Teresa Isabel Dias is an ELITE + Mompreneur member in Toronto, Ontario, and is the founder of MenopausED. As a pharmacist and Certified Menopause Practitioner, Teresa helps women 40+ navigate the menopause transition, induced menopause, and lifestyle changes to optimize healthy aging. She provides one-on-one consultations, in-person and online, workshops, discussion groups, and she helps organizations and businesses support female employees during the menopause transition with educational presentations in the workplace and education and training of managers and HR professionals—because besides affecting quality of life, menopause can also affect women’s work performance. We’re excited to share Teresa’s Success Story!
What is your “WHY” behind your business/being an entrepreneur?
I was in my mid 40’s when I started experiencing perimenopause (the years leading up to menopause), and like most women, I started with changes to my periods, and then experienced mood swings and rumination. I was irritable, impatient with my former husband, and I was yelling at my kids (we always take it out on our loved ones). One day my older son asked me if I was bipolar. I wasn’t, but that made me seek help. I started looking on the internet. With my training as a pharmacist I knew what a science-based website was supposed to teach but most of what I found was marketing disguised as information. Eventually, I found the amazing website of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) and it helped me immensely. I realized I could, and wanted to, help other women with similar menopause experiences and so I studied to become a Certified Menopause Practitioner, all while going through a divorce, moving out of the house, and supporting two kids through university. It wasn’t easy, but I was driven by my passion and the need for menopause education, and once I got my certificate I founded MenopausED to help women navigate the change.
Menopause is not a disease, it’s a normal physiological event, but it is a big taboo. I want to break the menopause taboo by raising awareness and providing education to women and men.
What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
I became an entrepreneur so I can run a business according to the needs, values, and expectations of my clients. Doctors have, on average, 8 minutes to talk to their patients, and pharmacists don’t have a lot of time either, nor privacy in the pharmacy, to talk about intimate issues like menopause with women. Menopause education can’t be done in a few minutes in front of a lineup of people. It’s a personal, private matter. Women have questions, there’s a lot to explain, and I had to come up with a business model that allowed me to counsel women effectively and respectfully.
What’s the best part about owning your own business?
The best part is the satisfaction I feel when I counsel women about menopause and see how they come to understand their physiology and what’s going on in their bodies and accept it for what it is, and are no longer afraid and confused. That’s the best reward. It’s worth the constant thinking, worrying, and planning that goes on inside my head all the time. The worst part is exactly that, the constant thinking Walking, swimming, and exercising whenever I want to, not only after office hours, is also a great part of running my own business!
What impact did other people/experiences have on you, and how did they help you get to where you are in your business today?
Every time I tell people what I do, everyone, women and men alike, tells me it’s a great thing, that there are women out there who could really benefit from my services and what I do. That keeps me going. My lover and companion has been very supportive and every time I talk about quitting he keeps nudging me forward, lovingly and firmly! Joining women’s groups like Mompreneurs has given me a kind of energy and support I’ve never experienced before and it is wonderful. I need help, lots of it, and I hope to find it, along with inspiration, from other women entrepreneurs like you.
What values do you believe in and live by, and how do they shine through when it comes to your role as a business owner?
I believe in empathy. Because I’ve been through my own menopause transition I can relate. And even though menopause is an individual experience, many women report similar challenges. In my private and professional life, I strive to be dependable, reliable, and trustworthy, and most of all, kind. I believe in a holistic approach to health, taking care of the whole being rather than isolated symptoms, the basics of good nutrition and exercise, and in science-based information. I abhor the marketing of unproven, and sometimes even dangerous, therapies that prey on women’s ignorance and desperation. And through it all I believe in humour—some days if I wasn’t laughing I would be crying, or worse, quitting!
What are you most proud of when it comes to your business/being an entrepreneur?
I’m most proud of improving women’s quality of life during the menopause transition and beyond. I’m very proud of my resilience, and the strong belief that my services are needed, therefore I cannot quit—women will suffer needlessly if I do.
What does the future look like for you and your business?
The future of my business is a big unknown, menopause is still taboo. We learn about periods and birth but no one talks about menopause. Women don’t know what they don’t know. If women do not associate certain physical, emotional, and cognitive changes with their hormones in midlife (40+), they don’t know how and where to seek help. Some of the biggest challenges of my business are to get women to know that I exist, that menopause help is available, that they aren’t alone and don’t have to suffer. There must be a mind-shift when it comes to menopause and aging. Not every woman has a bothersome menopause, but in general there’s a negative connotation, menopause is seen as a negative thing, it’s associated with aging, the end of youth, and the end of everything exciting and sexy. But that’s not necessarily true, many women feel younger and stronger than ever in midlife, some feel more confident and daring with experience. For those who have their lives turned upside down by hormones there’s help and ways to improve quality of life!
Any tips for women thinking of starting a business?
Most people my age are thinking of retirement and here I am working hard to make my business successful. My advice: become an entrepreneur earlier in your life! But if you can’t do it early, don’t let age keep you from following your dreams, just do it!
I was the only woman in my house, I am the only pharmacist when I’m working in the pharmacy, and I’ve got used to being the only one. For many years I worked without any female support and that was the default. Once I discovered and opened up to groups like Mompreneurs, and others, where many women with similar struggles, interests, objectives, and passions can connect, care, and empower each other, it was like finally being plugged in. I feel energized and recharged. It has been life-changing, a completely new way of living and doing business. Thank you to all the women who take the time to give of themselves to other women.