Ali is the brains behind the blog and cookbook, ‘Inspiralized’. Ali quit her corporate job in June 2013 to pursue her dreams with Inspiralized. Through her website, cookbook and her social media accounts she shares amazingly delicious recipes and her own healthy living journey. Not only is she a true fitness inspiration but as an entrepreneur she has a lot to share as well.In order to get anywhere, put something out there @inspiralized #blissfulbitespodcast Click To Tweet
What you’ll learn from this episode with Ali Maffucci:
- How she started her business with Inspiralized.com
- How she stays balanced
- The key for social media to go viral
- How she handles disappointment
- How she went from hobby to business
Tell us a little bit about you and Inspiralized.
Back in 2013 in March I discovered spiralizing through my mother. She had discovered this spiralizer and had me over for dinner one night. She made me a raw Asian zucchini dish and I couldn’t believe how much it tasted like real spaghetti. I was so excited about it and I immediately thought, “Well, you put a sauce and maybe a nice protein and some cheese it would taste like real Italian pasta.” So I took the Spiralizer that night and the next night I made a dinner for my husband and I, after work and he had the same exact reaction. He was blown away. We went online and we searched about spiralizing. We thought maybe we were late in the game or maybe we just didn’t know about this way of preparing and eating food.
We went online and there was absolutely nothing. There were a couple of raw vegan recipes here and there, but no resources on how to use this Spiralizer. About 2 months went by and I was experimenting with the spiralizer, having so much fun being creative in the kitchen and with this new healthy way to eat. I was sitting at my desk job and I was more excited to write down recipes while my boss wasn’t looking. One day I just built up the courage and I walked into my boss office and I quit. The next day when my husband went to work in the morning, I went to the coffee shop right near the subway and I started inspiralized.com.
How did you actually get the courage to actually just take that leap?
You need to really believe in yourself. I couldn’t have done it without the support I have around me. I talked to a lot of friends who had done some similar things and the resounding theme is just, “You got to do it and what’s the worst that could happen?” People are very scared about taking that leap but to me it’s just kind of like, “If it doesn’t work out, it’s okay. I could just go back to what I was doing.” But luckily I never had to do that.
How did your first cookbook come to be and your inspiralizer?
In order to get anywhere you need to put something out there. I know a lot of people are nervous and they would not agree but the perfect example of that motto, to put something out there, is my cookbook. What happened was I started a blog in late June 2013 and around November people were starting to email me and say, “I’ve been using the spiralizer. I love it. I want to get my friends a spiralizer. I want one of your recipes or an introductory guide with it. I immediately took to the opportunity and said, “Why don’t I call this a little cookbook. It would take 20 recipes and then people can buy it and gift it with the spiralizer.
I did an eBook first and then I also did a small printed version through blurb.com. This was during the holidays and it did really well. People loved it and then a few months later I got a call from Williams Sonoma and they wanted to publish my cookbook. It was re-photographed and a few tweaks were made. Then they put it in their stores. I was obviously very flattered and humbled. It was really, really exciting to receive that call. I hired a literary agent and she took me to publishers.
Can you share a failure you had or a biggest flop or disappointment?
I would say my first big block in the road was when I first was getting ready to launch my Inspiralizer. I had the final sample and I was ready to go, and at that point the heavy costs came in and I green lighted the process. They were about to go into production and then about half-way through I realized that there was something wrong with the product.
It set me back about 2 months to launch the spiralizer but I had to do that in order for it to be perfect. I wasted a lot of funds and resources. I knew in my heart I couldn’t put out a product that I didn’t really believe in. I originally wanted to launch in the holidays but I had to postpone it another 2-4 months so that I could get it perfect.
Share the time when you felt like inspiralized went from hobby to business.
I think that I always treated it as a hobby because I quit my job to pursue it. I remember sitting down and buying inspiralized.com and I remember saying to myself, “This is so cool. I’m starting my own business.” I never really treated it like a hobby. I guess it was a hobby when I was spiralizing for dinner but by the time I got that domain I knew it was a business.
It’s kind of fake it till’ you make it. Act like you are the official resource. You know everything, you look confident, you can answer any question that comes towards you and people will see you as that expert.
Do you have any tips for people who are just starting out as bloggers or small business owners and entrepreneurs to start actually making money on their website/blog/recipes?
I think if you’re going to put your energy anywhere it should be into quality content for your website. If you’re a blogger or if you are starting a product just make sure you believe in it and you can stand behind it.
What would you say is the key to having something go viral?
For the food community, it’s always something that has the ‘Wow’ even if it’s something like avocado and toast. It’s the colors that you chose that are beautiful. It’s something that looks really delicious and it has creative ingredients that will do really well. It has to be something that’s popular. Viral content tends to be so trendy. Avocado toast, for example, has really been trendy so if you made something like that it might become very viral. Because spiralizing is so topical right now a lot of my post would go viral because there’s this big demand for creative spiralized dishes.
Do you have a big piece of advice for someone who just starting out?
If you’re a blogger, I think the best thing to do is make friends with other bloggers who have been doing it longer than you have. That’s for a few reasons, one, you can obviously learn from them. When I first started I reached out to my favorite food bloggers and I said, “I love what you do, I love how you do this… How do you do that?” And people will be surprised and flattered. They want to share what they’ve learned because they’ve all been there before. I always say to people, “An expert on something was once a beginner.” They’re likely to share with you.
Do you have any tips on how to grow your Instagram account and how to kind of leverage Instagram for your business?
Having bigger accounts share your work is really helpful. The number 1 way I grew and I still do it today, when I see my growth slowing down is using hashtags. When I first started spiralized I would wake up in the morning and I would load up the hashtag spiralizer. I would see who would hashtag in the past 8 hours of sleeping. I would go on there and I would genuinely comment on the photos. I had real interest in what people were making and how they were making it. People would see me that I would comment and then they would follow me back.
Do you have a few best tips for those who are on their own healthy living journey?
I call it the journey, I’m always on it. It’s just something that I think will never get to a certain point where you just stop altogether. I think the journey is a lifestyle. Number 1 is accepting that it is a journey and accepting that it is a lifestyle. My second tip is very, very basic and it’s like 80/20, if you want to be your healthiest you have start to embody that and that still plays the whole lifestyle thing. My biggest thing right now that has taken me a while to accept, it that you’re always going to be a work in progress. There’s always going to be things that are in your life that you cannot put out right. You’re always getting to be off track but then there’s always that opportunity to get back on track so as long as you’re getting back on track, then you are going to do well.
You can’t help sometimes but be like, “Why can’t I look like her?” or “How does she do it?” or “She looks better than me.” But you have to just really understand that every single person’s body is different and you don’t know what those people are doing behind the scenes. They’ve shown you their best on Instagram or whatever social media platform it is and you just got to know that you have your own body. You don’t have to look like that other girl just because you think it looks great. Honestly, happiness is much more important. What is a perfect weight and an ideal body if you’re not happy.
What is something that you do to make sure that your day is successful?
I’m very serious about Evernote and I make a list and I move them around. I watch Marie Forleo. She does this videos every other week that are basically like quick tip videos like 5 minutes. She discusses the topic and in one of those videos she said something that has resonated hugely with me and it’s, “Schedule your priorities, don’t prioritize your schedule.” It’s easy to clear an inbox and it’s easy to clear off a bunch of things in your to-do list but what a clear inbox means you haven’t finish any true projects that are really going to help your business. I let my inbox filled up while I tackle a big project and that will help me be the most productive.
I’m a normal girl, I have no formal training and I just believed in myself. I’m nice to the people around me and I think that is going a long way. I think that happiness and kindness and faith in yourself goes a long way farther than we would think.
Where we can find you?
- Twitter: @Inspiralized
- Facebook: Inspiralized
- Instagram: @Inspiralized
- YouTube: getinspiralized
True to her Italian American background, Ali loves everything food – cooking, eating, reading food blogs, dining out, sharing her food pictures and entertaining friends. Ali’s dream is to bring spiralizing to the masses and show everyone that eating healthy is fun and doesn’t have to be boring or predictable. Committed to spreading the word about spiralizing and sharing her recipes, she started Inspiralized.com, the definitive resource for cooking with a spiralizer.
If you want a FREE sneak peek of Ali Maffucci from Inspiralized.com, click below to get a 5 minute preview of her class where she talks about leaving her full time job + being her own PR force!
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