Ep. 16: Nina, Entrepreneur & Management Consultant

Nina Sochon is an entrepreneur and management consultant with a passion for creating better work that has led her to develop unique expertise around flexible and remote work. Nina led the Australian Government's national telework strategy and established Transformed Teams, a consulting firm providing guidance to employers on flexible and remote work. As a result of Nina’s work, teams work together more effectively and productively across distances. Nina is actively involved in the conversation in New Zealand and Australia around the future of work.

Nina is also the founder of Style Gorgeous - a Personal Styling service for working women. Style Gorgeous creates beautiful experiences of personal styling so that working women can step out with confidence, knowing that their style isn’t holding them back from their dreams.   

What we cover:

  • Nina has explored and experienced a variety of career paths from speech pathology, to executive policy work, to founding two companies, Transformed Teams and Style Gorgeous. 
  • Nina explains that these transitions were part luck because certain jobs were available but it was combined with her strategic preparation.  She was cognizant of communicating and defining how her skills from speech pathology were transferable across a variety of different career paths.
  • A happy realization that she learned through the transitions was that she could apply her skills in new environments and could make it work.
  • She is energized by the opportunity to create better work - seeing people loving their work and having a good experience at work.
  • Nina shares with us the importance of being in the journey, redefining the concept of success, and remembering that failing is a good thing because it is part of growing.
  • One of my favorite takeaways from this episode was the notion that we cannot live a happy life if we are living how someone else thinks we should be living (the ‘should’s’ are not our friends or allies).

Post Show Notes:

We kept chatting after the recording stopped and Nina shared so many good nuggets I just had to add a few more here!

Failure is a data point.  Nina brought up the idea that failure is a data point. When a scientist has an experiment that failed, they see it as a data point - that failure is valuable because of what they can learn by it. We could approach failure like that too - we actually need the learnings that failure provides. She brought up this quote that I love from Niels Bohr who famously said "an expert is someone who has made every mistake possible in a narrow field."

Being comfortable with ambiguity and uncertainty.  Nina also wanted to encourage our listeners to get comfortable with ambiguity and uncertainty, not trying to tie everything down to a known quantity. This is one of the qualities of great leaders. For those of us in career transition it means giving ourselves permission to have questions and answers in equal amount. To have clarity and conviction and at the same time experience confusion and uncertainty. For Nina, she explained that this was another piece of advice that has to be balanced with having an eye to the bottom rung of Mazlow's hierarchy of needs - it doesn't mean that it's good to tolerate being so confused that we don't know how our bills are going to get paid.

Kelsie Brunick