April 14

You are a Champion-Unbounded with Mary Crafts


You are a Champion-Unbounded with Mary Crafts

By Deborah Johnson

April 14, 2023

imposter syndrome, Mary Crafts, Mount Kilimanjaro, negative self-talk, overcoming fear, podcast, summit, unbounded, vulnerability, you are a champion

To be unbounded is to be free to dream big and it advances the message that you are a champion. With a little red wagon used to sell cookies and bread, carrying her babies door to door, Mary Crafts planted the seed of her dream as her own champion. From humble beginnings, Mary successfully built an empire, the largest catering company in Utah. Her guiding mantra is that one cannot build what they have not first dreamt and that dreaming is a prerequisite for achieving anything.

Struggle is a part of most any entrepreneurial journey. For many, the largest obstacle is what we see looking back at us in the mirror. Questions full of self-doubt arise such as, Do I have what it takes to be successful? Am I smart enough? and Do I have the right skillset? What about financing? Will I run out of money? Am I too old? What if no one takes me seriously? Those are the mental hurdles most have to leap over at some point. Here, we will cover four actions for living unbounded, for you are a champion!

Women at Halftime by Deborah Johnson You are a Champion - Unbounded with Mary Crafts 4-18-2023
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You are a Champion: Unbounded from Fear

Fear can rule a life. Fear of failure of being accepted, being laughed at, fear of not being enough. Many people may not see fear ruling their lives, most especially men. Men tend to be in denial and think that fear is more common in the opposite sex. The truth is that there is a point in their life where they are afraid of losing their jobs, not being promoted, failing their children or finding what they treasure most slipping away. Our fear may take a different shape, but fear it is nonetheless. When we embrace the idea that we were born enough and we didn't have to work at it, then we begin to see what we can do to enhance how we feel about ourselves. We realize that it's a journey we can make and can overcome.

At the age of 50, Mary weighed 284 pounds and had failed to lose weight successfully. Part of her journey was to lose more than half of her body weight without surgery, pills, or other methods. She looked inward and realized that permanent weight loss, permanent health, and fitness only begin to happen when you begin to heal. Fear was ruling her life. She realized fear had begun early on in her life even before she realized it.

Mary realized she was successful as a caterer because she was afraid of messing up. When she finally woke up to that fact and began to make the shift from living a fear-based life to a love-based life she began to see the difference. Her company began to transform. Rather than her workers being afraid of messing up, they began to see the joy of serving people and doing things correctly. This had such a positive effect on her business that she has now gained the freedom to give to many other organizations philanthropically.

You are a Champion: Discover the Gift of Struggle

Climbing a mountain, like Mount Kilimanjaro is not something most people will attempt when reaching the age of sixty. It is the highest free-standing mountain above sea level in the world at 19,341 feet. Each year about ten climbers fall to their death and another 1,000 are evacuated to safety.

Mary had never gone hiking before because she did not like it, despite the beautiful mountains that surrounded her in Utah. Whenever her children wanted her to go hiking with them, she always came up with excuses. But age 56, she finally started hiking and loved it. Eventually she faced the greatest mountain in her life, Mount Kilimanjaro. She had to face every single fear she thought she would never overcome in her climb. The biggest thing she brought home from Mount Kilimanjaro is that many times people equate struggle with failure but struggle in itself is a gift. The process of getting through the struggle is the greatest gift as it nurtures the belief, confidence, and resilience in our abilities. (read The Summit)

Looking back, Mary is grateful for her years of struggles, as people now come to her to learn of how she overcame her struggles and that they too could achieve things they never dreamed. It might not be comfortable, and it may be very painful, but there's such joy at the end of it because you really accomplish what you've set out to do. Many people's lives are dominated by fear, but you can't overcome obstacles until you admit them, understand them, and see them.

You are a Champion: How to Stop Hiding and Start Healing

Vulnerability is risky as it opens us up to criticism, blame and negativity. In one of Mary’s times of deep meditation, she discovered she has the fear of vulnerability. But she began to discover that her struggles and ability to share them were the very things that people loved about her. Admitting our vulnerability is crucial because it is the first step towards overcoming our tendency to hide. If we are honest, it allows us to recognize that we have more in common with others than we might initially realize, which can help to break down the barriers that separate us. When we start to see ourselves as part of a larger whole, we can stop fixating on what makes us different and focus on what unites us.

It's important to understand that the qualities we admire in others are often the same qualities we possess ourselves, whether they are positive or negative. By recognizing this, we can cultivate a sense of empathy and compassion for others and ourselves. Many people struggle to move beyond their fear and find this sense of inner freedom, but it is something that is available to us all if we are willing to embrace vulnerability.

Seven Summits-Caleb

Regardless of where we live or what our circumstances are, we all have the power to make a positive impact in our communities. Even small acts of kindness, such as a smile or a word of encouragement, can make a significant difference in someone's life. We don't have to travel to far-flung places or climb a mountain like Kilimanjaro to make a meaningful contribution; we can make a difference right where we are. It's worth remembering that every individual is unique, with their own gifts and talents to offer. We should celebrate our differences and recognize that they are what make us special.

You are a Champion: Achieving Greatness by Embracing Vulnerability

At some point in our lives, we have all caught a glimpse of our inner selves and wondered if there is anything particularly remarkable about us. Mary, for instance, found that she could not achieve greatness except for her vulnerability. However, vulnerability is a fear that many of us share. We are often hesitant to reveal our true selves because we fear being judged or rejected. Yet, if we are willing to embrace our vulnerability and let our authentic selves shine through, it can propel us forward in life.

Asking ourselves questions like What would I do today if I wasn't afraid? can help us overcome our fear of vulnerability. Instead of worrying about what others might think of us, we can focus on being true to ourselves, expressing our unique qualities. It's important to recognize that our fears of being vulnerable, such as concerns about being ignored, judged, or laughed at, can hold us back and prevent us from fully participating in social situations and serving others.

In conclusion, being vulnerable is not a weakness, but rather a strength. By embracing our vulnerabilities and letting our true selves shine through, we can build more meaningful connections with others and achieve greater personal growth.


Mary Crafts is an experienced Chief Executive Officer with a demonstrated 35 year history of working in the food & beverages industry. Skilled in Catering, Nonprofit Organizations, Entrepreneurs, Sales, and Marketing. and mentoring. Served on numerous boards and board chairs. Recently her newest company, Mary Crafts, Inc., where she brings her incredible skills to business consulting, speaking, podcasting, author, and life coach. The profits from her new company all go to support her philanthropic ventures.

Being vulnerable is not a weakness, but rather a strength.

deborah johnson

Thought Leader, Keynote Speaker, Author

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1,305 words

Deborah Johnson

About the author

DEBORAH JOHNSON, M.A., creator of Hero Mountain® and former president of Los Angeles National Speakers Association, is an international award-winning music artist, author, speaker and National Media Commentator. She also hosts the popular podcast "Women at Halftime." Deborah provides tools to create your ideal lifestyle and work at mid-career or during the halftime of life, getting unstuck. You can live your second half fulfilled, focused and free! Up for multiple GRAMMY Awards and spending over 20 years in the entertainment industry, she's an expert on how to constantly reinvent yourself in a gig-economy. She is also the recipient of the Women's Economic Forum Exceptional Women of Excellence Award. Deborah is the author of multiple books, over twenty albums and musicals and speaks and performs in both live and virtual events.

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