Shawn Boyer is one of those guys living out the seemingly-impossible startup dream. After co-founding the job search site Snagajob in 1999 and leading its rapid growth as CEO for fourteen years, Boyer has pursued his passion project, in the form of an app. He founded GoHappy in 2016 as a way for families and loved ones to sync up schedules and make planning get-togethers easier. We met him at our 14th St. location when we shared an office space with GoHappy. Read more about what makes this tech superstar tick.
If you weren’t a start-up founder what would you be?
I think I’d love to be a teacher and coach. I love working with kids of all ages and sports, and you have such an opportunity to impact kids when you have that type and frequency of interaction. Some teachers and coaches had a significant impact on me for which I’m super thankful!
What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
Draft a life mission statement that sets the context for what you want your life to be about – it will help shape the lens of how you look at things. And then set goals in all of the different areas of life that you care about – not just school and work – but also things like trips and adventure, health, faith, financial, hobbies, etc. Make sure one of those areas is your relationships! And, then know that not all of your goals are going to turn out the way you want them to, which is completely fine. Know the difference between failure, error, and mistakes, and don’t ever call something that you were passionate about, tried and didn’t have work out the way you wanted, a “Failure.” Save that term for when you don’t try something that you’re super passionate about because you’re too scared that you might not get the outcome you want.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
For me, I think that’s living a life (or at least trying to live) that is in congruence with my life mission statement. And my mission statement is “to glorify God in all aspects of my life.” So, whether that’s having beers with my buddies, dealing with a difficult situation at work with teammates, running a marathon or playing with my wife and kids, that’s the lens through which I try to look at things. If I’m trying to maximize all of those opportunities, then I’m happy. And, most of those are very relational – really trying to develop great relationships. Again, not that I always do that well at all (I screw those up pretty often!), but that’s the thing for which I’m shooting.
Learn more about Go,Happy app here. Shop the Blue Edmunton Dress Shirt here. Photos by Kate Magee.