#127 Braving Up: Dare to Be Resilient and Empowered

Today's Guest: Deb Drummond

Today I interview Deb Drummond who shares her story of navigating a challenging childhood growing up in a home where she felt tormented by an older sibling. Complicating matters, adults around her dismissed these struggles, downplaying her experiences as just typical sibling behavior. 

That environment left scars on Deb’s self-esteem and confidence, making it stressful for her to speak up confidently. However, at the age of 16, Deb, having had enough of the ongoing turmoil, summoned the courage to bravely stand up for herself. This pivotal moment became the catalyst that initiated her journey toward empowerment.

From then on, Deb continuously has been dedicated to empowering herself and finding her own voice through a variety of ways. She transitioned from the music industry to personal development, as she founded a private health studio in Vancouver. For over 30 years, she went through a journey of self-improvement as well as inspiring others to do the same. 

Her commitment to continuous growth led her to spearhead a monumental project for International Women’s Day, titled “Solidarity for Women.” Through these accomplishments, Deb’s story becomes a testament to the transformative power of resilience, inspiring others to find strength in the face of their own struggles. 


Deb Drummond is a pioneer in the world of Ultrapreneurship and is a Health & Wellness Anti-Aging Expert. She is a Speaker, Author, Mastermind Trainer, and Top Performance Coach.

Deb has built 7 international companies. She is Founder of “262” Intl Women’s Day Summits. She has been recognized in SUCCESS magazine 48 times and has won numerous awards.

Deb is the host of the Mission Accepted podcast and the “GenZ Is Us” show. She is the founder of Mission Accepted Media and creator of the Top Performance Day Planner and Tracker.

From pioneering businesses to igniting hearts and minds, Deb’s impact is undeniable.

Watch the episode:

Connect with Deb Drummond

Transcript of Interview

Transcript of Interview

Find Your Voice, Change Your Life Podcast

Podcast Host: Dr. Doreen Downing

Free Guide to Fearless Speaking: Doreen7steps.com

Episode #127 Deb Drummond

“Braving Up: Dare to Be Resilient and Empowered”


(00:00) Doreen Downing: Hi, this is Dr. Doreen Downing. I’m host of the Find Your Voice, Change Your Life podcast. I get to delight my listeners today with a new friend of mine, Deb Drummond. Hi, Deb. 

(00:14) Deb Drummond: Hey, how are you? 

(00:15) Doreen Downing: Oh, I’m doing really, really great. I said delight because I felt like every time I have a conversation with you, it feels like I walk away more delighted.

And I think that has something to do with, not just the person you are, but what you’ve chosen in life to do and to serve. You did send a brief bio and I found it online, so I’d like to read that. 

(00:39) Deb Drummond: All right. 

(00:41) Doreen Downing: Okay. Deb Drummond is an international ultrapreneur—we’ll talk more about what that means—network marketing professional, private coach, motivational, and top performance speaker, multiple number one author, podcaster, mastermind leader, health and wellness anti-aging expert. And guess what? She inspires to inspire. That’s why I’ve invited her.

That’s what I feel like my purpose is. It’s an inspiration. That’s who I bring on for you, my listeners, to meet and get inspired by. 

(01:22) Deb Drummond: Well, thank you. What a pleasure to be here. Isn’t it interesting? We both have the same initials. I just put that together. 

(01:28) Doreen Downing: D. D. Yes! Yes, well, mine happened later in life.

I was D. H.—Dr. Doreen Hamilton—and then I got married. I already had a book. I already had so much out and I just thought, “Oh, I better keep my old name,” but I really love Downing and I love alliteration, D. D. Doreen Downing. So that’s a quick short story about mine. As long as we talk about names, anything about yours, Deb?

(02:00) Deb Drummond: Interestingly enough, I was born Deborah Backer. My father’s name was Backer and my brother’s father’s name—we have the same mother, different father—was Drummond. When my father and my mother separated, I was quite young, four or five, and my mother walked in my room and said, “Your dad’s on his way and you are now going to be Deborah Drummond,” because back then it did not seem right to have a single mom with two kids with two different last names.

So, my last name got changed and it became Deborah Drummond, but my name is Deborah Backer and I was married for 17 years to a gentleman named Baker. So good thing I did change my name or I’d be Deborah Backer Baker. Little funny, but… 

(02:48) Doreen Downing: It is funny and isn’t it interesting that of all things we started with our names and already you mentioned something about the divorce and I would say my parents divorced when I was about four or five years old.

So, I always like to start, as a psychologist, what were those early influences on voice? You know, having popped out, usually it’s like, “Yay! You!” And we get, well, not usually, but the best is that we get surrounded with mirrors that say, “We’re fine,” and sometimes we aren’t.

Anything you have to say about finding your voice or not having a voice early in life?

(03:30) Deb Drummond: My background in terms of having a voice is interesting because my grandmother, who I had a lot of respect for—her name was Barbara Brown, and she had a very bellowing voice and most of the grandchildren—so I would’ve been one of the grandchildren. She had five children. Those five children had nine, of which I’m one of—most of the cousins were like, if my grandmother said something, they would just stop. She had the word. 

But for some reason, I don’t know why I would challenge her. She was strong-minded. She had these incredible stories. When she said something, she meant it. If it was done, it was done, and I aligned with that. So, when it came to my grandmother, I had a lot of voice.

And I was used to standing up for that voice and in school I would stand up for that voice, but in my early days, I didn’t. My mom was a single mom, and there was—not from my mother, but there was some violence in the family dynamic. I was brave but scared for most of my childhood until I was 16. I stood up to that family member and it was a day they probably never forgot. It was the day that I felt like I got my freedom.

(05:13) Doreen Downing: Oh, so fabulous. Well, I’m already totally captivated. If you wouldn’t mind, and if it’s not too personal, I’m sure people would like to know just a little bit more detail about that violence and you said not your mom, but there was something and someone, so let’s just go there if you can.

(05:36) Deb Drummond: Yes, it was a sibling, an older sibling, and it was physical violence. This sibling apparently had issues with me from the time I got brought home, so it started quite young. It was picking and just picking on and jumping out of closets and scaring. It got pretty physical pretty fast in my early years. I had to fight back to stand up for myself. So again, it was really interesting.

My mom did what she could do. There’s all sorts of dynamics that were going on. In my mom’s world, siblings fought, but not necessarily. This would almost be like two brothers duking it out from a very early age. It wasn’t. There’s one boy, one girl. And probably from the time I was two, that is what family members tell me.

So, there was a lot of fighting, protecting, learning how to fight back. It’s a very double-edged sword where my voice wasn’t heard. There was just dynamics going on and there was only one parent to hold the house down and it definitely affected my esteem and it definitely affected my self-love and those kinds of things that made it hard to speak up later on.

(07:01) Doreen Downing: Yes. I’m so glad you went into detail around this sibling. I haven’t heard that as much. You could understand a child having a new one come into their space and there’d be psychologically some resentment, but then to have something that is actually acted out aggressively feels like—I think that other people who are listening today can go, “Yes, that happened to me too. I have a sibling who was mean.” But 16, wow, something happened. You stood up and you said that was the day that changed your life.

(07:43) Deb Drummond: Yes, I think we all have those moments in our life where enough was enough and I guess that was the day that a fight started and it changed. Let’s just say I won that battle and enough that they never came near me again. 

(08:00) Doreen Downing: Yes. Well, it sounds like you became a more full-bodied grownup.

(08:06) Deb Drummond: Yes, I became embodied with—and again, I think we all come to places where it’s “enough is enough.” I learned how to fight back in all those years of having physical violence and I became able to fight for myself. It made my sibling go, “Okay, I’m not going to win this one.”

As I talked about this story, it’s like those shows where they’re like, “Go fight the bully.” To add, if you beat the bully in those schools, those high school shows from back then, if you go against the bully and you win against the bully, then everyone else leaves you alone.

(08:44) Doreen Downing: Oh, and you’re talking about empowerment too, aren’t you? 

(08:48) Deb Drummond: I didn’t know that day was coming. We don’t know these days are coming. It was just like, okay. 

(08:54) Doreen Downing: Was it also physical? 

(08:55) Deb Drummond: It was always physical. I would say it’s 90 percent physical. It was the teasing and like walking by me in a hallway and pushing me when my mom didn’t see or those undercurrent things, but it was always physical. 

(09:11) Doreen Downing: Well, I hope that he found some more grace in his life and was able to find a gentle spirit to show up.

(09:24) Deb Drummond: There’s been conversations since then for sure, and apologies and what have you, and that thing. 

(09:31) Doreen Downing: Oh, fabulous. Oh, good. Well, already we’re learning how you embodied a more powerful you. I think that says something about voice. Along the way, at 16, you found a voice or your more empowered voice that from then on was with you because it felt like you had taken yourself to this new empowered place. That’s what people need to have. I keep coming back to an embodied sense of self that they can. That’s what you did. You just showed us. Thank you. 

(10:08) Deb Drummond: You’re welcome. 

(10:09) Doreen Downing: So, moving through life, becoming somebody who’s more confident to take on anything. Look at all those awards I’ve read and those achievements. It feels like what you said about standing up to your brother, it feels like you achieved something that day. That’s also learning something about how to make something happen in your life. That you certainly learned how to do that. 

(10:37) Deb Drummond: Who’s to say, because we don’t know the impressions that things make upon us psychologically until they become found—I obviously didn’t go from that day to not having to work things out, talking to some people and having some counseling, and understanding some dynamics and understanding forgiveness and empathy, and all those things that come along that ride. 

I’ve always had this visionary brain that can see grand scale things almost like an architect. I think my brain is very architectural. I would say I have a Rubik’s Cube brain, so if you put a project in front of me, I see the whole project, like I see the five-year plan and I see this in different places. It’s just how my brain works. But I’ll tell you, that experience, I think one of the things that I got from that—I’d rather not have had it, but if I had to pull something from it—it certainly falls in the resilience category.

Standing up for myself in a way that I may not have ever had to stand up before and having empathy for other people that have gone through that experience definitely added to my resilience bucket.

It was a solo journey. My mom was single parenting. My mom didn’t see 90 percent of what happened. It would be when she came home from work or something like that. She also did her best to navigate it but didn’t know what to do either. 

(12:08) Doreen Downing: Yes. Well, one of the things that you just said about resilience in looking at how to reframe a situation in life. One of your teachings also is to help. You inspire to inspire. It feels like that message today for folks is that whatever the situation, whatever the trouble, whatever the struggle, that there is some nugget you can look at and see how it helps you become more of who you are meant to be. 

So, moving on into more of young adulthood and I guess school and achievements, what comes up to you about moving into adulthood? And what does that mean about finding voice to you?

(12:57) Deb Drummond: Interesting. Moving into adulthood. My latter teens, I guess you would say, as we’re coming out of high school, I was known for someone that had, maybe I wouldn’t say a unique personality, but I wouldn’t say I was quiet, but I was also very respectful.

Like I’ve always had great respect for people’s position, like teachers. I was well respected by teachers and I, in turn, gave great respect back. I can’t say that I was in top academics. My love was always in the creatives, so in art, I would have an A on my picture and I’d only drawn a little bit of it.

I loved photography. I did a lot of track and field and I just loved the arts. I loved social studies. I loved science and the sense of learning new things. I really had the places where I was selective, but I started to really fall in love with music. I think music has been my healer through many things.

I remember the first time I put on a Janis Joplin album that my mom had, Pearl. I really started to fall in love with music. In my latter years, I definitely was with the club that loved rock music. 

(14:21) Doreen Downing: Yes, you and I had a conversation about Janis Joplin. I had just written something about her on my blog about how talking about finding your voice and of course, not everybody wants to go out on a stage, they just want to be able to raise their hand at a meeting or at a dinner table with a large extended family, be able to express their own opinion or their truth.

Looking to people who are more expressed through music and lyrics have a lot of  poetry and art there.

(15:00) Deb Drummond: Yes, I think that that’s probably where I would experience a lot of my emotional healing, my inspiration. Again, I wouldn’t say I was quiet through school, but I would answer questions in the back of the room. I was also that teenager that—I don’t know other teenagers, but I definitely had my own issues of self-esteem and, “Am I good at this? Am I good at that?” And like, “Oh, does that boy like me, but I like him.” 

All those things that happened in school. I don’t think I really found myself and fell in love with myself and found out who I was many years later after school. All the things that happened from childhood onward didn’t show up in ways that were not serving me that I needed to explore. I think I had a lot of fun in high school.

I had great friends. We all were very like-minded and when I look back, we all had some similar wounds and we very much had camaraderie for each other and a circle of safety.

(16:11) Doreen Downing: I love that phrase, circle of safety. You also just said something about the breaking through later in life, and I’m going to take a look at that after a short brief break right now. I want to come back and hear much more about the breakthroughs later in life that you’ve had and some of the accomplishments. 

(16:39) Doreen Downing: Hi, we’re back now with Deb Drummond and I’m having an exciting time talking to Deb about her life, her history, and some of the early struggles she’s had that have made her into who she is. There is a word that sticks with me from our earlier conversation, and if you didn’t hear it, go back, and listen again.

It’s about resilience, in life, it feels like when you’ve had some struggle, you can still learn something, and that’s one of the things that Deb learned. Hi, Deb. We’re back. 

(17:13) Deb Drummond: Hey, nice to be back. Thank you. 

(17:15) Doreen Downing: So, the breakthroughs, because that’s so exciting to grow into adulthood and then become more aware and then to become not just self-aware, but more self-realized. What would be some of those examples where you feel like you broke through, found a new voice, and had more self-realizations? 

(17:38) Deb Drummond: Wow. I think there were quite a few. 

(17:42) Doreen Downing: Let’s take one or two. 

(17:42) Deb Drummond: Yes, let’s just take one or two. I think when I made the decision to go from working in the music industry and living that nocturnal life, which is super. Honestly, it was just such a blessing in terms of that comradery because you are working different schedules and you’re going to think we’re talking; we’re not talking yesterday. We’re talking a time ago where it was very different, but I think when I made that decision to leave that industry and go into personal development, the self-realization happened in a multitude of ways. 

The first time I read the book that changed my life, Shakti Gawain, Living in the Light, and I got insight into things like energy and I was having this relatability going on, and I fell in love with holistic medicine and fell in love with massage and aromatherapy.

It was a very different world. It was like this constant plethora of—it was euphoric. I just really went down that path. I went through—oh, honestly—a 10-year journey of personal development. It was just one layering, understanding, course, group, workshop, book. 

(18:59) Doreen Downing: I so understand. I got a PhD in psychology and I think the reason was that I just wanted to have lots of opportunities to put myself in growing situations. I love that other idea that you just presented to folks out there is that there’s so much opportunity out there to heal and learn and grow. All the way from aromatherapy to past lives counseling to anything. All you have to do is just open your eyes. That feels like what you did. You awakened. 

(19:35) Deb Drummond: Yes, it was really in deciding to shift from one industry into almost not knowing this because we’re talking 30 years ago. So, there wasn’t yoga available. There weren’t any aromatherapy stores available. When I’m talking massage, it was like massage therapy. There wasn’t holistic massage or rebirthing. There’s none of that.

It was like the real discovery that there was even the idea around counseling, or inner child, or John Bradshaw, the Shame That Binds Us, and all that stuff that came out in that era. It was just really new information. It was newfound information. It was quite a journey to read it and start to have identification with it.

We didn’t really even know where to go with it at that point. It was just really information on what we could do to start to heal ourselves. We didn’t even talk in that terminology, but it was an eye-opening experience for me and it really started some inward journey questions. Like how do I want to live, and who do I hang out with to do that, and what class do I take? All of that just took so long. 

Then I fell in love with massage and I opened a private health studio in Vancouver. My work was my muse almost. Like it really became everything that I did all day long. So, you can imagine, I work in candlelight. I work with crystals. I work with aromatherapy. From morning to night. It was pretty cool for what? 27 years. So that itself is its own healing journey for sure.

(21:03) Doreen Downing: Yes, I certainly understand that and, to me, when I sit with people, that inner journey, what you’re talking about, those inner journey questions and that fascination I have with people and what goes on inside. Not only that, but the jewel that lives within each one of us—I definitely love what you’re talking about when you’re talking about these healing modalities.

I’m going to move into—because we’re coming to a close, and I want to make sure people understand what you’re doing nowadays. You’re talking about the number one best-selling author and all of this and a podcast and I’m going to get to be on it next month, so tell us about anything that’s currently going on for you and how people can find you. 

(21:53) Deb Drummond: Absolutely. Well, thank you for that opportunity. I think the biggest project that we have going on right now is multifaceted. I have to say, while I’ve been sharing this journey with you going backwards, the journey that I’m on right now with creating this massive—it’s a pretty big project for International Women’s Day.

It’s the solidarity for women and those that support women. It is, on the inside, 450 women, authors and speakers getting on stage and words on page to create a remembrance around International Women’s Day and that we have this day that we can celebrate. That’s a huge, huge project. 

If you want to talk about resilience and creativity and duration, because it started May 2023, won’t end till May 11th, 2024, in just all of everything that it takes to put on something and it’s televised, all those multiple pieces, came from my years of being an entrepreneur and came from really understanding resilience and compartmentalizing and all those things that you learn when you learn about yourself.

My podcast is called Mission Accepted Media, and it really is a platform for people that have taken on the mission, whether that’s philanthropy, non-profit, profit, businesses, projects, people that said yes for whatever reason—not everybody goes, “Oh, sure.” It doesn’t happen that way. You take on the mission and then why stay on the mission? What is it about the mission? 

(23:25) Doreen Downing: Yes. You hear me going, “Yes, Yes, Yes, girl! You’re right.” 

So excited about what you’re sharing for people and the fact that this podcast will be produced, but it will be closer to the event. That’s wonderful. I think early January, it should be out and people will hear more about the International Women’s Day. So, thank you for doing that. 

(23:51) Deb Drummond: Yes, absolutely. It’s been going on for a while. Since March 2023, we’re eight out of 22 summits in, so your podcast will be January right as we’re getting very geared up for International Women’s Day.

(24:04) Doreen Downing: Deb, before we close, make sure and let us know how we could find you. 

(24:11) Deb Drummond: The easiest way to find me because everything is there and including a contact page is debdrummond.com. It has this beautiful contact page. It’ll take you to Deb@debdrummond.com and that’s where people can find me. People who are looking for the podcast, it’s there. For the projects, if you’re looking for the books, or whatever it is that we’ve got going on, you’ll find us there. 

(24:35) Doreen Downing: What about one last dare that you’d like to make for the topic of finding your voice for people who are listening today?

(24:48) Deb Drummond: You know what? I found my voice in many different ways before I braved up. There were times when I had voice, that I could talk to somebody, and there were many times that the only person I felt safe enough to talk to was myself. So, if you’re at that stage or a place where you’ve got something going on in your life, in relationship, you’ve got a job that you’re going to that you don’t like, and you’re probably having a conversation with at least yourself, which is probably who you feel safe with, what I did is I tried to answer myself as kindly as possible, and love on myself as much as possible so at least I could make moves or decisions.

The other place that I found safety and was able to come up with the answers was journaling. I found my voice through page on paper, which is why I’m a huge believer in books. A huge believer in books. If you have a chance to be in one, be in one, it doesn’t have to be mine, just be in one. I think it’s a really beautiful journey that you go through when you put your own words on paper. 

So, writing and then for me finding my voice, a lot of it has been through singing. I sing every single day. I’ve probably sung Amazing Grace thousands of times, thousands of times to myself, walking around my house, and my kids are like, “Enough already.” So, I found my voice and found healing in having my voice at a time where for sure sharing my voice was a dangerous thing to do, or I felt it was dangerous.

Hang out with women that are friggin cool, hang out with men that are friggin cool, people that will cheer you on that will inspire you and motivate you to make you feel like you can share their voice. Sometimes it’s through TV, sometimes it’s through movies, like where do you get your gumption from and double down on that. That’s my message.

(26:55) Doreen Downing: Oh, I love it. This last one was about being witnessed, and I feel like today I am witnessing you, and all my listeners are applauding you also. Thank you so much for sharing your bright spirit today, Deb. 

(27:11) Deb Drummond: Oh, well, thank you so much for having me on. I know that people say that it’s such an honor to be on, but truly it is. It is an honor to be on someone’s show and vice versa. As cliche as it is, we just don’t know—I remember hearing a sentence or reading a page and it literally, 30 years later, has changed my life. I think anytime we get an opportunity to share, we’re called upon. This is the first time ever on a show or anything I’ve ever talked about that experience at home. So, it is what it is today. No one makes those decisions and I let them roll, but someone needed to hear it.

(27:55) Doreen Downing: For sure. I think it all comes down to one word we’re leaving with today too, which, I know you said resilience, but also brave.

(28:10) Deb Drummond: Thank you, my dear.

(28:11) Doreen Downing: Thank you, brave spirit.

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.