Here’s how much I work and what I actually do every day & week as a creative entrepreneur
This post comes highly requested from my most recent annual survey, so I’m stoked to write it for you!
First things first, my business has undergone a pretty massive pivot in what I offer, which in turn changes what I do every day, week and month quite a bit too.
Previously, I focused on website design for clients and blogging.
Now my business is headed more in the direction of digital products and content creation (continuing blogging + a new content platform coming soon in 2019!)
Basically my plan for the 2019 year is:
Marketing (content creation, content creation, content creation)
Launching & serving students
(Less so than the other two) Creating a select few more digital products
That’s it! And I’m so freaking relieved to say that. I served clients for years, both with full web design projects and smaller hourly work here and there, and from 2019 forward, I’ve eliminated those things.
If you read this blog at all, you know I’m exceptionally terrible at doing many things at once. I become one giant ball of stress looking at a calendar filled with so many obligations to different clients and students and blog readers and email subscribers. I put a hell of a lot of pressure on myself to ensure everything I do is done damn-well, which in turn produces a lot of stress.
So in order to combat that, I’ve really tried to focus on a select few areas of genius and eliminate the rest this year.
So anyways, now you know what I’m working on, let’s get into what I actually am up to every day/week/month.
A break down of my day
To start my day it goes one of two ways, I’m either motivated to go to the gym or not.
If I’m heading to the gym that day I . . .
7 AM: Wake up, put on the workout clothes I’ve put beside my bed, brush my teeth and pick up my pre-packed gym bag which has an outfit for the day in it. Drive to the gym.
7:30 AM: Get to the gym, head to the gym cafe, grab a sandwich or yogurt bowl for breakfast, and a coffee or OJ. Then I journal, I write down what I’m grateful for, what I would do upcoming if I had the option to do anything my little heart desires, and affirmations.
8 AM: Workout for about 45 mins
8:45 AM: Go to the gym sauna/spa area. Chill, read a book, meditate.
9:15 AM: Shower, get dressed and pretty, hop in the car, head home
Or, if I don’t get out of bed for the gym it’s more like . . .
9:30 AM: Snooze a couple alarms, wake up, eat, get dressed
10 AM: Head to a cafe to work. Open up my Asana, which gives me my marching order for the day and tells me what I’m working on.
1:30 PM: Head home, eat lunch with my boyfriend (he’s a teacher so he’s generally home early)
2:30 PM - 6:30 PM: Work from home
6:30 PM: Make Hello Fresh for dinner
7:30 PM - 10 PM: Run errands, grocery shop, go for drinks with friends, hang out with or take a walk with my boyfriend, etc.
10 PM - late: Work a bit more
Then I head to bed anywhere between 11:30 PM - 12:30 AM normally.
If it’s launch week for a course, that all stays mostly the same, except I tend to skip all time to myself, and just work straight through the day, only stopping for errands that really need to get done, and I’m always up until like 2 AM. Not ideal, but that’s the nature of running a business from Europe when most of your customers are in the USA. Even though that is a slight downside of living in Europe, it’s super worth it regardless.
Something I’d like to work towards getting under control in the future by hiring a launch manager is to get a lot of the repeatable launch tasks are off my plate, so I can have a semi-normal life during launches. That’s a 2019 goal!
How many hours do you work a week?
I’m often asked how many hours I work a week. The answer is I’ve never tracked it super specifically, so I don’t know exactly, but definitely more than I probably should/want to. 🙈
I’d love to get to a point where I’m working only 5 or 6 hours a day.
Knowing this is my goal, I’m only starting projects and offering products that enable that to be a possibility in the future. I’d also like for my life to not become completely consumed during a launch in the future.
I’m doing better at working less than I used to, but I’d guesstimate that during a launch I’m pulling 70 hours weeks and on a normal non-launch week, about 45 hours a week.
(If we’re being honest, by the end of a course launch, the best way to describe how I feel is being hit by a truck both physically and emotionally.)
In 2018 I made it my goal to stop working weekends, and I’m really pleased that I’ve actually done really well with that. That is of course with the exception of launch time when rules go out the window and I pull out all the stops to kill it with my launch.
What I actually do each week
Okay, so you’re probably wondering what I’m actually working on during the day. That really depends on what’s happening in my business that week.
I block my time by weeks. Here’s a look at what an upcoming month looks like:
So what I’m actually working on during the day really depends on what that weeks goal is. Here’s an example of the tasks I’d be doing during each of the weeks in the calendar above.
Revamp site + copy:
Decide on which site pages need to be revamped so they’re current and properly represent the products and content I’m focusing on and direction of my business
Go through Ashlyn Carter’s Copywriting for Creative course again to rewrite all the pages
Create graphics for different opt-ins
Pick out photos from my shoots and stock photos I’ve purchased (or buy more) for each page
Build out the new pages
Tell the world via social & my email list that the site’s all shiny and new!
Update SS course content:
Go to my list of edits the course needs I’ve been compiling
Check in the Squarespace Circle, read over all the forum posts from Squarespace about what’s new, add them to my list of updates
Outline each video and figure out where in the course it would fit best
Edit video, compress it
Upload to Teachable
Course pre-launch week:
Edit and update sales pages: write new copy, create new graphics, restyle and redesign it
Edit sales automations involving tagging and sending welcome emails automatically through ConvertKit
Update course welcome email
Create a new webinar or tweak an old one: Decide on topic, create webinar content, create 120+ slides, create graphics, creates webinar landing pages, write landing page copy, set up automations to enroll students from my Squarespace landing page > my webinar software, Crowdcast
Decide on webinar bonuses, create them
Get in touch with past students to record video testimonials: Contact past students, set up appointment time, write questions, hold call, record it, trim the video, compress it, upload it to relevant places
Ensure live chat is working on the sales page, download live chat app on phone
Prepare the student Facebook group
Ensure all sales page and cart checkout tech is working
Put timers on sales pages
Hold 5 days of live videos: Determine video content topics, outline talking points, actually go on FB/IG live and share content
Prepare and schedule 12 sales emails
Answer q’s on live chat or in the inbox
Fix any payment or course access issues
Generally make a big deal about the launch in any relevant places on the internet (Circle forum, social media, my blog)
Monitor FB ads
Run through webinars to be prepared before delivering it live, tweak slides
Test the webinar tech
Throughout the sale, adjust sales page, payment links and timers
(If I’m launching that course for the first time I also tend to need to be creating course content while launching too)
Sooo yeah, that’s pretty much what I do.
I do have a few tasks that also take place weekly, but they’re thankfully pretty minimal.
I meet with my assistant for about an hour.
Track business finances.
Previously, this was me sitting down with an excel document and inputting every single transaction earned and spent in my business.
In the near future I’ll be hiring a bookkeeper, so this should look more like me just looking over the final profit & loss statements I’m given and tallying up the business money into different categories in YNAB, ensuring I’m not blowing through money in any category carelessly.
How do you travel so much? How do you balance work & travel?
Y’all seemed to have picked up on the fact that I travel pretty frequently, I’m assuming either by Instagram or by my year-end business/life recaps (year 3 recap, year 4 recap) where I share the places I traveled that year.
I’ll quickly go through each trip in 2018 to show you exactly how I fit them into my schedule.
Austria - Planned a 1 week ski vacation, though it turned into a 3 day ski vacation when my boyfriend broke his shoulder and we had to come home early. When he went for x-rays and chatted with doctors about a possible operation, I went back to work early.
Germany - I live here most of the time. Did some weekend trips within the country.
Indonesia (Bali) - Live here for 3 months, worked A LOT while I was there. Admittedly, I didn’t see much of Bali outside my coworking space and yoga studio.
USA x 4 (Cali, Vermont, Iowa, North Carolina) - Cali was a business trip to meet up with my Accelerator program people, I was there for I think 4 days, working throughout, and I wrote sales emails on the 24 hour plane rides from Bali - Cali and back. Vermont was 3 days off for vacation, Iowa was a work trip that I did over a long weekend, North Carolina was also a work trip to a conference for 4 days.
Singapore - Was there for a weekend
Denmark - Another weekend trip
Canada x 2 - Lived here for 2 months in the summer. I took 3 weeks off for vacation while in Canada, and worked the rest of the time. My second trip was to see fam and friends before Christmas, and I worked 4/8 days there on that second trip.
The Netherlands - Weekend trip
Italy - 1 week vacation, no working
So, to answer your question about how I balance travel and working, mostly I’m taking weekend trips to countries that are close-by where I live in Germany. If I do a weekend trip, I generally take the Friday off work, but as my boyfriend works a ‘real’ job, unless there’s a long weekend, we normally aren’t staying for a super extended weekend.
Then, I also move to countries for a few months and work from there. Or, I actually take weeks of vacation for the other trips.
In 2018 I took I believe 6 weeks of vacation total. At the moment, when I take vacation, pretty much nothing happens in my business. My assistant holds down the inbox, does Pinterest, and schedules the weekly newsletter to my email list but not much is happening otherwise.
In the future as my team grows, hopefully work can happen even while I’m away.
And that’s it! If you have any more questions about how I run this show, lemme know and you might just see a blog post about it in the future!