A day in the life...
Where do I even began? Let me just say, I work in shifts, based on what needs to be accomplished, on any given day. As, I'm sure, most of you, can identify with. It's different every day, seeing as how, a day in my life, and yours, is affected by the goings-on, in the lives, of others, connected to us. It can be both wonderful and overwhelming.
I wear many different hats, but even, if I only wore one, it would be a full-time job. STILL. Looking back, I don't know how I ever managed a 9-5 job and still accomplished, managed, and handled, everything else, that was going on, in my life. Actually.. I do know. It was by grace.
I am a wife, mom of 4 and abuelita of 8, an entrepreneur, pastor, teacher, blogger, writer, friend, niece, confidant, daughter, sister, counselor, manager..etc etc.
This list isn't complete, but you get the gist.
NO... WAIT! I'm a housekeeper, cook, nurse-maid, organizer, taxi service, planner, and executor, of said plans. Does that about cover it? Probably, NOT. (Read: DEFINITELY, not.) If it sounds like we're living the same life, then.. let the church say, "Amen."
I spent many years, in the biochemistry field, as my profession. It was rewarding and fulfilling, but it could also be stressful and all consuming. The company I worked for (which is well known in the science world) made synthetic DNA, rNA, and peptides, for research, and the production of medicine, among other things, including, the biology and chemistry textbooks, in many schools, around the world.
After many years, in 2013, I decided to leave the field, to spend more time, with my family, and pursue ministry full time. I was already blogging as a hobby, but I only recently decided to "turn pro" in 2019.
A year, earlier, I began a small digital products business, and began life and business coaching. I'd already been doing it, for a few years, just not "professionally." Yes, I took on a lot at once. But as the adage goes, "go hard or go home." So, I threw all of my irons in the fire.
When you're wearing, as many hats, as most of us are, you have to be very organized. And, it goes without saying, you must have a plan, man! I've found that most small business entrepreneurs, don't take the time to create a detailed business plan. They wing it as they go and adjust on the fly. I, too, was this person. Not anymore though and I didn't do it for long.
It's imperative that entrepreneurs have the right tools and systems, in place, to automate their businesses as much as possible. It shouldn't always require your physical presence to function.
So here's a typical day in my life:
I wake up with thanksgiving in my heart and a prayer on my lips! Partly, because I know, that when I open my eyes, my phone, will already, have texts messages, displayed. And there's no telling what the lick will read. Sometimes, I say another prayer just about those. I tell the Lord, I know, His provision, grace, and guidance, will be more than enough, for the day. I thank Him for His Blessed Assurance.
Then I'm off to make my morning rounds.
I'm generally out and about very early, at 6:30 a.m. with my robe still on, and coffee in hand. (I'm wearing a new robe, since I lost Stephanie.) To read Stephanie's story: Another One Bites The Dust! (A Sad Tale Of How My Robe "STEPHANIE" Transitioned To Her "Robe Home On High") click here This new robe, isn't all that, but it'll do, until I can find better.
I drop my daughter and granddaughter, off at school, in the morning.
So, in my car for those 2 hrs, is where I get a spiritual Word in my belly, and my praise on. I usually listen to Sirius XM station 64, and #TheUrbanAlternative, with Dr. Tony Evans, on 105.7FM at 8:30 a.m I sincerely believe, how you start your day, is important. It sets the tone, for the way, the rest of it will go.
To feed my entrepreneurial spirit, I also listen, to Gary V's podcast, "The Gary Vee Audio Experience," and Ronne Brown's podcast, "Girl CEO." Both will get you right together.
I also listen to affirmations, I've recorded, on an audio app, from my own book, The Power of Positive Affirmations. This is enough, to take me through, the whole 2 hour drive. I pull back into my driveway, walk in the house, ready to tackle, the day's agenda and to-do lists.
I begin by checking my messages and emails. I then, proceed to reply, respond, schedule, and update my calendar and entries.
I check the news, and my social media feeds, to see what's new, relevent, and important. I post, respond, and engage.
I, then go to my website editor, and update it, with new blog posts, graphics, and promotions.
I create most of my graphics in Canva. I love Canva! It really is a blogger's BFF.
(If you need help making graphics and other digital media creations, click here to check out my Canva Course Bundles)
Even though, I said "update with new blog posts, graphics and promotions," what I really mean, is, I have to write and create them. At this point, in my business, I'm a one-woman-show. I'm the editor, the graphic designer, the social media manager, photographer, videographer, as well as, the sales and marketing team. Yayyy, me!
Of course, as I grow, it won't always be this way. But for many of us, this is how it is, in the beginning stages.
Don't let the glamorous, glitzy, well curated photos, of your "faves," Instagram feed, fool you. Entrepreneurship is hard work! There's so much work and "in the trenches" type labor, that isn't shown, or spoken about. Be prepared to get up early, stay up late, cry, feel like throwing in the towel, reassess, regroup, rework, relaunch, fail, and do it all over again, until you succeed. Anywho..
Normally, by this time, I have decided on a blog post topic, I want to write about, or a digital product I want to design. I'm generally jotting down notes, ideas, and subject matter all day, every day, in my planners, phone, and prayer journal. I'm never short on material. Just time. There is never enough time.
Then, it begins.
I finally start to write.
Go! Go! Go!
"STOP! HALT, I SAY...!"
*The music, that cues an interruption, plays*
Pick from list of any interruptions below:
*School nurse calls to say you need to come pick up your sick kid
*Sick kid, whose already home, interrupts you to say, they're hungry
*Husband who works 2nd shift (or whatever shift yours works) interrupts you to say, he's hungry and/or sick
*Someone calls to ask you for a favor- that you don't have time to do-but you do it anyway, because you're a nice lady
*Someone calls to ask if you can pick them up and give them ride -said ride turns into an all day adventure
*Your grandchild interrupts to say they're hungry, thirsty, or sick
*Inserts MY interruption here * It was the hungry, sick husband, that I've been nursing for 5 days. Y'all already know. (I'm back now, it took a while.)
I review everything I've done so far, make minor corrections, and continue on with writing my post.
Hopefully, until completion, this time.
Sometimes it happens.
Sometimes it doesn't.
Let's just assume that at this point, my post is complete. I walk though the final editing process and post. For those of you who blog, you know, it actually entails more than that. You have to optimize the SEO for search engines, blast it to your social sites, email your subscriber list, etc..etc.. etc.
Once I've completed and posted, an entry, for the day, I begin working on building and organizing, my image and gif folders, as well as taking my own photos and flatlays, so, I may document this upside-down-topsy-turvey journey, sis! We can't let this go unheard, unseen, or unspoken of.
Psssttt...the last interruption on my list... JUST occurred. Yep, the hungry grandson one.
SIDE NOTE---->"Jurassic Park-ING" coming to a theater near you.
The plot: Against all odds a T-Rex (played by Rylon) starts a valet service, despite the fact, that his arms barely reach the steering wheel.
What is happening here, people?! I wasn't lucky enough to eat this morning, so I had to make some oatmeal for myself, along with his lunch, to keep my tummy from folding over, on itself, like a synthetic peptide.
While feeding my face, I answer a few more emails and responded to more texts messages. I also initiated a couple of text threads, to just to check up on the well-being of a few people. It's easy to become isolated, because of the grind of starting and trying to get your business of the ground. It's important to maintain balance. I try to reach out to my friends when I have a "heads up" moment. I encourage them and they encourage me.
Now, I'm back at it. Again.
At this point, in the day, I work on the "behind the scenes" pages of my website. Those, that are, still hidden, for the moment. I add content. I work on headers, widgets, plug ins, optimize the SEO, making sure that it all looks good on desktop and mobile devices. Afterwards, I tackle newsletters, campaigns, polls and review all of my metrics. It's important to keep track of your stats. It gives you insight into what's working and resonating, with your audience, and what's not. I use MailChimp for my mailing lists and campaigns. I nurture my email list, by sending out, helpful tips and suggestions, to grow their businesses, once a week. Once complete, I turn my attention to creating Pinterest pins and Instagram graphics and captions. I schedule my posts for Instagram using the PLANN and Preview apps. Again, automation is key.
Its now 2nd shift.
I begin reading posts, written by, other bloggers. I have a few, who's list, I'm subscribed to, and others I find through Pinterest. If you blog and are not on Pinterest, I can't stress enough, that you should join like...yesterday!
Pinterest is the number one search engine for driving traffic to your site. That's right. It's not just another social media site. It is a huge search engine. I've created a free handbook, called The Ultimate Guide To Pinterest For Business, to help you get started. (Click here for yours)
I comment on and share, a few other bloggers, post's per day. This, is one, of the best ways, to support your fellow small business fempreneurs, aside from purchasing their products. Don't get me wrong, purchases are very helpful too! I also use my debit card, to support their hard work. But, if you're not ready to pull out your PayPal, then, the easiest way, to support them, is to share their work, and take the time to give feedback , through your keyboard.
Bloggers love comments and feedback. We need to know that what we're doing is helping, encouraging, or inspiring, someone.
There are so many bloggers/superwomen and womenpreneurs, out there, who, really have great things to say! Not only, do they have great things to say, THEY ARE DOING GREAT THINGS! They are using their voices for the empowerment of others, as well as, themselves. I am proud to be in such company. I think our experiences and our journeys are meant to be shared with our “neighbor”. There is so much to learn and do. So much, to put into practice. So much, to take a stand, for. So much, love and compassion, to be rendered, and shown. Keep doing your thing you guys. Where there is unity there is strength!
After that, it's time to read and study for my vocation, so I'm prepared to teach on Wednesday, and preach on Sunday. This has to be (and is) daily for me. I never know what the real Word is going to be until I get to church and the Spirit reveals it. I have to stay ready. I put a little bit of everything in me, so when the time comes, for me to draw on it, it's there. It's hard to time this. I may read a few verses, an article, or a chapter, and get what I need, in 10 or 15 minutes. Or, the Spirit could keep me there, (in the spirit) and I look up and 4 hours have gone by. It really depends on what day it is. Which is what happened TWO WEEKS AGO, when I first started this post! Yep, this paragraph is literally being written 2 weeks after the last sentence above. Cool,story, Meryl! EL-OH-EL!
However, on a normal day, (if there is such a thing) at this point, it's usually around 3 o'clock.
It's time to pick the kids up from school.
After returning home, I prepare dinner, finish my household to-do list, drop off my teenager, at her after school job, (to be picked up at 9:30 or 10 p.m.) and then, spend time with my husband. He doesn't fully understand, this journey I'm on, or exactly, what I'm trying to do. He always says, "computer-computer-computer-always on that computer!" I'm just laughing and laughing-and laughing some more.
The Finale. The Last Leg of The Race.
After it's all said and done, and the day has wound up, and everyone has fallen asleep, I will stay up until 2 or 3 a.m, recording and editing videos, for my YouTube channel.
I've tried to do it, during their waking hours, but, to no avail. Mostly because I do a lot of narration on my tutorial videos. My house is never quiet. Unfortunately, (for the people-my audience) I've had videos, where you could hear talking in the background, the room doors, and the refrigerator opening and closing. I've even gone as far, as trying to record, in my closet or bathroom. They find a reason, to come looking for me, in those places, too. So, now... I just.. wait them out! After I've completed the final item on my list, I settle down in my bed (read: lay in bed thinking about what I need to do tomorrow) and watch an old recorded episode of The Twilight Zone (because I swear, I must be living in an alternate universe, too) until I fall asleep.
I kid. Believe it, or not, I don't mind the work at all, or even, pushing past the point of exhaustion, to get it done. I love creating, and writing. I. LOVE. IT. It's something, I've always, been passionate about.
I also love being a servant of the Most High, and His people.
I love being a mom. It's the most important job I've ever had.
I love being a wife. Even though I've been threatening "to get my own apartment-and some mail with only my name on it" for almost 30 years. It's a running joke that almost everyone, who knows us, is in on.
I said, all that, to say this-when you're able to do what you love, it rarely feels like work.
I've been doing it, since I got my first old-school typewriter in 4th grade.
My very first real blog was a Xanga blog! Does anyone remember Xanga?! That feels like eons, ago.
I think, I just decided, when people ask me, how old I am, I'm going to say, "I'm-uhhh.. I had a Xanga blog, years-old!"
So, that my friends, is a typical DAY IN THE LIFE, for me, as a blogger, entrepreneur, mom, wife, abuelita and pastor.
Leave me comment, and let me know, what some of your favorite tools and apps, to keep you organized and automated, are. I'd love to know.
Hi! Meryl, here. Glad you stopped by. I'm just living my little-lah-ti-dah-life,here in the great state of Texas. I'm a mom of 5.