The Great Connector with Linda Elliott


Working in the same profession for years grows dull. Every day feels the same… and that’s when you know it’s time for a shake-up.

Usually this means one of two things: retire, or pivot into a new career.

And if you’re going to pivot into a new career, you may as well follow your passion!

Today’s guest Linda was born with a passion for making connections. Though the job description never existed before, she became a professional “connector”, linking people in her network for a fee.

In this episode, you’ll discover how following your passion can give new life to your career, so you can retire on a high note.

Listen now!

Show Highlights Include:

  • Why nasty health scares pave the way to entrepreneurial freedom ([7:16])
  • The “prove it” strategy that turns your children into financially secure adults ([9:37])
  • Why letting your kid put $10 into some video game stock has a high return on investment (even if you pay $20 in broker fees just to buy it) ([10:06])
  • How to boost your business’ income by joining a bunch of strangers to talk about your weekend hobbies ([17:06])




Do you want a wealthy retirement without worrying about money? Welcome to retire in Texas, where you will discover how to enjoy your faith, your family, and your freedom in the state of Texas. And now here’s your host financial advisor, author, and all around good Texan, Darryl Lyons. 


([00:29]): Hey, welcome to retire in Texas. This is Darryl Lyons, and I’m the host and the co-founder and CEO of PAX financial group. And they sponsor this program. So be sure to visit PAXfinancial group.com. And remember this information is general nature only. So visit PAXfinancial group.com for more information. And also it’s important that, you know, you can text 7 48 68 and put in the word texts. And one of our financial advisors will give you a 15 minute consultation. It’s no cost and it’s with the heart of a teacher. So I think you’ll like it. So anyways, wanna jump into the show with a long time friend, Linda Elliot, Linda, thank you for being here today.  Glad to be here darryl. Now you’re not officially retired. I don’t Think. No, not officially. You’ll never retire. Will you? I don’t think So. I don’t think so. Now tell people we were talking about this earlier. Tell people how we first met. I, for a client, had set up a Toastmasters club. They wanted to start Toastmasters for their own organization. And I get a call from a Darryl Lyons saying, I think I need Toastmaster. Is that what I said? I bet I did say that. Yeah. Yeah. You were ready to move up and onward and you said, I think I wanna be in a Toastmasters club. Let me go check yours out. And so you came, it was, and that was for an accounting firm. Remember it was the old Paget Stratman. 


([01:44]): It was a great firm, you know, because I had an undergrad in accounting. I could often relate to the personalities of accountants. And so I really enjoyed that group. It was, it became like a friend, like we all became friends. Yeah. Yeah. Because we were standing up to tell stories, like very intimate stories about ourselves Uhhuh Uhhuh. And I think at that time you were with New York life. Am I right? Yeah. Gosh, we were kids back then. We were Kids. Oh, we were just getting started. It was unbelievable. Wow. Well that was honestly, that was now 20 years ago. Gosh. So we’ve known each other. Well, Uhhuh <affirmative> we’ve been friends ever since. And then you were really super kind to have nominated me for small business person of the year. Yes. And Dave Robinson came to applaud you. I was super impressed and I still have a picture of me with Dave Robinson. So, so yeah, let me just share it with the audience and then we’re gonna get into Linda. Not, this is not about me, but that’s a funny story. So Linda nominated me, uh, for a category of small business, uh, owner of the year in the mentoring category, which is, was wonderful. Uhhuh was a very, very much an honor. And uh, so it was a very beautiful gala at the wi museum that you invited me to. And I had a table and you were there. Of course. Well, you weren’t at my table, but we had a table and yeah, one of the people that I invited wasn’t feeling good. So they left. And so I called David up, Dave Robinson and he was living in the Broadway towers. I said, David, Hey, I’m winning an award. Can you come? And maybe support me? And he’s like, I’ll be right there. And so he shows up and sits down. And before that it was the darl Lyons show. Everybody wanted to talk to me and then it was no longer the darryl show. It’s all about David 


([03:19]): Who’s there for darryl. So it Was still the Dar line show. It Was great evening. And we had a great time. Yeah. And it was well done that I, I just thank you for that. That was really kind of well, Well deserved. I well deserved. You’ve done a great job. Well, and you’ve also, and we’re gonna get into this a little bit. You’re just such a connector and that’s what makes you, who you are. Do you still use the Linda connect? It’s called Elliott connection, Elliott connection. And yes, I still have clients, uh, with Elliott connection and I have another company too, that I seem to be spending most of my time with. We’re gonna get into both of those. Yeah. I want to hear about ’em because you are such a gifted connector. Like it’s amazing. In fact, in the city of San Antonio, you’re one of the best. And so that’s pretty interesting. I wanna go into that now, but before we get into that, I wanna know, are you originally this, I don’t know. Are you originally from San Antonio, From El Paso, Texas? Is that right? Almost New Mexico, But you told me you didn’t speak Spanish a few minutes ago. I know <laugh> actually Spanish was my first language, but you know, as they say, you lose it, if you don’t use it. So That’s true. And So, uh, I haven’t used it, So yeah. Back then when you lived there, you could probably go across Towas without an issue, right? Oh yeah. Do you remember? I mean like, was that part of, Oh, that’s where we spent our high school years and I said, I would never want to raise kids over here. 


([04:41]): <laugh> but you would go without, like for sure, like there wasn’t much issue. That’s where we had fun. So talk about the high school and getting a chance to drink underage and do all that stuff. And you did all of that kind of being on the edge of danger, but then there’s the daytime stuff where you go and get chick lays and shoe shines in, in Mexican food. Did you do some of that stuff? Well, I didn’t get shoe shines, but we used to go over and get nails done and, you know, pedicures and all that sort of stuff. Yeah. Yeah. Those were the days when the border was like, mm-hmm, <affirmative> really Like really safe. I’m hoping that one day we’ll get there again, cuz it’s such a cool culture and a beautiful place to go and hang out. But you just can’t do it Anymore. They have some beautiful, we used to go to the dog races over there. Oh yeah. Yep. They were really big on dog races. So they were, you know, it was great fun. So you went to high school in El Paso. Was that Coronado high school or? Yep. Oh, Hey, I threw it out there. Look at You. Not bad. Huh? I could date myself and say I went there when it opened. 


([05:36]): Is that right? Okay. Yeah. And so El Paso is where I’m. I don’t keep up with El Paso cause it’s quite a distance from here, but it’s obviously grown. It’s uh, respectable community and I’m sure at that time it wasn’t as big. But when you grew up it was you, your mom, your dad and, and three siblings. Is that right? Mm-hmm <affirmative> okay. Correct. So where were you in that order? The Oldest. Okay. What do your parents do? My parents are both deceased now. Actually my mother recently died and she was 100 years old. Oh wow. She died in her sleep. Was She a, Like, we all want To go, I know exactly dying in your sleep, holding hands with your spouse. Yes. Yeah. And my dad died quite young. He was 61 years old. He died of a heart attack and he was buried. His funeral was on the day of a 62nd Birthday. No kidding. So, she went a long time without him. She did. Wow. That’s hard. And She was the matriarch of the family. We all just loved her. And she had her mind still real good. Uh, what took it out of her, I think was the pandemic. She was living in assisted living at the time. And one evening you get ready for bed and everybody’s happy and jovial. And the next day she wakes up to a bunch of people and, you know, suits and hazmat suits and covers from head to toe. And I think that was kind of when, you know, gradually she just stopped eating and it was her time to go. And we were all grateful that she lived a wonderful life. I’m sorry, but it does sound like y’all had a chance to, to see her die peacefully, right? Peacefully. Yes. So what did they do growing up while you were kids for a living? 


([07:17]): My dad was in the insurance business and he Like property and cat car or yeah, life insurance or just all of that. All Of it. Okay. And he was working for a company. Uh, he was one of, uh, the partners of a company. It was called Weber and company. And in fact, my mother was the first one to work there. My mother had been a nurse. They got married at the end of world war II and ended up in, they got married actually here in San Antonio. He was based here and how they met was at a wedding in Phoenix and she was a bridesmaid and he was a groomsman and they met and you know, that’s great rest, as they say is history. And she had gone to school and she became a nurse, but she was working at weting C uh, Mr. Weber died. My dad ended up taking over and the American companies ended up purchasing that company. And it was the only agency outside the American company family that operated almost independently. And then he had to have a heart attack first and he says, I’ve gotta change my life. And here he has four kids at home and a wife who is playing mom. She was a dedicated mom for all of us. And he ended up starting his own agency, independent agency, left American casualty American companies and, and started his own agency. And so your mom was always helping him. Is that the idea? No. Uh, when she started having babies yeah. She put 100% into it. Yeah. Being his life support and taking care of him, that Makes Sense. His oldest as her oldest child and then the rest of us, 


([08:59]): It sounds like he was on active duty. Is that right? Was He, he got in at the tail end of world war II, so we never went into combat or anything. Okay. Gotcha. So, and then they ended up in Boston, he went to UEP, as it is now was UIP Mm-hmm <affirmative> it was, um, Texas college of mines back then. Is That right? Okay. Yeah. Yeah. And then he ended up going to business school, graduate school up in Boston, and then they moved back down to El Paso just barely in time for Linda to be born. So was it, would you say middle class, upper middle class. Rich. It sound like you score. I would say we were upper middle class. Yeah. Okay. And so did he ever teach you about money or was there anything that you might have observed? Yes. Miserably. So he did, did he? Yes. For us to get our allowance, we were on allowance. We had to keep a budget and we had to prove what we spent our money on, or we wouldn’t get our allowance that was really telling, but he was very good about trying to teach us to have financial responsibility. Sounds like it. Yeah. And so he obviously in the finance business felt that was important. And so did you and your other three siblings embrace that type of teaching? The same? We probably fought it a little bit. Yeah. He was tough on us, but it was good. I think it all came back. I would say probably I worked for him actually at his, uh, company, which was great. 


([10:32]): Was that right after high school or No, during high school I’d go in the summers. I was the only one that worked for him, but I would say that my brother probably benefited the most. He had a paper route. Okay. And so I do think that he probably gleaned a lot more from what my father was trying to teach us than any of the rest of us did than the girls. It was three girls. And my brother was a second to youngest because I remember him saying, I said, why.you do this for me? But he says, I wanna buy some stock. Yeah, here. He was a little kid and my dad taught him. He says, what is it that you like the best? If you’re gonna buy stock with the few pennies that you have buy stock in something that you really like. And back in those days, it was, what was it called? White. We were big skiers. We had a place up in OSA and it was white. I forget it, it doesn’t exist anymore, but it was a, a ski clothing company. You know, it, it could have been a good deal. It could have gotten bought out by another money. You Made money. And so, and it was Harder to buy then. I mean, it’s not like you go to app on TD Ameritrade or something in per, I mean, that was, it was a process. It was A big deal. Yeah. And so my dad walked him through it and took him to his stock broker and said, my son wants to buy some stock and made it all happen. That’s cool. So I thought that was a very cool thing. So what’s interesting about this is that, you know, I have four kids and my attempts to teach my kids about money. You know, when I first, when I first had Luke, I had these systems and these Excel spreadsheets and I was gonna have this thing figured out and Luke caught on relatively quickly, but then applying it to different personalities was utter failure. <laugh> it was like, wait a minute, these kids are all different. And so I was curious to know if they all kind of embraced it differently. 


([12:22]): Back in the day we had ledger books. Yeah. Oh. And we would have our budgets and these ledger books, you know, we did have computers back then, by the way, I remember white stag. Do you Remember that? White stag? Well, I know the brand, uh, Don’t don’t think it’s around anymore, but Point it out. That’s it. But, well, so you went to Coronado and then after that, what’d you do? Okay. People ask how long I was at Coronado. I said six years and they go, ah, school is a little tougher. That’s so rough. Yeah. 

Well, how it started is they started in the sixth grade and went to the ninth grade, dropped a grade, add a grade, dropped a grade. So I was there from seventh grade, through 12th grade and we had a great time there and met a lot of new people. We got to pick the mascot and that’s cool. Write the song and the pick, the colors and everything. So it’s kind of fun going to a new high school. Yeah. And so six years at Coronado, and then you decided to leave town, or I decided to go to college. And my first place I went was Texas woman’s university because I had a girlfriend there. One of my best friends went there and I stayed there one semester. It was not where I was supposed to be. Not for you. I went across town and it was north Texas state university at the time. And I started school as a music major, which was not where I was destined to be, but I didn’t know any better. And I had these ideas. I was gonna be some famous operatic singer. And that was not meant to be, I ended up with a boyfriend who ended up being my husband eventually. And he was at north Texas state university. 


([14:04]): Okay. And so how long were y’all married? We were married for eight years. 

Eight years. And so then what was the career like for you? I mean, cuz I know who you are today, but in the time that you met your husband, what would you say would define your occupation? Okay. He was very focused on the direction he was gonna take and he was working to be an accountant, so okay. In the big mistake we probably would’ve stayed married. Had it not been for me, forcing him to go back to El Paso. Oh. And he was looking at all the big eights at the time. Yeah. He got offered a job in Houston, in Dallas. And then in El Paso with Price Waterhouse? Uh, no, no it was, uh, what was it called? No, it’s one of the old ones. It wasn’t Price Waterhouse anyhow. And he ended up and my dad had made arrangements for that. So we ended up back in El Paso and I actually went to work with a law firm, but I was gonna go to work for a title company because I knew the lady who ran first American title company there. And she was the one that introduced me to an attorney. So I got very involved in that. I ended up in real estate. Is that how you became a connector is just through the art of real estate. You just kind of by default need to connect. Is that where you started to get that skill or was it always there? Not Really Darrell. I would say it was in my jeans, my dad. Okay. My dad was very, very, very involved in the community. He started the boys club. He, everybody knew Jim Elliott and he was just a wonderful idyllic human being. And so I think part of me wanted to emulate him. Oh, Okay. 


([15:46]): And we were very close. So what he would do is he would let me know that it’s important to get involved in the community. And I did in El Paso, I was very involved in the, uh, sun carnival. We had that going on and others, I got involved in the junior league there. And so that was just almost like a nature to me in college. I got involved in politics. I remember back in the old golf Brisco days. I was, and I remember Darrell Royal was sitting at our table. I is that right. Was pretty impressed. Wow. When we went to Texas at UT, we moved to Austin during the time. But so it was just part of me. It was in my blood, I didn’t know. Better. Yeah. And you show a genuine curiosity in other people. So that seems to be you’re right. To your point, it’s kind of in your blood. I know that other people have had to work and grind and work and grind and, and other people comes relatively intuitive. And, and thankfully you had a dad that kind of illustrated that and showed you that way. Because I mean, you know, when you go to college, you do study this stuff, but then you realize when you get in the real world, how important these relationships are, 

I’m all about relationships. And so, you know, obviously Toastmasters and it’s kind of funny that you married an accountant and then you’re working with accountants. There’s probably some, I always have an accounting firm as a client. I don’t know why, you know, it’s because they think inside the box. Oh, typically that’s their Mo. Yeah. And I remember the managing partner of that company at the time was Ray Barron. Yeah. 


([17:19]): Ray Barron. Yep. You Remember Ray? Yep. And he says, he felt that his, he got to where he was because of the training he got through Toastmasters. And he wanted to offer that. I remember him, him saying that. Yeah. Because he’s not an extrovert guy, Uhuh. He had to work on it. Yeah. But very successful man. Very, but did a really classy job of building an organization. Yeah. So he was the one that said, I wanna do this and could you start it? And what I was trying to do is open doors for ’em that’s what I do for my clients is I help them to meet the people that they need to meet. Actually tomorrow I’m working with another accountant that wants to get involved in the community. And so the firm has asked me to help introduce her to different opportunities. In the eight 30 tomorrow morning, we are meeting with a big organization. They have their CEO and their CFO and their COO are gonna be there. And then a board member and a consultant, we’re all gonna go and meet, but it’s in an area that she’s very interested in. And you know, what I wanna do is help her land a position on a board that she can really get involved in and start that trajectory So much to ask there. But my time is coming to the end. And there’s just a few cool things to ask about. First of all, I wanna know, do people actually pay you to connect them with other, imagine That, But they do, right? Yeah. 


([18:43]): It’s So cool. Well, I give full credit for all of the people that I met through the course of my life here. And I’ve been here since 1985. Sure. Yeah. And people say, you know, everybody in town, I certainly don’t, but I have a broad spectrum of, uh, relationships. And that’s how I’m able to do it, you know, with Elliot connection. I’ve always done that. But also with healthcare think tank. Let’s talk about that too. Okay. Like what is that? That’s your other business you were talking about, Right? Yes. And it’s the one, when you think about Elliot connection, if, and when I ever do retire, Which will be never, but go Ahead, Elliot connection is worth about zero because it’s, you it’s too branded. Yeah. You kind of need Elliot there. Yeah. But healthcare think tank, what I’m really trying to do is build it to where it can stand without me. That’s fair enough. That’s a part of it. And I’ve got some people working with me that I would give it to them to continue running. So how would you describe how that works? What’s the value that’s offered It’s people now from around the country, primarily in Texas started here. Actually it started as a focus group for the law firm that we were talking about with Toastmasters. Yeah. They wanted to strengthen their healthcare niche. Okay. And I said, well, let me put together a focus group and I will bring like minded business leaders in. And then I will bring healthcare leaders to talk to you about what’s needed in order to satisfy their needs. 


([20:07]): So how do people learn more about this? They can go website, go to my website, healthcare, think tank.org, Healthcare, think tank.org.org. Okay. Yeah. It’s primarily business people who work in the healthcare industry in any number of ways, banking, legal, accounting, construction, architects, Anything healthcare related. They’re building hospitals. Yeah. They’re working with doctors. They’re doing, but I’m also entered into the life sciences. We also have some doctors and healthcare providers that are involved and you know, the pandemic changed a lot. I started here, I took it under my own umbrella and I got out of that accounting firm because it was too self perpetuating under theirs. I said, it’s not gonna last. So, and then somebody came to me and said, could you start a chapter in Austin? I said, couldn’t be too harsh. Sure. Yeah. What about Houston? Sure. What about Dallas Fort worth? Okay. Wow. So we had Fort chapters and then March 20, 20, the world changed. And so we were already using zoom. People were still scratching their head. Yeah. That’s right. And saying, how do you spell that word? Yeah. And how do you log in? Yeah. Yeah. And so we immediately, as of April, 2020, we were totally virtual. Okay. Now we are doing one virtual and one integrated, meaning we’re live, streaming it in person. And I go from city to city. 


([21:42]): So were you active with NBO for a long time? National association? Very, yeah. National association of women, business owners. And the reason I wanna, I’m gonna kind of tail off our conversation for the sake of time, even though there’s so much here, but you’ve been not only an entrepreneur and a connector and an innovator and a thought leader in so many ways, but the other thing is you’ve had a passion to help women business owners. And so I’d like for you to speak to that a little bit, maybe even those that are tuning in, in that might be in the latter stages of their life. Maybe they’re a little older and they’re thinking, you know, I’d like to start a business or do something and they’re female. What do you tell them? Follow your passion. And I love to be able to say, I think I have a brilliant idea for you, but it’s follow your gut, follow your passion and don’t give up. And But they say I’m too old, you know? No, no, no, I’m a woman. And they, you know, they won’t take me seriously. What do you say to that here? You are still grinding, still smiling, still connecting Because I love it. And that’s what passion’s all about. Yeah. Is you do what you love. Yeah. Don’t consider it work. I was just having lunch today with a lady who is about my age and she is thinking about retiring. And she says I had to wake up and realize that I wasn’t enjoying my working part. Generally, when you get to a certain age, it’s not as if you have to make money, some people really do, but it’s going to be a grind. You’re gonna be miserable if you’re not doing something that you truly, truly love, you can figure out. I had to go figure out a way to make money. It was a very dear friend of mine and an attorney that I use. And she says, have you ever thought about doing what you do so well? And I said, well, that’s a rather novel concept. Exactly. What is it you think I do so well. And she says, you just know how to connect people. And I couldn’t find another company to emulate in building. And it, it went for about a year or two me thinking about that and it just never left me. And I just said, I, you know, heck I’m going for it. 


([23:47]): I love it. Yep. Good. And I was in a niche at the chamber. I had started a different direction for the chamber as a council director. And everybody said it couldn’t be done. And it did. And it was back in the boom of when technology was just coming into play. And people were talking about doing websites and all that sort of stuff. I said, I know nothing about it. And I used to call myself a PhD in technology, a push here, dummy. I didn’t know anything. We didn’t know what an icon was or any of that stuff. And I said, but I can help those people because those people they’re kind of like nerds and they don’t know how to go out and sell their services. And so I’ll open doors and it just boomed. And those were my first clients is helping them get indoors and saying, you guys need to have a website. This is the greatest things since slice spread. So I just knew barely enough to, you know, now I’m working pharmacology and yeah, It’s unbelievable Doing all sorts of other Things, but it’s follow your passion. It’s following my passion. My whole passion is introducing people and seeing their eyes light up. Now that’s worth right there finishing on. But I do have one more question, Linda. Yes. What’s your favorite salsa? <laugh> I know. And I I’m old fashioned. I’ve been eating the same salsa forever and ever rah RA for San Antonio, pace. Ponti. You’re extra hot. 


([25:15]): You’re a pace girl. Huh? Uhhuh. All right. Representing San Antonio pace. Picante. Good for you. Extra hot, Extra hot. Okay. Well that, you’re My first. I graduated to the Extra hot you’re my first pacer. Hey, thanks for being on the show today. I’m sorry about that. I know everybody got upset when Campbell took over. Huh? You know, they’re just, I’m a loyalist. You’re a loyalist. They’re being eclectic, you know, all this, but look, thank you so much. This has been a great dialogue I’ve learned about you and, uh, it’s really been special. So thank you. Well, thank you very much, Darrell and we’re friends forever. That’s right. Thanks for listening to retire in Texas. I really appreciate it again. Text 7 48, 68, put in their Texas and you’ll be connected with a 15 minute consult with one of our advisors. There’s no cost for that, but most importantly as you leave here today, I want you to remember you think different when you think long term have a great day. 


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