How Devan Kline is Helping Women Take Care of Themselves Through Fitness

August 29, 2018

From the way he talks, you'd think Devan Kline (co-founder and CEO of Burn Boot Camp and author of Stop Starting Over: Transform Your Fitness By Mastering Your Psychology) grew up in an idyllic suburban community, with plenty of room to play T-ball and adoring parents who cheered him on from the sidelines as he played baseball from elementary school all the way through a minor league stint with the San Francisco Giants.

You'd be way, way wrong.

As Kline will matter-of-factly tell you, he grew up in an abusive environment in Battle Creek, Michigan.

"It was rough, you know? It forced me to grow up really quickly at a young age. Twelve, 13 years old I was dealing with mental and emotional stresses that I see some of my peers at the CEO level in the fitness industry struggle with."

But maybe it's a testament to his perspective on life that Kline has grown to appreciate the silver lining in wanting to spend as little time at home as possible.

"I pretty much knew what was waiting for me at home on any given day. I used the field to escape. I played basketball and football, but baseball was my passion. I knew that if I left early and got home late, I could avoid some of the turbulence that would be going on in the household."

Today, Kline is the co-founder and CEO of Burn Boot Camp, a female-focused gym with 153 open locations (and growing every day). That nationwide phenomenon that boasts over 40,000 clients across 37 states? It started in a parking lot, with Kline handing out free t-shirts to any woman who said they'd work out with him. Glamorous, right?

Kline's focus on women stemmed from his days as a professional baseball player, when he was sent to live with host families while on the road (and which you can read more about here). He recognized what the women he lived with often couldn't — that they spent so much time taking care of others, they often neglected taking care of themselves.

"Sometimes it was very apparent that there was some unhappiness, and I started thinking... the self-love wasn't there a lot of the time. You largely saw lack of energy, lack of motivation to move their body, lack of nutrition knowledge, lack of desire to even gain nutrition knowledge."

After noticing this unhappiness, Kline realized that he could serve as an inspiration for these families he was staying with — and thus, a lifelong passion was recognized.

And while the conversation of women "having it all" seems to tend towards a "balancing" metaphor, Kline outright rejects the concept of a balance beam. That's because he sees that analogy as implying that in order to add something to your life, you have to take away something else — and often something you love.

Instead, Kline operates from a philosophy of abundance, or what our newly minted improv expert Jeana Anderson Cohen would call "yes, and." His argument? There's always room for more things you love — and often, you feel more energized by adding those passions to your life rather than limiting them in the interest of having more time.

Listen to Devan Kline's episode of #WeGotGoals to feel inspired by his journey from an abusive home to CEO of the fast-growing fitness franchise, Burn Boot Camp. Want to see if there's a Burn Boot Camp near you? Check their locations here — and let us know how it went.


You can listen to #WeGotGoals anywhere you get your podcasts — and yes, that now includes Spotify! And make sure to listen all the way through, because we heard from a real-life goal-getter just like you.  (Want to be featured on a future episode? Send a voice memo with a goal you’ve crushed, a goal you’re eyeing, or your best goal-getting tip to cindy@asweatlife.com.)



Start transcript:


Jeana: Welcome to We Got Goals, a podcast by asweatlife.com, on which we talk to high achievers about their goals. I'm Jeana Anderson Cohen. With me, I have Maggie Umberger and Kristen.

Kristen: Good morning Jeana.

Maggie: Good morning Jeana.

Jeana: And Kristen this week you talked to Devan Kline, co-founder of the fitness franchise phenomenon, Burn Boot Camp.

Kristen: Yeah. So, I spoke with Devan Kline who've featured on asweatlife.com before. But it was great to get to talk to him. To learn more about how he came up with the idea for Burn Boot Camp. And he's also just come out with a book. So, he's a new author. And he wrote a book called Stop Starting Over: Transform Your Fitness by Mastering Your Psychology.

Maggie: And he was pretty open about, you know, where he came from and what his childhood was like and how he ended up where he is today. What can you share about that experience and listening to him?

Kristen: Yeah. So, Devan had a really rough childhood and he will tell you very openly that he grew up with abusive parents who were alcoholics and addicted to violence in a really poor area of Battle Creek, Michigan where he's from. And part of the reason he became such a gifted athlete. He ended up playing in the minor leagues for the San Francisco Giants if you weren't familiar. But part of the reason that drove him to that success is because he knew if he left the gym and went home, there was a really solid chance that he was gonna get beat up. So he would stay late at the gym. He would practice. He would lift. He would work on his techniques. And the work that he put in during those hours really affected his ability to play college baseball and get noticed by the baseball professional scouts. So, it was a horrible situation for him to be in. But it was amazing to me how he was able to find that silver lining and connect back to how his childhood had a good impact on him, even when it was such a depressing and traumatic situation for a child to be in.

Jeana: And today Burn Boot Camp serves a lot of women across the country. And he found sort of this love and respect for women for a lot of reasons. But mostly one main reason. Can you speak to how he found that reason and what that reason is?

Kristen: So when he was in the minor league for the San Francisco Giants, these minor league players. I don't think this is a widely known fact, but they stay with host families to help keep costs down and to assimilate with living in that new area. So, he sort of found his passion for training and for helping others by watching his host moms. And noticing how they spend so much time taking care of everybody else in the family first. That they put themselves last. And he wanted to help his host moms, you know, learn how to take care of themselves first. And he cited the airplane oxygen mask situation. You know, like you need to be able to put on your own oxygen mask before you can help those around you. So throughout that... as he sort of conceptualized Burn Boot Camp and reached out to his first clientele. And even now that they have countless franchises and clients. Women are still his main focus because he feels so strongly about teaching them as he called it, "To be selfless by being selfish." So I thought that was a really interesting way of, you know, viewing taking care of yourself. And a different method of self-care is that it allows you to take care of other people as well, once you sort of get your own self on lock. So today if you go into Burn Boot Camp, you're going to see that the majority of their clients are women. And that's all because of Devan's focus and of his experience of staying with host families.

Maggie: And in terms of trying new things or adding to your passions, Devan has a pretty interesting view on what balance means. Can you talk a little bit about that?

Kristen: Yeah. And I think this is something that also comes directly from his working with women most of the time. Is that there's this idea of being on a balance beam and, you know, how does do it? How does she balance it all? How does she juggle it all? And a lot of that mentality assumes that if you want to add something in, you have to take something else away. And he comes from what I would call more of a philosophy of abundance. Where he argues that there's always more room for the things that you love without having to take away from other things you love. And I think that's a really important concept. I know we all feel in this room that they are only so many hours of a day and so many hours in which you can accomplish certain things. And I just love the idea of feeling more connected by adding more to your life. Instead of rushing to take away things to make room for something else. So that's definitely something I am carrying with me throughout the rest of my life after working with Devan on this episode.


Jeana: What an inspiring interview. I can't wait to hear from Devan, author of the new book Stop Starting Over and CEO of Burn Boot Camp. Here is Kristen with Devan. And stick around goal-getter. At the end of this episode, you'll hear from someone who's out there achieving big goals or setting big goals, just like you.

Kristen: Welcome to the We Got Goals podcast. My name is Kristen Geil and with me over the internet, today is Devan Kline. The co-founder and CEO of Burn Boot Camp. The fastest ever growing fitness franchise in the nation. And recent author, new author of a book that recently came out in August called Stop Starting Over: Transform Your Fitness by Mastering Your Psychology. Devan, how are you today?

Devan: I'm doing fantastic. And thank you so much for having me. That was an excellent intro and I really appreciate you having me on. It's a privilege.

Kristen: Of course. We had spoken with you, I think earlier this year. I think Maggie spoke with you about the Burn Boot Camp franchise. And we're excited to dig into that today. As well as, learn a little bit more about how you approach goal-setting. Because you've had a really interesting life. And it seems like you just keep setting this higher and higher milestones for yourself and you keep hitting them. So, I think there' s a lot that we can learn.

Devan: Yeah. No, I'm excited. I hooked up with you guys not too long ago. We have a mutual friend and we have some Chicago area locations. And I know that's where your home base is. So, we flew up and met with you guys and had a nice little workout. And we walked around the downtown streets of the windy city and recorded some stuff. It was really, really fun. It's been great to get to know you and the team.

Kristen: And if I'm not mistaken you are from the Midwest area originally, correct?

Devan: Originally I'm from Battle Creek, Michigan. And I played baseball at Central Michigan University which obviously kept me in Michigan for... in the Midwest. Ended up getting the opportunity to play with the San Francisco Giants which broadened the scope of geography a little bit. I was able to, you know, see most of this country. And some of the Western Hemisphere and that ultimately led me to Naples, Florida where I stayed and began my personal training career. And then, you know, fast forward 18 months after that, I'm 24 years old and starting Burn Boot Camp literally in a parking lot in Charlotte, North Carolina. With no connections, about $600 worth of rusty dumbbells and a whole lot of ambition, that's for sure.

Kristen: Well, I want to get in deeper to that story. That was a great overview. Tell me about growing up. Were you always an athlete or was that something that you worked hard at over the course of your childhood and through high school and college?

Devan: Yeah. My father and his father were both very good athletes. So, there is some genetics that come. I wasn't as talented as they were before me. So, I really had to work hard. And I had a pretty rough upbringing, you know. And I never tell this story for sympathy. I only tell it to make the rest of the story contextual. Growing up in Battle Creek, Michigan in, you know, what most people would call the ghetto with parents who were addicted to drugs and alcohol. And more of the effect on my life was their physical violence addiction they had to each other and myself and my siblings. It was rough, you know. I mean, it forced me to grow up really quickly at a young age. 12, 13 years old I'm dealing with mental and emotional stresses that I see some of peers now at the CEO level in the fitness industry struggle with. And I was able to... I pretty much knew what was waiting for me at home on any given day. And so I used the field to escape. I played basketball, football but more importantly baseball was my passion. And I used the field to escape. I knew that if I would leave home early and get home late that I could avoid some of the turblance that might be going on in the household. And, you know, but I just thought that's how it was. I thought that's how kids lived. And it wasn't until I got outside of Battle Creek, Michigan and outside of my home til I realized that normal American families problems weren't drug abuse, for the most part. Drug abuse and physical violence. But moreso, lethargy and lack of happiness due to fitness and nutrition. So, I always worked hard, you know. And that, I'll never change my ubrining because it taught me how to be a man. It taught me. Like if I would've had the parents that I wish I would've had now. I wouldn't be the man that I'm proud to be today. And so I'm always, always, always gonna be grateful for that.


Kristen: Well thank you for sharing with us. It sounds like a very harrowing childhood and it's really amazing to see how you've come from that background to be such a positive influential figure in the world. Not even just in the health and fitness industry. How were you able to stay so goal-oriented when you were growing up in that abusive environment? It seems like it'd be so easy to just do what it takes to skate by, you know. Do the bare minimum in baseball practice or homework or whatever you were doing at the time. How were you able to achieve such great goals when you were growing up that way?

Devan: Yeah, and I write about this in my book Stop Starting Over. And it's really a decision that you make and like I said when I was a young kid, I was a little bit more grown up than I had to be. Because of the things I was going through. But life's circumstances, the events that happen to us that really condition who we are. Each one of those events and there's usually a few of them that are significant in all of our lives. I'm sure you can think back and think of a couple events that helped define who you are today. Like all of us can. You know, for me it was about being conscious and understanding that life is a blessing depending on the angle. And I always had the mentality. Like once I found that I was good at baseball, I knew that was my ticket. I knew that my upbringing led me to being on the field. Which led me to, you know, having some baseline talent. But really getting to the level that I played at which .0002% of college baseball players even get to was the fact that I had work ethic. And it was built into me. So I think it was really just a decision that I made at 12 or 13 years old once you start to become conscious about your surroundings and you start to make friends in different parts of the city. You start to take a look at your life and say like what is this... what does this mean. Yeah, this event is happening to me. Does this mean that I'm a bad kid? Does this mean I have shitty parents? Does this mean that I was put in this position so that I could overcome this to then inspire teammates? And inspire other people that I'm surrounded by? And I really took the later and I ran with it. I defined my situation as something that was going to progress me through my life and teach me the principals spiritually, mentally, physically, emotionally. That I needed in order to excel at a rate that was in congruency with my ambitions. And so, I was always a very ambitious kid. An entrepreneur at a very young age. Flipping... you know, I used to flip. I don't know if you remember pogs. I used to flip and sell pogs.

Kristen: Yes.

Devan: Pokemon cards. I used to sell. When I was sixteen I had a car flipping business. I sold like 5 cars over a summer. And you know, so that's always been in me. And so, it was a combination of things. You know, being broke was never fun and I wanted to utilize the situation I was placed in to do good for the world. And not utilize it to complain. Because that's what a lot of people do. And I wanted to show them there's a different light.

Kristen: Well, I think you've done that and then some. I would love to hear a little bit more about your story of being drafted by the San Francisco Giants. Can you tell me a little bit about, you know, maybe that last year of playing college ball? Like when you first started to realize that you had a real shot at this. And then what it was like being drafted, playing and staying with the host families. That I know impacted Burn Boot Camp.

Devan: Yeah, so between college and the professional ranks. I played in the minor league system. I just want to make that clear. Some people...

Kristen: Sure.

Devan: When I, you know. They're like "Oh, you're in the big leagues, I never heard of you." I'm like, "You never heard of me because I played the minor leagues with the other hundred guys that you've never heard of." But, nonetheless, it was a shot that I'm grateful for. And when I got drafted. Actually, when I was a sophomore in college I knew that I was good enough because people were telling me that I was good enough.

Kristen: Mm-hmm.


Devan: And I got the opportunity to travel the country during the summer, every year in college, that I was there. I was there for 3 years. And I would stay with host families and host families are basically, for those that don't know. They're basically a family that will take you in and treat you like their kid. Like their son for a summer and, you know, when you're there half the time and on the road half the time. But when you're there, helping you out with your laundry and making you food and just taking care because we're putting our heart and soul into the game. And I started to realize these people that I'm staying with are so grateful for life and they're so grateful for their family but there's still a similar unhappiness that I'm feeling here that I felt in my family. But it's not apples to apples. Like what is it? What is it that's causing some anger and overwhelm and frustration within the households that I'm staying at. Because you can sense those things when you're staying in someone's house. I mean, you get full access. It's like a reality television show. And you know, sometimes it was very apparent that there was unhappiness. And just started thinking. You know, it wasn't abuse. It wasn't physical violence. It wasn't drug abuse. It was unhappiness. Like the self-love wasn't there a lot of times. Like people didn't... they didn't love themselves. And this is an observation of me staying with dozens of host families. And I have stories traveling around and staying with them. You largely saw like lack of energy, lack of motivation to move their body, lack of nutrition knowledge, lack of desire to even gain nutrition knowledge, you know. And so I realized because I had, had to put that work in. You know, being a less than talented athlete to get to where I was. I had to eat well. I had to hit the weight room. I had to take care of my body and I was just doing it. And my host families, some didn't really care and I didn't really see them much. But most of them who were bought in, who loved the game, who wanted to come and watch our games and be bought into our lives. I was an inspiration to them without really even trying. And that's when I knew that I had a God-given talent to motivate people, to move people to real action and to influence their lives. And so when I got drafted by the San Francisco Giants that same thing continued because you still travel in the summer, you still stay with host families in the minor leagues. And, you know, it wasn't like. They weren't like aha moments as I'm there. Cause I'm focused on baseball, right. Like I had no Plan B. It was like make the big leagues and that's it. And so once I got released. You know, I really reflected on what else I was passionate about. And it wasn't long before I realized that helping people live a happier life was my mission.

Kristen: Devan, one of the questions we ask everybody who comes on this podcast is what is a goal that you've achieved in the past, why was it important to you and how did you get there? And I'm really interested to hear your answer considering the past that we just discussed.

Devan: So I think the most memorable goal achievement that I've ever had was two of them really. The biggest one in my mind was becoming a nationwide franchise. I think that when I first started Burn Boot Camp in a parking lot like I had mentioned. I had $600 to my name. We had 0 resources in the Charlotte area meaning we didn't know anybody. You know, we didn't have any leverage. We didn't know any media contacts. And you know, to start in a parking lot. Grow a movement, more than. I think it's a movement more than a brand. And grow it to the point where you're talking about 1,000 locations coast-to-coast. And being one fo the most globally dominant fitness brands on the planet that ever existed. I mean, that's my biggest accomplishment professionally. Is finishing what we call the FDD, the Franchise Disclosure document. That creates a platform for you to be legal to award franchises in all the states. That moment in, this was, October 2014. This was about 2 years after I got released. I stayed in Naples, Florida as a personal trainer for about 18 months. Moved up to Charlotte as I mentioned about 8 months, 9 months or so. And we started working on the franchise. October 2014 rolls around, we start it and we finished it in February 2015. And the first, I had a franchise coach who was helping me out with all of my legal documents. And he basically was like, "Yeah, Devan. Your concept's pretty good." And he's like if you do 3 in your first year, you know, you're really, really successful." And in my mind, it's like "okay, this guy is full of shit. I'm gonna do 3 in my first week." So, I ended up actually doing 10 locations, awarding 10 locations in my first, my very first week of announcing. So, it was... it was an incredible jumpstart. It was surreal. It created momentum. It's something that I'm always going to look back on and be like. I think goal achievement exists because of decision-making. And the decision that we made to take this route and to scaling this brand. Not only benefits my wife and I. You know, and able to grow fast and become financially free. But also just seeing how many clients that we impact on a daily basis. Reading all of the emails. Like people who are on the brink of suicide sending me emails and saying a video or a podcast or, you know, a blog post changed their life and shifted their mindset. All of that because of one decision to become a franchise and to scale the experience fast. I'm always going to be most proud professionally of that one decision to go for it. Because it's a scary thing to do. Franchising’s very capital intensive and a lot of franchise systems fail, so. No failure in our eyes though.

Kristen: One thing that I think is really interesting too is you balancing, on one hand, you've got this incredibly fast growing franchise with I think over 20,000 clients and counting. But at the same time.

Devan: I want to make a correction right there. 141,118 but who's counting.

Kristen: Holy cow! Oh my gosh. Well, my stats were outdated so awesome. That is amazing to hear. So, how do you balance that with a strong sense of community and family that I know is important to you and your wife in founding this company?


Devan: I think the question is great. And I did write about this in Stop Starting Over. And I think the reason, why a lot of the questions I get, and it ended up going into the book is because of our mindset. And it's not of balance. Like we're not trying to balance being a big brand versus being a family-oriented brand versus having our own family versus our work and professional and personal lives. Like we... Morgan and I believe in holistic integration. And it's something Arianna Huffington talks a lot about it. She's well known for this. But it's like taking everything that you care about in your life and making sure that you don't have to put big thick walls between your personal and professional life. We want to have an atmosphere where we love what we do. We love the people that we do it with. They love us back. And every day we can get up. And no matter how big we get, it's not going anywhere. Because everything starts and stops with the leadership of an organization or a family. And Morgan and I are the leaders and we genuinely and authentically believe in our hearts that our members are our family. Like they're our family. In my speech last night at my book launch the last thing that I said was, you know, "Thank you guys for showing me what family truly means because I've never had one like this before." So, family is built into the culture, authenticity is built into the culture. And Morgan and I are leading, and that's just who we are as people. So, I think it really trickles down through our franchise partners to our head trainers to their support trainers to our, what we call, brand ambassadors at our front desks. And through our clients and then even through our clients to their families. Which I think is one of the reasons that we're growing so fast because we're really able to take an emotional and mental approach and spiritual approach. Not just a physical approach. Which creates a whole different dynamic and a lot of people will be like, "I love Burn. I've never exercised before and I don't know what it is. There's something different about it and I love it." And you hear that all the time, over and over and over. And I think it is because of that reason. We just don't, we don't try to balance things. The nature of a balance beam is in order to have, you know, it even, you have to take away or add to. And I want all of the areas in our life to be in the black, if you will. I don't ever want to withdraw too much from my spirituality to

run the business or withdraw too much from my family to focus on a book. Or focus on a book so hard that I lose my own fitness. So it's just integrating everything so that, you know, you can do two things at once. I can have a conversation with Morgan at night and bond with her over what's going on in the business and it makes life a whole lot easier.

Kristen: I love that. It's a philosophy of adding in instead of taking away things. And I think that's really valuable. You also touched on this when you said the leadership trickles down not just within an organization but also within a family. And I know that a big part of your Boot Camp philosophy is making the moms' health a priority in families. Because so many times, moms have the tendency to be the caretaker for everyone else but not their own physical or emotional or mental strength. So, I'd love to know more about how you came to that realization. What influenced you to make that focus on women and moms, specifically, and empowering them through Burn Boot Camp?


Devan: Yeah, no it started when I was staying with all of my host families as we talked about before. And I think that was really, like I said, it wasn't an aha moment where I was like man, you know, I want to be a trainer that focuses on families health. And, you know, if you take a look at family dynamics like, as much as us guys don't really like to admit it, our wives and the women in our lives are pretty much the rulers of the world. And they're the leaders. And so, realizing that if you could impact a mom's health. You can impact a mom's mentality. You can impact more so her happiness. Well then you're really able to get through to the family because, you know, they always say, "Happy wife, happy life." It's so cliche but it's so true. And when the mom of a household is living in vitality. When they're living in energy. When they have, when they feel like they're giving and giving and giving but their also filling themselves up too so that they can give more. I think that's really what changed the game for a lot of clients originally here in Huntersville, North Carolina. Just north of Charlotte where we started. Who really helped me create a voice surrounding moms. Like so many, so many moms. Gosh, it's really frustrating sometimes and also an opportunity. But also frustrating to hear moms say, "I'm just a mom." Like, I just want to take a moment to address this real quick. Any moms listening to this because if you think you're just a mom, you have to know that you're so much more than that. You're a caregiver. You're a nurturer, a chef, an entertainer, an educator, a taxi driver. I mean the list goes on and on and on. You do so many things and you excel at each one. That there's no way to justify that thought that you're just a mom. You are a freaking rock star and you need to own that. And when I started leading Burn Boot Camp in the parking lot, I told my clients, I told my moms. I'm going to change the world and I don't care who's in my way. I'm gonna help change this world and leave it a better place than when I found it. And people thought I was crazy. The program originally started as Fit Community of Moms, which we kind of dropped that tagline because now we are accessible to men and women and children. But that was really how it started. That was the grassroots concepts. Just because I noticed how prevalent the just a mom mentality was. So to the women of Huntersville, North Carolina, if y'all are listening to this. Like you guys have created a movement and y'all banded together. And you've gotten rid of those poisonous thoughts for yourself and now you're helping millions of other moms do it. And, you know, moms aren't saying around here that they're just a mom anymore. Now they're like, they're the all star, they're the rock star and I shout them out, put them on a pedestal. And I think every mom who realizes that selfishness is not selfish whatsoever. When you're doing it for the right reasons. You don't have to be a selfish person. You don't have to be, in the truest sense of the word. You can be selfless by being selfish when you are pouring into yourself. When you put your oxygen mask before applying the oxygen mask to other people. You breathe life in your self first, so that you can give energy through them and you don't have to try hard. So take care of yourself. Make yourself the number 1 priority in your own life. Above all else. And I know how difficult that is over spirituality and over family. But you have to because if you don't, how are you ever going to find the energy to give outwardly.

Kristen: Wow. I'm not a mom but I feel really inspired right now. To go, go out and take care of myself. So, thank you.

Devan: It starts before you're a mom by the way. But it just gets harder when... Cause I have kids now. And I started this movement before I had children. And it definitely gets harder but I know that there's no excuses now. Cause it used to be like, "Devan, okay. I get you can say that. You're a 24-year-old kid that's not even married yet. And you don't have kids, you don't understand." Well, it's all about the paradigm, right? How are you, what lens are you looking at it through? And so, when I started having children. I have two, Cameron and Maxwell. She's 2 and he's 7 months. I felt it. But it was about adjusting and it was about adapting. And so, it's definitely possible and people are doing it all over the place. So don't think you're an anomaly if, you know, you have kids and it becomes a struggle. But, start practicing before kids, alright. Because once you get there, you don't want that radical shift. You want to be able to kind of progressively ease your way into children and healthy lifestyle.

Kristen: Yeah, let's go into that a little bit more. Cause that was actually something I wanted to talk to you about because a lot of listeners are women who maybe aren't married or don't have kids yet. So how would you encourage them to set strong goals and habits now to set them up for success, if and when they do have a family down the line?

Devan: Yeah, no I think ultimately. And I talk about this a lot in Stop Starting Over. This concept of the North Star. I've utilized this, I actually have a tattoo on my back to prove it.

Kristen: Oh my gosh, you've committed.


Devan: Yeah, I committed a long time ago. As 21 or 22 years old playing baseball. I committed to this concept. And the concept was that I have an outcome, a singular outcome that I want my life to be. And I have, I answered the questions what do I want, as simple as that sounds. And why do I really want it? And create clear definitions surrounding those two questions because that gives you clarity. It gives you a GPS as you're going through your life. On a daily basis, we have the opportunity to create rituals in our lives. And those rituals, which most people call habits, things you do repeatedly over and over as a ritual. And are those in alignment with this North Star concept in your life or are they not. So I've always had kind of top of mind. And I put it in the book literally as North Star. And I branded the book with stars and everything because I thought it was super important to realize that no matter where you are in your life today, you have to be doing things that align with your ultimate outcome of your life. Like there can't be internal conflicts. If there are, then you have to make sure that you're self-aware enough, which is a highly underrated skill. If you're self-aware enough to take a look at your life from a 30,000 story foot view. And say, look dude or dudette this ritual, this thing that I'm doing in this life isn't getting me to this ultimate outcome that I'm after. You can also visual a North Star like a perfect day. Like if you had to live a perfect day what exactly would you do. If you had to live a day over and over again with no limitations, no consequences. What would you do when you get up, what would you do then next, and what you do at lunch and what would you do next. What would your day look like. And that is a great exercise because you get an opportunity to look at your life with no limitations. Like we, some of us struggle so hard to find our passion when it's right in front of us. Answer that question, if I had to live a perfect day over and over what would it look like with no limitations. That will give you an opportunity to define what you're passionate about with you having to ask yourself that weird question, what am I passionate about. Because you're gonna do the things over and over every single day. Only the things that you love cause you're stuck with them. So one of those two things or both and I write about both of them in the book, can give you that guidance throughout your life. So, I can't sit here on a podcast and tell anybody that exercising 5 days a week and eating only plants and a little bit of protein. And, you know, like the generic fitness stuff. I can't tell them that because I don't know if that's what makes people happy or not. I know that my personal decisions align with my outcome and part of my outcome is to live a long time so that I can see my great-grandchildren grow up. But I can't tell people you should exercise 3 times a week for 15 minutes or 6 times a week for an hour. It's like you have to do you. I know people, including myself that you're so freaking busy all the time. And it's a real thing. Like real business. Not like thumbing through Instagram or Facebook or something. And sometimes you can only get 10 minutes or 15 minutes in a day. But it's a must that you do it. That's your own decision. So you, I think people have to work backwards. That's my answer. You have to look at what you want your life to be in 50 years from today. Realize that we all have decades left, we all can grow. None of us are perfect. And you have to reverse engineer that life so there's internal conflicts. So that, you know, you can't complain about your job but then also binge watch House of Cards for 5 hours every night. You can't do that. If you're happy binge-watching House of Cards who am I to tell you that you shouldn't be doing that. And that's what I'm all about, is finding ways to create happiness. But if you're complaining about your job and you're watching House of Cards, now there is an internal conflict. So, I'm just really, really passionate about reverse engineering and becoming self-aware along the way.

Kristen: And how does that concept of reverse engineering tie into the Stop Starting Over mentality that you titled your book after?

Devan: Yeah. So many people, think about it. You hear it all the time, right? Oh, I'll just start next Monday. Or I'm starting a diet plan tomorrow. Or, you know, it's New Years. It's New Years resolution time. I'm making a new years resolution. But you've made the same one the last 7 years. There's no progression there. So, reverse engineering really ties into Stop Starting Over because what you do is you create this North Star that I'm talking about. Again, what you really want, specific to you. And why you really want it, specific to you. And that becomes, that becomes this outcome. For example, I think, it put it into context. For my life, I want to live past 90 years old because I want to see my children grow. And during my life, I want to be a business builder because I know that it'll provide for my family financially the way my parents could never provide for me. And my wife is the most important thing to me in the world and I want her to feel proud of her life and proud of what she does for a living and what her identity is. And, you know, why do I really want it? Well, because I think that love is the most important thing. And the only asset that we truly own and that we can control. And so then you just got to work backwards from there. You got to say, okay, alright. That's my ultimate outcome of my life. Okay, today is going to the cupboard and eating a whole bag of Oreos gonna help me live til I'm 90 years old. And the answer is no, so there's an internal conflict there. And so, reverse engineering and having that North Star, it's basically a GPS on your way to get to your ultimate outcome. It's giving you a way to make decisions throughout your entire day. Answering the question, does this align with my North Star. And that's all reverse engineering really is. So Stop Starting Over is basically teaching you philosophically how to do that. If you're looking for a 30-day meal plan, 30-day exercise program, don't even buy my book because it's not gonna help you. This is for people who are at rock bottom, who really need direction with their lives and don't have a mentor like I didn't when I was young. Or people who are living life at a really high level that want to take it to the next level. It's not gonna speak much to people in the middle who are just content with mediocre.

Kristen: One thing that you've also said across your book and across your platforms that I've really honed in on is that success is 90% psychology and 10% strategy. I would love to hear a little bit more about how you came to realize that and it seems like that ties in perfectly to the Stop Starting Over. Because if you get your mind right. If you get that North Star clarified in your brain then that's got you almost all the way to success already.


Devan: It's all about belief. I mean, if you really look at successful people versus unsuccessful people it's the amount of conviction that they have in their own belief system. And a belief is nothing more than thoughts you continue to think over and over and buy into. And, you know, 90/10 rule. 90%, you know, success is 90% psychology and 10% mechanics is basically saying that the reason why you're starting over and over and over and over is. Because you're 90% focused on the mechanics and you're 10% focused on the foundational psychology that's gonna allow you to create belief systems and delete old belief systems that were installed into you from a young age. You know, inappropriately by a parent or a teacher. Or you had a dad who told you, you were the fat kid and now you identify as the fat kid and now you think that it's all about losing the fat. When really it's about taking a step back and saying. Psychology is the foundation to success, period. I wish I could say it's 100% psychology and 0% mechanics but strategies do take a part. You know, you have to work out and you have to eat right. But look if I asked a room full of 1,000 people is it true or false that you have to eat healthy often and exercise often to become a more healthy person. How many people would say true? All of them, right. So if 100% of people understand the knowledge and then our obesity rates and our rate of overweight American citizens is nearly 70%, 5% higher than it was 5 years ago. Then there's a serious disconnect there, isn't there.

Kristen: Yeah.

Devan: Everyone knows what to do but nobody's doing it. I mean, that's a pretty big void. That's a pretty big problem. And that's what I wanted to do with this 90/10 rule is address that. The reason that you know things but you're not doing them is cause you believe in your head, your thought processes tell you that knowledge is power. Knowledge is not power, knowledge is only potential power and unless you take action on top of that knowledge then it's never going to, you're never gonna make any real changes. So it's about putting priorities in order and Stop Starting Over really gives foundational principles spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically that allow people to examine their own psychology. It's not my job to tell you how you should think. The best leaders in the world ask the best questions. And so, throughout the book, you're gonna to see questions being asked of you and exercises for you to do. There's a workbook that goes along with it that you can download on my closed Facebook page called Stop Starting Over. And, it really is a tool for people to really start to understand 90/10. And if you don't have 90/10 rule down and you don't believe it, well then you're gonna to believe things like it is what it is. I'm just overweight, it is what it is. Or I'm not a fitness person. You're gonna have these types of beliefs because you've never questioned them. So I'm getting people to question the way they think.

Kristen: Well speaking of big questions, I think we've got just enough time for me ask you the last question that we ask everybody who comes on our podcast. And that is, what's a big goal you have for the future, why is it important to you and what steps are you taking to get there?


Devan: I am a big thinker. I think anybody that follows me or is a part of our organizations know that. We have 400 franchise partners, 800 trainers, 36 people on our headquarter team and they all know that the crazy stuff that Devan comes up with usually comes to fruition a year or two down the road. So maybe we should start believing him a little bit more when he's talking crazy. But with my energy, with my wife's energy, with our team's energy that we all have collectively with the momentum of all of our clients out there in Burn Nation. We have this 15 and 15 rule. 15,000 Burn Boot Camps over the next 15 years. And we live by that. We truly believe it. We really believe it with conviction that that's going to happen. We're already legal in Canada. We'll begin awarding franchises in Ontario, in Toronto specifically, in Vancouver. We'll be in the UK, some countries in Europe, Ireland, France, Germany, Spain, New Zealand, Australia. Those things are all coming and they're coming very, very soon. Like within the next year. And so, it's already starting. So for me, I want to continue to impact people and use Burn Boot Camp as a distribution platform for positivity and for kindness and for psychology and for education. I want to control. I want to take the conversation away from big marketing companies, big food marketing companies specifically and big medical companies. And I want to shift the conversation to our side because the number one reason why I believe that, especially America, is where it is today. Isn't because people try to sit around and be fat, sick and lazy. We're not trying to do that. That's not our ambitions. But the conversation, the education, the knowledge that we're being fed is largely misleading. I think Facebook, Instagram, YouTube do a beautiful job of commoditizing distribution platforms to get people's voice, like mine, out there in the world. And I think a combination of wanting to lead the charge conversationally, in terms of health and real change. And having a physical platform for people to partner with me to do so in our Burn Boot Camp franchise system is a perfect storm to create the next biggest franchise that's ever existed, fitness franchise.

Kristen: Well I can't wait to see Burn Boot Camp in a neighborhood near me. Devan, thank you so much for coming on today. Before you go, can you tell us where our listeners can find you on the internet? Where they can download your book? And where they can find a Burn Boot Camp?

Devan: So, Stop Starting Over right now is on Amazon. If you liked this podcast and you want to dive deeper, my podcast also goes into a lot of concepts. You can search it iTunes, GooglePlay, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, pretty much any syndication platform. I'm really everywhere, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, anywhere, IGTV. Wherever you feel like you hang out the most and content platform that you like, I'm there. The quickest way to get a hold of me is to just DM me on Instagram. I answer a lot of those. I'm pretty active over there. And, you know, I really look forward to helping people. My wife and I sit in bed every night for 45 minutes to an hour and share stories of clients who we're communicating with and help people. And it's just part of our lives and we love to do it. So, chances are... I can't get to all the DMs nowadays. I used to be able to. But chances are that we will have a conversation at some point if you really want the help. So reach out.

Cindy: He goal getters, Cindy Kuzma here. Just popping back in to let you know that we are about to play a goal from one of you, our listeners! We would love to hear from you, that's right you! If you'd like to be featured on this podcast just record a voice memo with a goal that you've crushed, a goal that you have for the future and how you plan to get there or your best goal-getting tip. Email it to Cindy@aSweatLife.com. And you could be featured on an upcoming episode. Here is one of you with your goals.

Zajana: I'm Zajana Das and I'm from Chicago, Illinois.

Ana: My name is Ana and I'm also from Chicago, Illinois.

Zajana: So, Ana and I both have a love for healthy foods. And it's something that we've talked about since the day we met. On our first day of adult work. We've been discussing this year about how we can start a brand that really represents us and our passion for health food.

Ana: Yes and so we kind of looked at what we want to share with the world and with our community and we looked at it from being active, authentic and ambitious. And then just sharing those three different qualities through a lifestyle and through the food that we put out there.

Zajana: And how we plan on getting there. I think it's been a little bit of trial and error. But something that we've come to learn about ourselves and A Sweat Life helped us learn about during one of the Breakfast and Learns is that we have to tell other people about our goals. So you know, I told my goal to Ana and she kind of echoed that was one of her goals as well. So that accountability has led us to really step up and come up with a game plan and a business idea for our goals.

Ana: Yes and to add to that I will say that for both of us it's important to be detailed. And not just have a big grand goal out there. But kind of set up steps that will help us achieve that goal. So, you know, whether it is making a big business plan or setting up a marketing strategy, creating a brand image that we believe in. So taking concrete steps along the way to make it happen.

Zajana: Definitely.

Cindy: This podcast is asweatlife.com production and it’s another thing that’s better with friends. So please, share it with yours. You can subscribe wherever you get your podcasts including on Spotify. And while you’re there if you could leave us a rating or a review we would really appreciate it. Special thanks to Jay Mono, for our theme music, to our guest this week, Devan Kline, to Cathy Lye for editing, to TechNexus for the recording studio, and of course to you, our listeners.