Ocean conservation is everyone’s concern, regardless of where you live on the planet. Even if you live far inland, do your part to reduce, reuse, recycle.
Los Angeles native, surfer, skater, and SCUBA diver; Apryl Boyle’s undergraduate degree from the University of Tampa is a double major of marine science & chemistry. Her Master’s degree is in Biomedical Science from the department of Biostatistics, Bioinformatics, and Epidemiology at the Medical University of South Carolina. She’s focused her research and advocacy work on sharks and has been featured on Discovery Channel, National Geographic, and other international media. Apryl is working to create Citizen Scientists and advocates for ocean and shark conservation. She is based in Los Angeles and is an independent researcher and advocate.
Her company, El Porto Shark, started as an awareness campaign and then became an ocean and environmental science consultancy. She has since changed direction and moved the company to non-profit status in order to focus more on the mission of ocean and shark conservation through research, education, and action.
Where did the idea for El Porto Shark come from?
My regular surf break is called El Porto and one year there seemed to be more media attention to the young-of-the-year Great White sharks that come around annually. It felt like there was reporter after reporter showing up on a weekly basis for several weeks asking the surfers if we were afraid to get into the water. I decided to try and combat all of the misinformation and fear that they were spreading so El Porto Shark started as a digital campaign to create awareness around the importance of these top predators in our oceans. An ocean without sharks is far scarier than an ocean with sharks. Humans kill nearly 100 million sharks every year and this is killing our oceans. I knew that I had to act.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
First thing is meditation and then breakfast for me and my dogs. Next, I’m spending the day on my computer analyzing study data, networking, writing content, or researching papers on the current science and findings in my field. Other days I’m out in the field either on the shore or a boat, at a conference, giving workshops, speaking/presenting for events, or meeting other researchers. The best part about my days is that they are nearly never the same and often involve a lot of ocean time.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I just make it happen. I find the resources and go. When I needed a website, I read and figured out how to do it. If I can’t figure out how to do something, I look for outside help from an expert. It’s important to recognize when you need another opinion or when to delegate. Never be afraid to ask for help.
What’s one trend that excites you?
The trend that excites me is that I am seeing more and more women entrepreneurs! There are more support systems, mentors, and interest in assuring our success. I love being in this sisterhood!
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I’m an early bird that gets more done before 10:00 am than most people do in 2 days. I start at 4:00 or 5:00 am and make sure to have breakfast. I’ve been vegan for a very long time, don’t have a sweet tooth, have a stand up desk, and put self-care first. My health and well-being is non-negotiable.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t worry about what your friends are doing, keep your head in that book and learn all of the things that excite you and you ARE really good at math!
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Sharks, especially the larger apex predators, are in dire need of our protection before they become extinct and create irreparable damage to our oceans and entire planet. Granted, there is a larger body of advocates and others that agree with me that continues to grow. However, the average person has no idea just how important this is. Regardless of whether someone lives on the coast or far inland, we all need to be concerned with ocean and shark conservation.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I can’t stress self-care enough. Take the time to eat right, exercise, and get enough sleep. I saw Arianna Huffington give a talk about not burning the candle at both ends and to get enough rest. She claimed we’d be more productive if we took the time to sleep and not try to work 14,16+ hours per day. I agree with her. Get some sleep and take care of yourself.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
What’s helped me grow my business is not being afraid to put myself out there and network, both in person and online. I find the events that will have the types of professionals that I want to connect with. If there is a list of who is attending beforehand, I research who I should be talking to and assure that I do that. If there is no list, I am sure to mingle around and look for those that I should be having conversations with. Online, I look for others in my field and invite them to connect and collaborate. Even if there isn’t a project we can embark upon together immediately, it’s great to learn what others are doing, tell them what you’re doing, and stay in touch.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Well, I don’t consider things “failures”. Really they are guideposts that help direct me to something that is more relevant or prosperous. We cannot be afraid to “fail” or have things not work out exactly as we planned or wanted. Focusing on “failures” can eat away one’s confidence and I just don’t have time for that. One of my favorite quotes is “the biggest risk in life is not risking”, from Sara Blakely (founder of SPANX). So, to me, not taking those risks, calculated or otherwise, would be a failure.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Accessible financial planning for young people and entrepreneurs. I’ve met so many financial planners at networking events and many feel inaccessible for those that don’t make six figures or own property. Financial advice should start early on in one’s adult life/career. Surely we can have an app to make setting and meeting financial goals easy and that gives personalized advice.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I bought water sampling equipment for a collaborative project that I’m doing with another non-profit. I’ve worked with them in the past and I’m very excited to get this going as it is a 2-3 year project that will have interesting results. The partner is sailing from San Diego to Hawaii and around the islands before coming back to the mainland and I’m instructing them on how to take pH, temperature, salinity, etc. along the way and to record wildlife observations.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
The Google suite of products for businesses. My company email is through gmail, the calendar syncs perfectly with my Android phone AND Apple computers/iPad, the meeting tools, the Drive…I can’t recommend it enough.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Read “Thrive” by Arianna Huffington. She makes the case for self-care and what we should measure as success.
What is your favorite quote?
Well, other than the aforementioned Sara Blakely quote, I’d have to say it is , “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” That’s from hockey great Wayne Gretzky.
- Practice non-negotiable self care. Period.
- Put yourself out there and take those risks/shots, you’ll come out with amazing opportunities.
- Ocean conservation is everyone’s concern, regardless of where you live on the planet. Even if you live far inland, do your part to reduce, reuse, recycle.