It’s hard to believe, but today marks five years since I began publishing News of St. John. Time certainly does fly when you’re having fun.
When I purchased News of St. John from Frank Barnako back in 2013, I was doing it at night and on the weekends for fun. I had a full time job in Corporate America, was in the middle of a Master’s program, and I lived in Connecticut. Crazy, right? Like many of you, I just absolutely loved St. John. I vacationed here quite frequently and always dreamed of living on this beautiful island.
I had a friend back then that sent me a link to a TED Talk. Its message was simple: Do what you love. It basically said that if you love something enough, do it whenever you can (at nights & on weekends in Connecticut, for example) and eventually, if you work at it enough, it will become your life. Well guess what, that’s pretty much my story.
So here I am, five years later, living on St. John full time and doing what I love. Since I bought the blog, I created St. Johnopoly with the help of my good friend Captain Tom Larson, and launched News of St. John Island Tours. The tours have been so much fun, and I have absolutely loved getting to meet many of you personally over the past year or so. And guess what? I have something new in the works that should make its debut later this year. And I’m not talking about baby News of St. John… He’s going to make his debut in just a few short weeks. (And we could not be more excited!!)
Since owning the site, I’ve also adopted Charlie, my amazing little ACC rescue. He definitely deserves a mention in this post!
When I took over News of St. John, the site was receiving roughly 300,000 hits a year. Last year, we received close to three million, and we’ve already surpassed one million hits in 2018. That is absolutely incredible and so very humbling. Thank you all so much for reading and for sticking by us, especially after last fall’s storms. You’re all just as much a part of this island as we are.
And thanks to you, we’ve had the ability to donate more than $60,000 to on-island charities over the past five years. We did so by holding raffles in 2014, 2016 and 2017, as well as through campaigns in 2016 and 2017 to raise funds for the annual Chaotic Kayak race. Over the years, we’ve been able to support the Animal Care Center, St. John Rescue, the Island Health and Wellness Center, Team River Runner’s St. John chapter and Friends Helping Friends. Again, this is all thanks to you.
(Hmmm, I’m starting to feel that we’re due to hold another amazing raffle. Stay tuned everyone…)
I’ve always said I’d continue writing this blog as long as it’s still fun. Well folks, I’m still having fun, so it looks like you’re stuck with me for the foreseeable future.
I think I’ll wrap this up here. In the meantime, do what you love folks. Make your dreams happen. And if you need a bit more inspiration, check out that TED Talk I mentioned here: http://bit.ly/1sIuARh