Naomh McElhatton - Queen of Digital at Smart Global (Video Podcast)


Meet Naomh McElhatton

Naomh McElhatton is the founder of Smart Global, host of the DANI Awards, curator of the She Said Club Podcast, a TEDx Speaker and the Northern Irish Queen of all things Digital. 

In her role as a digital educator, Naomh coaches businesses from wide range of industries adapt to change and innovate using tech. 

Described as a 'force of nature' by last month's guest Gavan Wall, Naomh's energy is contagious and her drive inspirational. 

In this episode, we chat about the pros and cons of being your own boss, where Naomh gets all of her energy from and why social media is the new crack cocaine... 

(And how to safeguard yourself from it.)

You can watch the full video here on this page, on YouYube, or if you wanna listen on the go you can grab it on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Overcast, Stitcher and pretty much everywhere else!

This episode was commissioned by the Knowledge Network hosted by Fleet Financial

Knowledge Network, a series of mini-conferences featuring the most interesting and influential business people in Northern Ireland.

Naomh McElhatton shared her story of mental resilience at the KN event held in the Bullitt Hotel last month.

The good folks at Knowledge Network asked us to follow-up with Naomh to hear more about her incredible entrepreneurial journey and further explore some key points she spoke about. 

Check out the video below to hear the full speech, 


Highlights of our chat with Naomh McElhatton

Here's a few excerpts taken from the chat we had with Naomh. 

To get the full story be sure to listen to or watch the full episode. 

if had one lift ride up with Liam Neeson how would you introduce yourself?

I would say hello Liam... 

Fine and well you're looking.

I'm Naomh, mummy of two gorgeous girls and founder/CEO of Smart Global: a digital education company.

What are the pros and cons of being your own boss?

I bust my ass every single week.

That’s the part people don’t see.

They see me out at events, all dressed up, doing this and doing that. But they don’t see me in the office at midnight working on proposal. 

They don’t see me hustling, winning, failing, or going back to the drawing board on a regular basis. You never stop and there’s so much to do all the time.

But the benefit is that I absolutely love what I do.

That’s what makes it all worth it.

I’ve created a company and really a lifestyle from an idea I had in my head.

I just love that.

Plus the brand I’ve made has given me the flexibility to really do whatever I want.

Having lost it all a few years ago makes this moment so much sweeter because now the opportunities are endless. 


In your speech you mentioned you had a season where you lost it all… Our question is after you lose everything, how do you rebuild?

My 2 wee girls.


I owe it to them that it all didn’t fall apart. It’s because of them I kept going and they still encourage me to keep pushing forward today.

Practically speaking, I took time out. I stepped back and evaluated it all.

I refused to be defeated and refused to let this be the end of the road for me. 

I learned that you can let life’s challenges define beat you or let it define you and build you into a better person. 

Now I’m much more quick to ask for help and LISTEN, but without a doubt it’s my kids that keep me going.

What’s the importance of being yourself in a digital age?

When I had the opportunity to do the TedTalk I just wanted to me.

I could have talked about loads of different things from a business perspective, but instead I decided to take a more personal approach. 

That’s why I settled on the topic of social media being the new crack cocaine…

Because it was an issue that hits close to home as I am a self-confessed addict! 

(Though now in rehab so to speak.)

Over the years I’ve tried to be very corporate and conservative, but the reality is that’s just not me.

It’s taken me a while to feel comfortable in my own skin and not be afraid that I am high energy, that I am nuts, that I am…  a bit of a lunatic.

But it’s about using this to your advantage and I can honestly say that I am very happy being me.


How can we cope with our addiction to social media?

It’s about understanding why we use it in the first place. 

When tech loses it’s purpose that’s when things get out of hand. 

People are putting themselves through pressure they don’t need to put themselves under.

When it interferes with real-life relationships, time with kids, time at work, when it’s giving you insomnia, anxiety or depression or making you feel miserable because you think Kim Kardashian has a better life than you. 

That’s when it’s time to put the phones down.

We have to take an honest look at our lives. We need to ask if it is hurting us or helping us. 

Sure, restrict the time. Get outside more. CHILL OUT.

But we can’t lose sight of the purpose of tech otherwise it will make its own.

Also: tech is the enabler… it’s the drug dealer so to speak.

The solution we need to solve this problem is not more tech. 


Naomh McElhatton, how can our listeners connect with you?

LinkedIn. Twitter. Instagram.

Company website. 


Thanks for listening, wanna hear more local stories?

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Big thanks to Naomh McElhatton for taking the time to share her story with us.

Be sure to reach out to her and let her know you enjoyed the show.

Other than that until next time,

All the very best.


- Matthew Thompson

Matthew Thompson