Ep427: Deborah Crowe – Don’t Give Up, Make Today Great

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Quick take

BIO: Deborah Crowe is an executive and business coach. She has more than 30 years of global experience in top Fortune 500 companies in Canada, the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia, leading and coaching C-suite leaders, executive professionals, teams, and businesses into a success.

STORY: Deborah’s dad got sick when she was 20 and died a year later. She had to quit school to take care of her sick dad, so she grew up quickly. Without the much-needed parental guidance on navigating adulthood, Deborah often found herself undervaluing herself, her intellect, and what she brings to the table.

LEARNING: Don’t give up on yourself even when you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. Stay consistent.


“We get one trip around the sun; make sure you spend it wisely.”

Deborah Crowe


Guest profile

Deborah Crowe is an executive and business coach. She has more than 30 years of global experience in top Fortune 500 companies in Canada, the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia, leading and coaching C-suite leaders, executive professionals, teams, and businesses into a success.

Deborah started and has been the CEO of her company for 30 years and knows how to get to the top, hold that senior position, and balance career and family. In her coaching practice, she provides the tools, strategies, programs, and support to help create meaningful change in their lives.

Deborah’s expertise includes leadership development, change management, human resources onboarding, diversity & inclusion practices, assessing and integrating high-performance teamwork, increasing personal skills, resilience and agile behaviors, emotional intelligence, and disrupting habits from a cognitive standpoint.

Worst investment ever

Deborah’s worst investment was undervaluing herself, her intellect, and what she brings to the table professionally. This habit stems from having to become a responsible adult at a very early age.

Deborah’s dad got very sick when she was 20, and she had to quit school a year earlier to care for him. This huge responsibility meant she had to grow up quickly. A year later, her dad died. Deborah didn’t get the opportunity to get advice from her parents about how to adult. Her dad’s situation threw her in the ring with the ball, and she had to figure it out alone.

Lessons learned

  • Don’t give up on yourself even when you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. Consistency will always help you get there.
  • If you don’t believe in yourself, nobody else will.
  • Always be open-minded and attentive because there are lots of signs everywhere every day. Just be tuned in and pay attention to see them.

Andrew’s takeaways

  • Life challenges only make you stronger. Don’t let them bring you down because you have a lot of value to bring.
  • Don’t give up on your friends and family because even when it appears like there’s just no hope, things can change. Take a break but don’t give up.

Actionable advice

When you can’t see that light at the end of the tunnel, open your eyes and your ears too. The message is already in your heart; you just need some quiet time to figure it out.

No. 1 goal for the next 12 months

Deborah’s number one goal for the next 12 months is to work with C-suite leaders interested in improving their mental health and general well-being.

Parting words


“Live every day like it’s your last because you never know about tomorrow.”

Deborah Crowe


Read full transcript

Andrew Stotz 00:02
Hello fellow risk takers and welcome to my worst investment ever stories of loss to keep you winning. In our community. We know that to win in investing, you must take risks but to win big, you've got to reduce it to join our community go to my worst investment ever.com and receive these five free benefits. First, you get the risk reduction checklist. I've labored over to create from the lessons I've learned from all my guests. Second, you get my weekly email to help you increase your investment return. Third, you get a 25% discount on all a Stotz Academy courses for you get access to our Facebook community to get to know guests and fellow listeners. And finally, you get my curated list of the Top 10 podcast episodes that I've done. Fellow risk takers This is your worst podcast host Andrew Stotz from a Stotz Academy, and I'm here with featured guests. Deborah Crowe. Deborah, are you ready to rock? I am ready. Let's do it. Well, I'm going to introduce you to the audience. Deborah Crowe is an executive and business coach. She has more than 30 years of global experience in top fortune 500 companies in Canada, the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia, leading and coaching C suite leaders, executive professionals, teams, and businesses into success. Deborah started and has been the CEO of her company for 30 years, and knows how to get to the top, hold that senior position and balance career and family. In her coaching practice. She provides the tools, strategies, programs and support to help create meaningful change in your life. Ladies and gentlemen, Deborah, take a minute and fill in for the tidbits about your life.

Deborah Crowe 01:54
tidbits. Wow, thank you for the lovely introduction. It's nice to be with a fellow podcaster talks about that. You know, similar to you, I I love talking to people, I love engaging in meaningful conversations. And we all have a story. We don't just land where we land. We have bumps along the way and lessons and barriers and aha moments and just enjoying speaking to leaders like you from all over the globe, and highlighting that we're all imperfect, and bringing kind of the language that we're not used to hearing and in leadership in the business world. And I think COVID has kind of opened the doors to easily allow that language to come into discussion.

Andrew Stotz 02:48
Interesting. You just reminded me of a book I read a long time ago called awareness. And I'm just looking for it while we're talking. But I think he was a Catholic priest, and basically said, I think that it would be good. Yeah, here it is Anthony de Mello are now included in the show notes, awareness conversations with the masters. And basically, I love what he said when he said, I think when we introduce each other, we should start off by saying, nice to meet you. I'm an ass and Uranus. That's good. I thought that was pretty good way of starting the conversation. So yeah, you know, I like that's what I thought about when I thought about imperfect, you know, your word imperfect is such a, it's a great word, because it gives us the comfort to be ourselves. You know, in a lot of times in this world, we're trying to put on a face and trying to put on a brave face. And you know, when you also when you work with leaders, it's scary to reveal imperfections and you know, there's times that you may not be appropriate to do it. So it just, I love that word. And for the listeners who would like to learn more, what's the best way to learn more to engage to listen, where we where should they go.

Deborah Crowe 04:06
So everything's on my website at Deb crow calm and there's a tab there for the podcast and they can listen to whatever episode and we're just starting Season Two next week. So it's exciting.

Andrew Stotz 04:18
That's very exciting. And we'll have all that also in the show notes. So ladies and gentlemen follow up there Well, now it's time to share your worst investment ever. And since no one goes into their worst investment thinking will be tell us a bit about the circumstances leading up to it then tell us your story.

Deborah Crowe 04:37
Well, you know when you first told me that question I took it with open kind of an open minded approach and and knew there was kind of a metaphorical value to it. And I thought we could all talk about, you know, how we how we look at money, how we spend money and I thought I think we need to go deeper here. So I want to blow the doors off the metaphorical value of it. And I think the worst investment that I have done in my life is under value, myself, my intellect, and what I bring to the table, professionally, not in my personal life. And I think that kind of stems from being very young 21 being in my second year of university, and my dad died. And he was 54. And I was going to school and I had to quit a year earlier to caregiver for him. So I grew up really, really quickly. Because at 21, I think that's kind of the second phase of our formidable years. That's where your parents really instill that, okay, here's how you need to adult, I didn't really have that it was like being thrown in the ring with the ball. And it was like, figure it out. So last year, I turned 54, which was how old My dad was. And it was a really interesting year for me, because I wanted to reflect on you know, 3033 years he'd been gone and at 2154 looks old. And then when you get there, you're like, wow. And what I realized was I had to grow up really, really quickly. But I learned at a young age, how to be a heart centered leader, through my caregiving to care for one another and not always even think or put my needs first, not to the detriment of my own health, but always open minded to think that it's not about me, which I think is a really great skill. And it really set the foundation for being resilient because I had no other choice. So I had to figure out, you know, what to do with my paycheck, how to budget, my rent my car payment. There were years that I had to work two jobs just to sustain living independently. But I don't I don't regret any of it. I think if anything, many people have asked me how I got through it. And I think strength and silence is two of my superpowers. I think there's always room to pause. Nobody can ever take that away from us. Even in the loneliest, darkest moments that we've all had in our lives. There's always room to seek solace and silence. And just allow yourself time to think without judgment. And I landed up pursuing becoming a yoga teacher when I turned 50. That was another thing that I just wanted to do for me, because it was a challenge. I love a challenge. I love doing something that's out of my wheelhouse out of my scope of expertise. And it's a joke because my clients when I started my case management practice three years after my dad passed, I had a lot of a lot of little kids on my caseload, and my name was never Deb. It was always Deb crow. So it was either a pronoun or a verb. Deb Crow, when are you coming? Or are we going to Deb crow service? And then it landed up? where people would say things like, Is there anything you don't do? And that's what I really want your listeners to think about. Because sometimes people say that, and depending on how its verbalize to us, it can really hurt our heart, it can hurt our feelings. So I think when you don't have that early adult, parental help, you just want to strive to be the best you can be because you didn't have anybody kind of helping you drive to figure out who you are. So I can do lots of different things. And I joke with people and say, you know, I had an Irish Nana that said, we get one trip around the sun and make sure you spend it wisely. And that's visceral for me because of my dad like I'm at his age now. So I live life by design, Andrew I, every day, I have a good time because we don't know when we're going to be called so I don't I don't want to wallow away and in wasting a day I think is kind of where I want to summarize my story and my message.

Andrew Stotz 09:42
And can you go back in time and think about a day or a moment where it was just really hard. You know, the experience that you were going to the way you felt about yourself the way you felt with what your dad was going through and you know with other people board having a different sort of experience in life? Can you remember a particular day or particular time?

Deborah Crowe 10:07
Yeah, I remember standing at the pharmacy with my dad. And my dad had, I guess what they would call today bipolar, he had a mental health problem. I didn't know that. So you would be engaged in a conversation with him. And then the next thing, you know, he'd be screaming at someone or it was really well, one, it was frightening because you went from one emotion to the other. It was embarrassing, because I'm a kid, this is my dad, I didn't know how to handle this situation. But I didn't know how sick My dad was because my mom wasn't around, like she had her own issues. And it just to be thrust in that position. I have such heartfelt emotion for any caregiver today, it's probably the toughest job in the world. But I think what I took away from it, and where I'm really comfortable is I volunteer at hospice every week. And I have people say, how do you do that? It's like, it's by normal. Not when I can look you in the eye and say, I know how you feel right now. And it's really relatable to me, and, but I'm just a little farther down the road with the grief process and healing my heart and you will get there. But it's okay to lean in right now and feel really, really sad. Like I've been there. I've been there multiple times with my family. And I think when we have that relatability with our clients, I think it gives some solace, and allows you to be even more approachable.

Andrew Stotz 11:49
Yep. And how would you summarize? I mean, what you've explained, is really an experience in your life? And how would you describe the lessons that you learn from it?

Deborah Crowe 12:02
You know, it's an old cliche, but it holds so much merit for me, and I think I've engraved it in my heart, don't give up. Don't give up on yourself. And even when you can't see the light at the end of the tunnel, consistency will always help you get there. Because if you don't believe in yourself, nobody else is gonna.

Andrew Stotz 12:29
Wow, you know, I'm, I've, I have a lot of emotion as you're talking. And maybe I'll just summarize two things that I wrote down, you know, the first one was about caregiving. And, you know, I made a decision five years ago to bring my mom to Thailand after my dad passed away, and it was, you know, sad and hard for all of us in our family to lose my dad. And then bringing my mom who was a challenge, because she was recovering from stroke in taking a lot of medicine and just in not in great shape. And, yeah, it's been the challenge of a lifetime. I never, I never got married, and my sister jokes that I had my first daughter when she was 18. Yeah, you know, way. And now, you know, things have changed, I've managed to help my mom get back, you know, get her mind back and get her health back, which has been fantastic. And then, you know, we've been through so much together, and we've cemented our relationship and so much that we've shared, but yeah, there's a lot of challenge and sacrifice that we, you know, deal with. And I think the, once you've been in that situation, and you've lost people and all that, I think you just have a lot of value to bring, like going to hospice, as you said, the idea that I've been through it, and I made it, you know, I'm not coming here with any pity. I'm not cutting coming here with any amazing story that you're going to be amazing from this experience. I'm just coming here, as a person who has been through it to say, you can do it. And that's a huge, you know, reminder to me, so I really appreciate that. And the second thing that you said is something that I always say, and I say you know, don't give up on your friends and family. Because even when it appears like there's just no hope. Things can change. And I've watched my mom change. I've watched myself change when I was in my worst situation when I was very young, and my parents didn't give up. So I think it's a real challenge that I really want to highlight to the audience and to listeners that you know, listen to what Deb says and don't give up. Just when you think you give up. You know, that's the time to just take a break. But don't give up. Anything you would add to that.

Deborah Crowe 14:53
I think we have to always be open minded and attentive because we get lots of Signs every day, if we're really tuned in and paying attention, so when people say, you know, this was serendipitous, or I had a deja vu moment, or do you think it was interesting that our, our past Connect? And I always say no, it was meant to be like, things just don't happen for a reason. There's, there's always, my grandma used to say there's always a reason, a season or a lesson. And sometimes it's all three. And sometimes we don't know which one it is. And I'm just I'm always present. Whether I'm in a conversation, or I'm just attentively listening to someone, I think that's probably one of the best skills that I would ask your listeners to, to just renew, when you don't know what you don't know. Or you can't see that light at the end of the tunnel. Open your eyes, but Open your ears to because the message is in your heart, you just you have to have some quiet time to figure it out. Clear clarity over chaos.

Andrew Stotz 16:05
Yep, just slow down, make this day a special day also. Well, my last question for you is what's your number one goal for the next 12 months?

Deborah Crowe 16:16
I have a couple. I wasn't sure which one I wanted to share. I'm really streamlining who I work with. I love working with C suite leaders, a lot of people perceive that their life is amazing. It's not there. They're very lonely, they have worked their way up the proverbial ladder. And I thought it was a good example to talk about on your show, because success comes with a price. And I see that price in health. I see it in mental health, I see it in breakdown of their relationships. And they're super lonely at the top. So they might have the fancy car and the cottage and the boat and the suit in the corner office. But I just want your listeners to realize that whatever success looks like for them, it always comes with the price. So to be clear, with an alignment of mind and heart when they're making decisions. Because success for me is about having a life by design. So the next year, I'm really honing in and wanting to work with certain C suite leaders. And I don't overload myself, I have a lot of white space in my calendar that I pride myself on. I booked time to meditate and do yoga, or go ride my bike or get outside in nature during the day to be in the morning. And I've evolved as well through this pandemic. We can't navigate unprecedented times if we're not willing to ebb and flow and change some things in our lives and in ourselves. So I'm just changing out my schedule. And I guess, I guess to summarize my answer, I'm really creating a life by design at the next level for myself.

Andrew Stotz 18:22
Hmm, well, that's inspiring for all of us. And maybe that's a challenge to the listeners is, what can you do today? What can you do tomorrow to start to create that life by design, you know, instead of stumbling or fumbling through. So, listeners, there you have it. Another story of laws to keep you winning. My number one goal for the next 12 months is to help you my listeners reduce risk and increase return in your life. To achieve this, I've created our community at my worst investment ever.com and I look forward to seeing you there. As we conclude, Deb, I want to thank you again for coming on the show. And on behalf of a Stotz Academy, I hereby award you alumni status for turning your worst investment ever into your best teaching moment. Do you have any parting words for the audience?

Deborah Crowe 19:12
No, why live every day like it's your last? Because you never know.

Andrew Stotz 19:20
And that's a wrap on another great story to help us create, grow and protect our wealth. And what we've learned from dead today. Our health fellow risk takers, this is your worst podcast hose Andrew Stotz saying. I'll see you on the upside.


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About the show & host, Andrew Stotz

Welcome to My Worst Investment Ever podcast hosted by Your Worst Podcast Host, Andrew Stotz, where you will hear stories of loss to keep you winning. In our community, we know that to win in investing you must take the risk, but to win big, you’ve got to reduce it.

Your Worst Podcast Host, Andrew Stotz, Ph.D., CFA, is also the CEO of A. Stotz Investment Research and A. Stotz Academy, which helps people create, grow, measure, and protect their wealth.

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