Founders / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Alana Nolan, Founder of Noonie Australia

Alana Nolan is the Founder of Noonie Australia, a maternity care brand developing products to help new mums with postpartum recovery.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

I would say my whole career has been unplanned. I studied law and business intending to stay in Commercial Litigation forever and somehow ended up in Forensic Investigations for one of the Big Four.

After accidentally creating our now flagship product, I landed my current job; Founder of Noonie Australia. Noonie is a unique maternity care brand that was started to serve a perennially overlooked and underserved demographic.

The cornerstone invention and product started as a home experiment and has now transformed into a commercial purpose addressing a global challenge. My role is especially exciting as I lead the team in developing unique and beautiful postpartum recovery solutions for new moms all over the world.

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2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

Lots of phone calls!

My average work day is a lot like this: First, my morning routine is a lot upside down. I start with emails around 6am to try get ahead of them. Then I’ll practice yoga – yin or a slow stretchy flow; meditate anywhere from 10-40 minutes. I am not a regular coffee drinker and definitely do not have any before meditation.

Once I have myself dressed and presentable – the meetings, calls and mayhem begin. I don’t have a set end time for a work day as I work with designers, manufacturers and marketing teams spread around the world operating on different time zones.

If I can finish at 3pm I will; if I have to work past bedtime, I will.

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?

I think the nature of e-commerce is remote and flexible.

The biggest benefits are that we can really leverage the best talent without the limits of location. I am mostly in Brisbane and the rest of the team are mostly in Sydney. I have never been a fan of 9-5 so we tend to work to objectives and deadlines instead.

In terms of my routine, it’s been a tug of war! Leaving corporate and having complete flexibility is freeing but also challenging – I love what we do but also, Netflix.

A complete lack of structure can be overwhelming. So I created my own set routine – I now book in all my work into my calendar and treat it as if I have appointments with myself and my work.

4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

I read once that Tony Robbins said, “There is no such thing as work-life balance; there is only work-life integration”. I tend to agree with most of that.

It’s a cliché but also the truth, if you find something you genuinely believe in doing, you never feel like it’s a chore. But also allocate and prioritise time to nourish yourself and your relationships – otherwise there’s little point to any success you have.

5) What do you think are some of the best habits or routines that you’ve developed over the years to help you achieve success in your life?

I’ll have to get back to you about the success part. But the best habits and practices that I’ve managed to cultivate are the simplest. I attribute my sound body and mind to yoga and meditation.

At times, yoga for me is just laying on my mat like a potato. And sometimes meditation is just 3 minutes, but it gives me a sense of being “back in control” like I am the one driving my brain.

6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

Shoe Dog, for building a legacy and changing an industry. I recently read Eggshell Skull and resonated with, and was inspired by the beautifully articulated challenges of being a female.

I rarely listen to podcasts but will turn to Tim Ferris or A Spoonful of Sarah if I am on a long walk and want to listen to brilliant interviews with brilliant humans.

7) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?

Wake up early; keep a to-do list; if I’m feeling a little whelmed – I will pick up the phone and just talk about the problems in our industry and our mission with whoever answers, so I am reminded of why we do what we do.

8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?

I’d love to do an interview with Jacinda Arden – but I think she openly shares a lot about her balance on her socials.

9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

Take some of the pressure off yourself, worry a little less and find joy where you can – the universe isn’t here to punish you, I promise! Also, take dance breaks whenever you feel frustrated to help remind yourself that it’s meant to be fun.

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.