A Look Into My Life As A Small Business Owner
It may sound glamorous, but the reality is that behind this seemingly cool title there’s literal blood, sweat, and a whole lot of tears. Oh and sacrifice. There’s a whole lot of that. Don’t get me wrong, I choose this life, and I wouldn’t want it any other way, but as they say.. nothing worth having comes easy.
If you read our startup story, you know that Here + Now Creative Co. was more or less started on a whim. I never expected to be doing what I am doing now. In fact, I literally had no plan and no clue what I wanted to do with my life. Maybe that’s why I had the guts to do it? Regardless, it’s safe to say that my day to day is quite unique.
So, what does a typical day in the life of a small business owner actually look like? The phrase “With great freedom, comes great responsibility” comes to mind. Sure I make my own schedule. Sure I can wear yoga pants and no makeup. And sure I can work from wherever I want, but the truth, I believe, to all that freedom, is a whole lot of responsibility.
The harsh yet wonderful reality is that this isn’t a salaried desk job. I can’t just punch the clock, show up, and then go home knowing that I have a steady paycheck no matter what I accomplished that day.
There is no guarantee in this lifestyle. If I want to make money and be successful, I have to work for it. Day in and day out.
So, what does that look like? (Note that this is a tentative schedule. I’d be lying if I said we were always this becoming.)
Most days I wake up around 5:30/6AM. Some days I go to a 6 AM yoga class, or for a run in the morning. For me, exercise and health are crucial. I can’t, and I don’t perform at my best without taking care of myself. So this is something I always try to make room for in my schedule. Recently, I’ve also begun to meditate in the morning. As business owners, we can be so tunneled into our day to day tasks, and our to-do lists that we can miss things that are happening in the present moment. Meditation helps me to present myself so I am able to notice new opportunities around me. Well that, and it just helps me stay sane.
Around 7:30/8 AM I eat breakfast. Usually while eating, I go through our Instagram account. Check for any new messages and spend about 30 minutes engaging and being active on the gram.
I am usually sitting at my computer by 9 AM at the very latest. I’ve found that the early morning hours are my most productive, so I try to take advantage of them. I try to spend my first few hours of the day on more internal work. Either writing blog posts, content creation, or scheduling pins for Pinterest. This is when I am the freshest and most focused, so I try not to get lost in my inbox during this time.
Sam and I meet in hangouts usually around 9:30 AM. We like to go over our task list at the beginning of the week, and the beginning of each day, so we are aware of what we need to get accomplished. This also allows us to determine what tasks we can divide and conquer, and which ones we need to complete together. We try to knock out the things that need to be done together before we break for lunch.
On Monday, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, we try to keep the focus on client work. During one month we can have from 3 – 4 client projects going on at a time, along with retainer and small projects, and be meeting with others to book them for the future. Wednesdays and Fridays we focus on more administrative tasks. Administrative tasks can include; curating and scheduling our Instagram and social media posts, brainstorming and reviewing our marketing efforts, evaluating our brand and seeing how we’re reaching our audience, auditing/updating our website, writing email newsletters, reviewing and making improvements to our client process, creating work for our shop, doing what we call “end of the month tasks” .. i.e. reviewing our finances.. and the list goes on and on and on.
Literally, it’s never-ending.
Around 11:30 AM or 12 PM we break for lunch. During this time I really try to take some time away from my computer. Sometimes I’ll go for a walk and listen to a podcast episode, or do laundry. This enables me to take some necessary time to reset my brain.
In the afternoons we try to conquer the work we’ve divided up. It’s kinda like back in school when you had ’quiet work time’. That’s the idea anyway. Some days we don’t get this time and we have to meet back in hangouts to finish up tasks we didn’t get accomplished in the morning.
Around 3:30 or 4 PM my brain pretty much shuts off and I’m about as productive as a rock. If I didn’t go for a run or go to yoga in the morning I do it at this time. Also, that post-lunch sleepiness can start to kick in, so it’s the best time to get up and get moving again.
Around 6/6:30 PM I cook and eat dinner and simultaneously watch an episode of a show (okay fine, I’m watching the bachelorette, go ahead and judge me). After dinner most nights I try to pull up my computer and work on another task from our never-ending to-do list or catch up on client work. *
Unless I get caught up on work I typically am in bed around 10/10:30 PM. Sleep is another thing I really don’t perform well without.
If I’m honest, my business pretty much runs my life. I’m single and I don’t have kids, so truly I have nothing better to do a lot of the time than work. (Is that called dedication or hustle or just pathetic? Idk I guess it depends on what day you ask me). Don’t get me wrong, I do have friends and family that I enjoy spending time with, and I have other hobbies besides work, but part of the reason Sam and I started this business here + now (see what I did there was because we had literally hadnothing to lose at this time. So yes, I spend a good deal of my time at this stage in my life working. But I am okay with that.
I guess my point is that life as a 24-year-old business owner is hectic, and stressful, and terrifying, but absolutely worth it. The honest synopsis? My work hours fall somewhere between ‘whenever I want’ and ‘all the damn time’, my social life is few and far between, and bank account is almost never steady. With all that being said, I wouldn’t want it any other way.
* When you own a business there’s this looming black guilt cloud that just kind of hangs over you and makes you feel really shitty if you’re “wasting time”. I’m sure some of you can relate. I’m working on taming it, but any advice on how to do so is very much appreciated.