Chenny Xia, CEO & Co-Founder, Gotcare
When design matches your determination
Words of wisdom: Think of your impact as ripples, which means that there is an impact you can track, and there is an impact that you can’t track. Instead of being obsessive about the impact you are making, focus on bringing your best self in your interactions because you have no idea of the impact you are making.
Industry: Health care
Interview with Chenny Xia , CEO & Co-founder, Gotcare, Canada
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Interview with Chenny Xia , CEO & Co-founder, Gotcare; CanadaChenny Xia is an experience designer, technologist, and serial entrepreneur. She's played a leadership role at multiple design consultancies for over a decade before deciding to focus on one big, hairy challenge: creating a more equitable healthcare system through decolonization. Previously, she's worked with the Canadian Armed Forces, Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital, and Reliance Communications. Today, she uses her skills in service design, product management, and stakeholder facilitation to transform how home health is delivered across Canada. Her current venture, Gotcare, scaled to become a business generating 7-digit revenue within its first year of launch. Her projects have received numerous international awards, including Best of CES and the Consumer Electronics Association Innovation Award. Chenny has also been awarded funding from SheEO and has been named one of Canada’s Next 36 Leaders.
United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal(s) addressed:
#3. Good Health and Well-being, #8. Decent Work and Economic Growth, #10. Reduced Inequalities
Gotcare is a health tech company transforming how home care is delivered. Due to factors like COVID-19 and our ageing population, there is a global home care crisis. We have patients on waitlists that can take weeks or months-long for assistance. And care workers who can’t make ends meet. Taking care of our elderly and people with disabilities should not be a minimum wage job. At Gotcare, our patentable technology allows us to reduce the cost of care delivery by about 30%. This allows us to redirect those savings to pay our care workers a real living wage. By lifting the value we place on care work, we raise the quality and consistency of care delivery for everyone.
Interview with Chenny Xia, Co-Founder, Gotcare; Canada
Note: This interview is transcribed using AI software, which means, the transcription is not perfect. Watch the video or listen to the podcast to hear our guest’s wisdom in her own words. If you want to see more interviews like this, please comment below!
[00:00:00] Suzanne F. Stevens: Welcome. Welcome. Welcome to wisdom exchange, TV and podcast, where we interview women leaders internationally who have a social impact in their communities and beyond I’m standing up Steven’s conscious leadership, cultivator and social contribution amplifier. I’m also the founder of Umi. We social impact.
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CEO and co-founder of God care. Jenny is an experienced designer, technologist and serial entrepreneur, a woman after my own heart, she’s played a leadership role at multiple design consultancies for over a decade before deciding to focus on one big hairy challenge. And boy, it is in the healthcare business, creating a more equitable healthcare system through decolonization coming you to me.
From Toronto, Canada, my own, my old, old hometown actually welcome, Chenny. It’s great to have you here with us today.
[00:01:48] Chenny Xia WETV interview-1: Thanks Suzanne. Great to be here
[00:01:50] Suzanne F. Stevens: Let’s just dive right in. What was the catalyst for you to start? God cares.
[00:01:57] Chenny Xia WETV interview-1: Yeah, Little unconventional startup story. [00:02:00] So, one of my last few days as a consultant, one of my last projects, I worked on an innovation initiative that was a part of a consortium of three of Canada’s largest home health companies. And they wanted to build an alternative revenue model that was less government focus. And so we started this year plus R and D journey. Um, all to discover that the weight of status quo within these organizations were just too heavy for anything to truly sustainably exist.
We basically gracefully fired ourselves. But at that time point we ended up by we, I mean, my me and my co-founders that’s how we met. And at that point, you know, we, as consultants decided, wow, what are you doing here? This is not good for anyone. Um, so he gracefully fired ourselves and got permission to continue doing the thing.
And actually, some of the executives that we were working with at the time became some of our angel investors. So. [00:03:00]
[00:03:00] Suzanne F. Stevens: Fabulous. Now the beneficiaries of your services are the elderly and people with disabilities, correct?
[00:03:06] Chenny Xia WETV interview-1: Yeah. So we service a wide breadth of people. So we support people who are elderly, people who have long-term disabilities.
And also we support children. Special needs as well. So it’s really a mixed bag. We also support people who are recovering from instance or in some cases, surgery as well. So it’s really about anyone who has a longer term home care need.
[00:03:30] Suzanne F. Stevens: So is there any connection to those beneficiaries or did you see it as a business opportunity or a gap in society that just needed filling?
[00:03:40] Chenny Xia WETV interview-1: Yeah. So first of all, home care has been done the same way. Gosh, probably a hundred years, largely as a delivery. And from a delivery standpoint, it has largely stayed the same. There’s been innovation in terms of software for operations. But in terms of how care is delivered has been the same. And [00:04:00] so that’s what we wanted to disrupt and transform.
If you look under the rocks in terms of, what’s going on with home care. And why some of the inequities exist that were particularly highlighted through COVID. As an example, you have people who were waiting for care for multiple days who had dependencies for things like toileting.
Um, you’ve also had home care workers who were, uh, living in shelters because they couldn’t financially sustainably put food on the table. And so really, you know, home care overall has been due for a little bit of an overhaul. Um, and so what we quickly learned is that actually the core reason why home care is in the mess that it is now in our opinion is because home care workers don’t make a living wage.
Yeah for your listeners, if you aren’t familiar with home care, it looks like it looks like dressing, medication [00:05:00] support, taking patients to, and from their medical appointments. And typically people need home care because something bad happened, right? Like their dementia is getting a lot worse or they had a stroke or something like that.
Taking care of folks like this as a minimum wage job at 17, $18 an hour, $19 an hour, it’s just simply easier to work at places. A greeter at Walmart or a Starbucks drive through window. And so because of that, we, we have currently about 40% turn. And in terms of this, this, um, really valuable frontline supply.
And so one of the immediate things we wanted to change we asked ourselves, you know, what would it look like if we redesigned home care so that the people on the front lines could actually make a living wage? The data shows, but it’s also kind of common sense that if you can stabilize the people who provide that care, the quality of care increases as well, it leads to increase consistency.
Um, and it also attracts more workers into the sector. [00:06:00] Um, so in terms of how that translates to the person receiving care, um, it means that you know, as a result of offering a living wage, we’ve had over 15,000 home care workers registered to want to work with us. And it means that for the clients and patients that we work with, um, we’re able to match them to care in their local community.
And I know Suzanne, I don’t need to tell you how much he matters, you know, like, uh, easy comparable with be, you know, let’s say you’re looking for childcare and your nanny lives 20 kilometers. Like, how’s that going to work? There’s not different. Um, you really need to keep it within the community, um, in order for it to be a good experience.
[00:06:38] Suzanne F. Stevens: Yeah, and it’s such a powerful thing and it makes so much sense. You know, it’s interesting that even talking to organizations that have nothing to do with health care, but food services, for example, when they raised in, in many of the provinces, the minimum wage, they said, what we’re getting is better service because it, to your point, it’s [00:07:00] drawing a higher caliber person that sees it as a career.
Not just as a, as a job. So in general, that seems to be, something that it does really get people to realize, Hey, this is something I can do for longterm. So it begs the question that I know you have, the answer is how are you able to pay them a living wage? How does your model allow for that to happen?
[00:07:26] Chenny Xia WETV interview-1: We have introduced a. Like through our technology. Um, for example, we have a matching algorithm that matches, um, families to, to care workers and through our technology, we’re able to reduce the cost of care delivery by about 30%. And so it’s one of those things where, you know, you reduce that cost like 30% you can choose.
Talk about that, or you can choose to pay people, a living wage. The other perspective that I think is important is that, well with that turn in the industry comes a lot of administration. And [00:08:00] so actually, if you can stabilize this workforce and have long-term relationships between the person receiving care and the care provider, it actually reduces your administrative overhead as well.
One of those things. Doing good. Well, just works out. Um, but it comes from, I think, where, where we get stuck is when we get into scarcity mindset, right? When we believe that there isn’t enough on the table. And I feel that these last few years through golf care has taught me is that’s not that there isn’t enough it’s that our resources are just poorly district.
[00:08:37] Suzanne F. Stevens: Yeah, I would agree with that.
[00:08:39] Chenny Xia WETV interview-1: So it is sponsored by make your contribution count for you. Me, we, a book written by Suzanne F Stevens. It’s time to act. Let this book be your guide to having a sustainable social impact while living your most meaningful life. Thanks for listening. Now, back to our
[00:08:54] Suzanne F. Stevens: show, obviously you need to get the benefits that you spoke about, [00:09:00] particularly from the administrative side because there’s less turnover you’re retaining.
Your staff longer. Would that be the case then
[00:09:08] Chenny Xia WETV interview-1: if you’re, if you’re only making 17, 18, $19 an hour and you know, you’re toileting people and showering people and use inquire lists, like there are some people who will choose to do it anyway, because it’s their calling and they, they feel that this is the work that we’re called to do, but for the vast majority of others, you know, It’s like, oh, well I’m doing this because I need to do something.
And so yeah, if you have someone who leaves, it becomes this huge kind of Tetris kind of thing where you’re trying to figure out, okay, well, how can I rejig all of the, everything that’s going on to change that. And then, so we, we don’t do any of that because what we do instead is we power the frontline worker.
So as an example, one of the things that happens in home care, Is scheduling. Right? And so scheduling as a whole [00:10:00] role, um, it’s called care coordination. And what we’re saying is that it’s not that care coordination isn’t necessary. It’s not that aspect of scale can be done through technology. We don’t need someone to do that.
Scheduling though, as an example, what we do instead is our families can text message their frontline workers to coordinate the time. And we just have some fancy API. Um, that then can also say, okay, well then let’s validate that time. And we use things like GPS and also geo-fencing to confirm that they were there where they say they were.
So instead of trying to manage this like monster schedule, all we’re doing instead is just managing the care. So it’s really just through interventions like this. Um, we’re again, we’re saying, okay, well how, how can we make it work? The living wage part is a given. So given that what are some ways we can make that.
[00:10:52] Suzanne F. Stevens: So you have 107, I believe a hundred, 507 part-time employees. So part-time how many hours a week [00:11:00] would they work?
[00:11:01] Chenny Xia WETV interview-1: Yeah, so it ranges everything from 10 hours a week to 30 hours. So, and
[00:11:08] Suzanne F. Stevens: yet you run the entire business. There are seven of you that run the business, the technology, the manage the business then, but what steps did you take to start the social initiative?
[00:11:21] Chenny Xia WETV interview-1: started with fancy spreadsheets. I’m a firm believer in the agile practice, meaning. Take it step-by-step and don’t build everything at the same time. Um, so yeah, so we literally started the business by using preexistent technology and some fancy Excel scripts really, um, to get, to get to about $500,000 a year.
So. Still that point. That’s basically how we ran things. And then we started building our own pieces, um, including our patentable algorithms and things like that, as well as we started to scale and grow. Um, and the nice thing about that is that at that [00:12:00] point we could make decisions based on data versus assumptions.
So for example, in terms of our matching algorithm, it’s based on over 20,000 care appointments, um, as opposed to our hunch as to what that was.
[00:12:12] Suzanne F. Stevens: Far as starting Nick, did you do any community assessment prior to launching this initiative? Be it speak with healthcare workers, uh, as employees, and then, of course, the client and customer themselves.
[00:12:27] Chenny Xia WETV interview-1: Yeah. So like I mentioned, we had a whole R and D um, process that we’ve gone through before and yeah, and really in terms of it was through. Uh, stakeholder co-creation. So I’m not sure if you’ve heard of design co-creation before, but essentially what it is is you’re running a series of workshops that you’re designing and they’re based on insights from Quanta and qualitative data as well.
Um, where you’re asking folks to, okay, well, here are the, here are the parts and here are the components and what can we build together by having all of the voices in the room? [00:13:00] They start to build empathy with each other as a part of that process. What comes out of that isn’t necessarily the thing that you end up building, but what comes out of it is it helps you reduce the gap between what people say and what people do.
And so you can start to, uh, shape in terms of what that helpful idea looks like.
[00:13:18] Suzanne F. Stevens: Okay. Which is great collaboration for sure. How do you connect and engage with your customers? How do you get them? How do you keep them?
[00:13:28] Chenny Xia WETV interview-1: Yeah. So we’re B2B, not B to C. So we actually work with case managers who’ve managed a client or a patient caseload call ourselves like the janitor.
Of the healthcare system, when some case manager comes to us, it’s typically because they have had a file. That’s been sitting on their desk for weeks and they can’t find anyone else to fulfill it. So, as an example, just a couple months ago, it’s one of my, my favorite Dr. Magic stories. We had a referral or an indigenous woman, 16 years old, she lived on Rez.
[00:14:00] She had a spinal cord injury, like classic, impossible to fulfill. Just classically difficult. Any provider, it’d be like, oh my gosh, it’s so much work to fulfill. And so we received that referral at 9:00 AM and that very afternoon, our system was able to find someone who was also indigenous, who lived five minutes away and was already trained in spinal injury care.
And for me, that’s just. That magic looks like and why folks end up coming to us. So even though initially they come to us because they have this impossible to fulfill file over time. What they, what the reason why people come to us is because we’re actually able to deliver on incredibly personalized care.
You know, things like language, cultural, understanding, all of those things that are considered nice to has in the system. We consider them, you know, should have.
[00:14:54] Suzanne F. Stevens: That’s absolutely brilliant. People need, want to connect with their own calls and it [00:15:00] makes them feel more trusted and more connected and understood, particularly from the language standpoint where, you know, you may not have that same sort of rapport with someone different than yourself.
So that I see is such a huge offer that you bring to the table. And I didn’t realize it was, it is B to B rather than B to C. Yeah. That’s. Quite interesting as well. And does that mean that you work, uh, work across Canada?
[00:15:26] Chenny Xia WETV interview-1: That’s right. Yep. Primarily our operations is in Ontario at this moment. We are also currently active in BC, Alberta, um, Nova Scotia.
Uh, and I believe Newfoundland recently as well. So we’re expanding quickly, you know, you’re expanding
[00:15:42] Suzanne F. Stevens: quickly, but this sounds like an opportunity to become cool. Big in the sense of if you’re paying that fair wage, you’re not paying a lot on admin or because as we discussed, you’re soliciting [00:16:00] people that are connecting far as language goes, as far as need goes big.
Do you think you can become?
[00:16:06] Chenny Xia WETV interview-1: Yeah. So our future in terms of what we’re building is what we’re calling here. And it’s exactly what it sounds like. So our network right now is about 15,000 care workers. It’s grown, it’s gone growing very quickly. We anticipate by next summer, it’s going to be about 30,000.
And what we want to do is we want to offer case managers a way to connect. Families who don’t have access to a funded care option. So let’s say, you know, they don’t have an insurance benefit as an example that they can leverage. Um, we want to be able to offer them a way to purchase care at costs. And for us, that means, you know, let’s say you’re paying that frontline care worker, $25 an hour.
So that means you pay $25 an hour, plus a 5% transaction fee, which covers things like payment processing liability and everything else. So we’re, you know, [00:17:00] where credible impact-driven organization. And we believe I’m providing Canadians to start a, uh, option to formally purchase care, um, instead of going, you know, under the table or paying cash because they have no other options, but actually, you know, legally having an affordable option to care is something that we need, especially given the ageing population crisis that we’re already in.
[00:17:23] Suzanne F. Stevens: Yeah, sure. Now, when I introduced you, I used your words a more equitable healthcare system. So I think we’ve got the understanding of that through decolonization. Let’s talk about that. That a
[00:17:42] Chenny Xia WETV interview-1: a lot of our healthcare system is, prescription based, right? It’s this is what’s happening. You mean. And that works in some instances, like for example, you know, you have a particular illness that requires a particular medication.
Great, [00:18:00] but ageing is not an illness. Having a disability is not an illness. So it doesn’t really quite work in those instances. And we can’t treat it as such, you know, quality of care for us is really as defined by the person receiving it. And so. If you let’s say you are, um, you only speak Italian and you need someone to support you if bathing, um, if for you, the bare minimum means being able to converse with that person who is, who speaks that language, the only language you speak and is the same gender as you.
If that’s what you believe is your, your, your minimum. Then we honor that. We don’t just send it. Someone to do it because it needs to be done. And we work with the family to find, in some cases, in case there’s a delay, as an example, to find that person, we work with the family to be able to figure out a [00:19:00] solution in the meantime until we can establish that care for us.
It’s, it’s, it’s more of a quality defined by the person receiving it, as opposed to this patronizing, um, you know, this is what’s best for you. Right? Thanks for that.
[00:19:15] Suzanne F. Stevens: So, The biggest misstep you made and how did you address it while you were setting up your business?
[00:19:24] Chenny Xia WETV interview-1: I think, yes. A lot of it was assuming that someone else must have
[00:19:28] Suzanne F. Stevens: already figured out how to do this.
[00:19:31] Chenny Xia WETV interview-1: There were a lot of assumptions that we made in healthcare. There’s a lot of players. It’s a very complex ecosystem, especially once you get into the funding side of things, it’s incredibly complex and, and yeah. And what you slowly start to realize is that, oh my gosh, we’re already. Far exceeded the capacity that this system is designed for.
And so I think that the faster we, we, it took us a little while to realize that, so we were, we were really wrestling and I figured out, you [00:20:00] know, how we can, how we can work with, um, you know, sort of some of the more lack of better word legacy systems, right. And what we realized was that actually, no, we don’t need it to be this complicated.
We can deeply simplify the quicker. We were able to make those decisions. Um, the faster it saved us a lot,
[00:20:22] Suzanne F. Stevens: you know, being a social enterprise. What advice would you give someone who wants to pursue that path? For
[00:20:29] Chenny Xia WETV interview-1: me? The reason why I like social enterprise ventures is it’s low, but our best of both worlds, it’s important to be able to balance.
And profit. And what that means for me is, you know, you need to make sure that you have a financial model behind your impact model. Um, that is sound and can scale and can be self-sufficient. And can, you can use that profit to continue to grow the business. Doesn’t mean to say that you need to provide a 20 X return for your [00:21:00] investors, which is the standard.
Venture formula, but you can provide a very healthy and sustainable four to five times return for your investors. It also means that you need to be able to measure that impact at the same time. So having a really clear theory of change in terms of, you know, what are the key indicators. That demonstrates that you are making that change and also being really clear as to what that change even looks like.
I think sometimes we get really broad with the change we want to make. Like, we’re like, oh, we want to disrupt this space. Um, but actually getting very excited about that change. And so for us, it’s our core change is around paying care workers, living wage. Our secondary change mandate is around empowering people to be able to make their own decisions around care.
So we were very explicit. And so how we measure that is. How much they’re getting paid and how much that changes retention. And then we also measure things on the family side, like how much they self-report, that they feel a stronger sense of ownership and control having as a result of using our service.
So being really [00:22:00] crystal clear about what it is that you want to change and how you’re going to measure that measure, that change is going to help you. It’s gotten to a point where now every single system is too complicated to focus on the whole thing, you know, at the very beginning. Um, so yeah, being very clear,
[00:22:16] Suzanne F. Stevens: excellent advice, you know, the theory of change and I was going to ask you, so thanks for sharing some examples of what that looks like for people.
So with that, what advice would you provide to ensure that whatever you contribute has a conscious impact on the beneficiary, meaning the intended impact of positive impact. Hurt them, but actually helps them. Do you have any insight into that
[00:22:38] Chenny Xia WETV interview-1: stories? It’s just stories, ask for stories all the time, because it helps you in your business.
Anyway. It helps you. You know, iterating on your product, helps you with selling your product.
[00:22:50] Suzanne F. Stevens: I want to focus a little bit more on the sustainability part. You know, healthcare has been a central focus during the pandemic and in particular homes for the [00:23:00] elderly has been a huge issue, especially in Ontario.
How has your business structure met the needs of customers and the beneficiary to ensure they stay healthy? I don’t want to say we’re going to have another pandemic, but we’re not out of this one right now. So what sort of structures do you have in place to make sure people feel
[00:23:17] Chenny Xia WETV interview-1: safe first and foremost, it’s about ensuring that, everyone is on the same page.
So. If a family has a particular COVID protocol that they would like to, to have in the home above and beyond your standard protocols, like masks and hand hygiene and things like that. But let’s say for example, they want that person to also change their clothes at the door before they come. Fine. Great.
Let’s make sure we find you someone who’s comfortable with that. If they’re not comfortable, that it’s not a good fit for you. And if you’re not comfortable with someone who comes in and doesn’t do that, then it’s just going to create increased stress, for you as well as the family. So it’s just getting really clear about what [00:24:00] that comfort looks like and establishing really open communication throughout the process.
So for example, we do things like screening at every single appointment before every single appointment and all of yours. Generic safety protocols, but, but what makes the biggest difference, um, is when we’re constantly in touch with each other about how we’re protecting each other, um, as well, really about having that clear pathway of communication.
Um, and then also it’s about reducing the number of people who are going through that home. So for example, if you’re able to consistently have the same person going through the home, then you just have fewer contacts that you need to worry about overall. Um, and I think that goes back. Okay. Again, the whole living wage piece around, you know, the, the more stability you can bring to the sector, just also the fewer people you’ll need to go through in order to find a regular care worker.
[00:24:53] Suzanne F. Stevens: Yeah. It makes complete sense. Now, what would you say would be sort of the three most important initiatives to [00:25:00] make your social impact? Sustainable?
[00:25:04] Chenny Xia WETV interview-1: I think for us, one is. Are we able to sustainably grow without reliance on things like grants and external funding? Are we able to sustainably grow even at a conservative pace?
That’s fine because as long as long as you. Have that it’s, it’s sort of, it’s really empowering because then, and then everything else is just expediting what you’re doing. Um, and it’s not to keep the lights on. And I think it’s, for us, that was a huge moment of transition where it changed how we showed up to meetings, whether it was with potential customers or with funders or whatever the relationship.
Yelling, like you’re really in the driver’s seat of your own organization and having that, um, knowing that, you know, [00:26:00] worst case scenario, you’re going to be able to, to sit to scale at a slower pace, but still sustainably was a huge game changer for us. Um, so I feel like that that was a really important.
Um, the second thing is just making sure you have a really diverse team. So for example, my two co-founders don’t look like me. Um, they’re actually in their mid to late fifties, uh, one is deep experience and network and the insurance sector, which is one of our key funders of care. And then the other used to assess care in terms of assessing the quantum and the need for care for people.
And so just having, and then of course me. Attack tourism here. And so having a really diverse team where you’re all coming in with some level of expertise and knowledge of something that is complementary to each other has also been incredibly game-changing for us as well. And then the last thing I would say is, you know, when you’re, especially if you’re considering bringing on, um, early days, right, when you’re looking at your first investors to bring [00:27:00] on behavior, Very very careful with who you choose, being sure that people are in it for the right reasons and that they fundamentally want to see these, the same change that you do even over profit.
[00:27:14] Suzanne F. Stevens: Yeah. And I’m really glad you said that kind of leads to my next thought of what are the two biggest challenges and hurdles that you’ve had to overcome and not knowing if that was the case, but I can see if the funder is not aligned. What you’re trying to achieve can really pull away from your mission and all of a sudden you have no money.
So what would be a couple of challenges that hurdles to sustaining your social impact to had to overcome
[00:27:45] Chenny Xia WETV interview-1: being really rave about what it is that we do? I, okay. So eight months ago I was very nervous about using words like a living wage. [00:28:00] Just very nervous about it because in my head I’m like, what kind of capitalists wants to hear that word?
Like really? Is that a thing that people want to hear? So I, I, instead we use words like a marketplace, like care marketplace, and just other words that people are more comfortable, familiar, feel, whatever that elicits for them. Right. Like, and what that ended up doing. And meant that we were talking to the wrong people.
So, so the quicker we were able to just embrace who we are and use the language that we want to use and attract people that are like, oh my gosh, yes. That language resonates with me. Like words like decolonization, like just instead of being hiding, um, through something that feels safer, just being really clear about what it is that you’re doing is saved so much.
So a shame.
[00:28:58] Suzanne F. Stevens: I love that. I love that. [00:29:00] You’re saying that for so many reasons, because I have some creative language of my own that I use, like conscious contributions, for example, if they’re not usually paired together, but consciousness is such a, I’ve been talking about it for the last five years and it’s so important.
And you know, sometimes I go, oh, maybe I should stop using it. I’m thinking, no, they’re finally catching on to what that is. Decolonization fair wage. If we have. Figured that out in the last year, those two words. Yeah. You know, it’s, it’s like, you’re, you’re just ahead of the game. And sometimes it feels like no one’s going to catch up, but people will catch up.
Is there any other challenge that you felt that you’ve overcome that has made you even more sustained? Yeah.
[00:29:44] Chenny Xia WETV interview-1: I think that, especially as social entrepreneurs, you know, we have a lot of aspirations, like aspirational people in general, right? Like high index high on altruism. And I think one of the challenges with that is that we, unless we’re careful, we, [00:30:00] we also develop.
And we get attached to a specific outcome happening a specific way, because this thing is so important and this is going to change these people’s lives. And I really need to make it happen because I’m so indebted to these people. And I promised them and dah, dah, dah, right? Like it’s we get really attached to what that looks like.
One of the things I’ve learned is to what, let go of attachment in terms of how it’s going to happen and really just instinct. Just aspire with intention. Um, because my attachment got in the way of peak performance, like as an example, even in terms of how we dealt with COVID, you know, I had a P right at the get go when COVID happened, you know, we’re like, oh my God, this thing happened, you know, we were, we started developing attachment to how we were going to overcome some of those.
And the, the ideas we had just worked not. Okay. So, so yeah, so we, you know, we’re like, oh, we were so attached to that [00:31:00] way of moving through where we were like, okay, no, wait, what’s the intention. What are we here to do? And we instead. Just became really clear and transparent to people and said, Hey, here’s what we’ve tried.
It’s not working. Here’s what our intention is. Let’s figure it out. As we go together. Here’s all of our contact information, like get in touch at any given point. And we just figured it out as a community of people. And it was more of like a, like a, the solution unveiled itself over time versus happening the exact way that we hadn’t had it.
[00:31:35] Suzanne F. Stevens: Did it through the pandemic? Has your business had how’s it responded because so many small businesses have not fared well during the pandemic, but you’re in a healthcare, which could, so how, how did you fare
[00:31:50] Chenny Xia WETV interview-1: initially? We saw a 30% drop in business and that was just because a lot of folks were really nervous about it.
They found alternative arrangements [00:32:00] with their families, but then really, you know, Family burnout kicked in. Like, you know, you’ve got people who are taking care of their own kids, I’m home. And then also now their parents, and then also, you know, transitioning to working remotely. It was just a lot. So we were able to bounce back relatively quickly, which is an incredible privilege to be in healthcare through this last year.
I know. Companies that don’t make it through then four months, we were pretty much back to speed. And as a company we’ve been generally growing quite quickly, we’ve basically been doubling in terms of our reach and our, our impact, um, as well, uh, doubling
[00:32:39] Suzanne F. Stevens: every year. She’ll you learn anything from that sort of loss of 30%?
Would you do anything differently?
[00:32:47] Chenny Xia WETV interview-1: It’s one of those things where. Well, in hindsight, there was hindsight, there were ways we could have done things better, but in the end, I’m actually really proud of how our team handled everything and, [00:33:00] you know, knock on wood. Uh, we, we didn’t have to deal with any outbreaks. We didn’t have to deal with anything like that.
There were only a very small handful of times where we needed to even reach out, uh, back to folks because. Potential, um, risks when it came to contact tracing. Um, but overall, you know, we’ve been, we’ve been very lucky, um, from COVID
[00:33:23] Suzanne F. Stevens: and I appreciate them, I guess, from the audience perspective, I’m just thinking of from the learning side of things, like, if there’s anything that you could share that you learned that you may do differently in the business.
So people can consider that when they’re thinking of having a social impact.
[00:33:40] Chenny Xia WETV interview-1: I mean, I think the only thing I would’ve changed is to like, not freak out so much at the beginning. I definitely caught myself in my own spin, but yeah, like, but also at the same time, I feel like it’s totally
[00:33:54] Suzanne F. Stevens: normal when it,
[00:33:57] Chenny Xia WETV interview-1: like it was a pandemic.
And I think it’s [00:34:00] also just, you know, whatever way you, whatever way you dealt with it. If it was also a normal response. And even if it wasn’t the most perfect way to deal with whatever happened, it was still fine. And I think that I think that, especially as entrepreneurs, we beat ourselves up a lot about the decisions that we’ve made.
I’m still learning, still learning how to, to just even appreciate myself as well. So
[00:34:27] Suzanne F. Stevens: those are really important things because you already referred to flexibility. That you know, being flexible and, and you don’t just go with it. And we do, if we take anything, that’s the thing I’m taking from this pandemic is I to, you know, an entrepreneur social entrepreneur had to, I wouldn’t say completely pivot.
Yeah. I would say I added services that I was going to at some point in time, but now I had the time to do it and going [00:35:00] first after we pulled out some hair and then, you know, Next time. We’ll go. Okay. Now, you know, if something happens like this again, knowing that we can, we can deal with it and yes, we may have a financial hit for a bit.
So it’s all good. Now you have several employees and as you mentioned, many are part-time how. Manage them remotely. Now I’m talking from a leadership perspective. How do you keep them engaged in their professionalism and make them excited about what they’re doing? Because that must be challenging too. And as, as you said earlier, that some people fall find it as a calling and some people find it as a job to do.
How do you, especially with the people, see it as a job to do, how do you keep them engaged in the.
[00:35:48] Chenny Xia WETV interview-1: So we are, we have always been a remote only. Very lucky in that we didn’t have to deal with any transition. Uh, one of the things that we we [00:36:00] screened for in our interview process is are you able to work independently in a remote setting?
Don’t get me wrong. Like we have an office and we meet for big things that we need to do. Or like, for example, if we need to do an internal workshop, because we need to figure out some big decision, like yeah, we’ll, we’ll, we’ll meet for things like that. But for the most part, we screen for folks who, who do you prefer to, to work in a remote.
It’s also more in alignment with what we’re here to do, which is make home care more affordable and pay people more. And so remote is one of those things that have cut a lot in terms of our operational costs. So, yeah, so our intention has always been to continue to do that, but I think it’s, it’s, it’s also being really clear about, you know, who remote is not for, and if it’s not part of them, okay, we don’t need to force it.
And for the folks who do you want to work remotely, then it’s really about being clear about expectations. So as an example, one of the things that I really like to have with my product. From a [00:37:00] development standpoint is I have a, um, a thing called a China user manual. So it’s basically like everything you need to know about working with Jenny.
Here are my strengths. Here are my weaknesses. Here’s how I like to be communicated to. Here’s how I like to receive feedback. Here’s the things I need help with as a person. Here’s, my growing pains right now. What things. Currently working on. Um, and so that level of transparency that you, you know, you develop over time when working with one another, it’s harder to get that from just seeing meetings.
Um, so you just have to really be extra transparent and extra vocal about your needs and expectations. But I think that that self-awareness is also something that just needs to be fostered as a part of your role.
[00:37:46] Suzanne F. Stevens: I love what you’re saying. All I could think about is that Chenny book, you know, if you’re in the dating scene to people here, this is how to deal with me.
If you can actually provide that. Well,
[00:37:58] Chenny Xia WETV interview-1: it’s really funny. You mentioned [00:38:00] that because the user manual works so well in my, and I only did it the first time because I had a conflict with someone on the team and I was, and we were not able to communicate properly. Oh, I think I need to do something. Like, I think we need to approach this different way and it actually ended up working so well.
That, um, my husband and I actually created a user manual for each other and we even then learn things about each other. It sounds great.
[00:38:25] Suzanne F. Stevens: Do you directly manage through the remote workers or does somebody else on your team? So
[00:38:30] Chenny Xia WETV interview-1: we have what we call our lead. Um, who, who do, who are that first layer of support?
And then of course our management team are the folks who get escalated to
[00:38:43] Suzanne F. Stevens: do, you know, well, any insights to those individuals and what they do though, to make sure that the employees feel valued in your organization. Like, what are some of those strengths?
[00:38:54] Chenny Xia WETV interview-1: So one of the things that we do with the families that we work with is we send regular communications to say, Hey, just checking in.
How’s it [00:39:00] going with? You know, you don’t care worker and any compliment that we ever received. My first priority is making sure it ends up going back to that front. So that they hear it because it’s home care, like things happen. Like for example, someone ends up going to the hospital and the care workers to accompany them and things like that.
And whenever something happens, we also not only thank them, but we genuinely show them our appreciation in some way, and we’ll send them a little gift card for something or, you know, just anything really to, to show that appreciation. And then the last thing that we do is we. From a product design standpoint.
So, you know, we say, Hey, we’d love your feedback. We’d love to interview you for these things that we’re working on. We’re doing some research. Would you like to participate involving them in what we’re building as well, helps them sort of see what, what they’re doing is contributing to our greater, a bigger thing beyond their emails.
[00:39:56] Suzanne F. Stevens: Which is fabulous. Again, collaboration and [00:40:00] having your voice heard so important. So what sort of ripple effect do you feel that your organization is, is making you know, to those individuals, but beyond those individuals that are your customers, what impact do you think you’re having.
[00:40:15] Chenny Xia WETV interview-1: Yeah. So I think the biggest impact that we’re having is we’re giving the families, the people who are receiving care.
Um, so clients or patients, whatever language resonates with you, we’re giving those folks the permission to ask for what they need. In other words, Because we asked them in our context and, you know, advocating for your own care is like something that is learned. It’s not something that is natural. There’s a whole, there’s a whole playbook on it, really.
Like it’s not, it’s not a normal like we’re not born advocates of our own care for me. That’s the thing that I’m most proud of from a, from a recipient of care standpoint is, is that permission for themselves and other contexts. [00:41:00] Well, that’s great. And here’s what I need. And this is why, and let’s brainstorm some ways to get that.
And that language, I think, is something that is really empowering when someone has experienced this with us.
[00:41:13] Suzanne F. Stevens: Does your business provides you with meaning? Oh yeah. A hundred percent. How does it do that?
[00:41:21] Chenny Xia WETV interview-1: Just because of my family, social, economic status growing up, I always, I always lacked community. It’s just a general thing that I lacked.
What I love the most is that is in the community building that we’re doing through healthcare. For example, in urban centers, our families and care workers are matched within two kilometers. So they’re really close to each other and enabling that community, I feel like is what is going to sustainably.
Get us. This mess, um, is by going back to local, right. And using our systems to bring us back to local, like the way that we’re delivering care [00:42:00] really is we’re just using technology to deliver care the way that it was done. Families lived together as an example. Um, but we’re just doing it through other means, right?
When it’s about enabling that community that I feel like I missed out on, but also it’s, um, preparing a future where I feel like there’s a sustainable option to care for my own ageing parents, because right now that sustainable option certainly does not exist. And the last thing I would say is that I feel like.
I think that social entrepreneurship is still something that’s like, it’s kind of like a mythical creature. Like it’s like, people want to do it, but they’re not totally sure how, and they’re not totally sure how it’s funded and what that looks like. And like, what do you even call yourself and all of those things.
And so for me, the other part that I love about what we’re doing. Just even sharing with other entrepreneurs, for example, through communities like she O where we can establish a stronger practice about what it [00:43:00] means to also be a social entrepreneur.
[00:43:02] Suzanne F. Stevens: Yeah, absolutely. So we’re going to wrap up shortly. I want to do a little bit of a quick-fire questions.
First thought, best thought, you know, don’t overthink it and then we’ll, we’ll wrap up. So what is one thing you wish you knew prior to engaging down this path of got K.
[00:43:24] Chenny Xia WETV interview-1: That you belong here.
[00:43:27] Suzanne F. Stevens: The best piece of advice you’ve ever received
[00:43:31] Chenny Xia WETV interview-1: to ask yourself what it is that you need to let go of in order to enable the thing that you want,
[00:43:39] Suzanne F. Stevens: which of your strengths do you rely on most to have the success you’ve achieved
[00:43:46] Chenny Xia WETV interview-1: in her calm?
[00:43:49] Suzanne F. Stevens: Besides your patients, beneficiaries, which do you think needs the most investment of time research and money [00:44:00] are care workers.
Do you have any children? Do you mind me asking?
[00:44:06] Chenny Xia WETV interview-1: Uh, I do not, but, uh, we’re currently in the process of, of applying to become foster parents. Oh, fabulous.
[00:44:13] Suzanne F. Stevens: So congratulations. So with that, Cause I’m putting you in a scenario. What advice would you give to a ten-year-old daughter? If you had her today?
[00:44:26] Chenny Xia WETV interview-1: Smooth is good.
Smooth is better than fast. It’s better than slow. Just go smooth.
[00:44:33] Suzanne F. Stevens: What advice do you wish you received?
[00:44:36] Chenny Xia WETV interview-1: I wish I’d received less advice and I wish I received more questions.
[00:44:44] Suzanne F. Stevens: What three values do you live by?
[00:44:54] Chenny Xia WETV interview-1: Open-mindedness top, like top of the line [00:45:00] open-mindedness fairness and…
[00:45:04] Suzanne F. Stevens: Fabulous. Thank you for that. Well, thank you all for joining us, you can subscribe to wisdom exchange TV. So you receive each new interview notification in your inbox. Please share this interview by going to the share button located on the page. The interview is available in podcasts and videos. So go for a walk and stick it in your ear and you can.
So much. And if you know someone who has a significant impact, social impact in business education, civic, service, or advocacy, let us know, visit the guest’s tab on was the exchange, tv.com and submit their information. And our research team will take it from there. Now, if you want to live your most meaningful life, you can also join the Umi week.
YouMeWe Community: women leading social impact. Visit email@example.com to get access to diverse resources, to guide you and joining the community to connect, collaborate, and make your contribution count. Thank you so much for [00:46:00] your, your insight, your enthusiasm. I feel your passion. Care, and, and also the technology to do it because it really is the vehicle that makes it affordable and provides for a living wage and consistency.
But there was a lot of great insights you provided for people who just want to have a social impact and finding their destination. So thanks for that. So do you have any words of wisdom for your audience regarding how to make their contribution to society?
[00:46:30] Chenny Xia WETV interview-1: Yeah. I think one of the things that I, that really resonated with me because younger me was worried about how much impact I was making a lot, like worried a lot, a lot.
And if you’re worried about that, one of the things that was helpful for me was thinking of, of your impact as ripples, which means that there’s impact. You can try. And impact you can’t track. And instead of being obsessed about how much of an impact or anything instead, just try focusing on showing up [00:47:00] as your best self and as many interactions as you can throughout a date, because you have no idea what impact you’re actually making.
And there’s beauty in that letting go of that control.
[00:47:14] Suzanne F. Stevens: Oh, so very well said, thank you for that. And until next time, make your contribution count for you. Me.
[00:47:24] Chenny Xia WETV interview-1: This episode is sponsored by make your contribution count for you. Me. We a book written by Suzanne F Stevens. It’s time to act. Let this book be your guy to having a sustainable social impact while living your most meaningful.
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