Elayna Fernandez is known worldwide for her blog thepositivemom.com. She is a Latina storyteller, an award winning story strategist, and avid student of pain. Certified as the coach, master teacher and trainer, Elayna helps moms create positive growth in the areas of motherhood, mindset, and Mompreneurship, which is mom entrepreneurship. Her philosophy is be positive and you will be powerful.
NOTE: Complete transcript available at the bottom of the page.
Screw The Commute Podcast Show Notes Episode 078
Internet Marketing Training Center – https://imtcva.org/
Higher Education Webinar – https://screwthecommute.com/webinars[02:20] Tom's introduction to Elayna Fernandez [04:13] What Elayna is doing today [05:24] She had no choice but to become a positive mom [07:00] Getting the strength to lift her life up [13:24] Bartering websites for a computer [20:18] Screwed over many times but there's karma [21:56] The best and worst about working for yourself [24:17] Sponsor message [25:16] A typical day for Elayna and how she stays motivated [29:51] Parting thoughts for us Screwballs
Higher Education Webinar – It's the second webinar on the page: https://screwthecommute.com/webinars
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The Positive Mom website – https://www.thepositivemom.com/
Blogging 101 Course – https://www.thepositivemom.com/blogging-101
Internet Marketing Training Center – https://imtcva.org/
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Episode 078 – Elayna Fernandez
[00:00:09] Welcome to Screw the Commute. The entrepreneurial podcast dedicated to getting you out of the car and into the money, with your host, lifelong entrepreneur and multimillionaire, Tom Antion.
[00:00:24] Hey Everybody Tom here with episode 78 of screw the commute podcast. Wow. We have a super mom with us today. It's Elayna Fernandez and she is the most positive Mom I know of. And we have proof on this episode. So hang in there and we'll bring her on in a minute. Hope you didn't miss episode 77 with Dave O'Connor. Now if you like speaking around the world this guy's spoke all over the place and he's got a treasure trove of online trainings and a great story. Check that out later. That was episode 77 and our podcast app is now in the app store and you can get it through iTunes and that'll do all kinds of cool stuff on your mobile device. And we even have training on our Website screwthecommute.com so you can learn how to use all the advanced features and save your favorite episodes and all that stuff. All right our sponsor is the internet marketing training center of Virginia the distance learning school which teaches legitimate techniques to make a great living either working for someone else or starting your own online business or both. And I also I don't want you to get robbed and you and your family's quest for higher education. So be sure to watch the Higher Education webinar at screwthecommute.com. And keep in mind just because it's our schools a distance learning school you can be anywhere in the world and take classes. And it's also asynchronous and what that means is you don't have to be there at a certain time so it can fit anyone's schedule. You can check out the Internet marketing training center of Virginia at IMTCVA.org. And of course we'll have that in the show notes this is episode seventy eight. So it'd be screwthecommute.com/78.
[00:02:21] All right let's get to the main event. Elayna Fernandez is known worldwide for her blog thepositivemom.com. She is a Latina storyteller an award winning story strategist and avid student of pain. I want to hear about that. Studying pain seems like a I don't know masochistic but she'll tell us about that. She's certified as the coach and master teacher and trainer Elayna helps moms create positive growth in the areas of motherhood mindset and Mompreneurship which is mom entrepreneurship and her philosophy is be positive and you will be powerful and I think she has the world's record for the longest signature file ever. In an email it's like eight miles long of all her credentials. So Elayna are you ready to screw the commute the commute. I don't want to make it through another mom again till you're ready. Oh boy we go way back. I don't know how many years we've met that some event somewhere but how long how long has it been since we've known each other.
[00:03:40] About 10 years.
[00:03:42] I'll tell you what sucks is that you don't look a day older in fact you always look younger and that is not legal. I do not believe that should be legal.
[00:03:54] I'm also shrinking so I don't know I think it evens out.
[00:03:58] You're shrinking. Oh that's great. I'm gaining weight and you're shrinking.
[00:04:02] I'm four eight.
[00:04:04] That's right. I always ask you how the weather is down there whenever I see you. So tell everybody what you've been doing and then we're gonna take you back a little bit to see what you were doing and how you turned it. Get where you are today. But what are you doing today.
[00:04:23] Well right now my my day job is I teach moms how to release the old story how to redesign a new life story and how to craft their their life story and tell it in a masterful way and profitable way. Let's not forget that. So that they can increase their influence and experience joy and positive growth both in motherhood and mompreneurship which you already explained is mom entrepreneurship.
[00:04:54] And this has been very very big for you right. I mean this you picked this was one of the top blogs of the year. Something like that.
[00:05:05] Yeah. I've won several awards for my blog as a mom entrepreneur of the year but also as blogger Latina blogger of the year. Nationally for several years in a row. So it's been really amazing the journey has been certainly very rewarding.
[00:05:25] Well yeah. So let's get into that a little later. I want to take it back further to like Did you ever have a job.
[00:05:32] Yes. Absolutely. So when I found myself and you know this story as a single mom with two toddlers that now are teenagers. So that was about 14 years ago. I I had no money or a bank account. I had no car or driver's license. I didn't actually know how to drive. And I was in the fetal position on the ground and that's when I decided you know what I'm going to become a positive mom. I don't know how I don't know where I'm going to start but I had to put food on the table so I started working as a receptionist at a law firm. That was the job that I could find at that time.
[00:06:13] So you were in such pain. You were in the fetal position on the ground suffering from this position you were in.
[00:06:24] Absolutely. I was actually contemplating my that my life was over that I had to be over it was. It was a really dark moment in my life and I had you know really no support system. I'm an immigrant to the U.S. so my family and my friends were all outside of the country and couldn't come to what I thought was my rescue. You know it was very very very sad but I decided you know what I'm going to get up from here. I have two babies and I need to make this happen.
[00:07:00] Where did you get the strength to do that. Where did it come from.
[00:07:04] Well actually you know it's kind of an interesting story Because when I was seven years old that was the first time I had my entrepreneurial itch that I lived in a slum. I grew up in extreme poverty in the Dominican Republic at that. So we used to get our toys and our and sometimes our food from the trash there was a dumpster right behind a ravine where we lived in a cardboard. And I think it's called plywood. And with a tin roof we had no floor we had no plumbing we fetch for our water. So you can imagine the conditions in which I lived but I remember going on this particular day and it's you know really a setting of trash and stench and and all of that. But I found a magazine Tom and in this magazine it was that somebody had thrown it out but somebody trash literally became my treasure because I saw a vision in that magazine of these kids that were so I thought wealthy right. They had shoes. They had jeans.
[00:08:17] That makes you wealthy right when you're in no position having shoes.
[00:08:23] And you had books I that was my dream owning my own book. And so they were reading a book with their parents. I was also abused as a child you know beaten up almost every day. So the joy in this picture and the things that they had. They just the expression in their faces was the vision that came to my mind when this happened to me as a single mom. I thought you know at that moment I felt that that vision was given to me because I could have this life as a child. You know I was seven. And that's why I decided to learn English because the magazine was in English and I thought these people speak this language so they must know how to get this life.
[00:09:11] At seven years old you had this kind of insight. That came from somewhere. Higher power you know.
[00:09:18] Absolutely. So. So by that time I was 11 I had made enough money telling stories and in doing this cardboard puppet theater because we had no electricity so it was it was perfect for me.
[00:09:33] So this cardboard and tin was the puppet theater that wasn't your house.
[00:09:38] No. That that was actually my house that we lived in. We lived in a very hut as well. But I had reunited all of the kids in my slum and at night we didn't have any entertainment. So I did this cardboard puppet theater where I told stories and they gave me coins and I I was able to save up for four years and enroll myself in English lessons. So when when that that's where that came from I thought you know I never had that life but I learned English and now I'm in the U.S. and my kids can have that life. So that's what what got me up from the ground was when I saw my babies you've seen them they are so inspiring and then they were just so angelic that that gave me even more strength to to become a positive mom and in in the stories you know I didn't know I couldn't make a to do list because I had this was all new to me. So I made it to be list. And that was the first thing that came to my mind. I'm gonna be positive and I'm going to be powerful. And so that that's why that's my motto and that's where I draw my strength from and that's what what helped me first get that job and then decide to leave that job.
[00:11:06] So let's go back to that job. So how long were you there.
[00:11:09] I was there for about six months. And every day I was grateful of course. You know I had something to to provide for my kids but I also felt like my dream of how I wanted to mother my kids and what I wanted in my life or were being left when I dropped off my kids at daycare I thought that I was just giving up and settling for something that that I really desired.
[00:11:39] So what happened. How did you transition out of that job.
[00:11:43] Well I actually I decided that I was going to be an entrepreneur I had been an entrepreneur before. Like I said and and I decided to take charge of my life and I just started very very small. I decided to because I was a I was a single mom and I had two kids two toddlers so they couldn't bathe they couldn't feed themselves. You know it was a lot of work but I decided to do 20 minutes a day and twenty dollars a month.
[00:12:15] Oh that's a goal though right. There a goal.
[00:12:18] Yeah. Start with what you can right from where you are and you do what you can. But but many days you know 20 minutes turned into two hours and and I just was committed to that time. I was creating my brand. I created a business card. You know I did like little things to promote myself I am a web designer and I. I had been trained formally in marketing. So I decided to do a web design and marketing firm and start blogging to promote my web design business.
[00:12:56] Where did you go to school. Where did you get this training.
[00:12:59] In the Dominican Republic. So when I came to the States I had already gone to school like I had already had you know very very high powered corporate jobs. So I knew how how we. What it took to to go from extreme poverty to a successful position in life. I just didn't want to have the job anymore.
[00:13:25] Okay. So you started this company did you did you save up money. How did you. Were you pretty much broke when you started.
[00:13:33] I was completely broke. Actually it's funny because I found a friend of mine that wanted a Website and wanted to know how to start a digital presence and start you know writing articles online because we didn't call it blogging back then. And I traded so he was able to pay me with a computer that I could start I. You know I was I didn't have room I didn't have an office in my home and I lived in a roach infested apartment with two kids and I had this very simple basic computer. So I started out as a writer and designer I designed my own Website. I did my own copy. I designed my own. Card so I had that going for me. And I didn't take a lot of money to start my business. And I have a funny story actually that when I decided to send letters I looked into this. This was 14 years ago so I looked in the phone book for any business that didn't have a Website and didn't have a MySpace page back in the day. And so I decided to call them and send them a letter. But I didn't have a printer so I I hand wrote these letters. And that's why they called me back. No one sends handwritten letters anymore and so I had an 80 percent closing rate. Because I was broke.
[00:15:08] Well that wouldn't work for me because my handwriting is so illegible you never even know what I was offering. Handwritten letters and close to 80 percent well that's there's a book right there.
[00:15:26] Yes. So that's how it skyrocketed from there. I had to quit my job. It was you know in order to fulfill these orders to meet these people and to to keep my business going.
[00:15:42] Wow. So. So how did that evolve into this mom blog.
[00:15:47] Well you know I start I was blogging from the start. And even though I designed my own Website I didn't use WordPress at that time. But then I decided you know I'm going to change into Wordpress. And that was so I started my business in April of 2005 and in 2006 I was already switching and evolving and I said writing more and in kind of owning my voice my self-esteem took a deep dive. When I was I was initially a single mom but in getting success in business and taking charge of my life and not being so worried about how I'm going to pay rent. Then I started writing more about my story and and really talking about what it meant to be a positive mom and not only just talking. Teaching people about the web and at that point I started to see a spike in my traffic. Every time I talked about my vulnerable story every time I really talked about my emotional stage in life then I would see that I would get more conversion I could get more traffic and I started doing that and some people took notice. Brands started taking notice and they would offer me things that I never even thought were possible to partner with them so that they could compensate my writing and I would write things that I wanted to write anyway but they would compensate me for it. Just to mention or to link back or to be associated with them and so that became my full time job.
[00:17:30] This would be called sponsorship right.
[00:17:32] Exactly yes. So I've been partnering with brands I've partnered with over 250 brands over the years and it's been really profitable and really amazing for me to raise my daughters.
[00:17:47] They've been involved in the business and I know I see him at the events and they're just the sweetest. I mean they walk into a room and the whole place lights up.
[00:17:56] Yes they are you know sometimes you think that. And that's why I call myself a student of pain you know sometimes you think that the painful things that happen to you either to curse you are to or to make you suffer. But in reality if you study it and if you look at what happened and gain the lessons from them then you see that a it could be your biggest blessing because it's been really amazing to live this journey with my kids and they they are bloggers themselves they're influencers they make a living online they also have published books.
[00:18:30] They make a living online and they're how old.
[00:18:34] They're 15 and 16 now. Yeah they've been doing that since they were 9 and 10.
[00:18:41] So just to recap a little bit here. So one of the lowest points of your life. You turned it around by being positive and you've got a business started basically with nothing by bartering. And look at look at you now and go over to how many just say 200 companies have wanted to be around you.
[00:19:06] Two hundred and fifty and counting and reaching exactly and reaching one hundred thirty four countries with my blog.
[00:19:13] Wow. Wow. So. So those are great lessons for people out there saying oh well I can do it I don't have the money. And then they get plenty of money to blow at Starbucks and movies and everything else. But you have to feed two kids and you still did it. So. Wow. So it's no wonder people like to be around you that's for sure.
[00:19:35] Oh thank you. And you know one thing that I always like to point out English is my second language. A lot of people are afraid that they're going to they're not good enough writers so that they can you know really convey their message in a powerful way but if I can do it then anybody can.
[00:19:52] You speak better English than I do. Where's the bathroom. So have you ever been screwed over business.
[00:20:23] Oh many many times.
[00:20:29] How do you handle those kind of situations.
[00:20:31] I move on. You know it's and it's important to acknowledge what happened so that you can learn the lesson. But it's also important to move on because I believe that everybody gets what they deserve. You know the old saying What goes around comes around. Karma. So I think you know I put more effort and more grit and more passion into my business because I think that a lot of times when we don't do anything and we give up which is what many people want us to do then then those people continue to harm other people. We need to establish our voice so that people can listen to us when we own our spaces and express a master as a trainer as a speaker as a writer then we can can resonate loud. So those people don't have a space anymore. And you know it's it's sad but at the same time like I said we learned from pain and we can gain the ability to say you know that's something that I learned not to ever do and not to ever be. We can bring different energy to the business world.
[00:21:54] Those are great great words. Now what do you like best about working for yourself and what's the worst part about working for yourself.
[00:22:00] So I think that the best part is to have freedom to do what I want to do to create life on my own terms and to enjoy you know for me being a mom is very important. I I want it to be the mom that I didn't have. And so for me that has been part of my journey all along in my life. And that's that's really wonderful for me I get to homeschool my kids I get to travel the world with them get to teach them Spanish and entrepreneurship. So it's really beautiful for me especially because we are working toward serving other people and helping others transform their lives. And the worst part is that you got to be accountable to yourself. You know I can have those moments in the fetal position on the ground for too long. Got to get back up and create that internal intrinsic motivation and stay focused on what I'm doing. Nobody's going to hand you a pink slip or or you know have a meeting with you you'll get to be your own boss and you're your own motivator.
[00:23:14] That's yeah that's that's tough sometimes. Now you know what I think you ought to do is take your your girls to a dumpster somewhere you find something that's valuable in that dumpster because it seems like that that magazine was a major turning point in your young life.
[00:23:31] Yeah absolutely. I'm gonna do it.
[00:23:33] What people what people throw away can be the treasure to somebody else for sure. So you have a freebie or something for folks right.
[00:23:43] Absolutely. It's a mini course on my blog. Thepositivemom.com is called blogging one to one it teaches you how to start a successful blog and make full time income blogging since you know that's what I do I like to teach other people how to do that.
[00:24:03] So it's at thepositivemom.com and we'll also have that in the show notes this is episode Seventy eight. So screwthecommute.com/78. If you didn't catch that you can always go there and click on Elayna's link and take a message from our sponsor. But when we come back we're going to ask Elayna What's a typical day look like for her and how she stays motivated.
[00:24:29] Folks do you know what colleges and universities are doing. According to gradeinflation.com they're raising grade point averages to make it look like they're doing a better job of teaching when there's a mountain of evidence that says they aren't. So I want you to watch the eye opening higher education webinar at Screwthecommute.com/webinars or you can just click on free webinars and the navigation. But be prepared to be mad when you see this. I mean you could potentially save yourself your loved ones friends neighbors cousins hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt when they go for higher education. So check it out at Screwthecomputer.com. Watch the webinar on higher education.
[00:25:17] All right. Let's get back to our puppeteer. Elayna Fernandez who started her first entrepreneurial business in the slums of the Dominican Republic as a puppet master. So she's come a long way baby. So Elayna what's a typical day look like for you. What time you get up do you work out how do you do all this stuff that you need to get done during the day.
[00:25:46] Well I wake up The first thing is I do gratitude that gratitude ritual. And I also feed my mind with inspiration. I drink water.
[00:25:58] How do you do that. You listen to stuff or read or what.
[00:26:01] Yeah I listen to it. Most of the time sometimes I read but I mostly listen to audiobooks listen to audio recordings that keep me motivated. I like to drink water. I don't drink coffee so I drink water in the morning and then I do home schooling. Like I already told you. So I helped my daughters with the schoolwork and I'm grateful that they cook. So I don't have to that I taught them how to do it I love cooking but they do it for me now and then I take my day I write I create we go for a walk we I play a lot with my daughters and we have all meals together and then at night I have a ritual called days done in which I say goodbye to that day and open up the possibilities for the next day. And usually I look at myself in the mirror and I thank myself and forgive myself for you know what I did right and what I could have done a little better.
[00:27:06] Wow. That's very very interesting. And and of course you and I both know that business is perfect all the time so you probably don't need to stay motivated but just in that rare instance that something would go wrong. How do you stay motivated while you're running a business like this.
[00:27:25] It's I think every day I need to remind myself several times a day that you know this is my calling that I I feel I need to focus on my vision and that people that what I do matters to people. I remember I remember all of the things that you know the comments and and the messages that I get because you know you always also get haters but you also get really beautiful messages that you're making a difference. So that that's what keeps me motivated is the feedback that I get from people whose lives are transformed who get positive feedback from myself so I think if it's a cycle when you help others it goes back to you.
[00:28:12] Do you ever get to that point where you stop and think about that time in the fetal position.
[00:28:18] Absolutely every day you know I know one thing. One interesting thing about me is that I've been close to dying many times. And at one point I was in a coma for eight days. And so I don't take any day for granted every day in every moment. It's a truly a gift. And so I have to remind myself that that this could be my last day that this could be my last moment and I need to savor it. And I need to you know move past because I still have a chance.
[00:28:52] Well I don't know if it's confidential. What how you got in a coma for eight days. I hope it wasn't reading one of my books or something. What happened.
[00:29:04] Well that was a car accident. That was somebody else was driving because I already share I recently learned how to drive 14 years ago. That's partly why you know it was a very traumatic event. And I broke 19 bones and lung was collapsed and there were several things that were you know I was an why I wasn't breathing on my own. And so yeah I'm really grateful. And that's why I probably look young I'm twenty one.
[00:29:37] You look like you're twelve your husband would get arrested. So we call the people that listen to this show screwballs. You have any parting thoughts for people out there just so inspired by you. But what kind of steps do they need to take to get in business in today's atmosphere.
[00:30:05] I think you know it's letting go of security and insecurity security and letting go of the security of where you are right now because it's false for security comfort usually is the opposite of growth and the insecurity of where you want it. Sometimes we don't like uncertainty and we don't know that it's going to work now. But I just feel that you got to believe that in the end this is starting a business like a trapeze swing. You have the courage to let go of what is comfortable and then you're suspended in space for a while. Like in the trapeze. Right. But you must trust that there's another trapeze that's going to swing at you and you're going to hold onto that bar and that's the game of entrepreneurship. That's how you live your life it's letting go of security and trusting beyond your insecurity. You have to have belief but also clarity that you were called to do this believing yourself believing the people that are waiting for you believing your message and believe that that there's something more.
[00:31:16] Elayna this has been this is 78 episodes and I have to say this has been the most inspiring of all the episodes I've done so far and I can see why 250 companies so far want to want to be around you because I just knew it from the first day I met you. You light up the room your kids light up the room. And you're really spreading such a beautiful message around the world. So thanks so much for taking the time to come on the show today.
[00:31:49] Thank you. Tom I'm really grateful for what you do I admire you. I'm your biggest fan and I just I'm grateful for this opportunity.
[00:31:58] It's my pleasure. So so everybody this has been episode 78. Make sure you get that blogging course totally for free from Elayna stop at the show notes that screwthecommute.com/78 for this episode. And if you don't forget to download the app so that you can carry us around with you on the mobile devices and we'll do all kinds of cool stuff for you. It'd be nice if you'd share this and leave us a review over at iTunes. I really appreciate it. So thanks again to Elayna and we'll catch all on the next episode.
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