Introducing “Behind the Scenes with…”, a new guest feature where each week an inspiring guest will be giving us an insight into the day-to-day goings-on in her business. Read, be inspired, seek out the bits that fit you best and apply them to your own business. I’m looking forward to learning from the successful entrepreneurs lined up and even more excited to share with you…
This week, I’m going to start the ball rolling with a peek behind the scenes here at EmmaGwillim.com…
- Tell me a bit about your business: My vision is for EmmaGwillim.com to become the glossy, inspirational brand for creative women entrepreneurs who want to design a life that sparkles, inside and out. I share interviews, features, ideas and visual inspiration on my blog. The newsletter, The Glitterati, is a weekly edit of inspiring features celebrating women at the top of their professional game and un-cut interviews. I offer exclusive one-to-one coaching, as well as group coaching programmes and workshops. And soon, I am looking to introduce a shop to bring the brand to life in The Glitterati Girl’s home and office.
- Describe your typical day/week schedule: As a mum to a 10-month old baby, I have quickly learned to become super-productive in the hours I have available for work. I have around 20-hours each week to focus on my business, when Louis is in childcare and in the evenings after his bedtime, and so I am far-better-planned than I ever was. My Sunday evening ritual has become planning time – I sit with a glass of wine and plan out the week (or two) ahead, including my work priorities, ideas for play and activities with Louis, and grown-up time with Jack, family and friends.
- How do you plan and organize your time? What are your biggest challenges with this? What tips can you offer? I’ve tried all kinds of tools to help me become more organised but I’m a pen and paper girl at heart. I use Todoist as the place where I ‘pool’ everything that I need to do, I think of it as my master to do list that I can access at any time. Then, when i come to planning time, I look at my priorities for the week and create my weekly plan from there in my paper diary (I use an A5 filofax). I’m a big goal-setter so I make sure I read my goals each week as the ‘nudge’ to keep focused. My biggest challenge is always that I over-estimate what I can do in my time and so I end up carrying tasks over to the next week and that is demoralising! The best tip I’ve been given is based on Tim Ferriss’ 4-hour Work Week idea of ‘batching’ – in other words setting a chunk of time to dedicate to one type of task until it’s done. For example, having a time to read and respond to emails…. but then, shock horror, ignoring the flashing light at other times. I’ve not quite mastered it with email but I ‘batch’ writing blog posts and I’ve certainly become more productive in that time.
- What are your essential office tools? I’m a big Apple lover and so I couldn’t be without my iMac – I saved for ages to buy it last year and I’m still smitten with it! I have notebooks galore, I cannot resist them and I’m forever writing down ideas and lists in whatever’s at hand. I’m really visual and so I spend way too much time on Pinterest and still ‘pin’ the old-fashioned way with pictures I tear out of magazines that I store in clear files (see picture).
- Are there any websites or apps that you’d recommend to other entrepreneurial women? Describe your workspace and how it integrates with your working style. How does it motivate/focus your work? I’m definitely a girly-girl and so my office is the one space in the house where I can indulge this side of me, guilt-free. I see my space as grown-up feminine! I love my desk as it has loads of space: I use one side for getting down to business, and the other side is free space for thinking and creating. I like to keep things clutter-free as I can find ‘stuff’ an easy distraction. I keep it simple – my computer, pen and paper and a hot drink at my side.
- I couldn’t be without GoogleDrive – I save all my working documents to my folders so that can access them wherever I am and I have a few valuable minutes to myself.
- I get flustered with keeping on top of receipts, expenses and invoices but FreshBooks has made life a lot easier – you can set up recurring payments, track time and it links with PayPal to make it simple to invoice clients.
- Where I use GoogleDrive for projects and working documents, I save ideas, inspiration and website bookmarks in Evernote. I’m really inspired by other people’s stories of success and so when I find a ‘keeper’, I’ll save the article to my Evernote notebook for safe-keeping.
- Now time is more precious than ever, I’m trying to become a better delegator. ODesk was recommended to me as a one-stop-shop to find people to collaborate with or to hire as part of a virtual team. This is a work in progress but my experience has been good so far!
- What book has most inspired you? When I was 16, Susan Jeffers’ Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway was recommended to me and it was the first time my eyes were opened to the possibility that changing things I wasn’t happy with was within my power. I’m now a self-confessed personal development geek and have quite a library BUT this is the one book that changed everything for me.
- What’s your typical working lunch? Honestly…? There is no typical for me. I often lose track of time and realise lunchtime has passed me by… My intention is always to rustle up something yummy and nutritious to fuel me for the afternoon, but I default to easy options such as scrambled eggs on toast or a tuna sandwich, and then it’s quickly back to it. I must do better!
- And how do you switch off once the working day is done? Once my working day is done it’s family time. On nursery days, my time with Louis when he gets home is precious so he makes it easy to switch off. When he’s settled for the night, dinner and chats with my hubby, a scented bath and a glass of wine always do the trick!
- What makes your life sparkle? People who defy the odds fascinate me. I love to see people overcome things that might be standing in their way and go for it anyway – truly inspiring!