April Sabral is a retail expert, coach and entrepreneur with nearly three decades of excellence in global retail leadership brands among such a Starbucks, Apple, GAP, Banana Republic and David’s Tea and is the founder of retailu, which provides an affordable retail focused competency development for district and store management. In 2020, April published her first book called The Positive Effect. In this book, she shares lessons learned and her three-step leadership model that builds awareness in leaders and how creating positive working environments is the way to retain and attract top talent.
Listen into our conversation to learn more about not just April’s impressive career journey and all she is creating through her training platform, retailu, but why leading with The Positive Effect is so important for the building blocks to developing successful retail teams (or any industry).
Connect with the retailu platform: https://retailu.ca/
Buy April’s Book- The Positive Effect: https://www.amazon.com/Positive-Effect-Retail-Leaders-Changing/dp/B08CWBCMDJ
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FC Podcasts: [00:00:00] Pivot with Purpose, a podcast that highlights the unique stories of
professionals that pivoted their careers to align with their work lives and personal lives.
More purposefully and with more joy.
Pivot with Purpose is hosted by Meghan Houle, a globally accredited career and business
coach and creator of the Meghan Houle method.
Meghan Houle: [00:00:34] Welcome back to the Pivot with Purpose podcast. In this
episode, we talked to April Sabral, retail operations and leadership expert, CEO of the
training platform, retailu, and author of The Positive Effect, a retail leader’s guide to
changing the world.
FC Podcasts: [00:00:51] Thank you for listening to Pivot with Purpose with host, Meghan
Houle. You can find out more information about each guest, including full transcripts at
pivotwithpurposepodcast.com. And if you’d like to share your own Pivot with Purpose, click
on the share button and add your story to the conversation.
Finally, be sure to subscribe and share your comments wherever you listen to your favorite
podcast, your support and our voice. And now this week’s episode…
Meghan Houle: [00:01:25] April Sabral is a retail expert, coach and entrepreneur with nearly
three decades of excellence in global retail leadership brands among such a Starbucks,
Apple, GAP, Banana Republic and David’s Tea and is the founder of retailu, which provides
an affordable retail focused competency development for district and store management. In
2020, April published her first book called The Positive Effect. In this book, she shares lessons
learned and her three-step leadership model that builds awareness in leaders and how
creating positive working environments is the way to retain and attract top talent. April
Sabral, retail powerhouse! Welcome to the Pivot with Purpose podcast, thank you for
joining us today.
April Sabral: [00:02:16] Oh, thank you. I’m so excited to be here, Meghan.
Meghan Houle: [00:02:19] Well, I know we have so much to cover and I am very much
looking forward to diving into all the things: leadership, retailu, your book, The Positive
But before we get started, I always love to ease in the conversation of learning something
fun about you. So tell us what is something you look forward to doing every day besides
work? What are you into?
April Sabral: [00:02:41] Oh my God. I go to the gym every single day. So I’m so happy to be
in California now and not Toronto where the gyms are open because that’s kind of my vice.
Meghan Houle: [00:02:51] Yeah. What’s your workout of choice? What do you love to do?
April Sabral: [00:02:54] Boot camp. Yeah, bootcamp and weights.
Meghan Houle: [00:02:58] Yeah, I’m sure we could have a full conversation about fitness,
but we won’t. So in talking about your background and the heart of this podcast, I know you
have incredible career highlights and stories, and really have led some amazing businesses
working for also some really well known companies in the industry.
Tell us what made you fall in love with retail? I would love to hear your story about this and
how you got your foot in the door and we can kind of dive into your pivots from there.
April Sabral: [00:03:25] Yeah. I love retail because you can make an impact and you see the
results of your impact immediately. And I think that’s unique compared to any other
And what I mean by that is like, if you hire somebody and you attract top talent and you can
build a team, you can see the results of that team. You can also succession plan people and
promote them and see them move on to other roles. I’ve met my best friends in real life, like
along the way, right?
So it’s such a “people” business. I fell in love with all the people that I’ve ever worked with,
but really, it comes down to, I’m a results driven leader and I’ve worked for huge
organizations like corporate organizations, but I have that entrepreneurial spirit and always
have. And so I think just the fact that I can make an impact and see that impact of my results
immediately transfer into what is going on around me is what made me fall in love with
Meghan Houle: [00:04:20] Can you tell us about some of your most memorable career
highlights, as you were mentioning in the intro, I mean working for GAP and Apple and
holding a recruiting job at one point, too. So that is so interesting. I feel like you recruited,
what was the number like 10,000 or talked to like 10,000 people.
Tell us about some of those memorable highlights for you.
April Sabral: [00:04:43] I’ve done quite a few different jobs all the way from store manager
to operations leader to merchandising manager to a recruiter, like you said, I did a short
stint for about a year with Apple as a recruiter in Toronto, which was awesome.
All the way up to a vice-president of David’s Tea over my 29 years of career. But you don’t
like saying that now because it makes me sound kind of old, but I’m not, I’m young in spirit!
Meghan Houle: [00:05:05] No, you’re not old, no!
April Sabral: [00:05:07] I think when I think about pivotal moments the, again, moments in
my career where I’ve been able to make that impact and see it immediately.
And one that really comes to mind that I share about in the book is when we added the
name to the Starbucks cup, when I was a store manager in Florida in that district. And you
know, when I moved to Canada seven years later and they asked me for my name on the
cup. I was like, oh, I didn’t realize it went everywhere.
I thought it was just something we were doing because we wanted to have our customers
get the right cup. I managed a store on South Beach, and it’s all tourists having a great time
and ordering, frappuccinos and didn’t know what they’d ordered. And so we just wanted
them to get the right cup. And so it was a very,
Meghan Houle: [00:05:43] Everyone’s fighting for their drink, fist fights!
April Sabral: [00:05:46] So it was a really simple idea. It didn’t cost the company anything,
but it made a huge impact. It made sure our customers got the right drink and then, what
happened next? So that’s a really pivotal moment. I think about also when I was at Banana
Republic and I moved from Miami to Toronto with Banana Republic, I was part of a modern
store group of leaders. And what we were doing at that time was reshaping how the stores
were structured in terms of management. And so I was on this very small pilot team. I got to
go to San Francisco. I got to spend time with the VPs, and that was a pivotal moment
because it sparked that desire to create more and make an impact, again.
And then when I went to Toronto, I was able to kind of help them roll it out up there. I’ve
got two more really good ones. And when I was at Apple, I got put in a recruitment role,
which I know that you do. And I’ve never been a recruiter before.
I mean, I’ve been a recruiter in my roles and hiring talent onto my team, but not at that
scale. Working at Apple, like everybody wants to work at Apple. So there was such an
amazing pool of candidates. And so one of the things that I wanted to be able to do was
make sure that those candidates got a really good experience.
And so we did market hiring seminars and at the end of the seminar, we sent out surveys
kind of like net promoter score surveys for candidates to see how the experience went. So it
kind of put the emphasis on all of us that were holding the seminars to create a really good
And so that was really pivotal for me because I learned recruitment skills. I learned what it
means to give the candidate a really great experience and also, how to show up in interviews
and kind of get prepared for that candidate experience, which I really hadn’t thought about
So that really changed the way that I recruited and interviewed going forward. When I went
into stores all across Canada, people were just so excited that they had gotten the job. When
you give somebody their dream job, it’s kind of exciting. Right?
Meghan Houle: [00:07:43] That’s awesome. Yeah.
April Sabral: [00:07:44] That was really cool. And then the last one really, I think was when I
was at David’s Tea. It was so memorable for me because it was my one role where I had led
We won awards for customer service. We had amazing fans. We had Facebook groups of
like, I think they’re still there 10,000, 12,000 fans on Facebook. But the one thing I loved
about that, but really I learned a lot and it was pivotal for me was the whole not hiring to a
profile per say, because in fashion, along the way you’re always trying to reflect the brand
somewhat. And I think Apple taught me that Apple doesn’t have a fit. It has people that have
learning agility. And so when I took that to David’s Tea, it was all about creating diversity and
embracing all different types of people and creating that inclusive environment and really
that’s what created that special culture that we had.
And it was all around people and just their love for tea and product knowledge. And so I just
think about those moments and there’s so many things we did within David’s Tea when I
was there. But those are ones that stand out for me.
Meghan Houle: [00:08:55] It’s something about like food and beverage that really truly
brings us together in a much different way. Right? It’s almost like a cult following, like sure,
fashion’s cool. But you ever talked to somebody about what you love to eat or a special
drink. You’re like, oh my God, I love that and this is what I get. That’s amazing that you’ve
had such a wonderful career and so many interesting pivots and maybe putting you on the
spot here, is there any role that was your favorite for you and maybe why that you’ve held.
Any sort of special role that you’ve really loved?
April Sabral: [00:09:25] There’s been so many great roles. That’s such a hard question to
answer. I think that for me, when I look at my career, it’s about enjoying the journey and
getting to where I was.
And so every role I held, I loved. Every role I held, I enjoyed because I don’t think about my
title and the company. I think about the leader I want to be for the people that I’m working
with. And so I could say, I have a bias towards food and beverage. I think when I worked at
Starbucks, it was such an amazing job because you have your local community.
I’ve transferred from London, the UK, when they were opening there, to Miami and just
being part of a new community and being that person that somebody came to get their
coffee at 10 o’clock every day. And getting that smile, it was more of a service industry. Yes.
We had to make sales and yes, we had to add on.
But very different experience. When I came full circle and ended my, traditional retail career
at David’s Tea, I was back in that kind of service environment and connection with
customers on a product that they loved. If I was going to do something again, it would
definitely be within
I think food and beverage. Cause I just loved that experience with the customers. You just
know them more intimately fashion’s a bit different, right. Fashion is you’re helping people
feel beautiful and body shape and confidence and all of that stuff. But yeah, that’s
something that, like you said, we connect over a cup of tea or a cup of coffee, right?
Meghan Houle: [00:10:49] And it’s something that’s so routine in our lives and honestly it
can affect the mood of the day. Anyone that knows me well, including family, they know
they can’t talk to me between the hours of seven and nine until I have a cup of coffee!
They’re like do not approach Meghan, but it’s something you look forward to, right, every
day you might not walk in Banana and buy a shirt, but every day, you’re going down to
Starbucks, ordering your favorite drink, like it makes you feel good. Brings back memories
brings people together. So I agree with you. That’s pretty awesome. Yeah. So where did this
idea for retailu come up?
I would love to hear a little bit more about the platform, what you’re offering. Tell us a little
bit more about your incredible training and development platform, retailu.
April Sabral: [00:11:31] Yeah, it came about really because about five years ago I had leaders
that worked with me, previous life in different companies.
And because I was always known for creating really great leadership development programs
and really good IDPs for people, I’ve had people that have called me over the years and I’ve
mentored them on that. And so they would call me and they’d say, Hey April, you know that
form that you had, the IDP form or that
problem solving or whatever it was to do with leadership development that I’d done with
them in the past. Cause I created a ton of tools along my way. They would just ask me for it. I
was like, instead of people just calling me and me sending out emails all the time with tools
and resources, I should just create a blog and put some downloads on it and just be like,
here’s the link.
Here’s a download and just go and download it. So it really started off from people asking
me for tools and resources. I’d worked with them in the past. It just kind of evolved from
there. When I became a John C. Maxwell Coach, I was teaching his masterminds and, one
person along the way just said to me that, what if you created your own content and I was
like, well, I haven’t thought about that cause I was just thinking about using his tools and
resources to do training. So, yeah, so it just evolved over time and it became a platform full
of everything that I’ve taught leaders over the years, leadership competencies, in bite-size,
on-demand video format with worksheets and downloadable tools and things like that.
And we launched it in August, 2019 officially, but I’ve kind of been working on it in the
background for the previous year and a half. And now it’s a platform where a career driven
manager that wants to develop their own skills maybe they’re not getting the support that
they need can go on and develop their skills.
Kind of like a LinkedIn learning or companies can buy it for their teams as well. And right
now I think it’s a good time because teams are mean and lean right now. Right? Like learning
and development is because of what everybody has gone through in the last year. So they
can get in contact or go on and buy a membership and get access to all the courses.
Yeah and start developing their leadership skills and the clients that we have, it’s creating
this consistency of leadership language. It’s not things you don’t know, you know how to
build a team, you kind of read books about it, but what this will do is give you practical
And when I was at David’s Tea, one of the things I did as the VP, even when I was talking to
my directors, we would pick a competency every week and we would talk about it on our
conference call for about 10 minutes on our sales conference call. And then that would
trickle down to the DMs and then to the store managers.
And so that’s another reason why I wanted to create retailu because I realized that they
didn’t have the content to have those conversations. It was being driven primarily through
me, or they were spending a lot of time, district managers, looking for Ted Talks, looking for
YouTube looking for all these different things.
And I was like, man, if we could just create this amazing resource, they could just coach their
teams and use the resources instead of having to go and make their own. Then that’s saving
them time and putting them where they need to be. So we’re just really operationalizing
Meghan Houle: [00:14:31] And I know you and I have talked about this connecting before, I
think it’s also great for someone looking to advance their career and pick up new skills and
learnings to have on their resume. Do you agree that it’s something that could be really
useful for someone looking to advance and who should sign up for retailu beyond who you
talked about already. What are your thoughts around that?
April Sabral: [00:14:52] Yeah, I do, because I do think that when I started taking certification
programs seven to eight years ago, so eight years ago, nine years ago now. Well, actually, if I
think about it I took a situational leadership one about 15 years ago, it’s really what helped
me grow in my career. I would say yes, I had great opportunities, had great teams, worked
for great companies, but a lot of my leadership development personally was self-driven.
So I think anybody can sign up for it if you are a career-driven leader and you want to get
promoted. It’s not just for store managers. I think if you’re a key holder, you’re an assistant
manager and you’re looking for that leadership development and it’s affordable, right,
because the price point is super affordable and we’ve made it that way intentionally because
we know retail managers don’t get paid a ton of money, so we’ve made it accessible. And
also we just launched the retailu coaching certification. And it’s a 14 week cohort program
and that’s for people that really want to elevate the leadership skills, their coaching skills
and we’re teaching presentation, facilitation skills.
Because one thing that I think everybody needs is public speaking, how to hold an offsite,
how to hold a meeting with your team and how to create those presentations. So that’s
going on right now and we launched it with 10 leaders and it’s a mixture actually from store
managers all the way up to director level, but the learnings and what they’re getting out of
this right now is phenomenal.
And I just can’t wait to launch it again, live so that more people can sign up. But I would say
anybody that’s really driven to learn, I’m a learner first, and I think leaders need to be
Meghan Houle: [00:16:26] Yeah. I agree. And on the topic of leadership and say thank you so
much for going into that and we will link all the amazing information about retailu, and how
people can sign up for the platforms and the program. I always love to pivot to a topic
before we go to a quick break, I’ll leave you with a yes or no question, but a topic that you
and I are very passionate about, which is leadership as you’ve been talking about.
But before we go into a break, yes or no. Thinking about the teams and what everyone went
through in 2020, are you seeing a shift in leaders in how they operate through the mindset
of having the best interest of their teams in the forefront of their decisions?
April Sabral: [00:17:06] Absolutely. Yes.
Meghan Houle: [00:17:07] And with that, we will be going to a quick break and we will pick
this up after we get back.
Okay April, before the break, you said yes. So talk to us about some of those examples of an
effective leader that you are seeing thriving right now through all that we’ve been through,
getting excited for 2021 and seeing this wonderful momentum shift in the business, it’s
getting busy out there. Right? So what are some examples and how does a leader know if
they’re doing it right?
April Sabral: [00:17:46] Yeah, I think right now because of what’s happened there’s a lot of
leaders that are stepping up, investing in themselves and realizing what they need to learn
and change to actually be a better leader for the next 10 years of retail and particularly
about creating inclusive environments, showing more empathy focused on people first.
So I do think it’s about the intention around that, is shifted. It’s definitely people are aware
of it and leaders that I speak to particularly, want to incorporate programs that can kind of
be rolled out and like train their leaders to be able to do this. But the one thing I would say is
it’s good to have intention and be aware of this, but it’s another thing to take action and
actually change it.
So what, I would say around that is that one of the biggest leadership skills I think that
people need to focus on is leading with awareness, which is what I talk about in the book,
right? I know we’re going to get into that in a bit, but like, it really is about the act model.
And it’s funny because when it came out last year, I just wrote how I led for the last 25
But it’s even more relevant today. And what I’m finding is through the coaching program
that I’m leading right now, the leaders are really diving into the accept piece of the model
and that’s because it’s all around helping people feel supported. And so that’s always been
important. Right? But even more so now, there’s a higher accountability for not to just think
it’s important, to do something about it.
So I think we’re going to see more of that. More empathy, more understanding more
bringing your whole self to work. And that’s why last year we rolled out that wellness course
how to meditate, right? Self-care. You gotta have a self-care program. If you don’t have a
self care program, you’re not really a great leader
and I think that is really important for people to consider today as part of a leadership skill
or a leadership competency.
Meghan Houle: [00:19:41] And I think it’s another way to bring teams together. So you’re
talking about self care and really promoting that at the workplace. Right? Like having some
Yeah, it’s so special. For all that we’ve been through and God bless the retail teams going
through 2020 and getting back into stores, it’s a lot and it’s still a highly emotional
environment and really being sensitive to needs and flexibilities still right now, any other
qualities that you truly feel, make up a great leader and why is it so important to have these
What are your thoughts around that?
April Sabral: [00:20:13] Yeah, I think listening to learn makes up a good leader. And what I
mean by that is when you’re going into conversations and you’re participating with people
on your team, whether it would be cross-functional, whether it be people that report in to
you just having this ear to listen, to learn. Active listening was trained for many, many years,
like years ago, I was trained on active listening, but listening to learn takes it to a different
level because listening to learn means you’re really seeking understanding.
And you’re really trying to understand that person’s perspective and point of view. And so if
you go into situations and conversations, thinking that you’re going to listen to learn. You
won’t already have in your mindset, what you want the outcome to be. Because I think a lot
of us as leaders, right, we have this goal or trajectory or strategy that we want to roll out.
And we go into conversations trying to influence everybody, really to get where we’re going.
And that is a part of great leadership because we need to drive results and we need to get
our team to deliver results because without results, we wouldn’t have a business and we
wouldn’t be able to hire people.
Right. Let’s be real. But I do think that if you don’t have this perspective of listening to learn
and having an open mind when you’re going into conversations, you’re going to miss a lot. I
can’t tell you, Meghan, how many conversations I’ve been in where I’ve been with a leader
with somebody in that direct report team
and that leader walks away from the conversation, thinking that they had a really great
conversation and I’m like, oh, that went really well. And I’m looking at the body language on
the other person. And I’m like that didn’t go as well as what you think it did. How come you
don’t see that? And so I think that today more than ever, because that brings up the whole
that’s been talked about a lot, but I really think listening to learn. You’re going to miss a lot if
you don’t go into conversations with that mindset. Yeah.
Meghan Houle: [00:21:59] And like you said already, knowing what you think the outcome
is. I mean, yes, we have to get the buy-in, but you can’t change a frequency in a person that
That’s a really powerful statement and great advice. And, I would love to talk more about
Positive Effects, this incredible book that you have and that you put out last year. So who
did you write this book for? And talk a little bit about the inspiration behind it.
April Sabral: [00:22:24] Yeah, it was inspired because I kept getting asked actually at retailu,
what’s your leadership philosophy?
What’s your structure? What’s your model? Situational leadership has a model and 4D, how
NASA built teams has a model. And like at retailu we had a whole different load of
competency courses, but it wasn’t really umbrella’ed under like, a style or a methodology.
And so I really contemplated that
cause people kept asking me when we were talking about retailu and I thought, you know
what? I just want to put down how I lead and then share that with others, because
obviously I did something right. I got to where I was and I had people follow me around. For
many years from different companies.
And so I wanted to inspire a kind of that leadership and teach it out. So I emailed a ton of
people that worked for me in the past and I asked them, if you had to put my leadership
style down into three words, what would it be? And we got about 50 emails back. It was
really funny actually kind of going through it.
I was quite surprised with how many people responded, but they did. And then we got these
three main themes that came out of how they felt when they worked for me. Number one
was, they always felt supported. Now, people can say that whenever you talk to any leader
and really enjoying their job, or net promoter scores are high for the engagement in the
company, it’s because they feel supported, but really what does support mean?
Cause every time I went to stores and they said that to me, oh yeah. I feel supported by my
leader. I’d unpack that. I’d be like, okay, talk to me about what that means. I think that. I’m a
very supportive leader. And so when I unpacked how I supported my teams, it was really
helping them feel accepted for who they were because I don’t judge them.
I didn’t have any biases. I could stay in a place of neutrality all the time and not bring the
past into the future, which always made them be in the present moment. And again, I was
always listening to learn and not judging them. And so that “accept” pillar really breaks
down how to do that as a leader, how to really help people feel supported and be accepted
for who they are, because none of us want to show up in a job and have to be somebody
Right? We’ve all had those experiences and it just, it doesn’t feel good. And I think those
times of leading and showing up for somebody else has got to change. So that’s the first, and
then the second pillar is create, which is, I always really believe in energy and the law of
cause and effect. Having an American hippie mother that used to send me all of this Hay
House stuff early in my twenties,
I really learned it and studied it and realized that thinking time and what you think about
comes about is really important. We do this a lot in our personal lives. We read meditation,
we read self-help books, but like, do we really practice this in the business world? Not so
much because we’re always in action and we’re always doing, especially when you’re leading
and you’ve got responsibilities.
So I really break down how I created these experiences and how I did that by using thinking
time, meditation, mindfulness and like putting thinking time in my calendar and then how I
create and envision experiences for people. And then the last pillar is teach. And I think
every leader needs to see themselves as a teacher.
If you are a teacher and a coach and mentor, then you won’t get frustrated with people. And
I don’t get frustrated with people because I would always see an opportunity to teach
somebody something versus like, why don’t they know this? I told them 10 times already,
because I hear so many leaders say that and that’s not taking a coach approach.
So I really wanted to put how I led into a book to inspire others to lead the same way,
because it’s the philosophy that worked for me.
Meghan Houle: [00:25:56] Well, and I know for the Positive Effect, you really talk about
bringing that energy into stores and teams, environments, and really bringing up the space
and I feel like it’s so important for the success of the business that leaders do bring that
positive energy in the stores and environments and for the days that we may have leaders
that are not feeling so great or down and out any of your motivating tips you can give us to
stay motivated out there and keep the teams motivated through tough times, which surely
we experienced in 2020?
I’m sure we will get through some tough times again. So what are some of your tips or
advice to bring positive energy into the stores?
April Sabral: [00:26:35] Yeah, I think you have to, first of all, realize that you’re human,
right? But you are human and you can have a bad day. However, when you’re a leader, you
have a responsibility to bring everybody up all the time.
I think first of all, you got to have that mindset where you have a responsibility, but if you
are having a bad day, you’ve got to figure out what those mechanisms are or triggers that
can help you get out of the funk. Right? And so I think they’re different for everybody. I think
if you’re a visual learner, watching a video might be something that you could do like a Ted
Talk or something like that.
If you’re an audible learner, then, listen to some podcasts, some meditation, if you’re
somebody that likes to write things down, write down some affirmations. Like I am a really
positive person, I have to say, I’m naturally like this all the time because I’m optimistic.
Right? I’m like rosy colored glasses.
Everything’s fine! But I do have days where I’m not feeling as confident or I’m feeling a little
bit insecure with myself and so that I am human, but for me, what I tend to do is I write
affirmations in a notepad. So I’ll always have a notepad wherever I am. Right. And I just start
writing because the act of writing a positive affirmation that works for me, it just changes
my mindset and gets me into that kind of creative energy space.
Because I think when you’re in a creative space, which is the front part of your brain, right?
It’s been proven that you’re more positive, you’re more optimistic. So I think you have to be
able to shift that. And there’s a really great book actually called Change Your Questions,
Change Your Life. And that book by Marilee Adams is all about that. When you get to this
place of being in a bad state or a negative state, how do you then make the choice to shift
out of it? And I don’t think it’s easy for everybody. I’m not discounting that there’s a myriad
of different personalities and different experiences we’ve all gone through. But if you’re
going to take on a leadership role then you kind of need to know that you’re going to have
to find those mechanisms to kind of switch gears really, really fast. So there’s so many
different things, but meditation for me is huge. And because it gets me present and stopped
me worrying, you know, us women, we worry a lot.
We got like twenty things going on all the time. And so that’s why we launched the
meditation course with Sarah last year on the retailu platform. And we did meditation
challenges through the big COVID crisis because we wanted to teach leaders how to stop
worrying and get back to that place of neutral.
And actually it was really, really good.
Meghan Houle: [00:28:54] Oh, I bet that was so helpful. I know we talk about it a lot. Like
sitting still with this anxiety, lot of PTSD out there, there’s just a lot of emotions and you got
to feel the feels, but like you said, as leader sometimes got to keep pushing through and do
the things, or maybe create a ritual on the days you’re not feeling so great.
I love writing affirmations too. I have all post-its around me, as you can’t see April, but what
is my post-it next to me say? Everything is always working out for me. I think you have the
days where everything goes wrong. Right? Tech with podcasts, like things happen and you
just are like, why is this happening to me?
Or you don’t get the job and you have to turn it around.
April Sabral: [00:29:33] Yeah. And it goes back to like create in the act, leading with
awareness pillar, is all about this. What you think about, and it gives you like these ideas of
how to change your mindset because what you create is reality, right?
So we’ve all gotta be really responsible for that. You go to the gym, you’ll get results. You got
to focus on your mind. If you don’t, you won’t get results. Its what it is.
Meghan Houle: [00:29:55] Such a powerful statement. Well, you are just a wealth of tools
and knowledge between retailu and this book, sold!
For any leaders listening that do not have both of these things highly recommend. It seems
like you’ll be able to really put yourself on a great track and April is so fantastically positive.
So we love you for that and to keep on your positivity and excitement, what is exciting you
most about the future of retail? What are you seeing out there? As I know you’re still so
connected to the business.
April Sabral: [00:30:22] Yeah. Yeah. I’m so excited about retail, because I think that for as
much as it’s been doom and gloom in the last year, there’s been some things that have really
accelerated change, right?
Like the whole online shopping of like virtually shopping with your sales person in a store
and all the skills that everybody in the stores are going to learn with that that’s super
exciting. I just think about new brands popping up. There’s always going to be a brand that
kind of disappears, but there’s always going to be a new brand that pops up, so I’m really
excited about that.
In the last year, I’ve connected with more retail leaders in roles in different brands than I
ever have before. And so I think that that collaboration versus, beat your competitor kind of
mentality is kind of coming into our industry more.
And I’m really excited about that because we can all win, there’s room for everybody. Right?
So I’m excited about that. I think the technology on the front end has really made such a
difference and there’s been so many things that have helped the employee experience.
What I’d love to see is more on the back end of the buying side and supply chain technology
really innovating because there’s legacy, software needs some change. So that would be
exciting. Somebody who could solve one of those issues. I know,
Meghan Houle: [00:31:34] Putting it out there!
April Sabral: [00:31:34] But yeah, it’s exciting.
Meghan Houle: [00:31:36] It is and to put you in the hot seat and then we’ll wrap this up.
Love this question as true blue retailers, I know between you and me, Ron Thurston, like all
our friends out there, what do you say to someone that says brick and mortar retail is dead
April Sabral: [00:31:51] I’m like stop it, stop saying that! No, it’s not dead, it’s not, it’s just
evolving and it’s evolved as long as I’ve been on the planet and I’ve been in retail for nearly
30 years now, it’s always evolved, right? Like there’s always going to be parts that disappear.
And you, run to innovate and come up and it’s evolving.
But I do think that shopping is just people love shopping. Yeah. We’ve all been like separated
for a year. Like people now where I am in California now people are enjoying going out and
having that human experience again. So I think that high touch is coming back. So yeah, stop
saying its dead, its not dead.
Meghan Houle: [00:32:31] It’s so cool to see other areas of the business, like store design
and architect, like really creating these like new store concepts to keep everybody feeling
great and comfortable and technology, obviously will only continue to advance. So thank
you for addressing that with me.
So how can our listeners find you and engage with you? Join retailu, tell us how we can
reach out and stay in touch.
April Sabral: [00:32:54] Yeah. So I love it when people connect with me on LinkedIn, because
I’ve got huge network there, and I love to help people connect with other people, especially
if they’re looking for jobs and things like that. Cause I know that you do recruitment,
Meghan and I have a massive network on my LinkedIn now.
So there, and then just go on retailu.ca. People would say.com, it’s dot ca and it’s like U for
university and you can sign up and there’s free downloads. So you can become a free
member using the free downloads tools, there’s a ton of tools on there, or sign up for a
membership and just get in touch with us through there.
And if you’re listening to this and you have a team of people you can just shoot us an email
through the site, really. That’s the best way to get in touch with us
Meghan Houle: [00:33:30] And your book, The Positive Effect. I know you’re on Amazon and
you can purchase that pretty much through the Google machine, right?
April Sabral: [00:33:37] Yeah. We self self-publish. So we’re on Amazon and if you want to
grab a ton for your team, cause I know some people now are starting to approach us like,
can we get some for our team? You can just email us through the site. We’ll get you a book
Meghan Houle: [00:33:50] That’s so wonderful. You have these awesome LinkedIn chats
that you’re doing with leaders across all different industries that I know you have on
Wednesdays at 12, right? And then they’re saved and they can find them also on your
April Sabral: [00:34:02] Yeah. Yeah. Don’t know how that happened, it’s amazing! It’s just
awesome, but yeah, it’s actually on Spotify now it’s called “The Positive Effect, April Sabral”.
So you can listen to them on there, but if you want to watch them they usually post it on the
retailu page on LinkedIn and that’s 12:00 PM Eastern standard time. And we have people
joining from all over the place and we just have conversations about retail careers really.
Meghan Houle: [00:34:22] And everyone’s so engaging and asking questions. So it’s a pretty
active platform everyone check it out. Well April, thank you so much for sharing your career
pivot stories and all of your expert insight into what makes a great leader and how we can
truly better spread the positive effects everywhere we go. So I hope our listeners will take
full advantage of signing up for retailu and for those looking for continuing education or to
build on their new skills, that truly will help land a dream job, or just become a stronger
leader for the future of this business.
And do not forget to check out April’s book, The Positive Effect, and we look forward to
keeping our eye on you and all that you’re doing. And thank you for all that you do for this
industry. We really appreciate you here at, Pivot with Purpose as well. So thanks for your
April Sabral: [00:35:05] Oh, thanks Megan, thank you so much.