Prefer to just listen? Catch our audio below!
This week on Feminine Wealth TV I had the pleasure of interviewing Simone Denny, an ex-investment banking industry girl (like myself) and now the Founder of Nourishing Hub – an online space where women can find everything they need to nourish the temple within.
Simone Denny is the owner and founder of Nourishing Hub, a website dedicated to women’s health and wellbeing. Not only is the Nourishing Hub an online health store providing natural and organic products, it is also a ‘hub’ for like-minded women who are interested in healthy living, eating nutritious food and enhancing general wellbeing. Simone has a huge passion for nourishing the body with wholefoods and superfoods that help to increase energy and enhance optimal health.
What I loved about interviewing her was her authenticity and openness about the true challenges of going from a high paid corporate job to your dream, passion in business
and making it work. It’s a road that requires a lot of personal strength and staying nourished within !
Among other things I discovered:
• How to turn your passion into a business the realistic way without losing yourself, your femininity and your money !
• Why she threw the ‘ideal business plan’ training she got at a US business school out the window in favour of intuition (& why it worked.)
• The savvy little content strategy she is using to drive sales while still serving her followers beautifully … & how you can do the same.
Prefer to read? See full transcription below!
Barbara Turley: Hi, there. I’m Barbara Turley and you’re watching another episode of Feminine Wealth TV, the show that uncovers the diamond tips on creating truly conscious wealth from change makers, world shakers and wealth creators. As women in business, we often drive ourselves to total overwhelm and burnout. What better way to explore this topic than to actually invite the founder of Nourishing Hub to join me on the show today to talk about the space that she has created, whereas as women we can all enjoy nourishing ourselves a little bit more. Simone Denny, welcome to the show.
Simone Denny: Thank you so much, Barbara.
Barbara Turley: Thank you for joining me on the show today.
Simone Denny: It’s such an honor to be here on your show.
Barbara Turley: Thank you very much. You know I love about this topic, first of all that you are also a woman running your own business successfully, with kids, I might add but also as women we do tend to drive ourselves that little bit too far and we don’t look after the temple within, I guess. Is that something that you sort of see out there?
Simone Denny: Absolutely. I think as women we are natural nurturers and we want to look after everybody else. It’s our innate, being to want to look after our children, to want to look after our family, even in the workplace we’d like to look after things. What my website is about is about actually looking after yourself. I like to use the analogy of the gas mask, where when you’re on a flight and they say, “Put your own gas mask on first.” I think that’s so important for women as well because if we don’t have energy, vitality and health, then we can’t look after everybody and everyone else in our life.
Barbara Turley: We can’t grow a decent business either because actually we end up pedaling really hard and burning out, burning ourselves out.
Simone Denny: There’s so many women I know running businesses that have adrenal fatigue, stress or anxiety because they’re not taking that time to replenish what they need for themselves.
Barbara Turley: Tell me, Nourishing Hub, it’s got an online store, where you can buy … I had a look, amazing products in there but it’s more than just an online store.
Simone Denny: It is more than an online store. It’s a woman’s health hub basically. There are 500, 600 products on there for woman’s health. They’re all hand-selected by myself. They’re chemical free. They’re organic. They’re natural. They range from super foods to skin care and everything in between. What Nourishing Hub is it’s a place to come where you can understand why you’re using these products, why you might need these products and also how to use them.
Barbara Turley: It’s a really good idea, how to use them because sometimes we’re just taking things. You’re taking maca powder, Acai powder and all these different things, not totally sure how they all act together or whether you need all of them.
Simone Denny: Sometimes if you’re taking the wrong thing for your body it can have adverse affects. That’s why I think there’s a lot of people who say, “Yeah, I’m having my green smoothie every morning.” Why are you having that green smoothie? What is in there? Why are you having Spirulina powder? What is that doing for your body? Why is that helping you with energy? Why is that alkalizing your or why are we making raw food? Why would we not just cook everything? It’s easier. It’s cheaper. I like to write or bring in experts and say, “Why are we doing it this way?” Kind of help women understand the why.
Barbara Turley: It’s not just a fad. Sometimes these things, they do feel a bit faddish. We say, “I’m going to have my green smoothie and go to my yoga. Then turn myself into a total stress head later but feel okay about it because I did that this morning,” which is probably something I would do, too.
Simone Denny: I think we are all guilty, even me in my business promoting women nourishing themselves. I’m still guilty of, “I’m too busy this morning. I skipped my breakfast or I didn’t have my smoothie.” I try really hard on a daily basis to give my body nourishment but life is really busy. There is no one out there that is not feeling stressed and busy. It’s the norm now. I think you have to make a real effort to incorporate these things into your life. Also, like you said, the other thing is you have to be able to be mindful, breathe and do really basic things that we’ve kind of just forgotten about.
Barbara Turley: Yeah, that we’re not consciously aware of these things anymore. I also know your background because it’s very similar to mine. We’re both financial industry women out of the investment bank. I’d love to talk to you about the history. How did you go from this high-flying career in investment banks to launching Nourishing Hub. What has been your own journey with that?
Simone Denny: It took me much longer than I probably wanted. I’ve always been hugely passionate about health and wellness right from the beginning. I started out in banking probably at least 15 years ago. I was going on a path that was doing well. I’m very grateful for that path because it’s really helped me to get to do what I do now. I knew that it wasn’t what truly resonated with me. It took a long time for me to get out of my comfort zone because I felt secure.
Barbara Turley: Well, it’s the money end as well. This is the money show, right? I know when you’re leaving, you’re leaving really big salaries. That’s really scary as women.
Simone Denny: That was the biggest challenge for me is that I had … I never thought about money but now, with my own business, I think about money all the time. Do you want to travel here? Do you want to travel there? I never thought because it was very lucrative. For me, letting go of that was quite frightening. I was always doing things on the side, in parallel along with health and wellness. I was coaching. I’m a life coach. I became a yoga teacher, trainer. I’ve been on all kinds of retreats and [inaudible 00:05:53] things but I couldn’t quite let go of my job. Also, I thought I manage people and told other people what to do. Now, I’ve got my business. I don’t tell anyone what to do. It’s just myself.
Barbara Turley: It’s just you in your office at home.
Simone Denny: Yeah, exactly. Often, I want to tell someone else to do it but that’s a big shift. It was actually when I had my first daughter, [Bodie 00:06:16] in 2011. That was like the perfect time. I stepped back. I slowed down.
Barbara Turley: Maternity leave.
Simone Denny: Maternity leave and I became, I guess, more maternal. I really saw the need for the Nourishing Hub when I stopped working. I guess I wasn’t the normal stressed-out corporate, who didn’t look after themselves and went to burnout and didn’t eat right. I was the opposite. I was working but I was doing all these retreats. I was taking in the right food and buying all those expensive supplements. Then I had a baby. All of my energy went into this new thing in my life, even my awake time, not sleeping. All of these things went into this new creating. I started slipping on the things that I needed for myself. The Nourishing Hub, the tagline is dedicated to putting women’s health first. That’s what it was. It was about an easy, convenient place for women to go to where they can …
Barbara Turley: Reconnect in, I guess. You know like that one place to go where you can find everything and get re-inspired. That’s what I feel is what your website is like.
Simone Denny: That’s exactly it. We sell whether it’s buckwheat or cacao powder, okay, here’s what you need to buy. Here’s how to make a great recipe for your … While you’re at it, here’s some natural toothpaste for your baby or there’s some natural skin care for you. It’s a one shop stop really and also inspiring women with other amazing people who are out there, who are health crusaders basically. I bring in natural [preps 00:07:59], nutritionalists and homeopaths to share incredible knowledge that are out there. I really rely on the knowledge of those people. I interview women who’ve done incredible things, whether it’s physical health or mental health. They’re very inter-tied. It’s sort of a place to make women feel okay. There’s always areas that we’re struggling in, whether it’s talking about anxiety or the juggle with motherhood.
Barbara Turley: Overwhelm, I think overwhelm is a huge thing. It’s something I definitely have myself. I know we often try to hide overwhelm. Looking after your health and just taking that time to even take a deep breath, it’s being reminded to do that sometimes is really important.
Simone Denny: The year here I want to bring on a lot more women or men or who are talking about that space. How do we handle the number of things we’re juggling? Then we’ve got technology. It’s not helping our overwhelm with …
Barbara Turley: Facebook, everything in life is amazing.
Simone Denny: Exactly, so that’s anxiety-inducing. Then all about quiet time or time for us to decompress is often through scrolling through someone else’s life. How do we manage those kinds of things? It’s all part of women’s health.
Barbara Turley: I think it’s part of everyone’s health actually. I think as women as well, one topic I’ve been exploring a lot recently, which ties in really nicely with what you’re talking about, is that as women we have a lot less testosterone than men. Testosterone, in my understanding is like the push hormone. As women, when we keep pushing and striving, being in the corporate world or our own business, we end up burning out much faster than men. Actually, how we deal with our results-driven, our ability to succeed is different actually. It’s a different approach to men. Would you agree?
Simone Denny: Absolutely. That can be, women can support themselves in that area through a whole number of realms, whether it’s doing yoga, doing things like [Yen 00:09:57] Yoga, that’s getting more in touch with the feminine side of our energy. What kind of hormonal things are going on with us when we’re pushing ourselves at home. I talk a lot about fertility. My website kind of runs across women’s health from just general health to fertility, pregnancy, right through to mature women because we’re all going through a different stage of our health. When I talk about things about fertility or I interview people on this area, we’ve got to look at how this stress is affecting every part of our body. It’s hormonal. It’s what we eat. It’s how we breathe.
Barbara Turley: How we think, how we feel, how society, what they expect.
Simone Denny: It’s an enormous topic. I think just trying to do the basic health practices daily is almost not enough. We have to create a space for ourselves, where we decompress.
Barbara Turley: It’s actually creating, like you said, space and time for that.
Simone Denny: I think one of the biggest things is to switch off your phone and your computer, which is so hard, you and I know. We’ve just been discussing. Every spare minute you’re trying to …
Barbara Turley: You’re just trying to get that little thing done, this thing done, which is hard, I think, when you have your own business. That’s particularly hard. Awareness, of course, is half the battle. Tell me now, the moment when you decided, was there any personal reason with nourishing as well? For me, I could feel the burnout sort of coming with the financial industry, even though I was also doing yoga. I was a green juicer, all those things. I still felt the angst of being in such a fast-paced environment. That was kind of my own.
Simone Denny: I guess I was forced to slow down for the first time in my life by having a baby. That pushed my mind into a different place where I couldn’t do what I always pushed myself to do. I used to, every year, have a big list of goals. This is what I’m going to do. I’m going to achieve it. I was quite hard on myself. I think having a baby slowed me down and it softened me in the way that I treated myself. I can only do what I can only do is my motto because my number one priority is looking after my two …
Barbara Turley: It’s better for everyone when you just do … The goal setting is such masculine energy actually. We do need goal setting but we also need to, I call it this push-pull thing. We need to know when to push and when to pull back. That’s the challenge, I think for particularly women in business.
Simone Denny: It is. My second sense is in a way forced me to adjust how I was doing things. I still have to take in the fact that I’m still doing my business. It’s frustrating. I want to do so much but I’m a mom and I …
Barbara Turley: You can only do so much.
Simone Denny: I can only do so much. I have windows, you know, in the evening when I don’t have my children. I have to be gentle on yourself. That is also a big part of managing overwhelm. It’s like being okay that you can only do what you can do. We’re all human and we’re all only capable of so much. Our body can only keep going to a certain level.
Barbara Turley: Then on that a minute, I think for women in particular, with that point of us only having a certain amounts of time, it’s the challenge between having a lifestyle business and wanting to grow as sort of a scalable business. A lot of women go for the lifestyle business option because I think they think they can’t have a scalable business and take the time out for children. What are your thoughts on the difference between the two? Which kind of way were you thinking of going?
Simone Denny: At the moment, while my children are so young, I’ve got a three and a half year old and 15-month old, I know that I’m more … I mean I’ve just set up my business and now I’m running it day to day. I’ve got great ideas of what I do want to do. I definitely want to scale but it’s a matter of managing that in a way that my family is evolving at the same time. I’m naturally a competitive person. I want to do everything. Maybe this is one of my big learning lessons that I just have to kind of do things as they come every day. I have definitely big ideas of what I’d like to do.
Barbara Turley: I guess it’s a bit like children. As we’re talking there, I was thinking. When your children come along, it takes time for them to grow and to learn and to evolve. Actually having a business is like having a child in that it starts out you have to nurture it and grow. There are stages. Imagine trying to get your two-year-old to sit down in a classroom with seven-year-olds. Sometimes we expect that out of our businesses as well as ourselves as business owners.
Simone Denny: I think that’s been another learning curve is that it takes me a long time to start a business. From the outset, a lot of businesses just look so rosy. I think the idea of following your passion, which is what I am doing, is so different, the reality of that, to what it sounds and looks like because you have to sacrifice a lot of things to follow your passion.
Barbara Turley: You have to be really passionate.
Simone Denny: You have to be really passionate.
Barbara Turley: You have to sacrifice a lot.
Simone Denny: I think a lot of times people don’t talk about the things they sacrifice. You kind of picture people writing a blog from the beach, this kind of romantic idea of what it’s like to run your business, but it’s …
Barbara Turley: The reality is, like we were talking of there, I have to set it on camera a million times. My own office, I often think the set looks great but my own office around me is chaos because actually it is quite chaotic when you first session, in the beginning of the business when you’re trying to get it off the ground. Nobody sees that.
Simone Denny: Nobody sees that.
Barbara Turley: No.
Simone Denny: I guess nothing in business is as it seems. What we put on Facebook and Instagram, it’s not like that. My baby is asleep in here while we do a quick interview.
Barbara Turley: Yeah, that’s the reality of it.
Simone Denny: That’s the reality. Most of the day has been cleaning, you know, day to day things. I don’t know. I wish there was a bit more authenticity in it.
Barbara Turley: Of people actually talking about the reality of it.
Simone Denny: Yeah.
Barbara Turley: Because there’s also a lot of failures along the way, we get through many failures. It’s the ability, I think, to, for me I’m trying to learn to go through the little mini failures and know that it’s not an epic failure. It’s not like the whole thing has failed. There’s many, many things that might not, necessarily failed, but just not gone the way I want them to.
Simone Denny: Yeah. It’s being kind to yourself when you have a failure because you’re kind of a lone ranger in a way often when you start your own business. Not a lot of people are going to be saying, “You did a great job today.” You have to pat yourself on the back. If you have a failure, you get back up and you carry on because, of course, you’re going to have failures in human existence.
Barbara Turley: It’s just the way it goes, yeah. With your website, you were saying you have like 500 products. Talk to me about where do you house the products? Or is it distribution only that you’re doing?
Simone Denny: I house all the products here because I have quite a broad range of supplies.
Barbara Turley: You buy the products in?
Simone Denny: I buy the products in.
Barbara Turley: You have stock?
Simone Denny: I have stock because I have little tiny one-man businesses who make amazing products to great big distributors who sell a lot of products. For me, I really want to incorporate that personal … One of my personal values is supporting small businesses.
Barbara Turley: That are making the quirky …
Simone Denny: Yeah.
Barbara Turley: … Little unusual product that you want to bring to the market.
Simone Denny: Exactly. That’s why there is such a range. Also, the integrity of the product is really important for me. People buy a really wide range of things in an order. It can be from [inaudible 00:18:03] clay to an iPhone, anti-radiation iPhone cover to green powders all in one.
Barbara Turley: How do you manage that? This is interesting because a lot of … for any women that are into green product-based businesses, the challenge there is what do you do with the product and the logistics side of it. You have products here so when an order comes in who’s packing product?
Simone Denny: I’m doing that.
Barbara Turley: You’re doing that right now?
Simone Denny: Yeah. That’s the thing I do each night, print out all of the postage and do the packing.
Barbara Turley: It’s hands on right now.
Simone Denny: It’s really hands on. That’s the part that’s, once you outsource parts of your business. I have a virtual assistant, which I know Barbara knows lots about. I highly recommend one. She’s in [inaudible 00:18:54]. She does a lot of my day to day admin, uploading products and things like that. That’s been a fantastic investment for me.
Barbara Turley: It’s freed up your time so you can actually, then work on other.
Simone Denny: Even getting the time to write down, “Can you please do these things for me?”
Barbara Turley: I find if you say to them, “Can you figure out how to do this?” You’re trying to do something and it would take you three hours to research it.
Simone Denny: Exactly. I really feel like she’s kind of my little angel that’s offshore that’s just helped me out so much.
Barbara Turley: Yeah, they are. They are absolutely fantastic. I’m interested to know is how are you going to move from the you packing the stuff? What’s the next stage?
Simone Denny: Well, the next stage I’ve actually, hopefully this week, moving on to a brand new platform, which will help support my business.
Barbara Turley: As in a new website?
Simone Denny: Yeah, my website will move to a whole new …
Barbara Turley: Backend.
Simone Denny: Yeah. It’s much cleaner, slicker and easier to purchase and things like that. I want to get back into my own coaching. I feel like what I’ve been working through, even being a mom and juggling business, just learning to set up a business and moving from corporate to your own business, all these things are skills that I would like to share with other people.
Barbara Turley: Really valuable stuff that you’ve learned.
Simone Denny: Yeah.
Barbara Turley: I know that the stuff that I’ve learned in the last couple of years has been phenomenal.
Simone Denny: It’s all just trial and error as well, isn’t it? Running your own business can also be quite lonely when you’re doing a product-based business because you don’t have a lot of interaction.
Barbara Turley: Of course, with other people because there’s plenty of other people in the information space. Although I work from home and I love that but I like meeting people like you all the time. I’m on the show and I’ve got things happening, whereas you’re not really doing that.
Simone Denny: No. When I’m meeting people to interview on my site, which I love, but going from a big corporate environment where it’s got lots of people around, that’s been another adjustment to make. I really want to just keep finding the best products out there, researching them and sharing why do we choose this skin care that has only products that you can eat in it. Why would you choose a skin care like that? Because all of those chemicals, all of those things are doing something to your body. It’s creating a burden in your body. We don’t know the combination of all of these [crosstalk 00:21:26].
Barbara Turley: You’re not going to read about that in [inaudible 00:21:27] magazine. You’re actually not going to read about that. You’re going to read about the latest bubble gum smelling whatever.
Simone Denny: Women every day put on such a combination of different products, whether it’s in their hair, skin, soaps all of these things. They’re all going into our pores and we don’t know.
Barbara Turley: And into our children, actually.
Simone Denny: Exactly and we don’t know the reaction of all those different things on top of each other. If you are just putting onto your body and eating, consuming things that don’t have any of those toxins or chemicals, then that’s a great place to start. I guess the big part that I want to increase is the education.
Barbara Turley: A component of it, which means you could introduce the whole coaching, information type, coaching products and things like that. That would be exciting.
Simone Denny: I know. I meet people all the time that I want to share their story because there’s just incredible women and men out there. They’ve got so much to share.
Barbara Turley: Tell me when you first started out. I’m interested to know about, the hardest part in the beginning is the marketing piece. Did you just buy a whole pile of stock and then open the doors on day one and go, “Hi.” How did you manage to get into this?
Simone Denny: I actually went to business school in the states and we learned a lot about how to create the ideal business plan and do all of this stuff, which I actually did with some other small businesses that I was going to start. I did everything by the book. I’ve written papers and spent … In this one, I did totally the opposite way.
Barbara Turley: Intuition and feel.
Simone Denny: Yeah, intuition. I didn’t do all the things I learned at school. I lost out for some things. I really did buy a broad range of products. That was probably a lesson that I learned to start small because you don’t know what people are going to buy.
Barbara Turley: Well, you were probably thinking a broad range, because I don’t know what people are going to buy. Actually, you need to …
Simone Denny: Yeah, so it was a great [inaudible 00:23:28] point. My product range was kind of catering for all kinds of women, which it still is. Now, I feel like I’ve kind of fine tuned it down to what women perhaps use and want.
Barbara Turley: Or what they’re buying, that’s selling online. I always admire product businesses because of that logistics thing. I just can’t imagine how you’d cope with that.
Simone Denny: It is a bit of trial and error thing.
Barbara Turley: Tell me about what’s the big vision for the business? Where do you see it going?
Simone Denny: I would like it to be what it’s name is, which is a nourishing hub. It’s a place that women come to be inspired because I think we often try to go healthy and then we lose our …
Barbara Turley: We lose our way.
Simone Denny: We lose our way. We lose our energy and motivation to make a really healthy breakfast or to … It’s hard on top of everything else to do that. I want the Nourishing Hub to be a place where, “Oh, yeah. I can do that. I’ve got those ingredients.” Or, “I could swap these ingredients really easily in my pantry and create something totally different.” I want women to come there to learn. I want it to be a convenient place where they don’t have to drag themselves all over town to find particular products in a different place. I want it to be all in one place that’s easy, convenient and fast but also tells you why and how you should use it, just a women’s health hub basically.
Barbara Turley: Fabulous. I have one more question. I’m always interested in this one and I know we’ve talked about this before. Again, the marketing end, what do you find working out there? Where do you get the most traction? Is it people talking about it?
Simone Denny: Word of mouth is great. I guess I sell to such a broad range of places in Australia, from little towns in Darwin to Tasmania. I love that. It’s like, “Wow, I’ve never heard of that place.”
Barbara Turley: How do they find you though? Is it online?
Simone Denny: A lot of the time it’s through Google. The [inaudible 00:25:26] site is important for me. The blogging is really hot for me, I think, through just educating and sharing information. I guess people share through Facebook and Instagram. I have a big place in my heart for Instagram because I used to love photography. Now, that’s kind of where, as fast and furious as I can take my photos, I’m a little fire like that of food.
Barbara Turley: Oh, food, that brings people.
Simone Denny: I love that space, kind of little, small creative outlet. I think Google is hot.
Barbara Turley: I like as well the way, I think this is something again from product businesses that are not thinking this way, I like that you’re pairing content, blogging, online content management with a product based business because content can drive sales to the product, which actually is a really clever way of driving more sales.
Simone Denny: Absolutely. You can walk into a health food store, because people will say, “Well, why would I not just buy it from down the road?” I don’t think there is a … Often, I’ve talked to the person who made that product, whether it’s a skin care. I ask them, “Why? Why do you put these ingredients in?” You can actually see why would you use this product in your life. Why are you using maca powder in [inaudible 00:26:54]? It’s not for everybody.
Barbara Turley: Of course, also you can write content that’s really specific to what people are searching for.
Simone Denny: Exactly.
Barbara Turley: Versus the old thing, which is really key.
Simone Denny: Exactly. That’s really important to have your keywords within every blog is so important for Google.
Barbara Turley: Because somebody could be writing, I’m just thinking about the maca powder one. You could write an article that has nothing to do with maca powder. It could be how to …
Simone Denny: Balance your [inaudible 00:27:23].
Barbara Turley: Yeah, even more specific than that. I’m thinking of one for myself specifically. It was increasing progesterone. Apparently maca powder is good for that. It could be something about how to increase your progesterone naturally.
Simone Denny: Exactly.
Barbara Turley: Then you could have that linked to the product, which is a great way for somebody who may not be looking for the maca powder but looking for something else. That’s why they buy the product. From a business perspective, that’s fantastic.
Simone Denny: That’s [inaudible 00:27:48].
Barbara Turley: Simone, if people want to connect with you. They want to buy some amazing products off your fabulous website. Where should they go?
Simone Denny: They should go straight to the website, which is nourishinghub.com.au. You can also follow us on Facebook or Instagram. Join our blog so you can actually receive this information right into your inbox each week or every second week.
Barbara Turley: And get great tips from you on how to use your amazing products. Yeah, I love that. Simone, thank you so much for being on the show. I just love this topic because it’s a topic close to my own heart. I really appreciate you coming on the show today.
Simone Denny: My pleasure. Thank you so much for having me.
Barbara Turley: Thank you for watching again for another week. Remember you can catch me later this week, as always, on my podcast, Wealth Unplugged, where I’m going to be giving you my key takeouts from my chat today with Simone. Until next week, have a great week. See you then.
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