At a recent Mommy Matters networking breakfast I met Nina Hill, a very enthusiastic entrepreneur who is passionate about what she does and how it gives her the lifestyle she wants. After spending some time with this positive lady I thought she might be a great candidate for my next Women at Work series….
Read on to find out more about Nina, what she does and how she got there…
Tell me more about yourself and what you currently do?
I lived overseas for 15 years and 3 years ago came back to Cape Town with my family for everything that SA has to offer. I had met my husband in London and had my daughter there. I left SA with 22kg and came back with far more luggage – a family and a container full of stuff! I now have a global health and beauty business based on aloe vera, which I started in the UK and have continued with here.
What did you study – was it in this field or something different?
I studied to be an Occupational Therapist at UCT and practiced in London for a number of years. I re-trained as a life coach and had a thriving practice empowering women (and some men) at the time my daughter was born. But, as with so many moms, my priorities changed when she came along and I closed my practice. All the work I have done has been around helping others in some shape or form. And health has also been a big part of what I do – be it physical, mental or financial health.
When did you know this is what you wanted to do?
I have always wanted to help people. I know how this sounds like one of those beauty pageant answers, but I get huge pleasure out of being able to help someone, which can be seen in the career paths I have chosen.
Knowing what I wanted to do has been a gradual process. My current business I chose as it was something I could do flexibly around my daughter. It still enabled me to help others while building a financial future for myself and my family. I am my own boss and I meet interesting, motivated, positive people everyday.
What was your first job? and what path has your career taken since?
My first job was actually as a 16 year old working as a petrol station cashier. And had various casual jobs after that.
My first professional job was at a hospital on the outskirts of London. It was a huge learning curve. I was naïve and had never been on a plane until I went to the UK in my mid twenties. I was extremely lucky to meet some amazing people along the way. My life was really about moving from one locum post to another, until I took a permanent post at Guys and St Thomas’ Hospital in London. It is amazing how our professional and personal lives are so interwoven and how when something changes in one area it can impact on the other. It was really changes in my personal life that led me to make the career, and later business, decisions I did.
What have been the highlights?
Being able to see the benefits people experience either through the OT, coaching or the aloe vera products.
What’s the best part of your job?
Meeting new and interesting people all the time and building relationships. Having the freedom to make my own choices and the flexibility to spend time with my family. And the personal development through doing my businesses has been phenomenal. It really stretches my comfort zones – sometimes I am not sure whether this falls under the best part or most challenging part question.
What is the most challenging part?
All businesses take time to build. I can sometimes be a little impatient and want things to move along quicker.
What is your typical day, or maybe week if days are very different?
Part of what I love about what I do is that no day is ever the same. I love the variety and freedom. I drop my daughter at school everyday and then from there I may have customer or business meetings, support my team and attend business networking events (where I meet inspiring women in business). Although I like to touch my business everyday I do take personal time to see my daughter’s ballet concert, school play, meet her teacher, see friends and take time off during the holidays. And all without having to ask the permission of a boss.
What are the “secrets” to your success?
I love what I do. And I know it is a cliché, but I do get great satisfaction from helping others, even in ways that don’t always directly benefit myself. And I think with any business it is about knowing what it is that you want to achieve, consistency and perseverance. Too many people give up at the first obstacle.
As a mom how do you get the balance between your family and career life right? Your tips and tricks?
I think as working moms (whether that is in formal employment or as a business owner) we all struggle to find balance and send ourselves on guilt trips. I do regular check-ins to work out what is working and what isn’t. I aim to be present when my family is home, so that they get my full attention. And I look after myself through exercise, healthy eating and meditation/stress release. I also ask for help – this has been a challenge being a modern independent woman, but we can not succeed on our own. And I am very lucky to have a supportive husband. I would encourage moms to be gentle with themselves. I don’t always succeed with the above, but that fact that I do my best is the important thing.
What do you do for fun in your down time?
I love spending time with friends and family, being in nature (especially the beach), building a property portfolio with my husband and reading (especially anything on personal development).
What do you still want to achieve?
To keep growing my local and international business. Jim Rohn said “help enough people to achieve their goals and you will achieve yours”. This is something I live by. What excites me is continuing to be able to travel internationally and being able to give my family more choices due to my increasing income.
Nina Hill is an Independent Distributor of Forever Living Products and can be reached on 071 026 1454 or firstname.lastname@example.org should anyone wish to find out more about the business or want to buy her aloe vera products.
Thanks so much for taking part in this series Nina! If you would like to feature in this series or know someone who might make a good candidate please send me an email! I would love to grow my Women at Work series into an inspiring space for women, esp moms, trying to find a way to make work “work” for them!