Inspirational Woman: Jo Darling | Natural Health Practitioner & Co-Founder, Menopoised

Jo DarlingI’m an Acupuncturist, specialising in women’s health. I mostly help women with their hormones, from period issues, fertility and menopause to cancer support and helping them through their treatment and beyond.

I haven’t always been an Acupuncturist. I came to natural health via a degree in Economics, a money broking job in the city, marketing television channels and running a regional radio station!

I’m now co-founder of Menopoised, acupuncture inspired products to support women through menopause naturally. I started the business, so that I could help women around the world, not just my patients, having successfully used the protocol in clinic for years.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

In a nutshell no. Most of us have no idea who we are and who we will be in the future. The sliding door moments are endless. I believe that being open to opportunities and making space for possibilities is the way to live your life. It’s advice I regularly give my patients!

Interestingly, my career path has given me the skills and belief that I could set up Menopoised and make it a success.

Have you faced any challenges along the way?

Absolutely, how else do we learn? At 21 I moved to London and a random set of circumstances landed me a 3 year career as a money broker in the city. I was the lamb to the slaughter. It was an incredible job for a twenty something, champagne and high living a world I could never have imagined. But it came at a price. It just didn’t suit my personality. One day I walked out and never went back!

That gave me the chance to take a sabbatical, find marketing which ultimately, through the people I met led me to take up acupuncture.

When I started Menopoised I wondered why everyone wasn’t doing what I was doing? How hard could it be? I’m learning the entrepreneurial path is rocky, filled with tough decisions and requiring nerves of steel. The willingness to take huge risks.

When I take a tough decision I think of it like a mortgage. Bloody frightening if you sat down and thought about it every day but once you’ve signed up you just get on with it!

What has been your biggest achievement to date?

I feel so proud to have done so many things in my life but launching Menopoised has to be the number one. Helping women one to one in clinic, especially when helping them through something like chemotherapy, is mind blowingly rewarding. The thought of helping women the world over through menopause, giving them a natural, side effect free alternative is beyond my wildest dreams.

Establishing Menopoised in the UK and taking it to international markets next year is the next big target.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

Listening to my gut instinct and being single-mindedly determined. Whilst there are times I have lacked self- belief, I remember my vision and that’s what gives me the fire to keep going.

With Menopoised the desire and determination to give women a choice to take care of themselves in the way nature intended, not medicalising a natural life event spurs me on every day.

How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?

Brilliant. We all need mentors. Particularly as women in business. I’d love to have a mentor myself, someone who has walked in my shoes. I know the right person will turn up when I’m ready.

If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Equality, what would it be?

So many things. I think narrowing the gender pay gap wouldn’t be a bad place to start. Although, I’d love to see more women in top jobs helping design a better world for women, it’s startling how much bias there is in the world, even down to how the traffic system is organised (if you don’t know about this you must read ‘Invisible Women’!).

I hope that Menopoised, through supporting women through menopause can help keep more women in top jobs (so many of them leave due to menopause issues) can be part of the change.

If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?

Look after your health now and you’ll live a better life when you’re older. Not sure I would have listened to that though!

It’s certainly the case that you can never start preparing for menopause too soon. (Menopause is triggered by your eggs running out and their numbers start to decline from birth…..)

One of my favourite mantras is

‘A life without risk is no life at all’ Tom Cruise, Cocktail

What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?

The next challenge is ensuring Menopoised is well established in the UK ready to springboard internationally next year. Exciting times ahead.

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