Rhonda Smith was an independent marketing and talent development consultant for Fortune 500 companies when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008.
After six intense months of treatment, Smith was ready to return to work when she was struck by another setback: It was hard to land clients. "We were going into 2009 and the economy turned," she said. "I was forced to be creative and figure out what was next for me in life."
She knew she wanted to remain self employed and do something she was passionate about that didn't feel like "work."
Focusing on her own health and wellness had become her No. 1 priority. At the same time, Smith said other women living with breast cancer were reaching out to her for support.
That experience sparked an idea to launch a resource for women who were done with their treatments and trying to deal with "a new normal." In October 2010, Miami-based Smith launched Breast Cancer Partner, an organization that focuses on breast cancer recovery through health and wellness.
Smith conducts seminars, yoga events and invites specialists to address concerns ranging from relationship issues to post-medication recovery.
"There was a void in the market for addressing cancer survivorship, and I wanted to bring to life those concerns and address them," said Smith.