Abbildung von: Dream Big and Win - Wiley

Dream Big and Win

Translating Passion into Purpose and Creating a Billion-Dollar Business
Liz Elting(Autor*in)
Wiley (Verlag)
1. Auflage
Erschienen am 20. September 2023
272 Seiten
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978-1-119-90437-3 (ISBN)
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A guide for how to not only dream big, but also win--both in business and in life--from one of the most celebrated and successful women in America.

For the first time ever, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and Forbes' Richest Self-Made Woman Liz Elting shares her story on how she co-founded and grew TransPerfect, the billion-dollar translation and language solutions company that began as a dream in an NYU dorm room. In Dream Big and Win, Elting divulges practical and inspiring tips you can implement immediately, teaching why success is not solely about attaining and wielding power. Elting shows you that fulfilling your highest potential will require you to look beyond yourself. In her honest and often humorous narrative, Elting illustrates why actions are more important than mantras and why doing will always eclipse dreaming. This book is for anyone who has ever dreamed of translating their passion into purpose and creating something bigger than themselves.
LIZ ELTING is the Founder and CEO of the Elizabeth Elting Foundation and a New York-based philanthropist and businesswoman. She's been recognized for her outstanding entrepreneurship and focus on developing women business leaders. Elting is a co-founder of TransPerfect, the world's largest provider of language and technology solutions for global business.
Introduction 1

I Beginning to Dream 3

1 Creating 5

2 Perfecting 23

3 Risking 39

4 Growing 55

5 Overcoming 77

II Building the Business 95

6 Owning 97

7 Balancing 111

8 Competing 125

9 Investing 139

III Refining the Purpose 153

10 Communicating 155

11 Leading 173

12 Servicing 189

13 Hiring 203

IV Reinventing the Win 219

14 Pivoting 221

15 Giving 231

Notes 243

Acknowledgments 251

About the Author 255

Index 257


On a sweltering morning in August of 1992, I was living in New York City, fresh out of grad school. The entire city seemed miserable that day, as the mercury surged upwards, hitting 90-plus degrees before 8 a.m. Everyone was surly, damp, and unhappy, save for me.

As I strolled up Park Avenue South, I violated all the rules I'd learned in the past five years living in Manhattan. I smiled. I nodded. I made eye contact with each passerby. I even committed the cardinal sin of saying hello. People rushed past me, assuming the heat had driven me out of my mind. What strangers on the street didn't know was that my joy stemmed from finally having landed a job.

The country was still recovering from a recession at that time. I'd quickly learned that a grad school degree was no guarantee of success, no promise of gainful employment. I'd interviewed for months and had been in a full-on panic as late spring turned to midsummer. My mailbox was full of ding letters. I papered the walls of my studio apartment with rejections from places like Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan. I was miserable. Until then, I never knew how many ways a letter could say, "Thanks, but no thanks," or how a single sheet of paper could alter my destiny.

The idea of not working was entirely foreign to me. I'd maintained some form of employment since I was 10 years old and had hustled to find neighborhood grade-schoolers I could escort to the door of their classrooms for a small fee. While my parents were emotionally supportive, they made it clear that as an adult with an advanced degree, I was fiscally responsible for myself.

Early on, their lesson was that no one would ever need to rescue me if I learned how to save myself. Still, I was grateful.

To economize, Phil, my boyfriend at the time, and I downgraded our living situation. We moved from a Tudor City studio apartment to NYU housing as he was finishing his last year there. The irony was not lost on me that my big prize for graduating with an MBA from NYU's Leonard N. Stern School of Business was moving into an NYU dorm room. Still, we were grateful to land at Washington Square Village. With some creative accounting, we could delay rent payments through the fall semester, possibly even until the end of the school year.

Liz's Life Lesson

Never underestimate the acumen of a broke MBA. They are scrappy, they are resourceful, they are hungry, and they are willing to work 100-plus hours a week to figure out how to spin hay into gold.

Washington Square Village, identifiable by its Soviet-era-chic cinderblocks of dingy white bricks turned gray, had been built in the 1950s. The facility had not been upgraded, maintained, or cleaned in any way since then. Decades of housing students had taken its toll. Everything was worn and depressing. Fortunately, we had our own private (rust-stained, linoleum-chipped, microscopic) bathroom; that may have been the dorm room's only redeeming quality.

Yet none of that mattered as I made my way north because this was my first day of work! I'd been hired by Paresco, the proprietary trading division of a major French bank. I was finally employed, thank God.

I didn't want to spare the cash for a subway token, so I walked the 30 blocks from 2 Washington Square Village to my new office at 24th and Park. Visible heat waves rose from the sidewalk in front of me, creating a mirage effect. As I hustled up Park, sweat rolled down my back. I felt my blouse sticking to my skin, so I took off my fuchsia silk suit jacket.

I've always been the most corporate-dressed of all my coworkers my entire career; that's just how I've done it. Years earlier, while I was working at a dry cleaners in high school, an immaculately clad professional woman had told me to always dress for the job you wanted, not the job you had. Her wardrobe was made up of finely woven wools, delicate silks, and airy linens, everything luxurious and meticulously crafted with wrapped seams. I was so enamored of her wardrobe that her advice stuck with me; I pledged that someday I'd make enough money to buy beautiful clothes, too. While throwing on jeans or a pair of Golden Goose sneakers might be easier in the workplace today, it's just not my style.

My only nod to comfort that day was my commuter footwear. I didn't want to hoof it 30 blocks in my pumps. Like Tess McGill in the classic '80s women's empowerment movie Working Girl, I donned an old pair of tennis shoes. (FYI, I've since figured out the whole wearing cute flats and swapping them out thing.)

While I was excited to start my new career, I swallowed my disappointment not to be back at Euramerica, at the time, the world's largest translation company, with about 90 employees. I'd held that job prior to attending grad school. I adored the work there, every aspect of it, from working with talented linguists to solving clients' problems. But my work there was bigger than the day-to-day tasks; my role had a purpose that impacted the greater good. I loved the feeling of doing a job that made a difference, of being an agent for change, in some small part. I was impressed with Euramerica's mission of helping entities better understand each other through shared language. If the world was ever going to come together and learn to appreciate different cultures, it would be because we were all found in translation.

The Euramerica staff included many 20-somethings. They were my second family and entire social circle in a city where I knew almost no one. Plus, the job was so much fun and so exciting that it never felt like work. My father had many philosophies on careers, dovetailing around the concept that if you pursue what you love, it will always work out. He used to say that it's only work if you'd rather be doing something else, and there was nothing else I'd rather have been doing. I'd spent my life to that point learning and embracing foreign languages, having traveled and lived abroad. A future in translation services made sense in my heart.

In my head? Not so much.

The lure of a nice paycheck was too powerful; financial independence was so important to me. I wanted the freedom to choose, to play by my own rules. My parents reinforced these lessons ever since I can remember, so I knew that earning my own living meant I never had to rely on or be beholden to anyone but myself.

So I'd left my beloved employ at Euramerica to attend Stern only because there had been no clear path to advancement or higher earnings and it seemed like the prudent course to pursue. (The late 1980s and early 1990s were a time in America where society idolized the Gordon Gekkos of the business world and embraced the notion that "greed is good." This gave rise to packs of Wolves of Wall Street. No one ever explained or apologized for the desire to create wealth back then.)

Just the Facts

Female MBA grads still make an average of $11,000 less than their male counterparts after graduation in commensurate positions, and more than $60,000 less after a decade.1

While I longed for money in the bank, it was about more than a balance sheet for me. I was driven toward financial success as an acknowledgment of the effort I'd put forth. I didn't want money to prove my worth to anyone else; I wanted it because it would be a tangible representation to me of my best self. For those reasons, I'd sublimated what I wanted and sought work in international finance, instead of what I considered the more dynamic field of language translation.

I'd been born into a family where creativity had always been at the forefront of who we were, from my mom making homemade party favors to my dad composing our own family theme song. My father worked in marketing and advertising and had been the mind behind some of the most iconic campaigns for General Foods, Chesebrough-Ponds (now Unilever), and Procter & Gamble. My mother was equally brilliant and talented, penning plays and writing music to incorporate into her career as an educator. My folks weren't so big on giving us material items; instead, they were all about providing experiences. My father even moved us to Portugal for a time when I was in grade school so he could open a Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise (not kidding-and more on this later). Their parenting style favored creativity and independence, as they encouraged my sister and me to find ways to work out our differences on our own, rather than having them resolve our problems for us. They were my greatest teachers and mentors. My parents set the groundwork for me to always seek out those who inspire me. No matter where you are in your professional (or personal) development, there's always someone out there who can motivate you to do more and be more; you just must be open to finding them.

Given my background and interests, I'd likely have been better suited for the more right-brained marketing track at Stern. Instead, I majored in finance along with international business, thinking that's what I should do with my life. I'd not yet come to appreciate my father's advice that when you do what you love, the money will follow.

The Beginning of the Beginning

When I arrived at my new office that morning, I quickly freshened up and changed into my heels. This was it-the big dance. I...

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