Samantha Broxton on Learning to Enjoy the Journey
By Danielle Echols
Samantha Sophia Broxton is a blogger, photographer, storyteller, and self-proclaimed serial entrepreneur. She shares an intimate portrait of family life in her candid blog Raising Self. As a first generation American and the first college graduate in her Caribbean family, she spent many years trying to blend in. She graduated from the University of South Florida with her “safe” finance degree, but was always drawn to narrative writing. During her time in college, she had several business internships and eventually landed an amazing position with a banking leadership program. Today she balances her time with a career in finance analytics, managing her blog, and raising her family. Here is some of her story:
When did you recognize your interest in narrative?
Having immigrant parents, they’re very strict. I couldn’t do anything except read books and watch a lot of movies. There was a place near my house where you could get 10 old movies for $10 for 10 days, and I would watch and really just be in the narrative. That’s really where I think my storyteller brain was honed- reading books about history and watching movies from every genre.
You describe yourself as a serial entrepreneur, what are some ventures that you’ve tried?
I had a first startup that was kind of like Yelp. It didn’t really work for me because I look back now and I just didn’t have the resources I didn’t have the education. They didn’t really have all the resources they have now to support minorities in tech and entrepreneurship. I didn’t even know I was minority in tech, I just knew I had a good idea. I also have a journal of other ideas that I’m always thinking “how I can make it happen?” So, my serial entrepreneurship really comes in the form of really dreaming up ideas and trying to execute. Even today, I’m always thinking “how can I make these things a reality?” I also do photography and my blogs. I think those things are a type of entrepreneurship as well because these are things that are yours and that you own.
Your blog, Raising Self is very candid, how do you decide what you will and will not share?
For me the key thing is always is it edifying? That means ten years from now, even if it makes me cringe a little bit…I want to be able to say, “this is where I was, this is what I meant.” If it’s not edifying then I just don’t move forward with it, sometimes I’ll shelve it. I just put something aside and say, “I think there is something there, but this might be too messy… but maybe there will be something there that I can return to.”
What made you decide to join Acceptance Tour?
People see success or they see failure and they just see a byproduct. They want to know “how can I make a million dollars? How can I change the world?” I think with people, they don’t really understand the importance of hearing the journey, respecting the journey. Respecting that at the end you may not know that you’re already on the path to changing the world. I like the idea of having a conversation about understanding yourself, understanding what your true worth is, understanding what you really want and need to do to get yourself to the next step in your life.
Do you feel that your blog is a part of self-acceptance?
I think so. I think what people don’t do enough of is seek personal revelation. For me writing these stories, reveals certain things to myself. It helps me to understand why I made certain decisions or why I felt a certain way. It also allows me to reflect on things I did and gives me the opportunity accept or reject that (reaction) as appropriate and move forward. It’s not a continuation of bad behavior and I also get to celebrate things that I did well and I need to continue in life. It’s funny how writing does that for you.
What’s a little nugget of advice you would tell your younger self?
If I could go back, I would tell myself to save a little bit more money. I would tell myself to love myself a little bit more. I really think the things I’ve been through have helped me grow into who I am today, even my most painful moments. I really love science-fiction, so there is this unique idea about the time paradox, if you attempt to change one thing, then nothing else changes, that in fact you traveling in time is a part of guaranteeing your future. When I think about the time paradox, I have to consider would I change it if I could? Maybe I wouldn’t have the kids I have or maybe wouldn't have stumbled into the conversations that I’ve stumbled into… but if I could (I would) just maybe change the internal dialogue I had with myself through the journey and enjoy it more.
Samantha will be speaking at Acceptance Tour in Los Angeles on Monday, May 22nd. You can learn more about her by clicking on the links below:
(This interview has been slightly modified from its original recording)