This post is about 'a day in the life of' me, Jacqui Ma, the founder of Goodordering, east London accessories company. Running your own business is not easy however it can be rewarding. Recently a friend asked me what i did most of the day when i'm working on Goodordering and it got me thinking. So i decided to write this post about a typical few days in the life of being a sole company owner. It illustrates how little time there is in one day and also the huge amount of things i have on my plate at any one time.
Since my diagnosis of breast cancer at the beginning of October, i have been taking things a bit easier and making a conscious effort to do things that calm me down. I have always liked to make time for exercise and reflection but with the chaos of family life, its usually not that easy.
7am- wake up
8am - kids breakfast, uniform, clean up kitchen from the night before
9am - Drop Otto, my son off at school
10am - Go for a swim
11am - Get to studio on Columbia road, email replies, follow ups, listen to a podcast at the same time. Check warehouse stock, email warehouse with any outstanding issues.
12pm - Grab lunch from somewhere on the street thats easy, getting some fresh air and taking it back to the studio to eat.
1pm - Schedule a few social media posts, usually getting distracted. Adding a few wholesale customers to contact to a list (google docs)
2pm - Research and write blog post
4pm - Sales enquiries and outreach
5pm - Start packing up to pick up son from school, pick him up at 5.30pm
6pm - Search fridge for something to cook, eat dinner
7pm - Kids bath and bedtime routine
8pm - Faff around, life admin
9pm - Back to work, i do something a bit more 'recreational' like edit images or finish blog posts for following days social media posts etc with a cup of tea in bed watching tv
10pm - Sleep
6am - Wake texting with manufacturer in China (time difference)
7am - Think about getting up, already stressed due to text exchange with factory.
8am - Rush to breakfast, get dressed and kids up.
9am - School drop off, come back home because i'm too tired to sit at a desk and feel like working for a bit back in bed.
10am - Blogger/ brand out reach for possible collaborations, going through saved Instagram posts
11am - Admin i have been putting off, eg contacting HMRC, accountant, getting stock sent from warehouse to London for market stall.
12pm - Lunch, meet Mia who is on maternity leave with Max and go somewhere local for valuable catch up time.
1pm - Check and edit newsletter to be sent out weekly.
2pm - Photoshoot organisation, contacting people, creating mood board or working out costings.
3pm -Draw up the manufacturing specs for a new style or research a new material to use for a future collection. I might need to create a swing tag or inside label.
4pm - Look at accounts on cloud accounting software, get depressed.
5pm - Contact a few shops for wholesale orders or follow up on some current customers.
9pm - Accounts and book keeping - explaining bank feeds on cloud accounting software
12am - Finish accounts
7am - Ground hog day, wake up, kids breakfast, uniform
9am - School drop off
10am - Meet friend / business contact for breakfast meeting
11am - Make way back to studio, catch up on admin, opening letters, packages, paying bills, updating website with small tweaks.
12pm - Lunch
1pm - Feature on a podcast or do an interview - PR and marketing the brand and myself for Goodordering.
2pm - Mediation at the local Buddhist centre
3pm - Follow up details with factory, sending changes or photographing samples that they have sent to me.
4pm - Ride over to friend who owns a bike shop to chat and plan a pop-up or event.
5pm - Start winding up the official work day to pick Otto up from school, go via shops to pick up some food for dinner.
6pm - Attempt to cook dinner and get depressed about how messy the house is.
7pm - Eat dinner, chit chat, clean kitchen, homework, kids in PJs.
8pm - Brush teeth and put kids to bed.
9pm - Give up worrying about how messy the house is rather than do any housework, so straight to bed to watch TV and get stuck on phone looking at Instagram, prepare some posts for following day.
10pm - Try to sleep
The daily routines that keep me sane are my regular lunch hour and bed time. Everything else varies greatly from day to day. Running a business for me involves prioritising certain activities - mainly sales, and constantly fighting off the urge to procrastinate. I like to meet up with industry people, friends who also run their own businesses - this is my attempt at networking so that i can keep a view of the bigger picture with Goodordering. I find it really useful to do external courses, go to exhibitions and look around shops which i might do every couple of weeks.
Just creating this blog post makes me realise that it is very easy to get caught up in never ending admin which can be demotivating because its like treading water and sometimes feels like you are never getting anywhere. However, this stuff is so important for general business health and should not be underestimated. I am constantly looking at new and better ways to plan my week / days / month / life... so if anyone has any ideas for me please get in touch! I think the goal is to strike a perfect balance between the daily grind and inspirational big picture stuff, its all a fine balance, whilst also keeping my sanity and remembering why I started my own business in the first place.