Samantha Grayman is from Atlanta, GA. She is an attorney-to-be, just graduated from Yale Law School, and received a Fulbright grant to teach in Morocco after she graduated from college at Emory University in 2015. She is also an entrepreneur in the process of founding two social enterprises (a luxury and ethical beauty brand as well as a BIPOC-centered study abroad company) and currently runs a meditation and yoga business that stems from her Instagram, Mindfulness Mami.
Here are some parts of the interview with Samantha, she gave us a glimpse of her mindset and approach to entrepreneurship.
How did the idea for your business come about?
I have a few businesses, but let’s talk about the one I’m currently most known for, my meditation and yoga business, Mindfulness Mami. All of my businesses emerged from a desire to solve social issues that seemed to fall through the cracks within the larger social entrepreneurial movement. My Instagram business, however, emerged from a more personal place, and it’s from this experience that I think I’ve learned the most about being an entrepreneur in 2020. I established Mindfulness Mami after a process of personal rebuilding and rebranding. For context, my Instagram initially started as a fashion and lifestyle blog that I started when I was in college. I started amassing followers and engagement by displaying this type of content, which involved promotions for beauty and fashion companies, etc. As I continued on a path of growth, both professionally and personally, I started to notice that the content I was producing didn’t really align with my personal goals and that I wanted to produce content that I believed was more relevant to my values.
Noticing this, I realized that I needed to take a step back from this Instagram platform (where I had amassed over 30K followers at that point). I realized that, before anything, I needed to build myself before I branded myself. I am a liberationist. I desire to focus my personal and professional goals on helping all people acquire the civil and human rights they deserve. This is why I went to law school. This is why I teach meditation. I believe deeply in the power of community and mindfulness as well as the power of culture to shift systems and structures of oppression. A fashion and lifestyle blog thus was not where I personally needed to focus my Instagram business. After a few years of hiatus (during most of my 3-year legal education), I decided to undergo a rebranding process. Since January 2020, I have focused my Instagram business on empowerment, mindfulness, and authenticity. Through my page, I offer not only free tips to my followers but I also offer meditation guidance services as well as yoga classes.
Can you describe/outline your typical day?
I usually scramble to wake up before 8:30 because I’m up quite late. I take out and read my affirmation card for the day. I grab some water and take my variety of supplements and vitamins. I spend a few minutes writing in my Alex Elle Note to Self journal, where I write down my intentions, what I am grateful for, and my to-do list for the day. I engage in some movement, whether that be a quick pilates or yoga class or even some simple stretches. I meditate for at least 5 minutes and then I eat a light breakfast and drink green tea with lemon. If I have time, which depends when I get up, I do some work on my instagram business.
I then begin work. I’m usually at my desk by 9:30AM for my full time job. I work until 12:30PM when I take a break for lunch and a walk outside. (Walks are very important these days, especially during lockdown in London!) After some time away from the screen, I then get back to work at my full time job. I work at my full time until about 10/10:30 PM unless I have something pressing (which could go late into the night). I take 10 minute screen breaks every few hours and stretch, meditate, or step outside for fresh air. I also take a brief break to eat dinner and Facetime loved ones. At 10:30PM, if I don’t have anything left to do for my full time job, I spend about an hour or two working on my Instagram business or my startups. This could involve meetings with team members or colleagues, hosting meditations or yoga classes (on an EST schedule), or engaging with my followers. I usually leave content creation for Saturday. On a good day, I’m able to start my nighttime routine by 11:30PM so that I can sleep by 12:30AM. Though I’m not able to do this every night given the fluctuations in my full time work schedule, I try to make myself some tea, journal about my day, and read a few pages of a novel before I do my skincare routine, brush my teeth, turn on an ocean sounds playlist on my phone (great way to fall asleep), and head to bed.
How do you define success?
Success is waking up everyday and doing what needs to be done to stay committed to yourself, your goals, and your purpose.
What practices or habits have you ritualised to nurture your mental health?
I mentioned a lot of this in my typical day routine. I take daily steps to nurture my mental health, but some of the other things I do involve: therapy once a month, ordering myself a gift once a week (flowers / cupcakes / etc.), face masks, attending yoga classes + meditation classes.
What piece of advice would you give to college graduates who want to become entrepreneurs?
Start working on yourself first. Once you learn how to build yourself, you can build anything.