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Nina Sossamon-Pogue

Nina Sossamon-Pogue

Introduce yourself to our audience. Tell us who you are and what you are currently focused on.

Hello new friends! After long careers in both television and tech, I just launched my next chapter. My kids are now off in college and I am leveling up again - so exciting! I am a published author and speaker and just launched my new company NSP Communications. (speaking, executive coaching, and women's retreats)

Tell us about your favorite Ellevate Network memory or success story. Why are you a member?

Years ago while I was a local TV news anchor I mentored a young woman through a program at our Chamber of Commerce. That young woman went on to her own success and is now a leader in our local chapter of Ellevate! She reached out to have me speak at their breakfast last year and I just loved the energy in the room. I've attended Elevate events in the past, but feel like now is the time to put my money where my mouth is and jump in, in a more meaningful way.

How would you define your professional mission?

"A high tide raises all ships" - I am on a mission to help the people around me have success. I have found success at high levels of sports, television and in the corporate world while hitting plenty or obstacles and challenges along the way. I believe our struggles make us stronger and I am on a mission to be sure others understand what that means.

What qualities does it take for someone to be successful in your line of work?

I used to think it took qualities like grit, perseverance, and tenacity to achieve success. Now I think it is something else - Resilience. We know they year ahead is not all going to be sunny days. We need to have a plan to deal with anything that goes wrong and learn from it. You know this - your kid's school will call right in the middle of your big meeting or your biggest client will randomly decide to go with someone else. Having a strategy to manage change and learn from things when they go wrong - so you can keep heading towards your goals, that's the secret. The quality is 'resilience' (oh - and in television, it helps to have really good hair)

What is one of your most memorable career accomplishments?

I went back on the air as a news anchor after a traumatic accident that put me the headlines. I am more proud of the courage it took to do that than I am of any of the awards or money that I made along the way.

What are some career challenges on your radar?

While I have done television and spoken on behalf of the Tech Company I work for, this speaking business/running a business is new to me. I still don't know what I don't know. I am taking a chance that my message will resonate with the right audiences. Plus, the business part of the speaking biz (bookings, holds, book keeping, billing, taxes, etc.) is daunting to me.

We’d love to hear more about your career path. What led you to where you are today?

I believe that I am the result of the plot twists in my life and career. It may sound like I am bragging, but I actually caution my own daughter when it comes to being driven to always level up after each 'failure'. I was a member of the USA gymnastics team, but I didn't make the Olympics. I was a top NCAA recruit, but blew out my knee in college. I was a popular news anchor, but was let go in budget cuts. I went on to even more success at a new TV Station, but then ended up in the headlines. Then I got into a tech start up and became part of the leadership team that took the company public. It has been quite a ride! That's how I got here and why I am passionate about helping others 'not give up'.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Speaking to one person or a room full of people and planting a seed. I love seeing the look of recognition when something I say changes their thinking and I love the thought it becomes something they take back into their work and their home. A change in thinking that will grow and help them succeed.

What is it about your job that makes you feel it’s the right fit for you?

I talk all the time and never meet a stranger, I might as well get paid for it! (haha) I believe I survived this crazy life of intense highs and lows so I can share the insights and prepare others to find success on their journeys.

Is work-life balance a problem for you? What is one no-fail tactic you use to create balance?

I don't think of it as work life balance. It is all just life. Set priorities, do the work and enjoy the journey.

What advice would you offer future leading ladies wishing to break into your industry?

Take care of yourself. Everything is easier/better when you are mentally and physically healthy. Don't try to be a woman in a man's world, just do the work and be really good at your job. Perfection is an illusion. Just go be 'you' - everyone else is taken.

What is the best career advice you ever received?

Know your value. Know what you bring to the table. You have to know you bosses biggest priority or biggest fear - and how you can help.

I used to think that hard work was the answer - I sometimes worked very hard at the wrong things. You need to understand how what you do fits into your companies or your clients goals.

What is one piece of advice you’d offer working moms?

Don't beat yourself up for not being there all the time. Kids only remember what you DO - not what you don't do. Proof - I spent years beating myself up about not being home to put my kids to bed. (I did the evening news for 10+ years) Later, as a teenager, my daughter had a crappy day. The boy she liked didn't like her, some girls were mean, and she bombed a pop quiz. I went in to say goodnight and she said, "Will you rub my back and sing me a song like when I was little." I said sure and I sang the silly song and drew shapes on her back and she guessed the letters like we did when she was little. She said. "I love it that you did this with me every night when I was little." I flipped her over and said, "What?". She said it again "you did this every night when I was little" We talked and I explained that I was really only home on weekends and maybe a few nights if I could get away. She said - that's not how I remember it and rolled back over and went to sleep. Ladies - give yourself a break - you are all probably really good moms who care a lot if you are in this Ellevate group. Be kinder to yourself they are gonna be fine.

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