T1D Mastery helps people master type 1 diabetes by navigating the overwhelming amount of diabetes information, and delivering it in a way that sticks!
Since becoming a parent I’ve had to make my own type 1 more of a priority, which can be hard at times with two young children. Thanks to the support I get from my whānau, I’ve learned that it’s ok to take some time out for myself – and I’m proud to say I’m the founder and learning designer behind T1D Mastery.
What’s been the most surprising thing you’ve learned since you started?
Everything takes longer than I expect it to. I’ve really had to adjust my expectations and timeframes, especially when navigating my own type 1 diabetes myself and a young family that we’re raising here in New Zealand. 2020 definitely put a hold on lots of my big T1D Mastery business dreams, as my priorities had to move to our plumbing business. BUT as we move towards the end of the energy I can feel the fire in my belly coming back.
What reservations did you have when you were first launching? Did any of those worries come true?
I was nervous that being open and honest about my type 1 journey that people would think I was being dramatic. However, I found with every post or blog my confidence grew and I was able to loudly and proudly take ownership of the highs and lows of my diabetes journey.
I realised I wasn’t being ‘dramatic,’ I was raising awareness. Lately I’ve been very involved in advocating for better coverage through PHARMAC, New Zealand’s healthcare agency, with groups like Patient Voice Aotearoa. We are continually fighting for fully funded technology for diabetes management, like CGMs, for New Zealand’s diabetes community.
So far, no one has actually outright said I was being dramatic, however they have reached out to check I was okay and now have a better understanding of the challenges people living with type 1 diabetes face daily.
How has it felt to share details about yourself in order to support the diabetes community this way?
I started T1D Mastery as part of my own journey to master type 1, knowing that if it helped one person it was worth it. Connecting with other people living with diabetes online has been incredible and I no longer feel alone. I hope by sharing my story encourages others to do the same.
T1D Mastery also impacts those who are not living with diabetes: While we may not be defined by our diabetes diagnosis, the fact is it is a massive part of our lives and to truly master diabetes we must embrace it.
I often share about the mental load of living with diabetes which can help parents and supporters of people with type 1 understand how their ‘T1 warrior’ may feel or what they’re going through. This can be incredibly powerful if the person with diabetes they support doesn’t or can’t openly share how they´re feeling.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of building their own business?
Do it! What have you got to lose?
Before starting, have a good think about why you want to do this. What is driving you to do this mahi? (work in Māori) This can be incredibly helpful when things get tough or don’t go to plan.
Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. You can’t expect to be good at every part of running a business. Focus on what you love to do and what you´re good at and utilise the strengths of others to help or to teach you how.