Determination is the #1 ingredient to fuel a successful career. Perhaps this is best showcased by Stanley Sanchez, an individual who embodies unwavering determination. He is a first-generation business owner who dedicated 13.5 years of his life to the U.S. Navy, achieving the rank of a First Class Petty Officer, before venturing into the world of franchising. Since starting his franchise with Ace Handyman Services, Sanchez has seen massive success including seeing sales double in 2023.

Born in the Dominican Republic, Sanchez and his mother embarked on a transformative journey when he was nine years old, first moving to the Virgin Islands and ultimately settling in Puerto Rico in search of a better life. Sanchez watched his mother work tirelessly in multiple jobs to support their family. Her resilience and strong work ethic left a lasting impression, and Stanley told himself he’d steer away from the conventional 9-to-5 grind to pursue meaningful opportunities.

At the age of 17, he made a pivotal decision to join the U.S. Navy. As a young man from a modest background, Sanchez recognized he could either enlist in the military or face student loans for the foreseeable future. After 13.5 years in the Navy and achieving the honorable position of a First Class Petty Officer, Sanchez felt that it was time to embark on something new. He re-integrated himself into society by joining the corporate workforce, and spent nearly 3.5 years working as a hotel manager and a service manager at a car dealership, while always maintaining curiosity about starting his own business. Sanchez was confident in his leadership abilities due to his previous management roles and military background; however, Sanchez recognized his lack of business experience would hinder his ability to start something from scratch.

Franchising emerged as the ideal path for Sanchez, which is a great option for first-generation entrepreneurs, as it allows not only the freedom to run your own business, but the support of a nationwide corporation. “I was searching for a business model and thought the franchise model would be the right way for me to go,” said Sanchez. “They help you throughout the process and if you have questions, you have somebody to talk to.”

When it came time to select a franchisor, Sanchez’s eyes landed on Ace Handyman Services. Having personally faced the frustration of finding a reliable handyman for household repairs, Sanchez recognized a gap in the market. Describing it as being the perfect timing, Sanchez goes on to say, “I was getting some repairs done at my house. The person who I had reached out to several times scheduled and didn’t show up…and I thought ‘that’s what we need, somebody who will actually show up.” What attracted him to Ace Handyman Services specifically was their incredible support system and the trusted and established reputation of the Ace brand. 

Fast forward to October 2023, Sanchez’s territory in Kitsap Peninsula, Washington has been open for a little over a year and a half. In that short period of time, his territory has had remarkable success. Sanchez adds that not only was their first year successful, but also his sales have even doubled in 2023. While franchising does offer a more structured path, it comes with its own set of challenges. Starting any new business doesn’t come easy. Maintaining the consistency that many have grown to love and expect from a brand is no small feat, and customer expectations can be a heavy weight to bear. It is perseverance and determination that keep you going, and Stanley’s commitment to hard work is one of the driving forces behind his success. 

There’s a lot of learning,” said Sanchez. “The system is built for you to follow and there is a lot of support, but still, if you’ve never owned a business you still have to go out there and learn to do that step by step and you have to put in that work.”  Though there is no doubt that Stanley’s own efforts, background, and dedication led him to accomplish what he has today, he also greatly attributes much of his current success to the time he spent in the Navy, which played a crucial role in his work ethic. He took the principles he had learned during his military service and applied them to his business model. “Make a plan, stick to it, and adjust when you have to. Try your best not to panic if something doesn’t go right, which you know, can happen a lot,” said Sanchez. His military discipline and adaptability became the foundation of his success.

He also gives credit to his mother for shaping his career. “She’s been a big influence in my life – from moving to new countries, to having multiple jobs, to taking care of me, she’s done a lot of work to make sure I have opportunities,” says Stanley. “If I drop the ball and don’t do something with this after all that she’s done, would I be letting all of that go to waste? That’s been the biggest push for me. She’s worked so hard. My family has been very supportive of everything I’ve done, that support goes both ways.” Sanchez remains very close to his family, and was even able to help them purchase their current home.

Whether you’re a veteran, a first-generation immigrant, or someone looking to start a new business venture, Stanley Sanchez’s story is living proof that if you have the right mindset, you can turn your dreams into a reality. Determination, hard work and a good support system are the keys to achieving success. 


About Ace Handyman Services: AHS (Ace Handyman Services) is a national franchise and subsidiary of Ace Hardware. Each franchise provides and dispatches reliable and multi-skilled craftspeople who can efficiently complete over 1,162 household projects including drywall, painting, floors, and carpentry. Ace Hardware purchased Handyman Matters in 2019, an existing handyman franchise founded by Colette and Andy Bell in 1998. At the time of acquisition, the company had 119 operating territories. Due to the brand’s pre-existing quality service and Ace’s national brand recognition, AHS exploded and is continuing to grow rapidly to over 379 territories.