From Broken to Brave is the story of the many turning points in Sam Pearce’s life, both good and bad; and the valuable lessons she learned from each one. Sam’s life has not been particularly extraordinary, and at the tender age of 45, she can appreciate that it’s not been that long either. She is also acutely aware that there are people in this world who have had a far worse time in life than her, but she has had more than her fair share of tough times and bad experiences.
From the pain of a close friend’s suicide, the loss of identity and the humiliation of mental and physical abuse; to the courage to start a new life, the fear of repeating past mistakes, and the tribulations of starting a new business.
But this book is not a “woe is me” story. With the benefit of hindsight, Sam has been able to glean the powerful and profound lessons that these and many other experiences have taught her about life, as well as running a business. She wants to share some of these experiences in the hope that the lessons she has learned will somehow help you.
Her wish is that you may find answers to some of the questions that you are facing in your own life. Or perhaps you will find the strength and resolve to cope with similar situations that she overcame. Maybe you will simply find solace in knowing that you’re not alone; that someone has walked in your shoes before you and not only survived but thrived.
In short, what is ‘From Broken to Brave’ about?
From Broken to Brave is a look back on some of the darker experiences from my life, told from the point of view of what I learned from each experience that I have since put to good use building back up my confidence, finding a new life and starting a successful business.
What inspired you to write the book?
During the early stages of the pandemic, I started seeing lots of statistics about the increase in frequency and intensity of domestic violence as a result of lockdowns. It made me think back to my own experiences and how I felt like I was the only one experiencing it and no one else could possibly understand. So I decided that it was time to share my story, as well as other darker experiences from my life to help others see that they are not alone; that some does understand; and that if you are of the right mindset, you can not only survive these experiences but become strong and successful as a result of them.
- Lesson 1: Sometimes doing the “right” thing is not always the “best” thing + Pick your battles
- Lesson 2: Radical change is always easier when no one is looking
- Lesson 3: Not everyone is going to like you, and that’s okay + Learn when to speak your mind and when to keep your opinions to yourself
- Lesson 4: You need to learn to forgive yourself for things learned in hindsight
- Lesson 5: Grab opportunities when they appear; you never know if/when they will present themselves again
- Lesson 6: Never assume the worst wont’ happen you to + Never ignore warning signs + Don’t be afraid to act
- Lesson 7: Altering your perception doesn’t alter reality
- Lesson 8: No matter how alone you may feel, someone will always miss you
- Lesson 9: Sometimes it takes a catastrophic event to snap you out of a hopeless situation
- Lesson 10: You are capable of amazing things if you just have the courage to try
- Lesson 11: Sometimes you need to create your own opportunities
- Lesson 12: Some lessons need to be learned the hard way
- Lesson 13: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket + Trust your instincts
- Lesson 14: It’s okay to be your authentic self
Would you mind telling us more about some of the challenges that you experienced, that discuss in more detail in the book?
Some of the challenges I discuss in the book revolve around themes of bullying, personal identity, self-confidence, past regrets, domestic abuse, drug addiction, suicide, overcoming fear, courage, trust, and being ones’ true self.
How did you overcome these challenges?
Obviously how I overcame each challenge is detailed in the book, but the unifying common theme of how I overcame such obstacles was perseverance and a refusal to give up (though sometimes it takes a bit of time to find the strength to carry on).
Was it difficult to write about them in the book?
Not as difficult as I anticipated. I initially had fears that the process of writing about (and therefore reliving) my experiences was going to be very traumatic… I even warned my family and my husband that I might start getting nightmares again and to be understanding if I suddenly got really withdrawn and skittish again. But none of that happened. I actually found the process of writing the book very therapeutic and cathartic… I think it actually helped me to put to rest some of the little traces of trauma that were still hanging around me.
Is this your first book?
No, From Broken to Brave is actually my second book. My first book, which I published in May 2019 titled Stress-Free Self-Publishing is my business-building book where I share the process I use to publish my clients’ books for independent authors who may not be able to afford to work with me one to one. I am also in the early stages of writing book #3 which will be about the power and benefits of using publishing as a marketing tactic for business growth.
How long did it take you to write?
It took me about 16 months to go from initial idea to on sale.
Readers can buy the book directly from your website, and 50% of the profits will go to the domestic violence charity Refuge, could you tell us more about why you decided to do this, and more about the charity?
I choose to support Refuge UK as I feel the work that they do is invaluable to women who have no one else to help them. One of the common elements of domestic abusers is their ability to separate their victims from the support networks of friends and family to keep them under control. So in many cases, organisations like Refuge are a victims only means of support through the harrowing ordeal of escaping an abuser and then the long road to recovering and building a new life. Refuge is the largest domestic abuse organisation in the UK who missing is to empower women to live without violence and fear. They provide support through safe, temporary accommodation, independent advocacy, support for children, and help in taking back control over finances and securing technology
You have been involved in the design and publication of over 90 books, could you tell us more about this?
Since From Broken to Brave was published, that number is now over 200 due to the prevalence of people deciding to write books during the pandemic. As a self-publishing consultant, my team and I help authors through the entire process of getting a book independently published. I help them find and editor, get their cover designed, typeset their book interior and walk them step-by-step through registering a publishing imprint, purchasing ISBNs, managing distribution, and getting their books on sale worldwide in print and eBook formats for their readers to enjoy.
Did your work influence your own writing?
In a way, yes. It gave me a large body of work to draw on in terms of learning what makes a great book as well as insight into different way to approach what is a very dark and potentially disturbing topic – hence my decision to frame each chapter as a part and present split between recounting the memory but then discussing the “lesson” or positive that I gained from the experience.
What has the response to ‘From Broke to Brave’ been like so far?
The response has been amazing. From other women coming forward and telling me that sharing my story gave them the confidence to share theirs, to people I work with telling me they have even more respect for me now than they did before.
Who will the book most appeal to?
Primarily the book will appeal to other survivors of domestic abuse, bullying, drug addiction, depression wanting to find hope and inspiration. It will also appeal to other businesswomen who possibly feel that their past or personal lives somehow preclude them from the success that they want.
What is the key message of the book?
Ultimately, the message of From Broken to Brave is that your past does not dictate your future.
And finally, what do you hope that readers will take away from the book?
That no matter what dark, traumatic, life-altering experiences you have had in the past, that you have a 100% survival rate, and those experiences can make you stronger if you opt to learn from them instead of dwell on them.