What It’s All About!

CRS 13 | Passion And Vision


A passion and vision with action can change the world. You need to start igniting them within you so you can learn new things and reach new heights. Carolyn talks deeply with her vision and purpose as to why The Carolyn Rivera Show and her book, Plant Your Flag: The Seven Secrets to Winning, are created. Having a vision and passion starts with you. You have to figure them out and go after them with everything that you can. Believe, commit, and achieve are the three things you need to remember towards achieving your goal. At the end of the day, it is by living with your vision and passion that gives your life purpose.

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What It’s All About!

I always start my show with a bit of what’s going on in my life. You’re going to have to forgive me for a minute because I’m going to rant for a few minutes. I’ve got to get this off my chest. I’m sure that some of you may have gone through this yourself. I can’t believe that in this environment where competition is vast, that companies don’t focus on the customer. I have so many examples of bad service, but there’s one story in particular that gets me crazy. Have you ever been stuck in a transfer loop? I called up to get my internet hooked up. I made the appointment and they came out to the house. No worries. Everything looks good. My house is supposed to be a smart house and I didn’t even know how smart my house was because nobody told me how smart my house was going to be. Then I found out it was pretty dumb. Not smart at all. Wouldn’t you think that a smart house would have all the cables run in the walls and ready to go? I would because that’s a smart house.

Everyone knows you’re going to need these cables or if the house has an office, you would have an internet line in the office for that strong hardwired signal that you need. The cable company comes out and they said they could not hook up our internet because the cables were not run. The cables outside the house, we’re not run yet. How is that even possible? Mind you, this is an established neighborhood. This neighborhood has been around for a few years. You would think that lines should be ready to go. They should be run already. Unfortunately, that was not the case. The guy called his supervisor and said that his company would be out the next day to run the lines. That never happened. I thought I was patient enough and I began calling. That, my friends, is where the transfer loop begins. I called the company again. They said they had to get their construction team out to run a wire and that could take up to 30 days.

You know that I’m from New York, so I went to Queens on them. I said, “Are you kidding me? I work from home. I have a radio show. I need my internet.” They said, “Sorry ma’am, that’s what it would take.” I said, “I need to speak with your supervisor.” They transferred me. I spoke to the supervisor. She said she would call me back after she spoke to the field team. That never happened. I called again and I was in full Queens mode at that point because I mentioned I didn’t get a call back from the supervisor. Nothing’s happening to get my internet. It’s been almost a week and I called and called. I spoke to a different supervisor this time and he swore to me that he would call me back. Later that day, I look outside my window and there’s a construction crew. They came out and installed the cable underground. I was like, “This is fabulous. Maybe that supervisor was on the money and he got things done.” I thought I was on my way.

The supervisor did call me back later that day and I was excited to tell him the construction crew was out there. They installed the cable, we could reschedule the install and he said, “No, we can’t do that yet because the records show that we’re waiting on this construction crew to come.” I said, “I saw the construction crew. I talked to them. They were outside my window.” “They need to update the file.” “You need to call them and tell them to update the file because I still don’t have internet.” Four days later, they finally updated the file. Now, we’re two weeks in waiting and still no internet. We finally get the install rescheduled. The tech came out. I was so excited. I’m like, “We’re going to get this show on the road. Things are going to be moving.” Remember this is a smart house. He comes in and he says that there’s this conduit from outside of the house that’s inside of the house and it’s not there. Then I had to go Queens on the builder.

The builder came right over. He shows me the conduits there. Apparently, the guy didn’t feel like doing the install. He wasn’t in the mood and he left before the builder came and they couldn’t get another crew out to my house for days. Since he updated my record to say the house was not ready, I am now back in that loop, stuck because their records show they can’t do the install. It was absolutely crazy. From there, it took four more days. I finally got the install out. After three weeks, we finally got internet. Three weeks, the service loop of hell. Can you believe that story in this day and age that this could possibly happen? I know that probably some of you out there have been in this service loop of hell. Take a deep breath, my friends, because my message to you is to focus on what you can.

Don't ask a question if you don't want to hear the answer. Click To Tweet

You’ve got to stay on top of it. You’ve got to call them every day, but you don’t have control. I would probably not have internet if I didn’t stay on top of them and call them every single day. I know this does not have a real linkage to my show, although one could argue that persistence is a critical skill for all of us in life. Persistence and follow through. You must do what you say you’re going to do. Thank you for humoring me and letting me share my frustrating story. I feel so much better-telling somebody and getting it off my chest and that my friends is one of them. I will not bore you with all the rest. I have so many more that I could tell you, but it’s not going to happen because this show is not about whining. This is a show of making things happen. This is not a show of focusing on things that are out of your control. This is a show where you take charge and create your path.

Finding You Passion, Taking Risks, And Making Things Happen

We are going to be talking about focusing on what the Carolyn Rivera Show is all about. I had Karina Anglada, the Emmy Award-winning producer and editor of the Golden State Warriors as my guest and we talked about her career. She shared with us that she was not sure of what her passion was at first. She started out as a psychology major and thought that she wanted to pursue a career in that industry. When she went to the Oprah Show, everything changed and isn’t that true? If you go to the Oprah Show, doesn’t everything change? Yes, it does. It’s not always easy to uncover what you want to be when you grow up. You always have to go through these changes and try different things. That’s exactly what happened to Karina. Her mother saw something in her that she didn’t even see herself. That was a turning point in her life because she changed from the psychology major, she took a journalism class and she found her passion. She began down that path.

She looked for internships to see if this was truly something that was going to push her to where she wanted to go. To have her learn new things and reach new heights. It’s not always easy. If I had the opportunity to give guidance to my own kids, I would have made them do the same exact thing. To go after those internships, to try new things and to find their passion because you don’t always know it when you go into college. It’s so difficult to figure out what you want to do. Think about it, when you’re growing up, most kids have very different dreams. None of us want to go to work every day and not enjoy what we’re doing. Karina also talked about taking risks and everything in life worth having requires some level of taking a risk. It may be the fact that you have to move across country and go after that dream job in a place where you know absolutely nobody. It may be that you have to take on more responsibility when maybe you feel like you’re not that ready.

CRS 13 | Passion And Vision
Passion And Vision: It’s so difficult to figure out what you want to do. You don’t always know it when you go to college.


In order to succeed in life, there are risks that you will have to take. She also mentioned that even when she took those risks, she was scared, but she didn’t let it stop her. She had doubts, but she didn’t let those doubts change her path. She found her passion and she kept on going. She found something where she felt that she could excel, where she felt that she could share with the world her stories and she did everything in her power to be successful. She studied what was necessary to produce and edit her stories. She went after a job in professional sports when women in that role was not the norm. She told us about what one man had told her that she should be home cooking and making babies. She didn’t let that stop her and because of that, she was able to excel in her career. Her message boils down to three things: find your passion, be bold and take risks and learn everything you need to learn and be relentless with the actions you take.

The Show

If you take away from her story those three things, then you too will be able to create your path. You too will be able to find your passion. You too will be able to excel in something that makes you smile every single day. I was thinking about this show and what my vision is for the show. My purpose in doing this show is to push people out of their comfort zone. To highlight women who have done that and to highlight the men that have supported them through that process because we need support. This show is all about sharing real-life examples of people that have chosen not only to challenge themselves but to challenge the norms as well. To highlight people who have succeeded through adversity, through resistance and to lift you up so that you will take that step so that you will seek out the people that will help you that have your best interest in mind.

Passion is within you and it starts with you. Click To Tweet

This is a never-ending journey because there’s always more to strive for, to accomplish and to push that envelope forward. We still have to continue to make these end roads in all of the major industries, in politics, in sports and corporate CEOs. The legacy must live on. We must continue to have firsts and to be the pioneers to make things happen. First, we need to take a step back and think about why do some people challenge the status quo and others don’t? I can’t answer that for you. You have to answer it for yourself. What’s preventing you from doing that? This is an individual thing. Finding your passion is very personal. I could love something and share with you my dreams. You could look at me like I’m insane because that is not something that resonates with you. I can’t make your dreams. You have to make them yourself. There’s no set formula or process that I can tell you to do because that passion is within you. It starts with you.

This show is all about you. Passion is an individual thing and it’s the first thing that you need to do to make sure that you’re living your passion and to figure out what that is. In the previous episodes, I highlighted women who stepped into the world of the unknown and took risks. If they were first, they opened doors for other women to continue as they did. Whether I was talking about running in a marathon or going to West Point or becoming a Supreme Court judge, those women did what we talked about doing, they found their passion. They did whatever it took to make it a reality. They broke down the barriers, not only for themselves but for the women after them, like Karen Hoppa. Although she was not the first, she too still had to deal with an industry that was dominated by men. She pushed forward and she applied to become a head soccer coach in a world where almost all of the coaches were men, even for the women sports.

Fire In Your Belly

There are challenges in everything we do. You need to shift your mindset to take on those challenges. At times, you’re going to go through some rocky times. Everything is not going to be all peachy. That’s what you need to face if you want to live your passion. If you’ve truly found your passion and it’s something that you must do, you will figure it out. You’ll find a way. It starts with a fire from within you. I’m sure you’ve all heard someone say, “You need to get a fire in your belly.” They usually say that to you when you don’t seem satisfied or when you’re looking for something more because you’re doing things that you don’t love to do. I love that analogy because it resonates with me. Something that will ignite your will to win. I love that phrase, “Ignite your will to win.” Fire has a different meaning to me and I came up with that tagline “Ignite your will to win” after I was on the show Survivor. It was because of my experience on the show. Sometimes we don’t go after our dreams.

CRS 13 | Passion And Vision
Passion And Vision: Put your big girl pants on, step up to the plate, go for the bleachers and hit it out of the park. Find that fire in your belly.


Believe, Commit, Achieve

I wanted to be bold and find a way to drive people to go after their dreams. Ignite your will to win. To me, that’s so powerful. One of the turning points for me on Survivor happened on day 38, when I was tasked with making a fire. I had to ignite my own will to win and I became runner up on Survivor because I was able to make a fire on day 38, with one more day to go. Not because I was skilled at fire making. I didn’t know how to make a fire. I know that sounds crazy that you would go on Survivor and not know how to make a fire but call me crazy because that was me. I learned the technique about three hours before I went to Tribal Council that night, but I had a fire in my belly. I had the will to win. I knew that I had to do whatever it takes to win that challenge. I snuck off with flint into the woods and I practiced and I tried to make fire for hours. I was super psyched because I made two fires within ten or fifteen minutes. I said to myself, “I need to make one more and I will feel comfortable.”

Leadership in anything that you want to do is important. Click To Tweet

For two additional hours, I could not make that third fire. It was tough. It was mentally challenging. I was competing against Rodney who thankfully also did not have the skills to make a fire. At Tribal Council, when we’re attempting to make our fires after at least an hour and everybody yawning on the jury and Jeff looking at us, “Are you taking this long to make a fire?” Rodney got his fire before me and I heard Jeff Probst call out that Rodney has a flame and I became more focused than ever because I knew that my time in the game was at stake. Within a few seconds later, I too had a spark that I was able to turn into a flame. I had to make fire and I was able to build the flame higher and quicker than Rodney to stay in the game with one day left to play. I was scared. I was crying that afternoon at the thought of leaving the game with just one day left. For a few minutes, I let myself be sad and upset because I didn’t know what I was going to do when I went to Tribal Council that night.

The Book

Then I had to put my big girl pants on, step up to the plate and go for the bleachers and hit it out of the park. I put my game face on and I never gave up. That is what “Ignite your will to win” means. That’s what you have to do. You have to find that fire in your belly. I gave you the example that I went through on Survivor with having to dig deep and find my passion and find my will to win. That’s what all of you need to continue to do each and every day. There are three things that you have to remember, believe, commit, achieve. Those are the things that will help you towards achieving your goal. I mentioned some exciting news. It’s finally here. I’ve approved the cover of my book. I’ve been working to create the cover for a few months and it is done. I will be posting my book cover on my social media. I am so excited to get this published. Let me tell you a little story about how this book came about. I had been thinking of writing a book for quite some time. I would say probably over fifteen years.

CRS 13 | Passion And Vision
Plant your Flag: The Seven Secrets to Winning

The difference is it wasn’t a passion yet. It wasn’t something that I felt strongly about because I did nothing to move it forward. In 2015 after Survivor, I took a step back and I began to look at the things that I had placed on the back burner to see what I truly wanted to focus on. I made a list of those things. It was like my bucket list. I began to prioritize and focus. I started talking about my book in 2015 and I began to rethink what the message was going to be. The next step, I put it all down on paper. I came up with the concept and I began to create the content. Since I’ve been working with leaders for my entire career, I’ve learned so much from them. I wanted to write a book to help people understand what it takes to be a great leader. In my career I had seen some fabulous leaders and I had seen some horrifying leaders. Leadership in anything that you want to do is important whether you’re a mom at home leading your family, whether you’re leading a club at school, whether you’re coaching a team of athletes or salespeople or whether you’re running a huge organization in the corporate world.

The common thread here is that you need to have leadership skills. My book is all about that. I knew the concept. I knew what I wanted to write. Once again, I got sidetracked. I didn’t write at all for about a year. I got busy with day-to-day life. This is something that happens to all of us. That’s the challenge that we face. We can all get sucked back into day-to-day and forget about our passions. Maybe it wasn’t truly important enough, to begin with. Those are the things that you yourself have to decide. My book was important to me and I realized that I had once again put my book on the back burner. I decided then to take it and make it a priority. I would come home from work and then I would write. I’d be traveling on a plane and I would write. It began to get all my ideas on paper.

I was excited because I was on a roll. I had pages and pages of content. First, there were pages and then there were chapters. My excitement was building because I could see the finish line ahead. Then I was finished. I thought it was great. I thought it was done. I sent it out to some people to review and I got a lot of feedback. One person told me to change the concept of the book. I had been writing this for about a year and that was some of the feedback that I got. I was slightly upset. I asked for the feedback. You can’t get upset with getting feedback if you ask for it. I remember a friend of mine saying, “Don’t ask the question if you don’t want to hear the answer.” I took that to heart and they were right. The feedback that I got was good, solid advice to make the book better.

I took a deep breath and I focused on getting the book done and that wasn’t the focus that I needed to be making. I needed to make it a bestseller. I needed to make it the best book that it could be. A New York Times bestseller. That’s what I’m talking about. I embraced the feedback and I continued to work on it. I added in personal stories that would bring my points to life. I talked to leaders to get some quotes. I added in some takeaways for people to take action and use right away and the book got better and better. Then it was done. I had to figure out the cover and I’m not the creative type. I asked for help right off the bat and I got some ideas that I thought would be great, but they didn’t pan out.

It’s hard to build trust but it’s so easy to lose. Click To Tweet

Then I got this fabulous designer from Tyler Trout Designs and the magic happened. My book cover is complete. I officially sent it to the publisher and the book is on its way. I am so excited and I can’t wait to get feedback from all of you out there on what you think of the book. When you’ll be reading it, it will be done. I’m going to do a presale of the book for a discounted price and I’ll sign them as well. I’ll be posting the link for the presale on my social media. I tell this full story because this brings to life things that happen to all of us every day. We say things that are important to us but our actions don’t support that because we don’t make it a priority. It links directly to believe, commit, achieve. I believe that I would be able to write a book, a great book that will help people because that’s the purpose of the book. Until I made a commitment, it was only a dream. Belief without commitment is only a dream.

My book is called Plant Your Flag: The Seven Secrets to Winning. This is a leadership book. It gives you steps that you need to take to improve or enhance or maybe a quick reminder of what it takes to be a great leader. I designed the book around the concept of victory and they are the seven characteristics that you need to focus on if you truly want to be a great leader. Leadership skills can be taught but you have to want to learn. You have to want to take a look at yourself in the mirror and determine truly how you operate. You have to be honest with yourself. Are you doing the things necessary to be effective or not? The first step is to be honest. If you’re brave, then you can ask people for feedback. People that know you and people that will tell you things that you need to hear. Once you do that, you’re creating your baseline for where you are now. That’s your starting point.

What are the areas that you need to improve upon to be a great leader? That’s your starting point. Then you’re going to analyze that current behavior. Once you understand where you are now, then you can focus on the characteristics and figure out what you want to do differently to make yourself better. The first chapter in the book is all about vision. You must have a vision. What is it that you’re trying to accomplish? What is your purpose? Why are you doing what you do? Why do you need help from others to achieve your goals? There are many questions that you need to answer. Are you having a vision? The most important thing for a leader is to have a vision. If I am your leader and you asked me, “Where are we going,” and I say, “I’m not sure. We’ll figure it out along the way.” Would you feel confident that you’re following the right person? Probably not. This is a very simple example but one that will hold true on anything that you’re focused on. It doesn’t matter how small the task.

CRS 13 | Passion And Vision
Passion And Vision: There’s nothing more satisfying than watching your dream come true, knowing that you did everything in your power to make things happen.


If the leader doesn’t have a vision, hasn’t mapped out a plan to show what success looks like, then the likelihood of achieving success is not good. It sounds so easy but it’s not. It’s not easy to create a vision because there are many possibilities. There are many things to think about and I provide you with many examples that after reading it, you’ll be able to begin to craft your own vision. The next thing that you need to focus on is influence. You can’t do things all by yourself most of the time. Even if you have a personal vision to lose weight, for example, you may still want your family to get rid of all the junk food in the house. You may still want your friend to go to the gym with you. There are people that you will have to influence to get them on board with your vision. You’re going to need help and you’re going to need to pick the right people that can help you.

Belief without commitment is just a dream. Click To Tweet

The next thing is communication. We have all probably had instances where there were communication breakdowns. It’s really important to understand how to effectively communicate with all different types of people. The problem is we all think we’re fabulous communicators. Most of us will find that there are times when we’re not as fabulous as we think we are. The next thing I talk about in the book is T for Trust. We all know how hard trust is to build and how easy it is to lose. Treat it with importance because if you lose the trust of people, gaining it back is very tough. O is for Open-minded. You have to be able to see things from a different perspective. There’s more than one way to skin a cat. You have to be flexible. R is for Relationship building because our world is all about building relationships and Y is about Yielding results. When you follow that all, you can achieve victory.

It All Starts With You

We covered a lot and there are always so much more to talk about. I interviewed Karina Anglada and the three things that she talked about, find your passion. The second thing is you need to take risks in order to learn and grow. The third thing is that you need to do whatever it takes to make things happen. You need to take action. Then we talked about the Carolyn Rivera Show. The show itself and what is the vision and the purpose for me doing this? It is to support each and every one of you and I mentioned that my vision is to help others succeed. To work with people and to change their behavior. To work with you to change your behavior and to enhance your skills. To help you achieve things that you never thought were possible. It all starts with you, the individual. I can’t make you want to succeed. I can’t make you want to reach for the stars. You have to have that desire. You have to want it. You have to have the mindset to want to continue to learn and grow.

We talked about that fire in your belly. Do you have the will to win? What is so important to you that you will do whatever it takes to be successful? That’s what I meant by the fire in your belly. I shared my fire story. It was scary. I never made a fire using flint before and I was forced to do it to stay in the game of Survivor on day 38 with just one day left in the game. I was scared, but I had to find my passion to succeed. That’s what I meant by “Ignite your will to win.” You have to figure out what your passion is and when you do, go after it with everything you can. Put the actions in place to make things happen and you have to believe, commit and achieve. Belief without commitment is just a dream and you are not all about dreaming. You are all about making those dreams come true. There is nothing more satisfying than watching your dream come true, knowing that you did everything in your power to make things happen.

The last thing is I shared my book story. Sometimes we get sucked into living our day-to-day lives. We put our dreams on hold because we simply don’t have time to make them happen. If they are important to you, you will find the time. When you don’t, then maybe you’re not ready. When you’re ready to take action, you are truly ready. The show is all about you, reader. Follow me on Instagram @TheCarolynRiveraShow. If you’re ready to ignite your will to win, to enhance your leadership effectiveness, build a strategic plan or reprogram your mindset, just go to my website at CarolynjJRivera.com and send me a message. My passion is to watch people succeed and helping people achieve more than they ever thought possible is my specialty. Remember, believe, commit, achieve is the secret sauce you are looking for.

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