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Meet Brenda Abdilla of Management Momentum in Lakewood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brenda Abdilla.

Brenda, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I was lucky enough to be fired from my sales and marketing job at age 29. I loved leading the team and inspiring others to hit their numbers–but I butted heads in a big way with my boss and I was not shy about sharing my opinions of how wrong he was. Apparently he did not enjoy being challenged, especially by a female, so he let me go. It was a huge gift.

I had studied business administration in college while working full time, but I never really knew where I would end up. I learned sales at a Nutri-System Weight Loss Center, where I was promoted and ran two different centers for them in my early 20’s. Next, I got a job at a luxury athletic club as a sales manager and kind of hit my stride. I got promoted quickly, got recruited to higher-level roles in larger clubs and added marketing to my skill set. But as I look back, my path to success was really training and development of whatever team I was working with. My answer to any result we needed to achieve was to create some kind of training game or exercise to help the team really “get it”–I was obsessed with team engagement before it was a thing!

So After getting fired my first company ended up being a sales training company specifically for the luxury fitness industry which then grew to include resorts and other businesses in the hospitality space. Over the next 10+ years, that work would be my passport to the world. I worked in seven countries giving my sales training program, which was centered on selling value. That business morphed into a strong consulting practice and I realized my skills were useful in the corporate market. In my mid-30’s, I discovered assessments and how they could impact the team and individual learning. I became certified in DiSC, The Enneagram, Emergenetics, Birkman and Emotional Intelligence (EQi).

It was the Emotional Intelligence certification that surprisingly led me to my work as a professional coach. The EQi test, properly done, requires a private de-brief with the individual because the results are confidential. I sold a package to one of my corporate clients and had to do 27 EQi de-briefs in a two-week span. Once I realized the behavioral impact of that one-on-one interaction created, I was hooked. It would take a few more years to fully give up my consulting and recruitment practice to coach full time and in that time, I made it official and got my credential and now I get to use my entire history to help leaders with their career and their teams.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Any entrepreneur who says it has been a smooth path is either lying or in denial. People have always commented at how I have “re-invented” myself. I find this hilarious. It is a survival instinct. I have a knack for sensing when a market is going to dry up or not serve me anymore and then I find a way to pivot. It’s always excruciating at first. I don’t want things to end–I want everything to stay the same. But that is not how business works. Things are always shifting in small and sometimes large ways. I am extremely optimistic and this is a good and a bad thing. It’s a good thing because 99% of the time, I have a very can-do and positive attitude about things. It can be bad because sometimes things are harder than I think they are going to be–and that stinks!

With each iteration of my businesses it has taken longer to get fully profitable than I hoped or imagined. When I work with people leaving the corporate world and starting their own businesses, I always warn them about this aspect. It takes time to develop a network in your new area. It is more of an evolution–rather than a destination. You have to be incredibly determined to get through those tough spots where you are ready to serve but no one knows, likes or trusts you in the area you are ready to serve. But then when they do start working with you, it is incredibly rewarding and satisfying.

Management Momentum – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Our business is based on the core belief that stress and burnout change who we are. Burnout changes what we see and how we see it. Because of this, my life’s work is to help others with their work. I am not a life coach!

On the corporate side, I work with leaders who are dealing with a ton of change and all of the aspects of leading a team in today’s business world. And on the individual side, I work with professionals age 35-55, in high-level careers, who are considering a job search or are in the middle of one. I love working in the mid-career age range–it’s complicated and I like helping unravel all of that confusion and complexity.

I am best known for my proprietary programs and exercises. I help all of my clients understand their career superpowers and their blind-spots and to deal with stress like a BOSS. I have some cool ways of looking at team leadership, accountability and feedback with a Leadership Strategic Plan and at a career with a Career Strategic Plan. We also look at time management with a program called Time Rehab. For the career coaching clients, we do interview rehearsals and find ways to activate their network.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on? 
I am proud that I boldly quit consulting those years ago to make room for a full-time executive coaching practice. While it is not something I recommend to my clients, it is what I needed to do to let go of all that retainer income. I said goodbye to it and started fresh some years ago. Now I get to do meaningful (and profitable) work that I love, every day.

Pricing:

  • Initial packages start at $5,000 and include assessments and materials for coaching programs.
  • Team workshops are priced on half day and full day rates between $2,900-$6,000.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Tania Peterman Photography

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