Career Relaunch®
Career Relaunch®
Sep 29, 2021
Overcoming Barriers to Change with Tommy Kelly- CR76
Play • 40 min

Have you ever had an idea for product you feel should exist but does not exist? For some, they would just leave it at that, but in Tommy Kelly’s case, when he struggled to find a natural, sparkling caffeinated beverage in the supermarkets, he decided to create one himself. In episode 76 of the Career Relaunch® podcast, Tommy Kelly, a former nuclear plant engineer turned cofounder of the organic sparkling drinks company Sound, shares his thoughts on figuring out the ideal time to make your carer pivot, building your ideas patiently and persistently, and finding a great cofounder.

I thought Tommy would be a great guest for the show because he made quite a radical career change, which I hope can inspire you to also make a change. Also, he has a firm belief that career changes, while incredibly daunting, can also be life-changing in a good way. He wanted to share his story as a way of inspiring others to turn their side hobbies into something more. I hope you enjoy hearing his journey as much as I did.

Key Career Insights

  1. If your idea doesn’t sell right away, it doesn’t mean you should give up, especially if you know some people have reacted positively to it. You can continue to iterate and improve, until you have your breakthrough.
  2. Learning, improving, and iterating are a necessary part of any career change journey.
  3. Our careers are in many ways security blankets in our lives that provide stability and predictability. Moving on from a job, even one you don’t like, can be incredibly daunting.

Tweetables to Share

More Resources


Listener Challenge

My challenge to you is to fully acknowledge and attempt to overcome one of the daunting, negative emotions you may be feeling as you navigate your own career transition. Whether related to sadness, fear, pride, embarrassment, shame, or disappointment, try to give it a label so you can begin to process it.

While no magic bullet exists to tackle any challenging emotion in the midst of a big transition, half the battle is being able to identify it whenever it inevitably shows up during your journey.


About Tommy Kelly, cofounder of Sound

Tommy Kelly is the cofounder of Sound known known for its unsweetened sparkling drinks that create unique flavors through a combination of Certified Organic teas, botanicals and fruit extracts. A former engineer at the Indian Point Nuclear Energy Center, Tommy came up with the idea for Sound inside the plant to satisfy his own desire for a crisp, carbonated, and caffeinated beverage that wasn’t filled with all of the sugar and artificial ingredients in soda. So he started carbonating tea. And that idea went from hobby to business in 2015, after teaming up with his former colleague, Salim Najjar. After gaining distribution in Whole Foods, they made the official jump to launch Sound in 2016. Follow Sound on Facebook and Instagram.

Did You Enjoy This Episode? Please Let Us Know!

Comments, Suggestions, or Questions?

If you have any lingering thoughts, questions, or topics you would like covered on future episodes, record a voicemail for me right here. I LOVE hearing from listeners!
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Interview segment music credits

  • Night by ikson. Music provided by Plugnplay Music 
  • “Nettson – Last Promise,” “Hayden Folker – Adrift,” and “Keys Of Moon – Warm Memories” are under a Creative Commons (CC-BY 3.0) license. Music promoted by BreakingCopyright
  • “Deep” by SergePavkinMusic
  • Nature byInfraction

Thanks to BrandYourself for Supporting Career Relaunch

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