Roberto Candelaria 00:00:
All right, so listen, you already heard all about the lineups. And you know, Elena is one of my favorite humans. And you’re noticing that the people I talk to are my favorite humans. And that’s because I believe that you could have more than one favorite, like when you’re just around people that you love, and you get to know. And so, I know people that have been to our events, probably know you, but you know, outside of that they may not. So do me a favor, if you would just like, share a little bit about you know, you where you’re at now, and your business and the work that you do.
Elayna Fernández 00:31:
Oh, my goodness, that’s exciting. Thank you so much for having me, you’re one of my favorite humans to love, I adore you.
Roberto Candelaria 00:39:
And blow air kisses to each other. But we do.
Elayna Fernández 00:42
Yeah, you’ll also one of the most brilliant humans, I know, cuz I gotta say that.
Roberto Candelaria 00:49:
And that’s gonna be the quote card of the podcast.
Elayna Fernández 00:53:
Love that. And, you know, it’s an exciting time, because, you know, when I started my business, 18 years ago, I didn’t even see this coming. You know, my, my daughters are 20, 19, 9 and 3. And it’s really good to have a sweet relationship with them and to see them thrive. And as the positive Mom, that’s really key to my business, right to know that, that I’d be able to be an entrepreneur for 18 years, but also, to foster that relationship with my kids. And to help them help guide them along the way. My blog is reaching 168 countries, and there are so many millions of moms that are being impacted by the content that I share. You know, in at this time, I’m really active, you know, putting on events and training, lots of people to share their stories. So, it’s really exciting.
Roberto Candelaria 01:49:
Yeah, it’s been fun like, because when we met many moons ago, y’all, we’re not going to say when, because then y’all can figure out our ages, even though we both talk about it. But the article I ended where we talk about our age, you know, both of our lives, both of our businesses were in completely different places. And we both been through these evolutions, and through growth, like business growth and self-growth as well. And I think one of my things I love about you is your story of like, where you’ve come from, and I’m wondering if we can talk a little bit about like, where you were raised what that was like, because one of the things I see within the coaching industry is people love for whatever reason to use, where they’re from as an opportunity to blame, or to make excuse about why they can’t accomplish something, or why they can’t reach something, I think that you just have this beautiful story of, you know, against all odds, you were like, now I’m going to be a Disney princess.
Elayna Fernández 02:49:
Which I am. Yes, yeah. So, you know, thank you for asking that. Because I actually think that, you know, the human spirit is so resilient. And we need to acknowledge the bit of trash around us. And that surrounds us, but also to find those little bits of light. And so, I story that I can tell you to illustrate this because I’m a storyteller. I speak in story, right? Is that, you know, when I was seven years old, I remember coming back from fetching our daily water, you know, me and my brother, two little, little tiny kids. Of course, he’s he was already as tall as I am, because I’m always the little one. But we’re so tired, you know, and we’re fetching this water bear fee. You know, going through this terrains up and down is tin can and these two gallons bigger than us. But we’re so excited when we get to our little hot where I live in the slum because we’re going to the dump. Isn’t that exciting?
Roberto Candelaria 03:55:
Houston, I’m like the dump. It’s like Discount Furniture Store. But that’s not what you guys.
Elayna Fernández 03:59:
No, what I mean is the place where we would find trinkets and little objects and little artifacts, because one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. So, we had this landfill right behind our little, you know, shack where we lived. And this is where we went to dive in and find cool stuff. So, I was seven years old, and I find this magazine and it’s so soggy and smelly. And of course, there’s a ton of trash around me. So those are where our circumstances were in a slum were tired by we had this glimpse, Roberto because we looked at this magazine, and there were these kids that were wearing jeans and tennis shoes, and you know those pretty washed jeans. See I talked about our ADHD. I gave it away I gave it away. But you know, the families look so happy and they had new books and toys, and we were just fascinated. And so that is what I’m talking about when we talk about our past is like, yes, there’s a ton of stuff around us that’s going wrong, and that smells yucky. And that feels mushy in our feet. And that could be an analogy for all of the adversity and the ugly circumstances. Now we go through, and we’re surrounded by a lot of that, but we can take a moment to savor that scene of our vision, told, told my brother and I asked him this question, you know, what if we could learn this language, and be like those kids, right? And, and you live the life that those kids are living. And that was how my first business got started. Because I locked in the power of vision. And so, no matter where you are in your life right now, or where you were before, there’s always something that you can look at something beyond you that you can look into, because that picture never left my mind. And of course, I was seven, I couldn’t just like instantly get that life. We call it the Eclipse life, read that Eclipse, because the magazine was the highlights magazine. And we didn’t know how to pronounce that. But in that moment, I decided that I needed to learn English, I started my first business which was at cardboard puppet theater, in which I said stories because we didn’t have electricity at night. So, I started saving up and learned English, I from 7 to 11. At 11 years old, I started my English classes going daily bear fee, you know, daily, walking many kilometers to every night, go to school and learn this language. So, by the time I was 15, I graduated high school, graduated English class, and I was able to change my life because I learned this language. And the reason I tell this story, Roberto is because number one, we have to have this vision, and it will come through because I didn’t have that childhood. You’re right, but my kids did. And as a result of me looking at that vision, I have been able to reinvent myself, I have been able to really tell my story because I started becoming an entrepreneur. And to even though I’ve been through other adversity, to go back to that vision, go back to, you know, those happy moms and happy children, happy families, and help others do the same. So, number one, look at that vision, you know, create that vision number two, start where you are, because I started in my slum, because that’s what I was, but then I continued to grow. And then three, I would say, you know, take the next step in faith because I really didn’t know you know what to do, or, or how to get started or if I was going to ever afford these classes, but I started saving. And then the classes actually became cheaper and more accessible. They had different programs by the time I had this money. So, you never know, you know, when the opportunity will show up. And what you have will match what you need.
Roberto Candelaria 08:15:
Yeah, I love hearing you tell this story. And one of the things that I want to add is like, you know, if you’re listening, and you’re like, well, but that’s different, because that’s what that’s what we’d love to do. When you know the human brain. When you’re in the midst of whatever your circumstances you’re like, oh, it’s different. Because, right? And so you can be like, well, Elayna, that was different, because that was whenever and that was in the slots. And Roberto, this is different because you did it and like what I hope that you really heard right is that you know, align has shared that no matter where you’re at whether that you know, wherever you are in the world, wherever you’re at physically, financially, emotionally, spiritually, that wherever you’re at, there’s still ingredients that you have so much like if you were to like, go into your kitchen and say, you know, I want to make cookies, and you’re just like, well, do I have you know, flour? Do I have eggs? Do I have sugar and look for the ingredients? And you gotta have vanilla? But if that’s what she did, right? She said, I want these classes. What do I have around me? I know how to tell a story. Oh, here’s a cardboard box. Or he you know, here’s this and you know, things such a beautiful part of being an entrepreneur is being able to be resourceful with what we have, even if it may seem that it’s not like much where you’re at right now.
Elayna Fernández 09:27:
Yeah, and I love that you added that. And also emotionally, we might be in a place where we don’t see any hope. And I’ve been I’ve been in those moments a lot. I mean, I remember the first time I felt like that I was five years old, where I fit, I thought like what’s the point of me being here and I don’t belong in this world. And so, you know, that’s a different kind of situation where you feel just hopeless and helpless. And in those moments, those moments are real and I don’t want to discount That’s because I’ve lived them. And yet, you know, in those moments, when we don’t feel like we can get out of that, of that landfills right, then we, it’s important to have a powerful, safe person that we can call on. Because, yes, sometimes we don’t feel like we can quite get out there on our own. And that and that could be in our business, you know, that could be in our personal life. But if we don’t see it, there’s always someone who’s going to see it for us. And reaching out would be the next step, if you can find quite the next step, reaching out to a mentor to a coach, to a partner to someone that’s safe, that that has always that vision for you.
Roberto Candelaria 10:48:
Yeah. And so, you know, I think that’s great. We mentioned reaching out to a mentor, and, you know, let’s talk about this. So, there are people in both of our lives that we have invested with, invested in their programs or not invested financially, in their programs for any number of reasons. And, you know, one of the things I see is people thinking, you know, I don’t I can’t have a mentor, because I don’t have money. And, you know, can you talk about, like, from your perspective, as you were growing in business, and even now, like the difference between, you know, paid mentorship and even what mentorship has meant to you like, from unpaid perspectives, and how you may have been able to garner that when you were building the resources in your business?
Elayna Fernández 11:30:
Yeah, you know, I’ve learned a lot about mentorship, because, you know, I remember being that child, you know, that that teen that preteen, very driven, and, and living in a slum and thinking, I’m going to be a millionaire, you know, and that I’m gonna have this and I’m gonna have a bat and, and I’m gonna live this life, and just having those people who believed in me, and who saw me for more than the girl with the torn shoes, you know, and having someone on your corner that you can learn from that, that can that can also that you can borrow their belief in you is really key. And so those unpaid mentorships, back then, just having people that that saw something in me is really powerful. But I also remember walking many kilometers to the library, because I didn’t have books of my own reading Brian Tracy, when I was nine years old, reading James Allen as a man thinketh. And you know, one of the things that I am committed to this is really translating my books into many languages. Because when I, Brian Tracy, at an author event actually shared the stage with him, he actually speaks Spanish, and I got to thank him. And I told them, You know what, your book transformed my life. Because when I read your book, as a child, in my language, it really taught me the power of relationships, the power of networking, the power of asking for what you want. And I remember when I was 13 years old, and you’re gonna love this, because you don’t know this about me. But I was 13 years old. And I walked, like, identified anyone who was rich in my, in my town. I made a list and I decided because really bothered me that all the beauty pageants were based on being quote unquote, pretty, and I was never the pretty girl was the smart girl, right? That was my label. And actually, that’s how I defined myself for a long time, which became toxic, but that’s another story for another show. And, and I made this list, and I went to them, I actually knocked on their door and I said, I want to put on an event is going to be a brains pageant, where all the Smart Girls of this town are going to compete for the crown. And we’re going to highlight them for their brains. And my, my maiden name was little brain set of Brito is what they call. And so, I was just like, you know, I want your support. And so, they became my sponsors. They gave, they signed a check to make us, you know, checks was the thing back then, and it’s like, oh, that sounds great. So, I was able to at 13 years old, put on an event beauty pageant for brains, right and where the beauty was the brains and I had about 32 sponsors from the town, they all showed up to my event. There were people from Canada that flew to, to come to my event. It was at the main city hall of the town, I made a lot of money. I was able to buy my first tennis shoes and the town was so uplifted and All those little girls were just on fire, you know, being recognized. And so, you know, the point of this really is, you know, the name of the podcast is relationship makes money. But I wouldn’t have done that without learning that from Brian Tracy. And so, I didn’t have to pay for that. But I had to invest in that. So, when it’s an unpaid mentor, you have to invest because I had to walk, I had to read, I had to implement what he taught me. And that was a huge moment in my, you know, as a teenager, just achieving that for myself, and how I became really recognized in my town. And that, that opened up so many opportunities, and I was already learning English and, and it was a lot of suffering. And there was this was a film the band. So it was, it was a no, that was huge for me. So that was unpaid mentorship, like, even if you’re not paying for it, you have to invest and with the investment, so I’m gonna flip it now because when I became a single mom, and started my business in the United States, I had already had so many mentors, right. And I knew that my first investment had to be in learning from someone, and that I had to pay because you know, what they call it pay to play, but it’s paid to earn, pay to have access, you know, if you’re gonna invest in anything, don’t invest in programs don’t invest in you know, if you have a limited budget, invest in in someone that can answer the questions that you have, that will move the needle, a cue from where you are, to where you want to go, because no software and I use a lot of software, know social media, and I’m really social media known to man, but no website, and I have a, you know, a website that I monetized, but none of that will absolutely move the needle, what will move the needle is you knowing the roadmap that you need to navigate and putting one foot at, you know, after another, I don’t know, if I’m saying that my English is not very good looking, when I get passionate. And so, putting one foot in front of the other, taking those little steps that are going to take you where you want to go, I talk a lot Roberto,
Roberto Candelaria 17:26:
I don’t mind that. I do that. And so, a couple more questions here. You know, I, we work with a lot of women, and very specifically a lot of women of color, which is just so joyful for both of us. And one of the things that comes up with moms, you know, whether just moms in general, especially single moms, I hear this from it’s just like, you know, I feel like I’m being mom to the kids. But I’m being a mom to the business also. And there becomes this conversation of either a how do I do it all? How do I beat the good mom? How am I in the drive line? How am I building the business? How do I make sure that they have new clothes, and they also sometimes, you know, the word that I’ve heard someone uses, like, I’m being a mom to my business too. And then they feel like this mom guilt in two different places, like the mom guilt for their physical child, this beautiful human that they brought into the world. But there’s the mom guilt of business. And you talk a little bit about like, being a mom and mom guilt. And you know what it’s like to build a successful business as a mom.
Elayna Fernández 18:38:
Oh, this is such a good question. I’m so glad you brought it up. Because you know, now that my daughters are 20 and 19. You know, the ones that I started the business with. Of course, I have my other two but Alicia and Alyssa, they’re 20 and 19. They’re so accomplished. But also, there’s so on purpose. So, they’re happy in they have so much joy. And one of the things they tell me is Mom, thank you for pursuing your dream. Thank you for showing us what it’s like to show up for ourselves. Thank you for not giving up on yourself. And so that the leads, erases and cancels any mom guilt. Because you know, as you give yourself permission to shine as a human, whether you are a mom or not, you know you are giving others permission to also show up for themselves in shine. And when they live in your house and they’re they call your mom and they look up to you that that is exponentially bigger. And so, one of the things that I have done to be more present because you know, of course there’s like okay, you’re inspiring them, but do they feel loved? Well, I asked him every day, you know, ask your child did you feel loved today, and I’m gonna give you a recommendation right now. If you haven’t read The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, that’s number one New York Times bestselling book for a, it’s been four years, I have no idea how many years. But I know my children’s love languages. So, it’s very efficient. Because when you know that, you know, somebody’s love language is gifts, none of us are gifts by them. But now you know how they feel loved. And now you can be intentional in doing that. And all of my kids have different love languages. And so, I’m very efficient in me in helping them feel loved. And I don’t have to do all the things for everyone, I have to do the right thing for each one. And so that’s one thing, I also have something that I call the three M’s, and its meetings, meals, and mission statement. So, the meetings, we have a meeting every week that we use to check in, that is intentional time, disconnected time. And this is where we say what’s up with us. And we look at everything that’s going on and it’s very raw and vulnerable and a safe space for us to express our complaints but also our gratitude. And, and to have that that connectedness. Of course, we connect in other times, but this is a time every week for an hour, you know, every Monday night, their meals is every meal that we have together, we like to pray together for our meal, and then we eat our meal. And whenever possible, we cook our meals together. So, the meals and meal time that research has shown that, that when what you do over food, whether it’s cooking and preparing it or even planting it, we have a garden, but that’s all Alyssa I’m not, you know, I have black. That’s bad. But you know, meals are a great way to connect with your family. And then the mission statement is, you know, something that and I hope you understand that with my accent that you know that basically VAs have knowing the values of your family and knowing what you stand for, and knowing where you’re going together. And when you do that, you remind each other of that, and it creates a very positive environment where everybody’s on the same page. And so, we’re always striving to become one in my family. And, you know, we have three values that even the three-year-old understands, you know, which is tell the truth, be respectful, and be compassionate, and kind. So everybody knows that those are the three main things and that if they did that, they, they achieved everything. And it’s still my 20-year-old that that’s the goal I have for her is Be kind, and be respectful and tell the truth. And so those are the main components of being present. But again, when you cannot be present, you communicate with your child, hey, I’m following my dream, and it’s going to be amazing. So I won’t be at that game, or I won’t be at that play in my case. And, and they get it because they are going to show up for themselves and make those choices and they know what’s important and what’s not negotiable. And what the like what the big picture is.
Roberto Candelaria 23:27:
Closing out today. Because you and I could talk for like, got to know we could probably do like a 25-part series. But that’s a whole nother conversation. You know, to the mom building her business. Um, and y’all listen, I know some of you moms, some of you aren’t and her there’s all types of people, but I personally don’t believe that we spend enough time talking to moms and especially single moms. Or what closing words would you have for them?
I would say, you know, there’s this practice I have called Daily Date with Pain. And it’s a practice that I have every day in which I validate myself because I think that you know, what keeps us stuck as human is the trauma that we’ve been through that we don’t acknowledge we been conditioned to dismiss, deny, and downplay our pain. And so, every single day, I think about its three parts, see, sense and say, and so you see something that I went through that was hard. Then I sensed that in my body. Then I say validating words like Oh, eyeliner, that was so hard. How you reacted was perfectly normal. And it makes sense that you feel this way and then let it go because you know why? Gratitude is great. After you have come to a baseline of acknowledging that your pain is valid. Anything else is great, you know, writing yourself less, you know, doing mantras doing affirmations. But we need to also get in touch with the pain that we feel so that we can be there for the people in in our lives. And the reason I say this just because sometimes we push ourselves too hard, and then we don’t know it until it’s time to give up. But if we are acknowledging today, the hard things that we go through, that makes us more resilient. So, when the hard hits come in, they’re gonna come especially as moms and single moms, right, and when things are going crazy, and our children are struggling, and you know, the world is feels like it’s coming down, we are in touch with that pain, we can solve, validate, we can use those resilience techniques to feel stronger. Because when we, you know, pain is the common thread of humanity. And when we are the oppressor with our own pain, we can be there for our clients, we can be there for our kids, we can be there for ourselves. And that’s really what makes us you know, really, I would say, just give us the strength to succeed in any endeavor that we have.
Roberto Candelaria 26:09:
Well, thank you for being here, Elena. And last question. Super easy. Where can people find you?
Elayna Fernández 26:16:
Oh, that’s super easy, because it’s Positivemom.com, like, and I’m on every single platform @ThePositiveMom so you can Google The Positive Mom, and that’s gonna be me too.
Roberto Candelaria 26:31:
So awesome. Well have an amazing day, y’all. Thanks for tuning in to another episode and we will chat with y’all soon.