Successful people have obstacles. They go through most of the same life disruptors as you or I, but what sets them apart is their will to power through. Proving the mind can be the most powerful tool for your success. Earlier this year, I picked the brains of Danni Duncan. A woman whose mind has overcome the fears of what once controlled her and is now an influential nutrition and fitness coach. She doesn’t hide behind a facade; she exposes all parts of life that have brought her to her present success. There is no holding back!
As a thriving force in the nutrition and fitness industry, crafting a business empire, Danni’s relatable and unfiltered Instagram content has entranced women worldwide. Making her a magnetic force, invoking laughter and heartfelt empathy as she candidly shares her vulnerabilities and relatable experiences. It’s no surprise that her Instagram following has surged to over 34,000 in less than five years.
Her journey to success is a testament to sheer determination, following her passions, and trusting her instincts. Danni was born in New Zealand to parents—her mother is a doctor, and her father served in the military. A pivotal moment came when her father was stationed in Canberra, marking the start of her journey to Australia.
As a ballet dancer, she often felt like a fish out of water at school and endured bullying due to her talents. Ballet wasn’t the cool thing to be known for in her small town. However, at the age of 15, her recognition as a dancer soared when she received an offer to attend a prestigious ballet school in Melbourne. Regrettably, the school’s rigorous weigh-ins and appearance critiques took a toll on Danni’s mental health and body image. She was even asked to consider a breast reduction at this young age, a suggestion she declined, though she resorted to strapping her breasts down to conform to the school’s desired image. This marked the inception of her troubled relationship with her body and food, fueling body image issues.
At 18, Danni left the ballet industry in Australia and embarked on a global adventure with a one-way ticket. She had a blast, working in bars, and talent agencies, and teaching ballet in the Midlands of England. During this time, her relationship with food and alcohol was up and down. She found herself entangled in a tumultuous relationship with her now ex-husband. As an overachiever gripped by the fear of a failed marriage, she desperately wanted to make it work. Yet deep down, knew it was an unhealthy relationship that held her back. An epiphany struck during a work trip to Cancun, Mexico, and upon returning to Australia, she summoned the courage to leave her abusive marriage. She packed her bags, parted ways with her ex-husband, and secured a job in Sydney. Unfortunately, some unhealthy habits crept in, including excessive exercise, drinking, and inadequate eating. She briefly entered another short-term relationship with someone who mirrored her ex-husband’s behaviour. Realising this at the age of 30, she knew she deserved better. Danni made a life-altering decision to break free from the toxic relationships and place more faith in herself and her worth.
This marked the commencement of a new chapter, one that would lead her to success. During this period, she crossed paths with her now-husband Chris through Tinder while working in management for Flight Centre. Chris made a lasting impression on their first date, picking her up and taking her to an Italian restaurant. Danni had an incredible time and knew she had found someone who not only made her happy but complemented her happiness. Throughout their relationship, he supported her as she grappled with anti-anxiety medication, encouraging her to wean off the medication and rediscover the best version of herself.
In June 2017, Danni left her job at Flight Centre. It was no longer aligning with her morals and values. The tragic loss of a 21-year-old staff member and her stepfather’s diagnosis of thyroid cancer served as pivotal moments for her. It was then that Danni grasped the brevity of life and the significance of pursuing what truly fills one’s heart and passions. She resigned from Flight Centre and set out on a quest to find her true calling. During this period, she experienced a miscarriage, travelled with her husband Chris to the USA, and on Christmas Day 2017, learned that she was pregnant with her eldest child. It was at this juncture she had an awakening of sorts. Danni’s purpose was to empower women to feel amazing. She began sharing her story on Instagram and her blog, with the aim of showing women that they could embrace themselves during pregnancy and stay true to their authentic selves without losing their identity during this transformative period. Upon returning from New York, Danni and Chris ventured to Bali, where she established her website and felt invigorated about the future, knowing she would help women surmount their struggles. During the pregnancy, Danni grappled with PTSD regarding the changes in her body, particularly the growth of her breasts. Anxiety crept in, but Chris was there to support her and encouraged her to share her struggles on her platform. During this time, she launched her travel agency to fund her passion. However, the COVID-19 pandemic severely impacted her business and Chris’s income, reducing both to 50% of their previous earnings. This is when Danni needed to get serious about her new passion: she was doing live workouts on Instagram and sharing her life and tips with her followers. With next to nothing to invest in her new startup, she knew she needed a business coach. This is where coach Steph Gorton stepped in and pushed her to transform her passion for assisting women into a subscription-based fitness workout and nutrition plan. Her inaugural product, ‘The Figure’ bands, generated $3,000 in sales within the first month. She credits Steph with pushing her to transform her passion for assisting women into a business that not only generated income but also provided a lifeline during those financially challenging times.
Since then, Danni has shattered boundaries, set new goals, published cookbooks and meal plans, and expanded her merchandise range even further. Chris and Danni have joyously welcomed their twins! However, recently, Danni and her family announced the surprise of a fourth baby. Unfortunately, while away on holiday, Danni suffered a miscarriage, which came after another miscarriage this year. I extend my condolences to you, and I know the women of this blog will also reach out in support and comfort during this difficult time. Thank you, Danni, for sharing your story of success even through life’s challenges, proving that you truly can overcome anything with the power of mindset, wholehearted support, and authenticity.
If you’re seeking inspiration, laughter, and support in your personal journey, I wholeheartedly recommend following Danni on Instagram or visiting her website. Join her community of like-minded individuals and discover the incredible transformation that unfolds when you believe in yourself and embrace your true potential. Don’t miss the opportunity to be a part of Danni’s uplifting and empowering movement.