Overcoming Divorce and Breaking Through the Negative with Deborah Driggs
Today we’re talking with Deborah Driggs. Her experience with divorce, trauma and recovery has fueled her across the career landscape — from model to actor to sales to motivational speaker. She joins Seth and Pete in the Toaster to share the story of divorces in her own life – first her parents’ and later her own – and to explore how she learned the power of taking risks, staying positive, and offering help to those who need it.
Her divorce sent her down some dark rabbit holes and it’s taken a long time to get out. But she has. Deborah talks about getting out of rejection and moving forward. She made the decision to not take ‘no’ for an answer, and that largely means from herself. That mental focus has put her in a place where she’s able to help others work through their own negativity and heal.
It’s a powerful story of peaks and valleys but always leading toward peace and healing.
Links & Notes
- Deborah’s website
- Deborah on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook
- Schedule a consult with Seth
- Got a question you want to ask on the show? Click here!
From her start as a Playboy Centerfold and Covergirl to her life as a Screen Actors’ Guild member and then a top-rated insurance industry professional, Deborah Driggs has had to clear many hurdles in life to make it these things happen. And while it may seem like Deborah’s success came easy to her, nothing could be further from the truth. Rather, she’s overcome a number of challenges in her life to get to where she is today but what is true, and a part of her character, is her willingness to take risks, maintain a positive attitude, and never take ‘no’ for an answer.
Deborah grew up as a latch-key in a broken working – class home but before her family fell apart, her earliest dream was to become an ice-skating athlete and to compete in the Olympics. From the age of seven when she first put on ice skates, Deborah was willing to practice each morning from 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. and then again, after school, for several hours a day to master her figure eights.
Unfortunately, her dreams came to an end when her parents divorced and she and her sister and mother were separated. All throughout high school, she worked at minimum wage jobs to pay for her clothing, school supplies and necessities as her father did not provide any financial support. Her first job was working in a flower shop at a cemetery, then as a fast-food waitress and a drugstore clerk. As these jobs took their toll on her ability to do her schoolwork, her grades fell and her almost dropped out of high school. However, she was able to negotiate a solution with her teacher and managed to graduate with the rest of her class. This was her first experience with learning to never to take “no” for an answer.
Pursuing her interest in dance, Deborah won the audition to join the USFL cheerleading squad in their first year and then went on to join a professional dance company touring Japan. After that ended, she returned to Los Angeles and began her modeling career which led to the famous Playboy audition. This audition was a major game changer for Deborah. After being asked to pose as a centerfold, she was then invited to also grace the cover of the, then, leading men’s magazine in the world for the March and April 1990 issues. These two projects launched Deborah’s “star quality” and led to new opportunities as a Video Jockey (VJ) for the Playboy Channel’s “Hot Rock,” and appearances in several rock videos.
In order to improve her acting ability, Deborah signed up for the two-year Meisner Acting Techniques program at world-renown Baron Brown acting studio. After completing that program, she went on to new roles in TV and film as a member of the Screen Actors Guild.
Marriage and children then followed and for a while, Deborah put aside her acting career to focus on her family. However, when her marriage ended, she found herself having to support her three children. Returning to the working world, Deborah took whatever jobs she could find in her new home of Park City, Utah. Over the next five years, she served as the manager of a day spa and then a residential realtor for the second home market — until the market crashed in 2008.
Realizing that she had to reinvent herself, Deborah took a big risk: after a chance meeting with an executive in the print procurement industry, she asked for the opportunity to try her hand in global print sales. For this, she used her wealth of contacts in the entertainment business to open doors for this company, and then followed that up with her persistent winning attitude. Her meetings with high-level power brokers paid off, almost immediately, and she was able to turn her part-time position into the role of Vice President of Business Development within a year, making inroads that the company had never before achieved.
Deborah’s transition into the insurance world started off in the same vein – with a challenge to herself. Despite her personal insecurities about being new in the business, Deborah put in long hours of study. Keying into her business contacts in the entertainment arena, she began to build her book of business very rapidly. By the end of her first year, she was a top producer, followed by ongoing years of membership in the Million Dollar Roundtable, Top of the Table, and as a contributing member in Leadership for Advanced Life Underwriting (AALU).
Deborah’s clients have included movie studio moguls, celebrities, Fortune 500 leaders, and high net-worth individuals. From what she has learned in her ten years in the insurance industry, and from where she has come, Deborah’s goal is to provide financial guidance to her clients, treating each with respect and remaining available for their needs.
Over the past two decades, Deborah has worked on her inner reserves, as well, participating as a member of Tony Robbins’ Platinum Lions Partnership. She has lent her support to a number of nonprofits that make a difference in people’s lives, including: Richard Branson’s Virgin Unite, Go Campaign, Operation Underground Railroad (#OURrescue), Cut50, Reform Alliance with Van Jones and in funding a school in Peru.
On January 11, 2020, Deborah began sharing her winning business strategies in a talk she calls, “Not Taking No for an Answer,” as part of “Unblinded: The Business Breakthrough Game Sales Mastery Immersion Event.” Since then, she has appeared on a number of podcasts, YouTube and Facebook Live interviews and as a motivational speaker for other virtual events. Dedicated to helping women breakthrough negative, self-talk and take on any challenge to which they set their minds, Deborah knows how much of a difference it can make to have a helping hand when one needs it the most.
Seth Nelson is a Tampa based family lawyer known for devising creative solutions to difficult problems. In How to Split a Toaster, Nelson and co-host Pete Wright take on the challenge of divorce with a central objective — saving your most important relationships with your family, your former spouse, and yourself.