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Yanyn San Luis: “Provide Value, Cultivate, Build Relationships”

It’s all about relationships (Provide Value, Cultivate, Build Relationships) — I detest transactional people. You know the vultures that come up to you in a networking event and shove a business card in your face without even asking you for your name? What am I to do with this? I often think to myself. I’m a relationship […]

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It’s all about relationships (Provide Value, Cultivate, Build Relationships) — I detest transactional people. You know the vultures that come up to you in a networking event and shove a business card in your face without even asking you for your name? What am I to do with this? I often think to myself. I’m a relationship builder and connector. I’m in the business of providing value, providing value again, and one more time providing value before I ever ask for anything. So the piece of advice is to cultivate the hell out of your network. Surprise and delight by picking up the phone and calling them to say they have been on your mind, send them a voice note. Don’t be afraid to get close to people.


As a part of our series about women who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Yanyn San Luis.

Yanyn “Yany” San Luis is an epic expert in sales and negotiation and has helped fortune 500 companies like Microsoft and Hyatt increase their bottom line by hundreds of thousands of dollars and coach their sales teams in leveling up their daily performance. As an adjunct professor, she has taught her fail-proof negotiation framework to hundreds of sales/marketing students at Florida International University. Through her tried and true methodology, she has secured millions in individual corporate philanthropy for South Florida non-profit organizations. She is passionate about helping individuals leverage their strengths, demystify the negotiation process, and ensure they walk away with what they are worth.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?

Born and raised in Miami by my mother grandmother, Justa Acosta; I was all too familiar with the no retreat — no surrender immigrant mindset.

I attended Miami Dade College where she breezed through an AA in Political Science followed by her bachelor’s degree and then MBA from Florida International University. (BA ’10, MBA ’16)

My mind is made up of a few things, one of them is about being resilient in life. You have to learn to bounce back quickly. Growing up with an alcoholic father was difficult and brought about desperate moments for both my mom and me, but we decided early on to not let that situation define us. My mother is not only an amazing person but has been my biggest inspiration since I can remember.

For most people fear can be a paralyzing factor in their lives, but for me it’s nothing but rocket fuel! Fear has been and continues to be my primary driver and motivator. The fear to fail, to let my family down, to be labeled by life’s setbacks, and to not be good enough… These are the demons I face every day, but they push me hard and keep me positive, focused and at the moment.

Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?

Pivoting and leaping into a business full time by eradicating transactional sales relationships for good, while leaving a six figure job and can be conceived as being disruptive during a pandemic. What 2020 has taught me is that we wait a lot. Wait for the right moment, the right amount of money, the right opportunity, (insert something you’re waiting for). I’ve figured I have been playing it safe and staying comfortable for a while. Sitting in a funk is something a lot of people can find themselves in, as for me, I’d like to pull the curtain back and dissect how we can get out of it and move forward to reinvent ourselves in the vision we’ve wanted.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Good lord, there are so many. I remember the first sale I made in my business. I began a membership community called The Win Club. The goal was to give my negotiation workshop and upsell the attendees into my program. With less than four hours until my workshop, I created paper forms for people to sign up on the spot most would have credit card information on them. At the end of the night, I had a great turn out and some sign ups for my membership community. The problem was, I did not have a way to charge people’s credit cards. (Insert face plant emoji). This is what happens when you’re a quick start and leap into entrepreneurship and forget the small details like GETTING PAID! Anyways, I got myself QuickBooks and figured it out, however, I’ll never forget this moment of not just taking a moment to process to work out the logistics of an idea.

We all need a little help along the journey. Who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?

I am a big fan of mentoring both receiving mentoring and paying it forward to provide mentorship. I’m a lifelong member of the national organization of Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda (FBLA-PBL) organization. This is a co-curricular organization that strengthens the confidence of students in themselves and their work by providing them training on soft skills through a variety of different competitive events. As a 15-year-old I was a sophomore in high school and was assigned an industry coach who imparted his wisdom on the competitive event called “Entrepreneurship”. This was a case study style competition that would have you solve an industry problem and act as “consultants” to the judges who would be the company representatives. I had zero clue about entrepreneurship at the time much less how to spell it. We lost at district competition that year, but what I learned that year in how to creatively problem solve is something I carry with me today. I’ve learned so much from my losses. Since then, I’ve continued to coach students in debate style competitions in FBLA-PBL for over 12 years.

In today’s parlance, being disruptive is usually a positive adjective. But is disrupting always good? When do we say the converse, that a system or structure has ‘withstood the test of time’? Can you articulate to our readers when disrupting an industry is positive, and when disrupting an industry is ‘not so positive’? Can you share some examples of what you mean?

I’ve chosen to associate disruption to be tied to innovation. As a result, I am a believer of the following statement “either you innovate or die”. This can relate to consistent improvement and challenge the status quo. In this way, disruption is a positive. I also feel that you need to know that everything in this world involves spheres of influence and that relationships are reciprocity are not a bad thing. That said, relationships should be treated like a bank account. You make deposits into relationships and you make withdrawals. When you ask too much from someone (i.e. asking for too many favors, not reciprocating, etc.) I believe you are disrupting in a negative way. Disruption is all about timing, and seizing a moment, the last thing you want to be is out of touch.

Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.

It’s all about relationships (Provide Value, Cultivate, Build Relationships) — I detest transactional people. You know the vultures that come up to you in a networking event and shove a business card in your face without even asking you for your name? What am I to do with this? I often think to myself. I’m a relationship builder and connector. I’m in the business of providing value, providing value again, and one more time providing value before I ever ask for anything. So the piece of advice is to cultivate the hell out of your network. Surprise and delight by picking up the phone and calling them to say they have been on your mind, send them a voice note. Don’t be afraid to get close to people.

We are sure you aren’t done. How are you going to shake things up next?

In publishing my first book this year, I’ve ignited a flame in the concept of Building BADASSERY. Now, I’m looking to sustain a movement.

People deserve to win regardless of how they were born, the circumstance they were brought into, or disadvantage they were faced with. They deserve to learn the tools that will allow them to rise above it all and excel. That’s what the Building Badassery movement is about.

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges faced by ‘women disruptors’ that aren’t typically faced by their male counterparts?

My opinion is that a lot of women disruptors don’t own their accomplishments for fear of sounding arrogant, egotistical, conceited, etc. We need to share where we’ve been, what we are doing, and how we’re going to change it.

Do you have a book/podcast/talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us?

Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds By: David Goggins

This book is about mindset and having consistency in pushing yourself above your perceived limitations and building your inner confidence in going beyond what you thought was possible. For me, it was about taking the leap into my business and not remaining stagnant and comfortable in doing a corporate job I already knew I’d outgrown.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

As mentioned above, I’ll continue to create and assist others in sustaining their own BADASSERY and continuing momentum into shining a light into one’s inner greatness.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

I’ve loved Oprah’s quote “When you undervalue what you do, the world will undervalue who you are”. We tend to play small, and this relates to what I shared earlier about the disadvantage of not owning your strengths and what you bring to the table. I truly believe that when you know your strengths and own them, you can ask for what you want, and when you ask for what you want consistently, you’ll know what you’re worth.

How can our readers follow you online?

@thewinwoman (IG)

https://www.linkedin.com/in/yanynsanluis/ (LinkedIn)

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