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Ep. 8: Vanessa Chan Invents LoopIt, Begins Wild Ride

From getting her engineering PhD at MIT to becoming a partner at McKinsey & Co, Vanessa Chan had a strong track record of achievement.  After some soul searching, she decided to challenge herself in a new way, inventing a solution to tangled headphones.  What followed was an adventure, from appearing on national TV to having an entire Amtrak train rallying to her support. The best part: she has only just begun the entrepreneurial journey, and she's bringing her kids along for the ride.

Advice:

  • Relationships are so important; carve out more time to spend on making new friendships and helping people.
  • There are more hours in the day than you think – use them effectively.
  • Kids are vey resilient and only know the reality you create for them.
  • Use the quality time with your kids so that you don’t feel guilty about taking that work trip.
  • Marry the right person; you will need a partner along the way who can share the load.

Key notes:

  • Vanessa is the inventor of Loop-It, headphones that are a tangle-free necklace.
  • Vanessa graduated from MIT with a PhD in engineering and spent 14 years working at McKinsey.
  • Loop-It was funded through a kickstarter campaign where it raised $35,000, beating the original $15,000 target.
  • Loop-It was entered into a competition on the Today Show and is now sold on QVC.com.
  • Vanessa sits on the board of her daughter's school, helping the next generation of young entrepreneurs as a mentor.
  • Vanessa has involved her children in the whole process from prototype to sale.
  • She is showing her children the process of trying and creating a product.
  • Vanessa is co-president for the Ellevate Network Philadelphia chapter.
  • Insecure overachievers are people who have been working hard all their lives, becoming trapped into seeking the next big achievement so that they fail to see things more broadly.

Quotes:

"If these kids can do it, I can as well"

"It's been like drinking from a fire hose"

"This has been a journey I'm taking with my children"

"If you want to become a basketball player, don't hang out with swimmers"

"The best advice I've got on my journey so far was from my kids"

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