Elizabeth Connelly made the Forbes list of America’s Top Women Wealth Advisors Best-In-State and St. Louis Small Business Monthly’s Top 100 St. Louisans You Should Know. Connelly and Brett discuss her early start in education, how she practices moving on from the past, and why she identifies as a “big picture person.”
Elizabeth Connelly, J.D., CTFA, CISP joined Visionary Wealth Advisors as a Partner and Sr. Wealth Management Advisor in November of 2021 with an impressive 35+ years of experience in the financial services industry. Throughout her career she has developed enduring client relationships that have spanned decades. Elizabeth has an extensive record of community service; most notably she serves as Board President of the Signature Healthcare Foundation Board of Directors. She is also a member of the School Sisters of Notre Dame Financial Advisory Committee.
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Brett Gilliland 00:02
Welcome to the search of success. I’m your host, Brett Gilliland, and today I’ve got the privilege to interview ELIZABETH CONNOLLY. Elizabeth, how you doing?
Elizabeth Connelly 00:08
Doing well, thank you.
Brett Gilliland 00:10
Well, it’s it’s great to have you you, you know, you had to come all the way from Brentwood. I always joke with people in Missouri that have to come over to Illinois. It’s like we had to go through, go through the border, you know, to get your passport out and everything.
Elizabeth Connelly 00:21
Very easy. Very easy drive.
Brett Gilliland 00:25
Well you are a partner and Senior Wealth Management Advisor here at Visionary Wealth Advisors, you are a Top 100 Person to Know in St. Louis, that’s a big deal. And you are a Forbes list of America’s Top Advisors. So congratulations on all those things. It’s amazing. You’ve been with us for almost a year now, I guess about seven, eight months. And it’s just been really, really neat to get to watch your career, and learn from your career. So I was excited to have you today. But you don’t just wake up and become that person in St. Louis or this advisor. So could you tell us a little bit of the backstory, what’s made Elizabeth Connelly the woman you are today?
Elizabeth Connelly 01:01
Oh, yes. Thank you. So I grew up in a family of eight children.
Brett Gilliland 01:06
Elizabeth Connelly 01:06
So academics was very important to my parents. They actually are from a little town in Illinois, Sullivan, Illinois.
Brett Gilliland 01:16
Oh my gosh!
Elizabeth Connelly 01:16
Yeah, so their parents raised them to be educated. Because my dad’s 89 now, my mom passed away about 18 months ago, and education was just very important in the family. Because when you look at a farming community, and what my grandparents and my great grandparents went through, they did not have the privilege of going on to further education. So when I was growing up, I had no idea that you had a choice about going to college, I only knew that you had a choice about what you, what school you went to after college. So that’s the environment that I grew up in.
Brett Gilliland 02:02
And did all eight do that? I mean, all eight kids went to college?
Elizabeth Connelly 02:05
Brett Gilliland 02:05
And that’s, that’s amazing.
Elizabeth Connelly 02:07
Yes. And all eight of them have another degree beyond college. And literally, it’s because that’s–we didn’t know any different, right? We just didn’t know any different. When we were younger, so I call myself the middle child, because there was always the three older kids and the four little girls and I was right in the middle, I was never old enough to be with the three older kids. And I was too old to be with the four little girls. So as the middle child, if you would, I hung out mostly with– I have two brothers that are right above me. So my oldest is a sister, then two brothers, myself and four little girls, if you would. My brother Dave, when we were little, we always played together. He had a stethoscope and a black bag from my uncle who was an orthopedic surgeon in Decatur, Illinois.
Brett Gilliland 03:05
Elizabeth Connelly 03:06
And Dave used to carry those around. My dad had an old briefcase and I used to carry his old briefcase around, we would sit at a table like this. And my brother had a little pad of paper and he’d have the stethoscope around his you know, nine year old neck, and he would practice writing prescription pads. So you couldn’t read his handwriting?
Brett Gilliland 03:29
Yeah, sloppy, right?
Elizabeth Connelly 03:31
I would argue with him because I was going to be a lawyer and I was going to be a litigation lawyer. So we did that. That’s what I did when I was younger. On my path, if you would to school, I ended up when I was a senior in high school, I won a scholarship from Monsanto, where my dad worked to be a foreign exchange student in Belgium. And I was 17 years old. My dad was away on a business trip. My mom was cooking Mosca choli, in a big pot. She always was dressed, had a little apron on, had her lipstick on. She was at the stove. And I was sitting under the phone that was on the wall. And it rang. And I answered it. And I remember my mother freezing, because she heard my answers when I said thank you for the scholarship. She froze. And I always wondered, well, why did she freeze? Well, this is their 17 year old daughter who’s gonna go off by their own part of the country.
Brett Gilliland 04:33
Getting ready to go to their own part of the country.
Elizabeth Connelly 04:34
Yes. So my path was quite different than my brothers and sisters. I went my senior year of high school. I picked a college that happened to be close to my brother that I had done things with my whole life. So I went to Rockhurst University. They accepted me before, in my senior year of high school. I never visited there. I didn’t know anything about it. But I will always credit the Jesuit education with how you think about the world and how you approach the world. When I came home from that, and I started college, I had a wonderful person who you meet with, and they help you with your curriculum, etc., your advisor. I remember telling– her name was Ursula, Ursula fall–and I remember telling her that I had wanted to be a lawyer, but I tried everything else. I tried computer science, I tried mathematics. I tried. I loved philosophy. I loved English. I tried all those things. When I got to my third year of college, she said to me, “do you know you could graduate this year? And you could have a double major in English and Philosophy?” I said, “Well, no, I didn’t.” She said, “Well, here’s what you’re going to take. And you’re going to graduate.” And I said, “Oh, okay.” And I didn’t know what to do. And at that time, businesses came on campus and interviewed you.
Brett Gilliland 06:08
Elizabeth Connelly 06:09
So I interviewed at all those. I took a job. When I was a junior. Well, my last year, which was your my third year of college, I took a job in the management training program of what was then Famous Bar.
Brett Gilliland 06:24
All right, yeah.
Elizabeth Connelly 06:25
So as I got closer to graduating, she said, Ursula falls said to me, “you’re going to take the LSAT,” and I said, “Okay,” so I took the LSAT, my scores came back, they were okay. And she said, “you’re going to apply to law school.” I applied to one law school. I got in, and I said to her, “what am I going to do?” She said, “you’re going to go to law school.” And I said, “But I already accepted a job.” She said, “you’re going to tell them that you’re not going to take that job.”
Brett Gilliland 06:58
Elizabeth Connelly 06:59
And there started my career. So it’s fascinating when you look back, or I look at my children’s lives, the iterations that you go through as you explore what you may or may not want to do. I loved business, I loved mathematics, I love designing the big picture, if you would. I went to law school, when I was in law school, I had the good fortune of working in a firm for quite a while through graduation, etc. And I was allowed to try a case with one of the partners, they’re under what’s called rRule 13, you’re you’re not licensed, but you’re with a licensed person, before I had graduated, and it was a wrongful death case of a teenager. And I knew then I was 21 years old. I knew then, that the life of a litigator, which is up and down and up. In my mind, I wanted to have a family also, I wanted to be married someday, etc. And so I thought, I better do something different in my young, 21 year old mind. So I went and I interviewed at what was Center Bank, which is now Bank of America, after a number of iterations. And there I started my career. The day that I interviewed, I was hired. I was so lucky, but did not know it then, because I walked into an environment where someone was retiring. So there was a desk that had both institutional and personal money on that desk. I then grew up in a world where I did both. And so I was trained in both institutional money and personal money, which is very unusual, as you know, in our business, they’re very different. My clients were the people who started Anheuser Busch Ralston, Purina, Southwestern Bell. Those were my clients. And so I helped them both with their company dollars, and they didn’t have much personal dollars in the beginning. But then as they did, then you craft a plan for their personal wealth as well.
Brett Gilliland 09:23
Which that’s where that designer thing comes back in, right? You talked about you like the big picture, and those are the things that you get passionate in the things that you do today.
Elizabeth Connelly 09:29
Yes, yes. I love. I love what I do. W When I look backward, I feel incredibly fortunate for the experiences that I had. I was there for quite, quite a while I was recruited to Commerce Bank, so I ended up in the banking field, the longest part of my career. I was 12 years there, and I ran the personal trust division. So I had a lot of experience on both sides, as well as with people, and I love people and our business. We are so fortunate because everybody who we run across is different, right?
Brett Gilliland 09:33
Elizabeth Connelly 10:10
Everyone’s different. They have different dreams, goals, concerns. It’s all different. And we are trusted with that.
Brett Gilliland 10:20
Elizabeth Connelly 10:21
As you know, we often know more about a family than other family members may know. Yep. And just over the course of my career, I have developed relationships that span over 30 years, and I just looking backward, I just feel incredibly fortunate.
Brett Gilliland 10:42
That’s great. That’s so great. And what a great career and a great, it’s still going, you’re still doing a great job and building the business that you’re building. So couple things come up for me in that story. So it’s funny, I when I was a child, so I’m an only child. So you’ve got, you know, seven siblings, and so we had different houses, right, mine was very quiet, yours was probably very, very noisy. And God bless your mom and your dad for doing that. And so but it was funny. So I played at my grandpa’s house, my grandpa was a banker, my dad was a banker, had an uncle that were bankers and some business owners and farmers. And so, but I just for some reason, knew early on, I want to be in business and the game, I would play as a kid, we would set my grandpa’s basement, and he had this little place that we would kind of make a makeshift office and Lindsay and Christina and Jennifer, my cousins, they would come in and they were all, they would all work for me. And they would come in and literally, the only thing I would do in this game is kind of sit at this desk, and they would come in and hand me a piece of paper. And I’d have to sign off on something. And so we joke about that to this day when I see him, which isn’t often enough, but how you as a child, the things that you start to do. I think if I was looking back, I would give those kids that are doing things now pay attention to that, right? Because that really matters of what maybe you can do. So to think about what you did, and your brother and so on, I thought was really cool. So as you can, let’s talk a little bit about– I don’t need to make this a male/female thing, but I think you know, having four kids, you know, it’s like they need their mom, right? They want to be with Mom, mom is important. They always joke that mom’s their favorite, right? And that’s okay. But as a professional woman, if you could give advice to that, that woman right now driving down the road, listen to this, that’s that’s wanting to raise a family but yet be a professional and build a career that you’ve built? What advice would you have for her?
Elizabeth Connelly 12:27
I would first say to her, you can do it. It is overwhelming to think about being a wife, a mother and a business person. There are some days where you’re beyond exhausted. But I always thought to myself, we’re only privileged to do that right? For a short period of time. In my career, it was a different world. I can remember for years and years, being the only female in the room. I can remember being at board meetings, I was the only female even today in my role, if you would, there are not that many females, right? If it is something that a young woman wants to do. I say do it, you can do it. Fear, I sometimes think that people overthink things, right? And I think that’s from fear. Yeah, we all have that fear. The mind is an incredibly powerful thing. And every time that I feel fear, if you would, because we all do, right? We all especially if we’re tired, you feel fear, I would say to that young woman, you push that out of your mind, and you continue to tell yourself, you can do it.
Brett Gilliland 13:50
So how do you, how do you do that? How do you just push it out of your mind? And before we even go there, you know, I thanked you on a text message but I want to publicly thank you for that. The St. Christopher rosary you sent me, right? So for those of you that listen, you probably hear me talk about my fear of flying eight years, it gives me chills thinking about it, actually. And so I just got back right and had this amazing trip, but you talked about the fear. And I always say the fears we put in our mind never blow up to the magnitude you put them in your mind to be. And that’s the case, but they are real like so there was no logic behind not wanting to get on the airplane. I knew the stats I knew it’s better likelihood I would get in a wreck drive into the airport than I would flying but again, there’s no logic behind it. And so for me, it was you sent me this rosary is a three step process. I had to pray and for me that thing was in my front right pocket the whole trip, right and whether I was hiking on a plane, wherever it’s at it was there. And so I thought a lot about that and how to push that. So is that something you would suggest? Whether it’s the prayer or whatever it may be? Is that like how do you just push it through your mind and let go of it?
Elizabeth Connelly 14:54
It takes a lot of practice. Even today with different moments, I have to do that. I was very lucky when I was in college, there was a priest, who said to me, and I wrote it down on this envelope and kept it next to my bed stand in my dorm room. There is nothing you can’t do for just one day. And in my life, I’ve had to break that down into 15 minute increments sometimes.
Brett Gilliland 15:26
And I broke. sorry to interupt, I broke it down, there’s nothing you can’t do for three hours and 10 minutes, because that was my first flight.
Elizabeth Connelly 15:31
Okay, very good. You know, it’s interesting, because that has been in my mind, and every time there’s a fearful thought, an ugly thought, you know, the voices in your mind of things you want to say to people who’ve bothered you, if you would– I just, I say that, I say that to myself, and I push it out. If you are a person who is a person of faith, I have certain prayers, the routine prayers, for example, the Hail Mary, that the length it takes to say a Hail Mary pushes whatever that thought is out of your mind and it redirects it. And so you can do that you can quietly do that, wherever it is, you’re sitting. And I always felt like it was my job when I left my home in the morning, to put a smile on my face and leave it there regardless of whatever else was going on in my life. And I have also followed that. And so back to the to the young women, I say that to them. I say you keep a mirror on your desk, when you’re on the phone when someone’s challenging you when things are not going your way. Look in the mirror for a moment and see what your face looks like. Put a smile back on it. It’s amazing about putting a smile on your face. How that redirects you.
Brett Gilliland 17:02
You can feel that energy, right? I mean, you talk about people you can feel it when somebody walks in a room, you can almost feel their energy. And I think it’s John Gordon’s book, The Energy Bus he talks about you can feel it almost radiate. I think it’s 10 or 15 feet. He talks about that you can feel somebody’s presence. And I think that’s, that’s part of that.
Elizabeth Connelly 17:19
I agree with you.
Brett Gilliland 17:20
Yeah, yeah. So what what would you say if I, if I was able to follow you with a camera back then right, go 10, 20, 30 years ago, whatever you want to do. Like what are the no-miss items that Elizabeth Connelly, that I would see that was in your daily lives, your daily habits back then, and even that probably still go on today.
Elizabeth Connelly 17:42
What I would say to you is whatever I decided to do, I gave it my all. Whenever I was tired, I told myself, take a breath and keep doing it. I would say that my number one focus, in my mind, always was my family. So I will be married 38 years on December 21. This year, we have two children and they were hard to comeby. So Anna and Vinny and I, I will say that I made sure that as a female full-time working person, that I knew that somehow I could do it all. I made sure that with my children, most women in where I lived did not work. A W-2 job if you would, they were very involved in school and so forth. I made the choices at that time and I devoted my time with my children where I felt they would see me. So I made my choices to go on a field trip that they would be on to be present in the classroom, that sort of a thing. I actually had moms say they saw more of me than they did other people. But it was because the things I chose were in front of my children. So I didn’t run the wrapping paper I didn’t do some of the very important things because that was not in front of my children. So I always made sure that that was first and foremost. And I always did my job. I, in that day and age it was very different than now, and so a lot of it I don’t think people can really relate to today. You know, when you were going to have a baby for example, there was no leave there was no paid leave there was nothing like that. And so your fears were “is someone else, am I going to have a job when I come back?” You know, those were your fears.
Brett Gilliland 19:56
Think about how far that’s come in 30 years?
Elizabeth Connelly 19:58
Yes. As I went through my career, my biggest goal was that Anna, my daughter, who’s now 34, would not have to go through what I did. And I think for the most part, though, the women, the professional women have accomplished a lot in that regard, there’s still a long way to go.
Brett Gilliland 20:22
Elizabeth Connelly 20:22
There is, but it’s a lot better than it was in my day and age. So the routine things that I did that I do, I pay attention to my family, I pay attention to my job. I don’t, for me, personally, I never believed in work life balance, I believe in work life integration.
Brett Gilliland 20:44
Elizabeth Connelly 20:45
So seven days a week, I tend to my family, and I tend to my clients, and I don’t discern the times, I don’t stop at any given time. And when a client, one of my biggest work behaviors is, when a client has a question, that’s when they need an answer. And that could be whatever time of day it is. And I’ve always made that a point, I don’t shut my life, either part of my life down.
Brett Gilliland 21:17
I love that. Okay, so I think when I hear there from your conversation is one of my favorite quotes is “the abundance of and versus the tyranny of the or,” and so I heard in your remarks where I can be a mom and a wife and a professional woman, right? I could be a mom and and still go to the field trip and still work and do those things. Right. So when you hear that “the abundance of the and versus the tyranny of the or” what are your thoughts on that?
Elizabeth Connelly 21:47
I absolutely agree with what you’re saying and on, I’m not saying it’s easy, it’s a very difficult thing. And I think women, women give 100% or 150% of themselves to whatever it is they decide to undertake. And so it is very hard, but it’s very gratifying. And I will say being on the other side of it, I having done it for as long as I have, you can do it. I don’t know how, how to stress to women, the the world in which we live now, the 20 year olds, the 30 year olds, the world they face is, is difficult. Yeah, it’s very, very hard. And I feel like to my children, I say, “just believe you can do it, every action you have, believe you can do it.” And I think that that gets you through some of what’s going on in our world, and gives you some hope, if you would, that it can be done. So always do the “and.”
Brett Gilliland 22:54
I love that. I love that. And so you see on the microphones here, you know, the “f greater than p” the future greater than your past. And as you know, our firm’s mission statement is helping people achieve a future greater than their past. And so when you hear that, and you being you know, what 7, 8, 9 months into, into Visionary, how does that connect with you? And what does that mean to you and your role that what you do every day?
I loved that about the firm. I just love that saying, if you would. My belief with my clients always was that I had a responsibility for their tomorrow’s that not just today, right? You have what you have today. But what we’re concerned about is tomorrow, and how do we get to tomorrow? And how do we get to tomorrow with all the gyrations that happen and the things that go on in people’s lives? So because that’s been my belief, my whole career, or responsibility for my clients, tomorrow’s, I felt it fit exactly in line with what visionary does.
Brett Gilliland 23:55
That’s great, too. And you’re right, because your tomorrow’s, it’s our job, I think, to think about their tomorrow’s right? Because you’re so focused those people out and out in the world, you know, run around doing their lives. They’re, they’re busy, right? They’re chasing kids, they’re working, they’re doing whatever in their own business. It’s our job to think about that tomorrow. So what advice would you have whether you’re in wealth management, or you’re an attorney, whatever it may be, and again, male, female, doesn’t matter. But what advice would you have for them to always say kicking down doors, right? You got to go out and make things happen. You got to take action. That’s one of the circuits of the Circuit of Success is Action. What was that action like for you? And how did you have the confidence to go out and do that?
So I forced myself to take a public speaking class when I was in college. It was the hardest thing I ever did. But I knew that you have to do that. Right? I would tell any young person if you haven’t done that, do that. Toastmasters is something that’s out there. If you’re already in the professional world, do that. You have to be able to speak.
Brett Gilliland 24:57
Yeah, that’s number one.
Elizabeth Connelly 25:00
Once you can speak with regard to how do you get a network? How do you get clients? That sort of thing? I joined every group that I could, I was very active in the Bar Association, very active in groups. So I would try to align myself with other professional women. So who were in different fields, right?
Brett Gilliland 25:24
Elizabeth Connelly 25:25
So that I broadly could get to know people. And women will support women. So that meant a lot to me. And I still, I believe that to be true today. So whatever groups that someone can align themselves with, that’s how you get to know people. That’s how you tell your story. Even in your everyday life, I would go to exercise with four other women every morning at 5:30. So we would go to exercise, and these women were from different, you just roll out of your bed, brush your teeth, and that’s what you look like. But we all talked about business, it was fun. I can talk about business in the grocery store line when someone’s talking to me, because it’s a part of my life, right? I listen to people, I catch what they say. As far as getting clients in your early career, what I think people fail to realize is, it doesn’t happen in one year or two years. It maybe starts in 10 years. And so you have to know that you’re going to get some but your phone’s not going to ring, right?
Brett Gilliland 26:40
Right, absolutely. Couldn’t afford it, right?
Elizabeth Connelly 26:41
You are going to be out there doing the work. And even at the 10 year mark, you’ve built a group of people who know you. It’s still not a shoe in that your phone’s going to ring. And I told myself, early in my career, we had nothing. We had student loan debt, we had no money, we had nothing. I couldn’t be the person who took doughnuts to a meeting or took everybody out to lunch. I didn’t have the money. And so I told myself that what I would do is I would do three things. Confidentiality means everything to me. And I tell anybody that I’m with who shares anything with me that they want me to know it, that’s where it will stay. They want someone else to know it. They have to tell them because I won’t. I also communicate. And I communicate more, I believe, than a lot of people. I answer every single question, and I don’t wait to answer it. I will even respond to an email and say, I need to think about that. And I’ll get back with you on Friday.
Brett Gilliland 27:53
Elizabeth Connelly 27:53
I answer every question.
Brett Gilliland 27:55
Elizabeth Connelly 27:57
The other thing that I do is I stay true to my word. If I tell somebody, I’m going to do it, life happens, right? Sometimes you can’t things change. I tell them, I tell them in the right amount of time. And then I make it up.
Brett Gilliland 28:12
Elizabeth Connelly 28:13
I never, ever forget where something came from. So if someone way back in my career was the first person who introduced me to someone who today has become a source of clients, if you would. I always give that credit. And I never forget that. And I believe that if you are that kind of a person, the right things follow. In my career now, honestly, my phone rings and its reputation if you would, but I worked on that. I worked on that for years. And I think that that’s what people can set you apart if you would.
Brett Gilliland 28:56
I would say that number one is a young person watching my parents their gentleness with us. But always those seeds that were planted that I didn’t know, right? Until I was an adult. And to your point that doesn’t happen overnight. You know, things happen. I’ve been doing this for now 20, almost 21 years next month. And so it things that happen now I’m like, oh, oh, that’s right. That’s how that happened. Because it’s been 21 years of going out and building relationships. And I’ve ran an executive forum for 10 plus years of six or seven guys that we get together that we all run businesses in different industries to your point. And that’s been a game changer for me to spend time with people and hear a different perspective than just what my perspective is. And the people around me. Right? I think that’s important. It’s, my dad always said, it’s who you surround yourself with and the books you read. I just thought he didn’t like my friends. Right? But, but, but it’s true, right? And so I tell that to my kids now it’s all about who you surround yourself with. And so for you and you look about look like that, who was that mentor for you or who was that source of education, if you will, to how to get to the next level and stay at the next level? And may not have liked.
Elizabeth Connelly 30:09
That’s right. Yeah, I would say it starts there, then I would absolutely credit when I was in college, my academic advisor, why she was given to me, I don’t know. And also another individual, I was on a work study program and financial aid. And he was the head of the admissions office. To this day, I am in communication with, with him with his wife. And he has referred a number of people to me, who have referred a number of people to me, and on down the line. Those, watching those individuals who were incredibly humble, and just true to who they were, made a huge difference to me. And I would say that they are the ones who gave me the foundation for how I wanted to behave in my life.
Brett Gilliland 31:07
So when you when you look about how you behave in your life, I think it’s important to think about the future, we talked about future greater than your past, right? Think about the future, be thankful for the past, also learn from the past, but also live in the moment. So you get those three paradigms, right? You get the future, you get the past, you get the present, what have you done, personally, and professionally to try to live in all three of those, if you will, if that makes any sense?
Elizabeth Connelly 31:33
It does make sense. And what I would say is, I reflect periodically on the past, because we all learn from the past. Everyone has a story to tell. And life is not an easy thing. I take the learning from that. I don’t ever want to hold on to any fear or bitterness or whatever it was on that scenario. So that’s the past, now I really focus on enjoying the moment enjoying what’s here right now, enjoying my family, enjoying my clients. But you have to intentionally do that. Because your mind wanders, right? You have to tell yourself to settle down and enjoy just sitting and being with people. That’s hard because we’re driven, right? We’re on to the next thing. So I work hard at settling down into the moment. The future. I’m a big planner, I’m the big picture person, I do that for everybody in my life, right, every one of my clients, etc. So I can’t help but be that person, the big picture person. But I devote, I devote time to that. But then I tell myself, okay, it’s an order, I document my cat, you should see my calendar. I live off my calendar, right? And I documented and I give myself time to think about different things so that it relieves my mind to be present in the moment. So I’ll actually dock at my calendar for whatever that big picture thing is that I’m going to think about that on Saturday at two o’clock in the afternoon.
Brett Gilliland 33:16
So you book it?
Elizabeth Connelly 33:17
Yes, I do.
Brett Gilliland 33:18
And so people are getting, probably get tired of hearing me say this, but I talked about strategic think time all the time. So for years, I mean, you can see these black journals over here, you can see the black arrow here. It’s been the same one since July of 2005. And for me, that that time to just sit and think is is crucial. It’s probably some of the most important time and and people say I don’t understand, I’m busy, I think personally that you talked about Saturday at two o’clock whenever you put on your calendar. That’s some of the most important time of the week in my opinion.
Elizabeth Connelly 33:48
Brett Gilliland 33:49
Yeah, so what, what would you tell the 40 year old Elizabeth, what advice would you give her looking back now?
Elizabeth Connelly 33:59
Take the chance. What I mean by that is in when I was in my 40s, so you’re you’re into your career a bit, you have your family and you’re raising your family. And again I, not focused on fear but but it’s very real to people right?
Brett Gilliland 34:19
Elizabeth Connelly 34:20
And people don’t talk about it, they hide that they hide and what I would say to myself is that looking backward, if you believe it will work out somehow or some pattern of it will work out and so lean into it, do it. That’s what I would tell my 40 year old self.
Brett Gilliland 34:42
Yeah that’s, that’s great advice. To lean in, just do it, take the risk, feel the fear. Do it. Anyway where they say fear is false evidence as appearing real right so it’s mostly false right? But it appears real, but you do you have to jump through it and I call it the comfort zone callus right? You get this circle, the more we go up against our comfort zone, we start to build a callus and we just won’t bust through it. So you got to learn to go a different route to then get around the callus and go make it happen, then your comfort zone starts to expand, right? And now the things that 20 years ago scared the daylights out of me now it’s like, “Well, that’s easy,” right? And now the fear of flying, well, I can’t wait for my next trip, right? And to go, but you got to get through the comfort zone, which isn’t always easy. So you got to take that first step. So what would you say your dreams are now? Right? You’ve had a successful career, you’re here, you’re still successful? What are the dreams now?
Elizabeth Connelly 35:38
My biggest dream is really for my family, right? We all just want our children to be happy and healthy. And whatever they’re exploring in their work life. That becomes your dream, right? It becomes your dream, you live that. So my husband and I feel very much that way about the kids. That’s number one. For myself, I get asked all the time when I’m going to retire like people are afraid I’m going to retire. I’m never going to retire.
Brett Gilliland 36:05
Elizabeth Connelly 36:06
I love to use my brain. And I, I feel so fortunate that in our job, it’s it is a brain job, right? It’s not a physical job. That could be prohibitive, if you would. So I, when I look at our future, I am hoping that the kids are situated and good that Pat and I do get a little bit more time to do things right time to be together. Yet, I would still, just like I do now, I just do my– he drives me around everywhere. So that I can do my work. Like my family’s used to that. And so I’m always getting driven around. And I just I want to the people in my life is what I where I want to focus if you would.
Brett Gilliland 36:56
That’s beautiful. Beautiful. So last couple things. Any books you’d recommend that people read? I know we talked briefly about reading, do you have one that sticks out? If not, it’s not a big deal. But if you have any books that stick out.
Elizabeth Connelly 37:03
The only one that sticks out in my mind is there is a lean in book.
Brett Gilliland 37:13
Yeah. Sheryl Sandberg?
Elizabeth Connelly 37:15
Yes. Yeah. And I think women in particular should read that book. Yep. I gave it to my daughter when it first came out. And it’s just, it’s an easy read. And, and it’s just valuable.
Brett Gilliland 37:28
Yeah, she had a, an amazing post. She just announced her retirement from Facebook. And so she’s stepping away from that. But she had an amazing post for people that are on social media go look her up and go read her retirement post. It was, it was awesome. I read the whole thing. And it was a really cool thing about being a mom and being a professional, you know, at the same time and all that she’s accomplished. And she lost her husband. And so just, just an amazing story. So again, if you if you could leave, I always call it the kind of your closing argument, if you will, your closing speech or halftime talk, whatever you want to call it. What’s that one more piece of advice, maybe if you’ve already said it, but if you, if you just said that’s that’s the Elizabeth Connelly battlecry. Like, I know, if you do this, you will be successful long term, because that’s what matters.
Decide your convictions, practice them every single day and believe you can do it.
Brett Gilliland 38:26
I love that. So practice your convictions, believe in them. Do them every day. So not like I was– this is a much different thing. But we don’t say brush your teeth. You know, if it’s two times a day, that doesn’t mean do it 14 times on Sunday. Right?
Elizabeth Connelly 38:41
Brett Gilliland 38:41
It’s two times a day. And you build that daily habit. So to your point, right there is whatever your convictions are do them every single day, and you’ll be successful fair?
Elizabeth Connelly 38:50
Brett Gilliland 38:51
Awesome. Well, Elizabeth, thanks so much for being on The Circuit of Success. This has been an absolute blast. I was looking forward to interviewing you and again, thanks so much. Just your kind note the kindness of your heart just to send that, that deal to me and give me peace because when that door shut on the on the airplane in my mind, that was gonna be the worst moment of my life and this calmness, literally, it gives me chills again, this calmness came over the airplane, and good to fly the bird, and then you realize it’s not a big deal. Yes, a few little bumps here and there, but that’s not a big deal. So thank you again, and thanks for your time today and your wisdom and everything you’re gonna share with our listeners. So thank you.
Elizabeth Connelly 39:26