Elena Sin, Principal Consultant and Founder, started her career in the resources sector, managing soft and hard FM contracts for Fortune 500 companies. She quickly rose up the ranks and as an executive, led a team of 700 employees as she generated hundreds of millions of dollars for the companies she worked for. Before her consulting business, she launched a double-sided marketplace and co-founded a multi-trade services company, so she knows what it means to be driven. She has been very fortunate in life. She has known great success, has traveled the world and experienced deep love. She has also experienced loss and failures and has met many struggles and disappointments. What she knows for sure is that every single one of her life experiences, whether joyful or difficult, has made her into the person she is today.
What were your initial years of growing up like? Tell us about your life before starting your corporate journey/venture/initiative.
I was born in South Korea but moved to Spain at the age of six due to my father’s work. Growing up in Spain, I was very fortunate to attend International School and be exposed to over 60 cultures from an early age. I was trilingual by seven and was the president of high school by 17. I was always outspoken and very competitive. During teenage years, I struggled with cultural identity because I was juggling between strict Korean parents, an American education system and the flamboyant lifestyle of Spanish culture. So, when it came to University, I decided to drop all of them and fly across the globe to Australia, where I would end up opting for yet another culture. I studied International Hotel Business Management and did my graduate program in San Diego, USA. In 2008, when the global financial crisis hit, I returned to Australia and got my first management job at Hyatt Regency Perth. The mining industry was booming in Perth despite the global crisis, and it was through a long-term client of mine that I got introduced to the world of resources and the oil and gas sector, where I would spend the next 12 years of my career in the corporate world.
Every industry that is now a large-scale, top-notch business once started as a small idea in the minds of entrepreneurs. What was that idea or motivation that made you start your business /initiative? What motivated you within to say YES, go for it!”
The moment of “Yes, go for it!” for me was in December 2018. That year, I had flown 41 flights for the company I was working for and was busy negotiating my terms for a relocation opportunity to California, USA. I had always put my career above anything and everything at this point. That same year I had also fallen in love and met my partner (now husband). We were on a trip in Southwest of Western Australia for Christmas and all of a sudden it dawned on me that once again, I was going to give up on this amazing tingling feeling called love for a job, for a position. That somehow a promotion and relocation to across the globe over my loving partner was the right thing. Then I pictured my life at 50 as a killer CEO making millions of dollars and coming home to an empty nest and a bottle of wine. It scared me, I couldn’t shake the feeling. So that week, I went to work and handed in my resignation and for the next 3 months I worked day and night on an idea and business that could make me have it all. Where I didn’t have to get on a plane when work asked me to and where I did not need my boss’ permission to take time off to be with my loved ones.
That was four years ago. Since my departure from the corporate world, I’ve launched 3 businesses and have made quadruple the money I was making.
Tell us something about your initiative or current role. What is it about, and what impact are you trying to make?
My current role is with Focus Far, a management consulting and coaching business that I founded in 2019. As Principal Consultant, I help enterprises and entrepreneurs operate their business effectively, period. Running an organization and executing plans is hard work. So, when we step-in to design and implement tailored strategies that elevate client businesses, they see a lot of value in our work. My mission is to empower enterprises and entrepreneurs by giving them what they need to build and sustain a great business.
Your journey and your vision are very inspiring, but are there any achievements or accomplishments you would like to mention?
One of my greatest achievements if not the greatest would be choosing my husband and experiencing true love. I am so glad that I never settled for average and unfulfilling relationships. People underestimate the power of love. And by love I mean a strong foundation with tremendous respect for each other. My husband has always been my greatest supporter, no matter what I do, he has always been my greatest supporter and we treat each other as equals 100% of the time. Having the right partner that truly understands who you are and what drives you makes us feel confident and keeps us feeling positive and bright even in our darkest days. We become more resilient and brave when we embrace who we truly are and what we are feeling. Trust me, when you have met a partner that inspires you and supports you to conquer the world, everything that you do and work for makes more sense and your ‘WHY’ becomes easy.
Would you like to share with our young budding women entrepreneurs the change you would like to see in the world if given an opportunity?
I would like to see and live in a world where every single girl/woman is given the opportunity to be educated regardless of where they are born. You and I reading this have had the opportunity and yet 129 million fellow women out there have not. Imagine how many more women entrepreneurs we could create if they were all given access.
Women are a growing force in the workplaces worldwide, standing shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts. There are cracks in glass ceilings everywhere, with many women breaking through to carve out a space right at the top of the pyramid. What are your thoughts about women leadership today?
All in all, we are making great progress and I am very optimistic about the future for more women in leadership. My only comment deriving from my own experience would be to embrace more of who we are and preach authentic leadership. At work, we often try to come across a certain way, whether it’s to garner more recognition or to fit in more with our fellow male colleagues, we end up changing ourselves and how we act. This is especially true for women in leadership, where we feel pressure to fit our personality to match our roles. The problem is that by ‘acting the role’ of the leader, those around you often feel like they’re being lied to and it simply burns you out trying to be someone who you are truly not at core. So, just be You. You got that promotion instead of your fellow male counterpart!
What would you want to say to our young women leaders/audience reading this?
One of my favorite quotes from author Jim Rohn is “Learn to work harder on yourself than you do on your job. If you work hard on your job you can make a living, but if you work hard on yourself you’ll make a fortune.” This is true at its core and when I learnt this my whole perspective of life changed. So, my advice to you all is, invest in yourself and pursue personal development. Don’t complain and wish for less problems, wish for more skills and wisdom to do better than what you were given with. Start from wherever you are and with whatever you’ve got because success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day.