Interview with Lisette Sandoval, President of Barcelona Women’s Network

Originally from Los Angeles, California Lisette Sandoval came to Barcelona in 2012. She’s an Entrepreneurial Business and Life Coach and the new President of Barcelona Women’s Network (BWN).

Can you tell us something about your professional background?

I’m a trained behavior specialist where I worked closely with women and their children that displayed socially unwanted behaviors.  I also have business experience with hands on sales and marketing training.  Both have proved to be very helpful in my own personal life making me much more empathetic and becoming an expert at non-verbal communication.

At what point did you decide to set up your own business?

I had my own business for more than 10 years but it took me several years to finally start coaching again and started here in Barcelona 3 years ago.

What services do you offer?

I offer both confidence and business coaching to entrepreneurial women.  I know how hard it is to speak confidently about oneself and their business let alone to potential clients.  I offer 3 month coaching programs with a step by step practical and measurable plans.

Do you only work with individuals or do you work with families as well?

Since, I do have experience working with families I also offer a workshop for parents called Improve Family Communication & Decrease Unwanted Behavior where we dive into the root of the type of communication that hinders fluidity and harmony in the home.

What would be some typical issues that you could help with?

The typical issue I help with is gaining control of your home. Parents get overwhelmed and just let the organization in their home go and this can cause friction and tension among members of the family. It’s normal but as long as you make sure a few solid systems and techniques are in place you can then add flexibility and therefore decrease stress.  Some topics I touch are decreasing tantrums, help set up a flexible schedules that respect the rules of the home and finally, helping remove the word “no” which can be a parent’s most common word if their stressed out.

In your experience what are the main reasons for women losing confidence or focus? And how do you help women to rebuild confidence and refocus their lives?

I find that the most common reason women lose confidence and focus are that they are overwhelmed and are lost without any guidance they can trust.  With all my clients, I begin by doing two things:  observing their behavior and reaction to find their trigger points and start by chipping away at their day to begin getting organized.  Once there’s some kind of system or routine  in place, women start to thrive again.  It’s what I always say, the moment you starting feeling good about doing something well you automatically get a confidence boost. It takes action but it also takes daily mantras of positivity and looking for the positive things about yourself.  Committing to your wellbeing is the grandest challenge but simple daily steps can bring you back into focus.

What brought you to Spain?

I have a sister here and it made it for an easy choice and move.   We’re a year and half apart and look very similar.  She’s my best friend.

How easy was the relocation process from California to Catalunya?

The relocation process wasn’t easy and it took a very long time, at least for me it did.  I had to practice my own stress reduction techniques just to keep it together!

What do you love about living in Barcelona?

The contrast of living in Barcelona is so different from my life in Los Angeles.  I do things here that I would never do in LA like walk everywhere or take public transportation.  Looking up at the buildings are an inspiration and that alone is a gift that keeps on giving!

You recently became the President of BWN. What made you decide to take on the role?

I was already a big fan of BWN before I decided to accept the nomination to become president.  I was an active member in BWN’s business unit, the Networking Hub as their co-chair the year before and I saw this as an opportunity to practice my leadership and my own organizational skills!

What do the BWN do?

BWN is a social club with a social purpose.  Every member’s contribution whether in the form of volunteering, monetary donations, and simply joining the organization is a direct help to our end of year donations to the elected local charities.  BWN is a place where women can socialize in their new city or if they simply want to expand their social network and know they’re contributing to something bigger than just themselves. It’s a place where women join as strangers but leave best friends.

Can you tell us a bit about membership?

We have an annual average of 200 women ranging from ages 25 to 80 (she’s a vibrant lady just so you know!) representing over 20 nationalities and having a ton of life experience and experience of living in Barcelona. Many have been here for more than 25 years and some have only arrived last week which adds to the diversity of our organization. Presently, our organization is a current representation of the of Barcelona city: we are young mothers, thirty/forty-something year old entrepreneurs wanting more meaningful connections and networking opportunities, recently retired women looking to make new friends or women like me, that wanted to make new friends outside of the bar scene and get involved in an organizations that serves the community while maintaining the spirit of sisterhood.

Describe yourself in 3 words.

Dynamic, optimistic, creative

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