Secrets to Financial Freedom: How to Speak Green


Secrets to Financial Freedom: How to Speak Green

Show Me The Money!

That’s what we hard working grinders want, isn’t it?

We don’t grind for countless hours, forego any semblance of a social life, and dedicate ourselves to our business simply for sainthood. Do we?

We do it because we want to build something in this world, to create a better life for ourselves and our families, and to reap the rewards of our sangre, sweat and tears. 

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And yet… I have to tell you, if you are a minority, a woman, a Latina like me, it ain’t easy, is it?

It’s like we’re in a race for our lives, but we began behind the starting line. Why? Because we weren’t taught as Latinos about finances, about investing, about cash flow, about IRR, or ROI or lines of credit. All we knew was:

  1. Don’t spend what you don’t have. 

  2. Keep some under the mattress for a rainy day (sometimes literally, eek). 

  3. And… “Niñita porque tu compras algo sin cupones??” Got it Nana, always use coupons. 

..When the next little Latina looks at the faces on CNBC she’ll look up and see a face that looks just a bit like her. After all — if I can, anyone can!
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While we may be frugal, financially free we are not.

That’s why I became obsessed with investing and financial freedom more than 10 years ago.

Before I built businesses and played with money for a living, I was a journalist working along the US/Mexico border. I knew nothing about mutual funds, 401ks (como?), ETFs or the like. And yet I saw millions of my fellow Latinos were getting left behind not because of their race, but because they didn’t have or understand money. The wealthy held all the power and we didn’t. So, I started climbing my way through finance so that when the next little Latina looks at the faces on CNBC she’ll look up and see a face that looks just a bit like her. After all — if I can, anyone can! (Related: Need More Capital? Get Funding for your Startup.)


But that isn’t enough — because we need change now. That’s why I went to an event by Northwestern Mutual for Latino’s sharing their road to financial freedom. I realized all over again that we Latinos still have much too far to go. 

Here, queridos, is what I would tell myself before I made my money, and what I still tell myself everyday…  

You’re only as good as who you know. 
  1. You make money earning, you keep money by investing.

This means three things:

  • Rule # 1 - you have to work to get wealth, you can’t expect the market to give it to you.

  • Rule #2 - always negotiate for a higher salary (we Latino’s don’t do that enough).

  • Rule #3 - invest before you spend.

Seek out firms known to support minorities and women.

2. You’re only as good as who you know. 

  • Make an advisory board. Just like a company does, leverage those smarter than you. The best part about this is there is no up-front payment for the good ones — they make money when you do. So for me this includes a tax accountant I trust, a financial advisor I trust, and an estate planner I trust. Seek out firms known to support minorities and women — that’s why I worked with Northwestern Mutual! They believe that you’re in control of your money and that your financial goals and planning should look like planning and more like living. #SpendLifeLiving.  For more information about planning your financial future visit,; find your local advisor here to schedule a consultation.

Related: Lessons from My Favorite Contrarian Entrepreneur

3. FREE is my favorite four letter word.

  • These days we have so much technology at our fingertips — even free technology. We Latinos just need to use it. 

  • I like Giving Docs for free wills where you can also donate.

  • I use an online budget tracker to keep me in check! 

  • I use the online tool from my financial advisor, like Northwestern Mutual offers here, to track my portfolios performance. 

Related: Make More Money: The One Thing You Should Do Right Now

4. Use Other People’s Money.

  • Your padres were right, don’t spend more than you have. But also, use OPM (other people’s money) when you can. Debit cards win me nothing. If I’m smart with credit, it can pay me back. For example I can use this to tell me where my $$ spent can equal miles flown to a new destination.  

5. The Best Investment: Go look in the mirror — oh there it is!

  • They say many things are common sense, but not common practice. Ain’t that the truth. The best investor is a curious and educated one. 

  • And last but not least, go out and meet more successful humans, more Latinos, hear their stories, and learn from their mistakes. If you want to check out Northwestern Mutual’s next Latino events

And as always, ADELANTE!


Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, Milwaukee, WI (NM) and its subsidiaries. Learn more at

**Sponsored Content**


6 Ways to Overcome Discomfort and Ask for What You Want

6 Ways to Overcome Discomfort and Ask for What You Want

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This is a reprint of the original article I wrote published by business collective here.

It’s tough to ask for what you want — but if you never ask, you’ll never receive.

As an entrepreneur, business builder and corporate ladder climber, I’ve had to get comfortable asking for what I want. It’s rarely given. The tough part is, as humans, we are typically uncomfortable not only in asking for what we want, but also how we ask for what we want. If I had a dime for every time I have been called aggressive, crazy, intense (or worse), I would have a lot of dimes. But I think about my personal motto:

Always ask for what you want. Always.
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About 7% of female MBAs attempt to negotiate vs. 57% of men.







  • Always ask for what you want. Always. 

You will hands down never get what you don’t ask for. This is especially true for women and people of minority backgrounds. There is much research that proves that we don’t negotiate enough. If we look at salaries alone, it’s imperative. In Linda Babcock’s book, Women Don’t Ask, she found that about 7% of female MBAs attempted to negotiate, compared to 57% of men from the same program.

  • Assume you might get it. 

When you remove the fear from your ask, you are more thoughtful, you consider how to make it a win-win, and you become less emotional.

Let’s discuss how you earn your seat at the table.


Practice Your Pitch

Nothing beats practice. Start small. A perfect example is my most recent trip to Belize: Every time I checked into a hotel, bought an excursion or paid for just about anything, I asked for a discount. What happened? Every single hotel (four over two weeks) upgraded us and gave us anywhere from a 10% to a 30% discount.

Never say, “I want more money.” This rubs me (and many people) the wrong way.

Don’t Come in Committed to an Outcome

Come with options, not outcomes. Instead of saying X amount, consider flex work, vacation, and/or a virtual assistant. Get creative with your asks.

Related:  Negotiate Like A Girl: Because You Can Get What You Want

Explain Why You Deserve It

Never say, “I want more money.” This rubs me (and many people) the wrong way. When an employee comes to me with this language, I immediately calculate the percentage change they are asking for and say, “What are you doing to earn 35% more money?” Rarely do they have an answer. Often, they didn’t even realize they were asking for such a big percentage increase. Back up your asks with facts and numbers. Say, “I did X, Y and Z and my plan for the coming months is to accomplish this and that. I think the work I am doing is worth more than I am currently making. So, I wanted to talk to you about a pay raise.” Then, don’t say anything. Your manager may be about to let you know you’re going to get a raise higher than your ask.

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Tell the why before asking for the what.


Put Yourself in Your Boss’ (Or Counterparty’s) Shoes

What are their goals, and how can you align yours with theirs? If you’ve ever been asked for a raise by an employee, you’d know that there is only so much you can do. How can you put yourself on the other side of the table? When I first negotiated to get time off for an MBA and had my first company out of school pay for it, I started with my small ask first and I aligned our goals.

Your manager may be about to let you know you’re going to get a raise higher than your ask.

I said, “I’m committed to having a long career here and believe I need to better my skills in international business for us to really succeed, so I want to go back to school while working. If I can find a way to do that won’t interfere with getting my job done, and I promise to beat out my goals every single quarter or I’ll quit school, would you be open to it?” He said yes. Then I came back once I got in and said, “If I can get Georgetown to cover X percentage of the cost and beat sales goals by X, would you sponsor me for the rest of my schooling?” He said yes. I was planning on offering a longer contract with the firm as well but I held back. He said “yes” to all my asks.

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Don’t Make the First Move

Making your “opponent” like you is worth its weight in gold. Smile, cajole, and appeal to their better instincts. My go-to line is, “You can’t blame a girl for asking, can you?”

Related: Don't Be Afraid to Ask for What You Want

If you are negotiating a salary or package with a new gig and the person asks you what you make currently, you don’t need to answer. You can say, “’Well, I’m flexible depending on how you structure compensation for the growth potential and the right company fit long term. Would you be willing to share the rough salary range you have in mind for this position?” If they push you, say, “This is really not something I give out broadly. Kind of like a woman never tells her age. Why don’t you tell me what your range is and I’ll let you know if that fits my range.”

Confidence is everything.

Confidence is everything.

Play Hard to Get

The one who wants it less wins. So even if you want a new job, client or raise so badly you would sell out your mother, pretend you don’t. Say you have a job offer you’re dying to take, and are about to quit your current job anyway. Reframe your mindset. They must negotiate to get the best deal for their company and you must negotiate the best deal for you. You can say, “I’m really happy in my current role and growing immensely. I’m always open to the right opportunity at the right company, but I’m not actively looking.” Remember playing hard to get? In my experience, this increases your perceived value, and makes them want you more.

Remember the commandments and you just might always get what you want.


Codie - Let's chat on instagram @codiesanchez

Active Duty to Corporate Titan: Get What You Deserve, When You Get Out

Active Duty to Corporate Titan: Get What You Deserve, When You Get Out

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The more I know of the military, the more I want to hire them.



Team work.


Persistence through difficulty.


That's a winning skill set. And yet, US Military.. you're not very good (AT ALL) at helping your members transition. They serve for us, maybe we should serve them a bit better.

So, here's what I would do if I was talking to my loved ones about getting out and moving on up that corporate ladder.... (Honestly - if you're not military you need to read this too).

Transitioning from the military to civilian life IS tough. The two worlds have minimal overlap. As both a hirer of vets and a family member of one, I’ve seen it go incredibly well, with transitioning service members landing high six figure jobs that double their military income, in the field of their choice...

BUT I’ve also watched former soldiers, sailors, and airmen be taken advantage of and miss out on much opportunity.



It's in your nature as military to be humble, team oriented, focused on the we not the self, and guess what? In corporate America, unfortunately, that isn't the same creed. In fact in a new job negotiation if you don't ask for it, you probably won't get it.

So here's my top three to-do's for every service member when it’s time to trade in the camouflage.


Get An Education - If you can, use your GI Bill. Use every cent of it. Ideally I would try to go to school WHILE you are active duty. You earned it and it will teach you the language of business.

Think about it like this, have you ever been in Mexico and negotiated to buy a souvenir in your broken Spanish? Have you ever thought, man I am getting the gringo price? As a Latina - I'll tell you, you are. Why? Because they know you don't understand it's true worth, you don't know how to play the game. You don't speak their language. It's the same with business. You don't know (yet) about variable comp plans, vested equity, negotiating vacation, % matching on 401ks, VP vs SVP vs Director vs MD, guarantees etc. That's ok. Go to school and you'll speak the language, which means you will get a better deal. Always.


Start Looking Early - The military is unlike corporations, in the military almost everyone eventually is assumed to 'get out.' Thus, it's ok to start looking for new options early, in fact, it's crucial. The literal worst thing you can do is get out of the military without options. You lose the high ground. When you are still in, you don't have to worry about a paycheck so you can be patient, waiting for the exact right moment to pull the trigger as opposed to making a panicked emotional decision.


Play the Field - When you start looking, you may be tempted to say yes to the first thing that comes along. Defense contractor reaches out, give you a good enough opportunity, it's easy. Why not take it? Here's the problem, you have no idea what else is out there. This is your best shot to make a great transition, maybe a pivot, maybe a complete career change don't pigeon hole yourself.

(Sidenote: Defense contractors make an obscene amount of money, I would negotiate your salary LIKE CRAZY with them).

Play the slow game.

Any company that truly wants you now is going to want you later.

So make yourself go through the thought process of what would you do if you could do anything? Sit, drink a beer on your porch, ruminate on that. Write down all the things that interest you. Then go to your LinkedIn and search people in those spaces, reach out. Then go to your friends who have gotten out ask them if they know anyone in that industry.



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Leverage Your Crew: I've realized the military is similar to a fraternity or a college sports team, you guys stick together. That means when you are considering leaving reach out to former military people first. They LOVE telling you the inside secrets just about as much as they love hiring fellow veterans.

Make it a game, and scroll through your LinkedIn noting all your former contacts and what they are doing today. Reach out to at least 10 of them to grab a coffee or a VTC. Then do one more thing, go to that dream job list of yours and reach out to two to three of those humans who have jobs you could only dream about. Ping them. See what happens. Then email me to tell me what happened. #yourewelcome


First Offer Is Never Final Offer - You followed the rules, you got THE JOB you want. Now you have the offer. Remember - Any job offer negotiation is kind of like how you text your friends to come out one night and they say;

"No I can't."

"No I better not."

"No I probably shouldn't."

And finally.. "ok where am I meeting you?"

Same with a job offer, it's the start of a conversation. It's not a final mandate. Never accept an employers first offer. Always negotiate. There is ALWAYS wiggle room. And the worst thing that can happen is they say no that's a final offer. Think of it this way, picture them chuckling at you because you didn't negotiate instead of assuming they'll think it's disrespectful you did negotiate. (Here's how I negotiate: --> click here).


EXTRA BONUS POINTS: These tools are here for you. Why not use?

Sometimes it's best to keep it stupid simple.. aka LinkedIn.

TOOL 1:LinkedIn <>


LinkedIn is the Facebook of business professionals around the world. If you don’t have an up to date profile (or a profile at all), your first step should be making your LinkedIn page shine like your Formal Dress shoes. And remember, only about 3% of the population has served in the military, so most recruiters and hiring managers won’t know what you’re talking about if you write using military jargon like “promoted to E8” or “served as battery commander.” You’ll need to translate your experience into business language, while at the same time talking up your experience as much as you can without being dishonest (when it comes to finding a job, you are your best advocate; this isn’t time to be modest).

LinkedIn is the Facebook of business professionals around the world.

Now that your profile is all spiffed up. Remember, there are two ways to learn, by spending years doing it or by listening to those who have spent years doing it.

Then you learn in half the time.

Use LinkedIn to expand your network.


TOOL 2. Veterati <>

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Veterati is a free mentoring platform for service members, veterans, and their spouses. What I love about this site is that it connects you directly with someone who is an expert in their field, and who cares enough to volunteer their time to help you find a job.

"Learn by listening to those who have spent years doing."

Once you fill out a short profile, Veterati will suggest several mentors who might be a good fit for you. You can read their bios, and then schedule a phone call based on their availability. After that, it’s up to whatever the two of you want to talk about, and how they can best help you find a job. Often that includes resume reviews, personal introductions to some of their industry connections, and mock interviews.

Take advantage of the resources that only you have access to as veterans.


TOOL 3: Hiring Our Heroes Corporate Fellowship <>

The Hiring Our Heroes (HOH) Corporate Fellowship program is one of the best kept secrets of military transitioning. With programs at bases across the United States, HOH is a partnership between the military, industry-leading corporations, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that provides a competitive 12 week fellowship during your last months of service. Corporate partners vary each year, and include top companies like Boeing, Amazon Corporate, and Point B Consulting. Many companies report a 95% hire rate after the fellowship is complete, but the application process for HOH is competitive. Prepare.

You served, now is your time to reap.

Remember, don’t compromise. You have served your country well, built leadership and technical skills, and now, you’re on the path to an incredible civilian career. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you learn this new language of business. And in fact, you just may take it over.

Codie Sanchez

--> Stay in touch- Click here <>

Twitter <> - Facebook <> - Instagram <> - LinkedIn <>




Need More Capital? Get Funding For Your Startup

Need More Capital? Get Funding For Your Startup


You have a seed inside...

Waiting for you to water it. 

This is a reprint from my article here.

Inside each of us is the seed of an idea just waiting for us to water it.

You have such an idea in you — that business or startup that the world must experience. You’ve mocked out the plans, come up with the name, branding and website. Everyone loves it. But do you know how to fund it? It turns out seed watering isn’t cheap.

Self-funding your business will force you to be more strategic.

Have you seen the before-and-after Jeff Bezos meme? He’s not superhuman. He’s super “human.” We all are. We all start in a garage (Jobs), in a dark dimly lit office (Bezos), in our parents’ basement (Branson). The key is simply to start. So whether you’re trying to jumpstart your business or you need to boost the capital to take it to the next level, here are five ways we’ve seen hundreds of founders begin their ascent to the long mountaintop of entrepreneurship.

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He's not superhuman. 

He's super "human."


Self-Fund Or Bootstrapping

If you aren’t invested in you, who will be? Self-funding your business will force you to be more strategic. The main goal here is growth, which is typically cash flow, reach, users or client acquisition. Make sure that you’re generating a consistent stream of revenue or adding new clients before you start experimenting with other ways to grow. I’ve built most businesses by re-investing in them. Make a little money, hire a marketer, make a little more money, increase your Google AdWords spend, make a little more and bet on your business.

The key is simply to start. So whether you’re trying to jumpstart your business or you need to boost the capital to take it to the next level.

If you aren't invested in you...

Who will be?

Incubators And Accelerator Programs

If you choose to go with either an incubator and/or accelerator program, make sure that you have a viable product first.

Incubators will help you along in the early stages of your business … for a fee. You can look at an investment like this as a type of business school that provides a myriad of resources, such as office space, legal counseling — not to mention more money to help get your business off the ground. To get this money, investors need to believe your idea or product has enough juice for them to help nurture and grow. In my experience, the top tier incubators are absolutely worth it. The lower tier are absolutely not.

Once you’re up and running, you have to keep that momentum going. Some join an accelerator program once they’ve successfully launched their businesses. These programs typically last from three to six months. So if that’s the route you’ve decided to take, take advantage of the resources and funding to get the most out of your mentoring experience.

Related: How Selling Hot Dogs Let to Funding from Silicon Valley's Who's Who

Investors need to believe your idea or product has enough juice for them to help nurture and grow.
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Not all accelerators or incubators are created equal.

You’re not required to take an incubator program first, but getting into an accelerated program prematurely with an underdeveloped business will be a waste. It’s unlikely that investors will take a risk on a company with no clear direction.

Disclaimer: Question everything, including me. Not all accelerators or incubators are created equal. Do your homework first.






Sell Your Product Using Pre-Orders

Don’t have a viable product? No problem. Explain that by telling potential customers about your idea. Ask if they want to buy when you build it. Consumers like to help innovators. It’s as easy as creating a prototype, taking a few pictures and posting a link to buy on your networks. Mary Shenouda at Paleo Chef funded her entire startup PhatFudge with a pre-order plea posted on her social media accounts. That led to $50,000 in pre-orders and what is now a fast-growing business. Don’t make the rookie mistake I made. If you can’t get at least five people to buy before you build, then save yourself a world of pain.

Just how well your idea sells is a good indication of whether or not you’re on the right track. Setting your product up for pre-orders gives you a view into the future.

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Grants And Small Business Loans

You know, there is such a thing as free money. Or I suppose, almost-free money.

If you are a minority or have a special niche, there are grants that are targeted to you. You just need to find them. Research what kinds of small business loans are available. Look to the Small Business Administration and your local Chamber of Commerce to learn about what kinds of grants and business loans you qualify for. If you only need $10,000 or less, then you could apply for a microloan. That said, microloans could leave you with an unsustainable amount of debt that could bankrupt your business. I’m always super careful with loans.

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Strategic Angel Investors

Up until now, your business has been growing like a hockey stick — up and to the right. You started off with enough capital to kick off your business, and sales are good. If you had some extra money to advertise, market or add a few hires, the game would absolutely change. Your saving grace may be in the land of angels. Angel investors are partners who are willing to invest their money into your business in exchange for owning a percentage of your company. It’s up to you to determine how much you’re willing to sell to the investor. And it’s ultimately up to that angel investor to decide if they want to take the financial risk. Just remember, the average equity received by angel investors is only 12.3% and an angel investor recipient raises on average $328,500, according to Fundivo. These won’t be big checks, typically.

Whichever path you choose to fund your startup, there are more ways than ever to scale. It’s going to take plenty of diligent research and follow-up on your end, but the end result may just be OPM (other peoples money). That has a nice little ring to it, doesn’t?



Let's chat on instagram @CodieSanchez

How To Successfully Take Your Job On The Road


How To Successfully Take Your Job On The Road

Originally written by Codie Sanchez (that's me!) for Forbes: here. 

I didn’t find the job, I created it.

When people find out what I do, often the first thing they say is, “How did you find a job that allows you to travel the world and do what you want?”

Then they say, “You’re so lucky.”

I answer, "Yes I am."

That said, my answer is always the same: “I didn’t find the job, I created it.”

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"I wanted to travel, see the world and make an impact."

When I started my career in finance, I wasn’t incredible. I was quite good but I was not the top performer at my company. I could pitch investors, make sales and perform financial analysis but I was new to finance. But here’s the thing: I didn’t want to spend my life behind a desk. I loved my job, but I wanted to travel, see the world and make an impact.

I found the intersection of talent. I wasn’t No. 1 in the world at one thing but I was very good at several, including finance, sales and speaking Spanish. I realized that I didn’t have to be the 1% because I had something better: a unique combination of skills that no one else had. I call this my leverage point.

I found where my average talents connected to make them unique.

Instead of quitting my job, I put together a business proposal for my boss at the time and said, “Look, I think there are investment opportunities in Latin America that we are missing out on. I want to take see if I can create business for our company down there.”

He was intrigued and gave me the go-ahead. When that first trip was successful, I asked for a month-long second trip. I extended that to two months, then six months. Finally, I proposed that we create a new position for me that would allow me to travel Latin America as much as I wanted, creating business and investment opportunities for my company and only paying me if they worked.

You may be thinking, “Hey that’s great for you, but my job isn’t remote.” Neither was mine until I proved that I could add value. Here’s how you can take your career on the road without taking a pay cut. Sound good?

Related: Travel for a Living

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"Find your leverage point..."

Make a list of two or three talents to combine and use them as your leverage point.

Find Your Leverage Point

Make a list of what you are good at. What two or three talents can you combine to use as your leverage point? Remember, you don’t have to be the world’s expert or even the most exceptional person at your company. It might be the fact that you have both technical skills and human resources qualifications so you can travel to overseas manufacturing plants for quality assurance and safety procedures. Maybe you are a writer and a business analyst and you can travel to clients and potential clients and create clear reports that describe what is happening there to your home office. The possibilities are endless because your leverage point is not based on a single skill but on a combination of several.

Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.
— Benjamin Spock

Do The Research

Once I found my leverage point, I began researching opportunities in Latin America. Latinos are the fastest-growing demographic in the U.S., meaning there are a lot of ties between U.S. and Latin American businesses. NAFTA and other free trade agreements, micromills and proximity to distribution mean that businesses are turning to Latin America instead of Asia for manufacturing. Plus, the growing startup scene in places like Chile, Mexico, Argentina and Brazil makes these countries a fertile playground. Go to Google, subscribe to the top newsletters on your area of interest, look at what your competitor firms are doing in the region and pretend like you are writing an article on the opportunity. Think like a journalist. Gather data.

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LatAm: The fastest-growing demographic..."

"...a fertile playground for investors..."

The hardest step to take is always the first one. The rest build momentum like a snowball downhill.

Make The Pitch

Once you have your leverage point and your data, make the pitch. Show them that you can bring more value to the company on the road. Ask for a trial run to prove yourself, a short trip with a specific purpose. And one last thing: Don’t ask for a higher salary. That will come after you have proved your value in this new role. Besides, you are about to start your dream job traveling the world. And you just got your company to pay for it. What more could you want?

The hardest step to take is always the first one.

The rest build momentum like a snowball downhill. Your goal here is to self-assess to find your leverage point, externally assess to find your supporting research and finally turn those two into a win-win case for you and your employer. Remember above all else, most people who have built incredible lives created them. They weren’t given them. That means all that stands between you and the life you want is yourself. 




For True Innovation, Change the Way You Travel


For True Innovation, Change the Way You Travel


Not Your Dad's Meeting.

This is Corporate Retreats 2.0.


Remember when business retreats used to mean holing up in a Marriott or going on a corporate outing? I'm going to let you in on a little secret: Those days are over. Millennials will make up 75 percent of the workforce by 2025, and they aren't satisfied with the status quo of older generations. With fast and affordable travel and a globalized economy, today's workforce is interested in experiences and adventures, not cocktails in the hotel lobby.

If I don't have your attention yet, these facts should help. Unemployment is at 4.1 percent, the lowest it has been in 17 years. Sixty-eight percent of all human resources heads say that talent shortage for full-time positions is one of the biggest challenges they are facing. What does this mean? It means that if you want to attract and keep talent, you need to differentiate yourself. Changing the way your company travels might be just what you need.


Millennials will make up 75 percent of the workforce by 2025, and they aren’t satisfied with the status quo of older generations.


Creating New Experiences

A friend of mine told me a story that illustrates this perfectly. On a recent trip to Mexico City, his six-person consulting team shared an Airbnb rental in a trendy part of the city instead of paying for hotel rooms. In the evening, they hung out in the shared space of the high-rise apartment and sampled street food from the markets. Some members of his team extended their stay for the weekend and explored other parts of the country on their own. This unique bonding experience led them to an innovative breakthrough with their client and a pivot in the direction he took his business.

This unique bonding experience led them to an innovative breakthrough with their client and a pivot in the direction he took his business.
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Have passport will travel.

They aren't the only ones. My teams have been known to fly to Mexico, where they take boxing lessons in the evenings and tour our clients' construction sites during the daytime. We even made a trip over to Valle de Bravo for a sailing competition. We may have lost that competition to the point of near embarrassment, but we got to know our clients personally and our team made the kind of memories that families share. 

Related How to Travel & Make Money

Making Your Company Look Good

What do these trends mean for you and your company? It's time to think outside the box. When you begin planning your next business retreat, mid-year meeting or stakeholder conference, go for something different. For less than you would spend to take your team to a resort in Palm Springs, California, you can share in an international experience while improving employee retention.


Currency arbitrage 

Desitinations half the price, double the bonding.

In other words, this is an easy way to make your company more attractive and earn bragging rights in your industry. After all, who doesn't want to be known as the company that takes vacations abroad? According to The Boston Consulting Group, companies that don't reach out to millennials today, risk missing the boat as they become the core producers and consumers in our society.

Related: My Restaurant Guide to Do Business in Mexico City


Planning a Company Trip 

Planning a company getaway to another country might be intimidating for the decision makers at your firm. That's why I recommend using one of the many travel-planning services that have popped up recently. Remember to price check and make sure the company you choose offers the type of experience you are looking for.

Corporate Retreat

" Hosting your company retreat is about innovating your company's culture."

When you get back to the office after a well-planned trip, expect to see better communication, increased efficiency and lower employee turnover.
— Codie Sanchez

One of my favorites tools for planning is Mezi. Think of it as a free, personal-travel virtual assistant. They take trips from a twinkle in my perpetually wanderlust-inclined eye to reality by booking everything from outings, restaurants, hotels and flights -- and ensure my team gets the best deals. And a couple services that I've researched and would like to try myself include Digital Outposts, which specializes in "workcations" from two weeks to two months long, and Surf Office -- a beachfront workspace that can accommodate up to 80 people.

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"I prefer Latin America..."

Then again, I'm a wee bit biased.

As for where to go, I prefer Latin America. You can find everything you need for a successful corporate outing at a great price. If you're looking for an authentic cultural experience, you can't beat it for its exotic food, fantastic music and friendly locals.

In my experience, people who travel and seek out new adventures are more innovative. And, often, when innovation grows among your employees, so does your bottom line.

In the end, hosting your company retreat is about innovating your company's culture. When you get back to the office after a well-planned trip, expect to see better communication, increased efficiency and lower employee turnover.

Still not convinced? I'll leave you with this. In my experience, people who travel and seek out new adventures are more innovative. And, often, when innovation grows among your employees, so does your bottom line.

So it's not a question of, "Can I afford to take my team overseas?"

It's a question of, "Can I afford not to?"



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Luck Favors the Bold

Go big... 


How To Actually Get The Introductions You're Asking For

How To Actually Get The Introductions You're Asking For

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It’s not what you know; it’s who you know. It’s a platitude, but it's true. Our world is about who can we connect with to sell, influence or build with. Thus, when your moment comes, when you finally have the email address of (insert celebrity, influencer, business leader), you grin like a Cheshire cat. Now is your chance to secure your dream job, opportunity, interview and riches. One small step away from them, one giant leap for everyday humans everywhere.

"All influencers and leaders share one thing: a keen understanding of the extreme difficulty in building relationships, businesses, assets and success."


There's just one big problem. Successful people are inundated with one-sided asks. I get on average 25-30 asks a week. And let’s be clear, I’m nobody special. I asked my friend, a leading VC fund manager, how many she gets. It’s innumerable. I asked a friend who runs a Fortune 500 company. He gets hundreds.

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"Successful people are inundated with one-sided asks. 


How do we stand out from their crowded inbox?

Let me give you the inside scoop.

All influencers and leaders share one thing: a keen understanding of the extreme difficulty in building relationships, businesses, assets and success. Business building isn't for the faint of heart. Beneath the surface, we’ve all failed 100 times to succeed that one precious time.

Funny enough, something happens when you start having any sort of success. You go through the grind, you come out on the other side a bit scarred, but it doesn’t show, and like birds to bread, people come along and they want in. They want in without having to go through the obstacle course.

You get asked questions like (these are all real):

  • “Can you introduce me to your top clients/your sponsors/that famous person you just posted with?”
  • “I need a job. Can you hire me? You seem to do well.”
  • “Will you invest in my startup even though we have no product yet?”
  • “I just want to pick your brain over coffee. Do you have a few minutes?
  • “Will you be my mentor?”
Get the meeting

Every time you are engaging with someone influential, your first question should be: "What is in it for them?"

Related: Make them Love You At First Handshake

I still can’t figure out what exactly it means to mentor someone.

Does that mean hand holding?

Weekly meetings? Dinner dates? I have no idea.

On one hand, I absolutely admire the guts it takes to throw out your wants. However, if you actually want to be given these items, you must understand what is involved in giving. And if you’re like me and you get these questions, you can now send them this article with a sweet note saying, “I want to help you get better at requests and getting what you want. Read below and get back to me.”

How To Get What You Want Without Being Labeled A Taker

Every time you are engaging with someone influential, your first question should be:

"What is in it for them?"

Instead of asking how can they help you, think how you can help them.

If you take one thing away from this article, let that be it.

Bad Example:

"Hello Codie, my name is ______, from Mexico. I am currently studying B.A. and Finance. I am really interested in getting the chance to work in N.Y. in trading or capital markets. Could you give me advice as I am a foreigner to achieve this goal? Thank you."

I don’t know this person. There is no context. In addition, I don’t live in New York and don’t work in trading or capital markets. Make sure you do your research on your target.

Related:  #1 Reason You Aren't Getting What You Want

Get the meeting

"I have a rule of thumb. I don’t ask for something until I’ve given 10 times the value of my ask to someone."


Good Example:



I noticed that you had a new product launch on your website and hadn’t yet (insert whatever you can give according to your unique talents). So I created an explanation video for you. (you can do this on Fiverr for pennies). Also I edited this error on the website and included this article on your competition I thought would be relevant. I don't like to ask for something without giving in return.

I am a student in Mexico and really interested in your industry. You’ve built an incredible foothold in finance, I was wondering if you had one initial step, resource, book or contact you think would make sense for me to start with.

Many thanks,


Follow the 10x Rule

I have a rule of thumb.

I don’t ask for something until I’ve given 10 times the value of my ask to someone.

Every time I have broken this rule, I have been told "no" and generally embarrassed myself.

For the next 10 days, try giving something professionally daily without asking for anything.

Don’t Ask What You Can Do To Help

What can I do to help you? I have no idea. I don’t know you.

What are you good at? What do you have to offer? Are you trustworthy? Remember, it is definitely not the job of the person you are engaging with to tell you how you can help them.

This is your mission, should you choose to accept it.

Your mission is to use your intellect to truly help another. Your mission is to find solutions. Your mission is to be one of the few who does, not the many who speak. If you can do that; if you can provide real value as opposed to desire masked as value, the doors will open. I promise.

And no, I’m not your mentor.

You are.



Related: A Seat At The Table Beats A Sign Outside the Building

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Your Mic Drop Moment: How To Give A Talk To Remember


Your Mic Drop Moment: How To Give A Talk To Remember

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Your Mic Drop Moment: How to Give a Talk to Remember

EXCERPT FROM FORBES ARTICLE I wrote: On April 21, 2016, while running along Lake Michigan after having one of those days, in between the sweat and a tear or two, I decided that I had a voice and I wanted to use it. I wanted to stand on stage and move people with my words.

"I decided I wanted to speak publicly, often and powerfully. This was a new feeling for me. They say public speaking is a bigger fear than death for most people"

I've always spoken inside of my companies, but have never spoken for a living. I'm a former journalist and always had the entrepreneurial bent that led to stages. On this day, I decided I wanted to speak publicly, often and powerfully. This was a new feeling for me. They say public speaking is a bigger fear than death for most people, and I was most people.

Earlier, an industry colleague had told me it was better than some people listen and not speak. Everyone in the room knew he meant me. I was too shocked to reply as snickers resounded. While I allowed myself to wallow in it for a moment my initial feelings of hurt turned to purpose. I decided to respond with, "All right, buddy. Just you watch me."

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I've been studying the language of public persuasion. For the last 515 days, I've been gathering intel on how the best of the best ensnare people with their words. I've given 83 speeches on a variety of subjects across the states and the Americas. I've made more mistakes in videos, live interviews, podcasts, radio shows, red carpets (that was an awkward one) and television shows than I’d like to admit. And I have practiced.

I've learned some beautiful things. My goal for you is that when someone dismisses you next; saying you can't, you aren't, you shouldn't, you say, "Go ahead. Just watch me." Here are my five key learnings: Your Mic Drop Moment: How To Give A Talk To Remember

"I was spending too much time perfectly writing out what to say and then alternatively not enough time practicing. This is a killer."

Related: How to Not Waste A Ton of Time At Work

Don't Spend Time On 'Perfect'

The No. 1 mistake I made initially was obsessing over my PowerPoint and script. I was spending too much time perfectly writing out what to say and then alternatively not enough time practicing. This is a killer. My process now is to outline the presentation, know the seed I want to plant in the audience's minds, write out the entire speech, then create a PowerPoint with pictures to trigger my memory, all as rapid-fire as possible.

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I record myself giving the full presentation three-to-five times before I go live without notes. If I can't do it without messing up, I go back to practicing. Just because it's written does not mean it's deliverable. It is much better to have a scantily prepared PowerPoint than to have a scantily prepared speech.

"Keep your focus and don't allow niceties to distract you from your goal. You're there to perform; not for small talk."


Give Yourself Space Prior

Almost every expert in every industry takes time in solitude prior to performing. There is a calming factor in rituals. Think about baseball players and how they step up to the plate, hit their feet with the bat and then zone in. Rafael Nadal's tennis pre-ritual is worth a chuckle and a watch.

The moral of the story is, don't feel bad for saying, "I like to have a few minutes of solitude prior to speaking." Keep your focus and don't allow niceties to distract you from your goal. You're there to perform; not for small talk.

Related: Dominate Powerpoint: Tom Jamieson Founder Slidebot

Layer Stories On Like Perfume

I don't memorize an entire speech -- ever. I layer my stories together. These are stories I have lived, read or used so many times that I could tell them in my sleep. This allows me to not only show my humanity and vulnerability, but tell a story in a way that feels like I’m talking to you in your living room, in our pajamas. I keep an Evernote of all of these snapshots of time, where just the title is a trigger for me to remember. For example, I know from these few words below where I want to go in my presentation. Can you come up with a similar list you can turn to again and again?

• Carmelita and her toothless smile (when I found my "why")

• The moment they told me "no" (when I was convinced to follow my "why")

• Doing the hard thing anyway (when I made my biggest, most painful life pivot)

"These days, we live in a world of 140 characters or fewer. Give the people what they want. "


Nail The Tweetable Moments

These days, we live in a world of 140 characters or fewer. Give the people what they want. What are those delicious little tidbits that your audience will hang on? Where can you insert soundbites that if they are delivered properly, absolutely send home your message? Then focus on landing those bad boys. I find that I weave the following one-liners in consistently. I believe them and I believe that the average person must hear something seven times before they remember it.

• "The few who do, not the many who speak."

• "If you do what the average person does, you will be as the average person is...average."

• "Surround yourself with those who feed your wild soul."

"The goal is akin to a movie or an Instagram scroll; you grab people’s attention through a sea of sameness."

Create Bold PowerPoints

I like PowerPoints for their visual effect and use as a trigger for my memory. However, my PowerPoints have a word or two, maybe a photo or at most one graph on them. The goal is akin to a movie or an Instagram scroll; you grab people’s attention through a sea of sameness. I rotate back and forth between using more malleable versions of the PechaKucha Method (essentially showing 20 slides each for 20 seconds) or the Lessig Method(showing simplistic slides with one word or image on them). It’s common sense but not common practice. Please don’t read off your slides, my friends.

Now go, use your voice and ensnare others with your words.

You deserve to be heard.

Here's more on the How --> Click here.

Un abrazo,



Jim Rogers: Investing Legend & Original Nomad


Jim Rogers: Investing Legend & Original Nomad

A conversation with the Legendary Indiana Jones of Finance.

Best selling author, hedge fund investor, globe trotter (and a bit of my personal hero), Jim Rogers.

I believe it was Thoreau that said, “I could no more name all the books I have read and yet, all the same, they made me.” Truer words for me have never been spoken. But occasionally there comes across my hands a book that I can name and its impact reverberates through my life for years to come. One such book was by the legendary investor Jim Rogers called, “The Adventure Capitalist.” I touched its pages more than a decade ago and it shaped my life in many ways. Jim is a bit akin to the Indiana Jones of finance, he's an explorer, a pioneer and he is not afraid to go against the norm. Basically, he’s anything but your typical investor.

If the world economy gets better, commodities are a very good place to be in... even if the world economy does not improve, commodities are still a fabulous place to be.
— Jim Rogers, "The Adventure Capitalist"

You see Jim has a story, Jim was at the peak of his investing career in the 1970's. He was the co-founder of the industry leading Quantum Hedge Fund with one of the other most famous investors of our time, George Soros. They just had a record year of 127% return on their portfolio and 4200% return over 10 years. Not bad, eh? Then Jim did something that so few do. He left the lucrative high life of Wall Street behind, by choice. He set out to travel the world investing for himself personally in emerging market real estate, third world stock markets, and currencies, all from not a cushy seat in New York, but atop a yellow convertible. Jim decided to continue his emerging market investing spree and circumvented the globe astride a gleaming yellow convertible Mercedes, bedecked with tires able to traverse an African back road just as well as a Californian coastal freeway. This journey led to one of my favorite books of all time, “The Adventure Capitalist.” As if that wasn't enough he wanted to get even closer to the Earth so better to invest in it's trends, aka he traveled around the world astride a motorcycle. That was his book, “Investment Biker.” 


Order here!


Order here!

Those who cannot adjust to change will be swept aside by it. Those who recognize change and react accordingly will benefit.
— Jim Rogers, A Gift to My Children: A Father's Lessons for Life and Investing

So you can see why I have to admit when I reached out to Jim to have him on this podcast I thought, “Well, this is a bit of a stretch, to say the least.” Then from the skyscrapers of China, where he currently resides, he responded yes. We spent an hour diving into some of the questions I’ve held close to my vest for a decade. Like how to develop contrarian ideas when the entire world disagrees, how did he get the guts to leave it all behind on Wall Street, what advice would he give to his daughters today, where is the opportunity of the future and what is a belief he holds dear that most of the world would completely disagree with him on.


I challenge you if your desire is to travel the world lucratively, invest yourself, or simply understand the inside of one of the most brilliant minds in finance, listen to what Jim has to say.


Maybe he'll change your life, just as he did mine. 


Un abrazo,




My Most Personal Podcast Yet: Neeta Bhushan


My Most Personal Podcast Yet: Neeta Bhushan

Almost a year ago I walked into a crowded cramped little cabin of a cruise ship for Summit at Sea, (think a young entrepreneurial invite only version of Davos and Burning Man all in one), and I stumbled upon a shining light of energy inside a tiny little body. That light was Neeta Bhushan.

Neeta is a best-selling author of Emotional Grit, a PhD in psychology and medicine, an international speaker renowned across Asia and India, has spoken at the likes of Google and Facebook, and is one of the key members of A-Fest (a grouping of global change makers with her life partner Ajit). She specializes in helping leaders develop emotional intelligence or as she calls it, “Emotional Grit,” as well as is in the midst of a new world speaking and event tour called Boundless.


On this podcast, Neeta and I get personal with it. You see she, like so many of us, had to go through a real trial to achieve greatness. She talks about her first marriage to an abusive spouse, to living in her car, to leaving it all behind to start afresh, to pushing past cultural norms as a self-identified “brown girl.”

We talk about how she creates a powerful relationship and success for each of them, how she travels the world while running a major business and non-profit, and the life lessons she wishes she had learned earlier. Neeta was a key trigger and drive in my life at a time that I truly needed it, I hope that you allow her to trigger you too.

Neeta was a key trigger and drive in my life at a time that I truly needed it, I hope that you allow her to trigger you too.
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While it's hard to pick a favorite.. I did. Here is my small, succinct but if you sit on it, absolute favorite quote from Neeta:

Is what you’re doing really worth it?

Take a moment, put in your headphones, sit back, relax, and get ready for a ride. 

Love you animals,


To stream and subscribe on iTunes, click on the icon above, or click here.