Before You Need It

There are few things in New York City as nerve-wracking as trying to reload your Metro Card while your train is pulling into the station. The fairly simple process of topping off your account turns into a scramble to punch the touchscreen buttons faster and hope you picked the one machine at your station that will read your credit card on the first swipe. There are few things in business as nerve-wracking as trying to rekindle professional relationships than when you are suddenly in need of a bigger network. The fairly simple process of keeping your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn connections up to date suddenly becomes a mad dash of updating professional details, digging out the business cards you’d forgotten about from that conference in Las Vegas last summer, and starting emails with “You may not remember me but…”

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Lucky 13

The best feeling in the world is when a client calls to give you a referral. Out of the blue, without prompting, just because they were thinking about you. It is rare, but it happens.This happened to me on April 24th. A client, that I had recently gotten to know, was wearing his Marquis Jet hat out at the golf course and a friend started asking him some questions about our program. That prompted the unsolicited referral which then of course made my day. That is the beginning of the story. The middle of the story are the 12 unreturned voice mails to the referral since then. The rest of the story is that I called him for the lucky 13th time this morning. He answered (gasp) and I recounted the story of how I came to have his cell phone number. He then said, "I bet you've left me a couple voice mails since you got my name. Sorry about that, my voice mail is messed up and I am finally getting it fixed. I am really interested and would love to get together with you. I have heard great stuff from your clients." The moral of the story, referrals from clients are the best. And, perhaps most importantly, you have no idea what is going on in the world of the person you are trying to get in touch with, and until they call you back to tell you to quit calling, keep on keeping on. You never know where it might lead.

Do I Twitter?

This has become a more popular question as of late. The new fad in the world of narcissistic Web2.0 utilities has intrigued me for quite some time. A whole site devoted to what am I doing right now and having the knowledge of what everyone else I know (or don't know) is doing right now seemed to not have much space in my world. It is like Facebook, except stripped down to nothing up status updates. What is the point?Well, all that to say, I have been "tweeting" for about a month now and have started to understand where it fits into the virtual world in which we all live in varying degrees.

If you care to check out my twitter page, here it is: or as they say in the world of Twitter, I am @andyellwood Now, as a helpful guide for anyone thinking about joining the new hip thing to do, here are a couple pointers I'll share with you.

* When you see @andyellwood in posts, that means that someone else is linking to my profile or is responding to something that I wrote. * If you want to see what someone is up to, you become their follower. * When you see "RT" that means someone is "Re-Tweeting" what someone else wrote because it is worth of passing along. * I have yet to figure out how people grow their follower base to more than a couple hundred people. Unless of course you are Ashton Kutcher or Demi Moore who each have over a million. * If someone wants to make the subject of their post searchable, they use a "hashtag." For example, if I wrote: "@andyellwood works for #marquis jet" and someone searched "marquis jet" on Twitter, my post would come up as a search result.

Recent Recommendations

From time to time I have the honor of being recommended by those that I have the chance to interact and work with. While there is always something to be said for meeting my own expectations and striving to live up to my own standard of excellence, it is also gratifying to know that other's have taken note as well.

“Andy is a passionate sales executive. He is tireless in his quest to provide the best service he can to his clients. Catch him while he is a star on the rise!” - Dr. John Eliot; author of Overachievement

“Very professional. I recommend Andy Ellwood to everyone.” - Thomas Gleason; President of Gleason Oil & Gas

“Andy Ellwood is a bright, high energy individual with exceptional verbal communication skills. I have known him to demonstrate high ethical standards and personal honesty in all of my dealings with him.” - Phillip Bankhead; Senior Vice President of Capmark Finance Inc.

“Andy Ellwood's energy and work ethic inspires me! He is always learning and observing his environment to maximize opportunity!” - Chris Hite; Owner of HITE, Advertising and Brand Consulting

“Andy places himself in the shoes of the client. This does not always bode well for his employer. He believes that the client always comes first making a win-win for all those involved. Andy Ellwood has a deep experience with UHNW and HNW families making him a valuable resource for those individuals looking for a informed advisor.” - Christopher Holtby; Partner at Midland Asset Management

Saul, Lou, and George

Saul, Lou, and George were intrigued by me. Not only was I not from New York City, I was at least 40 years younger than they were, and they were curious.As a Rotarian, attendance is very important. It is a challenge since we meet every single week, but it is really important given all the service projects and work we do in the community. If you can't attend your home town Rotary meeting, you can make up at another Rotary Club. Since I am in NYC all week, I decided to make up here. When I walked through the pristine doors of the New York City Harvard Club, it was quite an experience. There were paintings on the walls of some of the more distinguished local alumni and scenes from the historic campus. As I approached the sign-in table I could hear two old men laughing and catching up on the week's events. They seemed to be old friends with as many stories as they had wrinkles, maybe more. As I put on my name tag and started to walk into the banquet hall, one of the two men stopped me. He grabbed me by the arm and put his head close to my chest and clutched his glasses. He looked at me and then back at my name tag and then back at me. "Dallas, Texas huh? Well, that's interesting. Welcome to my Rotary Club." Saul then introduced me to Lou. Lou then introduced me to George. Gorge then said to Saul, "This kid should sit with us huh?" And so I did. We sat at the middle table and I sat in the middle. Lou and Saul sat on either side of me and immediately saw me as audience for their favorite stories and snide remarks about other people in the room. We were shushed once by a lady at another table when Lou relayed to me that he was not a big fan of the poems "that this year's club president seems to think are a necessary part of each meeting." The best part about Rotary International, is it is everywhere and their is an automatic connection wherever I have gone and met a fellow Rotarian.

Get outside the box

"There ain't no rules around here. We're trying to accomplish something." - Thomas Edison A couple of weeks ago when leaving the Highland Park Village Starbucks (the absolute best place for who's who Dallas people watching) with one such who's who, we bumped into another who's who on her way in for a cup of coffee before her oh so terribly busy day. I had not met this woman before, but had heard her name. She had of course left her business cards in her Lexus so I did something I never do, gave her one of mine without asking for some way to contact her. Over the past couple of weeks I managed to track down an email address for her and sent her three email with no response. Each email was very professional and in perfect form. Today, being a feisty mood, I said to heck with it and wrote an email without some sarcasm and inside joke humor that dropped all pretenses of etiquette and then filed her contact info in the trash. Three minutes later I had a response from her and a meeting set for coffee. Just goes to show, outside the box is way more fun and productive sometimes.

Biting my Tongue

As of last Friday I am officially a Rotarian. I joined the Rotary Club of the Park Cities here in Dallas and it just so happened that I was introduced as a new member and gave my new member speech the same day. I think that I may be at least 35 years younger than the average age of the club. But there is really nothing that I enjoy as much as gleaning wisdom from those that have it. During my new member speech I got the chance to talk about something that I am quite passionate and very well versed in.... Me. I worked in almost all of my "bits" and have received a very favorable response to my 5 minutes.This morning, as part of my new member process, I attended the executive board meeting for the club. As a guest I was introduced but was there to observe more than to share my opinions. I have to tell you that I have never bit my tongue quite as much as I did this morning. The subject of the meeting was networking and how to foster continual growth of the club through mutually beneficial introductions. That is what I do! Even though I was one of 3 people in the meeting without gray hair, I feel like that is something that I have had more experience than most in and it is something that I thoroughly enjoy. But I bit my tongue never the less and in hushed tones after the meeting offered my assistance to the two committee chairs that were sponsoring the motion. There is no better way to attract people to yourself and to your organization than to put money in their back pocket because they came. Networking and building synergies amongst like minded people is the quickest and most effective way to make your world smaller and your network larger.

One Key Dallas Dinner Party

This Tuesday I had the pleasure of hosting a dinner party to introduce Steve Kent, the co-founder of One Key, to the city of Dallas. Steve is the COO and head of One Key's New York City office. He founded One Key with his business partner out of Boston, Jay Sapovits.The dinner was incredible and the setting perfect. We were treated to an amazing meal and even better wine selection picked out by George Calderon at the Dallas Fish Market. Mike Hoque, the owner, sent an order of Chef Randy Morgan's off the menu oysters and spoke with the group just prior to the 4 course meal beginning. Chris and Rachel Trowbridge were kind enough to introduce Carole Hoffman and Darrell Tanelian to the group. These two couples have known each other for quite some time and now are neighbors in West Highland Park. Chad Cook, of MHT Partners, was joined by his lovely girlfriend Nicole Kapioltas, they both arrived straight from the airport and we were so glad they made it. Heather Wiese-Alexander, owner of Nest in Synder Plaza was joined by her associate Lauren Bryan-Knight who heads up their couture stationary line, Bell'Invito. One Key's innovative product the Travel Card was quite the hot topic of conversation around the table with each of the guest offering their opinion on where they would love to travel to if they were to board a plane today. With so many destinations to choose from with One Key, it wasn't any easy question to answer.