What did I say to the room full of youth entrepreneurs at Inventure's SparkFest?
Your life's work could be about making the world a better place.
I hope that the product or service you pitch tonight solves a real problem and that you become the experts of those problems by connecting with the people who have them.
And if you dare to do this, I hope you start collecting data about the work you're doing so that you can prove you're doing it. Baseline data is your friend. Be mindful of your intentions. Never let your intentions overshadow your outcomes. You need to look without blinders. What is your actual impact, not just your intended outcomes? What are the unintended consequences? How do they impact people and the planet?
If you can measure your impact, you can prove you make the world a better place. And isn't that an awesome way to spend your life's work?
That's why I do what I do at Shopify. I hoped launching RnD Camp would help new people in Research and Development at Shopify recognize how important it is to make commerce better for everyone is. Like the new hires at RnD Camp, I want you to know that your life's work matters. If you learn anything from me tonight, I hope it's that.
You are the outcome of your consequences. Dare to make them good ones. Use data to prove it. That's what's going to make the hard parts worth it; that's what will get investors to invest, and customers to adopt. I guarantee you'll live a full life of growing the work you do.
Make your why statement matter and you'll always be in business.
And once you prove you can make the world a better place, you can show others how. And that's how we'll all scale our human potential. We need to think big like that.
I've been fortunate to travel Canada and work with 1.25 million youth over my career and see how investments in education and entrepreneurship paves a path forward for all of us. This opportunity is important.
If I've learned anything from youth is that when you have purpose you're unstoppable. My generation has proved there are a ton of problems worth solving: environment; education; health; renewable energy; equitable access to technology. Business leaders and politicians would be wise to show up and begin investing in the big ideas that I see that you care about so passionately. You have the best perspective on our work: you inherit it.
Youth who show up to pitch nights in the middle of summer are #Changemakers.
I'm working under the assumption you're here to get shit done. So, I hope you measure your impact and make it matter. I bet you'll be proud you did.