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Opening Closed Doors

Everybody has a story. Your story matters

Opening Closed Doors is a podcast about life journeys. Inspiring conversations with people who have chosen to open a closed door and shut another behind them. Stories of rejection to appreciation, loss to discovery, pain to purpose.

Everyone has a story and everybody's story matters.

Everyone has a story that will resonate, inspire and educate.

Certified holistic life coach, Sophia Nicholls, is the host of the show. She  is an international speaker with over 20 years in leadership and advocacy. As the host, Sophia Nicholls will guide you through these inspiring stories.

If you would like to work with Sophia towards achieving your purpose and life goals, book a free 20 min 121 discovery call. Follow this link 

Apr 24, 2022

Alison’s calm and thoughtful manner is testament to her expertise and years of experience in emotional intelligence coaching. The curation of her professional career, in spite of closed doors, is evidence of her skill in pivoting into opportunities and opening doors along the way.

Alison shares her journey from youth through, university and finally her story lands in her current professional experience. A chance meeting with a colleague provided an opportunity to open the door to HR followed by people management and finally to a successful entrepreneurial career in emotional intelligence coaching.

Alison now works successfully in the area of her dreams as a coach. She shares how she was able to eventually become a life ‘teacher’ working to create better self-awareness in the people she coaches.

‘So my story really, if I'm perfectly honest, started a long time ago when I was a little girl because my dream as a little girl was to be a teacher. And I was so certain of the fact that I was going to be a teacher that there was nothing else that I ever considered doing as a career. I had chosen to teach senior high school students and my topics of choice for teaching were geography and Afrikaans, which was my second language, but I could speak it well at school. ………... My father, however, had other ideas for me…’

After years in the commercial arena, Alison pivoted full circle into the social science space drawing on the wealth of her experience gained from her success in commerce.


I'm so grateful for my corporate career, because I've got the stories and the lessons and experiences that I can now draw on’


Alison now walks in her purpose after opening and closing many door with emotional Intelligence as the driver. Her openness and candour is refreshing. Seeing the cooperate environment as an open door to shape other female executives has led to a business where Alison develops other managers and teams towards productivity and success.




Trust yourself, trust your gut, don't make any decisions stuck in those strong, unproductive emotional states. Check in with yourself, what is your intention? How are you showing up right now? We don't have to make these tough decisions on our own, sometimes even just verbalising helps us to work through some of the problem statements, but the most important thing when we're making big decisions, check your emotional states don't make those big decisions from strong, unproductive emotional states. Be in neutral, being calm, be in confidence.


 Alison is a certified Emotional Intelligence Practitioner and a qualified Industrial Psychologist, Programme and Project Manager.  She specializes inthe assessment and development of emotional intelligence within teams.

Applying the latest developments in neuroscience and human motivation she help people connect, communicate and collaborate with others and actively champions personal, professional and organizational success


Alison's success centers around the multi-disciplinary approach she brings to her practice.  Having spent 25 years in a corporate environment as a Business Change / Transformation Consultant and Programme Manager, both in the UK and in SA, Alison now combines this experience with Emotional Intelligence and Life coaching techniques to enable you to strengthen your personal awareness and to develop (and excel at) the essential people skills that will enhance your leadership presence.

Alison works with her clients to provide emotional intelligence assessment as well as individual or group-based coaching, meeting or workshop facilitation, keynote speaking, customised training facilitation and competency based interviewing assistance.  

Alison is a member of Toastmasters International and an ultra-marathon trail runner and long-distance swimmer.  


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Recommended Reading

Just Listen : Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone By Mark Goulston


Sophia is a transformational holistic life coach, mentor,  Clubhouse Club Founder, Global Virtual Summit convenor, Host, Moderator, International Speaker, Educator, Disability Advocate and honoured with outstanding leadership award. Through coaching Sophia inspires and empowers her clients, to move from surviving to thriving. She provides space for discovery towards the life they dream of changing perspective and providing clarity to move from self-sabotage to self – love & purpose opening doors into the life they truly desire.

If you would like Sophia to help you get ‘unstuck’ or move from ‘surviving to thriving’ , book a free 30 min call: