Updated: May 19, 2020
I didn’t start out as a web designer. After graduating from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. I contemplated what to do next. My focus had been on writing throughout middle and high school. Yet, I’d written research paper after research paper and been immersed in the world of academia, and found it wasn’t the right fit for me. As much as I enjoyed writing reports and essays and reading scholarly articles, I knew it wasn’t what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
After graduating, I explored the common route of the restaurant industry. As lucrative as it was, it wasn’t where I wanted to be, either. I didn’t want to be told where to be, to move up into a management position, or to bartend long term. I also didn’t want a 9-5 job. Not because I think they are all that terrible, but because I knew there was something more out there that I wanted to do.
Honestly, I wanted to write for people whose passions I genuinely agreed with. I wanted to tell my story and to tell the stories of others. I knew writing would be my foundation, I just didn’t know through which avenue my writing would best express itself.
So, I started a blog.
I experimented with the color scheme, agonized over the layout, changed the page titles/ order/ fonts/ styles. With time, I learned about XML sitemaps, SEO, Google algorithms, writing optimized content, keyword research, and much more. I learned how to use Moz, Majestic, and other SEO research tools. In writing blog posts, I found out there was a whole world of possibilities available to me for writing, on topics ranging from mental health to surfing, from lifestyle pieces to interviews.
This blog was the beginning of it all. It all started with an Instagram handle:@beachbumpoet. From there, I created the blog, and from that blog, I created this business. Then I created another Instagram account @beachbumpoetllc, designed this website and started writing for this blog, and the journey has been unfolding ever since.
When I started beachbumpoet.com, I thought it would be a kind of portfolio of my work. I thought I would write there, have my writing seen, and magically get published in the big name surf magazines one day. Then I realized I didn’t just want to write about surfing. I wanted to write about everything—from poetry to surfboard repair to overcoming depression to book reviews—and the most amazing realization was that I could. In this age of the internet, it is easier than ever to be a freelance writer, promote yourself, and start your own business.
After having taken a break from social media from ages 18-21, I found out there was a whole new world of virtual content, marketing, advertising, and SEO consulting available to me. The possibilities are as vast as the number of new businesses cropping every year, and as expansive as the globe.
There are many variables which have lead me here today, but one of the most significant influences on my journey has been my personal blog. It has been the place I found my creative expression, an avenue through which to gain clarity on what I want and who I want to be. Without my blog, beachbumpoetllc.com would not exist. I would not be branching out and taking the massive leap of faith that is starting your own business if I had not been writing.
I’ve had the assistance of several mentors, courses on web design, tutorials, a Bachelors degree, and a lifetime of writing to guide me into the place I am today.
Starting my own business has been one of the most terrifying and exhilarating pursuits of my entire life. I never thought I could be my own boss, make my own hours, and work directly with incredible people to make their visions a reality, yet here I am, writing to you that it is possible, and it is more than worth it.
Designing websites has allowed me to combine my three favorite things into a viable career with endless possibilities and avenues to explore: 1. Helping people, 2. Writing, and 3. Creative Design.
Deciding to take on the challenge of starting my own business has certainly been frustrating. As with any business, there are pitfalls, mistakes to be made, frustrations to be overcome, and anxieties to assuage. But, as with any other business, the successes are that much more sweet because they are yours to hold onto.
Every time I get stuck on something, I write. I write a blog post, revisit an old poem, write a new poem, or come up with blog post ideas.
Creating, in any medium, be it building a house, artwork, sculpture, writing a book, creating music, photography, plumbing, dancing, or website designing, fulfills a deep need that I believe many of us have. The need to create and express ourselves is integral to a fulfilled life, a life that brings joy.
My motto for my business and life is, “When you do everything with the intention of creating joy, you’ll live a life of freedom.” I aim to create joy for myself, for my clients, for their clients, those I collaborate with, and everyone else I’m lucky enough to connect with along the way. When we create joy, and focus on creating joy through self-expression, we are free. We are free to be ourselves, free to not apologize for our choices.
Because when we are acting out of integrity and with a heartfelt desire to create something special, whatever we do, we can be proud of ourselves and our accomplishments.
Being a poet is about self-expression. Poetry is radical or gentle, collaborative or individual. It can be rigorously complex or endearingly simple. Being a poet doesn’t mean you have to write poetry—poetry is also a way of seeing the world—because not all poets are writers and I don’t believe all poets necessarily write.
I named my blog and business Beach Bum Poet because it speaks to the life I want to lead: one of creative exploration, imbued with the authenticity and sincerity of my definition of being a Beach Bum. This project, and every project to come, are at their core my attempts to do something meaningful, something I’m proud of.
I am proud to do what I do, to write what I write and offer my sincere and heartfelt energy into every project I undertake. Beach Bum Poet was the beginning, but every new chapter yet to be written is still to come.
Call or message me today to set up your consultation, so we can create something together, with the sincere intention to create joy and produce something to be proud of.