Renovad’s carefully curated experiential retreats entice participants to take a breath of fresh air, clear their minds, stimulate their senses, refresh their souls and reconnect with the essence and power within themselves.
Inspired by her journeys across 5 continents and 18 countries,and the desire to spend more quality time with the extraordinary women who serve as her mentors and collaborators, Pilar launched Renovadexperiential retreats as an extension of her organizational change management consulting practice, interDUCTUS.
The inaugural 2019 programs, August 27-31 in Italyand in MoroccoNovember 27 – December 1, will be followed by experiences in Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Greece, Mexico and Thailand in 2020. Renovad pivots on deep destination knowledge, andremoving the burden of travel planning and the risk of trial & error, to design experiences focused on relaxation, inspiration and adventure.
The idea behind the experiential retreats
After building a fruitful career over 26 yearsproviding leadership at institutions across the private equity, hospitality, and nonprofit sectors, Pilar Avila decided to launch a consulting practice as a boutique lifestyle business.
Pilar stated, “As women focused on sustaining our families, advancing our businesses, and improving our communities, too often we place ourselves far down the priority list. Reality is that in the measure that we nourish ourselves, we are more effective in lifting others. This is the impetus for Renovad retreats.”
The experiential retreats are intentionally without speakers and prescribed programs, to open space and set the state of mind for participants to let go, listen to their inner voices, delight on the sounds they will encounter around the world, to ultimately reinvigorate mind, body and soul.A “come as you are and when you please” approach provides participants the freedom to flow, dial up and down on activities, and further tailor their own renewal experience.
Pilar Avila, the passage from corporate to entrepreneurship
Pilar’s reputation as a strategic, innovative, multidisciplinary, results-oriented business and civic change leader precedes her. But in her own words, it took a whole new level of gustiness to muster the courage and take the plunge from employment to entrepreneurship. “The biggest challenge I overcame in launching my business was the fear of leaving behind the certainty of an increasing and predictable income. I had always known that my biggest anxiety in life was building and maintaining financial security, being prepared to support my family in time of need and opportunity, and securing funds for a comfortable retirement.”
Pilar took inventory of what she had accumulated and figured that if she could generate funds to sustain her lifestyle while protecting her net worth, she would likely be in a good position to retire when the time comes. She decided to invest in herself by allocating 10 percent of her reserves as seed money for launching her business.
As Pilar’s network got word that she was in the process of launching a consulting practice, the first client knocked on her door and validated her move to entrepreneurship before she could even complete her new company branding and print business cards.
The three most relevant strengths Pilar developed through her career and that provided a solid foundation to launch her business included a proven ability to successfully manage most critical business aspects of a non profit and small business enterprise, a deep and wide network of collaborators and advisors across industries and markets, and a reputation for getting things done with a focused, transparent and win-win approach. “These continue to be my biggest assets that I’m tapping in building my management consulting practice and Renovad’s experiential retreats,” Pilar explained.
Building experiential retreats as an change agent
As Pilar continues to delve in this new stage of life and business, her commitment as a change agent, passion about the rise of diverse leadership, and championing of equal access to economic opportunity and investment in education, are as strong as ever.
She isenergized by the determination that women are applying in advocating for equal pay and opportunity. She has been an advocate in her own way since the beginning of her career. “It always makes me smile, and wonder where I got the guts, when I recall approaching my boss during a yearly performance review – it was my second professional job five years into my career,” she said.
Considering her title and job responsibilities, not to mention her unstoppable drive and developing talent, Pilar knew that she was grossly underpaid. She showed up at the performance review ready with highlights of her accomplishments over the previous year. Her boss commended and thanked her for her vision and success in implementing a new national program.
Before the talk on salary and bonuses, she swiftly presented him with a basic budget of living expenses (in excel, of course) required to sustain the modest lifestyle of a young professional, such as her, in Washington, DC. The budget demonstrated that she was underpaid at least by 50 percent; she received a 30 percent increase in compensation on the spot. The next year her income increased by another 30 percent when she accepted a position at another organization.
“Three years later and eight years into my career, I broke into the six-figure income club and purchased my first home, one of seven real estate investments I have made to date. I am certain that without the audacity of standing up for the pay that I deserved, things would have worked out differently”.
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If you are thinking of starting your own business
Here is Pilar’s advice to Latinas who are thinking of starting their own business or would like to achieve success in their profession or career:
- Focus on utilizing and showcasing your current strengths while developing other strategic skills that may enhance your career and business success in the future.
- Skills are not everything – a collaborative, kind and win-win approach will take you a long way.
- There is nothing more valuable than your reputation – do not compromise on transparency, trustworthiness and kindness.
www.renovad.co, an initiative of interDUCTUS, hosts world-class renovation experiences around the globe in destinations that evoke relaxation, inspiration and adventure, providing women of consequence a unique opportunity to reinvigorate mind, body and soul. RSVPfor upcoming retreats.
www.interDUCTUS.cois an organizational change management consulting practice focused on enhancing the capacity and performance of nonprofit and private enterprises by providing extended leadership and multidisciplinary expertise.