“MEET THE BEACH LIFESTYLE BRAND CLEANING UP
THE EARTH, ONE RECYCLED BOTTLE T-SHIRT
AT A TIME” – FORBES
YEAH, I WAS THAT GUY.
The sounds of Bob Marley, Michael Franti and Jimmy Buffett poured from my stereo speakers. Nameless exotic shores drifted across my desktop screensaver, as slowly as the seconds that ticked off the corporate clock.
The dress tie around my neck strangled me like an ever-tightening noose.
On casual Fridays, I sported a colorful tropical shirt – a loud if silent scream for help. I grew my blond hair out until prompting frowns from someone down in H.R. On weekends, my standard uniform consisted of cargo shorts, a faded old t-shirt, flip-flops and not much else. When I wasn’t drinking a martini or some rum concoction, I threw back a cold Red Stripe or two (or three).
THE BEACH PERMEATED EVERY FIBER OF MY BEING.
There was only one problem: I lived in landlocked Birmingham, Alabama.
Why didn’t we move to the coast earlier? I still ask myself that question. Sure, we had four kids. And we had deep family and professional roots. But as far back as I can remember, my soul had always longed to live at the beach.
Finally one day, something just snapped. A couple of my businesses failed in rapid-fire succession, and I was depressed; demoralized. Not just about my floundering entrepreneurial endeavors, but about my life – slipping away before my very eyes. I remember reading a paraphrased quote by Henry David Thoreau:
“GO CONFIDENTLY IN THE DIRECTION OF YOUR DREAMS! LIVE THE LIFE YOU’VE IMAGINED. AS YOU SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE, THE LAWS OF THE UNIVERSE WILL BE SIMPLER.”
What if this wasn’t just poetic pontification? What if Thoreau’s words were intended to be taken literally; a secret prescription for living a truly fulfilling and happy life?
Live the life you’ve imagined. I began to imagine my ideal existence. I imagined a small house at the beach, nothing fancy. Ideally on the water, with a dock. I wanted to be outside all day long, basking in warm summer sunshine. On the beach, on a boat, nestled up to a funky beach bar. I wanted to laugh all day with friends, beautiful both inside and out. I also imagined traveling often and traveling far, without the restraints of time.
Fortunately, I have a loving wife and supportive children who were willing to step off the ledge with me… to help imagine and create this new life for our family.