Giving Up A $300k Salary To Be An Entrepreneur With Cindy Zuniga-Sanchez
Your Biggest Vision
Season 3, Ep. 89

What would you give to be your own boss? Would you give a $300k salary at a job you worked very hard for? Today’s guest did just that!

Candidly sharing her journey as a first generation American and a corporate attorney, today’s guest, Cindy Zuniga-Sanchez, is here to share her story, how she conquered debt, became an entrepreneur and wrote a book!

Cindy is part of the What It Takes series of Your Biggest Vision! In this series, I will be interviewing clients and entrepreneurs, and getting their insight on how their businesses are so successful, and how they did it. In this What It Takes interview, I will be chatting with Cindy Zuniga-Sanchez!

Cindy has a beautiful story, and is using her passion and her experience with debt to fuel her own business. 

Cindy has written a book, “Overcoming Debt, Achieving Financial Freedom: 8 Pillars to Build Wealth”, and it is available NOW! 

Head on over to her website and her Instagram to learn more! 

Want to stop playing small with your side hustle and make some real money, once and for all? This guide is based on my own case study of going from confused and frustrated with low, inconsistent income months, to building a side business that earns more than my 9-5 job. I’m pulling back the curtain on all the up-levels I did and how you can too. Download HERE!


(Click HERE to tune in!)

A first generation American and a corporate attorney, Cindy Zuniga-Sanchez, is here to share her story giving up a $300k salary!

Hear the Episode

Episode Transcription

Leah: Hey, visionaries. Welcome back to the Your Biggest Vision show. Leah here and today’s guest is Cindy Zuniga-Sanchez. Hi, Cindy. Hi. Thanks for being here.

Cindy: Thank you for inviting me. I’m excited. I’m excited to chat.

Leah: Yeah, me too. So I just wanted to give everyone a little bit of background on our relationship. We met years ago, pre pandemic people. Yes.

Cindy: When we could like, gather indoors without any hesitation.

Leah: Yes. We, we, we both spoke at an event and, um, you know, I connected to Cindy right away. She’s very inspiring. She was actually on GMA shortly after we met, and I literally saw it on TV and I was like, oh my God, this is so crazy. 

And, um, she’s a former lawyer, so we wanted to have her on a show today. Um, Cindy, we’re doing this kind of series where we’re talking a little bit about just what it has taken to be successful in entrepreneurship. And I’m excited to hear your story because, um, you are a former attorney and I always joke that attorneys are tough entrepreneurs because they’re so risk averse. And so I’m excited to kind of joke with you and, um, just see your take on that.

 Yeah. Uh, but also because you have a new book on personal finance that you just wrote and I can’t wait to hear more about it, and your inspiring story. So why don’t you give us just a few sentences about how you started Zero Based Budget and the background with personal finance and your now business?

Cindy: Yeah, sure. So I started my business because I graduated law school with over $200,000 of debt. And I didn’t know anything about Money . Like that’s literally, you know, just in a few words. I mean, I found myself in 2015 having graduated law school, you know, with a great job offer at a top law firm in New York City. Super exciting.

 Uh, but, you know, which came with a great $300k salary, you know, which I was very fortunate to, to have. Uh, but I had, like I said, I had over $200,000 of debt and I had barely any financial literacy. I didn’t have any strategies on how to tackle it. I, you know, I’m not a trust fund kid or anything like that. 

And so, uh, you know, for me, I was at this, at this point in my life where it was like, it’s now or never.

I need to learn about personal finance. I need to learn about how to pay off debt, how to manage your money correctly, how to properly save, how to invest, right? Like all these things that, you know, I had never really thought about in that way. 

Now, I was at a point in my life that I really needed to not just learn about personal finance, but hopefully kind of master personal finance, you know, in my own way. And I started my business because I wanted, well, it’s, I actually didn’t start it as a business at all. I never had the intention of starting a business that was never a plan of mine. 

On the contrary, if you would’ve told me 10 years ago, you’re going to be an entrepreneur, I would’ve laughed in your face. I have been the kind of person that I am very happy to work for someone else. I am very happy collecting my steady paycheck. Uhhuh, I am extremely risk averse, like you said, , extremely.

 And so for me, like, you know, starting a business was not even a thought, but I’ll tell you how I actually started then. So I started this, uh, anonymous Instagram account at zero based budget, uh, which was named after the budgeting method that I was kind of learning about and applying in my own life. And I started building a community on Instagram just by sharing my story. Like I was sharing my actual numbers, like what my actual income was, um, the kind of payments I was putting to my debt. 

And it was really in hopes to connect with people, uh, about money and personal finance. You know, it’s kind of remove the taboo, the stigma around money. And what I found was that a lot of people in my community were learning about these topics for the first time as well, like with me, you know, and they were kind of looking to me as this resource for how to pay off debt in their own lives and how to save, et cetera.

Uh, you know, most of my audience, uh, are millennial women, uh, but most of them are actually millennial women of color. And as a Latina daughter of immigrants, for me that was very, very important to reach this specific group. My specific community that unfortunately for too long has been excluded from, you know, the financial services industry.

 And so I wanted to reach them in a different way. You know, I’m not trying to sell you like a hot investment or anything like that. I’m just looking to connect with you and educate you on personal finance. 

And so that’s really how it all started. But then a business was born because people started reaching out to me for coaching, uh, you know, to help them set up their budgets to create a debt repayment plan, to create a strategy around credit cards and personal finance. And I started offering really, really low cost budget service, budget coaching services, which I would mainly do on the weekends when I would have like a sliver of time available, because again, I was a full time corporate attorney.

Like I barely had any time as is, uh, for me, initially, I wasn’t at all looking to make money from it. And in fact, I didn’t take any money from my business for the first two years because I didn’t, that again, that wasn’t my goal. It was just something that kind of just happened. 

And, uh, you know, but then things started to change. My audience started to grow. I started getting featured in local international publications, media, tv, and I started getting, you know, brand partnerships and sponsorships. And, uh, little by little I started seeing the potential, you know, in and what I was creating with personal finance and what I had created so organically. 

And I thought to myself, you know, with everything that happened with the pandemic, why not take a chance? Right? Like, life is so incredibly short, why not bet on me for once? Right. Like, truly go all in and be in, um, and bet on my idea. And, and so I did. And that’s how I landed to where I am now, um, a full-time entrepreneur,

Leah: Wow. Wow. What a story. Let me, uh, ask you a sidebar question. Sure. What, um, challenges do you think you face or do you wanna bring awareness to as you share your story as a Latino woman making it as an attorney and in financial services and personal finance? What, what do you think people need to hear?

Cindy: Yeah. I think what people need to hear is that representation really matters more than I think we might think about at first clients. You know, as a lawyer, I was one of very few female Latina attorneys at my law firm, and that was really lonely. You know, it was really lonely. 

Yeah. Uh, you know, I think my law firm did a great job at trying to incorporate, you know, diversity and inclusion efforts, et cetera. But I think that, you know, the big law firms across the country are traditionally very white and male. Like that’s just a fact. Right? Right. Uh, and what I found with the financial services industry is that that’s also the case. That’s the same.

Leah: Right.

Cindy: But it doesn’t mean that people don’t need access to these services. And so I think that having that element of diversity, having the background, whatever it may be, that’s your power. You know, that’s not something to hide away from or to shy away from. It’s something to own. 

Because for me, what I’ve found as an attorney owning the fact that I’m a Latina, that Spanish is my native language, that really helped me with a lot of clients. Yeah. I’m a lot of client work. Yeah.

 And it helped me get a really, really cool matters, including matters that dealt with, you know, the governments in Mexico and Cuba. And I mean, just really extraordinary opportunities because I decided to step into that. Right. And now being in, I guess you could consider the, you know, personal finance industry, I also have stepped into that and owned and said, yes, I’m a Latina. I’m the daughter of immigrants.

I was born and raised in a low income community in the Bronx, but I am here to help you. I am here to help educate you. And I think that when my audience sees themselves reflected in me in some way, that that’s my power, right? Like, that’s what makes me stand out.

 And I think that anyone, whether you yourself identifies as, uh, you know, diverse, uh, you’re a woman, maybe you have a disability, you’re a part of the L G B T community, maybe you’re a Latina, black, native American Asian, et cetera. Right. Whatever your story may be, own it, right? Like own it, step into that because there’s power in that. 

And I think if you are on the other side of it where, you know, maybe you are an older white male, right? Um, be like some of the partners were at my old law firm where they did not shy away from that, right?

They, they, they really sought to like, you know, let’s talk about that. You know, I had this one partner that really made me feel very comfortable talking about my experiences and was super mindful about the kinds of opportunities that I wanted to, you know, work on. Like back then, you know, I really wanted to work on Latin American cases, right?

 So he was just having that rapport, having that sense of communication. I think everyone can kind of tap into it. Um, but I’d say yeah, sure. I think for me, it’s really been my power as an entrepreneur. Yeah.

Leah: Yeah. That’s, honestly, that’s a great takeaway for just entrepreneurship in general. Not to, you know, take away from the, the issue and, and the representation of minorities specifically, but just leaning into your story in general is how people connect with you. 

And I’m sure that so many people have connected with you because, because you’re a daughter of immigrants and because you came from no financial literacy and you paid off all this debt and everything. But I’m sure a lot of people also really too, because they’re broke lawyers . Yes. And they’re like, how did this happen? I thought I did everything right. 

And I have this cushy six figure salary, and I have more in debt than I make in a whole year. And like, how does that add up? Yeah. Yeah. So I wanna zoom into the part of your journey where, you know, things start to turn.

Leah: Now I happen to know that you did pay off all your debt far before you quit your job.

Cindy: Yes. 

Leah: Tell me a little bit about the timeline between, so you’re debt free, your business in personal finance is making some money, and then what was your, so you, you said that your risk averse, what was your sort of like, threshold I need to be making just as much or more, or a minimum or whatever in order to make that leap? How’d you go about that? 

Cindy: Well, I knew there was no way I was going to be making what I was making as a lawyer to quit, to move to entrepreneurship. I understand that that’s what a lot of people do, and that’s fantastic. And I love that for them. That was not the case for me. I was making about $300,000 a year as a lawyer, I was not making anything near that as an entrepreneur, you know?

 So for me, what it came down to was how much runway do I have? Yeah. How much in savings do I have that I can comfortably live off of without feeling that pressure of like, I need to book a client, I need to book a partnership deal, a speaking engagement, uh, you know, I need to make x, y, z off of my digital core sales. Like what is, you know, everything all together.

What is an amount that I would be comfortable having in order to leave my law firm job? And so for me, it was two things. It was one, uh, having what I call a sabbatical fund. So I have an emergency fund, which is like my personal finance emergency funds.

You know, the whole, God forbid you lose your job, right? Like, how are you gonna pay your rent? How are you gonna, like I have, I had that to the, the side, which was six months of my necessary living expenses. I had that to the side.

 In addition to that, though, I had a six month sabbatical fund, and that was my, all right, Cindy, your business doesn’t make any money for six months, this is what you get to draw from. And I was drawing from that fund for a little bit, right? Because I, as soon as I left my law firm job, I did have actually, uh, a, a big brand partnership lined up and a couple speaking engagements.

But a lot of these clients, they won’t pay you until 30, 60 days after. So it’s not like I’m getting that money right away,  you know? Also, that money’s all taxed, right?

 So it’s like you need to set money aside for taxes. So I would say that for me it was, it was having that safety net, that financial cushion of an emergency fund and a sabbatical fund. And also seeing how I could grow my business, like really tapping into the potential that I knew and I was confident that I could have.

 So I knew that the project I was gonna be working on when I left my, uh, my law firm job was my digital course. So, uh, I created a course, the blueprint.

Leah: Remember that I remember toasting with you right before you remember that. Cause you like closed out the launch. I think it was when that launch wrapped up that you and I met up, right? 

Cindy: Yeah. Yeah. And I, you know, I, I crossed, um, like last week I crossed a hundred thousand dollars in sales for that course. Wonderful. Which is like crazy, right? Like, it’s so crazy to think, uh, but I saw the potential in my idea. Yeah.

 And I believed in it and I was like, I know I’m not gonna get the money right away, but I think I can sew into this and make this work. So I would say honestly, it was those three kind of components, right? My personal emergency fund, the, like, if like ish really hits the fan, right? Right. My sabbatical fund that I could be a little comfortable with, and then my, uh, just betting on me, right?

Yeah. Like the potential that I saw in my ideas and the money that those ideas could make and leaning into that. Uh, but yeah, I mean, when I tell people I, I, I think my story’s a little unique from others because a lot of times I meet people where they’re like, oh, my business was bringing enough that I could leave my work or, or I was making at, or a little more than even my full time job. 

That was not at all the case for me, which is why it made it so much harder as someone that is super risk averse. Um, but I’m glad I took the leap.

Leah: I was in that situation where my business was bringing in more at the point than my nine to five was. But I was at a non-profit making like $50,000 a year. I mean, it’s a completely different situation. Yeah. 

 But I think I’ve had clients that, you know, were formerly on Wall Street and that were lawyers and things like that, that were in your shoes. And, and, and what I’ve learned is that no matter which way you approach entrepreneurship, there’s going to be unique challenges for you. 

 Like for you, it was shutting the door on this very, very high 300k salary, especially after you paid off your debt debt. But at the, on the reverse side, if you do have that higher 300k salary and you don’t have debt, the the way that you can invest in your business early on that you can hire coaches or hire a photographer, get someone a deer website is so much more freeing than people who are like, I don’t even have $10 extra after my paycheck, which is kind of the situation I was in.

So it’s just kind of like working worth looking at that. And I would say of the three things that you pointed out that you really needed, I actually prioritized what you said was kind of third in my mind. I remember thinking, okay, I should have a savings, like that’s responsible.

 Now I’m bigger, I’m more risk, less risk averse than you . But I was like, okay, I need a savings. But actually what felt better to me was almost proof that I could make money, even if that meant that I didn’t have a ton sitting in the bank. 

Because I thought, all right, if I quit my job and I, you know, whatever, whatever money sitting in the bank, but I don’t feel like I believe in myself and know how to make it, to your point, that’s just gonna send me into a panic. I’m just gonna drain that and be like, what the hell do I do next?

 Whereas if I’m like, right, you’re free, I don’t have a ton in the bank, right? You’ll freeze, you’ll freeze. It’ll totally be paralyzed. Whereas what I did is it was like, right, I don’t have as much save in the bank as I want, but I’ve proven to myself for the past like four months that I’ve made more than I am at my nine to five. And if I were to free up 40 hours per week to work on this. 

Cindy: Absolutely.

Leah: I can only imagine what would happen. So just some ways to think about it. I have personal finance question for you. So, um, you have, I’m guessing when you had those accounts saved up before you quit, and you, I’m guessing head to the, the tune of multiple five figures, if not even six figures of savings. 

Does it not, is it not hard for you to see that much cash not sitting in the stock market and just see it sitting in your bank account? Or are you just like, Nope, I know that that’s not what it’s for. Cuz I have that issue where I’m like, no, I gotta get it away from me.

Cindy: Yeah. No, I think my husband feels that way, you know, about money sitting in bank accounts. Like he is like, let’s invest it all. And he, you know, he’s very much more like that now.

Um, he’s not like at all reckless investor, you know, we invest in pretty much the same things like low cost index funds. It’s nothing too exciting, nothing too sexy. 

Uh, but no, I actually like seeing the cash. I, I don’t, I don’t mind it. I know that it’s like a lot of people actually in the personal finance community will very much disagree with me. They’re like, oh, but your money could be making so much more in the stock market. 

And, you know, um, I think also like if you look at just this year even, right? Like, this is, this just happens to be one of the years where the stock market is down totally.

And banks are paying, you know, 3%, 3.5% interest rate on your savings, you know, and so, like, for that reason, like, I’m never gonna say, keep all your money and your savings. No, I don’t think you should keep more personally than your emergency fund.

 And in my case, the sabbatical fund, right? Like those two things alone are I think, sufficient for just your savings and everything else I do think should be invested, right? But, but for a year, like this year, you know, it just goes to show that especially with inflation going all crazy, uh, and everything that’s been happening with the economy, um, for me, I’ve told my husband like, see, isn’t it nice seeing our little financial cushion, like in place intact and everything?

 He’s like, yeah, but like, you know, in x amount of years it could grow to that much. And I’m like, okay, okay, okay. You know?

Leah: Like, but how pretty it’s though . 

Cindy: Yeah. And I’m like, like it’s just like it’s there.

Leah: And it’s growing.

Cindy: And it’s, you know, um, but I think honestly, I think another part of that, you know, if we’re gonna get a little bit more deep into it, I think is the fact that I did grow up very low income. You know?

And I think seeing secure numbers does bring a comfort to me as well, because I do know that if my parents need anything, I know I can tap into that to help them, you know? Um, versus having to like sell investments off to, to help them. Like, just having that access to cash, I think is, uh, for me has, has provided that level of comfort.

Um, so I think that, you know, it’s gonna be really unique and super personal to everyone.

Leah: Yeah. Yeah. It’s a good, it’s a good reminder. I mean, personal finance is personal, right? I think we forget that. And I, I, I won’t get into my whole story here, but I, before I really started my business, I was obsessed with personal finance because I was making so little money in New York at a nonprofit.

 I had a ton, I had like 30 k of loans from, from NYU which wasn’t anything like what you had, but I also wasn’t making very much money. Yeah, yeah. And, um, so I really became so obsessed with it and eventually just learned that you can’t out, out finance or out budget, no 3ook salary, which is kind of when I like, took things into my own hands.

Cindy: Absolutely.

Leah: My own side hustle. But, um, but yeah, I do think it’s very easy to get sucked into like, well, so and so says I should do this, or so and so says I should budget like this. And you have to find your own path. Right. With that, let’s pivot a little to your book. So you just wrote a personal finance book. I’d love to hear what the book is about and also a little bit about writing it.

Cindy: Yeah, yeah. So it’s overcoming that achieving financial freedom, eight pillars to build wealth. Uh, it’s, it’s really a compilation of everything I wish I would’ve had when I started my personal finance journey.

You know, when I found myself at that time, like I mentioned earlier, where I was, you know, uh, really fortunate to step into a, a nice high paying career, a nice high paying job. Um, but I had six figures of student loan debt. You know, what do I wish I would’ve read? What do I wish somebody would’ve gifted to me?

And, um, and more than that, it’s not even just for the people that are at the start of their journey, but just the people that are, are on the journey generally to financial freedom, whatever that means to you, you know, um, whether it is being able to just easily open up the chapter that talks all about credit and credit cards or the chapter on investing, or the chapter, which I’m sure your audience would be very interested in, which is all about increasing your income.

Uh, you know, that chapter is divided into two parts. The first part is about increasing your income at your current nine to five, like negotiating, et cetera. Uh, and then the second part is about starting your own thing, right? Starting your own business, starting your side hustle, et cetera. Uh, to bring in, you know, additional cash flow.

And, uh, so for me it’s, you know, it’s definitely a very practical book, like a very, you know, uh, easy to read resource type of book filled with examples so that you can actually see like, okay, what does that look like in practice? Right? Like, applying these principles that she’s teaching, what does that look like for an everyday person?

Uh, so, you know, at its core that’s what the book is about. Um, but the beginning of the book is actually about my story. You know, I share my story about being the daughter of immigrants, uh, what impact that had on my life, navigating the college application process, law school, uh, financing those things, right?

Financing college and law school, uh, stepping into my, you know, my, my, my career as an attorney and growing my business, right? Like, just kind of a little bit about me.

And I think that’s really important to have. And the reason why I was so excited to have put that in the first part of the book, which by the way, it was the hardest part of the book for me. Right.

Um, it’s because like we mentioned earlier, representation matters. Right? You know, when I first started my journey, I remember going to a Barnes and Noble and I would say 80% of the books were written by white men.  You know, maybe another Dave Ramsey. Maybe like another 15% were, um, you know, from, from white women, uh, which those are actually the books that I gravitated more towards cuz I’m like, oh, yay, women, you know?

And it’s all of like, maybe we’re almost there , maybe like four books in like a c of like business and finance books. And then the remaining 5% maybe was like a mix of, you know, all other minority groups.

And for me to only have really like that small subsection of books written by women or, uh, you know, people belonging to other minority groups, for me it was, um, it was a little disheartening. 

Uh, but it also was, I think what planted the seed for me wanting to write something to add to, you know, uh, these, these collections of, of business and finance books, uh, for me to share my story. 

And I think that it’s really important that we learn from each other, other, you know, like, don’t get me wrong. I read the books by the white, written by the white men, and a lot of them have been incredibly helpful, right?

Yes, absolutely. Um, but a lot of them are really outdated also. Right, right. A lot of them, they’re not really applicable to my generation. Uh, and, and I read books by, you know, now I, I’m, I’m very happy to see more diversity, you know, on the bookshelves than they were, than there was, you know, even what, five, six years ago when I was first trying to learn about these topics.

 Uh, but I do think it’s really important for us to learn from each other, you know? And I love reading, like, if you see my bookshelf, it’s, it’s, it’s what, you know, it’s comprised of a mix of stories and authors and backgrounds. 

And again, I I’m so passionate about this because I think that we’re better when we learn from voices that are different than our own. Um, and, and I think that, you know, I’ve definitely sought to kind of balance that, right?

Like share my story while also, you know, inviting people of all backgrounds to learn from me and to, uh, you know, see a little bit about what my motivation to financial freedom has been. Which, you know, spoiler alert, uh, unsurprisingly, it’s my family, right? It’s, it’s my parents, it’s their sacrifice. 

And so I think that it’s, you know, being able to have this platform, uh, through this book has been super refreshing, um, motivating and, uh, yeah. And I’m just happy that it’s out there now, right? Like, it’s out there, it’s, it’s in the world and, you know, and, and the feedback has been amazing so far. 

And, you know, I’m truly really grateful for it.

Leah: Oh, good. Huge. Congratulations. My husband wrote a book last year and it took him a long time. Wow. Yes. I also started writing a book then got pregnant, haven’t looked at it since. 

It’s not an easy thing to do, and it’s very hard for my marketing mind to be like, what’s the ROI right away? Like, is this really worth my time when I could be, you know, selling something? So, oh yeah.

Huge Congratulations on having this one to do it. What is your definition of financial freedom? What does it mean to you?

Cindy: Yeah. I think financial freedom is when you see, when you perceive money as a tool rather than a burden. You know, when money becomes your opportunity to create things, to say yes to, uh, certain, you know, opportunities that come your way, no to ones that will take away from your life or things that you don’t value. Having that freedom, that flexibility to make choices that are aligned with what you value.

 I think ultimately that’s financial freedom. You know, like I’m not the richest person in the room at all. Right? I’m not a millionaire yet.

 Um, but, but I have come to this point in my, in my finances where I do see money as something that has opened doors for me and that can continue to open doors for me rather than something that, you know, instills anxiety or worry.

 And, you know, not to say that I don’t ever get anxious or worried about money, cuz I think everyone does, right? Like to some degree everyone does. Absolutely. I most definitely do.

 But, but it’s not at all, you know, to the level that it was say, even five years ago. You know? 

And I think that’s what financial freedom is, is for me. I think people have different definitions of it, but what I hope people learn from my book is that financial freedom isn’t necessarily an end point. You know, it’s not, it it can be Right.

Leah: There’s no destination.

Cindy: Exactly. Yeah, exactly. There, there’s this journey that can be really rich and, and full of lessons, uh, that you should take in, you know, and not just look to this like end point that is when you’re like in your sixties or something.

 No. Like live life now too. Enjoy it. Uh, but be smart about it, you know, uh, when it comes to your, your money.

Leah: Right? I totally agree. Something, I always talk to my clients when I’m like helping them understand sales. If, you know, if they’ve never made a sale or anything in their business and it’s new to them, it’s like the goal, the, the, the intention should be that you are making decisions with money as an afterthought and it really helps you. 

Which, which doesn’t, here’s what I think people get twisted when they come from a scarcity background, which I think I did.

 I didn’t necessarily grow low income, but given just how, how I remember very clearly what it was like in my early twenties with, with my extreme, um, student loans and very low income. Uh, I just remember having no, no money to spare at all. Yeah.

And so almost all of my decisions were based on what could I afford? What could I afford, what could I afford?

And I think that I would’ve assumed, and I think a lot of people when they come from a scarce mindset that if you had enough money to do anything, you pretty much always say yes to it. And that’s not true. Right.

 And I think you have a chance to get to know yourself and who you are and what’s important to you. Yes. When you find that sense of freedom, because just because you have enough money to do something doesn’t mean you wanna do it. Like you and I were talking before this and you’re like, look, I could afford to live on the west side, but I don’t wanna, it’s like not my value system. Yeah. Yeah. 

And I think that that’s where you can find that freedom is like, what do I want? Regardless of how much it costs. Yes. What do I need to live life in a happy way,

Leah: Thousand percent? What doesn’t make me happy and what do I care to spend money on? Like, one thing for me, I’m all about like luxury, celebrating and buying bougie things. 

And you know, people have, um, asked me like what my dream car is, and it’s like, even I talked about this before, the like, you could not actually pay me to have a luxury car. I couldn’t actually Care less. I’m so good.

I literally would rather do anything else other than have a bougie car. I don’t care how pretty it’s, and that’s just my value system, you know? And so it’s not about like, if you have enough money, you’ll have whatever you want. It’s more just getting to know who you are, being able to say yes to what does and doesn’t serve you. Right. 

And that is, I, I think a great definition of financial freedom. Yeah.

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. What a journey you’ve had. Do you think you’ll be an entrepreneur forever?

Cindy: No. No. I, no, I don’t. I, um, I think to some, some degree maybe I’ll always have, like, I always have something, something. Yes, absolutely.

 Um, but I actually do wanna go back to practice law. I know it’s, it’s, I know it’s something that like a lot of people are super surprised by, but I think I have, I think I have a skill set that can really serve my community in different ways. 

I don’t, I don’t think I would go back into commercial litigation, which is what I was doing. Um, I did a lot of work in the advertising space. I did a lot of work, uh, pro bono work for immigration clients, and I see the need, you know, I see the need, but I want to be able to go back to practice law and not feel that pressure of I need to have the highest paying job.

Mm-hmm. , you know, in law. I wanna have that freedom and, um, maybe, you know, but still have my business running to some degree. Right. Like maybe a little less hands on. And you know, the, the thing that’s interesting is that if, you know, if you had asked me just even a couple years ago, I would’ve given you my one year timeline, five year timeline, 10 year timeline. I have no timeline. Right. Wow.

 Like right now I don’t, and, and that, that’s a big way that I’ve actually changed is that I used to think that life was linear and that life was a checklist. Mm-hmm. . And I don’t think that anymore. You know, now it’s like, maybe life doesn’t have to be linear.

 Maybe I can do full-time entrepreneurship for three, five years or whatever it may be, and then go back to practice law and have my business kind of running on autopilot and then come back to entrepreneurship.

Right. And then maybe be a, you know, an executive director of like a nonprofit. Right. Like, maybe I can do those things. Totally. I don’t, I don’t think I allowed myself to dream that way, even just a few years ago. 

And I think that because of everything that’s happened in the past few years, I think now I’m allowing myself to dream in that way and to say yes to certain opportunities that, you know, maybe would’ve scared me, um, even just a little while ago. Uh, but for now, I still have a lot of growth to do in my business. 

So , so, so for now, you know, I, I I’m all in, you know, with what I’m doing right now. Um, but in the future, you know, we’ll see. But I’ll keep people posted.

Leah: Yeah. . Yeah. Yeah. Do, I’m excited to watch your journey and, um, thank you for all you’re doing for your community. It’s very impressive and, and inspiring. 

And I even remember a few years ago, um, donating to, uh, I think a Thanksgiving drive that you and your husband did for your community. So always keep us in the loop because, you know, I think it’s so important. So

Cindy: Yeah. Thank you. I appreciate that and I appreciate your support and friendship for sure.

Leah: Oh, it’s very mutual. You very much inspire me. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Congratulations on your success. Congrats on your book.

And as my final two questions for you. Yes. In entrepreneurship, what is your go-to when you’re having a bad day or like, like things just aren’t working the way you want. How do you kind of work through that?

Cindy: In my planner, I have this little section that says like, something good that happened this week. And I always fill it in no matter how big or small it is. And so I’ll just go, I’ll flip through my planner and I’ll just, you know,

Leah: That’s awesome.

Cindy: Yeah. And I’ll just look at like, what did I do last week that I’m really proud of? What did I do two months ago that I’m really proud of? No matter how big or small, it could literally be the smallest thing or something as big as like a five figure launch or whatever it is. Right. 

Like even the smallest things, uh, will, will kind of, you know, bring a little smile to my face and, and the push, you know, the push for those bad days where I’m like, I need a little bit of motivation. Um, I, I strongly recommend celebrating your wins even if they’re really small.

Leah: Mm. We’re gonna end on that because that was really the best answer I could have, I could have hoped for. So Amazing. Well, thank you again so much for being here. Happy holidays and I’ll yalk to you soon.

Cindy: You too. You too. Take care. Bye. Thanks.

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