We all love a chance to go behind the scenes. The exclusive, elusive sneak peek. The vlog by your favorite content creator. Why? It’s fun! You get to feel like you’re really in the know. And, often, there’s some trivia or practical knowledge to take away from it. That doesn’t have to stop with movie trailers and Youtube premieres. We can learn from the regular habits of our peers. So, what does a day in the life of a female entrepreneur look like?
The real answer is that there is no answer—everyone’s work is completely unique. But that means each person will have unique insights and strategies for running a successful business.
To hear directly from the experts, I asked female entrepreneurs to share their daily routines with me. I received an absolutely overwhelming number of responses. So many, in fact, that I can’t keep them to just one article. Look forward to a new recurring series spotlighting the lives of female founders!
In this first batch, hear directly from female entrepreneurs across all kinds of industries. They talk productivity tips, work-life balance, scheduling, their go-to rituals and how they manage to stay on top of it all.
Erika Duncan, Co-Founder, People on Point
My day starts when the alarm rings at 5:30 a.m. My kids are in high school, so I want to get up with them and take advantage of the breakfast time to connect. I work out and have the hour “in my head” to prepare for the day and evening’s activities.
I spend the day solving problems for others. This often means phone calls with clients and video calls about HR challenges (which nowadays are many and varied). I try to keep up with networking and “give back/pay it forward connections”. My role is to advise others and my mind never stops.
I use a desk whiteboard along with other electronic means to keep me on track. It also ensures that I pause to change from my chair to an exercise ball so I don’t get sore.
I try to engage with my teens during afterschool activities, I make dinner and taxi them as many places as I can go—when they head to bed, I head back to my office and start working again. Emailing, networking, reaching out to new clients and trying to save time to pursue other streams of income like E-commerce. I track what I accomplish, reflect on my goals and my results daily and weekly and decide what I could do to improve next time. The client’s goals are important. Growing my business is important. But to me, I want my 15 and 16-year-olds to know they are the most important.
Leslie Brocksmith, Founder and Head Strategist, Aesop Studios
Here’s a schedule of what my typical day looks like. I hope to encourage other female entrepreneurs to not compare their insides to someone else’s outside because no one is doing it all.
- 6:30 a.m.: Wake up and prep toddler breakfast. Get dressed. Make coffee.
- 7 a.m.: Wake toddler and get him to eat some breakfast. He goes to daycare three days a week, so if it’s one of those days, we get dressed straight after breakfast.
- 8 a.m.: Daycare drop-off and listen to a podcast on the drive home. Sometimes it’s business-related, sometimes it’s the news.
- 8:30 a.m:. Clear off my desk. Review my to-dos from the day before. Answer outstanding emails. Drink a second cup of coffee.
- 9 a.m.: Work on the most important tasks of the day because I’m a morning person. I like to have all important client work and deadlines met by 1:00 p.m.
- Noon: Lunch break. Typically, this is leftovers from the night before. Takeout always sounds much better, but my heartburn says “don’t do it.”
- 12:30 pm: Return to my desk to start my CEO tasks. The second part of my day is focused on marketing and administrative tasks for Aesop Studios. I make it a priority to work both on and in my business.
- 4 pm: Respond to outstanding emails. Make sure all client content has been delivered for the day. Make a to-do list for the next day and preview the rest of my week.
- 4:45 pm: Pick up toddler from daycare.
- 5:15 pm: Binding and wind-down time with toddler and husband.
- 6 pm: Dinner for toddler which is usually leftovers mixed with fresh fruit and veggies. Sometimes healthful, sometimes not.
- 6:45 pm: Toddler to bed.
- 7:30 pm: Make dinner for husband and me.
- 8 pm: Eat and breathe.
- 10:30 pm: Bed. Truthfully, being pregnant, I could go to bed around 7:30, but I like to have time back to myself and to be with my husband after a long day.
Shena Jaramillo, MS, RD, Peace and Nutrition
I organize my workday by determining the daily and weekly tasks that need to be completed. I typically plan out three major weekly tasks on Sunday night.
Each day, I begin by identifying three tasks that need to be completed. I keep this limited so that I’m not stuck in constant overwhelm. In addition, each task has an assigned time limit of 15 minutes. If it can’t be completed in 15 minutes, it needs to be broken down further or re-assigned for the next day.
Each morning, I begin my day at 7 a.m. with a one-hour workout. This helps me get prepped and in the right headspace for the day.
I see clients four days a week for a total of five hours. Following that, I work on my blog for about two to three hours. I spend one day a week focusing on administrative tasks.
It’s important to set specific work hours so I don’t spend all of my time thinking about business. So I limit my total business activities to 32 hours per week, taking a three-day weekend.
I focus on one percent improvement each day. I refuse to work in hustle mode as overall, this decreases productivity and leads to burnout.
At the end of the day, I journal, reflecting on my accomplishments of the day and the goals left to meet. This reflection makes it easier to avoid the feeling that nothing ever gets done.
Jill Raymond, Director, Artrepreneur Consulting
As an artrepreneur, a typical day looks a-typical. I wear many hats during the day, and things are constantly moving and shifting.
My regular tasks include checking emails as the first point of call every day, scheduling any meetings or time-sensitive matters for the day, writing, content creation and collating data, metrics and research.
Making sure my desk (both virtual and real) is cleared at the end of every day is important for me. I never leave emails unread. Any urgent or pressing tasks that I haven’t dealt with are added to a to-do list for the next day. That way, I know that all the tasks are aligned and I’m not fretting about anything being missed or forgotten.
For managing conflict or difficult emails, I always try to sleep on it—or write it out and sit on it for at least an hour—before sending a response. This makes sure nothing else comes up, like a call (or even an apology, sometimes!).
A few time management tips: schedule your time in chunks. Close excess tabs—especially emails (when not needed) and social media which will constantly be sparring for your attention. Make breaks for yourself within the day, and make sure you eat. This is something I have really had to work on. Because I’m constantly on the go, it’s not unusual to get to 6 p.m. and realize I haven’t eaten all day. You have to look after yourself first!
Read our interview with Marin Gardner for tips on building a successful art-based business.
Brianna Parks, Elopement Photographer, Brianna Parks Photography
While my job title may be photographer, my day-to-day life wouldn’t make it seem like that. I wake up around 7 a.m. and go for a run. After exercising, I come home, make breakfast and tend to scroll social media for about thirty minutes before tidying up a bit. I can never start my day with a messy house.
After my habitual morning routine, I start work at 9 a.m. by answering emails. The rest of the day depends on what needs to be done. Most of the time, I’m making location lists or timelines for my couples, editing or writing blogs for my site.
Each day has a designated task. For example, Mondays are solely focused on client work such as phone calls, location lists or editing. Tuesdays are for writing blog posts, and Wednesdays are for website maintenance.
I’m strict about ending each day at 5 p.m., though sometimes it ends earlier if I’m feeling mentally exhausted.
After work is over, I write in my planner what I need to tackle for tomorrow. I always break it up into 30-minute increments. I then take my dog for a walk, make dinner and enjoy the rest of the night talking to my husband and scrolling through TikTok.
The best piece of advice I can give for those who are struggling with time management is to invest in a good planner and designate certain tasks for certain days. I’ve noticed that focusing on one specific category a day has greatly helped me stay on track. It’s also greatly improved my mental health since I’m not constantly stressed out about what I need to get done next.
Sydney Ross, Founder, Jump&Jacked
- 7:30 a.m.: I start by getting ready for the day. Even though I do all of my work from home, I find it essential to get dressed like you would for a normal day of work. I make my tea, go to my home office, set up my diffuser, put on relaxing music and do Wordle to start my day off with some fun. I make a do-to list every morning with three things I want to tackle plus three things I’m grateful for. This makes the day so much more organized and less stressful. There are endless tasks when owning your own business, so it helps me to just focus on the next small steps. I then spend three hours at my desk tackling my to-do list, which changes daily, but my laptop is always required.
- Noon: I take a break for breakfast, lunch or coffee while spending time with my fiancé. I get in another hour of work to let my meal digest and then I film an on-demand workout. This process takes around an hour and a half.
- 3:30 p.m.: I drink a protein shake, edit the video I just made and upload it to the platform.
- 5:30 p.m.: I eat dinner and take my dog Larry for a walk while listening to a business podcast.
- 7:30 p.m.: I post on social media and answer any new emails.
- 8:30 p.m.: I spend time with my fiancé, I do the Daily Calm (10-minute meditation), do my nightly routine and relax for the night.
My time management tips:
- Write a to-do list every morning so you don’t feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to tackle that day
- Find joy in your business. I spend the majority of my time thinking, dreaming and breathing my business, but since it sparks joy, the journey seems brighter.
- Focus on the next small step. This goes back to my first tip, but when you look at the big picture, it can feel daunting. So it’s essential to just keep moving, believing and staying consistent
- Take breaks throughout the day.
- Meditate. It helps me calm down at the end of the day, which is definitely needed!