Being Self Employed While Dealing With Personal Adversity – in conversation with Berenice Smith

“If someone said to me, what are you going to be doing in 12 months, well I don’t know. But then, ten years ago, I thought I’d have one child, maybe two. I think the idea of having a five year plan is good, but actually it can come with huge disapointment too, because life has a funny way of not quite going to your five year plan”

I’m delighted to welcome Berenice Smith who is this week’s guest on the Happy Healthy Entrepreneur Podcast. 

Berenice is an award-winning, postgraduate qualified designer and creative, working with start-up companies, sole traders, charities and businesses who need solutions to design, or creative direction. Berenice provides a proactive solution, helping with print, web, brands, and eBooks so they learn from her work and then go to deliver a better product or service.

Berenice is also the founder and creator of Walk In Our Shoes, where she collaborates with counsellors, writers, bloggers and inspirational men and women who have stories and skills to share with people who are childless, involuntarily. She connects this community through a social design site which helps them to feel less isolated and be able to see a future that is manageable…and it also provides a much-needed space for educating family and friends through these honest and real-life experiences that these people share.

When I asked Berenice what three words sum up her entrepreneurial journey so far she said:

Flexible. Opportunities. Friendships.

What you’ll learn by listening to this episode:

  • How Berenice turned an incredibly challenging experience in her life (6 rounds of IVF) towards founding Walk In Our Shoes, support, and community for couples who are like her, involuntarily childless;
  • Having a part-time job, combined with her creative design agency, and the Walk In Our Shoes Project has been the perfect balance for carving out her self-employment career and don’t let anyone tell you that maintaining a part-time time isn’t doing it ‘properly’ – it’s what works for you;
  • Reaching out and talking to people has been incredibly helpful both in self-employment, and continuing to find her way through involuntary loss, particularly when she hears phrases like ‘Mumpreneur’ which can be very triggering;
  • Being honest and real about who you are, and not trying to ‘mask’ it with ‘over professionalism’, helps to attract the right clients. The professionalism comes out in the work that you ‘do’ not in ‘who’ you are as a person. Be unapologetically yourself and the right people will be attracted to you;
  • It’s OK to walk away from business, and if it’s really not working, one of you has to say “I’m sorry this isn’t going to work”;
  • Imposter syndrome can often show up, but it’s about sticking with your plan and not getting too sidetracked by social media and comparing yourself to others;
  • Being helpful on Facebook Groups, and getting a name for yourself as being knowledgeable, and reliable, can sometimes lead to creating new clients that way.

Recommendations and Resources:

Jody Day – Gateway Women

Freelance Heroes Facebook Group

Jo Brewin

The Number Ninja

Janet Murray

Walking Forwards Inspirational Network

Margaret Rode – Sarah’s web designer

8-9pm #CambsHour on Twitter (use Hootsuite for navigating Twitter chat!)

Where you can learn more about Berenice Smith

Website for creative design agency – Hello Lovely

Walk In Our Shoes


Twitter for Hello Lovely

Twitter for Walk In Our Shoes

Listen to the podcast

3 ways you can listen:

  1. Here through the audio player (below) on this page;
  2. Via iTunes by clicking on the icon (below);
  3. If you don’t have iTunes, here is the RSS feed to plug in, if you are listening via another App such as Podbean:

Join the Happy Healthy Entrepreneur movement

Happy Healthy Entrepreneur was founded by Sarah Swanton in early 2017 and is a movement dedicated to supporting purpose-driven entrepreneurs to achieve optimum mental health and wellbeing so that they have all the emotional resources they need to create a happy and profitable business, out there making a positive social, and conscious impact in the world.

For more information go to the Facebook Page or you can sign up to the newsletter, and be the first to hear about upcoming events, workshops, as well as The Happy Entrepreneur group mentoring programme launching in Spring 2018.

Finally, if you think our values are aligned, and you’d like to chat about the idea of collaborating on a project together, coming to speak at one of your events, please get in touch,, I always love to hear from like-minded souls!

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