BUSINESS

The Cycle of Writing a Sales Page

Pre-PS: For the first time EVER, I’m opening the doors of my beautiful home to host an intimate planning ritual to guide you towards your deepest growth in 2019. Wanna come? Click here to learn more!

No matter how many years I’ve been in business, writing a sales page has always been BRUTAL. A crazy roller coaster ride of multiple personality types all attempting to do the seemingly imposible: Get your idea out into the world.

Watch this video if you wanna see an actual footage of my process.

How has your experience been life writing a sales page? Tell me in the comments.

Video: @visufilmspty 
Make Up: @vickymaduromakeup

BUSINESS · LIFESTYLE

A New Year Ceremony (2018 Summary + 2019 Foreshadow)

Well hello hello first post of 2019!

And happy New Year to you m’dear.

Oh la la! The smell of potential in the air. I LOVE it. Always been a fan of fresh starts. A time to hit pause, reflect, recharge, and begin again. And I don’t mean a time to fill your calendar with adult obligations and fake resolutions. I mean a time to drop your kid at grandma’s and send hubby to watch NFL with da’ boys so you can sit down and have a moment of for yo’ self. It’s called forced intentional introspection. And it’s mandatory.

So as eager as I am to tell you all that I have in store for 2019, I’m gonna kick things off with a proper Hasta La Vista Baby ceremony of how things went in 2018:

Here I go.

  • Partnered with Undercover to make a unicorn. And it’s SO FLUFFY!!! Search the hashtag #JuicyFernando for more.
  • Joined forces once again with my biz partner April Bowles to recruit another class of supers for Operation World Domination. Double the fun. Double the trouble. I truly believe, we bring out the best in each other, and we bring out the best in our clients. 
  • OMG! We co-hosted a special LIVE call with Marie Forleo. OH YEAH!!! The beautiful haired goddess who created the world-renowned B-School program. Felt so cool.

  • Spent the first trimester of the year traveling the world. Partied in Bogota + road-tripped the Basque Country + ate our way through Paris + slid on every park slide in San Francisco + survived a 15-hour plane ride to Australia with a toddler. Probably let Oli eat one too many gummy bears so we could drink more wine, in peace. But it was worth it. 
  • Landed at the ER for the first time in my life. Discovered that there is such a thing as vertigo. Apparently there’s no quick fix and you’re stuck with feeling like the world is spinning for daaaays straight. It ain’t pretty.

  • Completely relaunched + revamped my signature course Life is Messy Bootcamp® – a “let’s get sh*t done together” kinda training playground, but really more like a slumber party for girl bosses. I over simplified the core lessons to make learning easy and fun. Added Weekly Decluttering Prompts. Included, at no extra charge, Monthly Challenges + LIVE Quarterly Planning Workshops. And of course, recycled people’s favorite hangout, our LIVE Monthly Messy Hours. 
  • Re-released The End of Boring® for a second year in a row. On my birthday. Despite everyone telling me I’m nuts. But seriously, launching on my birth anniversary has become my favorist thing to do. And my proudest promo stunt that doesn’t involve any fancy bells n’ whistles or HUGE marketing budget. I made half of what I made last year, thou, which was a bit of a bummer, but I know why it happened and I’ve got a plan to fix it. More on that shortly.

  • Built a cardboard castle for Olivia’s 3rd birthday. Surely one of my proudest crafty accomplishments.
  • Took on A LOT more client work. Made a ton of logos for small businesses I believed in. Designed the cutest custom portraits for my peeps. I enjoyed it, but…
  • Struggled this year with staying on top of my personal passion projects. I’m not sure why I let this happened, but I recognized that I lost myself somewhere in the messy middle. Got so caught up with helping people pursue their bucket lists, that I forgot to reach my own.

  • Spent waaaay too much time on Instagram trying to get more followers instead of spending my creative energy growing my mailing list. No bueno, especially since my list (time and time again) has proven to be the wisest, most effective way to bring a healthy n’ steady flow of income. This is one of the reasons I didn’t make as much money as projected this year. I’m 100% sure.
  • My videographer got a full time job and I stopped making videos since June. And then, for no reason at all I also started blogging intermittently. Not proud of it.

  • Life Blends got a major upgrade. After 13-years of making cold-pressed juices daily, the company I helped co-found with my dad went greener – introducing it’s new ECO bottle – 100% recyclable and 100% biodegradable (pinch me). Cause after a while, it becomes more than just a family business, ya know? It’s starts to be about legacy, about doing the right thing, about leaving our mark. We want to be known not just for making freaking amazing juices that are good for you, but for doing it in a way that also cares, respects and honors the planet. Cause there’s no Planet B you guys! So we better do what we can to build a better world for our kids, and their grandkids, and for the puppies and pandas… everybody.
  • Withdrew participation from a bundle flash sale-type event (who’s name I’m gonna reserve for damage control purposes), after its founder made some last minute call to change our agreement. I signed up to donate my planners for a hot deal pack, and in return I would get a cut of every sale that came from my link. You know the drill – there’s an irresistible offer on the table, but the clock is ticking and people have a limited time to BUY NOW! That’s all good, EXCEPT I was supposed to tell my people the doors closed on a certain date, knowing ahead of time that cart would reopen days later for a “Oh look surprise… the cart was magically reopen, this time for realzzz though”. What the F…. (beeeeeep). Are you kidding me? Of course, I left a chunk of money on the table. Money I was gonna use to pay our San Francisco boutique hotels. But at least I kept my integrity, thank you very much. 

  • Ended the year on a super high note, designing the set design for third consecutive year for my dance alma mater, Steps. It was the greatest show I’ve since on Panamanian soil, pinky swear. I mean, I still get goosebumps thinking typing about it. I seriously doubted my ability (and talent quite frankly) to pull it off, but somehow… we did. I worked all nighters for 3.5 months straight. I camped at the theater for the entire production week. Crazy paint stained pants 20 hours shifts n’all. It was AWESOME!!! Swear every time, it’s my last time… and yet I return. I guess it’s calls me, like Moana would say.

Learned some valuable lessons in 2018:

  1. When I stop taking care of my people. People stop caring about me. When I stopped emailing + creating content + making people laugh, people stopped engaging and a lost traction… and money. I can’t let that happen again. EVER. Take things for granted like that.
  2. Trust takes yeeeeeears to build, seconds to break and forever to repair. Your door will be knocked multiple times to go bigger, to make more, to cut corners, to take short cuts, to add X to extend shelf life by Y. You name it. You’ll hear it all. It’s seductive, but none of it helps you sleep at night. Say NO. Every. Single. Time. It’s not worth it.
  3. Traveling expands your tolerance for change and discomfort. You know, growing up, I did’t like traveling as much. Actually, not at all. I used to think it was a brutality, to be honest. Anything that wasn’t Disney World or the Disney Cruise sounded really scary to me. I couldn’t bare loosing sight of everything that was familiar. But then I married David. And we had the most beautiful baby girl. And everything changed. All the sudden, I want to put my “Out of Office” auto-responder and go everywhere. Places where I’m ignorant of almost everything. Where I dunno what time it is ever. Where I only have a rudimentary sense of how things work. Where you can’t even reliably cross the street without endangering your life. Where ordering from the menu feels like a wild guessing game. It’s not always pretty. It certainly isn’t always comfortable. But that’s okay, as long as we’re together. And I bring my pillow. Bonus if there’s a mini bar and 24-hour room service.
  4. It’s not a marathon, it’s a steady personal race. Sometimes I’m ahead. Sometimes I’m behind. The race is long, but at the end the competition is only with myself.
  5. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed + stressed + victimized by an insane schedule. But who said “yes” to those commitments in the first place? So why am I complaining? I am an tiny Panamanian artist with a T-Rex heart. I embrace the crazy career path I’ve chosen for myself. So no more whining for me.
  6. Can’t please em’ all.
  7. I didn’t know you could use cauliflower could be rice + tortillas + pizza + potatoes. Why didn’t anyone tell me? It’s UNBELIEVABLE!!!

All in all, I’m thankful for the closed doors + the detours + the roadblocks. They protected me from paths and places that are not meant for me. 

And to close with a gran finale, let me share with you a sneak bit of what’s coming ahead:

  • I will continue on with Life is Messy Bootcamp® of course, but I’ve decided to make TWO mayor changes:
    • The people have been heard: I’m swapping the Monthly Challenges for Monthly Feedback Sessions – a chance to have YOUR idea/site/page constructively critiqued by me.
    • I’m only gonna open registration twice a year, in the beginning of the year, and half way through to create class flows, and also take the pressure off promoting all year long.
  • I’ve already decided I’m gonna do less client work to do more personal projects. Hold me accountable please. 
  • Collab adventure with Maria Calle (you might know her as @healthygreengenie of Instagram) to do another foodie related book. Psst… será en Español para variar y salirme de mi zona de comfort. Stay tuned!
  • I’ve signed a contract to make myself film 44 videos this year. Yeap! FOURTY freaking FOUR. I’m betting BIG on video this year. Trusting it’s my zone of genius and going ALL IN. Get on my mailing list so you never miss an episode, alright?
  • I’m trying intermittent fasting and I feel great. I will continue to use myself as guinea pig to try n’ test different ways to make my body perform at it’s best. 
  • Been giving some serious thought to hosting a vacation retreat for girl bosses in some exotic destination. I’m tired of the conferences and the networking events. I want some darn margaritas by the pool with my boss ladies, know what I mean? Of course I wouldn’t do this alone. Can you guess who I would “drag” along with?
  • Life is Messy Mastermind® is my newest, most private, secret-society-like offering to plan and play + gather and conquer. For the first time EVER, I’m opening the doors of my beautiful home to host an intimate planning ritual. A petite bosshood of women who mean business and want to kick some mayor 2019 ass. KA-POW!
     

It’s all happening. Absolutely certain nothing will be according to plan. It’ll be BETTER. Or I’ll learn some mayor life lesson from it, for sure.

I appreciate you tuning in. 

What projects, big or small have your heart racing right now? What do you feel super inspired to create this year? Tell me, in the comments below!

FOOD

Pumpkin Pancake Skewers with Cherry Cranberry Compote

Found the perfect post-Thanksgiving feast recipe. But it comes with a disclaimer.

WARNING: The cuteness level of these pancake skewers may explode your brain cells + the yum factor may make your taste buds fall off your face.

Mini food… it’s the best. You can eat more of it because it’s small, aaand… it’s adorable. You just can’t start your day off with mini things + be a grumpy pants, dark cloud all day long.

Pumpkin Pancake Skewers

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • ⅓ cup pumpkin, pureed
  • 3 tablespoons coconut palm sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • Coconut oil, for greasing

Preparation:

Step 1: Preheat a large skillet on medium-low heat on the stove stop.

Step 2: Combine almond milk + lemon juice in a large bowl + let rest for 5 minutes to curdle.

Step 3: Then add melted coconut oil + maple syrup + pumpkin + coconut palm sugar. Then whisk to combine.

Step 4: Add almond milk/lemon mixture + whisk again until well-combined.

Step 5: Next add baking soda + baking powder + salt + spices + oat flour to the wet ingredients. If the batter appears too thin, add a bit more flour. If too thick, add a splash of almond milk. Let batter rest for 5 to 10 minutes.

Step 6: Heat a large skillet on medium-low heat. Brush with coconut oil. Pour the batter in ¼ cup measurements.

Step 7: Flip when bubbles appear in the middle + the edges turn slightly dry. Cook for 1 to 3 minutes more on the other side.

Step 8: To plate, stack pancakes with a thin layer of Cranberry Cherry Compote in between. Enjoy!

Did you know?

Pumpkins’ bright orange color may make them a good substitute for traffic cones, but the real power behind their hue is beta-carotene, essential for eye health + has also been linked to preventing coronary heart disease. Pump up the pumpkin!

Cherry Cranberry Compote

Plain cranberries are very tart, so I wasn’t sure if I could pull off a healthy version that’s as heavenly as the original. With the help of pineapple juice + applesauce + honey, I conquer the impossible.

Please note this is not as sweet as store versions. Taste at the end of cooking. It is naturally sweet from the fruit juice + applesauce, but you can adjust the sweetness to your liking with honey if needed.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 cup fresh cherries, pitted + chopped
  • ¾ cup freshly squeezed pineapple juice
  • ½ cup Apple Sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • ¼ cup honey

Preparation:

Step 1: Put cranberries + cherries + pineapple juice + applesauce + water in a saucepan + bring to a boil.

Step 2: Keep on medium heat, stirring constantly until the cranberries start to burst for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 3: Reduce to a simmer. Pour the orange zest + orange juice + thyme over the mixture.

Step 4: Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the honey + turn off the heat. Set aside.

Step 5: Cool completely + store in the fridge at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight, before serving. It can be rewarmed after you prepare your pancakes.

Enjoy with family!

Photography Credit

Marcela Macias

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Things You Can Control

Just a friendly reminder that you have so much power inside of you. While it would be really cool to control the weather and convince people that climate change is real and that everyone should have the right to marry whoever the heck they love (no exceptions), today I choose to focus on what I can control.

And what CAN I control anyways? Here’s a little diagram of things that are totally within my reach:

Now it YOUR turn. What can YOU control?

Drag n’ drop the image above to your desktop or save it to your camera roll if you’re on a mobile device, and fill it out. Be sure to tag me @mayicarles when you post it so I can see your remote control in action, alright?

Thanks for playing. I seriously LOVE to see your recreations sprinkled across the web.

BUSINESS · PERSONAL

A True (Business) Story

I dunno if you know this, but in 2005 when my dad and I co-founded Life Blends people thought we were nutz. Quite literally.

“You’re gonna make freshly squeezed juices? No pasteurization? No added water? No sugar? No additives? No preservatives? Wait! You’re telling me they don’t last 76 years in your pantry? Say whaaaaaat? I don’t get it!” They said.

The following year we were given the highest national award for business innovation.

Innovation is, and has always been in our DNA. Daring to do what we believe in hasn’t always come easy, but it feels gooooood.

Our door has been knocked multiple times to go bigger, to make more, to cut corners, to take short cuts, to add X to extend shelf life by Y. You name it. We’ve heard it all. It’s seducing, don’t get me wrong, but none of it helps us sleep at night, so we said NO. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

After 13 years of making freshly cold-pressed juice daily, we are proud to say YES to a our new ECO bottle. Cause after a while it becomes more than just a family business, ya know? It’s starts to be about legacy, about doing our part, about leaving our mark.

We want to be known not just for making freaking-amazing juices that are good for you, but for doing it in a way that also cares, respects and honors our planet.

There is no Planet B. That’s why our new packaging is 100% biodegradable and 100% recyclable. Piiiiiiinch me.

Let’s build a better world for our kids, and their grandkids, and for our puppies, cats, pandas… and EVERYBODY. Okay except lizards.

Life Blends just go a mayor upgrade. Life Blends 2.0 is here. Greener than ever. BOOM!

And that’s the real story.

Now I would love to hear YOUR crazy biz story. What decisions and core values help YOU sleep at night? Tell me in the blog comments.

 

 

 

Juices: @lifeblends 
Photography: @ptyology
Food Styling: @vivimartinez 
Package: @marlenefranco
Illustrations: @mayicarles

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