Today we’d like to introduce you to Rebecca Gebhardt Brizi.
Rebecca, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My personal and work story are intertwined. By the age of 10, I had lived in Spanish-speaking Argentina, German-speaking northern Switzerland and Italian-speaking southern Switzerland. By the age of 18, I had experienced the Swiss German, British, Swiss Italian and American school systems. My American father and Italian mother had both studied humanities and languages, but both worked in business (my mother eventually returned to her first passion, working as a professor, when I was an adolescent). My brother and my bedtime stories were ancient Greek myths, and our free time was spent skiing or hiking (depending on the season) and evenings of trivial pursuit.
But of course, I never suspected any of this was not the most normal of upbringings.
I am certainly a product of all this mixture of influences. Fast forward through university (in the US) and graduate school (in the UK), and I found myself working at a tech startup in London. We had three desks and an attic, and we truly were masters of our own destiny at that stage.
As the business grew, I suggested we tackle the US market, and that’s when I moved to Atlanta and opened up our US operations.
I knew very little about Atlanta but had a good impression of it. My husband and I had a list of work criteria to pick a US destination, and Atlanta ticked all the boxes, What we also found, was a city with a wonderful quality of life, a vibrant and diverse community of people, and entertainment of all sorts.
After about five years, the business I ran had grown to about 30-40 employees globally, with good systems, happy clients and steady growth. My time was spent mainly in managing people and preparing reports, and I was itching to get back into the grassroots strategic work. That’s when I decided to launch my own consultancy.
For almost three years, I have been advising teams of anywhere from 1-50 people (small businesses, or corporate back offices) on building value propositions and management process.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I am skeptical of smooth roads. I learned early to always accept jobs (roles, positions, responsibilities, projects) for which I was just slightly under qualified; and that is the same advice I would give to young women now. I had strengths I could apply to the task – maybe lateral or transferred skills – and was forced to learn something new. Still today, when things seems to be all going in my direction, I start looking for a new leap into the unknown.
My work allowed for plenty of struggles: launching a business, growing a business, all with limited resources and experience. The fact that we never had the luxury of not growing was a blessing: it meant that when we failed, we had to fix it right away, so stay focused, examine our mistakes, and act to rectify them. We never had the “luxury” of just feeling sad about it.
I learned to apply this to success as well: I take the same lessons learned approach, to understand how much of my success I actually control, and what I need to improve or learn.
What should we know about R G Brizi Consulting? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Most people start a business because they are good at the craft of the business… an attorney starts a law firm, a marketer starts an agency, etc. I discovered early on that my craft is business management.
Many of my clients will say I am most known for asking difficult questions. I use a structured approach to questioning my clients, and the outcome is a firm and concrete description of the business and a foundation for making all decisions going forward.
It is a skill that for so long felt very abstract, and I suppose one point of pride was in learning how to package it (I sell programs for writing Value Proposition, Management Process, or Goal Tracking) in a way that others could easily purchase my services. With each client, my core goal is to identify, prove, and describe their key differentiators, and then use those to manage all parts of the business.
I have three core values myself: earn it; keep a promise, think it through, that guide my own work.
Looking back on your childhood, what experiences do you feel played an important role in shaping the person you grew up to be?
Yes: this is where it starts to come together: growing up in a multi-lingual home and changing schools and environment so often, my childhood was often a continuous “lost in translation”.
I learned to examine words, people, and situations in a new way: starting with taking things literally, finding the surrounding circumstances, and applying whatever cultural context was required. It is something I still run up against today.
This approach of examining and proving all the information in front of me is the same thing I do for clients now, it is what makes me good at my job. Just that in my work, I get to openly question what I have in front of me and analyze, describe, and speculate about it until we have concrete and true information.
- 1:1 3 part workshop, $2640 + $40 per person
- half day workshop $1390 + $40 per person
- Retainer options available, $500-$900
- Website: www.rgbrizi.com
- Phone: 4049082895
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Twitter: twitter.com/rgbrizi
Family Portrait: Paolo Ciccone
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