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Elisa Chan: Female Founder Making an Impact

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We recently got the chance to sit down with Elisa Chan. Elisa Chan is the Founder and Managing Director at Enspired+, delivering innovative marketing solutions in Sydney, Australia!

Elisa built her first e-commerce website at the age of 14 and by her early twenties she had successfully started, commercialized and sold her first start-up.


Shortly after finalizing the acquisition of the business, Elisa moved into the start-up sector, and has since worked with over 40 start-ups across the globe.

With over ten years of senior marketing and communications experience across a range of sectors from technology, telecommunications and travel, she relishes marketing in the business-to-business channel, and loves nothing more than driving business innovation in order to deliver results. 

Her specialties include creation and delivery of integrated marketing and communications programs to increase brand awareness, generate leads for sales and contribute to revenue growth.

Passionate about gender diversity in business for women and creating sustainable business eco-systems in developing countries, Elisa has spent time in Africa consulting for USAID, TechnoServe, PATH and the UN World Food Program’s Thrive Project. In 2014 Elisa was one of the first Australians to be named Global Community Champion for Women’s Economic Empowerment for UN Women’s Knowledge Gateway program.

Prior to founding Enspired+, Elisa was Marketing Director for Macquarie Telecom Group’s Cloud Services business and counts Groupon and Orbitz among her former employers. 


Elisa, Thank you for speaking with us today. Can you tell us how did you get started?
My marketing career is almost a side effect of my love of travel.

I grew up on a farm and I used to see planes flying overhead. I used to wish I could be on them so I decided that when I grew up, I would centre my career in travel. When I turned 16, I began to realise that to have a career in the travel industry, you need hands-on experience. I went door to door to each travel agent, hoping someone would take a chance on me as a free work experience student. Finally, I landed an unpaid gig on Saturdays at a travel agency in Chinatown.

At the same time, I spent my free time building websites. I built my uncle’s computer hardware business – an ecommerce website – when I was 14. I eventually realized that I can combine my passion for digital design and marketing and my travel experience. That’s when I launched my first start-up selling cruises online, EseaCruising. My experience eventually led me to a career in the tech space. I was lucky enough to advise a number of tech-startups on their marketing strategy and work as the marketing director of Macquarie Cloud Services, a business of Macquarie Telecom Group.

When did you decide that you wanted to become an entrepreneur?
I don’t know that I ever made a conscious decision to become an entrepreneur. As a child, I was always finding ways to make a little bit of extra pocket change. I still remember the time I sold a typewriter my dad had picked up from a garage sale for $5 to one of my classmates for $35. Mum and Dad didn’t notice the missing typewriter for a few weeks, but when they did, they were pretty pleased I made a 700% profit.

What gave you the courage to start a company?
I don’t know that I would say it was courageous, but an innate drive. I’ve always sought out opportunities. Even when it might seem risky, I’ll give it a try. I’m often asking myself, “What is there to lose?” And the answer is usually, “Not enough to not try this.” It’s that simple.

What is one of your greatest accomplishments to date? Tell us about something that you are most proud of?
In 2013, I took a sabbatical to volunteer in Zambia for TechnoServe on a project to improve the nutritional intake for patients with HIV. While I was working on the project, figuring out the food pyramid and what processed food is nutritional and what is not was a constant struggle. I realized that despite the fact that I was privileged enough to grow up in a first-world country and attend university, the food pyramid was still a difficult metric to use for measuring nutrition on a day-to-day basis.

I suggested a badging program. If certain processed foods met a certain nutritional criteria, they would qualify for a government badge. Instead of scouring ingredient lists, consumers can simply look for a badge and know they were making a healthy choice for themselves.

At first, it never occurred to me that the UN and the Zambian government would actually adopt my concept. But they did! The project is now in its final stages. I can’t wait to return to Zambia and go into a store and see the badge on nutritional food products.

What was one of your most challenging moments and how did you overcome it?
I struggled during my university admissions exam period. I already knew that I was ready to go out into the world and make my mark, but all of my peers had very similar ideas about how to approach education and future careers, which were very different from mine. I knew that unlike becoming a doctor, lawyer, or accountant, my career path didn’t require a degree – only a degree of confidence.

While I was swimming upstream, when I look back at those times, I’m glad I persevered and continued working on projects I am genuinely passionate about and not just following a path because it has led others to success.

Does your family support you in your efforts? How?
Absolutely. Many people have notions about the expectations that Asian parents have for their children, but I have always been an unconventional daughter and baby sister. Even when my family has questioned some of my choices, they’ve always offered me the freedom to do what I wanted to do. When a good friend asked me, “What did you parents do to help you become the person you are?” I said, “They allowed me to do everything.”

Beyond my immediate family, there’s also my better half, Justin. He has played an integral role in supporting me as I transition from a steady, corporate job to my latest start-up venture, Enspired+. He doesn’t shy away from tough love to challenge my thinking and get me out of my comfort zone.

Who are your favorite people and/or role models, both business and personal?
I’ve always turned to those whose business acumen and experience I value to help guide me along the way. I’ve been very blessed with mentors who have supported me like the one who came out of retirement to help me set up my first business. Another challenged me to take a sabbatical and fly to Africa. There’s also a couple of light-hearted ex-colleagues at Macquarie Telecom Group who offered me invaluable advice.

What message would you send to inspire all the other entrepreneurs out there who look up to you?
If you surround yourself with good people, every challenge becomes an opportunity. Listen to the advice of mentors with ample life and business experience, but do not be afraid to follow your own gut instinct. Sometimes you have to swim against the current to find a new, uncharted opportunity. Finally, work with others. If you come at every situation with collaboration in mind, you can usually find a win/win situation.

What do you understand about your industry that other people don’t understand?
Marketing isn’t one skillset – it’s a thousand. From paper and print to digital marketing and social media, there is always something new to learn or to innovate. It can be easy to underestimate how much is involved. Often people think they can hire one person for all of their marketing, but for most businesses, a comprehensive marketing plan is so detailed, it will require a team to execute.

What’s next for you in your career/business?
I am turning my full attention to my latest business venture, Enspired+. It is an integrated marketing agency that offers innovative solutions designed to achieve results on a pay-as-you-go basis. It’s the perfect fit for companies of all sizes that can’t afford a full-time in-house marketing team or want to supplement their team for big marketing campaigns. I’ve loved every moment of working with and meeting people from all walks of life.

What does Disrupt mean to you?
It’s taking a chance and doing something no one else has ever done before. When you can look at how things are done and ask, “Can this be done differently? Can this be done better?” That’s where you find innovation.

Connect with Elisa Chan on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/elisachan/

Anthony Delgado (born February 6, 1986) is an American software developer and internet entrepreneur widely known as a professional hacker in the developer community. Anthony Delgado has won numerous hackathons sponsored by Fortune 500 tech companies like Google, IBM, Intel, Facebook and Microsoft and hosted by organizations including Rutgers University, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, the AT&T Developer Summit in New York City.

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Editorial

Kevin Sacchi – The Young Social Media Superstar

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Kevin Sacchi

Born in 1999, in the city of Crema in Italy, Kevin Sacchi has attained success faster than many of his contemporary counterparts. From being bullied as a child to being awarded the Italian Martial Artist in the year 2015, he has come a long way in overcoming his fears, fighting back and making an impact. He was always fascinated by the crazy world of entertainment and as a result, he worked as a stuntman in many movies. That bought him closer to understand the industry and soon he decided to become a brand himself. He began by opening accounts on Instagram, 21. Buttons and Triller and started posting his pics and in no time he was a social media sensation. Followed by more than 1.1 million fans worldwide he is loved and revered by his fans.

Kevin Sacchi – The Little Steps to Success

Born to Italian parents, Enrico Sacchi and Barbara Dondoni, Kevin belongs to a simple family with basic Italian principles. He has a younger sibling named Derek Sacchi. His parents are freelancers and that his how perhaps the idea of doing things by himself to make money was not too alien to him. His computer science degree helped him with the required knowledge to set him up professionally in the social networking space and his Informatics School lessons helped him to learn his basic lessons in digital marketing. He initially set up his YouTube channel and posted some videos which he had to archive owing to some reasons better known to him.

But he never quit trying and he rose to instant fame when he embraced the fantastic world of the social network. He became very popular and was soon placed amongst the top few Influencers in the country. Along with his fan base on Instagram, he gained a lot of fans on other platforms such as 21. Buttons and Triller. Owing to his massive success and popularity, Triller declared him as the official ambassador for Triller in Italy. Currently, he is, in fact, one of the high ranking Triller users worldwide. His glaring and immense popularity is only increasing every day.

Kevin Sacchi

Kevin Sacchi – The Commendable Work

Kevin is currently engaged in a lot of projects involving brand and social media management. His popularity makes him one of the most in-demand brand influencers and managers in Italy. His current projects involve managing the branding and image of several big companies, brands, restaurants, shops, etc. His meticulous way of planning and proven resourcefulness makes him one of the best in the business. Apart from this, he has been involved in projects with renowned brands such as Adidas, Nike, Rolex, and Supreme and the list is unending. With every passing day, his scope and areas of work are only getting bigger and better.

Kevin Sacchi – Outstanding Accomplishments

You are never too old to find success. Kevin’s success story proves that you are never too young either. With many feathers to his cap, he has achieved quite a lot for a boy of his age. Kevin had learned and mastered martial arts and was named “The Italian Martial Artist” for the year 2015. He has been constantly working hard with his clients being involved in various projects and finally, the real ones came through this year, i.e. in the year 2019. He was conferred with “The Best Italian Social Media Manager” award for his exemplary and impeccable social media management record. One unique and the first of its kind award to his name that he received this year is “The first INKFLUENCER in the World” award. 

Apart from all that he has appeared in many publications which included the Italian magazine Panini. He has made a couple of YouTube videos to his credit that was directed by Fabio Rovazzi. His best accomplishment is the fact that despite being involved with so much work he still finds time to come on social media and be amidst his fans. 

But for Kevin, given his perseverance and hard work, this is just the beginning of a massive success story in the making. 

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Achieving Success And Overcoming Obstacles In The Modern Entrepreneurial Industry; The Rio Osorio Way!

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As Entrepreneurs, we face obstacles and setbacks that seem impossible to overcome. The good thing about this is that each time, we often come out better off in the end than we were at the start. Yes, I won’t lie. Entrepreneurship is totally different from what society portrays. 

Every day, entrepreneurs are subjugated by their fears, inconsistencies, and losses; but what most individuals tend to forget is that failure is the condiment of their success. 

Amongst these entrepreneurs is brand strategist Rio Osorio. Widely Known as The Hustle Mentor, Rio is an entrepreneur who’s risen above his failures by putting in outrageous amounts of hard work to perfect his craft, and building long-lasting relationships with partners by providing more value than he receives. 

Some time ago, I had the opportunity to discuss entrepreneurship with Rio; he reveals the principles he applied to attain his level of success. These principles transformed his life and can change yours too.

Principles of Business Success

1.Loyalty

Loyalty is something that’s lacking in the entrepreneurial society today. Rio explains that a lot of entrepreneurs chase cheques, are selfish and don’t bother about the end goals of their clients.

Most successful businesses today are obsessed with making sure their customers achieve their goals. Essentially, they put the customer first before any other thing! This is a mantra that shouldn’t be overlooked when running a business.

2.Continuous learning 

They say that the average CEO reads a total of 54 books every year. This habit might seem overkill, but I guarantee you it’s not. Business owners have to observe this habit to flow with current industry trends.

Staying conscious of what’s happening in the corporate world is crucial to running a thriving business and setting the standard for excellence in your field.

Continuous learning, as some might call it, has given Rio a competitive edge in business, and he shares that this is one of the key factors contributing to his success in business.

3. Mentorship

Starting a business is a daunting task for many. You’ll face opposition from loved ones, pressure from the competition, time restraints, and a host of other obstacles.

At the start of his entrepreneurial journey, Rio faced most of these challenges. He overcame them by seeking out mentors who guided him through every one of those problems. 

Not only is this an easier alternative to figuring things out yourself, but it’s also a way to shorten the path to success.  Don’t get me wrong, the road to success is treacherous, but having the right people to hold your hand can make the journey less challenging.

Try not to be the smartest person in the room- Michael Dell of Dell Technologies.

Handling the Stress of Being an Entrepreneur

1.Disconnect

There are some days when we feel like our world is coming down on us, and for those of us whose businesses operate mostly online, the effect of this is triple-fold.

The endless messages from clients, problems sprouting from every corner, and the need to over-deliver can be overwhelming. When you notice your stress levels picking up, Rio recommends you take some time off work; you could call it a work detox. 

Start by switching off your phone and any other device that might bring in disturbances from clients and team members. This will significantly reduce your stress levels, and in a day or two, you would be back to your healthy self.

2.Friends and family

Mental health is another overlooked aspect of entrepreneurship. We often engross ourselves with work and forget that human beings are social animals; we can’t stay alone forever. 

Rio shares with us that spending time with our loved ones is also a great way to disconnect from all the noise. Little things like hanging out with friends, going to a baseball game, or even watching a movie can mean the difference between you having a mental breaking or building a successful business.

Facing Fears

Uncertainty is a common trait all entrepreneurs possess. We see ourselves asking questions like, ” What if the client doesn’t accept my offer?”Are my services not good enough? Should I fire this team member? Will I break even this quarter?

The questions are endless, and we often find ourselves getting caught up in answering them. This uncertainty is the primary reason most individuals don’t venture into entrepreneurship. 

Why would you leave a secure job to start a business you’re not sure would see the light of day? After years of being in the business, Rio affirms that there is nothing as rewarding as being an entrepreneur. 

Yes! The tasks at hand might seem impossible, and your efforts might look silly, but if you’re willing to put in an ample amount of work and provide enough value to your clients, you’ll uncover an endless stream of income no 9-5 job can guarantee.

At the end of our discussion, Rio spoke about the chances he didn’t take when he was younger; he shared a few words of advice to anyone who’s just starting their journey.

This is what he said;

Entrepreneurship requires you to do things that would make you feel uncomfortable. You’ll have to learn to leave your comfort zone.

I understand your fears, but you have to realize that you’ll miss every shot you don’t take. So instead of sitting and whining about the opportunities you missed, I suggest you do it scared, deal with the fear and go for it! 

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Achieving Success As a Student Entrepreneur, The Robert Carpenter Way.

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Robert Carpenter is a San Diego State University senior who’s set his sights on transforming the online educational system.

In this article, Robert shares insight on how he’s overcome obstacles, handled stress and sparked motivation for his cause.

Overcoming Obstacles.

Students are put in a lot of stressful conditions – tests, project deadlines, and lots of late nights. Most of these obstacles can cause a student to give up along the way.

Robert faces these problems too, and he’s come up with a few ways to help you out with them.

The first would be seeking help. Look for students who are more conversant with a subject than you are and provide value to them. Help them out with school work, work with them on projects, and make friends with them.

Eventually, they will help you out with whatever challenges your facing in a particular course or subject. 

The second thing Robert recommends is adequate planning. If you draw up plans to achieve your goals, they’ll be much easier to accomplish. 

With this in mind, you can section your day, for example, early mornings will be for self-development, the day will be for schoolwork, and the evenings will be for study.

Robert uses this technique and has achieved great success with them. He’s more focused and gets his work done faster.

Avoiding burnout & Sparking Motivation

Burnout is something all students go through. Burnout is a state of physical and mental fatigue caused by presenting our bodies with too much workload. 

Seldomly, Robert experiences burnout. When he does experience it, he takes a long break and uses that time to reflect on his goals in life. This helps puts things into perspective and gives him a sudden burst of motivation to complete whatever task he set out to do.

Grooming Successful habits

What’s the one thing that most successful people do? They improve themselves in various aspects of their lives. 

According to Robert, students who are striving for success should take self-development seriously. Every day, Robert ensures that he spends at least 3 hours, perfecting his math skills. 

Robert explains that consistency is critical, take, for example, someone who wants to run a marathon. A single day at the tracks won’t increase his or her stamina. Actual transformations come from multiple days, weeks, or months of hard work, consistency, and training. 

The same can be said for students, if you spend time on perfecting your craft, you’re guaranteed success.

In recent times, Robert plans to launch his education platform with his fellow teammates and transform the current online learning platform. 

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The Disrupt Podcast tells the stories of the world top entrepreneurs, developers, creators, and digital marketers and help empower them to teach others the skills they used to grow their careers, chase their passions and create financial freedom for themselves, their families, and their lives, all while living out their true purpose. We recognize the fact that most young people are opting to skip college in exchange for entrepreneurship and real life experience. This Podcast is designed to give them a taste of that.

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