With such a great response to our Three Kiwi women “killing it” in New York series (you can read part one here), we decided: why limit ourselves to New York? There are Kiwi women living fascinating lives all around the world, and we want to know about what they do and how they do it.
So to start our new series of Kiwi women “killing it” around the world, we talked to Clare Goodwin, a nutritionist with a focus on helping women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. She works online from the kitesurfing town of Tarifa, southern Spain.
Clare Goodwin, founder of The PCOS Nutritionist
Tell us a bit about what you do.
I´m a qualified nutritionist and “Head Honch” at The PCOS Nutritionist. PCOS is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, a hormonal metabolic disorder that affects 10% of women. It´s caused by an interaction between our genes and environment and is reversible by treating the environmental root cause.
Although I live in Tarifa, I work with patients all over the world, and I commute back to London regularly to talk at events and conferences.
What made the move to running The PCOS Nutritionist possible for you?
I always wanted to start my own business, but after completing my degrees in Nutrition and Exercise Science, I realised that I didn´t have any commercial knowledge to make that a success.
I was fortunate to get a position on the Spark Leadership Graduate Program, where we were rotated around different business units. Then I moved on to work for Xero.
Working for technology companies not only taught me about about business but also about innovating, challenging the status quo and the importance of a niche.
So instead of opening a clinic with massive overheads, making patients commute across town to see me, limiting my business to a geographical region and repeating the consult-based model that isn’t particularly effective for chronic disorders like PCOS, I operate my clinic and program entirely online.
What led you to your focus on nutrition for people with PCOS?
This is the second part of what made it possible to do what I do. I suffered from PCOS for many years, and managed to reverse it.
There’s nothing more motivating to study and research than the goal of fixing your own body. Through that process I became a specialist in this field, and it means that I can talk to my audience in a way that resonates with them.
What are the particular challenges you face, living where you do and running your business?
The biggest challenge is the travel. Part of marketing my business is speaking at events and conferences, and building partnerships in the UK and USA. This means a lot of lost travel days and sleeping on planes.
How did you feel about making a change from a more traditional job to the way you work now – and how has it been for you overall since you made the change?
I absolutely love what I do, but it´s definitely not all roses. Alongside the financial pressures, one of the the biggest challenges going from a traditional corporate job is the loneliness. Your workplace is usually like a second family and you don't realise how important that social element is until it´s not there.
That’s why I chose Tarifa to live. It has a great community of digital entrepreneurs – great coworking – and I´m constantly surrounded by people that I can learn from and who understand my challenges.
What’s the best part of what you do?
Seeing my patients who have been struggling for years with PCOS finally reverse it.
What piece of advice would you give to someone looking to work remotely or run an online business?
Find your community. You could spend months trying to find out how to do something online that a 30-minute conversation with the right person could solve.
Check out The PCOS Nutritionist for more about the service that Clare offers.