We had the good fortune of connecting with Liz Covington and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Liz, what’s your definition for success?
I quote the wonderful Maya Angelou when she says, “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do and liking how you did it.” So, with that quote in mind, I believe I have been successful by dedicating small and humongous efforts mostly continuously over the years to achieve my goals. I believe the key is allowing your failures to become your successes through trial and error. We all have challenges in life and it’s how we attack those challenges defines our ability to succeed. From an early age my parents, Jean and Robert Covington, told me I would be a strong and independent woman. My father repeated to me that through education I could be anything I wanted to be. I grew up believing I would be a success by educating my mind and caring for my body, my temple. I was extremely fortunate to have been gifted with my parents. My mother was a teacher and my father was a chemist. Both were challenged with racism in the South and later in Minneapolis, my birthplace. They were leaders in all they undertook and became presidents, VP’s and treasurer’s of every local organization they joined. In childhood I took this leadership example for granted. Now, I’m forever grateful for the tools I was given to succeed; sacrifice,love, encouragement and dogged determination. I was never allowed to use the word “bored”. My parents would say boredom is an excuse to not challenge your mind. They’d tell me to “think outside the box” and boredom was a form of mental laziness. I’ve noticed that once I tell people that story they do not use “bored” around me. I knew higher education would determine my level of independence. That thought defined my goal to graduate college, complete a Master’s degree in Public Health and go on to graduate Mayo Medical School. It wasn’t easy starting a medical practice and there were established male physicians that definitely made it hard for me but I persevered. I am proud to say my practice has served the Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw community continuously and in the same location for over 40 years. I must say I would not be where I am today without the dedication and support of wonderful staff, especially my wonderful office manager, Tyra. She allowed me precious support and time to test my artistic “creative waters”. Back in 2008 I was taking evening calligraphy courses and the instructor happened to also use watercolor. She encouraged me to decorate my lettering with florals which I absolutely loved. I soon dropped calligraphy to explore my new found medium and branched out to include portraits, landscapes, abstracts, pets, still lifes and urban/political scenes. This has culminated in gallery showings and awards such as first place in the Watercolor Category at the May 2019 Beverly Hills Art Show and acceptance into the May 2020 50th Anniversary International Exhibition in the Louisiana Watercolor Society. I also am proud to have been juried into the prestigious Women Painter’s West, a 100 year old organization of female artists. What has me most pumped is to have become a resident artist at The Hive Gallery in DTLA. It’s wonderful interacting with working artists and being an integral part of that vibe. I define my success in terms of helping the world around me. My work as a physician has and continues to be extremely gratifying. Yes, its hard and the lows can be devastating. However, it’s the highs that keep me going and renew my faith in humanity. I continue to work during Covid-19 and am performing telephonic visits. I’m fortunate to be able to provide a service and help people during these trying times. It’s the helping others that helps myself. I’m also very grateful for two wonderful young adult children that are working at home and hunkering down. They are independent and caring adults and I’m especially proud as one will soon become a father. Now that makes me successful! Success is defined by each of us differently. Successful people accept life’s challenges with trepidation yet forge ahead with determination and grit. Anne Sweeney says, “define success on your own terms, achieve it by your own rules and build a life you’re proud to live”. Yes, I can definitely live with that.
What should our readers know about your business?
The catalyst to start my own practice was a firing by an unscrupulous boss that withheld a month’s salary. It was all the inspiration I needed. The clinic where I worked folded and the patients were more than happy to continue to see me. I started out with 375 sq ft on the top floor of my present office building and grew over the years to have 3,000 sq ft space on the ground floor. One of my tenets in business is to treat others as I would want to be treated. It sounds kitschy but can be difficult when pressed to provide short cuts or are offered financial incentives or noticed that the easier path is not the ethical way. It takes an inner sense of ‘doing the right thing’. Many times my thoughts turned to my parents and their determination to raise successful children. There have been many times that I thought my practice would not survive. Yet it lives and provides inspiration to me and others. I have been challenged financially, had unscrupulousness employees and people steal from me. It takes changing yourself to grow. Admit your mistakes and move on. I also believe that “play”, laughter and flexibility have to be key ingredients to the process of achieving your goals. I want others to know that yes, it is possible to achieve your dreams. Your dreams at 20 will not be your dreams at 60. So what? Have your dreams with a liberal dose of reality and determination.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Wow! I love to play tour guide. I tend to wear them out but they are to nice to say anything! If they are new to CA they get the dedicated newbie tour with Bev Hills, DTLA from The Broad, Disney Hall, the Arts District, Wurstkuche, Grand Central Market (early to eat at Egg Slut), La Brea Tar Pits and a picnic lunch inside the LACMA and of course Venice Beach and a short ride up the coast. There are so many wonderful restaurants. I like Baco Merkat. Another wonderful place is The Little Door. It’s driving me crazy that w Covid I’m hunkered down but this too shall pass (I hope). We will be different after all of this.
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