Biz Dev & Sales / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Amy Zobec, Enterprise Sales at Shopify Plus

Amy Zobec is part of the Shopify Plus Enterprise Sales team, where she works remotely, helping merchants to automate, simplify, innovate and scale their ecommerce operations.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

I graduated from the University of Wollongong with a Bachelor of Communications degree and was looking to get into television or media (print). Luckily when I was applying for roles, I was approached by a graduate recruitment company, looking to place university graduates into technology sales roles.

Within a few weeks of graduating I was working in a junior sales position, calling end users and encouraging them to adopt the service. From there, I moved into a senior acquisition, client development and finally a sales management role.

After 8 years, I left for LinkedIn where I worked for 4 years across Sales and Marketing Solutions before coming to Shopify Plus in January 2019 where I sit on the Enterprise Sales team helping merchants to automate, simplify, innovate and scale their ecommerce operations.

2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

Being in a sales role, your day is constantly pivoting and can be difficult to plan for, other than client and internal meetings/ calls. My day starts early (7am) with a coffee and checking all my overnight emails and Slack messages.

I then go out for a walk with my dog around 8am to get some fresh air, exercise and start my day on a positive, doing something I love. I will then start my meetings and calls for the day at 9am which comprise of discovery calls with merchants, platform demonstrations, scoping sessions including our Solution Engineering team, strategy calls with Shopify Plus partners, and presentations to executive teams.

In between meetings, I am building proposals, presentations, agreements, responding the technical questions, managing pipeline, building account strategies, reaching out to Shopify Plus prospective merchants and liaising with internal teams across Sales Development, Technical Services and Merchant Success.

I finish my day with another walk around 5pm and ensure I log off email and Slack for the evening before cooking dinner, responding to personal messages and watching TV!

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?

Shopify’s global locations are mostly remote employees so I’ve worked for home for the majority of my time at Shopify Plus.

At first it was an adjustment, especially when you start working at a new company and are used to have people sitting around you to ask questions, help you onboard etc. I learnt very quickly how to find information, complete self-paced onboarding and use digital tools like Slack and Zoom to communicate with my colleagues.

As I live a 40 minute commute to the city, this new way of working allows me to be more productive with my time, as I can spend those hours I would normally be sitting on the train, exercising, doing household chores or working.

It also meant I could plan my week and include personal appointments, early or late meetings with global colleagues or work from other locations such as a my outdoor area or cafe. I also love that I can put on a roast or slow cooked dinner at 3pm!

4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

For me, work-life balance means you are able to have a healthy, happy and productive relationship with work which allows you to switch off at the end of a day or weekend and enjoy your personal time in order to recharge.

For me to achieve that goal, I ensure I start and end my day with something I enjoy doing (walking, cooking, spending time with my dog and husband) and of an evening trying where possible not to check work related messages like email and Slack.

I have also recently started meditating of an evening before bed as well as when I wake up instead of checking my phone (work and social channels) and that helps me to wind down and end/ start the day with a clear mind.

I also ensure I sit outside for a period of time if the weather is nice, as the sun always puts me in a good mood!

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5) What do you think are some of the best habits or routines that you’ve developed over the years to help you achieve success in your life?

I am an organised person so I always end the day having read all emails and completed all tasks I have set out to achieve for the day.

I will make daily checklists with the goals I would like to accomplish, whether they are work and personal related and may be as simple as making a phone call to book a personal appointment or send a specific email to a client.

I also try and dedicate blocks of time to complete more complex tasks as I lose momentum when changing between different activities. I ensure I am walking/ exercising every day, eating healthy home cooked meals and relaxing at night whether it is watching TV, reading a book or having a glass of wine.

6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

As mentioned, I have been getting into meditation lately so I have been listening to Headspace every morning and night. I also listen to the Women in Tech Podcast as well as reading a mixture of personal books (I love crime and thrillers) and business/ personal development related content. I recently read Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… And Others Don’t by Jim Collins which was really good.

7) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?

I ensure that I create a checklist in order of priority – when working with clients things can quickly change in a new direction after a call or email, so it’s important to have a guide you can always go back to, to keep you on track otherwise you could end up getting pulled in many different ways throughout the day.

8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?

I admire women in senior positions who manage their careers, families and social lives. Sheryl Sandberg is someone I look up to and would love to hear how she manages a demanding career with family commitments.

9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

Overall, I feel that a successful work-life balance is about routine, keeping healthy and happy (both physically and mentally) and setting daily tasks for yourself to keep you on track and finish your day feeling like you have accomplished your goals.

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.