Profiles of Success



What would be possible for you if you weren’t required to ask yourself “OR”? A successful career OR time with your family? Fulfilling your potential OR fulfilling those around you? Being present for yourself OR present for others? The Gardners grappled with those same questions in 1998 when they made the decision to join PPLSI.

Elizabeth and her late husband John’s story began in the legal industry. John Gardner was a third-generation attorney and what motivated him to practice law was one of the determining factors in his decision to join PPLSI — providing equal opportunity to all people. John accomplished a great many things in his 25 years practicing: He more than quadrupled his practice, served in the South Carolina House of Representatives, was elected to the State Highway Commission, tried many State Supreme Court cases and continued his family legacy of advocating for others. Pursuing that mission, he met his wife, Elizabeth, who was his true partner in all things — including this business.

Elizabeth took John’s single office and led the expansion of it into one of the largest practices in the state, at the time, she won the National American Bar Association award for the Most Dignified Marketing in the Nation. What became clear to both of them, though, was that the economic and personal demands of a successful law practice did not allow for helping those who most needed it or for sharing time with their own family.

At the height of their success, John and Elizabeth were introduced to PPLSI, and within three years, they left the practice behind to fully commit to their business. “One of the biggest blessings of being involved with PPLSI is you don’t have to choose between economics and helping others,” said John. “Here, the only way to be more successful is to help more people. And helping more people means we get more time for our family. It was easy, then, to devote ourselves to an opportunity that helps us meet personal and financial goals, but also offers someone the ability to regain true control of their life.”

John and Elizabeth have coauthored four books across a variety of topics. Elizabeth commented, “In coauthoring Chicken Soup for the Entrepreneur’s Soul, I learned a lot about helping people get started in business, and I believe PPLSI is the perfect entrepreneurial incubator. Your desire, not your history, determines your success here, and our lives are a testament to how deeply we believe in PPLSI.”

John passed away in late 2020 after a three-year battle with cancer, just as the Gardners earned their $600,000 Ring. The PPLSI family showed up in spades, and their ability to achieve those heights while enduring that trial is a testament to the power of this opportunity and the team that became family. PPLSI gave them the opportunity to spend every bit of their time together, to be there for their children, to see John through the end of his life with unfailing focus, to travel and to give back in a way that would not have been possible had they stayed the path they expected. For all these reasons, Elizabeth is more excited about and invested in the future of PPLSI than ever before.

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