A fresh-faced Rocsi Diaz took center stage on BET’s 106 & Park in 2006, and her steady prowess over the entertainment industry continues from uptown to Tinseltown. After getting her start in radio, the New Orleans-bred personality went from hosting the popular music countdown alongside E! News‘ Terrence J to holding down the mic as an anchor/correspondent for Entertainment Tonight and currently, HLN’s The Daily Share, proving that hard work will always be the recipe to success.
Another key ingredient: surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals. “Having strong and successful people around you. Having a good crew around you and people that believe in you,” she tells VIBE. “Of course, education and learning everything that there is to learn about whatever it is you’re doing, but you need a good team around you also that believes in what you believe in.”
Here, Rocsi dishes out tips on building a successful empire, the definition of a boss and her mother’s wise words.
The moment I knew ____ would be the way to pursue my dreams was:
The moment I started doing radio [at Dallas’ 97.9 The Beat] was the moment that I knew that it was going to lead to something bigger and take me to different places.
My advice to mothers/women in successful relationships trying to balance work and life:
Where there’s a will, there’s always a way, but it also takes two to make it work.
Something my mom told me that I’ll never forget:
It’s [something] in Spanish that she tells me all the time. I don’t know how you say it in English, but it’s like ‘Whoever is in your circle is a representation of you.’ She was always like, ‘Be really mindful and careful with the company you keep.’
I realized I was living my dream when:
The moment that I really realized that entertainment was fun and for me was when I got 106 & Park. It wasn’t just the first day, but the try-outs. Being on TV and those first days, that first week of interviewing, I was having so much fun. I was like, ‘I can see myself doing this.’
My motivation to succeed:
Just a will to succeed and be happy. Happiness is what motivates me, honestly. I want to be happy in what I’m doing. I like enjoying my job. It doesn’t feel like a job, so my own well-being of being happy is what motivates me.
My steps to success:
Honestly, there was no blueprint I followed. I just took those opportunities when they presented themselves and I went for it. Wherever God had next for me is where I ended up or would land. I can’t say I’m following Oprah’s blueprint, or J. Lo’s blueprint. I’m not, I admire those people for what they do, but I kind of just let the cards fall where they must.
How I handle roadblocks:
Talking to mentors. I talk to people that may have been in a situation similar to whatever it is that I’m dealing with at that time. I make those phone calls for guidance. I’m not scared to ask for advice.
My mentor in-real-life:
Gayle King has been there for me a lot through my career, and is always there to talk to me. She’s a pretty amazing woman.
The hardest project I’ve ever done:
Transitioning from my job as a host on 106 & Park to entertainment television and news reporting. It’s a lot different. I can’t say that it’s hard. It’s just getting accustomed to something different and new. Whether it was Entertainment Tonight and now being at a real news outlet and organization like CNN, it’s learning different things and different ways of handling situations.
My biggest personal win:
My Emmy. When I won my Emmy for Entertainment Tonight, that was a personal goal for me, and something that I’m very proud of. I never thought I would see the day that I always dreamed of seeing: an Emmy with my name on it. But it’s pretty cool in my living room right now. (Laughs)
A reference that I always go back to when I need inspiration:
I always follow the Bible when it comes to passages and quotes. I have it on my Instagram page as well. It’s John 8:7 which is, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone,” so I put that up there for people, especially in the social media world, to remember to watch what you say before you say it. That’s one of my favorites and of course, “Walk by faith and not by sight” which is in the Corinthians, one that I have tattooed on me.
The definition of a boss:
Responsibility. You’re responsible for a lot of other people and not just yourself.
Photo Credit: Isaac Sterling
VIBE Presents: In A League Of Their Own
She Got Game: Meet WNBA President, Laurel Richie
One-Woman Show: A Closer Look At Soledad O’Brien
The Blueprint: Karen Civil On Rocking The Industry And Beyond
Poetry In Motion: Ballerina Misty Copeland On Standing Out
Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: Meet Lifestyle Connoisseur, Miss Diddy
Nothin’ But Sweat: Meet Personal Trainer, Massy ‘Mankofit’ Arias
Ladies First: ESPN’s Cari Champion On Taking Charge In A Male-Dominated Industry
Last Laugh: Aisha Tyler On Being A Woman In Comedy
Fortune Cookie: Taraji P. Henson On Building Your Own Empire
High Notes: Meet BMI Vice President, Catherine Brewton
Flex Zone: Meet Hollywood Trainer, Jeanette Jenkins
Down For The Cause: Meet Petals-N-Belles Founder, Damali Elliott
Controlling The Narrative: Meet Marketing Maven, Tricia Clarke-Stone
Electric Lady: Janelle Monae On Starting A Movement
Voice Of Power: Angie Martinez On Making Bold Moves
Homerun Hitter: Egypt Sherrod On Planning Your Next Takeover
Breaking Barriers: Meet First Latina CEO Of Girl Scouts, Anna Maria Chávez
Super Powers: Tia Mowry-Hardrict On Balancing Career, Motherhood And Marriage
The People’s Champ: Meet FYI Brand Communications CEO, Tammy Brook
Red Carpet Slayer: Meet E! News’ Alicia Quarles
Show Girl: Wendy Williams On Leading An Army Of One
First Take: Mara Brock Akil’s Blueprint For Running Your Own Show
Dream Chaser: Food Network’s Sunny Anderson On Being A Jane Of All Trades
Morning Glory: Meet Executive Editorial Producer Of Good Morning America, Santina Leuci
The Perfect Struggle: MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry On Being Okay With Making Mistakes