Amy Wan is an attorney and founder of Bootstrap Legal, a legal fintech startup. Today, Amy will share how she discovered her big why and changed her mindset to move forward as an entrepreneur.
Successes at a glance:
- Crowdfunding attorney, speaker, Fintech entrepreneur
- Founder, Bootstrap Legal
Amy’s big why:
- Amy is an attorney by training but oddly enough, what led her to law school is far removed from what she is doing today. Amy initially wanted to practice human rights law. As Amy shares, her big why has always been to help people. Along the way, her career took a lot of twists and turns. Amy went from protesting big banks to practicing securities and corporate law; realizing that to make a difference she needed to be involved in an area that crossed borders: money. Eventually, Amy’s career took her into crowdfunding, which she saw as a modern way to democratize access to capital. Interestingly, her initial interest in human rights has come full circle as she is now helping small companies get access to funding and seed capital. Moreover, Amy’s work with Bootstrap Legal is helping startup companies get access to affordable legal representation by streamlining the workflow processes and leveraging technology, thus reducing overall industry costs.
Setback failure or time when things fell apart:
- For Amy, the hardest part was the beginning of the entrepreneurial journey: going from 0 to 1. Amy not only saw a “huge mountain” but wasn’t sure how to start climbing it. So Amy got a “sherpa,” or more specifically, a business coach to help her as she built her business. However, before they could start the proverbial climb, they had to get the right equipment, so to speak. Amy shares that she had a lot of hangups and mental attitudes that were holding her back. One of these blockages was seeing an insurountable mountain rather than a step-by-step climb.
The “aha” moment that sparked a pivot:
- Amy worked with a business coach to help her overcome her doubts, including ones she had related to the basic question of “can I do this?” Amy shares that when she spoke with a potential investor, she went in thinking “you shouldn’t invest in me.” Amy had to rewrite this bad programming language to get over the 0-1 hump. The lightbulb wasn’t one big revelation but a series of incremental steps. Once Amy was able to reframe her perspective, that’s when she started to see changes that caused her to move forward. Like a physics equation, Amy made the pivots that acted as the fulcrum to unleash the momentum on everything from funding to product delivery.
- Resource or cultural experience that inspired Amy to move forward:
- The 2016 Presidential Election. Prior to seeing Hillary Clinton become the Democratic nominee, Amy did not know that women could do whatever they wanted. She had a limiting belief which as you saw earlier, impacted her ability to move forward. The Saturday or Sunday before the election, Amy called her dad and started crying. Growing up as the daughter of Chinese immigrants, there was an understanding that women could only do certain things, so the idea of a woman come that close to becoming president just blew her mind.
- Favorite app/website/resource or productivity hack:
- How Amy recharges when facing a roadblock or challenge:
- Take a couple days off and do the things you love. For Amy, it’s dancing and food. For Amy, she enjoys going out for a nice dinner with her husband and hitting the local salsa clubs.
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Advice to past self while going thru a difficult time:
- “Just be yourself.”
Parting wisdom (in a few words):
- “The hardest part of any journey is just getting started and if you just get past that initial inertia, everything is so much easier from then on.”