Member Profile | Rachelle Munro

Member Profile | Rachelle Munro

Rachelle Munro is a member of WorkLife Berry and after 5 years of being the go-to balanced trainer in Berry, COVID saw her suddenly forced to accelerate her long term goal of establishing an online wellness space. The Real Movement Online has gone from vision to launch over the last few years with content and creative support from another of our members- Vue Studio.

The platform has been created for like minded women to give them access to a simple and uplifting way to take control and manage their health and wellness from home without being intimidated by unrealistic expectations and time restraints. Spotting the gap in the market for a relatable platform that focused on overall well-being and body positivity whilst also being time efficient and affordable, The Real Movement now exists alongside Rachelle’s thriving in-person local training, yoga and mindfulness business.

In the gaps between clients and the school run- Rachelle creates her social media and marketing content and runs all the behind the scenes from WorkLife where she caught up this week with WorkLife Founder (and long time fan & client), Kate Dezarnaulds.


All right, tell me your local life story. How long have you called the South Coast home?

My Husband Dean and I with our two kids have lived on the South Coast for five and a half years now. We moved down here from Sydney (Cronulla) for a change when my son had just turned one and my daughter was three. The South Coast has always had a place in my heart as I grew up camping down here with my family. My husband and I actually got married at Silos Estate Winery in Berry 10 years ago. At the time we never imagined we would ever live here. We decided to make the move and try it out for a couple of years before my daughter had to start school and see how we liked it. After just one month of living in Berry we said there’s no way we’re going back to Sydney! We love it! Everything about it! It really suits us! All our long term friends and family are still in Sydney, but it’s so close- just 90 minutes up the road for when we need to go back to visit. It’s perfect. We have made so many new friends also with like minded people, our kids are thriving at the local school and we feel pretty lucky to be so connected to our community. 


What drove the move?

The affordability of housing was one huge thing! Also the lack of traffic and traffic lights, quiet beaches and slower pace of living was very enticing. My husband and I are beach obsessed and to buy a home walking distance to the beach in Sydney we needed a crazy amount of money. Sydney had also changed into a busy hustle, bustle, expensive place to be. So the draw of the South Coast was the lifestyle, the amazing beaches, the chance to slow down and to practice what I preach.


What does your work life balance look like now, especially compared to your old life in the city.

I’ve always been pretty good at work life balance, because that’s my passion. I’ve always chosen family and lifestyle over working too much. I won’t lie, there are times where I will train clients all day, do the mum thing and then stay up late on my computer working into the night if I’m working on a project for example when I was designing my website or launching my online platform and I do work pretty hard.  I’m very passionate about my work and sometimes it just takes grit and commitment to get things done however over time I’ve learnt to know when enough is enough and when and how to rein it in and create some more balance back into life. (My husband is also good at reminding me what’s most important in life.)

Since we bought our first home in Shoalhaven Heads, work life balance for me looks like being able to duck down to the beach for a quick swim once or twice during the day and having a little bit extra time for life because there is so much less time in the car navigating traffic. My husband works from home a lot and I used to as well before I joined WorkLife Berry working on all the behind the scenes business management from my laptop on the coach. I now come to WorkLife 1-2 days a week to get all my RM + The Real Movement Online admin, marketing and programming done. I’m very productive here with minimal distractions!!!  Then for three busy days a week I am face to face training with one-on-one clients, running group exercise sessions and yoga workshops.  Other than my 6am outdoor training sessions when my kids and hubby are home in bed, I have been able to pretty much schedule most of my training between nine and three when the kids are at school, so I’m there to collect them off the bus and be with them all afternoon and night. I’m grateful to have a full time job, still spend so much quality time with my family and still be able to enjoy some daily down time. I wouldn’t swap it for the world! 


It sounds like you’ve nailed it! Now working for yourself. It’s a bit of a journey. When did you take the plunge?

I have worked for myself in the health and fitness industry for 20 years. (This interview is not making me feel young.)  After five or six years as a contractor I decided to take the plunge with my own brand and created RM Health. 20 years ago, running a health and fitness business looked very different to what it does today. For example, I used to have little cut out $ Dollar Saver coupons in the local newspapers and magazines to advertise and create awareness around my Personal Training and Boot Camps. People would bring them in and save $10 on their first class which is hilarious now that I say it out loud. Whilst I was busy having  babies before really getting back into work, digital had really taken off everywhere, social media was thriving and everything was completely transforming in the industry. After moving to Berry and re-branding the business I just dived in and taught myself a lot about social media, branding and advertising. Luckily I really enjoy the challenge of social media marketing and the changes have suited me and played to my strengths. 


So what has been hard about your journey working for yourself?

The hardest thing is keeping up with digital trends and advances in technology. Everything changes so often. So it’s sink or swim over and over again. The challenge is to keep teaching yourself and accept that it’s a process of continual development and to keep your finger on the pulse especially when you go through the phase where you’re having kids. I think the best thing I did was continue to work, study and keep a foot in the door to some degree even when it didn’t make any sense financially between how much money was coming in and how much had to go out the door each week with daycare fees. I tried not to look at it from a financial decision but a decision to continue to develop and grow.  My husband was very supportive of this! Now that both of my kids are at school this year I’ve really hit the ground running because I’ve had those eight to ten years of change that I’ve kept up with. I’m just proud of myself for keeping on keeping on when it probably would have been easier and just as affordable to stop working for a while. I now realize I would have been very out of touch and probably lost a lot of confidence in my ability if I had stopped my business.


And why do you love what you do?

I love it because I get to be around people all the time, I get to listen to their day to day stories and opinions. I get to be a positive influence on their lives and see the change in people. I also like being challenged by my clients. I am always learning from them. My goal is to introduce my clients to the simplicity of health and wellness and change their mindset about what it is to be fit, healthy and well. I think in the 80s and 90s we were all going to the gym to be skinny but we’ve come a long way since then with our idea of what it means to be fit and well. I am proud that I have helped hundreds of clients discover this for themselves. I am also personally really proud of everybody that I work with and the sustainable changes they have made for themselves. 


Yes! You are helping people live their best lives. That’s such an important thing to me too.

The other thing that I really value is the opportunity to introduce to people the simplicity of mindfulness. I know it’s a fad word and it’s talked about a lot, however I love to help people actually experience how simple it can be, by showing them it only takes two or three minutes to just bring things back to reality. It’s such a great stress management tool, accessible to all of us in an instant! I love that I can make mindfulness habits real and achievable for people.  


What has been the biggest challenge or development in your business over the last few years?

During COVID, I went online. I had been talking about creating an online platform for five years or so, but just didn’t know how to attack it and was juggling young kids. I’m also not very tech savvy. During COVID however I had no choice. I couldn’t see anyone face to face so personal training and group sessions had to move to zoom. During that time when we were all in lockdown I did a lot of free sessions where I just jumped in front of the camera to do a 10 minute LIVE instagram workout and put it out there for people. I figured people needed movement in their lives then more than ever. I had to get over the vulnerability of being in front of the camera. Of being recorded. It was really confronting to put myself out there like that to be judged- there’s no hiding behind anything when you’re doing that! So that was my biggest challenge. And my biggest development has been launching The Real Movement, which is my online wellness platform. And I’m so proud of it, because it’s taken 20 years of experience in different styles of training as well as work, life, mum experience and personal health challenges to be able to pull it all together in a platform that’s realistic for people. I felt like there was a gap in the industry for girls, mums and working women to access wellness on their terms. It’s time effective, it’s affordable and there’s no “perfect” drop-dead gorgeous models in your face (which can be intimidating when you’re trying to turn your health around) and I just wanted to keep it real. I wanted to make The Real Movement platform a non intimidating space that is realistic and I think I’ve done that really well!


Now I know you are a very busy lady- but do you have a side project or a hobby you can share with us?

I’ve always loved outdoor adventure. That’s my thing but I have been struggling over the past three years with a chronic shoulder condition, so while my side hobby would always have been mountain biking, rock climbing, swimming, golf, snowboarding or surfing – lately it has switched to singing and music. I love singing! It makes me feel good! I also love just laying on my bed listening to music ( can I call that a hobby?) 


Now think of your bookshelf at home – what’s on there that you love and would recommend to people?

It would have to be my Five Minute Journal. It’s a great tool for building your sense of gratitude and positive outlook. I love the structured exercises and have made a real habit of taking just a few minutes to reflect on the good things in life. I would really recommend it as a simple tool to shift your mindset. Simply writing down three things you are grateful for everyday for an extended period of time is a game changer!!! You must do it!!!! 


What about a favorite piece of furniture in your house – something that you love or has a special memory attached to it?

I love my bed! I’ve got brand new gorgeous sage green and white striped linen sheets and matching quilt cover and pillows and they are so luxe and inviting!!  My bedroom furniture was a gift from my husband for my 30th birthday. It’s handmade and really beautiful and I’ve just updated it with cute little new brass handles. I love our bedroom, the light is lovely and the sea breeze through the window is heaven. It’s a place where I can really rest. I also love our kitchen table, which has been refurbished many times. We will sit around the kitchen table as a family so it’s holding all of those memories. 


Now, when people come to visit you on the South Coast, what’s the one thing that you think they should eat locally?

I send them to Bangalay Dining because it’s close to home and I feel like it reflects all things “me”. It’s got all the elements I love. It’s got the bush. It’s got the beach. It’s got great food + coffee. It’s got a lovely atmosphere, it’s relaxed yet trendy. It’s coastal. Everything about it feels authentic. My kind of vibe. Michelle has done an incredible job with it.


What’s your best productivity hack to get the most out of each working day?

The best productivity hack is good sleep and good nutrition the day before. Think about what you’re eating and how its’ going to help you perform tomorrow. If you have experienced not sleeping well and find yourself reaching for the processed foods as quick, easy fixes you’ll know it’s easy to go downhill very quickly. So I make sure I have all the pieces of my puzzle lined up well to ensure my productivity. That, plus I’m a good list writer, I write a list of at least 10 things and I normally get through most of it. 


What’s the best thing about your WorkLife membership?

The best thing about being at WorkLife is that I don’t do the housework! I am super productive. I’ll probably get double the amount of work done here because I’ll stop for lunch and that’s it. I just keep churning through. It’s also great because my husband doesn’t disrupt me with house renovation tasks or questions when I’m here. I also just like to see other humans because I’ve always worked for myself and worked on my own and other than having clients, it’s nice to have other entrepreneurs coming in and out to say a quick hello to. It’s friendly and inspiring and I feel like we’re all in this business world together. I like that.


Now if tomorrow is your dream day give me a snapshot of what it looks like to be living your best life. What are you doing?

Oh, I’d wake up and snuggle the kids in bed then head down to the beach for a swim before a quality coffee (almond cap thanks). Then I’d go snowboarding.  Can you do that in the same day?  If I can, then I’d be hitting the slopes or chasing some kind of adventure. Then after an afternoon snooze or even a massage I’d watch the kids play around in the backyard with my husband then watch a movie with them both snuggled up one under each arm whilst hubby made us dinner!!! Winning!!! What a day! 


Thanks for sharing your WorkLife story with us as part of our regular series of member profiles- I learn something new every time we do these!

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