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via Essence Magazine
“As black women we sometimes get caught up trying to do it—from work, with family and friends—and forget about the most important person of all: ourselves. For this tech entrepreneur a cancer diagnosis was the extra push she needed to reevaluate how important taking care of herself was to her overall success. “
Tech entrepreneur Angela Benton‘s brave battle against her breast cancer diagnosis captured hearts on social media, but she is also a trailblazer in her own right.
Beginning her career as a designer, she worked in a variety of tech positions including web designer, creative director and front-end web developer before transferring over into her current role: CEO at NewME Accelerator.
She traded in San Francisco’s Silicon Valley, a place that she called home for over five years while building her company, for serene views of Miami’s crystal blue waters.This was just the beginning of multiple changes the creative entrepreneur made, in an effort to dedicate more time for herself.
“I wanted to be in a different place, in a different environment, that was more supportive of my whole life versus just my professional life,” she says.
But the changes didn’t come without a little push—while, things were on the up and up with NewME Benton was diagnosed with breast cancer, which forced her to slow down and reevaluate her life.
Started working on my site in August, then got busy, then it was the holidays. I'm finally launching it today ??. I'm hoping to write from time to time on the site about entrepreneurship. If you have a company or are generally interested in business there are already a few items there for you to check out. #morningmotivation #thanksforthesupport #feelingAccomplished #myToDoListIsGettingShort ???
“When I got my diagnosis, I was heartbroken. I didn’t know what stage I was or anything,” Benton says. “The first thing I thought about was, look at all the time that I did not spend when my kids because I was working. What was I doing all of this for? That is the first thought that I had. That’s what’s important in life.”
At 16 she became a mom to what would be the first of three daughters. Not that being a young mother slowed her down at all. She continued moving and shaking with the best of them—balancing school, a part time job and night courses so that she could graduate early. At 20 she was married, and her second daughter was learning to walk while she working on her BFA in visual communications. And by 24, she had her third daughter and a MFA in graphic design to match.
Raising a family while growing a lucrative career helped Benton become a master of management. As a minority in the digital space, she developed an interest of sharing the knowledge and experiences of Black entrepreneurs in tech, and in 2007 she launched Black Web 2.0 (now B20), and pursued her passion project full-time soon after—NewMe, which launched in 2010.
Her career wins are the results of the tremendous amount of time and effort often required of entrepreneurs, but she acknowledges that the no-sleep lifestyle that often comes with being a girl boss can take a toll on your personal health. While she can’t quite pinpoint the cause of her diagnosis, Benton is now focused on taking the necessary steps to ensure that she gets back to optimal health by making herself the number one priority and taking time to exhale.
Click here to read the article on Essence.com