#55 Everyone Has a Story

Today's Guest: Cedric Crumbley

Today, I interview Cedric Crumbley who grew up in Georgia. When he was an infant, his father passed away. So unfortunately, he didn’t get to know his Dad. However, his father’s siblings saw so much of his father in Cedric that they truly treasured him. He was certainly given a lot of attention and had great connection with the adults in his family. He was even teased a little in school because he had such an adult-like way of speaking.

He naturally had a positive outlook (which was rare among his peers) and although he looked to God to be his father figure, he also later gained a stepfather who fully believed in him and encouraged him to shoot for the moon. His new dad taught him that he could do anything and that if there was any trouble, it was because he wasn’t being true to himself.

In high school, Cedric didn’t like being the tall skinny kid, so he read a bodybuilding book and put on quite a bit of muscle over the summer, coming back to school feeling more confident and proud of himself. Cedric had a vision for success. He wanted to find ways to make lots of money, and fast. But his mother encouraged him to slow down and focus on learning and developing himself. He fought that idea, ended up in a little trouble, and a judge recommended the military because he felt that learning that level of respect would do a great deal to help him develop his character. He says the Army changed his heart. While he didn’t want to go, he did learn about hard work, being faithful, and the meaning of respect.

And so, it turns out that Cedric’s talent is learning. He says that whether you find a book or a course, whatever it is you want to learn or become or do, it can be done. He encourages us to find the thing about us that is most special and to use that gift to thrive.


Cedric Crumbley went into the army when he was still a teenager. After 20 years in uniform, he hung up his boots and started a new chapter in life. He says one of his biggest thrills was to retire at a young age, and he’s taken what he’s learned to become the author of Proven Sales and Recruiting Methods.

Find Cedric here:

Watch the episode:

Connect with Cedric Crumbley

Transcript of Interview

Find Your Voice, Change Your Life Podcast 

Podcast Host: Dr. Doreen Downing

Free Guide to Fearless Speaking: Doreen7steps.com

Episode #55 Cedric Crumbley 

“Everyone Has a Story”

(00:36) Dr. Doreen Downing

Hi, I’m Dr. Doreen Downing and I’m the host of the Find Your Voice, Change Your Life podcast. I like to invite guests who have had some kind of history around finding their voice, whether it was a struggle early in childhood, or whether something happened along the way. You know, there’s always something that goes on when you’re trying to get along with other youngsters early on in school, it is sometimes bullying or competition and then you move into high school and then finally out into the work world or some world I don’t know. That’s what we’re going to find out today from our guest, Cedric Crumbley, and let me introduce you to him. He went into the army when he was still a teenager. Well, that’s going to be a whole different story than I’ve been able to tell so far on the show. So, after 20 years in uniform, he hung up his boots and started a new chapter in life. So, we’ve got the background of something like how we made that choice to go in the army, but then to be ensconced in it for so long, and then to leave a whole 20 years behind and move out into the world. He says one of his biggest thrills was being retired at a young age and he’s taken up what he’s learned and is now the author of Proven Sales and Recruiting Methods. So, welcome, Cedric. I’m so happy that we get to share some time together. Thank you for coming on.


(02:12) Cedric Crumbley 

Hi, Doreen. Thanks for having me. It’s an honor to be on your show.

(02:16) Dr. Doreen Downing 

Yes. Well, let’s see. I am curious. Where did you grow up?

(02:22) Cedric Crumbley 

So, I grew up in a small town called Albany, in Georgia.

(02:27) Dr. Doreen Downing 

That’s why you have such a wonderful accent.

(02:29) Cedric Crumbley 

Thank you. You always say you like my accent. That’s pretty cool.

(02:33) Dr. Doreen Downing 

I know. I love it. So, Albany, in Georgia. There you are, which child were you? What–

(02:44) Cedric Crumbley 

So, I’m the oldest of two. I have a younger sister. So, I think I was 13 before my sister was born. For a long time, I was the only child, for a very long time.

(02:56) Dr. Doreen Downing 

Yeah. So, when a little sister comes into your life, at 13 years it is almost like having your own child.

(03:05) Cedric Crumbley 

Yeah, it’s funny you say that. I always call her, hey baby. Because to me– maybe she’ll hear this. But to me she is like a child, she’s like my child. I mean, I love her dearly. She’s my sister but I feel that she’s my child.

(03:18) Dr. Doreen Downing 

Oh, that is so special to hear. Yeah, that’s nice. Well, you were the only child and 13. Then you’re just starting high school, say a little bit about growing up first in Albany, Georgia, like the first couple of years.

(03:35) Cedric Crumbley 

So, I had an interesting childhood. My dad actually passed away. I think I was like, one years old. So, his brothers and sisters, they treated me like I was like gold. Because when they saw me, they saw their brother and I got treated special on my dad’s side, and they always say– I mean, even my cousin would say they treated you better than they treated us. So, I got this special treatment from them. So, growing up, it was different for me. I always felt special when I was around my dad’s siblings, and to this day, they still treat me like that. However, growing up I was a little bit odd. I don’t know why but I always looked at the world different. One thing I did, I read a lot of my mom’s books. My mom is a nurse and I read a lot of her nursing books. It made me question a lot of things now and I think part of the reason why I was odd I would use words and some of the students would kind of make fun of me for some of the words I was using.

(04:40) Dr. Doreen Downing 

Like big words.

(04:41) Cedric Crumbley 

Like big words, I guess we would call them big words and also it was just the way I viewed the world. I just viewed the world as a happy place and not everybody views the world as a happy place.

(04:52) Dr. Doreen Downing 

Well, you must have had maybe some form of religion because with a father that had disappeared before you could even walk. You probably didn’t even know what a father figure could be except for through your uncle’s.

(05:11) Cedric Crumbley 

Correct, right. I had no idea what a father figure is until my mom met a man by the name of John Shaw, who became my stepdad. He’s the only father figure I’ve ever known. He just believed I could do anything. Even when I got older, I would get into trouble and he will be like, man, you got to be you. You’re a Crumbley. I’m like, what? But I would overcome it. I’m like, dude, he was right. He just has, I don’t know why I’m doing so and so.

(05:43) Dr. Doreen Downing 

Well, that’s wonderful to hear that there is some real positive influence, because naturally, it seems like who you came into this world to be is what we’re talking about. That you have an Essence, a core of bright spirit. Even though that might have been a challenge to not have a father, what time did– what age did. When did Mr. Shaw come into your life?

(06:14) Cedric Crumbley 

I think I had to be like seven or eight because he always brings up the fact that we were wrestling. He always said, man, you would never give up and I would say, I give, I give and he would say, give nothing and he said I always wanted to keep wrestling. So, I think I was like seven or eight when he came to my life.

(06:31) Dr. Doreen Downing 

Yeah, that’s a good time. But it feels like your personality was already formed. That’s what I said a second ago, spirituality, religion is a real strong force to help you cope and believe in yourself. Was that any strong influence there?

(06:54) Cedric Crumbley 

Oh, definitely. Because I didn’t have a biological father. So, I looked at God and say, hey, will you be my father? So, I just would follow God like, you’d be my father. So yeah, it’s kind of fun and nobody has ever connected that but yes, really what happened, yeah.

(07:09) Dr. Doreen Downing 

This is exactly what I was looking for, our conversation just to go back and forth and see what comes up spontaneously like this. So, there you are. 13, 14, 15, 16. You know, you’re in high school, say a little bit about high school.

(07:30) Cedric Crumbley 

So, high school funny, you should bring it up. So, something strange happened when I was in high school, I believe was between 10th and 11th grade, I was tired of being tall, tall and skinny. I came home one day and I told my mom, I’m tired of being tall, she kind of looked at me like, okay, what do you want me to do? So, seeing my mother look at me like that. I just went to my room and I prayed. I don’t know if there’s anything I can do about me being tall, but I made up my mind, okay, I want to get more muscle. I want to get bigger and I prayed for it and I came across a bodybuilding book by a guy by the name of Joe Wieder, come to find out he was the mentor to Arnold Schwarzenegger. So, I follow this book to the letter. He was like, just increase your weights by 2.5 pounds and I did it and I think I started with like, maybe 120 pounds, then I moved up to 135 pounds. Before I knew it, I was bench pressing 225 pounds now gained all this muscle. People started making compliments when I went to school. I remember one of my female classmates made a comment. Man she said you ate your Wheaties over the summer, huh? I’m like, yeah, I sure did. But what that did for me, I don’t know, like a light bulb went off and it’s affected me ever since that. You could take a book and you can change your life. You don’t have to stay where you’re at. If you want to change at any time, you could just pick up a book or course anything you want to just change your life. What I went from there, even though I was bigger, I still struggled with self-confidence and the mental stuff and I figured out okay, you know how to get big and get muscles. But can you do the same thing with your mind? Can you instead of body building is there such a thing as mind building? So, I started picking up books and learning all this knowledge. Little by little and behold, found that knowledge actually compounds just like I did the weights with 2.5 pounds went from like 120 pounds to 225 pounds. I don’t mean to fast forward too much but I got to the point where business people started coming to me for advice.

(10:00) Dr. Doreen Downing 

Well, that example that you just gave, and then related it to how you just did a little bit of weight, a little bit of weight increasing over time, is really a powerful message to listeners, is that if you are struggling, just pick up a book, go to the Google, find something that’s calling out to you and for you, you said confidence was something you struggled with, and it had to do with your body, tall and lean. So, you started a whole process of change and that’s what I’m hoping people can take today. Also, it is just the way that you model that change is possible and you don’t just flip a switch, you have to build muscle over time. The brain has to acquire knowledge a little bit over time. Well, how come you made the decision at that age to go into the military? What was that about?

(11:07) Cedric Crumbley 

A couple things. My mom actually reminded me of this recently. So, I had already got accepted to college. Well, I looked at all my relatives going to college, and they were not finishing. So, I was on my way and I’m still going to go. I was talking to my mom about hey, I’m about to go make some money right now. My mom said, wait, baby, hold on, slow down. You don’t make money in college. You’re in there for four years. You’re not making money you’re learning. Well, I’d always want to make money. I’m like, that makes no sense. I graduate high school, I’m ready to go make some money. My mom’s like, no, you don’t make money in college but you’re there to study. So, that kind of deterred me, I’m like], I want to go make some money. Today, I’m a little bit different than I was, as a teenager, I was a little bit more mischievous and I got into some trouble. I talked to a lawyer and I told the lawyer, hey, if I go into the military, you think the judge would be easy on me. So, he is like, yeah, sure, of course. So, there I am standing in front of the judge and I never want to go into the military. I’m sorry, I just really didn’t want to go to the military. But I did not want to face whatever was going on in that judge’s mind. I said, hey, I’m going to– no, the lawyer approached the bench and talked to the judge, whispered in his ear. The judge said, so you’re planning on going to the military, young man. I’m like, yeah. He asked me something else and I said, yeah. He came out and said, do you think they’re going to teach you to be more respectful? I said, yes, sir. I got what he was telling me. I kept saying, yeah, you want this, I said, yes, sir. He’s like, okay and he let me go scot free from whatever mischievous thing I did. By going into the military, I went to the army and that’s where it really changed my heart. I learned about service, I learned about people, I learned about different nationalities and I learned about leading people, it really changed me as a person. I’m very grateful to the military for that.

(13:19) Dr. Doreen Downing 

Yeah, well, 20 years. Before I go further, and ask you a couple more things that are on my mind. I’d like to go back a little bit because you were talking about voice and when you think about yourself, and having a voice or not having a voice during all those earlier years that you just combed through what comes up about your voice? What do you have to say?

(13:47) Cedric Crumbley 

So, voice, I have to credit a guy by the name of Ted Prodromou who you know, the LinkedIn expert. So, while I was in the military about to get out, I was looking at LinkedIn and social media channels. I was so nervous about what to post on LinkedIn. I asked Ted, how does this LinkedIn and social media stuff work? This way, we get into talks, and Ted asked me well, do you ever go to a networking event? I’m like of course. He’s like and what do you do there? I mean, do you just give a business card to everybody, or do you take time to talk people and tell a story? I’m like, yeah, he is like Cedric these are just people. They’re not robots. They’re people. So, Ted taught me to share my voice, my authentic self. Well, because I was in the army at the time. I kind of felt like people looked down on military and Ted says like no Cedric, you have a very unique story. You need to share that story with people and they would love it. So, sure enough, I just started sharing my vulnerability, sharing things I’ve been through and just sharing my story. Oh, my word. People started going crazy. I’m like you all really want to hear this stuff. So, just being my authentic self, that’s the only way I know how to put it, my voice is just me.

(15:09) Dr. Doreen Downing 

Well, my sense is even up until when you first entered the military and even whatever mischievous thing that you did. But for me, my sense of you growing up is that you had a voice.

(15:23) Cedric Crumbley 

You think so?

(15:24) Dr. Doreen Downing 

Well, the way that you’re talking about your spirit and yourself and everything. Teenagers, and little kids don’t really have so much power in this world. Because voice is also something we hear in our heads and that you heard something about hope and possibility. To me, that’s what I feel like, it wasn’t a struggle for you to find your voice until later in life where you had to use your voice to do what you wanted to do, which is business. Even at that– well, I don’t want to go to college, if I’m not going to be able to make money right away. I mean, that was a voice that you listened to inside of yourself. So, it set you on that other path, along with whatever the judge had to do with that. But later, here you are coming out fuller. I mean, in the military, it still feels like it could be, I don’t know, kind of like a suit that you’re wearing, a role that you’re playing. Then out of the military’s is like, okay, here I am. Who am I? What do I have to say? What do I want? How do I say it in this world? Where am I going? It just seems to be so many questions. You retired but I’m not sure. But what does that mean?

(16:00) Cedric Crumbley

I retired. Oh, it’s so cool. So, I served 20 years in the military, and I retired at the age of 38-39 and I started getting a pension from the military. So, that’s good and bad. Because I found out you retire at like, let’s just say 39 years old. That’s not normal in today’s society. When you are just walking a dog around the neighborhood, everybody’s like, this guy, is he like a bum or what, he is just walking around with his dog and people always ask what do you do? At first, I would just say I’m retired. But then a question. They look at you, they are like, retired from what? You have this play and retired from the army and they’re like that the younger crowd, they think is the coolest thing ever because that’s what they want to do. They want to retire in the 30s. But I had a neighbor. He’s right down the street. He’s in his 70s and he was walking his dog and he had been dying to ask me. Excuse me, sir, what do you do? I’m like, I’m retired. He’s like, retired from what, I’m like, from the army. He’s like, how old are you, I say 39. Young man, I’m 70 years old. I’m supposed to be retired; I am retired. You you’re in your 30s need to get a job and he was really upset. I’m like, seriously. So, even my wife, she didn’t want to tell people I retired because I would drop her off and I would stay in the parking lot, I read a book because I didn’t have anywhere to go. So, my wife lost her job. So even though I was consulting at the time I had clients, my wife asked me, hey, what are we going to do? If you lose a client, what are we going to do because I don’t have a job. I’m like, I’m okay. I’ll just get another client. She wasn’t okay with it. I’m like, are you serious? She was like, yeah, so I went out and got a job.

(18:40) Dr. Doreen Downing

Well, partly that man, the neighbor was like an angel.

(19:04) Cedric Crumbley 


(19:05) Dr. Doreen Downing 

He woke you up and said, there’s more. You have more to do here, fellow on this earth.

(19:12) Cedric Crumbley 

Yeah, and I don’t know, you want to talk about it boy, but I got to tell you. So, I’ve spoken. I mean, people have paid me to speak. People have paid me to help improve their business, people have paid me to write. I published a book. When I got a job that’s the only time my wife has told me she’s proud of me. I’m like, are you serious? Everything I’ve done, I get a job and you tell me. She is like well, you’re too young to retire baby.

(19:42) Dr. Doreen Downing 

Well, then, tell me about the book.

(19:46) Cedric Crumbley 

So, the book is Proven Sales and Recruiting Methods. So, that’s due to Ted, I’m bringing him up again. He doesn’t like me to give him a lot of credit. But I didn’t think I had a story. He asked me hey, so tell me your story. I told him how I started out as a recruiter and I didn’t know how to sell. I was so bad that a young lady walked in. She wanted to join the army but after talking to me, she decided not to join. That’s how bad I was. I was just absolutely terrible. But within, I think, a year or so I became one of the top recruiters in that area. So, after chatting to Ted, he was like, you need to write a book about that. So, I was still serving in the army and I was still recruiting and selling and doing other stuff. So, I wrote the book as I was doing it every day. So, the book gets published and recruiters grab the book and they are following it, step by step, similar to what I did with the body, and they are writing to me like, I just made my quota. Thank you. I just made mission, is what they call it and thank you. Then I started getting letters, I mean, emails from these people who read the book, they said they had the same results. I thought it only worked for military. But business people started picking it up and started writing me that hey, they are getting results. So, kind of cool.

(21:08) Dr. Doreen Downing 

It’s very cool. Very cool. Well, coming to the end of our time together today, feels like we could just keep on dancing around here with ideas and what would you’d like to communicate to the listeners today about voice?

(21:28) Cedric Crumbley 

I would say everybody has something special about them. Even if you were like me, didn’t think you had anything of value to add to the world. I believe everybody has something in them and I think life can nudge you to try to get you to find that specialist. I think it’s up to us to listen to that like you call it, that voice and take heed to it and take action to dig that gift out of us and present it to the world and your life would change today. Like you say, find your voice, change your life. It’s really true.

(22:01) Dr. Doreen Downing 

Wonderful. Well, how do people find you Cedric?

(22:05) Cedric Crumbley 

Best way is LinkedIn, go to LinkedIn type my name, or you can just also on Amazon type the name in Amazon Cedric Crumbley, but LinkedIn is the best way to connect with me and I would love to help people if I can.

(22:19) Dr. Doreen Downing 

Yeah, I know. I can hear that love inside of you radiating out. Thank you so much for joining me and my audience today.

(22:31) Cedric Crumbley 

Yes, ma’am. Thank you. Take care.

Also listen on…

7 STEP GUIDE TO FEARLESS SPEAKINGPodcast host, Dr. Doreen Downing, helps people find their voice so they can overcome anxiety, be confident, and speak without fear.

Get started now on your journey to your authentic voice by downloading my Free 7 Step Guide to Fearless Speakingdoreen7steps.com.

7 STEP GUIDE TO FEARLESS SPEAKINGPodcast host, Dr. Doreen Downing, helps people find their voice so they can overcome anxiety, be confident, and speak without fear.

Get started now on your journey to your authentic voice by downloading my Free 7 Step Guide to Fearless Speakingdoreen7steps.com.