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Resilience, Tech, Entreprneurship, and Motherhood with Bling Financial CEO Amy Wan

Amy Wan is co-founder and CEO of Bling Financial, a mobile gaming platform that rewards players with Bitcoin. Since 2019, Bling has entertained over ten million players and has been downloaded over 20 million times.

In addition to being a trailblazing entrepreneur, Amy is also a Partner at Sosnow & Associates where she lends her expertise in securities law. In her legal career, she has hosted the American Bar Association’s Law and Blockchain Podcast, worked with start-ups as general counsel, and founded the Legal Hackers LA meetup, which provided programs around the intersection of law and technology.

Some say that having a business is like having a baby. Now that you’ve experienced both, can you confirm for us whether that rings true?

Starting a business is like having a baby in the sense that there is a lot of uncertainty and more attention needed in the beginning. As both begin to grow and mature, the challenges change, but generally, it gets easier and you’re able to step away a bit more without worry.

With respect to a medical or special needs baby, I feel like the job is very similar from an administrative/operational perspective. There are lots of logistics and fighting bureaucracy involved, and with my special needs baby, I often felt like the CEO of her organization. However, I think they’re different in the sense that I intuitively know what I need to do for my kid, whereas sometimes with business, there’s less intuition involved in knowing what the next step should be.

How did your daily routine change after having kids?

With my first child (now four years old), my company was new so I took no maternity leave. I had to become brutally efficient with my time. I was raising money from investors at the time, and instead of spending my entire day meeting and pitching investors, I had to just remind myself each morning of the one call or one thing I REALLY needed to do that day to keep moving forward. Unlike my male co-founder (who is a dad), I did not have time to do the "miracle morning routines" entrepreneurs love to doing (meditation, journaling, etc.) because I was taking care of a baby before and after the nanny worked.

Having my second baby was a very different experience. She was actually born three months premature and was very medically complicated. I was very lucky that my company was stable enough at the time that I ended up taking time off to be in the NICU with my daughter every day for nearly six months. When she was finally discharged, it was really tough to find someone who was willing to take care of her given her medical complications. When we did finally find a nurse, I went back to work and felt like I was juggling two CEO jobs--one as CEO of my company, the second as CEO of my daughter's intense medical and therapy schedule. I would physically go to the office on Mondays and Tuesdays and count on getting as much work done as I could there (it was also my mental reprieve from 24/7 care for her); on Wednesdays-Fridays, I'd work remotely and sit in the back seat of the car making business calls and typing emails while her nurse drove her between doctor and therapy appointments. It was a brutal schedule, but I was determined to show up for both.

What does balance mean to you?

To be perfectly honest, many mompreneurs talk about balance, but the honest truth is that sometimes there is none. Sometimes, it’s about survival until the kids are older. In some situations (as with my daughter who had cerebral palsy), its just about survival.

But, I believe balance is having enough discipline, support, and time to be able to take care of oneself. I do not believe one can run a business well without a good sense of self. My daughter passed two months ago, and I am finding that the best thing I can do for my company right now is a lot of self-care--physically, emotionally, spiritually--to make sure I can show up for my team the way they need.

What tips do you have for balancing home life with your responsibilities as an entrepreneur?

  • Both your business and your babies are your babies, in a sense. But the latter will always be more important than the former as you'll never get the kid years back, so cherish them.

  • The best thing you can do for your business and babies is to know yourself and take care of yourself first. Easier said than done.

  • Form a good circle of support. Whether that be family, friends, a partner, or caregivers--everything is better as a team.

  • Communicate! Be honest and transparent with your team (business partners, team, clients, as appropriate) about your personal situation. It humanizes you and helps them understand where you're coming from to get responsibilities and priorities met.

  • When appropriate, invest in a good business coach!

What do you wish you'd known before embracing your new life as a mompreneur?

I didn't know how much the journey of being an entrepreneur is tied to the journey of self-growth.

How can we do a better job of supporting new moms?

American culture is odd in the sense that it believes that new moms can just get up the next day and everything is back to normal–whereas other cultures prioritize recovery and care for the new mom and baby with a lot of postpartum support. In Taiwanese culture, we have our version of a “doula” who comes and cares for the mom and baby for the first 28 days after birth. They make nourishing soups, sleep with the baby so mom can get rest, etc. It would be helpful if there were more of a culture of this type of support in the U.S.

Aside from that, we need longer maternity leaves (although there may not be such a thing for those who own their own business) and childcare (more of it, and more affordable options).

Any final words of wisdom?