Kathy Brodeur's mission is to bring out the Iron Goddess in all of us. After leaving a toxic marriage from her high school sweetheart, Kathy closed her two successful cycling clubs and took a year to heal. She embarked on a journey of self-care, healing, and faced her fears to find her personal power. Kathy's resilience and life changes are what gave her the idea for the Iron Goddess brand, a luxury wellness experience for women that focuses on the inside and the outside.
Today, she joins Lisa Pezik to talk about:
- How to heal the inside chaos of a toxic surrounding,
- Why autopilot is going against our feminine nature and how to walk headfirst into your fears,
- How to have a strong circle in your family life and the teams that you lead, and
- Why the Iron Goddess brand is different, and what Kathy's promotions and product suites look like.
Watch the episode here:
Listen to the podcast here:
Igniting The Iron Goddess Life With Kathy Brodeur
I am excited to have a client of ours. She's the best client. I'm not supposed to take favorites, but Kathy is my favorite. I cannot wait to have her start telling you about how she evolved her brand, where she started, and where she is now because it was quite a personal journey that sparked her to do what she's doing now. I can remember being in a mastermind and a gentleman was talking about how to grow wealth. Someone said, “What's the best business advice you could give us to grow your wealth?” He said, “Grow yourself and your business grows.” That's exactly what Kathy did. Kath, I'm glad you're here.
Lisa, thank you so much for having me.
She's the best. Let me tell you about her. Kathy Brodeur is a wellness transformation coach, empowering women to live consciously and create healthy everyday habits in all areas of their life. She was a CFL cheerleader, professional Baton twirler, fitness studio owner, speaker, author and Creator of the Iron Goddess brand. When you hear Iron Goddess, you're thinking, “It's another fitness program.” No. Iron Goddess is a mindset, an attitude, inner work first. IRON is Inspiration, Resilience, Optimism and New healthy habits.
A Goddess is a woman who is in the process of learning to know, accept, love herself on all levels, focuses on personal growth, and self-awareness. Because of her effort, an Iron Goddess has unlimited capacity to make her life anything that she wants. Kathy, let's talk about this. You owned two incredibly successful cycling, rowing, fitness studios that were rooted in the community. Your clients and your staff speak so highly about how you treated them, how you led them, the atmosphere that you created, how did you go from that to the Iron Goddess brand?
It was a big transition in my life. It was a lot of moving parts happening in my personal life. With going through healing after a toxic marriage, what I basically did was stepped back and decided that I needed to put a lot of self-care into myself and evolve into something as I was healing. I've always known that my purpose was to help others, which I've always done through fitness and nutrition. As you said, evolving into the Iron Goddess brands and mindset, it's all about resilience, inner strength and developing resilience, finding confidence, improving our mindset, and that kind of thing. Getting out of autopilot, living and being intimately present because if nothing on the inside is done and it's complete chaos, nothing on the outside sticks.
By stepping back, what I've done is I closed the studios and healed myself. From there, I decided that I wanted to take the membership online and help others in a much broader and bigger way more than just fitness and nutrition. Talking about my journey, healing, walking through hell, coming out the other side stronger than ever, and these life experiences, I've put into the membership. The Iron Goddess membership, it's not your typical membership. It is so much more than fitness and nutrition. No disrespect, anyone can put together classes on a YouTube channel which is amazing, but this brand took us over fifteen months to create and involve in this amazing brand, this membership, and the challenge that we're coming out with.
If you had to compare it to something that people can get a visual on, it would be a luxury all-inclusive vacation for women. It’s everything that a woman needs to be her best version of the Iron Goddess. Taking the mindset element, that being the most impactful thing that I want to get across over and above everything else, and applying it to all the different dimensions of wellness that we work with through the membership: mind, body, spirit, sexual, intellectual, financial and occupational, all of these things. If the inner work is done and the inner chaos is calmed, you can't help but to be successful in every other area of your life. Remaining calm, clear and focused on the inside is the key to any and all success.
The C-word seemed to be calm, clear to get rid of the internal chaos, and confidence. I love that you said the business evolved but you evolve as a person too because we are evolving all the time. As you’re growing up in your teens, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, as you get married, you have babies, you stay single, or whatever you choose in your life, your life is always rapidly changing. When you say chaos, it makes me think about people who on the outside have the most perfect body. More power to you, that takes discipline, willpower and work. On the inside, they're talking crap to themselves. They're sabotaging themselves in relationships, they don't know how to set boundaries, they're being walked all over in their job, with their friends, family or whoever it is. Of course, we have that fitness and nutrition component because we need that pillar of physical health but there's the emotional side of it, the spiritual side of it, and the sexual side of it. It's so taboo.
This was probably the most transitional year for me in my life with everything happening. All these things like the sexual, how things are affecting you when you are living on autopilot? It's amazing how things affect you. That's one of the other things that we try to stress that’s important to get out of that autopilot living because if we are living in the future, we're always worried about something. If we're living in the past, there's fear, anger and resentment. That's where I found myself being, living intimately present and this exact moment being all there is and nothing else matters. When we can learn to do that, then we find more fulfillment, gratitude, satisfaction and love. How can you not want to live like this?
If the inner work is done and the inner chaos is calmed, you can't help but to be successful in every other area of your life.
When we think about energy or if you're a crappy sleeper and then you start sleeping better, or you have crappy energy and you get better energy when people say, “I didn't know what good felt like until I realized that I wasn't feeling good. Now, I am.” This is the same. “I didn't know what this Iron Goddess lifestyle could feel like. I didn't even realize that I was operating so poorly or feeling so crappy.” You don't know how good it can feel until you're in it.
We forget that we were designed to feel amazing. If we're feeling anything less than amazing, we pass it off to a little fatigue, a little this and that, and then it evolves into something so much worse. We should always be feeling absolutely incredible and amazing. By taking and conquering all elements, mind, body, emotionally, that helps to elevate us to that level, being very aware and in touch with how we're feeling.
Where a lot of well-intentioned self-help books and courses, and things go wrong are not that continuum. We hear people like you talk or you hear somebody like me talk talking about wonderful marriage, growing business and happy child. You're kicking ass in this brand, sensual, sexual and loving life. People go, “Why can't that happen for me in 2 or 3 weeks? I'm going to read this book and my whole life is going to be changed. I'm going to take this course and my whole life is going to be changed.” How long was it for? You said it was a year.
A lot of these details are in the book, but I checked out of the marriage a few years ago because I saw the red flags and you start to see things. This year 2020 has definitely been the most impactful year for me as far as transformation. The thing that we have to remember is that you always have to continue growing and evolving, that life is not a destination. In fact, it's about the journey. It's like anything. As long as you are living, learning and loving, you're always growing.
What's huge about that is you said you knew, but 2020 was the year you did something about it.
One of the things I've come to learn was fear because we don't have the confidence to step into the unknown and step outside our comfort zone. Even if it's uncomfortable, at least we know what to expect, and that goes not in a crappy marriage but it goes in all other additional elements. If we are afraid and we don't have the confidence to step so far out of our comfort zone that we forget to find our way back but we don't want to go back, we don't do it. It was finding the confidence to push forward. Like anything, “Was it hard?” Yes, it was hard for no other reason other than I knew that there was no more love in the marriage but it was how I felt about myself, my worth and what could I achieve? Could I do this? Because healing sucks.
Everyone thinks healing is like rainbows.
It is breakdowns, tears, and questioning yourself like, “Can I do this?” It's so much more. It was having the confidence to step outside the marriage and to keep going.
Someone said to me, “Healing is when your emotions take you to your knees.” They were like, “That's what healing looks like.” I'm like, “That is true.” I know you talk about this in your membership and in your book as well, about that whole thing about PTSD. When we think about PTSD, we think of car crashes, soldiers that fight in Afghanistan, or being sold on the market for sex. We think about these horrific, graphic, brutal things but yours was from a marriage. You guys were high school sweethearts, right?
Yes. I didn't know anyone else. We worked together for a very long time. We got married and had kids young, which works out well because we divorced young. The thing with emotional and psychological abuse, the scar is on the inside. A lot of times, you’re questioning yourself because people don't see it. Depending on what the situation is, my particular situation was dealing with a covert narcissist. To everybody else, he appeared to be charming and amazing. I thought I was going crazy because, to me, it was totally different. With this type of abuse, it's a complex PTSD. What that means is the abuse happens over and over. It's not a one-time thing.
I still have no contact with my ex and I love it that way because I still find if there's something that comes up that the kids bring up, it still comes back even after all this time, even after I've evolved, I'm doing amazing and I've definitely moved on. The things come back and it affects you and you still get that heart racing and anxiety. For no other reason, it takes you back to a bad experience that you don't want to remember. That's still ongoing but I'm definitely at a much better place now. There is a way out. People have to remember with healing, it's not linear. It's 10 steps forward, 5 steps back. It takes time. I'm thankful for where I am and for everything that I've been through because it has made me very strong and resilient. I have met amazing people. I've moved on in every area of my life. I'm grateful because it made me into who I am now.
I love that you said healing is not linear. That's freaking true. Anyone that doesn't want to admit that or say that is lying because we've all experienced that where you think you've healed it or resolved it, it was like, “I’ve got to go back.” You recognize it earlier and quicker, whereas before, you might have done whatever you do to cope. Now you're like, “I'm not going to step down, overwork it, procrastinate, sweep it under the rug or drink three bottles of wine. I’m not going to binge Netflix all day, and throw things and cry. I'm going to deal with that emotion because I know what it is.”
Stepping back and realizing, understanding and seeing it, that's huge. You allow it to happen and then you move on.
It's carrying on. What you do a lot in the message in your book definitely about dealing with the narcissist and getting out of that toxic relationship. Much in your membership is diving into how you set your life up to be the best, set boundaries, tackle fear, face fear head-on, inspiration, resilience, optimism, and the new healthy habits. It's not like, “Go do this fitness class,” and then something triggers you, and you drink three bottles of wine because you don't have the tools to tackle that thing that's triggering you.
Your program has that element of almost life coaching. People miss that when they see something like this. They go, “I could go to Planet Fitness and get a membership for $999. I'm not paying that for this program,” they have no awareness. I describe it as Lego blocks. We had this experience. We were at the cottage, we got away for a little getaway. It’s beautiful. Oliver's grandma, Eric's mom, got Oliver this Lego set. It was from the Reuse Center. It was taped and it was used but she was like, “All the pieces are there and it's all good. He could do this while he's away.” We were like, “Thank you.” I gave it to him and he got 3/4 of the way through building this Mack Truck thing and two pieces were missing. It ended up being two. First, it was the one piece. We were like, “We can continue, maybe we don't need that piece.” Then a second piece was missing and we were like, “Forget it.” We couldn't finish because the pieces were missing. With your membership, there are no pieces missing. That's what I love about it. That's why I'm excited to get it out. It's launched, it's out there. People can buy it. What are you waiting for?
I feel like this is a movement that's going to start to shift and change, and we haven't seen it yet. We don't have a lot of people or providers providing this type of holistic experience. As you said in the beginning, it's what every woman needs. It was built in mind for that all-inclusive package for the women. I love your team. You have such an incredible team. How did you cultivate that? For people reading who are in business, they're working and they manage, they’re a leader in some sense, how did you foster such amazing teamwork with your team?
I am very lucky with Shawna, who's out in Florida right now. She's an incredible instructor. We became good friends. She auditioned at the studio as a spin instructor and she is phenomenal and incredible. Shawna has been on her own journey with having a heart attack, surviving through that and her story. We're very close. Leah is the Iron Goddess dietician and she is amazing. I still remember the very first spin class that she came in, she was in the front row and she was determined. She did so exceptionally well. I talked to her after class about getting her spin certification and she did. It went from there. She loved health and fitness. She went to Western and got her degree of being a dietician. We're amazing and good friends as well.
Barb is a triathlete. She coaches yoga, spins, done everything, an incredible mom and an incredible coach. We all have this common element of wanting to be our best selves, we all have our own stories. We're real people. That's the thing about the coaches. I'm not taking anything away from these amazing other platforms that are out there, but these are real women just like you. Real women meaning they're working hard to find themselves, they're working through their journey, and they're figuring their stuff out as well. It's real women, real stuff.
We were designed to feel amazing. We should always be feeling absolutely incredible and amazing.
You’ve got to know them as more than their job title, “You are my spin instructor. You're my dietician.” You’ve got to know them intimately for who they are and they got to know you, which is so huge because how many leaders don't know anything about their employees, business owners that don't know anything about their contractors or the clients for the sake.
It's important to me to make sure that we do a lot of bonding stuff always. As soon as Shawna is back from Florida, we're always getting together, bonding, building, brainstorming ideas and having fun. I did have a team of twelve people at the studio, and it was the same thing. We would get together brainstorming and bonding, and it’s key.
You brought them in on the mission, purpose, and you made them a part of it. When people feel they're a part of it, they'll work their butts off for it because they have ownership and they feel like their contributions towards it matter.
They are huge contributions to this membership and they all have a very specific and awesome role. I'm happy to have each and every one of them.
Same with the videos. I love that there are real women. You've got the advanced, the moderate, and the beginner, young, old, skinny, large, small, big and tall.
We come in all shapes and sizes.
All walks of life and all having a blast doing it. The word real is such a good word that you use. They are real people, real trainers in the fitness videos. Even Leah with her nutrition, I was amazed at the depth and the level of coaching that she even gave in those videos because I've worked with nutritionists, and I have to pay them a lot of money to get that information.
She is amazing and incredible.
It is a winning package. Where do you see the future of the Iron Goddess brand? Sometimes, we're so stuck in it like, “We're putting out the videos and filming the stuff,” that we don't often stop to think about where we want our business to go in 5 years or 10 years. Knowing you, I know you've thought about this because you dream big like me. Where do you see the brand evolving or going in the next decade?
I would love to see the Iron Goddess as a household name on every level. We're working on 30 days to Becoming an Iron Goddess. It’s a challenge which is good and kickstart to help get people in who might not be sure about the membership. From there, go into the membership because once you see the content and the value of what's in there and how it is truly life-changing, globally know. Let's leave it at that. That sums it up. As a business owner, you want your business to be successful. For me, the most important thing is changing women's lives and understanding that there's a community, movement and sisterhood that you can join, have support, and have people that’s like, “I've been through this. I know and I can help you through this.”
If there was something like this available to me many years ago, I would not have gone through what I have gone through that I've done and I know what to look for and what works. That makes a big difference knowing that there is help out there, someone who's listening and who’s here to help. I know that is my purpose on a much broader scale because I've found my strength and I rose out of that fire. It's here to help people not just in fitness and nutrition, but to help them understand that we always hold the power. We forget that sometimes. We always hold the power. As soon as we realize that and stop questioning ourselves, then watch out.
My mentor, Bo Eason, who I study under, he's like, “Women are the visionaries and the dreamers.” Women are like, “Men, go do that for me.” He's like, “Men are so good at executing.” I think about the same with Eric. I ask him to do things and forget it but I write them a little honeydew list. They're good at when we give them what to do to go do it. Women hold the power. It's so true, where the world is going to go, how the world is going to shift, and the change. Being a part of a program like this is progressive and it’s staying within the curve of what the world needs.
Especially after the year that we've had. 2020 wasn't a year that was meant to break us. It was meant to break us open and people are figuring that out. The timing of this membership is incredible.
I love that we did a membership because it's not a once and done, things come up, and hate you. It's a continuum of growth. Even for you, when you create a movement and you have team members, I always say you are not duplicatable and a strategy. If you are the only person that makes your business go, you're going to be in trouble one day. You're building a community that you don't have to be tapped in 24/7. You’ve got in with the videographer, we built a bunch of modules at once, and now you get to love on it. You get to tell people about it and do these kinds of interviews. Family is important to you. You've got three grandkids now.
Three grandkids and two kids. What's important for me is finding the balance. That's why I wanted to take it online instead of opening up the studios because I want to be able to travel and do things. You get one chance and that's what we all forget. This is part of going back to that autopilot living. You get one chance at this life, so you better make it count and not have any regrets. Why not start right now? What are you waiting for? Get in there. It is all about balance. It's all about the quality of life because none of that matters when you're old and you're looking back and going, “What did I do with my life? Why didn't I do this?” That's the biggest thing people have is regrets, and I will not have any regrets.
I love that you said it's never too late to start. Iron Goddess is in everyone and you've just forgotten about her. If you're not living that lifestyle, it's there. You let other people's priorities and plans get in the way.
Especially as women, as we get into relationships and have family, we think it's more important to put our family first. Honestly, the best thing that we can do for the people that we love is to put ourselves first because not only does it set examples for our children and let them see that self-care and self-love are not selfish, but also when we take care of ourselves, it gives us the energy. It allows us to stay healthy focused for our family to do things with our family more than going to work and coming home. We have the energy to take the kids to the park after and go for a bike ride. It's all connected.
Have you read the book, Untamed, by Glennon Doyle?
I have not.
Healing is not linear. It's ten steps forward, five steps back. It takes time.
She talks about how she thought being a good mother and motherhood was all about sacrificing your life for your children. She was saying how she got sorely schooled and being a good mother does not mean putting all of their needs first and you last. Being a good mother is taking care of yourself so you have more to pour into them. That's such a life-changing book. When is your book coming out?
It's set up to be sold on Amazon on April 1st, 2021. I’ve pre-sold a lot of copies already. I'm excited about that.
We're going to be doing a promotion where you can get Kathy's book, you just pay the shipping and handling. We're getting this book in people's hands because as you've heard on this show, there's so much value in everything that she shared. She dives deeply into that about self-love, setting boundaries, walking away from toxic people and things. I was honored that I was able to be one of the first people that read it. You're going to get that in people's hands. We've got your 30-day challenge and the Iron Goddess membership is there. You could go buy the thing now. We’re going to be doing 7-days free as well. Some people like to get in. We didn’t even mention the membership looks gorgeous too.
You described it as all-inclusive, you were going for a spa day or that luxury package. That was one thing I loved about you as well. A lot of people don’t get this in business that the more you pour in, the better it looks. You had a proper marketing budget, you had a proper merchandise budget, you’ve got beautiful pink Lulu lemon jackets on brand for the instructors and these gorgeous tumblers that are branded, and beautiful journals. Your brand screams, “I will take care of you. I've got you. You’re in good hands with me.” I love that you poured into not just the content, because the content of course has to be bang on and it is, but you poured into the experience for your instructors and the members that they have a gorgeous membership with top-notch professionally filmed videos. It looks and feels amazing.
You and Eric have done an incredible job bringing my vision to life. I was speechless when I first saw it. It's breathtaking and it is everything that I envisioned it to be. Thank you for that.
You're so welcome. You're the dream client, Kathy. I remember I was like, “Iron Goddess?”
You don't know how many reactions I got with that. It is the inner strength and the inner voice.
You have an opt-in that's generating Iron Goddess Energy. A lot of people are needing that right now, so there's a free opt-in. That will get you that goody and will bring you up-to-date with all these amazing launches and things that are coming. Be a part of this Iron Goddess brand because as you heard, it's going somewhere and it's rooted in realness, all-inclusiveness, beauty and amazingness. I hope that you’ll be a part of it or at least go check Kathy out. Kathy, thank you so much for spending this time with me and coming on my show.
Lisa, thank you again for having me. It was a lot of fun. I appreciate the opportunity.
Readers, thank you for being here. There are many people, things, places you can go, and things you can tune into. I'm honored, I love you. I'm glad that you're here with us. We'll see you again next time on the show.
About Kathy Brodeur
Kathy Brodeur, a wellness transformation coach empowering women to live consciously and create healthy everyday habits in ALL areas of their lives.
CFL Cheerleader, Professional Baton Twirler, Fitness Studio Owner, Speaker, Author, creator of the Iron Goddess Brand.
IRON GODDESS is a mindset; it’s an attitude. It’s inner work FIRST. Inspiration, Resilience, Optimism and New healthy habits are the true meaning of IRON in my brand.
GODDESS is a woman who is in the process of learning to know, accept and love herself on all levels and focuses on personal growth and self-awareness. Because of her effort, An Iron Goddess has unlimited capacity to make her life anything she wants.