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Hi There, I’m Marilda
With 25 years in the Tourism and Hospitality Industry, I’ve learnt a lot about people. I’ve had incredible adventures and made memories that have taught me valuable lessons.
Growing up in a house where my parents entertained guests all the time, my sister and I learnt the basics of Hospitality from a very young age. I have memories of prepping for guests arriving as well as cleaning up afterwards.
Although I originally didn’t know what I wanted to do in the Tourism Industry I can now, after almost 25 years, say that I’ve almost done it all.
In that time, I’ve worked in Guesthouses, Hotels and Game Lodges in everything from Reception to Management. I’ve done overland safaris while sleeping in a tent and cooking for guests on the fire as well as been the General Manager of a 5 Star Game Lodge.
I’ve worked in established businesses and help start-ups from the concept design to full operations.
I’ve booked, planned, hosted and cooked for Student groups to Exclusively Guided Safaris.
I’ve worked with staff from a melting pot of cultures and ages in conditions from very basic to exclusive.
I’ve made mistakes, learnt the hard way and have had so much fun along the journey.
The Tourism Industry is a strange beast. Most of the time you are thrown in the deep end and expected to swim. Training is often basic and conditions that are not even close to ideal.
I understood that in the far away corporate world there are systems in place that could help you that include fancy words like Change Management, strategies and structured Coaching and Mentoring programs. Even with a formal qualification (that many in the industry never get a chance to achieve) you learn from those around you as quickly as possible and then you swim on your own. Nobody is paid to help you through the rough patches or give you advice. Yet you are expected to innovate, change, strategize and survive by the powers that be while guests expect the highest, quality experience.
This was a big turning point for me as I realised that I wanted to help. I wanted to give people a leg up and a safe space where they could learn or talk and Sunbird Tourism Development was borne. I focused on Tourism Consulting and assisted companies with Assessments, Training and Consulting.
When COVID hit everything stopped for me as well. Suddenly my clients could literally not afford to keep their staff, never mind pay a consultant.
And so the next part of my own journey kickstarted.
I had to look at myself again and figure out what exactly I wanted. I took a good, hard look at my business and realised that for me it was not about consulting but almost exclusively about coaching. And so started the part of my journey to uncover what that exactly means for me and for people in the Industry.
During the journey I came across some additional tools that helped me move into new directions and even though my heart will always be in Tourism, I’m realising that people in all sorts of situations are having similar struggles, questions and challenges.
Going through the training as a Shadowmatch Habit Reconstruction Coach has been an invaluable experience for me. It has taught me so much about myself, my own behaviours and has helped me find the next steps in my journey.
Mostly, it has shown me that there are people and tools out there that can help you, regardless of where you are finding yourself right now.
You just need to reach out… take the first steps.
For a long time, I struggled with finding the right name for what I want to do, what do I call myself? A Consultant? A Coach? A Mentor? I’ve realised that there isn’t one name and really it isn’t important what I call myself.
I just want to help.
I’ve got the tools, the experience and I understand how important it is to hold space for someone.
Whatever your challenge is right now, reach out…. Let’s do this together.
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