Ever dream about finding a way to do what you love for a living? In my "Do What You Love" column, I ask people who've done it to tell me their secrets. Here's hoping they inspire you to do the same.
Dave Boyce is on a mission to make everyone a philanthropist.
The oldest of eight kids and father of six bootstrapped himself out of humble beginnings in Stillwater, Okla., to the epicenter of Silicon Valley, where he now serves as CEO of Fundly —the world's largest and most widely adopted crowdfunding platform for social good.
At Fundly’s helm, Boyce is reinventing how people crowdfund for social good, from Habitat for Humanity and Teach for America to everyday PTA moms and 9-year-old.
Boyce tells us how he ended up doing what he loves for a living and how you can, too.
BusinessNewsDaily: Explain you what you do for a living.
Dave Boyce: I am the Customer Experience Officer (CEO) for Fundly, the world’s largest and most widely adopted crowdfunding platform for social good.
BND: How did you end up doing this for a living?
D.B.: My career path is a seemingly disconnected series of “doing what I love.” In college, I founded a world-champion a cappella group, and after college, I founded another award-winning singing group that toured and recorded in 26 states and Japan. While doing that, I also consulted to the government of Cambodia, renovated and flipped rental real estate, and founded a commercial painting company.
When my wife and I were expecting our first child, I moved the family to Boston and decided to “go legit” and work as a management consultant for Monitor Group. A year later, we transferred to South Africa to consult to the South African government. Upon returning to Boston, I went to Harvard Business School, during which time I bought, renovated, and flipped a house and founded two startups.
Neither startup worked, so I joined an early-stage startup (ProfitLogic), which we sold to Oracle five years later. After spending five years running global product and strategy for Oracle’s business with retailers, I left to co-found Fundly.
BND: What was the crucial decision you made that led you to this place in life?
D.B.: The most critical decision I made was to leave what would be many people’s dream job, global VP of strategy at Oracle, to found a tiny, start-from-scratch company, Fundly. What made this decision harder was the fact that I now had six kids and had to sell our dream home in Boston, leave our friends and move the family to Silicon Valley. But I did it because I felt compelled by Fundly’s potential to harness the power of crowdfunding and social media to disrupt charitable giving and transform philanthropy as we know it. It was the best decision to pursue that passion and I continue to be inspired every day by Fundly’s mission (help more people give more) and the incredible individuals, volunteer groups and organizations that are using Fundly to change the world for the better.
BND: What did you want to be when you grew up?
D.B.: A dentist. They had money.
BND: Why do you love your job?
D.B.: I work with the very best team I could imagine. Together, we are disrupting a huge market — nonprofit giving — and innovating an approach to fun, easy and successful fundraising that the world has never seen before. Every day, I get to go to work and see tens of thousands of individuals, volunteer groups and nonprofits using Fundly’s platform to make a real difference in others’ lives all over the country and around the globe. So far, there are more than 30,000 campaigns that have collectively raised more than $305 million on Fundly’s platform — everyone from a 9-year-old fundraising to combat child slavery to local PTAs and run/walk/ride fundraising events to leading nonprofits like Teach for America, Habitat for Humanity and Children’s Miracle Network. Nothing could be more motivating.
BND: What's the biggest misconception about your job?
D.B.: Most people think being an entrepreneur is the path to freedom, wealth and glamour. It’s actually none of those things, and on an expected-value basis, it will never be. Being an entrepreneur is about “making a dent in this universe,” to quote Steve Jobs. It is extremely gratifying and a tremendous privilege to have a job that allows me to make a dent in the universe by building technology to serve the greater good.
BND: If you didn't do your job, whose job would you like to have and why?
D.B.: I would love to be a university professor. I love the learning process, I love to explore and I love to teach others how to learn.
BND: Do you think having a job you love has made you a better person in other areas of your life?
D.B.: One hundred percent yes. When I was at Oracle, we had a fat paycheck and a cushy life, but I was restless, I was away from my family a lot and I was unfulfilled. Now, at Fundly, I am doing something I believe in and can stand behind. I am not doing it for money or fame or power. I am doing it because I believe in Fundly’s mission and I relish the challenge. This makes me a better husband and father first and foremost. My family does not need a dad who is too scared to pursue what he really wants and serves out his time in a boring job instead. They need a role model who shows them how to pursue their passions, take risks and suck all the marrow out of life. I believe I can better be that person if I’m in a job I love.
BND: What's your best advice to other people who are trying to pursue their career dreams?
D.B.: What are you waiting for? If not now, when? If not you, who? That advice has stood the test of time for a reason.
BND: What's your idea of the perfect retirement?
D.B.: Teaching at a university, sitting on the boards of innovative companies, traveling the world on educational and service trips with my wife, participating actively in my kids’ and grandkids’ lives and serving a mission for my church.