I met Hunter at a Friends-giving getaway in lake Tahoe, one of the most beautiful areas of California. We had rented a giant house by the lake together with 18 other people.
On the first day, while the group split into either skiing or hiking adventures, Hunter decided to stay home by the fireplace and read a book.
In the evenings, while he was the youngest of the bunch, 20 years old, he would warn adults not to eat sugar or drink too much... This caught my attention and I was curious to know why he was acting so mature.
"I just want to maximize my time and my health.
Alcohol dissolves brain cells, and brain cells don’t recreate after being made, while most other cells in your body regenerate after 5 years. I don't want to waste them at an early age.
Last year, I would wake up at 8am and go to Business Administration classes. Then, I would go to my club and organizational roles. After a commute home, I would go to work as a pizza-delivery guy, then home again, do homework, play a video game and eventually end the day at 12-2 o'clock, in the morning i’d start again. I always needed to have energy, so I've always made a point to live healthily (sleep well, eat well, take care of my mind, etc). In college lot of students underachieve: it's more fun and less studies.
It wasn’t the same for me.
- Did your parents put that pressure on you to study and work hard? I asked.
- My parents never really pushed me, I continually reach for my potential alone. However, they did introduce me to various activities and raised me well. They would never push me but I was taught that if I wanted something I would have to work towards it. For example, my family burns wood in the winter to help heat our house. This meant I'd have to help split, stack, or bring in wood during the winter, from a young age. Yet as I grew up it went from a chore, to something that I could do to help. I’ve always given whatever I'm doing my all.
I used to be an A student, soccer all-star, and track runner until I hurt my feet and was not able to compete any longer.
But when you work so hard toward good grades, you lose the meaning, you wake up in the morning and think "why am I here right now, is this this even worth it?".
Fortunately, one day, my high school buddy bootstrapped a company and asked me to be part of the project.
He dropped out of school, developed a wearable tech company, sold it, and invested in what has become Leangap.
I believe that everybody should have the chance to create something meaningful, to develop their ideas, no matter what their financial situation is. So we created this summer program that helps students reach their full potential. We gather students from all around the world into one location. We have mentors which direct them as they combine their various expertise and ideas. By the end of the program they will have a viable business model, app, or prototype which they pitch to a panel of venture capitalists, CEOs, and successful entrepreneurs.
I found what I love, it gives me more meaning, and I'm helping kids do the same. I might go back to school eventually but right now I still spend all my time experimenting, learning and growing. That's all I can do for myself at the end of the day. There's so much information out there...
My biggest tip is: learn what you want to know, figure out what interests you, then maximize your time accordingly to do what you love".