Karen Sanchez Shares 3 Business Lessons She Learned While Conquering Cancer

By Spencer Hulse Spencer Hulse has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
Published on January 19, 2023

A successful business is not only a matter of experience and skills, but of passion and connection. Let’s focus on Karen Sanchez, for example. At 61, an age when most women would think of retiring, Karen is a Beverly Hills Real Estate Agent who is still excited about helping buyers and sellers obtain results. For her, it’s not about chasing money; it’s about building long-standing relationships and referral business. 

Passion gives you the momentum to keep going when obstacles appear and makes you reach higher when times are good. More than anything, humanity is a huge part of the business. After all, people work with people who they like and trust. The values and principles you nurture in yourself will affect who you are as a person and, therefore, the way you conduct business. 

Karen always knew she wanted to have an impact on the community by helping people.“Creating a positive memory during what can be an emotional and stressful time”, Karen shares as her motto. The goal is to elevate others, be rooted in your purpose, and believe in the solution you are giving.

Even though she has always been purpose-driven, her beliefs are not only a result of her positive, energetic attitude. Karen’s a cancer survivor. She went from working as a Production Secretary for Neil Diamond to a retailer to stay-at-home mom. For the first 35 years of her life, “I was skating through life”, she says; she made life look easy, but she was dissatisfied and knew she was capable of more.

During her time in sales, she realized: “If I could sell something small like lipstick, I could sell something large like a home”, combined with her love for luxury helped her find the path and transition to Real Estate, but at the age of 55, Cancer put her to the test, with a 17-centimeter tumor, suffering multiple strokes, losing her hair, going through chemotherapy, and embracing a completely new lifestyle. These changes built a new set of insecurities and challenges for her — Despite everything, she excelled.

Imagine spending 21 years building a career path and a home, raising three children, and knowing you may not live to see them grow up. Your active day-to-day life is affected by the changing symptoms and feelings of a life-threatening disease. This woman had to become a warrior for herself, overcoming the odds and battling the medication side effects taking matters into her own hands and becoming the survivor we know today.

Her cancer journey cultivated a strength that made her the thriving and energetic businesswoman her clients love, achieving more than ever, like a recent partnership with AKG Christie’s International. Here are her main lessons:


  • Focus on gratitude

Even when the most important thing was lacking for her — health  — she woke up every morning, felt grateful, and thanked God for being alive. She asked herself, “What’s working in my life? I can see, hear, taste, pray, meditate, LOVE, surround myself with loving people who care and practice supreme alkaline nutrition. I can and will heal”. She said, “I choose to focus on that”.

Practicing gratitude every day helps us maintain a sense of joy in ourselves. Likewise, this attitude will allow you to maintain your head up when things seem to crumble at the office or when the deal with your client is not going well. 


  • Surround yourself with positivity

“Western medicine saved my life, but western medicine doesn’t cover healthful eating and meditation”. Karen shares. She claims her recovery on discovering her next step, nurturing herself not only physically but mentally and spiritually. Karen is a firm believer in the mind’s power and how your body absorbs all the positive and negative emotions, thoughts, and vibrations.

Keeping a positive mindset will allow you to focus on the good and look for abundance, even in the darkest of times. Karen started studying her behavior, healing and unraveling her patterns of negative thinking. Cancer is a mind, body, and spirit disease. As an exercise to improve her mental and spiritual health, she started practicing meditation and listening to self-help authors like Deepak Chopra, Louise Hay, and Dr. David Hawkins and, through the adversity of cancer became a better version of herself. 

Acceptance and making peace with ourselves is also a big step toward a positive mindset. After chemotherapy, Karen lost all her hair and wore a wig when meeting her clients. She felt uncomfortable, like she wasn’t being authentic, showing herself. Until one day, she took it off. 

Being confident is a key factor when networking and connecting with other people in the business industry. If you can’t connect with yourself, how do you expect to create a connection with others? Look in the mirror every day and remember the things you love about yourself, then let them shine through when you are working on what you love.


  • Be purpose-driven 

Passion is one of the strongest business assets driven by purpose and to know the reason you do what you do. 

Karen’s strength as an agent is her ability to connect with people and earn their trust by listening to their needs. She believes in being of service and leading by example, helping others get results and achieve their dreams, and finds pleasure in it. As a Real Estate Agent focused on the Luxurious market of Beverly Hills, she helps people to get a return on their lifestyle. Buying a new home is an investment, but it is also the start of a new chapter for her clients and their loved ones.

These are all key assets of an exceptional businessperson. In the sales industry, they are functioning as advisors, with the mission to guide someone to a happy next chapter in their life.

We have listened closely to Karen’s story, and we can conclude that being mindful allows you to be a better business person. Being grateful will allow you to look at the bright side when everything is down. Being positive will let you believe in yourself when things get hard.

By Spencer Hulse Spencer Hulse has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team

Spencer Hulse is the Editorial Director at Grit Daily. He is responsible for overseeing other editors and writers, day-to-day operations, and covering breaking news.

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