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Jovanka Ciares is a transformational coach, specializing in detox and digestive health, author and producer based in NYC + LA. Through her private coaching practice, YouTube Show (The Weekly Jolt), live lectures and online detox programs Jovanka brings her proven formula for healthy living to audiences in both English and Spanish.
With a rare talent for making healthy living fun, simple and sexy, Jovanka’s approach to mind-body wellness has earned her thousands of fans the world over — and regular slots on Fox News, NPR, CBS Radio, Telemundo, The Huffington Post and MindBodyGreen. She has also been featured at Veria Living TV, Huffington Post Live, and TEDx.
Jovanka is the author of three books, and the creator of a transformational online program: The Clean Foods Diet Method and is trained in plant-based nutrition with a degree from Cornell. She’s been called a “miracle worker,” a “total spitfire” and “the woman to call for a wellness smack down.” Jovanka’s passion is to inspire a healthier relationship with food, practice self-care, and help people create their own personal wellness revolution. Enjoy her exclusive Business Heroine interview…
BH: You spent 12 years climbing the corporate ladder and became a VP at a large multi-national corporation, before becoming an entrepreneur. What motivated you to leave a lucrative career and start working on your own?
Jovanka: My body gave me a smackdown. It came in the form of ulcers, fibroids, IBS. I didn’t like what traditional medicine had to offer so I went on a quest to find alternative solutions. What I learned changed my like and now I spend my life giving people the wellness tips they want and the smackdown that they need, before their bodies do. I want to “light a fire” under people’s behinds and get them to be curious and ignite a passion for their amazing bodies so they too can live a conscious, happy and healthy life.
BH: What has been the biggest challenges as you built a career as an entrepreneur?
Jovanka: Lack of connections and community. I spent 12+ years building connections in one industry and I found myself alone (the entrepreneur bubble). Luckily, I met a few women that believed in me from the start and dragged me to networking events with them. That was 2 years ago and I haven’t stopped networking since.
Also, Learning when to let go or give up. There’s a fine line between persistence and stubbornness. When does persistence bleed into a bad business decision that could make or break your business?
That’s why having a plan, knowing who is your ideal client, knowing why you want to do what you do is so important. Without clarity, it will be a lot harder for your business to succeed.
BH: In your work (books, programs, lectures) you talk a lot about detox but not in the traditional sense of the word. Why do you focus on detoxification?
Jovanka: There is an “inconvenient truth” like Dr. Junger says in his book CLEAN. Our world is polluted, which makes us polluted. So we need to learn to incorporate detoxifying activities into our daily routines and make it a life-long process.
But more importantly, detoxification if a holistic process involving mind, body and soul. It is less about juicing only for days or losing weight and more about removing toxic emotions, toxic thoughts and behaviors. It is about feeding your mind clean thoughts and nurturing your soul with clean, beautifying feelings.
That’s the recipe for a successful clean, conscious lifestyle.
BH: You tell your clients to become selfish? That’s a bold and controversial statement. What do you mean by that?
Jovanka: Your feminine energy needs to receive; to have goodness coming into your life in an EASY way. We feel like it should be socially unacceptable to receive in an easy way. Yet this is so hard for women to do. So much is expected of us today that we give and give and eventually become depleted.
We are ying/yang, our bodies strive for that balance. Giving without receiving will create imbalances in your life and your business. This is even more poignant in business because receiving is at the heart of all successful endeavors: receiving new clients, more sales, more praise, more opportunities.
If you shut down the energy of receiving, you are shutting down the energy of success. Remembering this will help you be more comfortable with the idea of being a bit selfish, taking care of yourself, acknowledging your desires and asking when you need to.
BH: What are some of the principles all of us should follow to take control of our bodies, destiny and longevity?
1. Take the power back.
No need to blame genes, destiny or whatever for things that are very obviously preventable. If you believe in God know this: God puts the knowledge out here, and give you curiosity, a brain and resources to go find it. Don’t take that for granted. It is up to you. You cannot be spoon-fed any longer. You must act today.
2. Learn what works.
So you’ve been told that milk grows healthy bones but now I’m telling you that it does the opposite. Which one is right? Don’t assume, see the other side of the coin. Cut through the clutter of info by going after only one lesson as a time. Learn how your food is made, what is its true cost, how does it affect others?
3. Energy flows where attention goes.
If you believe it’s possible, it will be (cooking, eating healthier, enjoying a plant-based diet). It’s all in your head – if you believe that milk is tasty, you can believe that green juice can be too! There are no limits if you put your mind to it. Don’t limit yourself.
4. Care for yourself!
Pay attention to elimination, sleeping, mental, emotional habits. Make self-love and self-importance a habit in your life. Connect with the universe.