Vixen Chat: Angela Benton Talks New Me Accelerator and Entrepreneurship
Where would you like to see New Me in five years?
When I think of my personal goals and what I want to accomplish, I tend to think of it in more of an abstract way. We are a for-profit company, but we are also a mission-driven company too. For me, what’s important is that we really are helping a lot of people change their lives on their own, but that’s never out of balance with how much money we are making. So my goals are to help a lot of people and to also be a sustainable business at scale. I want to help hundreds of thousands of people or even millions of people—not just in the states, but globally as well.
Do you have a story about a successful member of New Me?
One of our most recent and probably most successful entrepreneurs to date is with a guy who was incarcerated for trafficking drugs. He got out and started working on his business. He came to New Me and raised a million dollars and is about to raise another round of funding. That was a huge success story that’s helping people who are incarcerated stay connected with people in the outside world. His personal story is not directly related to me, but I can relate to him being a teenage mom.
People wrote me off and said this is what my life is going to be like. I’ve talked to him and he felt the same way. The amazing thing was watching not only his life transform, but him transforming the lives of the people that he works with, the inmates that he’s helping. He’s really making an impact on peoples’ lives.
If you could give a young entrepreneur advice, what would it be?
Surround yourself with people who believe in you and what you’re doing. Sometimes that means not sharing what you’re doing too early with your family because they just might not be the most supportive at times. I think a lot of great ideas get killed in its infancy before its even validated to a market. I think it’s important to get the support that you need by identify people around you that are going to really help you through the process, if not intellectually then emotionally especially after you validate the idea that it’s going to be a business.
What was the most difficult time for you during your entrepreneurship journey?
I would say it was going to bed at 3 a.m every night. I had three kids and I would have to get up and go to work in the morning. It’s physically challenging. You don’t realize that it’s hard because you’re so passionate about doing something you don’t remember that. I think the hardest thing at the time was taking a risk. My brain knew that I can go get a job some place else and probably make more money, or I can go this other route and follow my intuition. Paying attention to that is really the reason why I am where I am now. I had to have a lot of faith. I didn’t know how things were going to work out, but I just had a feeling and knew that was the direction I wanted to go.