Episode 43

December 13, 2023


Episode 43 - Carrie Verrocchio - My brother took my hand and said, you have put yourself in prison. The only person who holds the key to the cell is you. This prison is called corporate America. You're hiding your gifts, the gifts God gave you.’

Hosted by

Drew Deraney
Episode 43 - Carrie Verrocchio - My brother took my hand and said, you have put yourself in prison. The only person who holds the key to the cell is you. This prison is called corporate America. You're hiding your gifts, the gifts God gave you.’
From Caving In To Crushing It
Episode 43 - Carrie Verrocchio - My brother took my hand and said, you have put yourself in prison. The only person who holds the key to the cell is you. This prison is called corporate America. You're hiding your gifts, the gifts God gave you.’

Dec 13 2023 | 00:27:37


Show Notes

This episode: My brother took my hand and said, you have put yourself in prison. The only person who holds the key to the cell is you. This prison is called corporate America. You're hiding your gifts, the gifts God gave you.’

Here’s what you’ll learn about:

  • Life's defining moments and the impact of cancer on a family. (0:00)
    • Carrie Verrocchio shares her personal story of defying societal expectations and finding her true purpose.
    • Carrie reflects on her childhood memories of listening to her parents and grandparents share stories, and how they envisioned repeating this tradition with her own children.
    • Her oldest brother was diagnosed with terminal colon cancer, and he and their family went through three years of cancer treatments before he lost his battle in 2010.
  • Life choices after a brother's death. (4:10)
    • Carrie’s brother died and appeared in a dream, telling her to choose wisely and make the most of her life.
    • She took steps to change her life after the dream, including quitting her job, and felt a fierce energy to make the most of her time.
    • Carrie took steps to improve her health, including dropping excess weight and taking courses on speaking and coaching, before discovering her true passion for, what she thought was, teaching live fitness classes.
  • Personal growth, cancer diagnosis, and resilience. (9:05)
    • Carrie loves being on stage, encouraging people, and teaching, and has eliminated the phrase "shoulda, woulda, coulda" from her vocabulary.
    • She started a group coaching program using the "radical empowerment method" and podcast and is now writing a book on gratitude journals.
    • Carrie discovered she had Lynch syndrome, a genetic disorder that increases colon cancer risk, and after a colonoscopy found invasive cancer despite following a healthy lifestyle.
    • She had half of her large intestine removed and underwent additional testing due to the cancer diagnosis, highlighting the importance of genetic testing for cancer risk.
    • Carrie shares her personal experience with cancer, including her mother's diagnosis and death, and her own ongoing screening and involvement with cancer organizations.
  • Gratitude and forgiveness for personal growth. (16:25)
    • Carrie is creating a gratitude journal book with 30 days of space for written reflection to help clients turn negative thoughts into gratitude.
    • She encourages listeners to write down their fears and let their brain run wild with possibilities, then highlight and focus on one thing to work towards.
    • Carrie teaches a visualization technique to manage fear by putting it in the backseat and limiting its control, allowing the listener to live their life without letting fear hold them back.
  • Life, business, and overcoming obstacles with Carrie and Gary V. (20:47)
    • Carrie tells about Gary Vee discussing the importance of fear in driving motivation and taking risks, and Carrie shares her experiences and insights from her podcast.
    • Carrie V shares her entrepreneurial journey and advice for others, encouraging them to take action and be willing to make mistakes.

To learn more about Carrie, go to LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/carrieverrocchio/ or you can go to Carrie’s website at http://www.coachcarriev.com/.

Carrie Verrocchio Bio: Carrie Vee (Verrocchio) MBA, International Speaker,  Best Selling Author, Podcast Host, and Certified Transformation, Forgiveness, and Grief Coach, helps those who have forgotten how to dream, how to overcome their excuses and live the lives they were created to live. 

Carrie Vee has been certified by the Maxwell Leadership Team as an executive leader in speaking, coaching and training as well as a certified DISC consultant.  

She is the founder of the Radical Empowerment Method - a program designed to walk people through the exact method she herself used to move from a life of feeling invisible to a life of empowered success and action.  

She is a Toastmasters Semi-Finalist in the 2020 World Championship of Speaking as well as a keynote speaker for Toastmasters. She has been featured in multiple media outlets and has spoken on stages to thousands of men and women.

View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

[00:00:02] Speaker A: Hi, Carrie. [00:00:03] Speaker B: Hello, Drew. Thank you so much for having me on here today. [00:00:07] Speaker A: You're welcome, and it's my pleasure. And as we were talking before I hit the record button, I was joking, but I said, we're not keeping score here. But you've had me on your show twice, so I need a comeback. But that's not the reason. Honestly, the reason, I mean, the impact of what I try to get on this show is to bring people on who are inspiring and provide hope for the audience by their actions, not by their words. And everybody I bring on has an amazing story, and they are unstoppable overcomers, and you're one of them. That's really why I wanted you to come on. Plus, you're a wonderful human being. So you checked all the boxes? [00:00:54] Speaker B: I checked all the boxes. Thank you. [00:00:57] Speaker A: So, when we're young, we're taught that life is linear. If you do A-B-C and d, everything's going to turn out fine. And boom. And inevitably, something gets in our way, and we either go through it or go around it or retreat. And those defining moments shape us who we are now. And I'm curious, and I'm sure the audience, too, where? Go far. As far back as you want. Where was that defining moment or moments where it was like, wow, there's a better way to live. And what has shaped you to be who you are now? [00:01:34] Speaker B: I absolutely love this question. I absolutely was taught that you do these things, and everything will fall into place. It was go to college, get your corporate job, you stay there forever, and you retire with the gold watch and go live your life. And in that whole time zone or that whole timeline, also was spending time with family and growing up with my brothers and then taking on the role of parents and then telling our kids all the stories of our childhood, that is what my parents did. We would sit down with my mom's sisters and brother, and we would laugh, and we would do the same thing with my dad and his siblings. The stories were hysterical. And watching my grandmother's face when she would hear a story for the first time as they got older, and she was like, you did what now? And just laughing. I couldn't wait for that part, Drew. I couldn't wait for that part of my life because I watched the fun, and I watched my parents and their siblings get closer and closer and closer as they grew, and I couldn't wait to be a part of that. And so as I went through that whole graduate from high school, go to college, get the job, get married, have kids. As I went through all of that, I also would talk to my brothers and say, what stories are we going to tell to our kids? And we would laugh. We would start laughing about them when we were still not having our own kids. We would start to think about what we were going to do with this. I had this vision. I mean, from the time I was a little girl, I had this vision of the three of us sitting on one of our front porches drinking coffee, laughing over the stories while our grandkids begged us to tell the story one more time. I had this vision. And it was so real that if I thought about it, I could smell the coffee in our cups. I could hear the giggle of my oldest brother. He had the best laugh in the world. And then when I was graduating with my MBA, the year I was to graduate with my MBA, in fact, the month I was to graduate with my MBA, my oldest brother was diagnosed with terminal colon cancer. And he was 45 years old. And it stopped me in my tracks. And we embarked on three years of his cancer treatments. One year, that was really good. And then when the cancer came back, just a horrifying time of watching him fight for his life. And in May of 2010, he lost that battle. But before he died, one week before he died, he had gone out to breakfast with me and my husband, and he was sitting across the table from me, and he was struggling to just drink orange juice. At that point, he was skin and bones. And he reached over and he took my hand and he said, you have put yourself in a prison, and the only person who holds the key to the cell is you. This prison is called corporate America. And you're holding the key, and you're hiding your gifts, the gifts God gave you. You have this gift, and you have to promise me that you'll spend the rest of your life helping others choose life while they still have life to choose. And I promised him. I promised him. But I had no idea how I was going to fulfill this promise. And so that my brother's death was the first part of that defining moment. But a few weeks after he died, after we buried him, I had a dream. And in this dream, I walked into a restaurant. My brother was sitting there with his back to the door. But I knew it was him. I just knew it was my brother. And I could hear his voice. I mean, this dream was technicolor, techna sound technique, everything. And I walked over to him, and I kept calling his name. I'm hitting his shoulder. He is completely ignoring me in this dream. And so I finally went and I stood in front of him and I looked down at him and I was like, why won't you talk to me? I just want you to come to our house for dinner. I miss you, Billy. And he looked up at me and he said, I can't talk to you. I can't talk to you because I died. Don't you remember? I died. I'm only here to give you a message. Life is short, little sister. Choose wisely. And I woke up with such a fierce energy. I just knew what he was saying was, your choices are not good right now. You're not making a wise choice. You're hiding your gifts. You're keeping yourself in a prison. You're not happy. You are not doing what you were put on this earth to do. And at any moment, your chance could be. I just. I started on steps, Drew. I had no idea what it looked like. I had no idea what this container was going to look like. I had no idea what it was going to play out to be. But I started taking steps. One of them was quitting my job. [00:06:40] Speaker A: Wow. I actually got a visceral reaction right now. I felt that. And it's amazing how sometimes it takes something that big jar us and there are so many signs along the way that we miss because we are wrapped up in a belief system that's not real. And I'm 54. It was up 53 years it took me to have that moment. And I'm hoping by people like you and me and others telling our story, we can get it into the heads of these 18, 1920 year olds to have them stop and think, yes, you've decided on your journey. Tell me how you took that first step. Towards what? Your brother. You promised your brother. [00:07:42] Speaker B: Yeah. The first step for me was taking back my health, making sure that I was moving my body and drinking water and dropping excess weight and really tapping into taking care of my body so that I could do these things that I wanted to do right. We can have great goals, but if we don't take care of this physical thing that houses who we are, we're not going to be able to do it. So that was step one. I then started to take courses on how to speak, how to coach. I joined a network marketing company so that I could really start kind of making some income while I was moving forward. So I joined a health and fitness network marketing company. Then I thought that was going to be it. Then I thought, well, I'm going to teach live fitness classes. So I got all those certifications. Built a gym in my basement so I could teach. And just before we were laying the flooring and then I was picking out fitness flooring, I was like, I don't think this. Is it. [00:08:46] Speaker A: Better to learn at that time. [00:08:48] Speaker B: Yeah. But I had a really good business coach who was challenging me all along the way. Why are you making these decisions? And I realized it was because there was always somebody saying, you should do this, you should do this, you should do this. And that was another aha moment. Let me tap into what I'm feeling. What do I love doing? I love being on stage, encouraging people and teaching people. I love to sing. I love to coach. And when I really got deep onto what I love doing, it was very easy to make the decision on what the direction was that I was going to go in. [00:09:27] Speaker A: Wow. I'm thinking about the term you said should. Have you eliminated from your vocabulary? Should, would, could. [00:09:37] Speaker B: No, I'm never going to should all over myself again. Yes. And if I catch myself saying it, it's an immediate stop for me. I have taught my brain that. Wait, why should I or, I have to go to this tonight. No, you don't have to do anything. [00:09:56] Speaker A: No. And if it's something that benefits you, say, I want to, not, I need to. [00:10:00] Speaker B: Exactly. [00:10:01] Speaker A: I need to go to the gym. No, you want to because it's going to make you feel better. [00:10:05] Speaker B: That's right. [00:10:06] Speaker A: Oh, my goodness. All right, so you got your health back, both physically and mentally and emotionally. Right? And then no more fitness, live fitness things. Then what? [00:10:21] Speaker B: I jumped into coaching. I did. I started a group coaching program using the method and the steps that I went through with that challenge by my brother and called it the radical empowerment method. And that is my signature course, my signature everything. The radical empowerment method is the steps I went through. Choosing joy and happiness, clearing the clutter both mentally and physically, choosing to forgive, walking through that forgiveness, tapping into who I was. Like that moment, standing down here picking out flooring and thinking, this isn't what I want. This isn't what I want. And really getting clear, getting clear on that, gaining clarity. So I started a group coaching program. It was a huge success. And so I just kept going. And then people would come back and say, well, do you coach one on one? And it really was an organic growth. Okay. As I went, when the pandemic hit, I started a podcast, finished my book, my first book, which is a gratitude journal. I just started to take those steps. We get stuck in this linear journey thing quite often, I think, as human beings. [00:11:38] Speaker A: Sure. [00:11:38] Speaker B: Right. We get on our path and we're like, this is the path. And in part of taking back my health with talking with my GP, I had said, cancer runs in our family. Colon cancer has taken so many people, right? And my mom's siblings. My mom had colon cancer when she was in her 50s, but it was caught early and they were able to remove it. [00:12:04] Speaker A: Okay. [00:12:04] Speaker B: And she said to me, colon cancer is not hereditary. If you keep yourself healthy, you won't ever have to worry about it. [00:12:12] Speaker A: Wow. Now that is forward thinking. At that time. [00:12:17] Speaker B: Yes, it was at that time. So I followed all the rules and I checked all the boxes. Water, the sleep, stress reduction, whole healthy foods, lots of plant based foods. And then in December of December 13 of 2020, a Sunday night, 08:00 at night, my phone rang, and it was an unknown number, and I don't usually pick those up, but something inside said, you need to pick this up. And I did. And it was my doctor who had done a colonoscopy six days previously. And I thought, 08:00 on a Sunday night, and Dr. Laraman's calling me, this is not going to be good news, right? And he said, we removed one tiny little polyp. I even told your husband, we expect it to be nothing, but it is invasive colon cancer. And it literally buckled my knees. And I sat down on the couch. We were decorating the Christmas tree. I told my husband, and we just sat there staring. And then he looked at me and he said, but how? You did everything right. Yeah, I did everything right. And I went in for yet another colonoscopy. They did more biopsies of the colon wall, and there was even more cancer. So I did have half of my large intestine removed from the seacum up to the transverse colon in early January. They all also did some genetic testing and found out that I carry this genetic disorder called lynch syndrome. [00:13:48] Speaker A: So there was something genetic? [00:13:50] Speaker B: Yes, there was. And it is the leading cause of colon cancer in people. Younger people, especially, like 55 and younger. [00:13:59] Speaker A: What's it called? [00:13:59] Speaker B: What was it? Lynch syndrome. Syndrome. Lynch. And it's not reading you want to do before bed. It will keep you up at night. It was very scary. I had people calling saying, oh, my gosh, you're going to die in the next few years. Well, I mean, any of us could, right? [00:14:16] Speaker A: It's true. [00:14:17] Speaker B: Any of us could. [00:14:18] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:14:20] Speaker B: My mother was living with us at the time. She was 85, 84, almost 85. And telling her that another of her children had colon cancer when she had already buried one was very difficult. [00:14:33] Speaker A: Wow. [00:14:33] Speaker B: Then the lynch syndrome came. That diagnosis came, and we had her tested. We kind of suspected it had come through her. You have a 50% chance of passing it on to your kids. [00:14:44] Speaker A: Oh, boy. [00:14:46] Speaker B: She did have it. I had her in for a colonoscopy on May 3 of 2020, and she died in my arms on the 22nd. They found massive colon cancer. So there was another defining moment. Okay, where do I go from here? You're going along in life, and it's just started. My podcast, wrote my first book and all this. And then. Oh, you have cancer. Oh, so does your mom. Oh, your mom's going to die. And it just was a very defining time for me because I realized there was more to my message that I didn't realize I had. And I have allowed myself to give myself grieving time, but then to stand up and say, okay, God, I don't know what you want me to do with this part of my story, but I'm open. Lead me. Just show me where to go. Show me what you want me to do. So I have been very involved now with cancer organizations and helping people process those emotions. [00:15:49] Speaker A: That's unbelievable. And at your health, you look wonderful. You feel good, everything's. [00:15:56] Speaker B: I do. I feel very good. I will be screened for the rest of my life every year for multiple types of cancer. But every day I wake up, I take it as a sign that I have more to do. [00:16:11] Speaker A: I'm late for my. I need to go get my colonoscopy because my mom's sister died at age 43 of colon cancer. [00:16:18] Speaker B: Please don't wait. [00:16:19] Speaker A: My dad had prostate cancer and all that. I've gone once when I turned 50, but I'm 54 now, so I guess I should go back, right? [00:16:28] Speaker B: You should. Especially with a family history. Yes. [00:16:30] Speaker A: Okay, I'll do that. I've been putting off. Yeah, okay. [00:16:36] Speaker B: We all do it. [00:16:37] Speaker A: So tell me how the book. Tell me about the book, how it's going. You talk about the first two book, the gratitude journal, whatever you like. I'd love to hear about the book and other stuff. [00:16:48] Speaker B: The gratitude journal. Part of the radical empowerment method is gratitude. Choosing that gratitude. [00:16:53] Speaker A: Okay. [00:16:53] Speaker B: And when I was walking through it with my group coaching and then with my private clients, I really encourage written gratitude. [00:17:01] Speaker A: Okay. [00:17:01] Speaker B: A practice of written gratitude. And many of them would say, but how do we get started? It just felt like, hand me a blank book and a pen. And it just stopped them in their tracks. So I put together 30 days. It's an eight and a half by eleven with one blip at the top and then a whole bunch of space for you to write your own thoughts. And the whole idea of the book is to take maybe a negative thought in your life and turn it into gratitude. So when we start to complain about having to do our laundry, let's be thankful that we have so many clothes that we get to wash them and we get to wash them in a washer and dryer. [00:17:42] Speaker A: Absolutely. [00:17:43] Speaker B: Right. Or I can't believe I have this sink full of dishes. Well, you have dishes in your sink because you had food to put on them. [00:17:51] Speaker A: There you go. [00:17:52] Speaker B: This is not still in many parts of the world. [00:17:55] Speaker A: No. [00:17:56] Speaker B: And so I wrote that. And then the radical empowerment method. I finished after my mom died. I sat down, and before she died, she said, you better finish that book. And so I did the summer after she died. It starts with clearing space, and then it goes all the way through till it ends with changing and choosing your path. And in that in between, we talk about laughter and joy and gratitude and forgiveness and how to tap into those, to create the space in your life, to step into who you were created to become. Because we can do, do and just keep doing things. But if they're things that don't matter, we're not stepping into who we're becoming. We're just on autopilot doing all the things we should. [00:18:50] Speaker A: Absolutely. You address forgiveness, which helps get rid of your concerns about the past. [00:18:58] Speaker B: Yes. [00:18:58] Speaker A: Right. [00:18:59] Speaker B: Absolutely. [00:19:00] Speaker A: Can't change that. And then you talk about gratitude, which kind of supplants you in the moment. And this is all we can control, is like, the right now in the radical empowerment method, what conquers or gets you to control fear of the future? [00:19:18] Speaker B: One of the things that I have my clients do is to. And this is one on one or in a group setting or from the stage, is to literally take that blank piece of paper and a pen and write one sentence. Wouldn't it be amazing if. And then you let your brain run wild. There are no limits on this. And then we go back with a highlighter, and we highlight the things that really step out to us, stand out to us. And then we pick one thing, and that one thing is the thing we're going to really focus on. And when fear knocks at our door and says, you can't do that, I teach them to literally say, okay, fear, you're allowed to come on this journey because you keep me from driving off a cliff, touching a hot stove. [00:20:06] Speaker A: Absolutely. [00:20:07] Speaker B: Grabbing the curling iron with my hand instead of letting it fall to the floor. I've done that. Fear gets me to not step into those things, but you're not going to keep me from living my life. So you're allowed on the journey, but you must get in the backseat, and you are not allowed to touch the radio or the windows. You don't get to choose when we stop to eat or when we use the bathroom. You're just there. [00:20:29] Speaker A: Yes. [00:20:31] Speaker B: And that visual just helps so much, allowing people to. And it's not mine. And I wish I could remember who taught that to me. And for the life of me, I can't. I'd love to give credit, but it's brilliant, that visual of fear just kind of being in the backseat and us going into our future, not fearless. I don't believe that's real. [00:20:53] Speaker A: No. You need a little fear because your risks need to be tactical and not necessarily safe. But at least there's got to be some kind of logic behind your risk. [00:21:06] Speaker B: It's a great motivator. [00:21:08] Speaker A: It is. It really is. Stress is a good motivator, but too much stress, not good. Fear is a good motivator, but not too much. Right. Your message, and correct me if I'm wrong, is that you are driving the bus of your life. You control where it goes, how fast it goes, and how long you're going to be going. Yeah. Fear does not dictate our future. So. I love that, Carrie, that's awesome. I could talk to you forever. We talked about the coaching. We've talked about the Book. Tell me a little about the podcast. [00:21:41] Speaker B: My podcast is, as you know, we talk. We talk real life as if we sat down in a coffee shop and we started talking about what is waking you up in the morning, what is driving you, what's on your heart today. And those conversations can be anything from mindset to a physical product to cleaning your house. It's whatever is on your heart. And I tell people all the time, they will say, can you give me a list of questions you're going to ask? No, because the podcast is coffee and tea with Carrie v. If I invite you out for coffee, I'm not giving you a list of the things we're going to talk about. We're just going to let this flow. [00:22:24] Speaker A: Absolutely. [00:22:24] Speaker B: And it's been a joy doing this podcast. [00:22:28] Speaker A: That's wonderful. I enjoyed being on it. Loved having you tremendously. Yeah. Thank you. All right, so a couple of questions I want to ask you, and then we'll get to how people can find you. Okay, so, Carrie, you have the opportunity to sit down with young Carrie. Young seven to ten year old Carrie. And you want to give her some advice about life. What are you going to tell her? [00:22:54] Speaker B: So when I was young, I was extremely obese. And seven to ten year old Carrie was probably about 80 pounds overweight, and she was afraid to do anything. She was afraid to go to birthday parties because she had to bring her special weight watchers ice cream and her special weight watchers cake. And the other kids laughed at her and called her names. And she was afraid to step out and do much of anything because she thought she wasn't worthy, because she didn't look like the other kids. But seven to ten year old Carrie was also carrying a secret of sexual abuse from a family member that she was afraid to tell anybody. And so she ate her feelings down. And so I would take her in my arms and tell her that the abuse wasn't her fault. And she could tell her mommy and daddy, and they wouldn't be mad at her, and they wouldn't disown her, and this person wouldn't get away with it. And it was okay for her to feel that grief and cry and love herself no matter what she looks like, because she doesn't have to be like every other kid. She gets to be who she was created to be. [00:24:18] Speaker A: Wow. Thanks for sharing that, Carrie. Jeez. All right. I'm rarely at a loss for words. Okay, so now you put on a different hat, and you're sitting with young Carrie, the young businesswoman entrepreneur, and you want to give her advice about business. You're going to tell her. [00:24:38] Speaker B: I would tell her two things. One, don't wait until you're ready to start. Launch the product. Write the book. You don't have to be ready. You just got to take a step. And the other thing I would tell her is, you are very impetuous, which I am very gregarious, very impetuous. I jump into things pretty easily. And I would tell her to take the time to really investigate opportunities. Not overthink them, but investigate them, and know what she's stepping into. And if things don't work out, be willing to share your missteps along the way with others. Don't hide them, because we all make those missteps. And if you make a bad investment, share why it was a bad investment. [00:25:36] Speaker A: Right. [00:25:36] Speaker B: Because you get to help others along the way. That's what I would tell. [00:25:41] Speaker A: Wow. That's wonderful. All right, well, the audience and I have gotten more of a sense of the essence of Carrie v. And many people in the audience are going to want to reach out to you. Let's make it easy for them. How can they do that? [00:25:56] Speaker B: The best way is my website, which is Carriev, and there's two e's after that, vcarrievee.com. And all my social media channels are there. You can fill out a form to contact me. Everything is there. You can even get the book and even shoes that say life is short. Choose wisely on them. [00:26:15] Speaker A: There we go. Absolutely. Well, Carrie, I am grateful you're in my life and that we're friends. And I want to thank Frank Aegan, the wonderful Frank Aegan, for introducing us. [00:26:27] Speaker B: Yes. [00:26:27] Speaker A: And I'm inspired by you, as are many other people. And please keep doing what you're doing because you are making a huge positive difference and impact in people's lives and just like that are the light for a lot of people. So thank you. [00:26:42] Speaker B: Thank you. Thank you for having me. [00:26:44] Speaker A: It's my pleasure. Be well, everybody. Bye.

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