#102 From Self-Doubt to Center Stage

Today's Guest: Iris Goldfeder

Today, I interview Iris Goldfeder, an entrepreneur, professional musician, and co-owner of Gas Stove Creative. Iris shares her journey of pursuing her passion for music and overcoming stage fright. Despite struggling with self-doubt and throwing up before auditions, Iris joined the band Brave and Crazy and felt that her presence made a difference. She talks about how the applause was addicting and although she still experiences stage fright, once she sings the first two lines, she knows she is good. Iris also discusses the challenges of being a lead singer and how she continues to pursue her passion for music.

Iris Goldfeder is also the president of Unmasking Lafayette, an organization that aims to unmask social issues in her community. She talks about the importance of unmasking the truth and how her organization is committed to making a difference in her community. Overall, this episode provides insight into Iris Goldfeder’s journey of pursuing her passion for music, overcoming stage fright, and making a difference in her community.


Iris Goldfeder is a long-time entrepreneur with more than 25 years of success in the digital marketing field. Before coming back to focus on GasStoveCreative full-time, Iris was the co-founder and Managing Director of Stradigi Virtual Marketing. Iris also serves as the Vice President of the Board for The Friends of Downtown (FTC). She is also the Founder of ICG Development & Consulting, LLC.

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Connect with Iris Goldfeder

Transcript of Interview

Transcript of Interview


Find Your Voice, Change Your Life Podcast


Podcast Host: Dr. Doreen Downing


Free Guide to Fearless Speaking: Doreen7steps.com


Episode #102 Iris Goldfeder



“From Self-Doubt to Center Stage”  


(0:35) Doreen Downing  

Hi, this is Dr. Doreen Downing, I’m hosting the Find Your Voice change your life podcast, what you get to find here by the way, is thank you, listeners, for showing up and liking the show that we put on every single week. And I know you get fascinated and you keep coming back because every week, there’s somebody new that gets to talk about their life. And either the struggle around having a voice or being able to speak up or what we’re going to get to here probably today a little bit about what it’s like to perform as a musician. But that’s not really the main point here. It’s just going to we’ll see if it comes up. I’m very excited to have a conversation with you, Iris.


(1:23) Iris Goldfeder   

Well, I’m excited to be here so thank you for inviting me. 


(1:28)Doreen Downing  

I’m going to give the audience a little hint about who you are and what you love and what your passion is about and what they might be able to find if they look you up on social media. Iris Goldfeder is a longtime entrepreneur with more than 25 years of success in the digital marketing field. She has a passion to help her clients grow their businesses. And her motto is, I meet you where you are. Iris firmly believes that if you’re not online, you’re not an option. And what stands out to me today for people to listen to is that having a voice and being online is part of how you get seen and how you get heard. Iris is passionate about social issues and giving back to the community and is president of Unmasking Lafayette, a local organization that she co-founded with a friend. And unmasking Lafayette is committed to the goal of unmasking social issues, in her community. That’s frontline stuff. When Iris isn’t doing all of the above, she is a professional musician and loves spending time with her crazy pups Skylar and Piper, and her amazing wife, Heather. And that’s just a little few drips of what you’re all about, I’m sure. So usually I like to I’m going to do a little bit different today, folks. Usually, because I’m a psychologist, I get really curious about early life. I do want to spend a little time on though we can there was there for sure. But I want to start with your business called gas stove creative. Tell us about that first.


(3:38) Iris Goldfeder   

So we’re an all-in-one marketing solution. And we became an all-in-one marketing solution. We used to do websites and SEO and social media and it kind of stopped there. But I have a client who needed a lot more. And it was like, I need this. Can you do it? And I was like, Yeah. And I need this. Can you do it? And I was like, yeah. And then I realized that I have all of the all of the tools to be that on one marketing solution. I have video production, we do podcast production, you’re going to be on, mine tomorrow. And, we do this for our clients. We do promotional items, if you had asked me that one I would have been like no, but now you know we’re doing that. And so our goal is that if there’s somebody out there that doesn’t want to deal with like 10 – 20 different people to get their marketing done, they can get everything done right here.


(4:46) Doreen Downing   

Oh Iris I love that. I started that way because I think it gives an overview of how skilled you are in so many ways and it has something to do with voice helping people get their voice out and whether it’s online or video or even just writing is a voice, I think a presence.


(5:08) Iris Goldfeder   

I think writing is easier for some people because they’re not, when you do video, you’re exposing yourself. It’s like being on stage, right? I mean, you’re, you’re showing up and people are looking at you and it can be intimidating. I remember when I first started doing video, it was right before the pandemic, and Kofi who’s my producer for my podcasts, and he’s also my local videographer said you should be doing video and I was like, I should I should never be doing video I don’t have I thought it was like you had to look like Kaley Cuoco or be beyond beautiful. Not that I don’t think I’m pretty I think, I’m good-looking but not model material. And then the pandemic hit. And I joined a really great video challenge. And I had to do a video every day. for a month. And then I did it for two months. And as the months went on, everybody looked like crap. Like, because you couldn’t get your hair done. You couldn’t do all the things. And then I have my Bonnie Raitt, gray thing going through here. And I found that it didn’t matter how I looked, what mattered was my message. That was the important thing. And so once I got past that, now video to me is nothing. It’s like, okay, because how many Zoom calls have we done in the last three years, like 1000s?


(6:50) Doreen Downing   

Well, that’s exactly how this podcast started. I was part of a 30-day challenge. And somebody said, Well, if we interview each other, then we check the box on a video for one of the days or two days. And this was way before not way before, but it was right at the beginning of the COVID pandemic. And it wasn’t anything I thought of as saying, Oh, gee, I want to do a podcast because I’ve got a voice. And I have a message. It was just easy. And as a psychologist, I love finding out more about the puzzle. So that’s a nice segue puzzle. You started somewhere, you started in a family, and we come into this world where we are either loved and received or there might be some way in which we aren’t fully grounded into, “Hey, I’m glad to be alive right here right now because everybody is around me.” Where were you born? And what was your family like growing up?


(8:05) Iris Goldfeder   

Oh, that’s a mixed bag. So I was born in New York and I was born into a broken family to my mother and father and I was a surprise. And my childhood was hard and I suffered trauma. My grandfather molested me for a year from seven years old to eight years old. And I unpacked something last year with somebody and my response while that was going on was to run away. And that paved the groundwork, like when we uncovered that it was like every decision that I’ve ever made my entire life, from relationships to jobs to anything fell into place, and it made complete sense. It’s like, oh, shit, that’s why I did that. Because I was going to run and I had abandonment issues. So I would make people leave me before I would leave because I knew I wasn’t worthy. So I’m gonna push you away. I know that you are going to leave me anyway, right? So let’s just get it over with. Now I’m the luckiest woman in the world. It was a challenge to get where we are. The first couple of years were kind of hard for me because I was like, “She’s gonna leave.” And 20 years later she hasn’t.


(9:48) Doreen Downing   

Well, it takes 20 years to get through the thick skin that we are loved. I am so glad you were able to tap back in and then also be so articulate about the moments the arriving in a broken family. I think that that is such a visual way for the listeners to hear that. Sometimes we have no choice we come into what is already existing. And that’s what we get but it also is possible that the abuse or the neglect or whatever goes on for those early years for us. What I love is that we have such resilience. And even though you talked about having walls and keeping people at a distance, that’s my strategy was my strategy. We still have a whole life ahead of us where we can find people who help us go inside and discover that.


(10:59) Iris Goldfeder   

I mean, it was a complete, like, and I remember when we uncovered it was like, “Oh, man.” It was like when you watch a movie, and people start playing their whole life over, it’s usually like, right before they die, right? It’s like, you see everything, but I saw every scenario, everything. And I was just like, Oh, my God, that’s all? It’ll make sense. Now, I know, I made that really bad decision but I made the bad decisions coming from that place of trauma that I didn’t know about. I thought it was just my path. But being healthy now, looking back on it, it was like, “Oh, you dork,” but we learn, right? I’m in a really healthy place. 


(12:08) Doreen Downing   

Well, one thing I’d like to move into now, is this idea that what we talk about is voice. And what I’m getting is that this, awareness that led you to make those kinds of choices that you’re saying all lined up and you understood there? I mean, I think that there had to be some kind of inner guidance that made you or you heard something. So it feels like there must have been some kind of voice saying, Go this way, not that way. And this way meant the pattern.


(12:49) Iris Goldfeder   

Well, I think it was not deserving more. Feeling undeserving of, because when you hear your whole life that if you go down that route, you’re never gonna amount to anything. So, I was talking on my podcast yesterday, and it was like, you can’t be a musician because there’s no future in that. And yeah, you may be good, but no, you’re not going to do that. Or, here’s this opportunity, but you shouldn’t go for it because you don’t deserve it, you’re not worth it. So things like that. And I remember, my mom was like, you need to be a secretary. And I was like, I never effing want to be a secretary. She was like, well, look at me, I’m like, I am looking at you and I never want to be a secretary. And it was hard, but at least knowing that, and I don’t know where that strength came from, to be able to say that because it was very hard back then. I think that it’s finally knowing your worth. My first relationship was abusive. I was with her for five years, she came home pregnant. Obviously, not mine. And I stayed. There were two reasons I stayed I didn’t want the kid to grow up with her because I felt that she was just an awful person that I’ve been trying to get away from for a long time. But now this new thing came up. So I’m going to stay and then I left. And when I left, it was a physical fight. I left the next day, and I remember looking back on it going, “Okay, that was a lesson,” because I don’t like to look at experiences as mistakes. If you don’t learn from them, then yeah, but if you learn from them, it’s a lesson, right? So I tried to look at everything as a lesson. So it was like, “Okay, I’m not going to do that again.” And so I always learned from my mistakes, but I didn’t realize that I was settling in anything in any relationship I was in, in any job, in anything I was doing. I was settling, because that’s what I deserved. That’s apparently where I was and now I look back on it and it’s like, “No, ma’am.”


(15:38) Doreen Downing   

I’m happy to hear that there was a breakthrough. But before I go further and ask about these breakthrough moments, I gotta take a quick break, and we’ll be right back.


(15:58) Doreen Downing   

I am totally fascinated and curious, all at once. And I’m already amazed at the resilience Iris has talked about in her life coming into a broken family and also taking on some patterns. But there was a point you talked about where you said to your mom, who said you should be a secretary, you said no. And to me, that was a voice, an inner voice. Like even though you said, “I don’t know where that came from.” But I want to start back there, that inner voice that…


(16:37)Iris Goldfeder  

That made me say no? I loved my music. I loved my music. And I wanted to pursue that. So I worked in delis. And then we started a catering thing and one of the delis that I was working at. And I loved food, which is where Gas Stove Creative comes from. But it was like a combination of things. I didn’t want her life. I didn’t know what mine looked like, but I knew that I didn’t want it to look like hers. And when I looked at my life, it was “What am I passionate about?” Because I was so miserable in every other area, it was like what is my passion and my passion was my music. Then it became, but am I good enough for that? Am I good enough to play out? Am I good enough to find a band? Am I good enough? I would go on auditions and throw up in the car on the way over there.


(17:54) Doreen Downing   

Thinking of stage fright, folks. Listen.


(17:57) Iris Goldfeder   

Oh, man. Yeah, so I used to throw up before every audition that I had. And then when I finally got into a band, it was like, “Okay, now I have to show up” for every rehearsal, and even working with this group of people that become your family. Because you’re working so closely together and it’s supposed to be a safe place. I was always thinking “Oh my god, what if I sing off-key, what if they gonna throw me out?” There was always this like, self-defeating voice back there. And then I remember I was in this band called Brave and Crazy. And it was with these phenomenal musicians. Bonnie Parker, not the infamous evil Bonnie Parker, but she’s an amazing bass player and Lee Tobia and Joey Bruno and they had this like rock trio and I was gonna front them as Braven Crazy and it was a Melissa Etheridge cover band. And something happened when I got on that stayed with them. And anytime we played out, it was like, they were great, they were the legionnaires, they did their thing. And then when I would get on stage, it changed. And I felt it for the first time I felt it and I felt that my presence actually made a difference. And that kind of changed music for me because I was like I am good these guys want to play with these are like established Long Island musicians that people they’re in like the Long Island Music Hall of Fame right now. And so it was a huge awakening for me that these guys wanted to play with me.


(20:02) Doreen Downing   

So what I’m getting now, is that how the voice gets heard and how it gets witnessed how it gets received is the context is part of how the voice gets to be more as opposed to just getting applause, it was something also that you felt, isn’t that something? You felt it!


(20:25) Iris Goldfeder   

And the applause is addicting. I mean, you get on stage, and to this day, I get stage fright, right before I get on. Like, it’s not like a panic attack, but it’s like, “Oh, okay, I’m gonna get out there.” And after I sing the first two lines, I know I’m good. But it’s getting those two lines that I’m making sure that first, that first note is on key and I’m always thinking about that, and I can’t ever NOT think about that. And I don’t know why. And I don’t know if it’s an adrenaline thing, and that’s what makes it even better. I don’t know, but I get that stage fright. And my last band used to laugh at me because they’d be like, “Okay, give her her two minutes, because either she’s gonna throw up or she has to have her teeny little meltdown.” I’m like, it’s not a meltdown. It’s just hard. It’s hard. Because now you know you’re the lead singer. So now you’re talking to the audience, you’re singing, you’re bringing all of this in one package, and everyone’s looking at you. So they’re listening to your words, they’re listening to your voice, even though they’re talking. Because you play in a club or whatever, they’re, they’re talking, they’re doing their thing but they’re listening. They can hear. Can they hear if I sing a key, a note off-key? Probably not. But I’ll listen to that recording and be like, “Oh, my God, I was like, this much flat.” They don’t know. But I do. So it’s a perfectionist thing, I think?


(22:14) Doreen Downing   

Well, I think what you’ve just illustrated for our listeners today is the fact that stage fright doesn’t have to stand in the way. There’s a way that you can process it or be with it or understand that there’s something on the other side, you just have to go through a little mini turbulence, and then you’re out there.


(22:37) Iris Goldfeder   

Yeah, it’s like when it happens, I know that it’s going to happen. So I’m like, “Okay, here it comes.” This was funny – it was one of my last gigs with that band. And I didn’t get stage fright. And I didn’t know what to do. I was like, “Where’s that feeling? Crap.” I was like, “It’s not there.” So I’m in the green room, and we’re getting ready to go out and they’re looking at me, and I’m like, “Let’s go.” They’re like, “What do you mean?” I’m like, “I have no idea what’s happening. But let’s just get out there” and that freaked me out that I didn’t have it. So it was like, “Was I not excited about the show?” I still couldn’t even tell you to this day, why I wasn’t but I had zero stage fright. And we went out and we did the show. It was it was great. And I fixated on that. I was like, “Why didn’t I freak out? Why was I wasn’t like freaking out, I’m so used to it.” So I don’t know.


(23:48) Doreen Downing   

What I get today is how self-inquiry is, if that’s the way you might say it, you’re willing to look at yourself and to learn and that was something you said earlier about every opportunity no matter what it is, is a learning for you. And that’s one thing I’m taking away today. But before we come to a close, I want to make sure and come back to Gas Stove Creative so that people can learn more. I mean, I’ve already learned something about you, that you’ve had this life, there are certain pieces to the puzzle of your life that have come together and your ability to land inside of yourself and find the way through difficult situations. Come to a new understanding, learn, and make sense of things. And then I’m going to say perform I’m better that’s just about music. It’s more than just performance. Iris, I have to say, you are yourself in my conversation with you. We have no questions. We’re just talking and you’re so real, you’re so authentic and able to just show what a model of just being here now is. So thank you. Let’s go back to Gas Stove Creative so that people can figure out how what you do and how they can find you and what you could do for them.


(25:36) Iris Goldfeder   

Well, you can find me on LinkedIn, you can also find me on Facebook, under Gas Stove Creative Instagram, under Gas Stove Creative LinkedIn is my name, Iris Goldfeder. My website is gasstovecreative.com. It’s under construction right now. We’re in the middle of rebranding and redoing that, but I’m a very heart-centered business. And when I say that I meet you where you are. What I mean by that is people are like a roadmap, right? You start here, but you want to be here. Well, if you start here, you’re not going to be here, you actually have to do the work to get there. And so what I do is I meet you here. And then we build the roadmap on how to get you here. And then we execute all the pieces of it that we need, and we get you to where you are. We also help you find your differentiator. A lot of people don’t know, what separates them from the crowd. Why would I choose to work with you as opposed to somebody else? And we help them find their authentic voice.


(26:50) Doreen Downing   

I knew that was gonna come. You weren’t gonna say it. I was gonna say it because I felt what is attractive is lining up with your own passion, your voice, your differentiation, and being able to have your message come from that and articulate it. Wonderful. Well, let’s come to a close, but I want to, because you’re so in the moment, you might say, you’re able to just dance with me at the moment, I’d like you to find what the final words for you today would be in closing? What would you want to say to our listeners?


(27:33) Iris Goldfeder   

I guess, in light of who your listeners are, we all have a voice, right? And there’s always somebody out there that needs to hear our message. We think that we don’t have anything to say or people don’t want to hear what we have to say. And I’ve found that they do. People are out there who need to hear what you have to say because what you have to say is important. Your story is important. So work through it. I know it’s not easy, but if you do the work, you can get on the other side of it. And then it allows the people to hear the message that they need to hear from you.


(28:35) Doreen Downing   

So let’s clear the channels.


(28:38) Iris Goldfeder   

Yes. Right. Just like get all the muck out. And why deny them the privilege of hearing what they need to hear from you?


(28:47) Doreen Downing   

Yeah. And what you do I imagine with digital marketing is to have all those channels that people then can literally step into and have their voice heard, seen, and heard. So thank you so much, Iris for sharing yourself, your life, your inquiries, your discoveries, and oh, your message.


(29:13) Iris Goldfeder   

Well, thank you for having me on. This has been an honor.

Also listen on…

7 STEP GUIDE TO FEARLESS SPEAKINGPodcast host, Dr. Doreen Downing, helps people find their voice so they can overcome anxiety, be confident, and speak without fear.

Get started now on your journey to your authentic voice by downloading my Free 7 Step Guide to Fearless Speakingdoreen7steps.com.

7 STEP GUIDE TO FEARLESS SPEAKINGPodcast host, Dr. Doreen Downing, helps people find their voice so they can overcome anxiety, be confident, and speak without fear.

Get started now on your journey to your authentic voice by downloading my Free 7 Step Guide to Fearless Speakingdoreen7steps.com.