About this episode
In this episode, we'll hear about her love for nature, hiking, and surfing plus how her drive to be included in technical conversations led her down the path of learning web design and development.
Matthew Munger Munger: Hey, Lish, it is a pleasure to speak with you today.
Lysh Laupama: Thanks for having me. Super excited.
Mount Maunganui, New Zealand
Matthew Munger Munger: Where are you located
Lysh Laupama: I'm located in beautiful Aotearoa. Many people will know it as New Zealand. I live on the East Coast in a little surf town called Mount Maunganui. It’s a really nice place to live. It's surrounded by beautiful beaches, and the mount here is pretty iconic, so we call it a manga. Everyone generally comes down to visit and takes photos on the top. And it's a really cool place to live. Really chill, really.
Matthew Munger: What do you like about living there?
Lysh Laupama: Exactly that it's really chill and really cruisy, I think.
Matthew Munger: What do you mean by cruisey?
Lysh Laupama: Everyone's pretty laid back. I mean, that's quite a kiwi thing anyway. But when I walk to the– I probably shouldn't say this in the– but when I walk to the supermarket and stuff, I'm barefoot, like everything's super casual. There's the concept of time, but not really, like no one's in a rush. Everything's like, “It can wait. It's, it's all good.” There's no sense of urgency here. And I really like that about this town.
Matthew Munger: When you go out of the house, where do you like to go?
Lysh Laupama: I'm very much like a nature person. I definitely go up the mount, so that's generally what I do in the mornings. I like to go up Mount Maunganui for sunrise, so that's around like six o'clock each morning. And it's so nice, because you stand up on the top and you can see our full coastline and yeah, see the sun coming up and that's just really nice.
Matthew Munger: Do you do that every morning?
Lysh Laupama: Not every morning. No, I'm not that keen, but most mornings, yeah. I try to every second morning or so, unless of course it's raining, which we just had a whole lot of rain. I'm not sure if you've seen it in the news, but– So that's what I like to do other than that. Depending on the swell, I'll probably go for a surf.
Matthew Munger: Is there a certain time of year where the surf is better?
Lysh Laupama: I'm not actually sure. I'm kind of just getting back into it and I generally just follow what everyone else is doing.
Matthew Munger: Can you describe your workspace there or where you normally work?
Lysh Laupama: So I'm someone that cannot sit still, so my chair is always moving. I will always have my feet up on something and it's a bit chaotic. But I generally do not work, I'm still studying. So, I will generally do that, either in our dining room or in our garage. So our garage is like an office slash gym. Two completely different things, but hey, it works. Those are my two spots.
Matthew Munger: So when you're taking a break from the screen, do you go and do some exercises?
Lysh Laupama: I’ll do some bicep curls. Yeah, to be honest, I've got one of those like yoga balls and so I'll go and sit on them and roll around on that. Or I'll just start stretching out my muscles, my lack of muscles. But yeah, I'm always kind of like fiddling around with something. So it's good to have a lot of stuff in there. I don't do any heavy squats or anything.
Matthew Munger: Do you find that kind of the physical exertion or the stretching, does that kind of change your perspective of your mood as you're coming back to things?
Lysh Laupama: Yeah, I think so. Stretching relaxes me. I think that's just coming from a dancer background, I've always kind of found that to be something that kind of resets my body. Kind of nice just to get away from the screen and stretch it out and then come back and reset fresh.
Matthew Munger: So either in the dining room or the garage. Do you have a view when you're in the garage? Do you actually open it up so you can see outside?
Lysh Laupama: No. In the dining room I do. So quite often I'll sit there and I have the window to my left. My neighbors will walk past and I'm like, “Hi.” I think again, I'm probably easily distracted, but I'm like, “Hey,” and they're kind of like, “Who is this girl?”
But, it's just a street, there's nothing really cool. It's not like the ocean or anything, but it's nice to see the sun come in. I think I need daylight, it’s really nice. That's why I sit out there rather than the garage, because I think I need, yeah, the light on my face to keep me energized really.
Matthew Munger: . Do you ever have an interesting object or something maybe with a story around you?
Lysh Laupama: Not really, to be honest, apart from my phone. That's so bad. I think my object is generally not an object, but it's nature. That's what inspires me. Like, I love going for walks. I love hearing the birds sing. I love seeing the water and hearing it crash. You know, like all those things. That's what inspires me. And I always get ideas of how the branch is sitting on something or the green that comes through, I'm like, “Ooh, I can use that for something.” So I'm definitely inspired by my surroundings.
Matthew Munger: Do you like to listen to music while you work?
Lysh Laupama: I do sometimes, and then I don't. It's a hard one because music can really energize me and charge me up and get me firing, but then it can also be very distracting as well. So yeah, sometimes if I think I need a little bit of a boost or motivation, then I will put some music on and kind of like slowly get my stuff together. But when I'm in the zone, I'm in the zone and I can't listen to anything unless it's like very, very low volume.
Matthew Munger: Is it a certain type of music?
Lysh Laupama: Yeah, not really. I think my music, I like all genres of music, so it kind of depends on my tune, or my zone. But I like quite beachy music, I think. I'm trying to think of one person that I really like.
Matthew Munger: I don’t know what beachy music is as a genre. Is that like just Beach Boys on repeat?
Lysh Laupama: Yeah [laughs]
Matthew Munger: It's not, but–
Lysh Laupama: It's definitely not, no. I really enjoy like old school Sticky Fingers. They're like one of my favorites.
Nature, surfing, & dancing
Matthew Munger: You mentioned that you like going for walks in nature and you also like surfing. Are those your main hobbies or do you have any other interests as well?
Lysh Laupama: Yeah, they would be. To be honest, I really enjoy hiking outdoors and surfing is something that I've recently picked up again. And so I've been just going full throttle with that and trying to go out as much as I can. To be honest, I don't have much time for anything else because I work full-time, then I pretty much study the other time. And then, I used to be really into dancing, but I've slowly transitioned out of that as I've gotten older.
Matthew Munger: What do you do for work and how do you define your role?
Lysh Laupama: I work in an accounting firm and my role's very mixed. I guess because I'm in a regional town, I tend to wear many hats. I work in marketing and communications and then I do a bit of HR, kind of payroll stuff, and I've been helping out with our office administration type stuff as well. So there's a lot going on there.
Matthew Munger: And then you said you're a student, so what are you studying?
Lysh Laupama: I'm looking to– basically, I've skilled myself in Webflow, so I really enjoy doing the development side. So I've been trying to do as much as I can in Webflow to potentially do that as a side hustle or even go full-time in the future. So that's what I'm learning, and getting into a little bit of understanding more about HTML and CSS and things like that to support my Webflow journey.
Matthew Munger: What is your motivation for wanting to be a student of Webflow and learn in your spare time?
Lysh Laupama: There's kind of two answers to this question. I've always been someone that's kind of looked at doing something on the side of what I currently do, if that makes sense. So I've always had a job, but I've always kind of studied something else, I guess, because I have such a thirst for learning.
It was last year, and basically my brother and I and his friend had been working on this fitness app. We had a meeting one day and it dawned on me that I was not a part of the technical team. They kind of had their thing going and I was just crowned as admin girl. When I basically was told that I can set up the meetings and stuff, I was a little bit like, “Excuse me, I can do this too.” And so I was like, “Okay, I need to work on this and look at what I can do to help support them.” But also be like, this is such a typical little sister, but like, “I want to be part of your team.” I wanted to build too. So, yeah, that was one side.
And the second side is I think I've naturally, when I look back at everything that I've done, there's this natural progression which has kind of got me to where I am now. Like my first job out of school, it was in insurance, but I helped my boss in building this intranet for everyone in this contact center so that they had fast information on the go. And I think it was in Drupal, actually. But I really enjoy doing that. I love putting the pieces together and building something.
And I think since then, my journey has kind of gone into sales and talking to small to medium business owners and then into marketing. And I think naturally I've kind of tried to gravitate back towards what I was doing, but I just didn't know how to, and so I think I've been kind of a bit lost. But now that I've found Webflow and started doing it, I'm like, “Cool, is where I belong. This is what I'm gonna do.” And what really motivates me is that I know that this is me for the long term. So I'm just gonna go in and show up and do as much as I can because this is me now, if that makes sense. So yeah, kind of the two things there.
Matthew Munger: So it sounds like it has really allowed you to tap back into your kind of builder, maker kind of self again. And how does that make you feel?
Lysh Laupama: It makes me feel so good. Like, it's hard to explain. I talk to people and I'm like, “Oh my gosh, it's like this whole weight has been lifted off my shoulders.” Or I've even gone like super saiyan mode and just have all this energy around me. It's such a weird feeling. I really feel like I've found my purpose now and found my groove and what I'm supposed to do, so it just feels, yeah, awesome.
Matthew Munger: What is a resource that you know about that you think other people need to know about?
Lysh Laupama: Wait, can I say two?
Matthew Munger: Yeah, of course.
Lysh Laupama: My first one is Atomic Habits by James Clear. I think that it's just such a fantastic book and can really set you up with some fundamentals on how to go about your daily tasks and what to prioritize, and how to set them up so that you achieve what you want to achieve. So I love that book and I always kind of reflect back onto it.
21 day design portfolio course
Lysh Laupama: And my second one would be– especially for anyone who is starting out on Webflow, if you're a beginner, and you want to learn more about it or get a good grasp of basically the fundamentals of what you need to know in Webflow– I highly recommend the 21 day portfolio course. That was my favorite, favorite, course. Yeah, it provides you everything that you need to know. It has assets if you want to build what they're building, or you can look at doing your own portfolio. But I love that course and that's probably the number one thing that I recommend to anybody that talks to me that's new to Webflow.
Matthew Munger: What is it that you liked about learning that way through the portfolio course, kind of why that really worked for you and helped move you forward?
Lysh Laupama: I think it was a combination of things. So one, it was very beginner friendly. Some courses can go on pretty deep and make you overwhelmed straight away, but this one doesn't. So it's designed to help you grow and go through everything that you need to know in the Designer.
But also it's just funny. It's so hilarious. I'm someone– I said this before–I'm someone that's easily distracted. And so I found that like, throughout the course, they'll pull you back in with just something very funny or witty or just super entertaining. And that's what I've thoroughly enjoyed about it. It always just kind of kept you on your toes. Super funny and, yeah, you learn a whole lot as well.
Matthew Munger: I was looking back at your history and I think you completed the course over three days, is that right?
Lysh Laupama: Yeah.
Matthew Munger: So even though it is laid out as a 21 day course, if you wanna take it nice and slow, you know, you can actually do it over 21 days. But you seem to– so that's about seven lessons a day?
Lysh Laupama: Yeah. I mean, look, when I say I found my groove, I found my groove and I was fully invested in it. Like, I pretty much couldn't sleep, couldn't eat, so I was like, “Cool, I'm gonna do this course.” So yeah.
Matthew Munger: Okay, I see a T-shirt, “Eat, sleep. 21 day portfolio course,” right?
Lysh Laupama: Yes, we need one. I mean that's what's good about it. It's broken down so that you can do it bit by bit over the 21 days or you can smash it out in three days. Yeah.
Matthew Munger: Who is someone in the Webflow Community that inspires you?
Lysh Laupama: Oh gosh, there are so many. Webers Bank, he's just someone that I connected with early on and have just seen him and his knowledge and building in public and sharing it. I really admire that. And, he's just so knowledgeable and he's like a superstar in my eyes, so yeah. Oh gosh, there's so many. Like Remar, Melissa, Diego. I can't name them all.
Matthew Munger: So you were inspired to actually start your own community within the Webflow Community, is that right?
Lysh Laupama: I'm very much a people person, and I think that's why I love the Twitter community is because I can chat and, you know, connect and what have you. Because I was sharing my progress with everything online, people started to realize that I'm just a beginner. And if they were a beginner too, they were connecting with me and saying, “Hey, you know, I'd love to learn together.”
We kind of realized that there wasn't really anything out there for just beginners on our own and bit the bullet one day and said, “Cool, should we just make our own community?” And, it was a bit nerve-wracking, but hey, we did it. And yeah, we're all in there and trying to do some build challenges just to help us progress, and I love it. I love trying to help other people, and seeing everybody else help each other out is just amazing.
Matthew Munger: How has that impacted you, being able to come together unifying around that same learning point?
Lysh Laupama: The difference really is when you're on your own, you see all these people doing amazing things and you see the highlights of their learning progress.
But when you start to learn as a team, especially when we do our weekend build challenges, you kind of see the panic that starts to happen when people are learning– you know, like bringing their skills into fruition. You start to realize that everyone kind of goes through similar processes and similar highs and lows, and you're not always gonna get it right straight away. But also people think differently. So, people might build something left and you might be going right, but eventually you end up at the same point.
It doesn't really matter which way you go about it or where you're at. I think that's what helps with having that community and talking to other beginners is you start to realize, “Oh, cool, there’s more ways than one to do anything.”
Matthew Munger: You're on a similar journey, but kind of take slightly different paths, but there are points where you have in common. I think a big powerful piece of it is that community. Being able to ask for help or get inspiration from people who are on a similar journey.
Lysh Laupama: Yeah, for sure. And it's cool because you could ask one question and someone's just been through it, so they're like, “Oh, here's what I learned and here's the resource” and stuff like that. So it's really cool and everyone's super friendly. What I love about the Webflow community is that everyone's super genuine and really wants to help you out.
Matthew Munger: Absolutely. I mean I have a similar story. Mine was through the Webflow forum, but you know, I went there one day because I needed help on my Webflow build at the time, I can't even remember what it was. I couldn't figure something else out. I went to the forum and was like, “Hey, here's what I need help with.” And while I was there waiting for a response, I saw some other questions, issues people were having and I was like, “Oh, I know the answer to that one,” you know?
Lysh Laupama: Oh, cool.
Matthew Munger: And then you go and you start answering, it actually is very educational. You learn a lot by helping others. And then eventually you come into the same thing. You're like, “Actually, I know the answer to this one because I helped somebody out.” Teaching others what you know is actually a really great way of learning because applying what you've learned is how we get understanding.
Lysh Laupama: Yeah.
Matthew Munger: What is some advice that you would like to give to those in the community who are maybe just starting out on their Webflow journey like you were.
Lysh Laupama: I would say don't get caught up in what everyone else is doing. Find out what you enjoy about the product, what you want to do, and go along that path. I think it can be quite easy to get distracted with what somebody else thinks might be the right move or the next move. I think it's important that you stick to what you wanna do overall and go with that. And also share what you're building. I think that helps. Yeah, there's so many people out there who will support you and give you some tips and tricks.
Matthew Munger: Lysh, if someone who's been listening today in the community would like to reach out and connect with you, how could they do that?
Lysh Laupama: You can find me on Twitter. So it's @lyshlau or come to our New To the Flow Slack channel, which you can find that in my bio.