After dreaming about moving to London from her home in a small Italian city, Sara Odorisio decided to make it a reality. Sara talks to The Industry Leaders about how she overcame a tough start and tells us how she went on to create and run her own consulting business in the city.
How did you end up sitting where you are today?
I worked in the hospitality industry for over 10 years, and the sector was doing so well that I was climbing the corporate ladder higher and higher every year. I felt invincible and thought I was going to work in that sector forever!
Then 2020 and the pandemic happened. It was like being hit by a bucket of cold water: I suddenly woke up and realised my job stability was at risk.
October 28th 2020, changed my life. I had a Zoom call with a world-famous trainer and business coach who was helping professionals learn to become self-employed trainers and wanted me to be part of this incredible project. I thought I was dreaming...
A few months later, Hodos Training was born, and the rest is history!
What kind of work does your role involve?
I'm mainly involved in helping organisations, and their staff become obsessed with customer care and create a customer-focused work culture through interactive workshops.
Being a "one-woman band" means I'm also involved in developing, marketing, promoting and selling my courses, as well as creating social media content and strategies. As I said, my job never gets boring!
What gets you excited about your industry?
Delivering training gives me a great sense of accomplishment because I can see people learning and progressing. Training is an exciting and fun job and is never dull.
It also gives me the opportunity of meeting new and interesting people every day, from all over the world. I believe I've connected with more people since I started working as a trainer than in the rest of my life!
What's the best advice anyone ever gave you?
"If you want to conquer the island, you need to burn the boat."
Whether you want to achieve something in your career or personal life, you must approach your decision with a level of commitment that will drive you forward.
"Burning the boat" means that all of your thoughts and efforts must be focused on succeeding in this new reality, without turning back, worrying or thinking that something might go wrong.
How do you support aspiring leaders in your field?
I am very active on LinkedIn and on YouTube, where I give out advice based on first-hand experiences.
I also send out a free monthly tip with practical suggestions and ideas, mainly on delivering excellent customer service. Anyone can subscribe to it through my website or by sending me an email.
How do you keep up to speed with what's happening in your industry?
I am currently part of 3 mastermind groups with other trainers, industry experts, and self-made entrepreneurs, with whom I compare notes and share ideas. It's great to be surrounded by like-minded people who have goals similar to mine and are open to give advice and support.
I also read books, take online courses and participate in networking events whenever I can. My brain never rests, haha!
What was the most challenging project or situation you've overcome?
Moving to London from a small city in Italy in 2013.
London was my dream city. However, moving all by myself came with more than a few challenges. Initially, I was feeling overwhelmed and sometimes frustrated.
To adjust quickly, I immersed myself in the culture as much as possible: tried new foods, met people, visited museums. The more I exposed myself, the more I started to get familiar with the capital.
I lived London life to the fullest, and in the past 8 years, I've experienced immense personal and professional growth. I wouldn't change this experience for anything, as it made me the person I am today.
You finish work today and step outside the office to find a lottery ticket that ends up winning $10 million. What would you do?
I would faint.
After waking up, I would take my entire family on a fantastic road trip: We dream of travelling around Asia and South America.
I'd love to give part of it to my parents for all the support they gave me, and to my sister, and use some to buy a little piece of land where to build my house.I would also set up an investment fund to help small businesses like mine grow and thrive.
How do you switch off after a day at work?
I love cooking and baking, so I often take the time to prepare some homemade deliciousness - pizza, bread, pasta - so Italian!
I video chat with my parents back in Italy, and we make fun of each other - they usually tell me how amazing the weather is there, while I have to put up with the rain here in London.
After dinner, I relax on the couch with my partner, spend some time with him, watching movies together, or doing some yoga.
If you had one wish for the future of your industry, what would it be?
Training is too often pushed down the priority list.
I wish that more organisations would understand how vital professional training is. It gives their employees a greater understanding of their responsibilities and job knowledge, skills, confidence, and motivation they might not find elsewhere.
Investing in staff development also helps retain more employees because they feel that their company cares about them.
What book or podcast should everyone know about?
How to Win Friends, and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie
Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill
The Road Less Travelled, by Scott Peck
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey
How should people connect with you?
I'm always happy to connect with new people, so get in touch with me:
My tip of the month: www.hodostraining.com
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**Looking to level-up your leadership skills? Check out our article on the best self-help books for business leaders and entrepreneurs.