Hattie Elliot on Changing How You Work to Be Happier at Your Job

In Chapter 1 of 19 in her 2012 Capture Your Flag interview, female entrepreneur Hattie Grace Elliot answers "How Are Your Personal Priorities Changing as You Get Older?"  As she turns 30 years old, Elliot becomes more realistic about the importance of making a certain amount of money running her business.  Elliot shares how she became frustrated from not getting paid enough for the work she was putting into her business.  She steps back, reevaluates her model, and addresses the problem by altering her business plan.  Hattie Grace Elliot is the founder and CEO of The Grace List, a social networking company that creates destination events and experiences to forge lasting personal and professional connections across its young professional members. Elliot graduated from the University of Cape Town in South Africa, where she studied economics, philosophy, and politics.


Erik Michielsen: How are your personal priorities changing as you get older?

Hattie Elliot: I think I’ve always been someone who finds just kind of personal happiness in, you know, again with what I do for a living, really creating and wielding a career path for myself that if I’m gonna work really hard, I really want to deduce pleasure from it. But as I get older, I, of course still, you know, being happy is important, but also I think I’ve kind of become much more realistic in terms of the monetary return that I expect. And I’ve become much more honest with myself about that. I’m just not I guess willing to put up with what I might’ve put up with 3 years ago or 4 years ago ‘cause now, it’s go time. Now is a time when, you know, I think it’s really important to reap the benefits and the fruits of all of the labor that I kind of structured and put in early on and continue to put in to my business.

Erik Michielsen: What do you think about that realism that’s coming with experience, what one example or two examples stand out in your mind in kind of shaping the direction you’re taking?

Hattie Elliot: It’s almost impossible to ever actually monetize the amount of work and the ridiculous, you know, MacGyver in you have to do from the time—from concept to execution. And, you know, till you tie that pretty bow around that event, like the amount of work that goes into it. So, you know, it’s definitely—I think I began to kind of get a little bit bitter and a little bit frustrated with the fact that I was putting so much effort into the business and that, you know, that certain things, like membership fees and certain aspects of my company were making money, but then I was constantly churning out events that were a ton of work and they weren’t as profitable, and so I kind of had to step back and really do one of the most difficult things to do which is, you know, really assess and reflect back on, you know, why I was feeling this way, and why I was, you know, feeling frustrated and dissatisfied. Which is very, you know, humbling, wonderful and terrifying task to do. And, you know, really reevaluate it and come up with a plan moving forward to address it, and to really MacGyver and fix the situation.