The number one thing that holds us back from becoming who we are meant to be is fear. We tend to remain where we started because we have already convinced ourselves that what we want is impossible. This is fear talking us out of what we are truly capable of, and in this great episode, Terri Levine has over Christina Rivera to share with us how her success started when she overcame fear. Christina is a corporate accounts receivable consultant, speaker, and internet podcast host of Savvy Business, Life Unscripted. She talks about how opportunities opened up to her when she decided to take the leap out of fear and inspires you to do the same. Every time you get rid of fear, you become freer. Get inside this great conversation to see what you have been missing out all along and discover the potential that is already in you, waiting to be opened up.
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Overcoming Fear: Discovering The Potential In You With Christina Rivera
I’m reminding you, find things that are working. What is working? Wake up every day with this question. What is going right? What is going well? Put your focus on what is going right. We can all find things that are not quite right yet, but you get to choose what you’re focusing on. In this episode, we’re going to focus on fear. Lots of people have it. Some people have it consciously. Many people have it subconsciously and it might be what holds you back from everything. I have an incredible guest here with me, Christina Rivera. She’s an author, speaker, consultant, and a fantastic internet radio show host of Savvy Business, Life Unscripted. I highly recommend you check that out. She has many years of experience in corporate accounting. Since the conception of Savvy Business in 2012, she has interviewed over 1,000 businesses, foremost experts, and successful individuals from all walks of life. We know she’s got a lot of answers. Christina, I’m delighted to have you with me.
It’s wonderful to be here. Thank you for having me.
You are welcome. How did you decide accounting is one area and then all of a sudden, “I’m going to shift?” How did that come about?
It was an interesting shift. I talked about it the book I wrote. I started writing this blog online called 101 Mistakes and What I Learned in Business. It was my cathartic way to figure out where I want to go in life because I wasn’t happy. I was overweight. I had health problems. I have a whole bunch of fears in my life. I said, “I cannot see the next 30 years being like this.” It will not work for me. It took off and it started to push me and get me thinking about what’s outside of corporate. What else could I do with my life? That started the whole journey.
We were chatting before about why I left Corporate America. The day that I left, I remember thinking to myself, “I wasn’t meant to be there.” I had a lot of learning. I’m happy about that. I knew I never fit in that there was something else in my heart. I’m glad you also are living your dream. You certainly don’t look like the typical accountant that I love.
I worked at the Associated Press for six years. I used to have funky hair and one of the things they used to say to me, “How did you ever get into accounting with your funky hair?” Even then, I did not like to stay inside the box.Often, what holds us back is the idea that we tell ourselves that something is impossible. Click To Tweet
I’ve got some purple in my hair. I think we all get to be who we are. We get to wear and do what we want. I love it when people show up being authentic. That’s part of what we say at Heartrepreneur is transparency, integrity, and authenticity. I’m digging this. Tell us how Savvy Business, Life Unscripted came to be. This sounds interesting.
Thank you, Terri. It was a culmination of being in corporate. When I started to write that blog that got so much attention that people were like, “I love it. When’s it going to be a book?” I’m like, “I don’t write books. I never wanted to be an author,“ but it got me started to hire a coach. It was the best thing I ever did, hiring a mentor. She started asking me questions. “What could you see yourself doing?” I’m like, “I lost touch. What did I like doing? I don’t remember. I don’t know my passion or love anymore other than drinking coffee and hanging out with my dog.” It got me thinking. She said, “Journal every single day. That’s your first homework assignment. Write down what are the things that give you joy.” It kept coming back with, “I liked being with people and talking to them,” but she was like, “How do you start a business with that? If you want to start a business, what could you do with that?” I kept calling and contemplating it. The first thing I stepped out with was what I knew best, which is corporate accounting. I started to do a financial consulting firm. My boss at my job said, “You’re going to be fabulous. You’re going to kick butt. You’re going to do well.”
Maybe I would have if loved it, but I didn’t do well the first year. My goal was to make $100,000. I made $5,600. It was not close to my goal at all. The bottom line is I needed to get the word done and build my credibility. That’s why I built the show as a way to get my credibility out there. It exploded a totally another animal. Within six months, I had 45,000 listeners and business owners clam me to get on telling me after the interview that they were getting leads, hits, and clients. I thought, “I’m on to something. This is my passion. I’m connecting and talking to people.”
When we land on something fun, easy, and effortless. I wake up in the morning and I never think of I’m going to work. That’s all I used to be, but now it’s like, “I’m excited because I am getting to do what resonates.” I hear that with you too.
It’s such a deep prong thing because this show has led to many other things like speaking that I’ve gone out there and done and then this book that culminated a couple of years later. It led to many great things and meeting wonderful people around the world. After I’ve interviewed people, I’ve met about 5 to 6 of my past guests that have come into New York. They gave me a call and said, “Let’s meet up. I’m in town.” It’s wonderful all the serendipitous events have happened at one starting point onward.
When I first started in the coaching and consulting industry, I was unknown. I came out of healthcare and I didn’t know what to do other than I wanted to get more clients to help. I started contacting authors of books that I read that I liked, like Mark Victor Hansen, Jack Canfield, Joe Vitale, and Michael Gerber. Much to my surprise at back in the day, it was teleclasses, telecalls, and interviews. I started interviewing people. My name started to get associated with these people. The next thing I knew, I went from four subscribers on my eZine, who were friends and family that I begged to 56,000. I recommend the strategy to people all the time. Talk to people that you’re interested in chatting with. If you like to do that, it’s fun, easy, effortless, and joyful. People don’t realize how quickly a business grows from that.
The wonderful thing is when I first got started, I thought the famous people made it in business or whatever, they’re not going to talk to little old me. I’m nothing. At first, you’re asking your friends and family because you’re like, “They’re not going to talk to me.” I remember the first time I stepped up. I was at a big aviation event. I went up to this top celebrity who won a five-time world record around the world flying. I said, “I’m somebody who started a little podcast, will you be on my show?” He was like, “I’d be honored.” That was the first moment where I said, “It wasn’t that hard.” They said, “Yes.” They could say, “No,” but the point is, you don’t know unless you ask. That’s part of that fear thing we got started talking about is that often, what holds us back is the idea that we tell ourselves, “This is impossible. They’re not going to say yes. Why would they know me?” All those things you tell yourself that stops you right there when if you ask, it might be a yes.
That is part of what we talked about fear. That is part of the fear that I hear because I’ve talked to client family members all day and say, “Why don’t you ask whatever it is?” They come back later and they still haven’t asked. Let’s dive into this whole concept of fear. For me, one of the things that come up is I can identify in my own life some of the things that have been feared and the fears I’m still working on. Let’s talk about how we tackle the conscious as well as the subconscious because I know there’s some other stuff brewing in here.
I felt that this is the best thing I ever did. For one, hiring my mentor. She helped me start to get inside myself and examine my thoughts that led to my then behavior. What I’m telling myself out loud even. I’d always tell people, “I can’t do that. I’m scared.” My one friend said around this time period when I was studying with her, “Do you know how many times you say the words, ‘I’m scared. I’m fearful?’ All of these fear-based words. All the time I talked to you, fear-based words were coming up constantly on everything you talk about.” I’m like, ”Really?” She’s like, “You don’t even pay attention to what you’re thinking, saying, and doing. It becomes automatic.” For me, being with her and then starting that blog was the first step to my self-examining and realizing what those fearful thoughts and words are are constantly being said by myself.
Self-talk is fascinating. One of my mentors early on had me keep a journal. I still have it. Every single day if I said anything to myself that didn’t sound like I was coaching myself in a loving, uplifting way, I had to carry that journal and write it down. At the end of 3 or 4 days, I was shocked. I had filled pages and pages. That’s only what I could consciously hear myself saying. How do you recommend people stop having all this fear, get on, and do what you’re doing? I can feel your passion. You are living your dream. From our little conversation before, I could feel that you’re inquisitive, curious and that’s what makes you a great host.
Thank you. You as well. We’re kindred spirits. The first step for me was getting to know who I was. I’d forgotten completely. When my mentor said, “What do you love to do?” I was like, “I don’t know. I work and sleep, and I do it all over again.” That was first getting clear on what is my love, passion, and who I am again. What is my value system? What do I stand for? A lot of times, we say we stand for something. Why do you stand for it? I got clear on all of these things. When I started to get clear on all these things, I started saying, “What are the things that I’m saying are scary and fearful for me?”I started to, instead of pushing against it and say, “I’m not going to do it. This is the year I’m going to do it.” It was 2006. One of the biggest fears I had that would make me hide under a table was getting on an airplane. I said, “This year, I’m going to learn to fly.” I went there and got on a four-seater airplane. I decided to take some flying classes.
I did not complete my certification, but I did get over my fear of flying. You had to see me on a commercial liner before I took flying lessons. I was petrified. That was one of the first steps I took. That challenge of pushing yourself was the one thing that scares the living bleeps out of you and goes do that one thing. It then led to doing other things that are going on and do my first speaking event, going and writing this book, starting a show, or whatever it might be. I get scared before my first show when I started Savvy that I had to psych myself up. I would keep running to the bathroom because I was scared.
It’s cool that you took flying lessons to overcome your fear. I haven’t done anything quite that big. I used to have a fear of heights. What I did was I took a whole group of client family members to a high ropes course. The night before, I coached and I consulted with them on overcoming their fears without them knowing that heights were my fear. The next day, we went to the ropes course, and the leader needed to go first. That was me. I was frozen in place. I still remember this for several minutes. I heard somebody yell, “You’re our mentor. Lead us.” I was up. That experience did stop my fear of heights. I have already done a hot air balloon. I have flown in a two-person plane many times. I can walk up ladders, all kinds of things. What’s interesting is people have said, “How was that part of your dream?” I said, In my experience, every time I’ve gotten rid of fear, I feel freer. What can you speak to about that, Christina? Does that resonate?Sometimes, we need that little poke to get things done. Click To Tweet
Yes, Terri. What’s interesting about that is I first broke just one fear. I kept on the journey of understanding myself, then I did the next one, then getting an intimate relationship. I wanted to build a relationship with my life partner and marriage. I kept having disastrous relationships. I went to conquer that one. That was my next thing on the bucket list. The deal is, once I did that, my boss egged me on to start my first consulting business. It gave me the courage to step out further and do more to grow myself. I now feel that if I had not stepped out to do and deal with that fear, which was flying, then I wouldn’t have done all the other things following forward. I would have stayed in fear and done the same thing every day and complained that nothing could change.
That is such a great series of events. Who do you like to work with? What’s your favorite client type? Who do you like to interview? I’m curious about both.
My favorite clients are ones that are interested in making a change. I remember early on when I started consulting, I got a contractor. He said, “I slew a lot of the debt. I want you to help me clear up this debt. I need you to get my clients and my employees back on track.” I said, “I can help you do that.” I started to sit down with him and give him some idea that what we could do to get started to look at his in and out money and to figure out how we can make it better. He didn’t know how much he would bring in and how much he was putting out. He didn’t keep a listing of it. It was that fear thing. If I start to look at it, it’ll be like, “If we don’t look at it, we can’t go forward because we don’t know what to fix.” He refused to look at it. He did not want it and said, “Make it go away.” I’m like, “This is not how this process works. In order for me to help you, we have to look at the facts and deal with them.” My favorite clients are ones that want or willing to make a change because I don’t want to come in, consult, or even interview, but you’re not going to be willing to give and put on the table and make changes.
Where can we find your show, Savvy Business?
Tell us about your book. I’m curious. How did this come to be? I loved interviewing authors as well. I’m an author myself and every author’s journey fascinates me.
It’s funny, Terri because, for years, I said, “I’m bad at writing. I’m never going to write a book. It’s not my thing.” It was true. Writing is not my thing. More talking, communicating verbally is my thing. It is more comfortable for me, but it’s that fear thing that is getting uncomfortable. I had many people say, “I loved your original blog. I love these stories.” I would tell them often on my show in different brining ways. They’re like, “You should put it in the book.” I kept pushing it and people saying, “I can’t do that.” I came across in January 2020 two people that said, “I’m a ghostwriter. Let me help you. Let me take a look at it.” I said, “I don’t think it’s good enough.” They said, “Send it to us.” I did. One of them was like, “I don’t know what you’re talking about. These are practically written for themselves. Let me help you.” She did and she gave me that push, like, “Together we can get this out there.” It became a reality. I’m grateful, thanks to her.
Where can we get the book?
It’s on Amazon. You can go to my website but it’ll direct you right back to Amazon anyway. I suggest going to Amazon.com, Having It Made. You plug in that name, Christina Rivera, and it’ll take it right to it. You can also get the Kindle version. If you’re part of the Kindle thing, I think it’s free.
I’m relating my first books. I’ve written 45 books. I’m on a hiatus from book writing, but my first book was written in 2000. It’s called Work Yourself Happy. The way that that came to be is similar. I did a workshop. There were lots of people at the workshop. In the middle of the workshop on a break, a guy came up to me. He said, “You should write this in a book.” I’m thinking, “I can’t write a book.” He said, “Here’s my business card. Call me.” I called him. We went to lunch one day and he said, “I’ll help you. This has to be a book. I’m a publisher.” I’m like, “I don’t know how to write a book.” He said, “It’s the same content that you gave out in a workbook. Put it in a book.” He helped me and he had published my first book. Sometimes, we need that little poke to get things done.
Interestingly, these people came about at the perfect time when I guess also we were willing to receive the information.
Let’s talk about that point. I think sometimes the opportunity is there. Sometimes we’re getting big knocks and we’re ignoring that. In your estimation, why is it that we’re blind and deaf some of the time?
I don’t know for everyone, but for me, a lot of it results in many fears. A lot of times, I’ll talk to people and they won’t even call it fear. It will be complaining. “It’s the job. It’s a bad boss. It’s this and that.” It’s like putting it outside themselves. They don’t have to deal with it. At the bottom, if you get deeper into it, there is some sort of fear of, “I can’t take it up because I’ll be homeless,” whatever the stories are that you tell yourself. For me, what the bigger hold back is that it started with fear. When you start to uncover, you are like, “That’s it.” If you start taking the first steps forward and whatever those fears are to overcome them, that’s when you begin to see the opportunities that were many times already there but you were not able to see them.Interestingly, people come about at the perfect time when we are willing to receive. Click To Tweet
That’s a great point. Now you have the eyes to see them. I was thinking, “What was I afraid of when I quit my job?” I remember journaling, “I could always work at McDonald’s.” At the time, I didn’t have a PhD, but I did have a Master’s degree. I was a speech-language pathologist with an MCC, which is the highest level you can have in that profession. Back at the time, speech pathologists were in huge demand anywhere from $60 to $80 per hour. I’m thinking, “I’m going to go have fries with that.” It’s interesting that fear kicks in and to be transparent, it never occurred to me. In the back of my head, I did have fear. I’m going from being president of a national healthcare company. I’m perceived as being successful, high six-figure stock options, all that stuff. Here I am starting from zero. “What if I fail? What will people think?” “She shouldn’t have done that, I told her so. That’s ridiculous. Why did she think she could?” It’s interesting, Christina. I haven’t revisited this stuff. I have goosebumps.
You’re bringing back stuff from me. That is what I got from my family. “Have you lost your freaking mind? What are you doing that’s stable?” I didn’t have a lot of support within my main core. My now-husband is my biggest supporter. It’s wonderful when you do have the support. That’s why mentorship is important if you don’t have internal support in your home. He was there from day one, right by my side, every speaking event. My number one fan. That is important. I hear from people often, “If you have that dream in your heart, do not share it sometimes with people around you that are close. If they’re not on the same journey, they’ll sometimes rip it out of your heart or try to pull you down because they can’t relate and it scares them.”
I had a similar experience. My husband is amazing and always my biggest fan. I could feel that he was a little nervous, walking away from this big job. He supported me completely. “I want you to do what makes you happy.” My mom had passed and my father was living with us. My father said, “I didn’t understand. You’re taking your college education and you’re throwing it in a garbage can. Six years of college and a Master’s degree.” He didn’t understand what I was doing, but he knew I was successful. I had 30 clients in 30 days on a waiting list. All of a sudden, when I became successful, my father was talking to my aunt at the time. She said, “What does Terri do?” My father said, “I don’t know, people call her number. She talks to them and they pay her a lot of money.” My entire family thought I was operating as a sex line. I had support from my dad, but I didn’t exactly share what I was doing.
The truth of the matter is we want our readers to get this from our stories. What’s in your heart? We were all moving towards whatever the day we leave the planet. We don’t know when that is and hopefully, it’s not for a long time. However, if you don’t do it, we’re not sure of the next day or next year. I believe that when you take the risk and chance, and it’s something that you’re passionate about, it’s a great thing to do. If they have a fear of a job and they’re like, “I want to be a Christina,” how do they baby step that?
I hired a mentor, which for me, wasn’t a baby step. It was a huge step. It was interesting. I met someone before all this started, before hiring my mentor. He was doing coaching in a group setting in Central Park. To save money, we were doing it on the grass. It was cheap. That was my first experience with the coaching thing and the whole of that world. He started teaching concepts of understanding self-talk and discovering yourself. This is the whole world I never even knew of. It was fascinating to me, but I started going every Saturday for 3.5 hours for this coaching and group session. It rocked my world. It got me to expand my thinking of what’s possible, what I could do with my life that it doesn’t have to stay this way.
He gave me options or made me feel there were options. Let’s say you don’t have a lot of money and hiring a coach. The first step is too scary. I would say find a group setting. Maybe a mastermind class. Something where you could connect with and by likeminded people. People who are looking to expand and grow or get to know themselves. That was the perfect first step for me. Once I did that three-hour thing every Saturday for three months, then I met this woman. When the teacher shows and the students ready, it’s because I had prepared myself with this thing in the park every Saturday. When I met her, she does a speaking event. I went up to her and I said, “I want your life.” She had the life I wanted. I was like, “I need to talk to you.”
I noticed the same thing. I live in Mexico in the winter. I have a house at the Jersey Shore. People come up to me and be like, “I want what you have. I want to travel and speak. I want all of that.” I didn’t even realize when I first started this that I was modeling the potential that people can have in their life. My life prior to leaving Corporate America was measurable. I travel 3 to 4 days a week. Sometimes on weekends, I was shut down. I didn’t want to speak to anyone. I was unhealthy. I was significantly overweight. I was mentally and physically exhausted. Back in the day, there were pagers, faxes, texts, and phone calls. It was nonstop. I could never get away from it. A month after I left, I was with a friend and she showed me a picture of myself in corporate that day. She said, “You look twenty years younger.” That’s when it dawned on me. I was doing something unhealthy for myself before.
You made an awesome point, Terri. When I had left the corporate and my boss had aide me, “You can do this. I believe you could explode and doing what you hear, but for yourself and make a lot more money and whatever.” It was interesting because three weeks after I left, I came to visit everyone. Everyone who saw me was surprised, in the picture with me going surprised. I look much healthier. Before I left, I was unhealthy, sad, and depressed. They all looked at me and were like, “We hate you. We’re jealous,” but the transformation was amazing. I remember looking at the picture of my co-workers and me. They not only look miserable, but the difference in my being was popped through the picture. I was like, “Weeks ago, I looked totally different.”
That is an amazing point. I feel like we are similar in many different ways. First of all, I want to say to our readers, if you dig our show, I know that you’re going to like Savvy Business. There’s no doubt about it. I want people to be able to get your book at Amazon. I love the cover and title.
We flew this plane all over the US. It was so much fun. If you ever thought of flying, I highly suggest it. Even if you don’t want to be a pilot, going up once or twice is a fabulous experience. You get to experience the world in a whole new fashion. This is my little plane. We love this guy.
Having It Made, what a great title. A couple of quick things for the readers. First of all, connect with Christina. This has been one of the most fun conversations, Savvy Business, Life Unscripted. Go to Amazon, get a copy of the book. Start listening to the show. Christina, you have been a fantastic guest and somebody more like a friend. I look forward to staying in touch with you.
That would be awesome. Thank you. I appreciate it.
For our readers, I hope you love the show. You can give us some likes and love. You can share the show. The second thing is we do have a great offer for you and cost nothing. Over on Facebook, we have a group called #Heartrepreneurs with Terri Levine. Once you get accepted into the group, you will see there’s free video training. If you’re thinking about starting a business, changing your beliefs, there are free reports there. There are also tons of downloads and templates that my clients usually pay for, but I’m giving away. Join us on Facebook.com. I’ll ask Christina to join us too and bring her beautiful energy there.
I can’t wait. Thank you, Terri. It’s been fabulous connecting with you and your readers.
It’s been a pleasure. Make sure everyone that you keep tuning in, share the show, and we look forward to seeing you again next time.
- Savvy Business, Life Unscripted
- Having It Made
- Work Yourself Happy
- #Heartrepreneurs with Terri Levine – Facebook
About Christina Rivera
Christina is a corporate accounts receivable consultant, speaker, and internet podcast host of Savvy Business, Life Unscripted. Her background in corporate finance extends beyond twenty-five years.
Interestingly, Savvy Business started in April 2012 as a marketing tool for her receivables business but quickly snowballed into an exciting entity. Her platform supports knowledgeable individuals and business owners in sharing their expertise, knowledge, tips, and stories.
Savvy Business, Life Unscripted features businesses of all fields, and inspirational individuals.
Her new book: ” Having It Made: A Journey of Rediscovery and Purpose” is a personal journey of self-discovery and how she finally found her purpose. She analyzes and uncovers many of the old world myths many of us were taught and believed.
· Uncover your deepest longing, desires of your soul and your true purpose.
· Get clear on what is holding you back from living your purpose in a bigger way.
· Execute your new found wisdom about yourself.
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