Becoming an Entrepreneur through Perseverance & Purpose

coaching empowerment coaching entrepreneurship faith female business owners goal setting jennifer ford berry life coaching power house purpose self discovery the make room show women's empowerment

Join us in this inspiring episode as we delve into Jennifer Ford Berry's incredible journey. From her corporate America days to her current roles as an entrepreneur, author, and life coach, Jennifer shares her story of transformation. She highlights the critical decisions and moments that led her to embrace her true purpose. Through her story, we learn about the importance of perseverance and the pursuit of our paths in life.

  • The unexpected transition from corporate America to entrepreneurship.
  • The role of self-discovery and passion in uncovering one's true purpose.
  • Balancing multiple businesses and personal life as a mother.
  • The power of effective organization, productivity, and time management.
  • Jennifer's mission to help others achieve their dreams through her coaching program, "Power House."
  • The importance of persevering and not giving up on one's purpose.

Power House 1:1 Coaching: Get more done in less time by learning how to be less busy and more productive. Start to feel lighter, more free and less overwhelmed. Create more wealth than you ever thought possible just by living out your purpose! 
What you get:

  • Biweekly 45 min coaching calls, with access to weekly if needed
  • On-demand coaching between calls through Voxer
  • Instant access to all of my current and future DIY programs
  • Entry to my private online community
  • Opportunity to be interviewed as a guest on my podcast for exposure.

About your host, Jennifer Ford Berry: Jennifer is the host of the Make Room podcast and the founder of the Created Order Neighborhood, an online community of women who want to live a life of order and purpose. She is the author of five books, including the Organize Now! series and her latest, Make Room. Jennifer was previously the regular organizing expert on the TV show Winging It, Buffalo Style. , and has appeared as a guest expert on several television and radio shows, as well as in national magazines and newspapers. Jennifer lives in western New York with her husband and two children. She works both hands-on and virtually with her clients to help them eliminate clutter and live their dreams.

Where to find Jennifer:







"Hey there, how can it be November, I cannot believe it's November already. It's so crazy to me. I am excited because if you listen to the show last week, I love this time of year. I woke up this morning and there was snow all over the place covering the ground. And although I don't love snow, and I hate cold weather, I do like snow for November and December. So that was really fun to wake up to. I am just, you know, I've been doing so many things, I travel a lot. 

And so when I got back the middle of October, I had just come off two back to back trips. One was the focus retreat in Kentucky. And then the second one was a visit in Florida to see our kids. And I decided to hunker down and really focus on my business. And I've had a lot of exciting things in the works. And so I thought today, a really fun show would be kind of the backstory of me and my business and how I got here because I asked my guests that all the time. But I was listening to an podcast the other day, I'm trying to remember, I think it was “Systemize Your Life” was the podcast. And she was telling the story of how she got from A to B. And I just found it so interesting, because I love a good come up story. And I feel like when I hear other people's come up story, it really inspires me to keep going. And it inspires me to remember that it's not always just, like, easy, and there's so many days when you want to give up, right. 

And I was just having this conversation with a friend of mine. And I was telling her that in business, the biggest lesson I have learned if you want to be a successful entrepreneur, is to really master perseverance. I feel like every time you think you're heading in the right direction, there could be a little detour. And you start to just doubt yourself and wonder if you're on the right path. But if you remember that every single turn on the path is a teachable moment. And it's something that is going to build perseverance in you, then you don't mind you can keep going and you can get to the end. And after you have gone the distance over and over and reached a goal that you thought would never happen. It builds that muscle in you to continue to try new things know there's going to be bumps in the road. But you already know what it feels like to get to the end of the road and accomplish your goal. And that is perseverance when you can keep going down the road without knowing if you're actually going to reach the destination. But there's something inside of you that says it sure as hell worth trying. 

And that really is the story of my life when I began entrepreneurship back in 2002, where it all began. I never planned to do this. And so if you are kind of debating on whether you should keep going to distance in your business today, or in your career, or you're deciding maybe you know something's pulling on your heartstrings to go in a different direction or to take a different path. This is a show for you sit tight because I want you to hear a message of encouragement. 

So basically back in, you know, when I graduated college, I really just wanted to be in corporate America. I wanted to make a lot of money. Being corporate America, I thought corporate America was my thing. I went to college for business and marketing. I worked for one big corporation after the other. I worked. I was in the middle of the cell phone boom when it first started. So that's aging me a little bit but I worked for Bell South mobility Cingular Wireless T Mobile. I also went into radio, I worked for Clear Channel. I just those were like the big top companies. I also worked for a lot of smaller own businesses, I did internships, I worked for entrepreneurs, I come from a long line of entrepreneurs. And I just still felt like I wanted to be in corporate America until 911 happened I was very pregnant with our daughter and a few months after that Clear Channel furloughed me to because they were cutting expenses based on everything that was going on with the world. And that 911 The day that changed everything in my lifetime. 

And it basically turned into me being a stay at home mom with a severance package. And I at first I thought that was so awesome. I was pumped because I'm like hey, here I am as a stay at home mom I'm, I get to be paid to stay home with my new baby girl. This is awesome. And a few months into it, I realized that I needed to do something more with my life besides just being a mom. And I wanted to be a really good example to her. Just, you know, I didn't know I was having a daughter, I'd never found out with either one of my kids what I was having. And so I found out the night that she was born. And it really changed a lot for me. And I realized that when you have kids, you want to be the best example possible for them in their life. And I decided that I also realized I didn't want to not have flexibility, and I really didn't have enough flexibility in corporate. And so I went on this journey, I found this book called do what you love, the money will follow. And at first I was kind of, I'll be honest with you, I was kinda like, hey, really, because I thought you go to college, you get a degree, and then you work for a big company. And that's how you make money. I never gave a lot of thought, to thinking outside the box or building something myself, I just really wasn't a person that was letting myself dream big. 

I had big goals. But I wasn't thinking outside the box, I was just kind of stuck in that, well, if I work for a big company, you know, and I make good money, then I will get there. But I didn't realize that every day waking up working for somebody else was killing my soul. I wasn't motivating. It wasn't driving me, I didn't feel creative. I felt like I was making money. But yes, I was making money. But I was also making money for some big boss up in the sky that I barely even knew for his dream, right for his ambition. 

And so when I was reading the book, “Do What You Love, The Money Will Follow”, I really started to go into my imagination. And I created a vision for my life, I started to really just, you know, like, what the hell? What can? What could my life look like? What could be a new way of thinking? What are the possibilities that I might not have thought about before? And that's why I kept digging deeper into these possibilities. And the book was asking me questions like, you know, what are your skills? What, what lights you up? What? What were you? What do you love the most? Like, what when you're doing something? When do you feel the most like yourself, you know, all those self development questions that these kinds of books ask. And I kept thinking about how much I loved organization. That was the first like, Aha moment like I love organizing. When I'm organizing, I feel like my true self. When I'm organizing, I feel filled up, it gives me peace, it makes me feel productive. It just makes me feel like I can do anything. And then I started realizing that I'm really, really good at it. And I started to think maybe this isn't an innate ability that I haven't taken a close look at. And as it went, I really came to the conclusion that this was a God given gift that was put inside me. 

And it had something to do with what I was supposed to be doing in the world. And I really, truly, truly believe that for everybody listening. I do and you've probably heard me say this on the show before, but I feel like it. It's worth repeating. I believe every single one of us is sent here to this earth for a specific assignment, a specific assignment that equals our purpose. And that whatever your purpose is, it is also based on God's way of building you including your personality, including your skills, including the things you love the things you don't love, everything that makes you up as a person and makes up your spirit that has something to do with your purpose. 

But back then back in 2002 At this point, I did not realize all of this. So I just kept kind of going along with what kind of business would I want to create and okay, I know I want flexibility with my new baby. And I know that I want to make money doing that. I don't want it to just be a hobby. All I did really, I had nothing figured out you guys nothing. I had never planned on being a professional organizer. Right? I had never planned all of these things that have happened to me for 20 years. And I'm a planner, you know that I'm a planner. I like a good plan. But this did not occur to me that it could even be possible for me until I imagined outside of the box until I really let my imagination go there and thought what if I could wake up every day doing something I love what if I don't have to feel like it's Groundhog Day anymore? And I don't have to dread going to work. I was truly dreading my job. 

It was actually it was it was the perfect gift. It was like God said, you're not supposed to be here anymore. So you're going to get fired. And now you're going to have to go figure out something new. And if I didn't have the space and the flexibility and the time to do that, I probably wouldn't be talking to you on a podcast that goes all around the world right now today. So thank you God, for that. I needed a push, I needed a big push. And so I decided, now my like, first thing I want to really let you know is when your mind decides, hey, this could be something that could be a possibility for me. And then you start to get a little bit excited, right? You start to get fired up. Wow, well, if I can wake up every day and do something that I am not only good at, but I really love wow, I could actually make money at that. No, right? Our brain tries to protect us. It's too scary. It's too risky. You know, you better just go back to corporate America with a solid paycheck, who knows what what that's going to do to you and your family where it's going to take you. It tries to talk you out of it. And that's exactly what happened to me. I didn't know any professional organizers. I didn't know of anybody doing what I secretly dreamed of doing. I mean, this was 20 years ago, actually. Now, 21 years ago, there was no HGTV, there was no social media, there was no Container Store, there was no home at it, there was none of that. 

And so I only knew of Peter Walsh on the Oprah show. And I knew of Julie Morgenstern who had written a few books and had been speaking around the country. So I didn't know anybody in my life that I could compare this to. But I did know deep in my soul, that none of this was on accident that I was on, I had already stepped into a part of my purpose. And I just felt it so deeply that I could not ignore it. So I decided to go forward. Basically, I talked to friends and family that might need some organizing. I was living in Charlotte at the time. So I reached out to my former friends at Clear Channel. And I started doing their closets and their pantries. And I slowly but surely created a business. I created a weekly newsletter called free weekly organizing tips that just skyrocketed because it just took the guesswork out of people trying to figure out how to get organized and decluttered. And I didn't even realize, right, God had already gone way before me, it was already planned out, I didn't realize that that was going to be the basis of my very first book that I would publish, because I'm just writing an email, right? I have no idea what I'm doing. I'm writing an email. I'm now building a website on front pages for anybody that is tech savvy. I have, I've built a lot of websites now. But back then I had no idea what I was doing. So I built this website, had this little cheesy, weekly organizing tip, email newsletter, and I was just trying to get my name out there. And so basically, after that I, we ended up I decided, you know, and motherhood definitely changed me. So I decided that I wanted to move back to New York to be near family. 

And when I came back up here, there was a significant pause in my business. And I think this is important to mention, because sometimes, just because the purpose doesn't unfold all the way in the beginning doesn't mean you should give up on it. So if you're listening today, and you started following your purpose, but there was bumps in the road, and you just felt like maybe this is a sign I shouldn't be doing it. Don't disregard that purpose in that dream just yet, because I want to tell you what happened to me. I decided, when I moved back that my husband who had had steady job in North Carolina, he now was starting a new job, and he had to take a pay cut. And I felt responsible because I was the one that wanted to move to New York. He didn't necessarily want to come back. But I felt like okay, the quickest way for me to make money isn't to try to continue to grow a new business here in a different state with a toddler. It was to go back to corporate America, and I did that. I went back for about two years, maybe? No, I went back for three years. And I literally decided, Hang on one second. I think I'm having a sorry, had a little camera difficulty there. 

So back to going back to corporate America. I did that for three years. And it enabled us to kind of get a head start on a new life and a new state and get my husband more established in his career so that I don't regret but once I had my second child, I was working for corporate they did not want wanted me to do any flex time and a job share. And I didn't have a nanny that I felt comfortable with. And I decided that I just could not go back to work full time for a corporation when I had a baby that I just I didn't find the right childcare for him. And I was worried about that. So I, nother leap of faith, quit my job. And then I opened and I know this is going to totally throw you off, right? Stick with me, because the pieces of the puzzle make sense. And it's a good example of what can happen in your life. So I quit my corporate job, I go from being the breadwinner to not making any money, and I decide that I don't care. I just want to be home with my kids, until I can get them to school. Like they can start school, I didn't have the right people in place, and I wasn't feeling up to leaving them. So I opened a children's consignment shop. And I had fallen in love with consignment when I lived in North Carolina and my daughter was little because I could buy her 10 dresses for the price of one and great brands. 

And I'm the type of person that I just hate waste. I hate, like wasting money, I hate wasting things. I like to be a good steward of things. And I feel like consignment really is that you can also sell your stuff when your kids outgrow it and recoup the money. So you're never just because I'm obviously a person that if you can imagine, I don't hang on to things for a super long period of time. I'm okay with letting them go. And I'd like to practice flow in my life. So consignment will I was allowed me to do that. So I thought to myself, what a great opportunity. I'm going to open a shop actually opened a shop. Right next to my sister's business, she had a salon for women and I the place next door was open available. 

So I opened there, I created this adorable retail store, I was able to have my daughter with me when on the day she wasn't in preschool, I had my infant son with me and give this a couple of days a week, I brought my grandmother with me to help with the kids when I was taking care of customers. So I, again, massive pivot, and went into owning a brick and mortar location, which I'm glad I did now, because I learned so much from owning a brick and mortar business. It's just incredible. And I would run this store, I met so many amazing women that would come in and shop for their kids. They didn't mind that my kids were there. And sometimes they would play with their children. It was just fun I had. And then I expanded to this second part of the building. And I opened up music classes that I somebody else ran for me, we had mommy and me music classes in there, like all sorts of cool, cool things. And I just realized that as an entrepreneur, you can literally come up with any idea you want. And you can make it happen with lots of perseverance. And so I ran the store. And then on this deal, right? I wasn't giving up on my dream of professional organizing and teaching people about organization. I wasn't giving up on that I was actually while my kids were either at preschool or sleeping. And I didn't have a customer in the store. I was taking that little cheesy, weekly organizing tip email, and I was turning it into my first book. 

And the first book was one of those books that I didn't know I was writing it at the time I knew people needed to hear the message. But that book launched my entire career, basically, I mean, it just was so so successful, organized. Now the very first one, if anybody has a copy of it, it was the green cover book. And so I was writing the book. And when the book was done, again, not having a clue what I was doing,I decided, well, I'm going to sell this book to a publisher. And that's a whole story. But I, again, figured it out as I went. 

And if you are interested in writing a book, let me know because I have learned a lot since that. I went I believe that you just jump in and start swimming in life, like jump in, figure it out as you go. And I believe that I can figure anything out. So and if I can't, I'll ask as many people as it takes. I'll do the research. And that's what I did. So that's a whole show in itself about becoming an author. But again, my point of the story is I did not plan on this. I never grew up saying I wanted to be an author. I never grew up saying I wanted to be an entrepreneur or a profession. In the organizer, none of this. But I stepped into a purpose that was designed for me since the day I was born, a purpose that was built for me specifically, it doesn't have to look like anybody else's purpose. Your purpose is unique to you just like mine is unique to me. And that's the most beautiful thing. 

And so if you're not stepping into your purpose, now, I want you to have time after the show to really think about your own unique gifts and personality and skill set. Because that's part of the mystery of what the purpose is. So I ended up really, like working hard behind the scenes to publish this first book, and I landed a publisher, I got a great deal. And I ended up selling that store. So it served me for three years. But once the book became published, I went back into focusing on growing my organizing business, because when you write a book, especially back then, it gives you accolades. It gives you a platform. And so I had a lot of speaking opportunities. I had a book tour, I was on a lot of radio shows and television shows, and that got my name out there. So it was easier than to really grow the organizing business. But when I sold the store, by the way, the name of the store was Berry Patch Kids, because my last name and it was just so cute. You guys like if you remember the Cabbage Patch Kids, I mean, come on, Berry Patch Kids, it was so fun. But when I sold Berry Patch Kids, I went into the the, to the place where I was like, attached to all the women that had come in and out of my store all those years with their kids. And I still loved consignment, I still believe in consignment. I think it's so awesome to recycle repurpose things, it allows moms a way to make money and circulate things that would have just sat in their basement and their bins. And so I literally sold the store went into organizing full time. And I decided I was going to create a another business. 

That was a semi annual consignment event for families. And so I could take the same concept of consignment, I could take the same consigners the same women. And I could still do that as a side business. But I did not need the brick and mortar anymore. So I created another business called Mother time marketplace. I still run it today. It's we've had all sorts of numbers of events during the year. But right now at this point in my career, I run it twice a year. And I still love it. And some of these women have been with me the entire time. I've grown it to a team. It's a well oiled machine. I love everything about it. We help so many charities in our local community, we help families and the women that work with me are just unbelievable, they really are. So that became my second business. So I essentially was starting two businesses at the same time. Because I'm crazy like that. And I was now an author. And I still had little kids. And so I had to really get good at taking my organizing skills and creating systems, in my home systems in my calendar systems with literally everything in order to stay on top of all that I was responsible for. 

And to keep the balls moving, keep the balls in the air as keep the businesses growing, be present with my kids, which I'll never regret being present. And being at all the school functions and all the games I've very, very rarely missed anything. And having the flexibility and showing my kids that any dream is possible. And I just grew it and I thinking back now at this point in my life, I can't believe that I was able to do that with little kids and I will throw a caveat into it. My husband had to take a job. Four to five hours away for five years. He gradually moved closer and closer but he was on a crazy schedule where he was gone for four days at a time and then home for eight days. And it was really crazy because when he was gone I felt like I was a single mom with two little kids. And I had to create systems for that because he's a very hands on dad. But when he was out of town it was like me doing both of our jobs so bedtime dinner, bath time homework, all the things it by myself. And so I had that just made me want to create better systems. ones and get even more like, more. What's the word like? Perfect my time management even more. And to be productive, not just busy, I think there's a gigantic difference between the two. All people are busy if they want to be, but are you productive? And so I learned to be extremely productive. 

And I learned to I mean, I was writing my first book, when my baby was sleeping at a store, I was running in between customers. That book blew up. And my publisher gave me another deal. And another deal and another deal. So I was writing. I was putting a book out every other year. So it was really kind of interesting that I could keep up the pace. And eventually, I did get a little burnt out from writing books. And I did take a hiatus from writing, which was really great for me. 

So I proceeded to pump out these books, grow mother time, grow my organizing business travel for speaking. And I have never felt so alive and so rewarded. Because my job my career turned into helping other women do the same thing. Like clear out the clutter, create systems in their home, get organized, find a place for everything, all this this entire process that I use for my own life to keep me going, I started to teach to other women. So what was interesting is that women would hire me planning on doing the pantry or their closet, or their budget or their bills, or you know, whatever needed organization, and then we would get into these deep conversations about, okay, what are you struggling with, with time management? If your life look like anything, what would you want it to be? What are your dreams? If you could live out your purpose? What will that look like? Okay, like, let's get this clutter figured out. And let's get your home in order so that you have new found space, time, energy and money for your purpose, which is what I talk about all the time now is freeing up stem space, time, energy money, who doesn't want more stem. 

And so it evolved, it kept going. And again, I never planned on going from where I was into life coaching, I had no plan for that. But I do believe that God just kept believing me further and further down the path. And I think when you step into your purpose, it's like building blocks. It's like you learn this, and then you learn this, and then you learn this, and it just keeps taking you to this elevation of who you were born to be. And so that kept going. And I then added in the podcast, which I don't even know anymore, you guys, I think it's been like seven years, it's been so long. And it just is something fun that I love to do. And so I've been able to meet so many amazing people on the show. I as you know, made a huge pivot last year where I decided to change the name of the show from the 29 Minute mom to The Make Room Show. 

I have decided last year I was going to go all in with my online coaching program, because I realize that when you walk through something step by step, that is what makes you an expert to help somebody else walk through it. And so we all hear about coaching nowadays. And we all feel like, hey, if we want to learn something, there's somebody out there that's willing to teach it to us. And so for me, my purpose has evolved so much more than stuff being put in the right place into creating more in your life making room. And it's such a it's such a lifestyle, this whole process that I've learned and that I now teach is a lifestyle. And it encompasses all areas of your life, not just your closets, not just your pantry, but your time, your mental clutter, your emotional clutter, your relationship clutter, all the things your energy level, taking care of your body encompasses all of that. 

And so I am just sharing the story with you to let you know that this is also possible for you that if I can do it, you can do it. And if you don't have it figured out I will help you, we can walk through this process together, just like I've done with people in person for 21 years, I am now making myself available to whoever needs this process. 

I'm available online, just like this in zoom, if you're watching it, I'm not sure if you're listening or watching it, but face to face screen Voxer access whatever it takes, because I want you to wake up every single day, knowing that you didn't waste your life that you're living out your God given purpose, and that you can do your purpose and still be a great mom and a great wife and manage your home completely. 

I want that for you. 

And so I finally made the decision that I was going to be offering not only group coaching, but now one on one coaching. And the name of the program is called Power House. Two different words. 

Power stands for productivity, organization, wealth, energy and relationships. Because those are all pieces of the pie have what it takes to live a life that you absolutely effing love. Like you freakin love your life. That's what it takes those things productivity, organization, wealth, energy and relationships, big ones. 

So if you're interested, make sure you let me know or go to my website, I hope this was inspirational. I hope it helps you follow your own dream and purpose. Do not give up. You just have to persevere every step of the way. pivot and persevere and you will get there I promise you. Until next time, have a great day."

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Have questions? I am passionate about helping others get their homes and their life organized and clutter-free so that they can focus on the people and the things that matter the most.


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