#HaveYouMetHerYet? - Anna Chan

What is your story? What do you do and how did you get to where you are today in your career?

I’m Anna, Founder & CEO of myMomentum – a recently launched app that brings Vancouver’s health & wellness community together through events and challenges. I guess that is one of many titles I wear?! I’m also a new mother (15-month-old) and a puppy mother (2 years) J

My career path has been a bit untraditional – I’ve always been very entrepreneurial, but I chose to do a degree in Finance and work in corporate (investments) for about 6 years. Then in 2011, just up and left everything behind to take a hiatus and travel the world … again! (this was my 3rdmini retirement and I was only 28… ) My now husband and I bought a one-way ticket to Europe with a backpack and zero plans. After travelling for almost 5 months (through Russia, Mongolia, Nepal, etc.) we ended up in Shanghai, China. Originally the plan was to stay a year or 2, but we got stuck as so many expats do, and ended up doing 6 years abroad! Over that time, I worked with a few different starts ups starting with high growth stage, to early growth and then 2 years with a brand new agency in China just launching their presence – all in leadership and business development roles. It taught me so much, but I got so burned out and my health was starting to suffer. I ended up taking some time off so that I could rest, recover and also redirect my focus career wise to something that I felt really passionate about. In the meantime, I started teaching some spin classes and really fell in love with it, the music, the energy, being able to bring people within the community together and have a fun time while sweating. It took some nudging but finally after a long period of debating should I do it, and what will it be/look like, after deciding to move back to Canada to start a family, I thought it would be no better time to pursue something on my own that would hopefully bring all the fragments of my ‘untraditional’ career path (corporate finance, experience in biz dev and starts ups, leadership) together with my love for health & wellness. It’s been a crazy last 3 years with lots of starts, stops (having a baby will do that!), mini-failures, pivots, but it’s been an amazing ride.

What is one piece of valuable advice you would give someone who wants to get into your field?

For anyone who is just starting to explore entrepreneurship or tech start up, my advice really would be to take your time. In today’s world, there is almost this immediate pressure to make it all happen fast and the reality is that things just don’t happen that quickly (well, maybe they do for some people, but it’s so rare!). It’s been almost 3 years for myMomentum and in many ways, we are only JUST starting. I think growth is absolutely non-linear and there are so many different measures of success. What works for one startup may not work for another. So in addition to taking your time, make sure that you are doing what works for you. A lot of people are going to give you advice, but you need to know what works for you and your team. Timing and a bit of luck are so key.