Live Debt Free with Annie Sanchez

Annie is an entrepreneur who has a passion for helping others build a healthy financial life, so you can live debt-free and within your means.

When did you fall in love with entrepreneurship?

I never really thought about it until after I graduated college with my business degree. I knew I wanted to start a business but didn’t know what. Then, as crazy as this sounds, I literally woke up one morning and said “I’m going to help people get out of debt” and have been on that journey ever since.

How do you define a successful brand?

The first thing that comes to mind are huge brands. They’re instantly recognizable by their name or logo, people know exactly what they do without them having to explain themselves, and last but not least – they’re making money. With smaller brands, I think there’s success to be found in the simple fact that you started your own business. From there, you work on getting yourself out there through formal marketing and informal word of mouth.

I don’t know what I’d consider “unsuccessful” besides quitting. If something goes wrong or not as planned, you learn from the experience and keep on moving.

What does a typical day for you look like?

Typical? What’s that? Haha. I’m either working in NYC or from home all day, then I’ll pick up the kids.

From there it can go many different ways:

  • going to the gym,
  • taking the kids to the park,
  • taking a client call,
  • helping with homework,
  • cooking dinner,
  • bathing the kids,
  • putting them to bed, or
  • doing some more work until I’m too tired to focus and go to bed.

How long have you been an entrepreneur?

About 3 ½ years.

If you weren’t with your current brand what would your occupation be?

I used to want to be a teacher, but at this point in my life I can’t imagine doing anything else.

How did you take your leap of faith into entrepreneurship? What has the journey been like?

I wouldn’t call it a leap just yet, more like a hop. I’m what I call a “halfpreneur” in the sense that I’m still working at a traditional job. However, I recently took another hop and now no longer work full-time so I’ve been using that extra time to focus more on my family, my business, and myself.

The journey has been crazy, but it’s also been such a great learning experience and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I didn’t know anything about entrepreneurship when I first started, so I’ve been learning everything as I go. What have I learned?

I focus so much more on personal development now and love to read once again. In the past, it was something I “had” to do for work or school and we all know being forced to do something is never fun.

Entrepreneurship is so much harder than it looks. You have to love and be passionate about what you do because it’s one of the things will keep you going.

Surround yourself with people who support you – whether it’s a significant other, a best friend, a mentor, or others in your network. They’ll be good accountability partners because they know how important this is to you and won’t let you give up.

Meet fellow entrepreneurs and become friends with them. They’ll know what you’re going through and will motivate and encourage you, along with offering you feedback and advice. You might also end up picking up a couple of extra clients or bartering services with them!

Being an entrepreneur is not for everyone. I’ve accepted that not everyone is going to share my vision and that some people truly enjoy working 9-5. Both options are OK, as long as we’re happy.

In 10 years, what do you envision your life (work and personal) to look like?

I will have hopefully let go of my trust and control issues when it comes to my business. I will have hired a virtual assistant and expanded my business by adding more product/service offerings and partnerships. My business would be automated to the point where it would pretty much run itself so that I can dedicate even more time to my family.

Family is EVERYTHING to me and that very saying is on my vision board. I will be there for my kids instead of being “too busy” with my job or business. From dropping them off and picking them up from school/extracurricular activities to traveling the world with them, which is something I wish I had been able to do growing up.

In short, I’d be a stay at home mom with a 9-5 paycheck.

What is the most important lesson you’ve had to learn as an entrepreneur, that made you a better person?

I’m very independent, but have learned to that it’s OK to ask for help and advice instead of thinking I can do everything myself.

What has been your biggest challenge in life and work?

Trying to find that work/life balance, especially as a mom.

How do you overcome, or try to overcome these challenges?

I’m working on coming up with a more fixed schedule as far as work, business, household/mom duties, and personal care goes. At a minimum, I’m trying to plan for the next day the night before.

Things won’t always go as planned, but it’s better to try to figure out what to do on one off day as opposed to waking up every day wondering what to do.

What has been your most prized accomplishment?

The first thing that comes to mind is becoming a mom, but I don’t consider my kids “prizes” so I’d have to say my formal education. I was valedictorian of my high school class and was able to go to college for free and be the 1st person in my family to graduate from college.

What is your most favorite quote?

“Everything happens for a reason.”

What is your personal style like?

Simple 🙂

If you could go back to your 9 year old self, what would you tell her?

If I were to tell my 9 year old self something, I probably wouldn’t listen to myself haha. I’ve learned that no matter how much people may mean well, we all have to go through our own life experiences and learn from them instead of doing what someone told us to and wondering “what if”.

Experience is the best teacher.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

To listen to my intuition more and stop being so indecisive.

What 3 words best describe you.

Considering how long it took me to come up with these 3 words, I’d say indecisive is first (haha), determined, and emotional.

Vicky Ayala

My name is Vicky & I am a brand strategist & visual storyteller. By day, I work with multi-passionate entrepreneurs to organize their creative genius into a memorable brand experience with engaging design, authentic storytelling and strategic online marketing. When I'm not conjuring brand magic, you can find me musing about the entrepreneurial journey which includes everything from finding the perfect chai latte to plotting my domestic move to Miami.