Dave Lukas Chats with Liz Elting
283: The Harder You Work, the Luckier You Get, How Liz Elting Grew TransPerfect to $1 Billion
This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Liz Elting. Where to start with Liz. She co-founded TransPerfect, the world’s largest provider of language and business solutions. The company does over $800 million in revenue per year and employs over 6000 in 100+ cities across the world. She has been recognized and awarded with everything from Ernst and Young’s entrepreneur of the year to being named one of Forbes richest self-made women many years running. She and her story have also been highlighted in numerous books and publications.
More recently, Liz is known for her philanthropic efforts with her foundation, the Elizabeth Elting Foundation which works to advance the economic, social, and political equity of women and marginalized people.
I’m excited for Liz to share her story with you and the lessons she’s learned along the way.
Growing up, Liz lived in a number of different places. Everywhere from New York to Portugal to Canada. She went to college in the US and realized she could pursue her passion of languages. She just didn’t know what she would do with it – but her dad told her to follow her passion. After college she worked the translation industry in New York. She found a company that was the largest translation company in the world that helped combine her passion for language and business.
She worked in the company for 3 years and learned the industry. She then went back to school and got her MBA. While in business school, she decided to go into finance and briefly tried out investment banking. She realized she made a huge mistake and then started TransPerfect in November of 1992. In 2018, she sold half of her company and started her foundation.
When we first spoke, you said, “The harder you work, the luckier you get.” Explain that…
At the 9:30 mark, we discuss the first products developed and how Liz got her initial clients, then scaled…
Talk about going through the stages of business growth – which ones did you feel were the hardest?
Tell us about the core values. What are they and how have they made a difference for the company?
Is there a skillset or mentality that you feel is most important for success in today’s world?
What did you do to stand out in the area of service?
Talk to us about the entrepreneur journey. What have you learned about how to consistently succeed as an entrepreneur?
What are the most important things leaders should do to ensure success and make sure they are doing the best for their employees and organization?
Advice for CEO’s? What have you learned about being a great CEO and how it is different from other areas of leadership?
Anything you’ve learned in selling your company and starting into Philanthropy?
What was the most surprising thing that happened on your journey?
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