Videos

By Roadtrip Nation

Sarah Elliott

Highlight

Milestones

My road in life has taken me all over.
Both my dad and sister are engineers, so I went into college to pursue engineering—I hated all of my engineering classes and eventually switched my major to accounting.
I graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting, then worked to get my CPA license.
I worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) for about ten years before leaving to join a smaller accounting firm called PMB Helin Donovan, where I eventually became a partner.
While volunteering with the AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants), I realized there was a strong need for leadership development in this field and felt like that was my calling.
During my second year as a partner, I decided to leave the firm and essentially start over—I went back to school for a year for executive and professional coaching.
When I left the firm, I was pregnant, so I had to juggle this huge business risk of starting my own company while navigating life as a new parent.
I co-founded a leadership coaching company where I get to do what I love and help people through one-to-one coaching, group learning, and leadership program design.
I also founded the Ellivate Alliance, where women can come together and support other women who are starting businesses.
Keep following my journey

Education

High School
Bachelor
Accounting
Texas A&M University
Certification/License
Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Certification/License
Executive and Professional Coaching
University of Texas at Dallas

Career

Co-founder and Principal

I run a leadership development firm that provides coaching, group learning and consulting to CPAs.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Entrepreneurship
Business
Helping People

Day to Day

I provide leadership development to accounting individuals and firms across the U.S. through one-to-one coaching, workshops, consulting, and public speaking. I also spend much of my time running the business, which includes sales and marketing, operations, strategy, finance and other administrative tasks, and developing new content and services. Some days I work from home providing coaching and running the business and other days I'm on the road speaking, teaching, and meeting with clients.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

I've found that most leadership skills are learned on the job rather than in school. As a coach and consultant, it's important to have significant field experience from a prior career so that you can develop those skills.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for everyone

Learn from others who have been in these positions before you. Listen, ask questions, see what resonates with you. Then evaluate whatever inspiration comes up regarding your own next steps. If you want to be a business coach, any degree in business is helpful. For leadership coaching in general, I recommend a major or courses in leadership, psychology, or organizational development. I also suggest attending an ICF accredited coach training program and obtaining coaching credentials through ICF.

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Peers:

"Why would you walk away from a career after you worked so hard to make it where you are?"

Challenges I Overcame

Career Change
Working Parent

Interviewed By

Accounting and Auditing Roadtrip