We had the good fortune of connecting with Kayla Bell and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kayla, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
The road to success is never easy and majority of moving forward in your career and business is taking the necessary risks that push your comfort zone. I think 2020 had a lot to do with risk and made a lot of business owners uncomfortable, but the trick in managing risk is never letting your fear outweigh your faith, especially for something you believe in. Our business went through multiple ups and downs during 2020 and as a company and as a Leasing Manager, we decided to take the risk of putting our tenants needs first. As a result, we signed longer term deals with all existing tenants to stay with us at The Pueblo Mall. Risk in business takes grit and passion and I could not be more proud of the business owners in our program coming into 2021
What is one thing about your industry that outsiders are probably unaware of?
Our local leasing program focuses on the business and the owner and how we can assist in the steppingstones of their success, my job is to also find small business owners looking to grow with a location at Pueblo Mall. That includes advertising opportunities, leasing, and more. We have a saying for our program, and it states,” We don’t fill spaces, we fulfill spaces”. That means finding a tenant that fits as well in the community as it does in the floor plan. After all, we can only be as successful as our retailers.
What is the most difficult decision you have ever had to make in your business?
The most difficult decision I faced was in 2020. I had to choose between not keeping tenants because we needed too, but it was the right decision going forward for each party and to continue to create the experience and the culture that Centennial Real estate created over the past few years even if it hurt the budget at the end of the day. Change is healthy and having a business with consistency and growth is evident.
Work life balance: how has your balance changed over time? How do you think about the balance?
My work life balance has always meshed well, pandemic or no pandemic. The reason being is when you have passion for something its hard to go home and turn that switch off. Especially in 2020 when so many businesses needed help or guidance. There were a lot of sleepless nights thinking of a solution. With that being said, I think each business owners need to find their happy medium and what works for them when they get home because it is important to have guardrails surrounding a healthy work and life balance.
Do you have a favorite quote or affirmation? What does it mean to you / what do you like about it?
Affirmation to me is important because it is a reminder of what goals and expectations you have manifested for yourself and your business. The quote that comes to mind when I have moments I need affirmation is, “Experiments are necessary for the experiences that create growth and new opportunities.” — George Bernhard Shaw. What this means to me is take the risk, take the meeting, and take each experience and turn into an opportunity because you never know until you do it, and what is the worst thing someone could say, NO? Well, turn that no into a yes for later. Timing is everything and you miss 100% of the opportunities you do not take.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I am very personable up front. Sometimes that quality can backfire as a businesswoman however, it is a quality that has served me well with the success of my personal brand in my business. Building honest relationships and an authentic following is key. Having to show up for myself first and foremost is important, but now that I have this platform brand for local businesses, it’s my obligation to convey my unique personal and professional qualities and show my true passion for helping others through not only the good times but the trials and tribulations every business goes through. So, in the end my success comes from building honest relationships with my tenants and keeping the vision for each store reachable.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My favorite place in Pueblo Colorado hands down would be all the small business around the Riverwalk. It is magical during each season. The sunsets, especially toward the latter part of the year – like July and August are breathtaking. That is my first stop! The obligatory picture with the local murals is on my list too, I know of a secret little spot for the best picture! For dinner, we would go to 21 Steak in downtown Pueblo or 4 of Hearts followed by The Clink for one of my favorite cocktails. While supporting local there is only so much you can go do in Pueblo, so Colorado Springs would be the next stop and there is an abundance of activities and local vendor events that are always great.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would not be where I am today with out the support of my family, my tenants trust, and the support of my wonderful company and leadership through Centennial Real-estate. I couldn’t ask for a better team!