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Life Lessons from Three Shopify Execs

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Life Lessons from Three Shopify Execs

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Harley-chat1 Last week, the HackerYou Summer Academy cohort had the incredible opportunity to sit down with three of Shopify's executives to talk careers, life, and tech. From our outdoor session with Harley to our intimate Q&A with Daniel and our ice cream social with Tobi, we got the chance to take a peek inside some of the minds behind the e-commerce giant and hear their thoughts on career paths, lifestyle design and the pursuit of passions. Here are some of our top takeaways from the week:

Harley Finkelstein - Chief Platform Officer

Forget work-life balance -- find work-life blend For the most part, baby boomers were taught to find a job that would allow you to leave work at the office and give you the freedom to 'live life' after work and on weekends. But as Harley pointed out to our group, if you have to leave work to live 'life'...you're missing out on tens of thousands of hours of living over the course of your lifetime. Instead of looking for jobs that you feel the need to get away from, find what you love to do and pursue opportunities in that field. When you're doing something that you are truly passionate about, it no longer becomes necessary to 'get away' from the office, or separate 'life' and 'work' -- it's all just the pursuit of your passions and personal goals.

Daniel Weinand - Chief Design and Culture Officer

Never underestimate the value of tenacity when learning a new skill. If there's anyone who knows about making career transitions, it's Daniel Weinand. This jack of all trades is an engineer, a musician, a photographer and a designer, among many other things. It's no surprise, then, that when our students -- many of whom are in the midst of their own career transition -- got a chance to sit down with Daniel, the topic of learning and mastery came up. According to Daniel, one of the keys to successfully learning a new skill or trade is tenacity. Regardless of your age or experience -- if you have the sheer will to succeed and a dedication to your craft, your goals are within reach.

Tobi Lutke - Founder & CEO

Don't make 16-hour days a habit. "Sometimes the twelve or sixteen hours days are necessary, but don't make them a habit"...while these aren't words that you typically hear from a startup CEO, Tobi's message about managing your energy and preventing burnout resonated deeply with the group. In his experience, Tobi has found that we're often lucky to find five or more truly creative hours in a day. While he certainly isn't advocating for laziness, Tobi explained to the group that working the long hours that are often glamourized in the startup world just for the sake of 'working hard' is not only a recipe for burnout, it's just plain ineffective. Instead, find your own rhythm based on the ebbs and flow of your energy and do your best to build your days around that. It's not about the hours you work -- it's about the results that they produce. As I'm sure you can tell, last week at the HackerYou Summer Academy was pretty inspirational, and we're looking forward to putting all these lessons into practice as we head into our second and final month of Ruby on Rails bootcamp.

Your turn: Got advice for our Summer Academy cohort? We'd love to hear it! Share in the comments or tweet us at @hackeryou.