Join us today for the Interview with Cassandra Crawley Mayo, author of Is Your Way in Your Way...

This is the interview I had with speaker, coach, and author Cassandra Crawley Mayo.  

In today’s podcast episode I interview Cassandra Crawley Mayo.  I ask Cassandra about her journey to launching her coaching journey and book Is Your Way in Your Way.  I also ask Cassandra about what being in your way really looks like for you.  Cassandra also shares what you can do about it when you are getting in your own way.

Join in on the Chat below.

Episode 1376: Interview with Cassandra Crawley Mayo about her book Is Your Way in Your Way

[00:00:00] Scott Maderer: Thanks for joining us on episode 1, 376 of the Inspired Stewardship Podcast.

[00:00:08] Cassandra Crawley Mayo: Hi, my name is Cassandra Crawley Mayo, and I challenge you to invest in yourself, invest in others, develop your influence, and impact the world by using your time. Your talent and your treasures to live out your calling. Having the ability to get out of your own way is key, and one way to be inspired to do that is to listen to this The Inspired Stewardship Podcast with my friend Scott Mayer.

[00:00:44] you

[00:00:44] Cassandra Crawley Mayo: are doing what you'r doing. And a lot of times because I always say that like to live your best li

[00:00:59] It's [00:01:00] kind of like a redeemer of time. You have time to do more than you had before.

[00:01:06] Scott Maderer: Welcome and thank you for joining us on the Inspired Stewardship Podcast. If you truly desire to become the person who God wants you to be, then you must learn to use your time, your talent, And your treasures for your true calling in the Inspired Stewardship Podcast, you will learn to invest in yourself, invest in others, and develop your influence so that you can impact the world.

[00:01:35] Today's podcast

[00:01:39] episode, I interview Cassandra Crowley Mayo. I asked Cassandra about her journey to launching her coaching journey, and her book, Is Your Way In Your Way. I also asked Cassandra about what being in your way really looks like for you, and Cassandra also shares what you can do about it when you realize you're getting in your own way.[00:02:00]

[00:02:00] I've got a new book coming out called Inspired Living, assembling the puzzle of your call by mastering your time, your talent, and your treasures. You can find out more about it and sign up. for getting more information over at

[00:02:18] InspiredStewardship. com Inspired Living. That's InspiredStewardship. com Inspired Living. Cassandra Crawley Mayo is an Arthur, speaker, and mentor with over 30 years of experience leading, training, and coaching professional men and women towards their primary career goals. As a former vice president of a global Fortune 500 company, she often found herself working as one of the first and only African American women in the space.

[00:02:45] She has led organizations in their recruitment, retention, and promotions of African American leaders from within. After experiencing a career of success and fulfillment, yes, but also one of self neglect, self sabotaging, and during the latter part of her [00:03:00] career, imposter syndrome and burnout, she committed to a journey of confronting habits and behaviors that kept her from living a happy and healthy life outside of work.

[00:03:09] She's now on a mission to partner with 25 organizations and 100 or more professional women to help them live their best life at work and outside of work. Welcome to the show, Cassandra.

[00:03:21] Cassandra Crawley Mayo: Thank you. I'm glad to be here, Scott. Absolutely.

[00:03:25] Scott Maderer: It's great to have you. I just shared a little bit in the intro about some of your journey and how you got to the point where you're working with professional women and helping them try to live their best life.

[00:03:37] But I always joke and tell people that. The intro is always like the Instagram picture of our life, right? It's the picture that's framed to make sure the dirty laundry is

[00:03:46] Cassandra Crawley Mayo: not in it. So

[00:03:48] Scott Maderer: let's talk a little bit about that. What, tell us a little bit about your journey and what brought you to a point of, this is what you want to be doing with your life.

[00:03:57] Cassandra Crawley Mayo: Okay. [00:04:00] Starting in my career, I noticed pretty quickly that I was the first African American female in most, in all of my, the roles that I was in. And I, of course, was naive to it until I was presented with certain things, had different looks questioned about my validity of certain things. Just different things start occurring.

[00:04:25] But I... I, by the grace of God, I did such a great job and I say that not to boast or anything, but I did, I went into everything that I did, like it was my organization. So whatever I did, it was mine. And that's the way that I treated it. And also, I'm so grateful that I was able to be a trailblazer for many other.

[00:04:52] African American women and men. Also, I realized while I was working so [00:05:00] hard and diligently, I always felt, though, that I had to work harder. I always felt that I had to prove myself. Prove that I was, had the capability of doing the work. And that was very stressful at times. And then later on in my career, I realized I was getting promoted.

[00:05:18] I was excited about that. I was just... just on, on a roll there. And I just thought that was just unbelievable because it wasn't the, and now let me take that back. I could say it was not because the color of my skin, but in some instances it was. But yet I had the opportunity to prove that not only was it that, but I had the qualifications and the capability to do a great job.

[00:05:44] And moving forward, as I started working in these different roles, this journey started feeling uncomfortable for me. And what I mean is I decided that I was just unhappy. I was not [00:06:00] satisfied in the roles that I was in. I was burnt out. I was just tired. And I just always knew that there was something else that I could be and should be doing, but I could never really put my finger on it.

[00:06:14] I was not able to be creative and relate. Like I really wanted to, it was like I was, even though I treated the organizations like it was mine, but I, it was, they were not mine and I was working for someone. So my journey, it's just started with me being uncomfortable. I was just uncomfortable doing what I was doing and felt that I was called to do something else, but I just couldn't put my finger on it.

[00:06:39] Scott Maderer: And so as you began to have that discomfort and that feeling that Hey, something's not. Right here. This isn't fitting. What what did you start doing different? What changed for you?

[00:06:56] Cassandra Crawley Mayo: What changed is I became sick and tired of being sick [00:07:00] and tired.

[00:07:01] And when I became aware of that, and awareness is key, that I knew that it was something else that I should be doing, but I had this fear of, I was used to not a nine to five job. I never had a nine to five job. It was like 10 hours, 11 hour days. And I'm not proud of that, but I wanted out and I didn't know how to get out.

[00:07:26] I was used to the paycheck. I was salaried and I enjoyed that check. And I'm like, so when I get out, what do I do? And then I realized that. I had set goals throughout my career. I always said when I'm 20 and I'm probably dating myself, I wanted to do 20, 000. I wanted to make 20, 000. When I got this particular age, I wanted to be promoted to this.

[00:07:48] When I did this, I wanted to move to this location. I wanted to buy a home. And one of the things that I always wanted to do was my goal was to retire at the age of 55. [00:08:00] And that was unheard of for many people, but that was my goal. And then when I realized I was so tired of doing what I was doing, I was unhappy and I didn't think it was good for the, even the organization, for me to be in an organization where I really wasn't there anymore.

[00:08:16] I decided to retire because I was able to because I had planned that. That was a goal of mine. So when I retired, then, hey now what was next for me, but that's what I did was I retired from my corporate job.

[00:08:32] Scott Maderer: And what did you launch next? What did you start

[00:08:35] Cassandra Crawley Mayo: doing? It was interesting.

[00:08:37] I took a break. I sat back and just enjoyed myself. I could not believe the work that I had done. I didn't believe I had the stamina because I travel probably 80 percent of my life for the job. And I just traveled. I was busy. I didn't have time for family. I was just busy. So I just. I took a [00:09:00] refreshment, so to speak.

[00:09:01] I refreshed myself and I didn't do anything. Then I started working for a telemarketing company. Then I started working for a pyramid company and none of those things were working. Then I remembered. Even while I was working that I always wanted to write a book and I just never did and I was stuck in that dream like what is it like I even started writing it while I was working and I realized that I just could not pull the lever.

[00:09:34] I was really struggling. I was disturbed by it. It was like it wouldn't let me go. It's like you have this fire in your belly. And every other month I would think about, wow, I want to write a book. I've even told people that I wanted to write a book. And then there were people that say, oh, you're perpetrating because you've not written this book.

[00:09:54] And so that was something that was just [00:10:00] haunting me. for years, and I would say maybe for 10 or 12 years that I did not write that book. And then all of a sudden when COVID happened, it was like when the students ready, the teacher will appear. And I was speaking with a girlfriend and she had shared with me that she had a friend that had just written a book and she had a ghost writer to help her write the book.

[00:10:25] And I was like, a ghost writer? And I don't know about that, but anyway, give me her number.

[00:10:30] Scott Maderer: And because I have a ghostwriter working on my book right now.

[00:10:35] Cassandra Crawley Mayo: And and I tell you just talking with her to help me streamline it put some structure to it. I was just, there was no stopping me. Because I was ready.

[00:10:51] Before, I wasn't ready because I didn't want to be exposed. And I also knew this was my story, and how could a ghostwriter write my story better than I could [00:11:00] write my story? So that's how this all came about.

[00:11:04] Scott Maderer: And so the book is titled Is Your Way In Your Way, right? Tell us a little bit about it. What's the message of the book?

[00:11:11] Cassandra Crawley Mayo: I am more than qualified to write a book like that because I was in my way. I was in my way for a number of things. I was in my way because I will compare myself to other people, look at people who had written books and look at their books and see that they were best sellers. And I was like, Oh, I don't know if I could ever do that.

[00:11:31] Then I was in my way because I was, I had a lot of doctor's appointments doing the work out doing my working. There were. times when I just wasn't feeling well. And whenever I would go to the doctor, they would say it was stress. So I was in my way and that way, because I wasn't taking care of myself.

[00:11:53] I forgot about my wellbeing. I was in my way because I wore a mask. I was not the person [00:12:00] that I was created to be. And what I mean by that is I wasn't authentic. I could not feel, I could not be authentic in the workforce because. You had to have your dark suits on, your white shirts. You have to act this way, talk this way.

[00:12:15] So that was that not being my authentic self was actually in my way. I was in my way because of scars and resentments I had. I kept thinking about things that had happened in my childhood and how they just weighed on me. So those were what I call self imposed barriers and those were the things that were in my way and all of that prevented me from moving ahead and writing my book because I didn't want to be exposed.

[00:12:43] Scott Maderer: How did your faith journey intersect with both the life journey that you were talking about as well as what you're thinking about now with the book and being in your own way and that kind of thing. How did your faith journey intersect with that? [00:13:00]

[00:13:00] Cassandra Crawley Mayo: I grew up in the church and my grandfather was a pastor.

[00:13:07] And so it was always instilled in me and boy did I need it. It's a self discovery guide for women on how to restore yourself, learn from experiences and find your true self again. And I decided that I wanted to write love letters to women. Dear women who were in your own way or dear young adult women.

[00:13:30] Welcome to the real world. And when I went into the real world, I moved to Birmingham, Alabama, and that's when segregation was huge. And I was fearful. to go, but I did. I did go and the experiences that I had was just unbelievable. They were all learning experiences and all experiences where I was no longer naive, particularly when I wanted to find a place to live.

[00:13:59] [00:14:00] And every place that I had gone that I'd liked, they never had anything available. I then went to my boss. And shared with him that the places that they're saying are available. I wouldn't even want my dog to live there and I shared some places that I really liked and talked to him about it. The next day I received a call from one of those places and they told me they just got something available.

[00:14:25] I was so excited. Funny that , isn't that interesting? I was super excited about it because it was a relatively new place. I went there to find out that the entire back of the development was empty, and I knew then that the boss had called somebody at that place and they made a way for me. And when that happened, I was very troubled.

[00:14:49] It bothered me a bit. Welcome to the real world, Cassandra. These are the things that are going to happen. And from that, for your question is, [00:15:00] I started praying about things that were not, I felt, in my best interest. And I always thought that if God is so good, Why are these things happening to me? Why am I being confronted with racism?

[00:15:14] Why is even inequality in regards to my salary even being questioned? So I think I know for a fact it was not, if it were not for the trials and tribulations, then I probably would not have gained a relationship with God. So that's, and it continued because Lord did I need him and I still do.

[00:15:38] Scott Maderer: The it's interesting sometimes, and I think it's related to the being in our way kind of conversation, too, in that I think sometimes we look at. The stuff that's in our way, whether it's self imposed or from outside. And sometimes it's not what it is, as much as it is how we look at it.

[00:15:59] [00:16:00] That's that changes the view. The exact same event can happen, but if you change how you look at it, it doesn't fix it, it doesn't make it go away, it doesn't make it less hurtful, it doesn't make it less right in any way, but it does have an effect on how we. Can get through it. Would, have you had that experience?

[00:16:19] Cassandra Crawley Mayo: Yeah, I have. It's all about perspective, right? I remember when I interviewed to be a general manager at a hotel and I didn't have a general manager experience. But I had management experience and I was interviewed by the human resources manager to be in that role. And I even questioned I don't have the experience, but I'm going to interview anyway.

[00:16:48] And I remember, I'll never forget this. It was a Sunday and it was at night that I received a call from that gentleman. telling me that he was calling to offer me the position. And I was [00:17:00] super excited. At first, I wondered why would he call me at 10 p. m. at night to do that? I thought that was odd.

[00:17:07] But nevertheless, I did get the job. And when I answered him I said, Oh, absolutely. I'm really excited to get that job. Thank you so much. Thanks for the call. He said, we'll talk about the details later on. And then. upon me hanging up, he said, Oh, and by the way, thank you so much. I met my quota.

[00:17:29] And I said to myself,

[00:17:34] Scott Maderer: at least he's honest

[00:17:34] Cassandra Crawley Mayo: Very honest, but this goes through perspective. When he said it, I was naive a bit and I was like, wow, isn't that interesting to say? So this is what I did. I went in there. And like it was my hotel. I didn't really think about what he said. I remembered what he said, but I didn't think about it.

[00:17:56] And I tell you, Scott, I [00:18:00] ran that hotel. Like it was my hotel. They even put me, what we would call the flagship hotel near headquarters right where everybody comes, everybody does training there and all of that. So that goes to show you, it was how I responded that really helped me be.

[00:18:18] industry. So that's a great example of what occurred.

[00:18:22] Scott Maderer: Absolutely. It amazes me sometimes what people will say out loud. I'm I laugh because I think a lot of times we think of people as not saying the quiet part out loud and then People say the quiet part out loud. Yeah.

[00:18:44] Cassandra Crawley Mayo: So go ahead.

[00:18:46] And that's when I thought perhaps he was drinking because he called maybe he had been out all night and had just come home. So I, that's what I wanted to mention the time he called because I use that to say [00:19:00] to justify when he said that he was just not in his right mind at that time.

[00:19:05] Scott Maderer: Something else was going on maybe.

[00:19:07] Exactly. Yeah. You talked a little bit earlier about some of the ways that you found that you were getting in your own way as you've worked with women. And as you've looked at it and looked at other people as well, what are some of the most common ways that we do quote, get in our own way?

[00:19:25] Cassandra Crawley Mayo: One of the main things, and even this happens with men, but more with women, is pop imposter syndrome. We do not believe that we can do a job that we were hired to do. We think that we're a fraud like examples would be like you're in an environment, and many times I was working in a white male environment, and we would be in a meeting.

[00:19:53] and they would ask a question and everybody had an opportunity to answer. And when I would answer the [00:20:00] question, it was like, they didn't hear me. And then somebody else would answer that question, not the way I did, but it was still the same answer that I provided. They listened to them and not to me.

[00:20:14] And then that's when I says, wow I'm not that great after all, I must be a fraud. I started thinking like that so that was that. And then another thing is burnout, being in your way with burnout. As women, we do it all. And it's not. take a dib on men, but we have the children, we raise the children, we work, we we do the administrative stuff, we buy the groceries, we sometimes we pay the bills, just so many things that we don't take the time out to take care of ourselves.

[00:20:54] And so that's another thing. And then internally, what will happen is we'll get ill [00:21:00] because of stress related diseases, high blood pressure just a lot of things can happen when we do not take care of our own cell. So those were a couple of things was that sabotage and self neglect and imposter syndrome and self sabotaging.

[00:21:20] Scott Maderer: So when someone finds themselves and they realize, or they're hearing some of the things you're saying and they're like, Yeah I've been doing some of this. I've been working the 20 hour days and the burning out on both ends. I'm trying to do it all. Maybe I, I don't really believe in myself.

[00:21:37] What are some of the things that you work with people or that are in the book that what do we do about it? What's next? Self awareness is key, but once you become aware, now what?

[00:21:50] Cassandra Crawley Mayo: Yeah, once you become aware, you're right, that's the key, then once you become aware of it, then there are a couple of things that I've taken my clients through, is one [00:22:00] is to talk about things that they have done, some of the successful things, like I may take them to an exercise and says, I'd like for you to write in the last six months, what was some of the accomplishments you made go through that.

[00:22:15] And also what do you believe that people think of you? If you are a manager, what was your last review? What did that look like? So just to remind them of things that they did accomplish. Or when was the last time you took vacation? When you were on vacation, what did you do? were you at home?

[00:22:32] Was it a stay home vacation? Or was it a go away vacation? What about your children? Did they go to camp in the summer? Just ask those questions. And then also, do they have a sponsor or coach at work or someone to mentor them at work that they trust, that they believe that their best interest is at heart to find out how do they think they're doing?

[00:22:58] What are some things that you [00:23:00] can do? Because I always say is you can do nothing about yourself. A lot of people think they have to do this and handle it themselves, but that's why we're all here to support each other.

[00:23:14] Scott Maderer: With let's talk about the other side. If, when somebody starts doing. this and reflecting on what the reality is and changing or reframing some of those thoughts and some of those beliefs and how they feel about it.

[00:23:31] What what comes from the other side? What is not being in your way look like? In other words

[00:23:37] Cassandra Crawley Mayo: Yeah, I love that question. What's not being in your way is you start having a more fulfilling, meaningful life. Because I believe that you are doing what you supposed to be doing.

[00:23:50] And a lot of times we get in our way because I always say that what does it look like to live your best life? Are you living your best [00:24:00] life? So it's just very fulfilling. It's like a redeemer of time. You have time to do more than you had before because you're just so busy doing a whole lot of stuff, but you're not doing anything.

[00:24:13] So it's just a good, refreshing, a peace of mind, which I think is priceless that can happen on the other side when you're doing that.

[00:24:24] Scott Maderer: So I've got a few questions that I like to ask all of my guests, but before I ask you those, is there anything else about the book or the work that you do that you'd like to share with

[00:24:34] Cassandra Crawley Mayo: the listener?

[00:24:35] Yeah something that I've just started. I have what we call a potential type quiz, and so people will understand what their potential is, like if they're an intentional liver, are they a seeker, are they an overcomer? So those are the things to figure out what your potential is. And then from that point, I have a 90 90 minute workshop [00:25:00] on how do you design your best life?

[00:25:02] And I think that's very important because a lot of people don't even think about it unless that question is posed. So those are the things that I'm doing with my book and then I do one on one mentoring. I have a mentoring program that I also do and that's titled Your Journey to Living Your Best Life.

[00:25:21] What does your journey to living your best life look like?

[00:25:27] Scott Maderer: So I try to ask all of my guests this, my brand is Inspired Stewardship, and I run things through that lens of stewardship, and yet that's one of those words that I've learned over the years means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. It comes with its own baggage and things that people hear when they hear that word.

[00:25:47] So when you hear the word stewardship, what does that mean to you and what is the effect of that understanding had on your life.

[00:25:55] Cassandra Crawley Mayo: For me, stewardship has always meant my time[00:26:00] the talents, the gifts that I bring, and also my, the treasure. People call it money or whatever, but I am nothing without giving.

[00:26:15] I think it's more blessed to give than receive. So if I've been given a gift, or talent. I'm not here to keep it. I'm here to give it away. So those are the things that I define as stewardship. And I learned that early on just time in the church, time in the community, just spending time, your time, and then using your talents and then the treasures.

[00:26:43] Scott Maderer: So this is my favorite question that I like to ask everybody imagine for a minute that I invented this magic machine and with that machine, I could pluck you from where you are today and transport you into the future. Maybe 150, maybe 250 years, but through the power of this machine, you [00:27:00] were able to look back and see your entire life and see all of the connections, all of the ripples, all of the impacts you've left behind.

[00:27:07] What impact do you hope you've left in the world?

[00:27:10] Cassandra Crawley Mayo: My, the impact is that I have empowered. I'll say 500 women to start living their best life on their terms. I want it to be said that she definitely made a difference. And if it were not for her, then I would not.

[00:27:34] be doing what I'm doing now. And I, and also individuals that don't have any regrets in their life.

[00:27:43] Scott Maderer: So what's coming next? What's on the roadmap as we finish out 2023 and launch into

[00:27:47] Cassandra Crawley Mayo: 2024? What's happening next is I have a couple of speaking engagements coming out about living your best life. Also, like I [00:28:00] indicated, the training has just started, so I'm looking forward to that. And also, I just got my first coaching client, my one on one client.

[00:28:10] So those are the things that are Next for me. And also I believe there's a book inside. There's another book inside about living out your potential, but that's in the future. And I'm certainly won't take me 12 years to write that as I did. Is your way in your

[00:28:27] Scott Maderer: way? It'll take, it'll only take six.

[00:28:30] You'll get it done in half the time. I'm joking.

[00:28:35] Cassandra Crawley Mayo: Yeah, exactly.

[00:28:37] Scott Maderer: So you can find out more about Cassandra over on her website at cassandracrawley. com and of course I'll have a link to that over in the show notes as well. Cassandra, is there anything else you'd like to share with the listener?

[00:28:52] Cassandra Crawley Mayo: Yeah, I, there is a young lady by the name of Bonnie Ware and Bonnie Ware was a hospice [00:29:00] nurse.

[00:29:01] And I was reading parts of her book and there were certain things that really struck me and it was the top five regrets of dying. And there were three, she had five, but there were two that really resonated with me for my listeners. And one of the things people as they were dying regretted and she, by being a hospice nurse, she was able to get some common themes.

[00:29:27] And one of them was, they wanted to wish that they had lived their lives true to themselves and not want others not living it by others expectations. And I found that striking because people were living for other people opposed to themselves. And the other one was they wished they were more happier.

[00:29:49] And that bothered me and that put me on a mission. Like, why can't we be more happier? Why can't we be true to ourselves? So I just want to [00:30:00] encourage the listeners to think about that. Think about if you have any regrets you don't want to have any regrets. So think about making sure that you're living the life that you're ordained to live.

[00:30:18] Scott Maderer: Thanks so much for listening to the Inspired Stewardship podcast. As a subscriber and listener, we challenge you to not just sit back and passively listen, but act on what you've heard and find a way to live your calling. If you enjoyed this episode please do us a favor. Go over to inspiredstewardship.

[00:30:42] com slash iTunes rate, all one word. iTunes rate. It'll take you through how to leave a rating and review and how to make sure you're subscribed to the podcast so that you can get every episode as it comes out in [00:31:00] your feed. Until next time, invest your time, your talent, and your treasures. Develop your influence and impact the world.

In today's episode, I ask Cassandra about:

  • Her journey to launching her coaching journey and book Is Your Way in Your Way... 
  • What being in your way really looks like for you...
  • What you can do about it when you are getting in your own way...
  • and more.....

Some of the Resources recommended in this episode: 

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You are doing what you are supposed to be doing.  A lot of times we get in our way because I always say that what does it look like to live your best life?  Are you living your best life?  It’s a redeemer of time. – Cassandra Crawley Mayo

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About the Author Scott

Helping people to be better Stewards of God's gifts. Because Stewardship is about more than money.

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