Introducing Desiree Beekharry Coaching

It is with great pleasure that we welcome the fabulous & vibrant Desiree from Desiree Beekharry Coaching into our business spotlight for April – let’s all give her a big, warm, SAW welcome!

In this chat with Jess from Jess McEachen Copywriting, we delve right into Desiree’s powerful work with helping women over 40 who want to get back into the workforce after divorce or separation. She’s so passionate about helping them become their own hero. Empowering each woman and coaching them through what can be such a rocky time – to regain their confidence, self-esteem and a true sense of clarity about their life and their own talents. Just so good!

Desiree also dives right into the journey that brought her out of the corporate world and the racism & sexism she has shut the door on. To now having a world full of choice in her own business. We talk proud moments, business birthdays, life on different continents, lessons from divorce, her Lady Power Club and so much more!

Desiree reveals how SA Woman was the first membership she joined when she wanted a community of women, and how she loves the willingness to share and that true sense of friendship within the membership. Ah, we love having you here with us!

This is such a beautiful read where Desiree speaks from her heart. Desiree mentions that she has come from a lineage of strong women – and we are so grateful to be able to showcase and celebrate this incredibly strong woman. Welcome Desiree, we can’t wait to watch you shine in the Business Spotlight for April & beyond.

// Thank you for joining us in the Biz Spotlight in April! For those who haven’t come across you yet, can you please introduce us to Desiree Beekharry Coaching and who you love to work with?

Hello! It is a pleasure to be SAW’s Biz Spotlight for April – my birthday month.

Desiree Beekharry Coaching exists to coach women back into the workforce, and my ideal clients are women who are 40+ and who want to return to the workforce after a divorce/separation.

Following a divorce, women often have low self-esteem, low confidence, feel rejected and suffer from a range of other health impacts like stress, anxiety or depression. Returning to the workforce at this stage can leave women feeling overwhelmed, fearful and almost paralysed, especially when dealing with other personal life transitions, such as divorce. In working with each client, I help her have a better understanding of her skills, her experience and her worth. As she becomes clearer about where she wants to go and who she wants to be in this new life, I help stop the voice that says, “I’m not good at X”, and change it to, “I’m willing to give it a go and see where my talents lie.” 

When you know you have value and you are valued for your skills and experience, your confidence is boosted. That’s what I can do for each and every lady who wants to get a job and is willing to work hard on it! I can tell you though, it’s not for the faint-hearted 😊.

Recently, I helped this 49-year-old professional woman in Adelaide with a new home and a promotion at work. It was tough for her, with two young children under 10, leaving the family home, a partner who was an alcoholic and moving back in with her parents. She kept putting the brakes on and giving reasons why she should not try for the promotion or move out of her parents’ home. However, as we went through the coaching sessions, by our seventh meeting she had applied for the promotion and a new place to rent for herself and the kids. She got both! She then sent me a message which said, “Thanks for telling me exactly what I needed to hear! xxx”


// As someone who has restarted after separation & divorce, I just love this so much! Financial independence & self-esteem are both so important when you’re beginning again. And, as you mentioned in a recent post, it’s about becoming your own hero.

What particular obstacles & opportunities do you see for women in this situation? And, what can they look forward to by regaining their confidence?

I would firstly say that not every obstacle needs to be overcome – we just have to find a way around it. As for opportunities, we don’t need to take on every opportunity that presents itself. And that’s the first step in becoming your Shero!

The sad fact is that there’s a cost attached to most painful life-changing experiences we go through, whether it be divorce, illness, death, etc. In divorce, a woman needs to have priorities and considerations. Making more money is the number 1 priority – or getting a job, if she doesn’t have one.

Lots of questions pop up:

  • Who do I know that can advise me on divorce? Or that knows a family lawyer, a real estate agent, a rental agent?
  • Where will I and/or the kids or my STBX live?
  • How will I pay for the divorce, the house, the rent, the school, the trips, the holidays, the clothes, the pampering sessions, etc.?
  • When should I speak to a lawyer?

Other considerations include navigating family and relationships with existing friends or finding your place in society on your own and owning the situation.

That’s why I surround myself with a team of experts in many things from family law to real estate, make-up, resumé writing, money management, etc. They do not work for me, but they are a good source of information and are available via the Facebook group, and we will be doing Facebook Live sessions to cover these challenges or opportunities.


// Now, we’ve got our party tooters out – because you’ll be celebrating your first year as Desiree Beekharry Coaching in July! Can you take us back to the beginning? What was the ‘crossroads’ moment, or the internal spark that led you to starting your own business?

Well, Jess, two years ago I did a marketing masterclass with Dr Sheri Rosenthal, and through the process I realised that I wanted to help women. Why? Because with all the professional and personal experience under my belt, I knew that I could help women work out what they needed to return to the workforce.

I created my business on 1 July 2021 with the idea that I would grow my brand, then slowly let go of the corporate world and dive deeper into my business – slowly and eventually. The catalyst was that in September of 2021, the not-for-profit organisation where I had been employed for seven years didn’t renew my employment contract after I had made a formal racial abuse complaint against my then director.

On 28 October 2021, thanks to Switch.Start.Scale, I officially launched Desiree Beekharry Coaching.

The upside, the internal spark that made me not look for another job: I saw the situation as an opportunity. To be my own boss. To choose who I want to work with. How I want to work. Where I want to work. When I want to work. I had a choice never to let any 50-year-old white man ever dictate my life or put me down again.

More importantly, I also realised that I come from a lineage of strong women. My grandmother – who had four daughters from four different men, was shunned by society because of it and was later coveted by the same society when she had become a brilliant dress-making entrepreneur. Suddenly every high-society lady wanted to be seen wearing one of my grandmother’s gowns, especially at weddings.

Then there was my mother, who had to flee the country she had grown up in to re-build her life, restart her nursing career and raise her three children after divorce. And honestly, Jess, we haven’t turned out badly…

I created my business on 1 July 2021 with the idea that I would grow my brand, then slowly let go of the corporate world…The catalyst was that in September of 2021, the not-for-profit organisation where I had been employed for seven years didn’t renew my employment contract after I had made a formal racial abuse complaint against my then director.

The upside, the internal spark that made me not look for another job: I saw the situation as an opportunity. To be my own boss. To choose who I want to work with. How I want to work. Where I want to work. When I want to work. I had a choice never to let any 50-year-old white man ever dictate my life or put me down again.

More importantly, I also realised that I come from a lineage of strong women.

Desiree Beekharry

Desiree Beekharry Coaching

// What have you found to be the biggest hurdles to overcome or the shifts you’ve needed to make making the transition from employee to self-employed? Also, what are the things you are most proud of from your first year in business?

Not having a regular salary for several months of start-up is a toughie. No matter how much savings you have as a buffer, it takes getting used to.

The other thing would be to not have colleagues to bounce ideas around with. That professional social life… I have been working full-time since 21, so it’s been a while.

And then there is the number of instruments I have to play as a one-woman band. This creates competing priorities, and I find I have the dilemma that you’ve probably heard of: working on the business or working in the business. While we all know that it is important to be working on the business, it is far too easy to get bogged down in it. I do feel that this is a passage that I must go through in order to understand it.

I am proud of the connections and especially the new friendships that I have made. I have not given up – and you know, it is really tempting to let it all go and look for another job with financial security. I am proud that I have already won an award from SheMentors for the Most Loved-Up Mentor Hour of 2021.

I am proud that I can finally be of service to other women. I have seen and received generosity, love and support from an older generation of women who came before me, and now I am proud to be able to give back.


// I really enjoyed your recent blog post where you talked about the 3 lessons you learnt from divorce. Can you take us through what these are & how they’ve impacted your life?

Alright, well, those 3 lessons I wrote about in the blog are the ones that had the most profound effect on me after I worked out that they were a bane to my post-divorce recovery.

However, I would like to clarify that each woman will have her own top three lessons and they will probably not be the same.

My three lessons are: resolving shame, overcoming failure and not to take things personally.

Resolving shame: It took a while for me to realise that I was ashamed of being divorced. I also realised that no one in my family ever talked about my divorce – ever! I eventually got to understand that my shame came from my culture, my upbringing and the beliefs of my culture. As it turned out, the beliefs and judgements about divorce were the same in most cultures.

Overcoming failure: No one likes to admit failure. I failed my high school maths exam five times (gave up after that), but now I can talk and laugh about it because I know it was never my thing. Yet, failing at a marriage, irrespective of the grounds for divorce, is a bitter pill to swallow. My attitude to failure played a key role in healing. It was important to look at what triggered this unhealthy relationship to failure and to realise that it was the marriage that failed, not me. 

Not taking things personally: This can be a bigger challenge than anyone actually fathoms. Why? Because divorce is very personal. I failed at my marriage. I was ashamed. I’d have to look people in the eye and tell them and let them judge me. How would I not have taken it personally? And I did…

The thing is that my sense of personal importance got in the way. It was “all about me”. I felt that I was responsible for everything. Me, me, me.

But a marriage takes two, and we both had beliefs on what a marriage should look like. When these beliefs differed, then the marriage failed. Like this Chinese saying, “Sleeping in the same bed and dreaming different dreams.” Working with a shaman and practicing not taking things personally helped me lots.

Meet Desiree from Desiree Beekharry Coaching

// Can I also say that I LOVE the sound of your ‘40+ Female Divorcees Lady Power Club’. What a fabulous name & vibe! Tell us what women joining your club can expect?

The women can expect to be themselves – wherever they are on the path to separation or divorce. The group is there to provide a safe haven to ask questions and to get support for what they are going through during that painful and stressful time.

The 40+ Female Divorcees Lady Power Club (yes, I admit it is a mouthful) is created to provide the space to assist with these transitions of divorce. And it’s free.

Here are some of the activities that the ladies can expect: interviews with professionals, female entrepreneurs and other women sharing their experiences of divorce; webinars and workshops on skills such as interview techniques; advice about make-up and how it can help with boosting confidence, self-esteem and empowerment; and offers from my 10-session signature coaching program which includes benefits galore.

Expect to be supported as long as you need the support. In return, expect to contribute and support others.

// You’re a long way from home over here in SA! What do you most love about doing business here & how does it compare to your home?

I was born on a small paradise island called Mauritius and grew up from the age of 10 in London and Essex in the UK. The UK is where mum is. And family.

If I can use imagery to describe how I feel here in SA, then imagine this short, curly-haired black woman, standing in the middle of the Australian landscape with a big smile on her face, and at her feet a network of well-nourished roots that spread underneath the earth and grow thicker, farther and deeper every single day!

What I adore about SA:

  • There’s lots of sun;
  • I live 7 minutes to the beach, 4 minutes to the CBD and 40 minutes to one of at least five world-renowned wine regions (and yes, I do drink wine);
  • there are hills and trails and beaches galore;
  • there are whales, kangaroos, koalas and snakes (I like snakes);
  • there’s lots of sun (again);
  • there is space for people to have gardens and dogs;
  • the ‘no worries’ attitude;
  • the fact that South Australia is so large and small at the same time – it feels like a big family, and as with every big family, it comes with everything that’s good, bad and ugly about it.
  • Because SA is so connected when it comes to networking, I feel that as a small business, one cannot afford to be shoddy on quality. It takes time to get a reputation, it takes time to develop trust. But it only takes a couple of moments to lose that reputation – and good luck trying to regain respect after that!

Each time I go back from Adelaide to the UK, I am in awe at what London is and how it transforms. One cannot compare the two cities, the two countries or the way of life.

I think it is more about what our souls need at the time. What our family needs and what phase of life one is in. Right now, I need Adelaide. I need South Australia. I need the people, the women and the community.

This is our home. And did I mention that there’s lots of sun in SA?


// A quote that you shared by G.D. Anderson resonated so strongly with me. “Feminism isn’t about making women stronger. Women are already strong. It’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength.”

Looking forward, what are the shifts & changes you’d love to see in the world in 2022 and beyond, particularly around women in the workforce?

I realise that we are all fed up hearing about the C word, and there is no denying all the negative impacts it has had on every single one of us, in nearly every aspect of our lives. Coming from a disaster and risk management background, however, I find it is vital to understand that every disaster (which COVID-19 was) and all risks create opportunities.

From an employment, especially self-employment point of view, The Great Resignation is approaching Australia – if it is not already here. This movement is also thanks to COVID and creates opportunities for women returning to the workforce.

Women have more power to leverage how they work and for what remuneration. Women do not have to feel that they must work 9 to 5, Monday to Friday or any other restrictive work-life diet. If a woman wants to create a business, working online and the reach of working online has offered a new dimension to how we do business.

If, as women, we have an inkling that we’d like a change or we’d like to go on a new adventure or life is pushing us in a new direction – remember that strength and resilience that we have. It means our gut feeling is talking. It’s our higher power telling us to do something about it. Then do it! No action is lost, inaction due to fear is paralysis!


// It’s so fantastic to have you within our membership – your warmth & generosity is so appreciated! What do you love about being part of the SAW community and what have you gained from it?

You know, Jess, SAW was the first membership I joined when I realised that I needed a community of women. In my previous professional life, I knew who-was-who-in-the-zoo of disaster management in South Australia, Australia, New Zealand and many countries in the world. This was also a male-dominated, command-and-control, epaulettes-driven world.

As an entrepreneur, I realised that I did not really know my own community. I had my small circle of friends, and that was it. It was all jolly well and nice to want to be of service to women, but who were they? Where were they? How do I get to know about them and how can I serve them best if I did not know who they were? Luckily, I found SA Woman.

Whenever I attended an SAW event, it was as if I had got together with friends I had not seen for a while. There’s a willingness to share and a good-heartedness about the catch-ups. Also, a commonality… namely small female-owned businesses, all on a different stage of their entrepreneurial journeys. Meeting the ladies is like work and pleasure at the same time. And just for that I am extremely grateful…😊

But amongst all the other benefits, the notable two for me are:

  • Collaborations and just good old-fashioned alignment of other businesses with mine, for example, DeliveringJoy, Nutshell Money or Roach Corporate Law;
  • Connections, learning about other businesses and being able to share them with other people or businesses who have alignment or need. 

// Lastly, if you could have lunch with 3 other amazing  women – who would you invite?

I would lunch with Hayley Hall, my business coach. She lives in Victor Harbour and is an SAWer, but I have yet to meet her in the flesh. She is amazing, her coaching is dynamic and she cares. Her tagline is making us newbies “be comfortable in being uncomfortable!”

Another lady would be Julia Gillard. Whether I or you or anyone else agrees with her politics, she has had the courage and the desire to be the first Australian female Prime Minister. Having had to face very senior 50-year-old white men in Australia and coming out the wrong end of it, I cannot imagine what challenges she must have faced when surrounded by misogynistic, sexist folks. She changed the way we talk about gender and sexism! Just for that, she deserves every woman’s respect and invitation to dinner. Every now and then, when I think of her brief life as PM, I think, “At least she got to go to Will and Kate’s wedding!” – and I have a big smile on my face 😊

The third lady I would have lunch with has to be Constance Jones from the African Women’s Federation of South Australia. Constance’s presence is as grand as her compassion. She works tirelessly, all hours of the day and, I think, nights when she gets the ‘light-bulb’ moments (you know what I mean, right?) looking for ways to ensure that the African women of South Australia have a voice, feel at home and are integrated in SA and also in Australia. She is unstoppable and indefatigable when it comes to looking after the holistic well-being of African women. I have the pleasure of being on the Steering Committee of the African Women’s Maternal Health Care project with Constance and I look after the Wise Woman component.

Thanks for chatting with us Desiree!!

Find out more about Desiree Beekharry Coaching:

Get a $250 discount!

Desiree is being super generous & offering a $250 discount to the first 5 women who book and pay in full on my One-on-One, 12-week signature coaching package “Step-out & Move-on”.

Use the code: SAWSPOT 

If the honeymoon is over and your ex is showing you his true face; if divorce is ruining your lifestyle; if you have to argue and justify every penny you need to pay for your care; if the bills and lawyer’s fees are mounting up and you’re going stir crazy; if you want to afford a rental or pay a mortgage:

The 12-week “Step-out & Move-on” program is a proven method to land you the job you’ll love.

Translate your skills and highlight your experience to land the perfect job; interview techniques and more.

Within 12 weeks, you get that pay-check in a job you’ll love; you’ll pay those annoying bills; you’ll afford the kids’ school trips and little treats. 

This is not called a kick-ass program for nothing!

I offer a 100% money back guarantee for each individual session.

Join the club: 40+ Female Divorcees LadyPower Club

All the juicy information, support, resources, advice from professionals and networking that you need to move on with your life and reclaim your independence is on this group.

Facebook: Desiree Beekharry Coaching

Keep your eye on Desiree’s Facebook for upcoming Facebook Live interviews starting in May, with specialists and other women supporters: legal matters, real estate (buy or rent), money management, a conversation with someone going through divorce, a conversation with a divorcee with her own business, boosting self-confidence using make-up, manifestation from a divorcee’s perspective, etc.


LinkedIn: Desiree Beekharry