On Executives Unpacked, we dive into the stories of inspiring leaders who shape the business world. In Episode 23, we had the opportunity to speak with Sofia Regojo, CRO at Verimatrix. With over two decades of experience in senior commercial roles and 15 years in the video industry, Sofia has an impressive track record in content security. She shared some valuable insights from her journey so far.
What is the biggest lesson that you think you’ve learned during your career?
There’s nothing that you can do without working hard. If you decide to do something, do it the right way the first time, because if you do it the wrong way or if you don’t pay enough attention to what you’re doing, you need to repeat what you’re doing, which is a waste of your time and the people around you.
I was taught from a very young age, and it comes from the way I was brought up by my mother. I’ve always tried to do it. There have been a lot of times in my career when I needed to rush to do something, because I kept leaving it until the end of the day and didn’t feel like doing it. When I finally did it, because the deadline was arriving, it didn’t turn out as you would like it to turn out. It’s those moments when I think, ‘If I would have done it properly, the results would have been much, much better.’
What do you wish someone had told you earlier?
Knowing your numbers is absolutely key. I’m a numbers person now, but when I was younger, I was not. I didn’t pay enough attention to them for quite some time. So if someone would have told me earlier, you need to master your numbers, that would have helped me a lot.
The other thing that I would have liked someone to tell me, which I’ve only learned later is that the amount of work you have is self imposed. It does not matter which level of the organisation you are. For a long time, I thought that I had a lot of work because my boss wanted me to work very hard, or I had to get results. As time went by, I realised that actually it’s totally self imposed.
Another thing is rest. Take your time. Recovery time is important.
What would you say is the best bit of advice that you’ve ever been given?
Less is more. I think it’s very good advice. I was told this many years ago, when I tried to do a lot of things. I just wanted to do too many things. I had a lot of work with my kids as well. At the time, my boss made me do less, which I hated, of course. But at the same time, it was absolutely a lesson, because as he told me, ‘If you do less, it will become more. So allow yourself to do less.’
When you’re in a conversation, and you’re in trouble, if you don’t know exactly what to say, stop. Give yourself a moment, some silence. It gives you time to think about what you want to say and report on that. It’s a super powerful tool that not that many people use, and they should, because it really helps the flow of the conversation.
What types of things have constantly kept you awake at night during your career?
I used to be kept awake for many things. I wanted to make my numbers work. When I had people’s topics to resolve, things like ‘how do you build a team that is happy?’ you have to have everything in place. I used to have a lot of sleepless nights, and I had to resolve that because you cannot just live without sleeping. I decided many years ago that I don’t read emails from 9pm onwards, so I can disconnect from whatever has happened during the day. I avoid emails because if not, then I keep on thinking about it.
What keeps me awake as well is whenever I think that I could have done better. Those are the things that stick in my mind, regardless of reading emails. I’ll be thinking “This was not okay, so how do I turn it in a way that is okay, how do I make it good?” Sometimes it’s good for me, but most of the time it’s good for the team and good for the company.
Is there one single thread that you can identify that has a certainly led to your success over the years?
Persistency. I would say that I’m very persistent. I won’t give up. I don’t let challenges or difficulties put me down. I’m super optimistic. I’m super positive. Even when I have challenges ahead of me, I always turn it into opportunities.
What one bit of advice do you always give to other people?
Always have fun.
To learn more about Sofia’s life and work, tune into Episode 23 of the Executives Unpacked podcast here.