EnrichHER 2018 Spark Conference is set to take place on Wednesday, March 14 from 8am to 8pm at Atlanta Technology Village. EnrichHER, founded by Dr. Roshawnna Novellus are local initiatives designed to help entrepreneurs with coaching, capital, and connections. In business, the saying is “it’s not what you know, but who you know.” EnrichHER Spark allows entrepreneurs to advance their businesses by making meaningful face-to-face connections with local leaders, investors, business coaches, and like-minded entrepreneurs.
According to Dr. Novellus, one of the biggest issues that women-led businesses face is access to capital. For this reason, we include an entrepreneur showcase that includes a grant to a lucky entrepreneur. Also, we share resources that will increase your success of gaining capital.
Meet the EnrichHER 2018 Spark Conference Finalist
Amy Fan. Founder & Pediatrician. Kinder. University of California, San Diego (B.A. Anthropology); University of Virginia School of Medicine (M.D.)
Kinder is a full service virtual pediatric clinic and community. Launching July 2018.
What was your first job ever? Barista at a beach coffee house.
Who are your mentors and icons that have influenced you the most and why? My parents are the ones who have influenced me the most. In many ways, the immigrant spirit is the entrepreneur spirit - the willingness to leave behind familiarity to work towards a vision under potentially unstable conditions. Their perseverance, and more importantly their relentless optimism and gratitude, showed me at a very young age that possibilities are more powerful than limitations. My father discussed big ideas with me as soon as I learned to speak, so I inherited a mentality of always digging deeper, asking questions, and having the audacity to think imagination can turn into reality. I admire the famous entrepreneurs of our age for their resourcefulness and persistence, but the people I consider personal icons would be those who leave the legacy of changing how we think or challenging us to open our minds. Krista Tippett and Maria Popova come to mind.
When did you first realize that you were born to be an entrepreneur / business leader and what course of action did you take in terms of following that passion? I’m not sure that moment existed for me. The process has been gradual. I was an extremely social child and many people - teachers, friends’ parents, family friends - commented that I should become a businesswoman. I chose medicine out of a desire to do something that would always feel meaningful and fulfilling. I didn’t see, at 18 years old, that business can be a tremendously powerful way to change the world and incorrectly thought it would be only about money, which was not interesting to me. A decade of school and training showed me that the meaning of medicine and healthcare has been destroyed by the fact that it is a badly run business. Idealism alone doesn’t preserve the human spirit when the environment is hostile to innovation and collaboration. A key component to my realization was the experience of working for Khan Academy and witnessing the potential of creative technology to revolutionize an old institution. I started exploring by creating my Ask Dr. Amy Youtube channel, and that connection with parents led me to ultimately take the entrepreneur approach to clinical practice.
Being an entrepreneur is a gift and a curse. We have to work 20 times harder and learn to sacrifice a lot to arrive to our destination. What advice would you impart to future entrepreneurs and to strong business leaders? I don’t think I’m at the place to give advice to future entrepreneurs already, but I’ll speak from my experience with hard work and sacrifice as a resident physician. Keep your loved ones close, thank them for understanding and try to not always let work win. Take care of yourself, especially when you don’t want to. Pick one hobby and hold on to it. No, not three, pick one.
Leading a successful group is a challenge. How do you consistently inspire and motivate the team to extract the most optimized version of themselves to bring to the table? I draw on my experience as a coxswain on the crew team. A good leader takes full responsibility for the team - all of the blame and very little of the glory. Don’t just act open minded, be open minded. Choose team members that feel like family and treat them as such.
When you have to put out a fire, what process do you have that's proven to be effective? Breathe, stay calm. Come up with a solution and see it from the first step to the last, then execute from the top.
How do you decompress in order to keep that balance? Rock climbing, yoga, hiking, reading, & playing music.
What's been the most gratifying business or personal role that you had that led you to be where you are now? Working on my Youtube channel to make information for parents and families helped me identify the joy in sharing knowledge freely and connecting with people in a way that is hard to do in the current medical practice model. It was not a business role, and I still don’t make a cent from the material, but the connection I felt was instrumental in realizing the rest of the vision for Kinder - access, personal relationship, education.
Life lessons learned that you carry with you to keep the fire alive to stay on top of your game? “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes; including you.” Anne Lamott. Keeping a fire alive involves letting it breathe and have oxygen. I try to let work breathe.
How do you define success? Ralph Waldo Emerson said it pretty well.
What's next for you? Residency is winding down. I will be working as a pediatrician in hospitals around the country while gearing up to launch Kinder later in 2018.
Interviewed by Maryan Aiken. Publisher. WireTap Media.