Founders / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Natalie McGrath, Founder of GLOWSO

Natalie McGrath is a Perth-based naturopath and the founder of GLOWSO an innovative ingestible beauty brand.

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

I’m a Perth based naturopath with nearly 20 years of clinical experience specialising in women’s health. Previously to this (I’m really showing my age now) I studied BHSc Environmental Biology.

I’m incredibly grateful to be able to do what I do. I love supporting women to make changes to improve their wellness and vitality. A small increase in a woman’s health and energy can have a big impact in their lives.

Additional to this I’m also the founder of GLOWSO Health– A TGA listed supplement range for skin health and inner radiance. This business was developed because I wasn’t happy with the products that were available.

I wanted to make something that was therapeutic, safe, natural and it had to achieve great results. I also wanted to make my dream product that I would love to take myself everyday. We only launched early 2021 so I’m still doing a lot of the roles. The juggle is very real.

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

My day starts about 6am, I make a cup of tea and I take about 20 minutes looking out into the garden. I’m not one of those people that can burst out of the gate first thing in the morning. I utilise this time to go over my intention for the day and my to do list that I prepared the night before.

Then I spend literally 6 minutes doing interval training on a stationary bike. Essentially it’s intense riding for 20 seconds then resting for 40 seconds. Repeat 6 times and then I’m done. This has many health benefits. It energises me, kicks starts metabolism and I really notice that it helps me think clearer during the day.

I try and have a relaxed breakfast before the kids get up. I always need protein in the morning. It helps regulate my blood sugar and energy throughout the day. Love eggs with sautéed veggies like mushrooms, spinach. Omelette with mixed vegetables. 

Then it’s getting kids ready for school. I try to schedule everything around school hours. My son Jed is 12 and my daughter Storme is nearly 10 years old. The time really does fly and very soon they won’t need me so much so right now I’m making the most of it. 

I work in my naturopathic clinic 2 days a week, this was reduced to be able to manage my time with the other businesses. When I have a gap in the clinic I’m answering emails and checking off the to-do list for the businesses as well. I’m very lucky as my clinic is a part of an amazing yoga studio, so I get to fit in classes between clients.

After work it usually involves the kids’ extracurricular activities. I find when I’m waiting in the car that’s when I jump on phone calls, social media and return all the messages and emails I receive.

When I’m not in the clinic I have meetings with stockists, future product development meetings, working on marketing, PR and the never ending social media. There are always 100 different random things that always need to be done. 

After saying all this there are many days where it all goes to pieces like kids getting sick, or I’m really deflated or life just happens. I’ve learnt to be kind to myself, and it’s ok to have a day of not getting much done.

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

Actually my different roles can be very flexible and can work remotely. During covid lockdowns working via zoom was essential to consult with my client. To be honest I didn’t really enjoy it as much as when I saw my clients in person. You really get to know someone and understand how they tick when you see them in person.

Consulting can be flexible and I can structure my time in the clinic around what suits me, so I’m incredibly lucky in that way.

When talking to potential stockists and collaborations with GLOWSO, it’s so easy to use modern technology like zoom. Plus many of the people I’m connecting with are interstate so it’s a perfect option. Also I’m in WA so we are a few hours behind everyone else which I love because I can jump on meetings at 7am with interstates and get the day started early.

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

It’s such an interesting concept of work-life balance. Some days it can be very intense with work so what I do is look at the overall month. When there is a very busy week, like attending events or a lot of meetings, I make sure the workload is less the following week.

So work life balance may not happen on a daily basis but I think I do alright over the month. I do have some strict boundaries. On Fridays I wrap everything up for the week and right down everything that needs to be done and leave it in my home office.

I tidy up, push my chair in and leave the do list sitting on the desk. I shut the door and didn’t open it again until Monday morning. Weekends are precious to me. It’s a time to unwind and have fun with the family.

When I completely shut off from work, I am more refreshed and productive during the week. So I think I actually get more work done during the week than if I was to dabble with work on the weekend.

5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?

A big game changer for me is to write all my intentions and my to do list the night before or when I’m finishing up work for the day.

This is when my mind is still in the game and it’s clear what needs to be done. In the morning it’s a completely different story and having it all there already planned for me is essential.

Another game changer is delegating a few days a week to your significant other. Many women take on most of the load with what needs to be done at home. My husband manages 3 days of the week.

He does all the school lunches, drop offs, dinner, washing, kids homework, after school sports. He doesn’t need to ask me about anything as this is his complete responsibility. Some days I wait at work and come home just in time for dinner.

Being a naturopath I know the power of taking supplements and eating well and resting. I also have an autoimmune condition called hashimotos which I also need to be extra mindful to nourish myself and make rest a priority.

Sleep is crucial for me to function well. Most evenings I have a sleep routine of eating light before bed, taking magnesium, relaxing herbal teas and I have some great sleep meditations and hypnosis recording I listen to too.

I also try to block my work. So I just focus on one thing for a certain period of time. I can spend so much time flicking through tabs on our screens, answering emails, phone calls and doing stuff that pops into my head. Focusing just on one task can be more productive. 

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

The above suggestion I made about delegating came from the book Fair Play by Eve Rodsky. Even Reese Witherspoon loves the book. Its tag line on the front is “A game changing solution for when you have too much to do (and more life to live)”

At the moment I’m reading Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t Pay Attention by Johann Hari. This book goes into all the reasons we are losing our focus and then great practical techniques to safeguard it.

7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?

Apps I love- Planoly is great. That’s where I plan all my social media and really has helped take the stress off the whole social media posting thing.

I’m getting into Videoleap and Film at the moment, where you can edit your videos and then overlay images etc. Takes a bit of time to get your head around but then becomes super easy to make semi-professional videos.

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

Janine Allis, the founder of Boost Juice would be amazing and any other mothers who need to juggle it all.

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

I really think we need to let go of perfection. Good enough is good enough. I even see this in clinics with women wanting to have the perfect diet, the perfect exercise regime. But what it really does is put more pressure and stress that then is counterproductive to feeling great and energised.

Also business, life, all of it is a journey, not a sprint. I remind myself all the time to appreciate and celebrate the little and big things everyday.

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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.