There is nothing better than reliving the best moments in life. In the Carolyn Rivera Show, that means bringing to light some of the great episodes that happened since. What better way to start than a recap of some of the very powerful women that have graced the show? We go back to their stories as they shared their dreams, the things that made them excel, and the obstacles that they overcame. They all show what it takes to be an entrepreneur and a winner in life, paving the way for the rest to follow. Relive and reconnect with these stories as we remind ourselves how we can make things happen.
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A Recap Of The Powerful Women On The Show
I have to tell you guys about this great service experience that I had. I know I’ve told you about some gory details of one of my horrible experiences. Since this was a good one, I wanted to make sure that I give you both sides because sometimes you have great service, sometimes you have not so great service. Sometimes you have horrible, bad service. This was above and beyond. Let me tell you this story. I travel for a living. I go around the country. I do speaking engagements. I do training sessions on leadership, on sales and service, all those things.
I’m a travel warrior. I’ve been traveling for years. I always fly on United Airlines. One flight gave me lifetime miles of two million miles. That’s a lot of miles, but no worries. You stick with one airline. You get it all on one airline and it’s good for the traveler. I’m sitting on the plane and the flight attendant comes up to me and says, “Someone has earned their wings.” I’m sitting next to somebody else. I’m looking at her like, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” You usually give those plastic wings to the kids that want to go visit the pilot and say, “Hello,” and this is their first time on a plane. I’m looking around like, “Who are you talking to? Are you talking to me?” She says you have earned two million miles from this flight. I wasn’t tracking those miles because I honestly thought that I wasn’t going to be able to hit two million. The only thing that I was worried about is am I going to make my 100,000 so that I become a 1k member. She gave me these plastic wings. I was like, “Look at me, I’m somebody special.”
On my next flight, I go from Tampa to Newark and then Newark to Boston. The flight attendant on that flight came to my seat with a handwritten note that said, “Congratulations on two million miles on this flight. We hope to keep seeing you flying the friendly skies. Happy holidays from your United family, Alex.” He hand-wrote that note on a napkin and handed it to me before the flight took off. I thought that was pretty impressive. They get a list of the passengers on the plane. They are told obviously that if there’s a special marker that’s hit, which I didn’t know about. I thought that was a great service because you don’t see people going out of their way all the time. When it happens, that’s what service is all about. You wow the customer. The customer tells their friends. They tell ten people who tell ten people who tell ten people and that’s how the story gets out there. I’m telling a little bit more than ten people. I’m a happy loyal United Airlines customer. I feel like they went above and beyond so thank you. That was very sweet and not for nothing. When you hit the two-million-mile mark, you are platinum for life. I never have to fly again and I’m going to be platinum for life. I don’t even know what that means other than you can get into group one and just maybe I get a free bag to check without paying. You take the little things.
I had a fabulous radio host on my show. He’s a top one rated radio hosts on Hot 93.3 from Dallas, Texas. I met him at a great charity event out there. He has been doing radio for a long time throughout his career. His secret sauce, we talked a little bit about it, is he brings radio shows from the bottom to the top. He brought a show, they were in eighteenth place and now they’re in first place after twenty months. That’s pretty impressive. I was excited to have him on and to be able to pick his brain to determine what it is that brings the spot to number one? How do you bring a radio show to number one?
You play what people want to hear. You find out what your listeners think is important and what your listeners want more information on. That is the secret sauce. You got to focus on your customers. Just like United focused on me, I need to focus on you. Thank you, Bret, for coming on the show for sharing your crazy stories on the things that you know you do on the air, all the stories you told us. You’re still in a bus collecting toys for the underprivileged kids in Texas. That’s some great work that you’re doing out there. We’ll have you on another show again. I felt like I should focus on what we’ve talked about throughout the year. It’s time for the Carolyn Rivera Show countdown. I was looking at all of the ratings of the shows that you thought were the best out of all of them. I put together a recap for those shows. When I was thinking about what I wanted to talk about, I broke down the categories like this.Anyone out there can make things happen. It only takes a little confidence, commitment, and desire. Click To Tweet
First, we’re going to recap some of these very powerful women, those guests that I had on the show that shared their story with us. They shared their journey to where they were wanting to get to. They shared the things that made them excel. All the dreams that they had that were limitless. They overcame the obstacles that they faced. I’m going to talk about what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. We all go through some days where we’re wanting to think of things, maybe doing things differently. What does it take to be an entrepreneur? I’m going to talk about those women first. The people that paved the way for all of us. You can’t have a show without talking about some Survivor finale. That’s what we’re going to talk about.
When I was listening to the shows where I had some powerful women on, I thought about what exactly does that mean? What do powerful women mean? What I meant by this is these women excelled in their career. They were limitless in their thinking. They didn’t put those boundaries on their thoughts. They didn’t let obstacles stand in their way. They figured out ways to overcome any barriers. I first talked with Debbie Harrington. She worked in the corporate world for probably about 30 years. She climbed that corporate ladder in a world where women were not at the top.
Women made less money. Women got fewer promotions. Women got little respect from a world made up of men. It’s not because they didn’t deserve it, but because at that time, there weren’t that many career women. When you think about it, women were supposed to stay home and raise a family. They weren’t supposed to focus on their careers. Debbie thought she could do it all. She set out to prove that she can. She worked in the financial services industry where most executives were men. She was smart. She was savvy. She was determined to break down those barriers. She did that.
She did that by focusing on what results she could show them. She did that by ensuring that she knew her stuff, that she learned the industry, that she learned how to build relationships with anyone and everyone because that is critical to your success. It’s not only in the business world that’s critical to your success anywhere. By the end of her corporate career, Debbie ran the Quality and Training Organization for North America as a Senior Vice President. She was one of those big change agents in the company because she wasn’t scared to take risks. She wasn’t scared to push the envelope. She wasn’t scared to go after what she felt she earned. Anyone of us can do that. It takes a little confidence. It takes commitment. It takes desire. Anyone out there can make things happen.
Another woman who faces similar challenges was Karen Hoppa, the Head soccer coach at Auburn University. Karen talked about the fact that most college soccer coaches are men. It doesn’t matter whether you’re coaching men or women. Most of those coaches are male coaches. Karen was a college athlete. Karen played soccer. She talked about how she focused on her leadership skills in order to grow as a coach. In sports, you’re only as good as your last win. You have to have a winning record to maintain your coaching status. How do you have a winning record? You have to improve the skills of your team. You have to figure out how to connect with your team. You also have to be able to work on the administrative side of the house. You have to be able to show your value. You have to be able to speak up in a room filled with other men. She talked about how hard it was because even though she had the tenth most winning record, most of those coaches were male coaches. She has to work twice as hard to maintain her reputation. Somehow each year she’s able to do it. Somehow it happens.You can choose to live the day-to-day or you can find out where your passion is and what you want to focus on moving forward. Click To Tweet
Another woman who when I think about what she’s done is Karina Anglada, the producer and editor for the Golden State Warriors. Much like Karen Hoppa, Karina found herself in a world dominated by men, the world of sports. It’s been run by men since the beginning. Only now we’re seeing a little bit more of women breaking into the sports arena in all different types of roles. Some are coaches, some like Karina work on the editing and producers’ side of the house. Karina had a long journey ahead of her. She started her career in journalism as an intern. She found her passion. Remember that word passion because passion makes you tick. It helps you focus on what you want to focus. She decided to stick with this journalism side because her initial college major was not journalism. She changed it midterm.
In the beginning, you’re unsure of yourself. You don’t know how you’re going to do. You don’t know if you’re going to fit in. You don’t know what to expect, especially in the sports world. She told us how her petite frame worked as a disadvantage because people looked at her like she wouldn’t know what she’s doing simply because she was so petite. She was told, “That camera is bigger than you are,” because she’s so petite. Back then and even now, those big cameras that you put on your shoulder, they are pretty big because if you remember those old video cameras from back in the day, we had one of those. When you’re trying to get top-notch video, they still use those big cameras.
Karina still has that big camera on her shoulder when she is doing her videos. She stuck with it and she decided to do whatever it took to succeed. She decided to ignore those people who didn’t believe in her because she believed in herself. She told us when one time she was offering herself to help out in a certain situation. It was laying cables or whatever it was. An older man told her they didn’t need her help and that she should go home and make babies. I still cringe when I hear that she was told that. She took the high road. She smiled, ignored the comment and didn’t help them. She knew she found her passion. She was committed to doing the best, to being the best that she could be. She learned all about video and editing. She created her goal, a goal to win an Emmy at work. She was nominated three times, twice at the Detroit Pistons when she worked for them and once at Auburn University. Her goal was achieved when she won an Emmy for her video production called Champions Rewind. She followed her dream. She didn’t listen to those that didn’t believe in her. She excelled like all three of those women, they all excelled in their career. They all had this limitless mindset. They did not put restrictions on their success.
They made sure to overcome any barriers, any obstacles that they were faced with because that’s what it takes. Anyone of us can make that choice. It’s all up to you. It’s up to me. It’s up to all of us to create our vision, to determine where we want to go. That’s how you become a powerful woman. Men don’t think that I’m dissing you. It’s that the women have a so much harder road to travel because the world was initially built on men working. Anytime a woman steps into the man’s world, it takes time to change. Nobody likes change. Change is uncomfortable. People don’t know how to deal with that. I bring this up. I re-energize you to do what you want to do, to find your passion, to follow your dreams because nobody can do that for you. That’s all up to you. You can choose to live the day-to-day or you can find out where your passion is and what you want to focus on moving forward.
What It Takes To Be An Entrepreneur
The next topic that I wanted to talk through is what it takes to be an entrepreneur. When I talk about these next few scenarios, it’s a little bit different than the ones before because everyone that I talked about, they have a job. They go to work. They have an industry that they’re focused on. That’s what they do. They follow that industry. When you’re an entrepreneur, it’s a little bit different because you’re creating your own destiny. You’re doing things from the start, which is a little bit different than the corporate world or the sports world or whatever that is.When you're an entrepreneur, you’re creating your own destiny. Click To Tweet
What is an entrepreneur? Let’s define it. It’s someone who has an idea in the business world and goes after it. It’s someone who takes a risk on a business. When I look at the entrepreneurs that I’ve talked to, they all have three things in common. They were persistent in going after their idea. They came up with something. They had an idea. They moved it forward. They had a vision for what they were creating. They were committed to making it happen. Persistence of vision and their commitment, those things equal success. When you think about how to become a successful entrepreneur, those are the things you want to write down. Persistence, having a vision and being committed to doing whatever it takes to implement that vision.
I talked with Brooke Wadsworth. She shared her story with us. She had her first venture in high school where she had an online store. She created that herself. Her story is a little bit different because she was a tomboy. She was building show cars and racing motorcycles. She decided with a little help that she became a model modeling those show cars and those motorcycles. She created her own modeling company. She didn’t go the corporate route. She followed her dream. She did what she wanted to do. She defines an entrepreneur as someone who creates value for others.
They create this well-oiled machine that keeps on running, even if you’re not there. She has confidence in herself and was able to look at our own skills and create a plan. Her mission is focused on health and wellness, a holistic approach to happiness by feeling good about yourself every day. That’s the company that she and her husband have created, Wadsworth Wellness. They dabble in a lot of different things. They live on a ranch. They have many horses. They have two beautiful girls. The one thing that sticks out to me is their persistence to succeed. She had a vision. She had created a plan and committed to doing what it takes to make it happen. Failure was not an option.
What does it take to be an entrepreneur? I interviewed Lauren Hampton. Lauren’s story is a bit different in that she had a vision of a new product and developed it from scratch. She created her own shoe line. Her story is fabulous because she was wearing these shoes one day. She got this compliment on her Mary Jane’s Strap. That’s the strap that goes basically across the ankle. A few days later, she thought, “These shoes would look great with or without a strap. What if they had all different kinds of straps? What if I took one shoe and I was able to change it out, make it look totally different simply by changing the straps to create this new style and this new look? I didn’t have to buy five or ten different pairs of shoes.”
She went to work. She decided to create that shoe line. She began drawing it out. She had a prototype and the rest is history. The rest is not history because it took a lot of work. She had to find investors. The hardest part about being an entrepreneur, especially when you’re starting from scratch, is gaining the capital to do what you want to do, to create what you want to create, to produce what you want to produce and get it out there. That’s what she did. She went to work. She went and she found investors. She went and she created her prototype. She found somebody where she sat with them side by side, told them exactly what she wanted the shoe a look like, showed her drawings, showed her straps. That’s where it began. She still had a full-time job during the day because she still had to eat.Persistence of vision and commitment equals success. Click To Tweet
This was her side job while she was still creating it. That is what I find so phenomenal about when you’re an entrepreneur, you’re creating value. You’re creating this product or service for other people. You come up with a vision. You have your vision. You’re persistent in going after it. You’re committed to doing whatever it takes to make it happen. She finally got her online store up. Her designs are out there. It’s the Keturah Collection. She was a fabulous guest on the show. That road isn’t easy. She had to get investors to help her fund the company. She had to design the shoe. All of those things, it’s a lot of work. Imagine when you see the product, when you’re walking down the street and you see somebody wearing your shoes, that’s when you know you’ve made it right. You’ve done what you wanted to do. More importantly, she faced naysayers. She faced people that didn’t believe in her. Luckily, she had a strong family unit that did believe in her, that kept telling her to go after your dreams, to keep it going.
More importantly, she had confidence in herself. She had confidence in her vision and that gave her the ability to follow her dream. She would not give up. She continues to work to get more investors so she can create more product and become more efficient to lower manufacturing costs and all of that. The bottom line is she took a risk. She poured every ounce of her extra time into that vision. That, my friend, is true commitment. That’s what it takes when you want to be an entrepreneur. Anything you do, if you don’t put the time and effort into it, it’s not going to happen. It’s just a dream. If you want to make it a reality, you’ve got to include persistence. You have to have that vision. You have to be committed to making it happen.
Another woman who I admire and love is Lindsey Roberts, my Survivor sister, Lindsey. She was on my season of Survivor. She talked about the struggles that she had growing up. She felt like an outcast when she was growing up. She felt like she didn’t fit in. She shared with us her story. It was traumatic. She had a terrible car accident in high school. She almost died. She had all the scars all over to prove it. She was depressed. She didn’t know what to do. One day something changed for her. She took a step back. She looked at her life. She looked at herself. She decided that she wasn’t going to allow others to define her. She decided that she would decide who she was and how she was going to live her life.
Lindsey, my friend, is a strong determined woman. She created her own destiny. She began to create her own image, one that doesn’t look like everyone else. She wasn’t afraid to be different. One that she alone is very comfortable with. Not everyone saw it her way. Not everyone saw her for who she was. She’s covered in tattoos and those tattoos all have very significant meaning to her. She decided she would feel good about who she was. She decided that she would not allow anyone to stand in her way. She had a goal. She wanted to open up her own salon.
When I met Lindsey, she was working in somebody else’s salon. As the years passed, she got her own place. She had one chair. I used to go to that place when I lived in Orlando. She’s fabulous. Let me tell you, my hair looked fabulous. She and her husband, Ryan opened up Canvas in Winter Park. It has a fitness and beauty side by side because Ryan does personal training and fitness. Lindsey is all about beauty. She overcame all those obstacles that she faced. She made her choice. She was comfortable with who she was. She went after her dream and she made it happen.Be fearless in your pursuit of what is important to you. Click To Tweet
Sandra Day O’Connor
There are so many women’s firsts. I was thinking about some of the women who paved the way for others. Obviously, Sandra Day O’Connor is a legend for herself because she was the first woman on the Supreme Court, which is amazing. There were some other women as well. What they all have in common is when you think about firsts, these are women who took risks because there are always consequences that came along with it. These women thought long and hard about what they wanted. They didn’t let the fact that they were women stand in their way. They didn’t think that it was fair not to go after what they wanted, not to be able to do something because they were women. Sandra Day O’Connor, she did that. She was fearless. She went after what she believed in, no matter what the consequence. Ultimately, Sandra Day O’Connor and the others, they planted their flag.
I also talked about Kathrine Switzer. This is sports. It’s not the same as Sandra Day O’Connor. When you think about it, she paved the way for so many other women. When Kathrine attempted to run in that Boston Marathon, she became the first woman to do that as a numbered entry. She had to have courage because she knew that she wasn’t wanted there. She knew that she wasn’t allowed. She had a dream. She had to prove something. More importantly, she challenged the status quo to reshape the rules and ultimately change them for good. Women weren’t allowed to run in any marathons. When she first talked to her running partner about running a marathon, he insisted, “How could you possibly run a marathon? You’re simply a fragile woman.”
I think that’s what made her go after it, even more, wanting to prove that she was as good as anyone else. Women who were portrayed as fragile, those days are over. They weren’t when these women were the first. Women were supposed to do one thing. They were supposed to have one purpose. They were supposed to stay home, cook and make babies. These women decided, “I can do both. Making babies is not my only skill or job.” They decided that they’re capable of much more than that. Kathrine, when she signed up to do the marathon, she pretended to be a man because she only wrote down her initials. During the race, the race administrator saw that she was a woman and attempted to physically pull her out of the race by grabbing her number. Could you imagine because you’re a woman, you’re not allowed to run? She was banned after that for a while. Women were still not allowed to run marathons probably for the next four years after that but she paved the way. The first women of West Point, I love this story because I can’t even imagine that it was only in 1976 when that was the first time women went to West Point.
Out of thousands and thousands of cadets, there were only 119 women at West Point. There had never been any woman in West Point before that. These women wanted a career in the Armed Forces. They wanted to have the same opportunities that men did. They applied and they got in. When they got there, it wasn’t a bed of roses. They were faced with all kinds of challenges. Think about it. It was a men’s world. Some of the men didn’t even know what to do with them. They felt that the women didn’t belong because that’s what they were used to. Up until 1976, it was never challenged. Men reacted in all sorts of ways. Some were curious, some ignored them completely, some tried to help them out and some were mean, hostile, difficult and trying to make their life miserable. Out of the 119 women that started, 62 of them graduated, 50% of them couldn’t make it. We don’t know why.
Did they give up? Did they decide against it? Did they see that it was too hard? Whatever the circumstances were, the bottom line is that 62 women stuck it out and started that trend because if all of those 119 women did not make it, it would not have been available to us. We wouldn’t be in the Armed Forces if those 62 women didn’t stick it out. The real story is about these women. They paved the way. Simone Askew was named the first captain of a 4,400-member Corps of the Cadets. It’s the first time ever. She’s twenty years old. Her mentor, Pat Locke was one of those 62 women that stuck it out. These women face challenges. They took risks. What they were, when you’re first, you’re fearless. They went after their dreams no matter what the cost. They planted their flag. That’s what I’m talking about.
We outlined the 2018 Carolyn Rivera show lineup. When I was asked to do this show, I was given the opportunity to create my own content. I wanted to put together a show where people would have something to take away, something that they could use to improve themselves. I wanted it to be fun and entertaining. My career has been focused on helping people improve themselves. All of us, every single day have an opportunity to learn something new. Sometimes we don’t take that opportunity. Sometimes we don’t spend the time or the energy on learning something new because at the beginning, anytime you learn something new, it’s uncomfortable.
If you think back to what I’ve been talking about the message is this, we’re all on this planet for some time. None of us know how long that time is. It’s important to take each day and make it worthwhile. Be limitless in your thinking. Don’t be comfortable. Make yourself uncomfortable, have a vision for the future, create your own destiny. Nobody can do it for you. You’ve got to be persistent and committed to your vision. You have to have a vision. Think about where you want to go. Think about what you want to do. Think about who you want to do it with. Be fearless in your pursuit of whatever is important to you, whatever your passion is.
Don’t give up because things get hard because they’re going to be hard. Go after your dreams because if you don’t, no one else will do it for you. Plant your flag. That’s what I’m talking about. Follow me on Instagram, @CarolynRivera14. I love the opportunity to speak at your next event, whether it’s an association meeting, a sales meeting or women’s group meeting. Go to my website, CarolynJRivera.com, send me a message. My passion is to watch people succeed and helping people achieve more than they ever thought that they possibly could. You’ve got to believe in yourself. You’ve got to commit to what you believe in. When you do that, you will achieve things far greater than you ever thought possible. That’s what it’s all about. I’m here for you. I’m here and I want to be able to share with you the things that you find important.