In partnership with our Movers and Breakers event partner, UV-IQ.
Welcome to our series wrapping up some of the best takeaways from our annual Movers and Breakers conference in Broome. We heard from some of the world’s foremost thought and industry leaders, who inspired us to be more curious and challenge ourselves in what is possible. Here are some of the most important lessons from Megan Gale, who is an Australian model, brand ambassador, fashion designer, and actress. She has launched an array of successful brands. In 2010 Megan launched her swimwear brand Isola, in 2015 her homewares brand MG Australia, and in 2019 she launched her baby skincare brand Mindful Life.
#1. Megan Gale was never set on a career path
Asked about what she thought she would be when she grew up, Megan says she just really enjoyed being a child.
“It wasn’t until I was 15 that school had me start thinking about it, and I was mildly interested in the beauty industry, so I did some work experience as a beauty therapist.”
After that, things just… happened. She won a modelling competition at 18 and found her big break when she moved to Italy and the market couldn’t have loved her more.
#2. Megan took five years to launch her business
First conceiving her business idea for Mindful Life in 2014, it wasn’t until earlier this year that Megan was able to launch her business.
The idea was first planted when she was pregnant with her first child, River, and was being judicious with the skincare products she was putting her on herself and then when River was born, on him.
At that time, Megan recalls thinking, “I didn’t want to add to the product market for the sake of it.”
It was only later when people kept reminding her how quickly children grew up that she was able to realise the purpose of Mindful Life.
“It became more about the message of not glossing over your children’s life or wishing those moments away,” she said.
“It was about getting away from your world of dishes, your phone, wanting to watch Netflix with wine, and connecting with your children and their world.”
#3. Being busy is not something to be proud of
“I was always going, going, going. I was pushed, which was often at the detriment of my own health,” Megan said. “There was this subconscious programming that being busy was a ‘good’ thing. That being busy and multitasking and not stopping was something to be proud of…”
This self-programming of being busy, eventually lead to a series of heartbreaking events and burnout in 2016.
“2016 was one of the years where my health really suffered. From April to September, something was always wrong with my health, I constantly had a cold, or something was up. I even got hand, foot and mouth disease,” Megan says.
“I remember having a mouthful of ulcers and having to do the finale of Australia’s Next Top Model. I suffered a miscarriage, a baby between River and Rosie, that was quite hard to push through when no one knew. I had to fly to Italy the next day.”
There have been plenty of times in my life I’ve had to suck things up — but this was definitely the most challenging time I’ve had to do that.”
“I came home from having the procedure, hugged River for a few hours and had to pack a bag and go. Not being around loved ones at that time was really hard.”
#4. Look towards what you struggle with
When speaking about mindfulness, Megan stresses that it is important for all of us because we’re all constantly loading up our plates.
But, it’s not something she was able to sit down one day and do perfectly. “I struggle with mindfulness, which is why I look towards it,” Megan said.
#5. Mindful Life is the culmination of all her past business lessons
Let’s not forget, Megan has had the most successful brand contract with a company (David Jones) in Australia’s history. She also launched Isola by Megan Gale and her MG Homewares with Target Australia.
But Mindful Life is completely different from the rest with no investors and being backed 100% by her savings.
“I wanted to have my own business where I could control my time and where I spent it,” Megan said.
“I was finding it really hard to be answerable to people. That had to stop until it could be on my terms.”
#6. Boundaries Matter (with a capital M)
“When you’re saying yes to someone else, making sure you’re not saying no to yourself.”
Whether it’s in your personal and professional life, Megan doesn’t want us to fear another person’s judgement for saying no. If a friend judges you for saying no to something, are they really your friend?
Just remember: “You can’t control what someone else’s response is to your no.”
“Check in with yourself and make sure you are mindful of yourself. If you feel like you are being loaded up, you can step outside it and realise how you can manage.”
Of course, we’re all going to get busy, which can be good Megan says, as long as you can manage it and know how to manage yourself.
One last thing to remember, “The world won’t stop if you say no.”