Unconventional Career Path Takes Elliott to a Happy Place

by Rob Keys  on Friday, Nov. 9, 2012 9:36 am  

That feeling is what she had begun to miss in 2008, when real estate work was her main focus. Combined with the fact she was traveling frequently to Russellville, where her mother had been diagnosed with lymphoma, Elliott’s desire for more personal and professional happiness led her to shift her focus back to consulting.

“I saw a little niche there, and I knew about it because I had done that before,” she said, “but I just hadn’t said, ‘OK, I’m going to devote the time to growing that part of my business.’”

Elliott concedes the real estate crash also contributed to the shift.

“There was a time in the mid-2000s when your business was going so good you didn’t really pay attention to expenses,” Elliott said. “If somebody called up and wanted you to buy an ad or something, you just did it.

“When you’re getting $50,000 and $60,000 commission checks, you could go out and buy a car. I never did that personally, but I know agents that did.”

Chasing those kinds of paydays is not what Elliott recommends to young professionals.

“I think people just need to have faith and follow their heart, and not necessarily do something that they think somebody else wants them to do or because they think that’s where the money is,” she said.

“I mean, I won’t lie, what I do as a grants administrator can be profitable, but it also can be not profitable. But at the same time, there’s just a feeling about it that you’re making a difference and I think that’s what really draws me to it more than anything.”

Aspects of Elliott’s work as a grants administrator sometimes overlap with her work as a real estate broker, and she’s excited the Northwest Arkansas market seems to be enjoying an uptick. She just hopes all the players, and especially the banks, proceed at a more reasonable pace this time.

“They hold the keys,” she said of lenders. “They have the cash. … Smart, steady growth, I think, is the key.”

Away from work, Elliott, 40, likes to engage in outdoor activities with her husband and two children.

“Running, hiking, mountain biking,” she said. “We love it all.”



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