Blanca Abbud: She’s The BOSS
By Rudy Arispe
Since her early 20s, the energetic and ambitious Blanca Abbud has been a trailblazer in more ways than one.
But life wasn’t always so optimistic. She recalls moving to San Antonio from her native El Paso in 2008 as a single mom with her young daughter and having only their clothes, an air mattress to sleep on and a 13-inch TV in their apartment. However, Abbud was determined to make a better life for her child, which is why she left her hometown in the first place after a stint in selling cars for a while.
“Coming home to notices on my door to break-ins in the area was very scary,” she said. “As many successful women already know or can relate to, that also meant working long hours. I worked 12-hour days which included dropping off my daughter at daycare at 6 a.m. and picking her up after 7 p.m.”
It wasn’t long before Abbud’s strong work ethic and dedication to her job in management with Enterprise Rent-A-Car led to her being recognized as MVP six months in a row and promoted shortly after. “Little did I know this would be the start of my successful business career,” she said, adding that another accomplishment during this time was saving enough money to buy her first home at age 23.
Today, Abbud is a senior consultant with TriNet and has been with the company for six years, specializing in healthcare strategy and helping businesses develop their comprehensive benefits package for their employees. “I advise business in areas of payroll, risk management, and strategic HR services,” she said. “Conceptually, I help businesses control costs, increase revenue, and become leaner by consolidating vendors all into one solution.”
In addition, Abbud is blazing a new trail with the launch of her sales training company, BOSS (Blanca’s Overall Sales Secrets). Training covers topics, including “Cold Calling: How to Set a Meeting,” “How to Sell the RFP,” “Social Media 101 and Power Connecting,” “Healthcare Basics, Benefits and Future Trends,” “Time Management” and “Best Practices in Selling,” among other sales courses.
“I create customized courses according to each clients’ needs,” she said.
Having been blessed with a successful and rewarding career, Abbud believes in giving back, which is why she started a Mentorship Program. Currently, she is mentoring three young girls. “I help them with creating goals, a short-term and long-term life plans, and execute action steps to accomplish their plan,” she explained. “I have been mentoring one girl for a year now, and she just got accepted into nursing school.”
If that wasn’t enough, the busy businesswoman has established Abbud Investments LLC, a new venture with Fawn Bevineau in which she will buy and sell real estate. Already, she is looking to buy property in the downtown and Pearl area.
Although she is riding the crest of a wave in business and her personal life, Abbud said she gets great motivation and satisfaction from interacting with her clients. “Entrepreneurs are fascinating individuals and I love to carry conversations with them about business, among other topics,” she said. “It is my passion to help business owners manage their businesses better and the reason I do what I do. My career now is a great continuation of what I used to do before as a business banker where I helped business owners manage their money and bank accounts. I also enjoy going on plant or manufacturing tours of the companies I work with. It makes me feel like I am going on a field trip every day, and I get to see the foundation of America.”
One could say that Abbud definitely has paid her dues to get to the top, and, in doing so, it also makes her stand out from others in sales and business. “
“Several things make me different than other people, but by far the top one is my work ethic,” she said. “When I first moved here from El Paso, I worked 12-hour days, six days a week from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. I left my house in the dark with my daughter and came home at night. People do not know that I have worked and slept in my office for the first couple of years in my career. I would sleep and wake up to sit at my desk again to continue working.”
Fear, she insists, never enters her mind when it comes to business, which she believes give her an extra advantage. “I am not scared to speak to anyone at any level,” Abbud said. “People that have seen me in action have said that about me. I can switch up my level of speaking depending on the person I am engaging. A lot of people lack the ability to speak in different levels when it comes to business. The way I speak to an owner is different than the way I speak to a receptionist. The way I speak to a doctor is different than the way I speak to a CEO of a company. I know how to capture and keep someone’s attention.”
Despite having to overcome challenges working in corporate America, Abbud offers advice to other women who are just started out in business and want to get ahead of the pack. “You have to constantly prove yourself,” she said. “In order for us to be recognized, we have to go above and beyond. Go that extra mile. Work harder. Stay later. Take initiative. Volunteer on projects. You get the point.”
She also calls attention to the fact that statistics show that even though women hold higher levels of education and spend most of the wealth in the U.S., females are still significantly lacking in corporate executive and leadership positions.
“Women still face different challenges in the workplace than men do,” Abbud said. “In my case, I work in corporate America, and I work in the sales industry, both of which are usually male-dominated. I am also a minority female. English is my second language, so even small things like my accent and my pronunciation are noticed. I have to work harder and almost be hypersensitive about these things so that these barriers do not stop me. Gender inequality and sexual harassment are things I have had to overcome to get to where I am today. I am now climbing the corporate ladder in my company, and I am working on reaching my full potential.”
It comes as no surprise, however, that Abbud is not one to rest on her laurels. With all her career successes and accolades, she knows she can always improve. So she has set several goals for herself in her never-ending quest to be the best.
“I have three main things I am working on this year. They are business growth, training, mentorship and personal branding,” she said. “Continued business growth is always something I strive for, but this year I am developing other areas in my life. It has become apparent to me that I am an inspiration to other women and give people motivation. I usually do one to two public speaking events per year on different topics. Last year I also held my first lecture on healthcare. I am very good at what I do; therefore, I want to show others how to be successful. I feel that God blessed me with certain talents, and it is my job to share those with other people. My sales ability is both natural and learned, so I have put together my own sales courses where I show other entry level sales reps how to become successful. I am constantly branding myself on all my social media pages. My LinkedIn page has received a lot of attention and I have been recognized for my consistent branding efforts on Linkedin. I have people all over the U.S. that follow my posts. My boss says I am LinkedIn famous because I have had people stop me or tell me they know who I am from LinkedIn.”
Abbud hopes her story will motivate and inspire other people and not just women. She ends, “I think that a lot of people have been able to build a successful businesses or climb the corporate ladder but my takeaway is teaching my kids what it is to work hard, the ability to give them a better life than the one I had, and giving back to the community through volunteer and charity work.”
To keep up with Blanca follow her on Facebook and LinkedIn!