A day in the life of a creative entrepreneur

When thinking about going into a particular work sector, a general job description won’t tell you much about the everyday ins and outs of a job. From talking to both recent graduates and senior employees in a variety of sectors, it is fascinating to see how dynamic their roles are, and how they integrate work into their unique lifestyles. Entrepreneurship is particularly diverse, not only in terms of the everyday tasks and priorities, but also in terms of the journey taken to get to becoming an entrepreneur.

The power of visuals
The power of visuals

I wanted to share my own ‘typical day’ as the founder of Envirovisuals, showing how I keep balance in my life as a creative entrepreneur, but also proving that you can do a day job, have a life, and be successful in your entrepreneurial venture!

7am – I’m one of those odd morning people, so when I wake up, I get up. I write my Five Minute Journal, and then go into the lounge to do 15 minutes of yoga using a YouTube video. Both help me set intentions for my day, and yoga is a great way to stretch and ground myself.

yoga fun
Grounding yoga (i.e. lying on a floor)

7.30am – I have breakfast, usually porridge with peanut butter and a coffee, while reading the news and also checking social media accounts. I’m really bad at continually updating my news-feeds during the week, but having gained Envirovisuals work through Twitter and LinkedIn, I know that it’s worth doing. Using Buffer has helped, where I can schedule several posts in one go, saving time later in the week.

8am – Once showered and dressed (I admit this takes me 15 minutes in total…), I head off to my day job. My job is 9-5, Monday to Friday, and is for a fantastic charity called UpRising, which helps under-represented young people gain networks, confidence, employability and leadership skills. I took part in their Environmental Leadership Programme in 2016, and this is actually where my Envirovisuals journey began. Not only do I love the charity and my job, but it also provides financial stability which, as a start-out entrepreneur, is essential.

UpRising sketchnote
One of the ‘sketchnotes’ I drew at an UpRising media workshop, 2017

12.30pm – On my lunch break, I do some more social media and also check Envirovisuals emails. I often call any existing or potential clients at this time too. Having a daily time to do networking and follow-ups is important to me, as it means I can keep my day job separate from Envirovisuals, and devote undivided attention to each. These networking calls are made on a 30 minute walk around London’s Docks, bringing me back to the office.

lunch prep
Lunch time!

5pm – After leaving the office, I walk for 20 minutes to get to the Tube, then head for the centre of the city. This walk is another window for any social media, emails or networking for Envirovisuals. A few times a week, I’ll meet up with friends for an hour or so, then head back home to cook dinner.

6pm – Dinner is usually cooked relatively early each day, and I buy a monthly veg box which gives me a bounty of fresh, local and seasonal produce to experiment with. My down-time is over dinner, where I’ll catch up with people and watch a bit of TV.

8pm – It’s art time!

On a week day, I spend around an hour or two on art commissions. Recently, I’ve had a lot of illustrations to do, so I’ll spend time thinking of how to convey the topic visually, draw the outline of the illustration, and then leave colouring and touch-ups for the next few days. If I have no illustrations, I’ll practice graphic ‘sketchnoting’ (i.e. graphics on A4/A3 paper) by watching a TED talk and doing real-time drawing of the key messages. TED talks are particularly great as they are fast-paced and short, so I can get a sketchnote done within 20 minutes.

TED talk on positive psychology - real-time graphics practice
TED talk on positive psychology – real-time graphics practice

If I have a graphic recording gig coming up, I will do some research into the organisation and event topics, so I can start drawing some logos or graphics in advance. For example, for an upcoming event on sustainable technology, I’d prep some simple logos for ‘IT systems’, ‘Innovative Thinking’, ‘Data’ etc. The benefit is that I then have visuals stored in my mind for the event, so when these topics come up, I don’t need to spend 30 seconds (a valuable amount of time when live-drawing) thinking up a logo.

practicing people icons
Practicing people icons

If I’m feeling really productive, I will also spend some time looking for organisations to contact. Contacting the events, HR or marketing department of organisations is the best route for me, as they will be in charge of budgeting, strategy or recruitment. I am active on Facebook and LinkedIn forums for creative entrepreneurs, and a lot of my work has come through these online networks, so while it’s time-consuming to trawl through posts, it’s worth it.

10pm – I prepare my lunch for the next day, then chill! I don’t want to sound like a granny, but I physically and mentally clock out at around 10.30pm. Once in bed, I do my Five Minute Journal, post a cool graphic on Instagram, and then sleeeep!

Instagram worthy graphics
Instagram worthy

So, there we go. A typical weekday for Envirovisuals. My weekends are definitely not as structured, but this is when I head off to do any live graphic recording, update my financial accounts, buy art materials, write a blog, or finalise any commissions. My weekends are also filled with social and outdoor activities, which helps me to switch off and not burn out. I am not the sort of entrepreneur to stay up until 4am, and work every hour of the weekend.

Having a balance between day job, Envirovisuals and life is key to the success and maintenance of all three, as I keep happy, healthy and motivated.

Be kind to yourself
Be kind to yourself

 

 

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