There isn’t just one title which describes Molly Chan. In fact, even a list of titles wouldn’t accurately describe the strong, caring, passionate women who runs a household, several companies and inspires a community. Even after just one meeting with Chan, you’d realize the title she holds most dear is “mom.”
Chan’s story starts out much like a fairytale, finding a loving husband to share her life with, pursing her passion in law and having three beautiful children to watch grow. Her world, however, was flipped upside down following her husband’s esophageal cancer diagnosis. Edward lost his battle with cancer at the age of 39, leaving Chan and their three young children Piper, Arabella and Tyler to find a new normal as a family. Chan found that through perseverance, positivity and faith, her family could handle anything.
“We were a really good team, very complimentary toward each other,” Chan said. “He was an introvert and I am an extrovert. He taught me through our marriage the value of silence. Because of him, I started meditating and found inner peace. I learned what it meant to be me, to be happy and to not feel alone. That was huge. I learned to appreciate these moments from him. Even just lying on the couch, which I would never do, I learned to appreciate that because of him.”
Chan learned even more from her husband as he went through treatments and when she found herself at the helm of his company, Alliance Payment Solutions. An entrepreneur at heart, Chan had the determination and dedication needed to lead; after all, she had already started a company of her own. Yet, taking over for her husband and ultimately running the company proved to Chan that she had what it takes to make it in business. Now with three successful businesses under her belt, Chan has taken her entrepreneurial spirit to new heights and is committed to introducing innovative ideas to the community and following her dreams, wherever they may lead.
“As an entrepreneur, I believe you hire people who are smarter than you and you treat them with respect and kindness,” Chan said. “I couldn’t do it without my team. I have been fortunate to find wonderful people that keep the companies growing, which allows me to be the dreamer I am.”
Chan’s dreams only continue to grow, right alongside her ever expanding business portfolio. Chan owns Alliance Payment Solutions, HEAT Blow Dry Bar & Hair Salon and JoyRide Pedal Tours. But being a dreamer, owning several businesses and being a committed mother sometimes means there’s a need to find balance amid chaos, or as Chan sees it, just doing the best you can.
“I learned a long time ago that balance doesn’t really exist. You’ll knock yourself out trying to find it, but instead, just live your days in love, faith and fun … and do the best you can,” Chan said. “Sometimes things are overwhelming. Work can be overwhelming. The kids can be overwhelming. But I am blessed to have these things; so I focus on that and find peace in myself by accepting that life is going to happen. It’s more about how you react to what’s being handed to you. You can react in fear or you can react in faith, and I always choose faith.”
Faith has always been at the foundation of the Chan family. As Edward’s health worsened, Chan sought ways to explain what was happening to her children and encourage them to always keep their faith.
“One of the smartest things we did when he was diagnosed was consult with a child therapist, because how do you answer a six-year-old when they ask if daddy is going to die. She taught us how to explain things in an age appropriate manner and told us what we could expect in some ways. We answered our kids’ questions honestly and we didn’t hide things from them. We had to explain that sometimes bad things happen to good people, but that doesn’t mean your life is bad or that you can’t recover from bad things. What I wanted them to see was the army of people who stood behind us and helped us. I wanted them to learn that with love and faith you can get through bad things and find beauty,” explained, Chan. “My kids are very well-equipped now and don’t fall apart when something bad happens. They react in faith and know that God doesn’t do these things, he helps you through them.”
And although the circumstances were devastating to the family, Chan is proud of how her children worked through their loss and even more proud of how they have embraced the strength they found in themselves. Finding a new normal as a family wasn’t an easy task. As Chan worked to juggle her professional and home life, Chan’s kids adjusted to pitching in more around the house and found a little more independence. In Chan’s opinion, they have already proved that, when the time comes, they’ll be able to stand on their own two feet and find their own success.
“People may look at me and my family and think, ‘your poor children,’ but I have no regrets,” Chan said. “I know what they can do and now they know what they’re capable of. When they’re in their 20s they’ll have figured it out, they’ll know what they need to do to get where they want to go. Sometimes it amazes me that we made these incredible human beings. What comes out of their mouths and their perspective on the world amazes me. We’ll never forget what happened to us, but their innocence and happiness and the fun they find in life keeps me going.”
Chan takes time daily to reflect on her life and the journey she has been on. Even on bad days, Chan works to remember that life is filled with beautiful things, and sometimes you have to experience the bad to truly appreciate the good.
“I have survived 100 percent of my bad days. I never think, ‘I can’t do this,’ because I am doing this, every day,” Chan said. “I have learned a lot from this journey. I learned that life is meant to be beautiful and heartbreaking.”