Marnie Downer – Embrace the Change (one hot flush at a time…)

Meet Marnie Downer

I grew up in rural Western Australia, the daughter of a wheat and sheep farmer. It is my Mum though who provided (and continues to provide) the inspiration.

All of the women in my family have been pioneers in some way or another. Not a big mind, just quietly pushing the boundaries of societal expectations.

Personally, I love travelling and have spent a good deal of my adult life overseas. I worked as a Tour Leader with an adventure travel company throughout the Middle East and Asia for seven years and have never got over having ‘itchy feet’.

What business are you currently running?

I have been running Marnie Downer Health for the past 11 years. This has had various incarnations, from a sole practitioner (naturopath, herbalist, and nutritionist) to a multi-modality clinic and then into education and back to a sole practitioner.

Assuming you are now in “Your Next Chapter”, what led you here? Was there an internal discontent or an external issue you felt strongly about that prompted a change in direction?

I am starting my Next Chapter, Great Dames. Embrace the Change (one hot flush at a time…).

As I hit perimenopause I felt really alone and a little bit lost. It was a good dose of anxiety that led me to think about who I could serve best. If, as a health care professional, I was feeling so out of sorts, how were other women coping? Then I got a little bit cross. Why aren’t we talking about this more and preparing women for the roller coaster that affects so many of us? (I have to admit though that I thought I might be one of the unicorns who breezed through menopause symptom-free. Ha!).

When I went looking for information regarding health, most of it is related to weight gain and that just made me feel even sadder.

Not only do I not want to become a weight loss specialist, it feels like we are doing a disservice to women as menopause is much more than that.

I want women to embrace this process in a healthy way (physically, mentally, spiritually) so that they do emerge as the Great Dames they are destined to be!

What did you find most challenging about getting started/moving in a new direction?

Fear of failure. Starting. Asking for help. What does it look like? What am I offering? Moving away from the familiar and into the unknown

(even though the familiar doesn’t bring me the same level of satisfaction, sometimes it’s just easier to stay with our known discomfort right?).

What have you found most fulfilling?

I am still in the planning phase, so am not yet able to properly answer this, but watch this space!

Have you experienced self-doubt? What causes it to flare and how do you work through it when it hits?

YES! I have a lovely tape that I like to play myself that I am lazy.

Recently I realised that, I don’t have to do everything myself and that asking for help from the collective will propel you forward.

How do you feel you have grown since you started?

Life is continuous growth. When I first started in practice I would get upset over the smallest things.

I really have learned to roll with the punches. It’s always important to remember that being in business is a marathon, not a sprint.

Have you developed any particular habits/strategies that facilitate getting things done in your business?

Nourish your physical body always. If I stop eating properly it’s my little red flag that I am getting overwhelmed.

I am learning to be kind to myself.

Why do you feel women in the 40’s and beyond make fabulous entrepreneurs?

Mother, wife, partner, sister, daughter, friend. We’ve been all things to all people. It is at this time, however, that we really get to know what we want for ourselves.

There is great power in this. I think this wisdom allows us to create businesses with real soul and purpose.

What would you say to other women who are standing on the edge of their own Next Chapter, not sure if they can take the leap?

JUMP! The only failure in life is not giving things a ‘red hot go’.

What’s next for you? Share your vision with us!

I have just turned 50 (yay me!) and I plan to continue to support and uplift women going through menopause.

When I’m around 70 I would like to build myself a small Riad style health hotel here in Perth.

When I’m facing something new and challenging I…
have a wee tantrum and then get on with it!
I know my greatest strengths are…
Kindness and humour
The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is…
Look how far you’ve come, not how far you have to go
Some of my favourite books are…
Healing with Whole Foods. Anything food and nutrition-related.
My favourite podcasts are…
The Human Experience. The Happiness Lab. (I also like to listen to podcasts about dodgy people – Fake Heiress, Dirty John, Who the Hell is Hamish)
My favourite business tool or resource is…
Maria Doyle of Create Real Change – this lady helps you get stuff done!
My favourite quote is…
Fall down seven times, stand up eight
Not many people know that I…
climbed Mt Sinai ten times


You can connect with Marnie here.

Angela Raspass

Business Mentor, Author and Founder of the Centre for Self Worth, Angela blends strategy & self-worth to support business owners & leaders develop sustainable, impactful & fulfilling visions. What will unfold in Your Next Chapter?

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