Motivation

Facebook Exec Who Taught Mark Zuckerberg Chinese Now Makes Bracelets For a Living

In his 30s, Chris Pan has accomplished a lot for his age. He worked as a Senior Consultant at McKinsey & Co, followed by two years as a marketing director for PepsiCo. He then spent four years working at Facebook. While he was there, Mark Zuckerberg took an interest in learning Chinese and recruited Pan to help.

“I facilitated weekly discussions on various topics with other mandarin speaking colleagues.” Pan told NextShark. “It was such a meaningful and inspiring experience getting to spend quality time each week with Mark.

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“He is really down-to-earth, thoughtful, and a super quick learner. After just  learning mandarin for 2 years, he hosted a Q&A in mandarin with 20 CEOs from the biggest Chinese companies (that collectively represent 4% of China’s GDP) almost entirely on his own! However, my biggest takeaway is his deep sense of mission and purpose.”

After four years (a long time for Silicon Valley), Pan was ready to explore other ideas.  He started traveling the world, and eventually met a new friend Ingrid Sanders who offered to make him an intention bracelet.

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“She asked me to choose a word as a daily reminder.  The first word that came to mind was ‘impact’ – probably from my Facebook days where we had big posters that said ‘FOCUS ON IMPACT’.  I also wanted to remind myself to make a difference.”

A few weeks later, Sanders gave Pan a kit and told him to make these for his friends as he was moving to Los Angeles.  When Pan moved to LA, he was seeking community and positivity.

I started hosting Sunday gatherings doing yoga, meditation, singing, and painting.  We would also set-up a table with the kit for making intention bracelets.  We would ask each other “What’s Your WORD?”  The conversations around finding your ‘WORD’ really set a positive and meaningful tone for the gatherings.”

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 “There was such a buzz around finding your word.  For some people, it was a virtue that they wanted more of in their life.  For others, it was a challenge they wanted to overcome, or a passion they wanted to spend more time on.”

Pan started getting calls from friends asking for more bracelets.  He was also invited to a fundraiser by actress Torrey Devitto to raise money for orphans with HIV in Africa.

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More requests came in and Pan started hiring friends to make the pieces.  The MyIntent project was born:

“Our mission is to be a catalyst for meaningful conversations and positive energy.  We believe there is purpose inside each of us and we want our efforts to encourage people to share more truth and inspiration with each other. We are not a jewelry company – we are an intentions project.”

To maximize impact, Pan wanted to keep pieces affordable which meant keeping costs low and being scrappy.  He started in a friend’s living room and eventually sublet warehouse space in LA’s skid row.

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Word spread organically, including many celebrities in LA.  Jay Z, who loved the concept, invited Pan to his Roc Nation brunch, where celebrities including Rihanna (FAITH) and Beyonce (SURRENDER) also chose words. Since then, influencers like Justin Bieber (PURPOSE), Katie Couric (FAITH), Conan O’Brien (DEATH BED), Blake Griffin (FOCUS), Larry King (WHY), and Daymond John (HEALTH) have all been seen wearing a MyIntent Bracelet.

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Most recently, the founders of Airbnb gifted all their attendees a MyIntent Bracelet at the annual Airbnb Open and invited Pan to speak.

Grateful the founders of @Airbnb chose our #BELONG bracelet to gift attendees of the #AirbnbOpen, and invited our founder @ChrisPan to share: “When I started MyIntent a few years ago, I was longing for #community and #positivity. I started hosting Sunday gatherings and one of our the experiences was asking each other “What’s Your WORD?” and then making an intention bracelet with that word. The conversations around finding your ‘WORD’ led to #meaningful connections and #positive energy. Guests would text me later asking for more bracelets, often for friends or family. My background is in tech, and I had no intentions of being in the jewelry business. But the requests kept coming as people experienced the #magic of connecting with their #purpose. So Brian, Joe, and Nate are gifting you a handmade #MyIntent bracelet at the end of this program… (continued in next post) 📸 @hayleygold

A photo posted by MyIntent – What’s Your WORD? (@myintent) on

Although it looks like a simple piece of jewelry, it’s magic is in connecting people with the power of their own intention.

Last December, the Today Show aired a feature on MyIntent and they suddenly had a 4-week backlog of orders.

Since then, they’ve quadrupled their production capacity. They are also offering kits so you can make your own pieces for friends.

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These are perfect as holiday gifts.  For NextShark readers, they are offering a special 20% discount off everything in their store – use code NEXT20 at checkout: www.MyIntent.org

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NextShark is an online magazine focused on covering business, tech, culture with a focus on the Asian youth market.

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