Spotlight on Helen Normoyle
At Spotlight, we got the chance to chat with Helen Normoyle, the Co-founder of My Menopause Centre. She spoke to us about her business and the setbacks she has overcome on her business journey, and she gave us some advice when managing a business.
Give us a background into you and your business
I’m originally from Ireland and grew up there until after graduating from the University of Limerick in the early 90s, where I went to Germany to work for a market research company. I managed to combine my love for travel with my curiosity about people and what makes them tick. Since then, I have been very fortunate throughout my career to have worked for some amazing people and brands, including Motorola, Ofcom, BBC, and Boots.
I made the tough decision to leave Boots, a brand I love, to co-found and launch My Menopause Centre with my great friend and menopause doctor, Dr Clare Spencer. We founded My Menopause Centre to support women as they go through menopause. Despite the fact that menopause is a normal and natural part of a woman’s life, we conducted research that shows only 1 in 4 menopausal women interviewed feel prepared for menopause, over half underestimated the impact of the symptoms and 77% agreed that menopause had a negative impact on their performance at work.
Using this research, we aim to partner with others to grow awareness around menopause. Our website provides so much free information and advice, and a range of treatment options. We have also developed an online questionnaire to help women identify if they are in the transition of menopause, and holistic advice on any symptoms they may have. Our online clinic is staffed only by female doctors who are menopause specialists to ensure clients have the best advice and expertise.
What are the setbacks you’ve had to overcome?
Everyone experiences setbacks in their lives and careers, but what I’ve learned the only thing that matters is how you see them and therefore how to approach them and learn from them. The bigger the challenge, the bigger lesson learned from it. I have consistently challenged myself in my career; moving roles, countries, and sectors. For me, I see challenges as a positive experience and try to build my confidence from them.
One of my biggest challenges was when I realised that I didn’t want to work away from home several nights a week as I missed my family when I was away. At that point, I had a demanding role in London and realised I needed to change things to make sure I had a better work-life balance. To overcome this, I changed roles and moved to a different part of the country to be closer to family and cut down on travel time.
How do you stay motivated and driven?
Without a doubt, the feeling I get from knowing that the website that Clare and I have created is empowering and helping women on the menopause is such a motivating feeling and just makes me want to continue the work I’m doing. Helping people, being in the service of others, is one of the things that brings me great happiness, along with making a difference.
Do you have any tips and advice for those starting a business?
Starting a business is a rollercoaster anyway, it’s exhilarating and somewhat daunting at the same time, so it helps to truly believe in the purpose of what you’re doing. Do your research and fully understand your consumer, what they need and how you are going to provide it. My top tip would be to do something you love, that gives you energy and fulfils you; find something where you can learn and develop. Money is of course a consideration, but it has never come first for me and was never the main reason for a career choice. Always work hard, but be kind to yourself. The coronavirus pandemic made us all realise that we can’t take anything in life for granted and we need to make the most of it.