Bestselling Author Tiana Sanchez On Overcoming Life’s Challenges
“Failure Is Inevitable But Defeat Is Optional.”
As the CEO and Founder of TSI LLC (Tiana Sanchez International), author, keynote speaker, executive coach, corporate trainer, and podcaster Tiana Sanchez has overcome her share of tough times. This is a theme she chronicles in Undefeatable: Conquering Self-Defeat, a powerful book she has written about changing one’s thoughts and perceptions about winning, losing, failure and determination.
What matters most, says Sanchez, is how you pick yourself up and forge through the temporary set-backs in your life by not allowing them to define you. She notes:
“One knock down doesn't mean you call it quits and hang up the gloves for good. Learn to become a victor and not a victim. Perceived defeat is NOT defeat!”
Her transformational book is brimming with wisdom for conquering one’s defeated mindset.
“Whether you are an entrepreneur, athlete, teacher, CEO, student, Coach, or professional you will gain a new perspective on what it means to have an "undefeatable spirit."
In her latest book, F'd Up - The UPside of Failure, Sanchez provides insight into why some people view failures as opportunities, a necessary step toward success while others simply quit or have an aversion to the effort required to push through.
Failure, Sanchez says, teaches valuable critical thinking, creative problem-solving skills, effort, and motivation. She asserts that time and failure allow us to birth fresh ideas and discover new things about ourselves along with specific skills for the road ahead.
“The upside is the “benefit of opening up a new pathway of unexplored strength and resolve which would have not otherwise been realized had we not experienced the failure in the first place.”
In a feature interview with “Great Books, Great Minds” I asked Sanchez to dive deeper into these themes by sharing a bit about her own path and ascension into success
Please share a little about your business journey in becoming the Founder of TSI, LLC, a Certified Women Owned Business.
In 2011, I was laid off from a job in the financial industry during the financial crisis. Up until that point, I had a relatively successful career, never being laid off or fired before. After the lay-off, I decided to start my own coaching practice working with ambitious and determined entrepreneurs that were stuck in their career. This coaching practice evolved 5 years later to TSI, LLC (Tiana Sanchez International), where we now work with organizations on improving their employee experience through leadership training and development, coaching, employee surveys, assessments and talent development strategies.
What lessons can you impart on other women who may be seeking a similar path?
If you are a woman seeking to start a business, I would get a coach or mentor right away. Doing this work with others makes everything more possible. Enroll in a business class about start-ups and/or entrepreneurs. These classes are offered by non-profit organizations and specialty organizations that support small businesses.
What would you consider to be your most significant setback in life and what did you discover about yourself in overcoming it?
I heard once that setbacks are setups for comebacks. One setback I experienced was in 2001 when I was a recently divorced, single, working mother of a toddler living in a single bedroom apartment in Los Angeles. At the time, I was also the manager of a coffee chain and worked both early and late hours.
This adjustment from married working mom to single, now divorced, working mom took a toll on my mental health, and I became depressed. The depression was fueled by thoughts of singleness, despair, loneliness, and inadequacy. The support of close friends helped me through this season in life. I rediscovered my own strength and resiliency. This was a pivotal moment in my life when I learned how to ASK FOR HELP.
In your first book “Undefeatable: Conquering Self-Defeat” you assert that “failure is inevitable but defeat is an option.” Can you elaborate on this point a bit?
Failure is an experience and navigating our relationship with failure is a skill set. Failure will happen to all of us. The fact is that we will make mistakes, we will stumble, and we will experience failures. Defeat, on the other hand, is a mindset. It’s a toxic, victim-blaming, excuse rendering, ambition-hijacking mindset. It’s a feeling of hopelessness, fear and regret. Reflecting, temporarily, on a failed outcome is okay, but residing in the failed outcome, permanently, can lead to defeat.
Your most recent book “F’D Up – The UPside of Failure” expands upon the theme of failure as explored in your first book. In your view, what can failure teach us from a personal and professional growth standpoint?
Failures are experiences that hold information we can use to solve future problems. Failures open up a new pathway of unexplored strength and resolve that would have never been realized or revealed had we not experienced that failure.
Describe the significance Black History Month holds for you
Black history is American history, and I appreciate and value ALL of history. As an entrepreneur, Black History Month reminds me of the great achievements and contributions of black people throughout history. Things we use every day were created by a black entrepreneur like the three-light traffic signal, automatic elevator doors, color monitors for desktop computers, the shape of the modern ironing board, home security systems and the super-soaker children’s toy.
Who has been particularly inspirational to you in your life success and advancement?
My grandmother was the first, black female entrepreneur that I ever met. I witnessed her long days and nights. She would often fall asleep at the dinner table from a long day but I also witnessed the enjoyment and reward that came with being your own boss. She was also a divorced woman who raised six children of her own. She was the epitome of a successful working woman and mother. And that describes me today!
What are 2-3 books/authors that have had a significant impact on your life?
My two favorite authors who have greatly impacted my life are Ken Blanchard and his books on leadership and people (“Leadership and The One Minute Manager”, “Raving Fans”) and Malcolm Gladwell (“Tipping Point”, “Blink”, “Talking to Strangers”). In particular, I admire Gladwell’s writing style and ability to take a seemingly insignificant subject and peel back the layers so far that you are shocked by what you find.
What is the greatest legacy you hope to leave in terms of what readers of your books walk away with?
The greatest legacy I hope to leave with my readers is to find possibilities, not limitations in every situation; to give yourself and others permission to fail (experience failure) without fear and hopelessness; and to inspire others through the really bad stuff that happens to us. An inspiring leader is not someone who is already at the top, but someone who is fighting their way through adversity on their way to the top.
“Great Books, Great Minds” is my full-time work and life passion, a labor of love fueled by the endless hours of work I put into researching and writing these feature pieces. So if you enjoy this digital newsletter, find it valuable, and savor world-class book experiences featuring epic authors and book evangelists, then please consider becoming a paid supporting member at $6.00 a month or $60.00/year.
Thank you for your support! In the meantime, stay thirsty for a great book
Diamond-Michael Scott, Global Book Ambassador, Great Books, Great Minds “Igniting a New World of Community, Connection, and Belonging, One Book at a Time”