Deborah Smith, an experienced planning consultant, decided to set up her own business to have a greater control over her work life balance after the birth of her second child.
She founded Preston-based Smith & Love Planning Consultants in 2015 and offers the same expert knowledge as most national planning firms, having years of experience and countless contacts.
Here she shares her own inspirational Lancashire woman in business story.
Smith & Love obtains planning permission for developers and landowners, alongside project managing and leading external teams.
We also provide expert advice on whether land and buildings have development potential, prepare representations to promote the development of land via Local Plans, and provide estate advice and prepare planning appeals.
I set up the business because I needed to have a greater level of control over my work and home life, after the birth of my second daughter. I wanted to continue the career I enjoyed while still being there for my children. There was a time when I didn’t think that doing both concurrently was possible!
There are so many new initiatives we’re looking into at the moment about who we are as a company and how we work for the benefit of our team and clients. I think our biggest breakthrough for the business is yet to be realised, but working towards creating it is what makes it exciting.
My proudest achievement is the personal growth and professional development of members of the Smith & Love team. We invest in our team members in line with our core values. I am beyond proud to see this investment pay off in increased confidence and wellbeing.
I had a screen saver for almost 10 years with the quote “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”. The ability to shift my perspective has been a game changer for me enabling me to lead with curiosity, creativity and courage.
When you run your own business, your resolve is typically your own, which is why self-awareness is so important. I know that when things are tough that I can resolve it from the inside out and if not then I can let go of it. As a result, tough situations arise far less often.
Self-employed or not, work has its ups and downs. You have to learn to ride the waves and ensure that work is not your only focus at the expense of people and things that bring you joy. Finding the inner balance to handle the chaos that comes with work is essential.
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