Welcome to another Day in the Life post! If you’re new around here, let me explain what this series is all about.
I started the Day in the Life series because I wanted to show what a day in the life of all kinds of small business owners is truly like. This includes the perfect Instagram flat lays…and the mess on your desk. We all know that life isn’t Instagram or Pinterest perfect, yet not many of us talk about the uglier, less pretty parts of business and I hope to change that.
This series is to show a behind the scenes look at people from all kinds of industries and from all over the world, of what a day in the life is really like.
Today’s post comes from Zoe from ZoeLinda.co! We met via Instagram (yeah, so far everyone in the series I’ve met via social media!) and she’s always been very open about what works for her business as well as sharing the not so great parts of business (just wait until you see what happens toward the end of her day!).
I’m so happy to have her as a guest and I won’t keep you waiting any longer!
Want to be featured in the series? You can check out the guidelines and how to submit here. I’d love to feature you!
Day In The Life: Zoe Polland from Zoe Linda
Being a solopreneur is tough work. It’s gritty, it’s exhausting, it’s full of twists and turns, and it’s hard. A lot of figureheads online sugar coat what it’s like to run your own business. They sell you this alternate reality where you’re traveling most of the year, emailing by a poolside and working a couple of hours a day at most.
I’m so glad that Brittney asked me to take part in her Day In The Life series to help shine a light on what being a solopreneur really looks like on a day-to-day basis. I’m ALL about authenticity in business and this is right up my street. I get to be honest about what I do on a daily basis in a judgment free zone and you get an inside look into the life of an online business owner. Win-win!
My alarm goes off. I snoozed it – multiple times. This is when my boyfriend wakes up to get ready for work so I drift in and out of sleep as I hear the shower run and the caravan wobble as he walks around. (Yes, I live in a caravan on my Dad’s building site! But this is a very very long and rather interesting story for another day.)
James (my boyfriend) wakes me up. Because James suffers from epilepsy, he is unable to drive. Conveniently, we live in the MIDDLE OF NOWHERE so I am his chauffeur extraordinaire, which means early morning starts – and I am not a morning person. #NightOwlsFTW
After dragging myself into some jogging bottoms and woolly jumper, I hopped in the car and drove James to work. It’s about 15 minutes there and back so I’m always home by about 9am.
When I got home, I made myself a tea and a slice of toast. I checked my social media and read all my new emails but it’s still too early for my brain to function.
I’ve got my cuppa and a snuggly blanket station on the sofa – I’m ready to relax! I set up ‘Destiny’ on PS4 and fight some aliens for an hour or so. They had it coming, believe me! I LOVE this part of my day because it really lets me unwind and take some time to myself. James usually hogs the TV in the evenings so I rarely have time to play/watch what I want by myself. This is the perfect time to do this!
Sometimes I feel like I should be so much more productive in the morning, but then I realise that just because everyone else online is such a morning person, it doesn’t mean I have to be. I love that I’m more of a night owl – I don’t necessarily stay up til 3am every night but I definitely get more done later in the day.
10 am (ish)
I say ‘ish’ because I wasn’t really looking at times. I know it must be around 10 am because that’s when my Dad unlocks his front door. My office is in my Dad’s house so I always mosey on over to his (literally a 15-second walk from my Caravan to his front door) with Nala (the puppy) at 10ish to get started on work for the day.
After boiling the kettle and making myself a hot water bottle (I’ve been having back problems), I planned out my day in my bullet journal. I usually do this the night before but last night I went to the cinema with James and we had a late night watching Gilmore Girls to take my mind off of the heartbreaking ending to La La Land. (I can’t be the only one that cried at the end, right?) I’ve only recently started bullet journaling but I LOVE it – it’s made me so much more productive!
10:30 am to 11:30 am
I had so many emails to sift through. I’m an ‘Inbox Zero’ kinda gal and I hadn’t gone through my inbox in four days so I had a lot of work to do! I like to reply to everyone who responds to my newsletters so this takes some time. I also have a lot of client emails I need to action before I reply so I end up doing a tiny bit of client work in this time too.
I find purging my inbox to be so therapeutic but it always takes so long! If anyone has any tips, please let me know!
11:30 am to 11:45 am
I took this time to update my business finances spreadsheet/forecast as I’ve had a couple of new clients book recently. I also decided to postpone a course relaunch and move forwards my upcoming Instagram e-course so I needed to reflect this in my forecast!
Wait a second. I’ve gone the whole day so far without a coffee?! How did this happen?! Once I realised this shocking truth, I used my new Nespresso machine to make myself a caramel latte – seriously, it’s like having a Starbucks on my desk. I LOVE IT.
My Twitter chat was the next day so I needed to plan my content for this! The topic was ‘blog monetization’ and I usually do 5 to 6 questions with a few ‘top tips’ tweets in between. I spent some time planning this out whilst simultaneously watching a webinar by Halley Grey – I love that woman.
I’m planning to create an e-course all about Instagram and I wanted to set up a VIP waiting list. So I spent a while creating a landing page where my audience can sign-up to become a VIP and they’ll be the first to hear more details about the course. I also spent some time here replying to tweets and social media messages.
Once my waiting page was complete, I posted about it in my Facebook group. I need to spend some time adding this into my MeetEdgar queue but this can wait.
After commenting on a thread in a Facebook group, I ended up messaging a girl who needed help with her pricing structure. I like to do this quite regularly and spend at least an hour a week helping others in Facebook groups.Check out what a day in the life is like for @zoelinda_ on @brittneyllynn's day in the life series! Click To Tweet
With less than a half an hour until I had a call with a potential client, I scrambled to make lunch and eat as quick as I could. I ended up having a fish finger sandwich – a British classic!
2:15 pm to 3 pm
I had a call with a potential client about my influencer marketing services. It must have worked well because they booked me for a three-month retainer! Woohoo! This put me on a high until…
I spilt orange juice all over my keyboard! I quickly unplugged it from my iMac and managed to get rid of most of the spillage but it was still very sticky and needed a deep clean. I had another call at 4pm so didn’t really have time to clean the whole thing. I ran back to my caravan and grabbed my wireless keyboard I got with my iMac. I don’t know about you, but I LOVE the design of the wireless keyboard but I just prefer the click of ‘chunkier’ keys. Does that make any sense?! Haha!
My new wireless keyboard was taking ages to connect so I decided to film an Instagram story about my bullet journal whilst I waited. After filming a whole story, I realised that the internet was down and the videos weren’t even uploading! What a day!
It wasn’t long until my next call, which was a virtual coffee date with the lovely Louise from Solopreneur Sidekick. I decided to make a tea (Assam is my tea of choice!) and brush my very long, very tangled hair in preparation – this was a no makeup day so I needed to make SOME effort!
4 pm to 4:45 pm
I had my virtual coffee date with Louise, which went really well! It’s so important to spend time connecting with other creatives, especially when you live and work in a remote area. I really wish my town had some kind of co-working space but it’s just too small for that! (New business idea for when I have a tonne of cash, maybe? Haha!)
4:45 pm to 5 pm
I had a few tasks I needed to implement after talking to Louise so I made sure to action these right away before I forgot. I have a GREAT long-term memory – like I can remember what my sisters got for Christmas 5 years ago – but my short-term memory is extremely bad. I’m definitely the type of person to walk into a room and completely forget why they walked in there. This is why I have like 3 planners AND Asana to make sure I don’t forget anything!
5 pm to 5:30 pm
A new client had finished a questionnaire I sent over and I wanted to take the time to read her responses through. I got my client notebook out and wrote out all of her answers – I’m a firm believer in writing things out by hand to help drill information in! This really helped me to understand the client’s business and goals better so I can pull together a more bespoke strategy for her Pinterest account!
I was late to pick James up – he finishes at 5:30 pm every day! Oops! I rushed Nala back to the caravan and grabbed my car keys.
When we got home, I ran back to my office to grab my laptop and charger. I decided I wanted to work from home for the rest of the evening. I started on dinner when I got back – we had a broccoli and tomato quiche with chips and baked beans. VERY healthy 😉
The BRIT Awards were on this evening so I had this on the telly whilst I pulled together an update for one of my monthly clients. This didn’t take me too long so I only had my laptop out for about an hour or so!
When the awards ended, I was feeling pretty sleepy. I went to bed at around 10:30 pm and stayed up reading my book for about 30 minutes. I’m currently reading ‘Landline’ by Rainbow Rowell – it’s about a sitcom writer who discovers a magic phone that lets her call the past! It’s SUCH a good read.
I must have drifted off to sleep because I woke up when James came to bed at around midnight!
Of course, this isn’t an accurate representation of what EVERY day looks like for me. For example, today (the day I’m writing this post) I’ve spent most of my time on the phone to banks and insurance companies and I pretty much did nothing business related until 4 pm.
I hope this has helped you gain an insight into the working life of a solopreneur!
Zoe Linda helps passionate female entrepreneurs find clarity online through intentional social strategy. She is a social media strategist specialising in Instagram and Pinterest and offers influencer marketing services for businesses to increase their exposure online.
Follow her: Website | Facebook Group | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest
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