From Latina High School Drop Out to World-Changer

Born to two Cuban immigrant teenagers, my story and mission started long before I was ever conceived. My biological father was addicted to drugs by the time I was born, and I was raised by a single teenage and immigrant mom in the not-so-great parts of Miami.

By the time I was nine, I was offered a job by a neighboring lot at the flea market where my mom worked on weekends. It was the first time I felt special, chosen and unique. It was also the first time I got my taste at business, and I was hooked!

The aftermath of having a bumpy childhood and not having my father in my life caused massive childhood programming issues. I had come to have little self-worth, no self-love whatsoever, and a lot of anger.

I felt I didn’t belong in this world despite my unwavering need to understand it. I tried to end my life. Twice.

I left home at barely 15, did and sold drugs, drank too much, and ran the streets of Miami, doing anything I could do numb the pain of being who I believed I was. 

At 19, and already full of life lessons, broken hearts and self-destruction, I purchased an “Awaken the Giant” CD by Tony Robbins. I was working two jobs to take care of myself, and struggle was all I had ever known. I had never heard of the concept of personal responsibility.

The idea that everything in my world would change as soon as I changed the decisions I was making was mind-blowing. And yeah, it sounded easier than it was, but it was like the flickering light at the end of the tunnel for me.

Tony Robbins saved my life, and his “Awaken the Giant” CD did awake a giant within me. It helped me realize that I was much more powerful that I had ever imagined. It made me see possibilities that I couldn’t see before but had been there all along.

Tony opened my eyes the power of DECISION. And although, I went on to learn many other lessons, my life was never the same once I started my journey of growth.

At 22, I quit my mortgage underwriting job in South Florida, packed everything I owned into my Blue Ford Focus, and moved to New York. I didn’t have any family up there or a place to live really, but it didn’t matter because I had decided that I could do it. And I did.

By 23, I was managing my department across two offices in New York and one in Massachusetts.

At 24, I was traveling the world, working with consulting clients in places I only dreamed of visiting like Barcelona, Madrid, Toronto – to name a few.

By 25, that “freedom” allowed me to move back to Florida to be closer to my little sister who was 18, had just had a baby and found out she had renal cancer.

Throughout this journey, I piled on the leadership psychology formal and informal education. I became obsessed with why humans do what they do and how our brains work.  I wanted to be the best me possible, and that included being the best leader possible.

I became certified in Leadership through GE and Ken Blanchard. I took my personal development to new heights every chance I got, reading neuroscience books, studying Neuro-Linguistic Programming, and discovering new techniques and strategies to continue expanding my knowledge. I wanted to be the best leader, so I knew I had to think like one.

I felt like I was on top of the world for a little bit: company-paid cell phone, corporate American Express, traveling the world for free, and when I wasn’t, I worked from home.

It was a dream job. But I truly wasn’t happy. And I didn’t feel that I was living my purpose.


From Corporate Powerhouse to

Success and Mindset Coach

I had grown so much mentally, emotionally, spiritually and professionally. I felt trapped, and that would soon manifest itself into the perfect opportunity for me to break free.

In 2010, when my first son was one, the company I worked for discontinued their remote employee packages. They were bringing in all remote employees to work from either the Connecticut or Colorado offices, and I was one of them.

The reality of my false sense of freedom and everything I had been holding back became too much when I thought about having to leave my son again.

I had to make a choice to believe in my paycheck, and move my whole life to Denver, or believe in myself and play at life my way.

I turned down an all-expense paid relocation to Denver and started my own consulting firm, consulting to businesses, entrepreneurs and other leaders around the world.

Within 60 days of launching my own firm, I had a six-figure client, and within 18 months, we reached multiple six figures and multiple clients.

How did I do it?

I unleashed the leader in ME.

By falling and getting up more times than I can count and realizing that each time came with a gift. The gift of choice.

The choice to choose me above all the pain, trauma, mistakes, failures and stories I heard from others and told myself.

The choice to take the lead in my life and no longer the backseat.

The choice to be a victor and no longer a victim.

My life’s work is this: Real leaders create more leaders.

I have spend all of my career unleashing, creating and nurturing leaders who strive for success in every area of their lives.

We each have our own definition of success, and achieving that success is what makes us THINK, FEEL and ACT like the leader of our own worlds.

The problem? Many of us think we can do it all alone.

We follow hundreds of inspirational people online, read a million memes a day and listen to a thousand things that scream support, guidance, accountability. But when we close our laptops, take off the ear buds and look in the mirror, we still have no idea how or when to start. And we have zero guidance, support or accountability.

We don’t realize that every single one of those successful people we admire and find inspiration through, didn’t do it alone either. They had help: coaches, mentors, therapists, friends and family.

My life’s work is to help you reach that success you dream of – whatever it means for you. I do this on a private level 1:1 or on a grand scale at corporate events, conferences and retreats.

For almost 15 years, I’ve been helping people find and fix what’s stopping them from stepping into that leader hiding inside.

Starting from the inside out, I can help you unleash your INNER LEADER. 

What Sets Me Apart?

 Apart from the fiery Cuban passion? +wink

What sets me apart of my gift: a sixth-sense that helps me see beyond your current situation and help you get the right gears in place so that you arrive at your destination.

I’ve got an unparalleled track record for helping businesses, entrepreneurs and visionaries across the globe make and save (risk mitigation is huge in some niches!)  hundreds of millions of dollars in their businesses, including the United States Federal Government in our own backyard.

My 20+ years of personal development, leadership training and massive life and business lessons positions me to be one of  best mentors to help you, your business, your team, your staff get to the NEXT LEVEL.

My super powers, intuition, expertise and no-nonsense approach helps my clients heal childhood trauma, fix/leave relationships, increase self-worth and self-love and takes massive steps forward in personal, professional and financial health.

Have Vanessa at Your Next Conference,Event or Retreat