When she’s not filming for CMT’s Racing Wives, entrepreneur Samantha Busch can be found promoting her book, designing clothing for her online boutique, promoting the energy drink the racing team created, or being a loving wife and mom. Kyle Busch, the NASCAR Nationwide Series Champion, is the other half of this ambitious power couple!
Samantha has a skillfully organized her life to create a balance by asking for help and support from others around her instead of trying to “do it all” herself, which is simply not sustainable. It was powerful to hear her state that even when we have families, we not only have permission to chase our own personal dreams, but it is necessary for us to keep our own cup full in order to have the ability to pour into others. Our needs are worth saying ‘no’ sometimes to every demand on our time. It’s OKAY to ask for help for things that can be delegated, in order for you to make your needs a priority! **virtual high five!**
Samantha embodies the Lift & Be Uplifted mission for so many reasons; most notably for how she made a choice to be transparent about a personal challenge she faced with infertility as a way to help others going through this process by writing her book Fighting Infertility: Finding My Inner Warrior Through Trying to Conceive, IVF, and Miscarriage. She then went on to create the Bundle of Joy Fund.
Read more about my interview with Samantha below! You can also check out Samantha's personal blog HERE.
1. I have found that rarely is someone’s journey linear. Can you tell me was your goals were when you were younger, and how you arrived at the place you are today?
I got my bachelor’s degree in General Psychology from Purdue University, and then went for a master’s in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. You’d think that as a racing wife, this would not be useful, but in reality, my education has allowed me help Kyle with the race team and our different companies. It’s actually a great business major because it’s beneficial to comprehend the nuances of managing people and resources, and recognizing the roles that they can excel in.
We go into college young and largely influenced by what our parents want. Now, years later, I can see how much I love fitness and event planning. It’s hard to know yourself well at that age, but I’d definitely tell young women to not be pressured by others opinions, because it’s your life and you should follow your heart.
Leave yourself open to enjoy the journey by not being rigid in pursuing your definition of success, that’s when you find the best version of yourself. Especially after dealing with infertility – which I never expected or imagined facing – I learned that we have to embrace our struggles and setbacks, and look for the lesson. This attitude helped us find strength through this setback, we have grown in so many ways due to facing this together, and then were able to use it for something positive instead of allowing it to defeat us.
2. Which single word do u most identify with?
Driven! There is no room for complacency. I’m still growing, learning, investing in our marriage, developing new skills, and challenging myself. We are coming up on our 10-year wedding anniversary and I still read the books to continue enriching our relationship and never take what we have for granted.
3. So now let’s get down to what is TRULY important here…what is your go-to ice cream flavor?!
OMGOODNESS! Frozen yogurt-- with ALL the toppings! And don’t give me the fruit-give me all the iced animal crackers, all the good stuff on top of it! I usually get the cookies and cream, chocolate, and vanilla -and then I just pile on the cookie dough, M&M’s, and peanut butter cups. People will look at it and say “but none of that works “--but NO! It all works!
4. As a woman who has empowered so many others to live their best lives, who is someone who empowers and uplifts you?
There are many! Obviously, my mom, she’s incredibly caring, compassionate, and has a really great work ethic- both of my parents do. Then there’s the women in the infertility community. The wonderful ladies that are the founders of Fab Fertility have inspired me to be more open and transparent through this very personal and emotional journey, and to use my platform to help others navigating infertility. On the racing side - Kelly Earnhardt is such a girl boss! She runs the race team, has written a book, yet is married with a child, and has found ways to balance it all! I could not be more grateful for the many women in my life that I look up to and can trust their advice.
5. Do you have a mantra or personal motto that keeps you motivated and focused?
I really don’t. It is just a personality characteristic to stay motivated and focused. Kyle and I are very type A, and we just go, go, go! Through quarantine many were like, “OK, we will just chill.” But we did all the house projects we could think of and more! So, it’s an overall mindset to want to do your best, believe there’s no point in doing something unless you are going to be proud of it -we just agree to do it right the first time.
6. You started Avanti the Label, in addition to the investment of time and energy to start any type of business, it requires taking risks. What advice would you give other women who avoid risk because they are afraid to fail?
No one wants to turn around when they are older and regret wasting years being afraid of something. I was hiring for my online boutique when I met my business partner. She had an online boutique and I thought, “why don’t we just become co-owners of something new?” That’s how Avanti the Label came about. We are both Italian and use that fashion understanding to stay ahead of the trends. I also design my own Tee’s! I’m edgy and she’s boho, so by merging our styles there is something for everyone. It is fun too. Before COVID, we got to go to market, make mood boards, and design creative seasonal trends. We both had good followings on social media, but let me tell you building a successful business takes more than having a lot of followers! It’s HARD! You must always be reinventing, trying new things, pushing yourself, and be willing to work really hard. Sometimes we are working until one in the morning because our days are busy with family obligations. But like I said, you don’t want to not do the work only to look back and wish you took more risks when you had the opportunity. Opportunities can be rare-go for it with all you have!
7. You star on CMT’s Racing Wives - What has been your favorite moment being on the show?
I think people assume that because we are married to drivers, that we just shop, go to the spa, and don’t accomplish anything meaningful. I loved highlighting the fact that we buck the stereotype by being business women and philanthropists in our own right, and supporting our husbands in different ways. The pandemic put filming on hold, but I hope it is renewed for Season 2! People get to know more about us, and it was really fun, but we aren’t dramatic, let’s just say we weren’t flipping tables! So who knows what that may mean for ratings. I liked showing people things they otherwise wouldn’t know about, like the Bundle of Joy Fund surprise. Because of the show so many women reached out to say, “Wow, I never knew you went through IVF,” and they share their own experiences. Those are my favorite moments.
8. Like my friend Rachel, many women consider you to be their icon. Who is your female icon?
So, so many! First of all, mothers that manage to excel through entrepreneurship are so impressive to me. I just reposted Hillary Swank the other day because I admire that she is fighting the actor’s union because they don’t cover basic women’s health needs like ovarian cyst removal. I also love Jessie James Decker because she’s a mom, and she’s so fun and outgoing! I love her workouts! I love how Kristin Bell started her own company, while prioritizing a strong marriage. Those are celebrities that exemplify what an icon means to me. But there are so many women who are mommies and entrepreneurs, that manage to homeschool their kids, and somehow innovate to juggle it all! I know you see them on social media – they are my role models -I’m amazed how they keep it all together! To those who consider me their role model, I have to clarify that I have an amazing team around me, a helpful family, and a supportive husband. The key is understanding that its ok to ask for help -I think ambitious women think they can figure it out on their own. There are others that excel in some areas that you need help with, so be willing to ask for help. It takes some growth to realize that not being able to handle everything yourself does not make you a failure, it means that you are wise enough to recognize that allowing others to help benefits everyone.
9. You created the Bundle of Joy Fund which has helped many families become whole. Why do you think it’s important to be authentic and vulnerable with one another-especially on social media?
There are drawbacks to social media, but for me it has been a way to make so many connections with strangers from around the world, who provided invaluable insight that helped me through some of the hardest times in my life. Seven plus years ago, being so young, I didn’t feel like I had a voice. When I wasn’t getting the answers I needed, I didn’t know how to ask for them- I didn’t even really know what questions to ask. Social media was a tool that allowed me to ‘find my tribe’, which is essentially a community of sisters who have experiences similar to mine, and understand the different medications, the process, and the complicated emotions that come along with infertility, IVF, and miscarriage. The community is diverse but grounded in love, support, and being there for each other. It was so beneficial to make these connections, because no one around me could relate the gravity of what we were facing. There was so much I wanted to know beyond the patient/doctor relationship. Through social media, I was able to find the understanding I really needed. I found myself being more vulnerable with women that I had never even met than with those I’d known my whole life. That is why it was important for me to then use the platform that I’ve built to empower women. I share how important it is to be your own advocate. Every couple has a unique experience, but I want others to know that if, for whatever reason, you aren’t comfortable, you have to be willing to make a change. After all, it is your body, your health, and you are the only one that can make the best decisions that work for you.
10. Nascar is obviously male dominated, but you have done some great things in that arena, with your clothing line, book, boutique, energy drink! What is the biggest barrier you’ve experienced as a woman on your career path?
Of course, NASCAR is a very male dominated sport because a huge majority of the drivers are male-but there are so many women involved in this sport. There are broadcasters, engineers, and the fans! That’s why I started my blog. Kyle has always been very supportive; he knew I was a girly girl at heart with lots of dreams. We had this awesome lifestyle that afforded us to travel 30 weeks out of the year, meeting so many fans! I just realized there was an opportunity to form a connection to this community of women in the stands. So many of my projects resulted from women first asking “Can you start a blog?” They wanted to know what I was wearing, where we were traveling, and more about our lives. Through that I saw a need to design race t shirts for women, beyond the men’s tees. It’s so rewarding to transition through not knowing much about racing, to creating my own niche in the community. That is why this year has been so disappointing, because all that has been put on hold. I hate not being able to cheer Kyle on, and connect with fans through appearances. Then seeing so many people that have lost their jobs and are really struggling, our hearts go out to them and we hope we can find a way to return to some sort of normality. Meanwhile, it has been encouraging to see that we are figuring out ways to connect without being around each other.
The sport wouldn’t be the sport without the fans. They are the ones that make the sport great! I feel like God gave us this platform and whether we have connected through fitness, or infertility, I grow from the connections right along with them and I LOVE to hear their stories!
11. Is there anything else that you want to share with readers?
Going back to struggling with maintaining a strong belief in yourself, or with doubting whether you can handle something you dreamed of doing, fight the urge to become your own worst critic. It’s very easy to focus on our flaws and shortcomings. Switch the focus to how far you have managed to come. I had to work on this too, many times building Rowdy Energy drinks, I spent too much time focusing on what I could have done better. Embrace your strengths and empower yourself with positivity because that’s where the magic starts.
Just because we are conducting business on Zoom, doesn't mean we can't continue to grow our networks! We were about two minutes into our virtual meeting when I recognized Rosanna as someone who I could learn so much from and had wisdom to share with the growing Lift & Be Uplifted Inspiring Women Blog community. When on Zoom with Rosanna, I could see an uplifting quote posted behind her about inspiring women that resonated with me. As the meeting progressed, it was clear that she's had an array of experiences that involved lifting up others both personally and professionally.
Rosanna is the founder and President of Rocket Ship Consultants, LLC, a company that works with clients looking to change their professional trajectory through business consulting, career coaching, and video podcasting. Her varied background as a lobbyist, trial attorney, television news producer, professor, university dean, career coach, and chief agency administrator have enriched a unique perspective and skill set for solution oriented storytelling, and successful strategy creation.
For more than two decades, she has advocated on behalf of clients and organizations and made hundreds of presentations. She has extensive experience in making introductions for clients, Florida administrative law and compliance issues, higher education management, state budgets, procurement, litigation, and strategic planning. As a result, she is able to create a path for her clients and leverage her strong connections throughout Florida government and across industries to assist clients with getting the right door opened at the right time with the right message.
She is currently the Chair of the Development Committee for the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, Vice-Chair of The Florida Bar Governmental and Public Policy Advocacy Committee for lawyer lobbyists, and Associate with Capitol Access. She produces and hosts The Floridaville podcast and three live video shows, Take Off Monday, Launch Pad, and Connect at the Capitol.
Learn more about Rocket Ship Consultants services HERE!
1. Rarely is someone's journey linear. Can you explain what you wanted to be when you grew up, and how your career landed where you are right now?
Growing up with immigrant parents, the focus was always on education. My parents never asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. Instead, they would ask me if I wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer. I didn’t like blood and the lawyers I watched on television seemed to have interesting jobs, so I figured I would be an attorney.
2. Which single word do you most identify with?
Real. I am a genuine person that feels deeply and loves deeply.
3. What moment in your life was the most formative in your development as a woman in the professional world?
Ironically, the moment that was most formative in my development professionally occurred in my personal life. At the age of 30, I went through a tumultuous divorce. When you survive a heartbreak like that, you learn to trust your gut, take stock in what matters to you, and be braver. These hard lessons have served me well in my professional life.
4. What do you think holds women back from fulfilling their greatest potential and going for their dreams?
I think women are quick to talk themselves out of their big dreams because they have taken a rejection to heart. These are things that I sometimes struggle with as well. I still have to give myself a pep talk after multiple rejections and remind myself that “no” does not mean “no forever” it only means “no for now.”
5. How do you believe leaders in the workplace can be more inclusive for women?
Everyone could use more time and money in their lives and women are no exception. I believe flexible work hours and equal pay can go a long way to elevating women in the workplace and creating a culture of inclusiveness and respect.
6. Favorite ice cream flavor?!
7. Describe a time when you were underestimated in your career/life. How did you react? What did you learn?
Surprisingly, I am not bothered when someone underestimates me. In fact, I find it motivating. I think it has to do with my confidence. I know deep in my heart what I am capable of and I will not let anyone stop me from achieving my goals. It is fun to prove people wrong who do not believe in your potential. Other people’s doubts should always serve as gasoline to your inner fire.
8. With your unique background as a lobbyist, trial attorney, television news producer, professor, university dean, career coach, and chief agency administrator, which of these career paths provided you the greatest space for growth?
With every position I have held professionally, I have grown immeasurably. All of my professional experiences have common threads which have allowed me to develop and cultivate a very unique skill set. I know how to build strong relationships, “friend-raise”, handle politicized issues, prioritize extensive workloads, manage staff, produce under extreme deadline pressure, gather and synthesize large amounts of information, comply with regulations, handle public comments and concerns, and advocate and negotiate. For nearly 20 years, I have represented organizations in an external capacity whether on television, in a courtroom, classroom, legislative hearing room, alum’s office, or a conference room.
9. Who is your female icon?
I do not have a female icon. There are lots of inspiring women I “follow” on social media like
Brené Brown, Dolly Parton, and Amy Purdy. I admire unabashedly bold women. As the saying goes, “well-behaved women rarely make history.”
10. What advice would you go back and give to your 20-year-old self?
There are so many things I would tell my 20-year-old self.
Wear sunscreen and sunglasses.
Buy stock in Google.
Learn more about computers.
Some wolves are dressed as lambs.
Make sure you have plenty of paper products and sanitizer on hand in the year 2020.