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September 25, 2017

This Founder Used a Classic Project Management Technique to Engineer Her Week--And It Worked

Most entrepreneurs are made when they face a challenge and then vow to work relentlessly to get to a solution. Vicki Mayo, founder and CEO of the Touchpoint Solution, is no different.

Mayo developed a device called Touchpoint to calm her four-year-old, who was struggling with nightmares. They are scientific wearables which alleviate stress in as little as 30 seconds. Here, she shares her personal experience which led her to found Touchpoint, how she overcame being underestimated as a woman, and how she stays on task throughout the day.

Project Entrepreneur: What inspired you to start your business?

Mayo: Touchpoint actually started as a result of a miracle I witnessed. My daughter, four at the time, was struggling from night terrors. One day, during a mommy friend phone call with my now co-founder Dr. Amy Serin, I explained how tired I was because of the night terrors.

Dr. Serin told me about a technology she has invented over the past decade and had been using in her practice. She suggested I try it.

That night during a particularly heinous night terror, I put the devices in her hands and 30 seconds later she was asleep. Not only that, she woke up in a great mood the next morning. I called Dr. Serin and said, what is that magic and what are we going to do about it?

She shrugged and said she was a scientist. I said, lucky for you, I'm an entrepreneur. And in that moment, The Touchpoint Solution was born.

What's been the biggest challenge you've faced so far?

As a woman, I've been underestimated many times. Most recently with Touchpoints, I have spent a lot of my time with manufacturing. People are often surprised to see a woman walking the manufacturing line and being actively and involved. It has been a challenge walking the line between demanding respect as a woman and yet maintaining a kind attitude.

What is the biggest thing you'd like to see change your industry, and how are you working toward making that change happen?

So many companies have amazing founders and executive teams that are so passionate about making a difference. But unfortunately, so many of them don't tie the passion into the business.

They love supporting kids sports so they sponsor a little league team but the opportunity is there to do so much more. They could actually integrate the passion into the business by creating a co-team with the kids or having the team come in and learn about the business, etc.

What's one piece of advice you'd give to another entrepreneur just starting out?

Go for it! Don't be afraid to take risks.

And remember that while your parents and friends may give you advice, at the end of the day it's your life. If you want to pursue something that's risky or something that you love- go for it!

What do you do every Monday morning to prepare and motivate yourself for the coming week?

I am a big believer in LEAN Six Sigma, so I have standard work I follow. Every Sunday I pull metrics for the week prior and review in order to prep for our leadership huddle meeting every Monday morning.

Using our red/yellow/green dashboard the entire team can see right away where we are winning and where we need to focus attention. The outcome of huddle sets my agenda for the week so I prepare heavily for huddle.