Heather Thorkelson | Thorkelson Consulting


Gerdi with Heather Thorkelson on her entrepreneurial polar journey

What do the pharmaceutical industry and an icebreaker turned polar cruise vessel have in common? You’re forgiven when your answer to this question is, “Absolutely nothing!”

You would – however – be wrong. Because my guest today is the link between these two very different worlds.

Entrepreneur in the polar expedition world

Heather Thorkelson is an entrepreneur who runs a coaching company, a polar expedition company, and is part owner of a polar ship management company.

While she was successful in the structured 9-5 world, she always hated the lack of agency and the arbitrary rules which led her to abandon that world for good in 2010.

Since then she has built companies based around her values and made a concerted effort to live closer to nature.

No Plan B

In 2020 she put her experience of leaving the corporate world without a fixed plan for her future on paper in her book ‘No Plan B: A Handbook for Incurable Entrepreneurs and Other Rebellious Souls’.

You know it’s a good one when marketing guru Seth Godin gives it a blurb that says:

“If you’ve realized that there is no cure for your desire to be an entrepreneur, Heather has a direct, honest and personal take on how to get from here to there… We each have a chance to make things better by making better things.”

Heather believes

Heather believes in dogs, cheese and foraging in the forest.

She believes in having lots of healthy, strong boundaries.

She believes in kindness because kindness is everything.

And — I’m glad I’m not the only one — she believes in swearing since it is, as she puts it, a creative outlet.

Heather has worked in the polar expedition world for over a decade and has returned to Antarctica more than 30 times.

As the daughter of an airline pilot, Heather is a lifelong traveller and has lived long-term in 7 countries outside her passport country of Canada.

She currently lives in rural Sweden with her husband and dog.

Photo used courtesy of Heather Thorkelson: © 2017 Dean J. Tatooles | www.sgcphotosafaris.com

For more from ‘Daring Self-Leadership …’

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Heather's Favourites Celebrating Nature



Oceania by björk


Walden by Henry David Thoreau



‘My Octopus Teacher’ directed by Pippa Ehrlich and James Reed

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