and private time are now more important to me.
What are your goals? My primary goal is to impact people’s lives in a positive way. Of course, I must also make a living. I’m grateful for the clients and business I have, but my goal is to develop a way to extend my services through the use of technology. We’re working on launching some new initiatives I believe will be well received.
What is the best advice that you have ever received? The key to success is to listen rather than to be heard. I love to learn about people, so I ask a lot of questions about them. The more you know about people, the more likely you will be able to do business with them. You can better tailor your proposition to fit their needs.
People would be surprised to know that I … really am more of an introvert at heart. Everybody who knows me would classify me as a definite extrovert. The reality is that I work at being “on,” and I always look forward to getting back into my private world.