What do entrepreneurs actually do all day? What activities do they focus on the most, and how do they feel about it?
To help potential entrepreneurs get a sense of what current business owners do all day, we asked a panel of entrepreneurs to paint a picture of their day to day schedules. From automating for greater efficiency to tracking goal progression there are several ways that will help you understand what it truly means to be a successful entrepreneur.
Here are 12 items that entrepreneurs focus on:
- Stay on Track by Tracking the Time
- Build Trust Through Relationships
- Automate for Greater Efficiency
- Meet With Stakeholders
- Nurture Your Community
- Know That Change is Constant
- Focus on Tasks for Growth
- Keep Funds Flowing In
- Track Goal Progression
- Stay Flexible by Working From Home
- Find Time to Unwind
- Spot Opportunities and Cheer on Team Members
Stay on Track by Tracking the Time
I track my time using Toggl, so I know exactly what I do on a daily basis. Here is a summary of my past few days… So far this morning, I have responded to customer emails for 15 minutes. I also spent 17 minutes adding some of my company’s most important metrics to a spreadsheet and looking to see why the numbers increased/decreased over the past week. I track these numbers every Friday. I also spent 22 minutes tweaking existing Facebook and LinkedIn ads. These are simple changes that I enjoy making myself because they allow me to keep my finger on the pulse of my business. Yesterday, I spent two hours in meetings with freelancers I’ve hired. I gave them some direction on our goals for this quarter. I spent 14 minutes responding to customer emails, and another 88 minutes writing an article for my website.
James Pollard, The Advisor Coach LLC
Build Trust Through Relationships
I founded a company in the medical tourism industry, and my job is to build trust between patients in the United States and clinics in Latin America. People want to travel abroad to get the care they need at an affordable price, but they often don’t know how to find a good clinic, what their procedure will be like, or how much they can expect to pay. I spend a large portion of my day writing valuable content aimed at answering those questions and making that content easy to find on the web. This activity ultimately results in serving patients, filling our pipeline, and growing the business. I take pride in serving as an authoritative voice that can help people solve their healthcare problems.
Wesley Jacobs, Apollo Medical Travel
Automate for Greater Efficiency
As an entrepreneur, no activity or task is more important on a day to day basis for myself than creating processes that allow for more automation. Indeed, the goal of a business owner or entrepreneur should not be “doing everything and anything necessary for success.” Rather, they should be focusing on implementing automation strategies that create greater efficiency and employee effectiveness. Specifically, my days revolve around two questions: (1) how can I limit manual work? and (2) what can I do to speed up pre-existing processes?
Lucas Nudel, Pride Palace
Meet With Stakeholders
Entrepreneurship is a lot of meetings with investors, all people who are a part of the production process, team leads who are a part of your business, and project managers. A majority of the workday is meeting with other people to keep the business operating smoothly. I enjoy this activity because I love meeting with people who are just as passionate about my business as I am.
Michael Jankie, Natural Patch
Nurture Your Community
One way I generate leads is by nurturing an online Facebook community of empowered women. We talk about everything from parenting to intimacy. Sometimes we share jokes about these topics and sometimes group members can anonymously post a question to get solid advice from the community. I spend time on this community daily, thinking of ways to add value to these women’s lives and give them a gut-busting laugh. From time to time, I run exclusive group specials for my boudoir photography business and share client reviews, but my focus is creating a safe space for women to come together on social media and lift each other up.
Rya Michele Eisma, Photographic Artist & Women’s Advocate
Know That Change is Constant
My days vary, especially in the past year and a half. That’s the most constant part! Otherwise, it’s checking in with my management team, ensuring kitchen staff is prepared for the day, reviewing menu changes, testing recipes, reviewing deliveries and inventory, and later on, general tasks like emails and financial reviews. I most enjoy the beginning parts of the day when I’m more closely interacting with the kitchen team and helping them as much as I can. I could never just do office work all day!
Charlie McKenna, Lillie’s Q
Focus on Tasks for Growth
As an entrepreneur, I spend most of my day trying to figure out ways that we can grow the business. Whether this is through sales, marketing, or other tactics I try to find ways that we can optimize our growth and sustain our business long term. I help assist my employees with their daily tasks and help make difficult decisions that will propel the business further. I feel pretty confident about the role that I assume, and do my best to make the best decisions for the company.
Tyler Read, PT Pioneer
Keep Funds Flowing In
My daily tasks consist of finding investors/clients and outsourcing tasks. The key to being a successful entrepreneur lies in knowing how far to spread yourself both financially and physically. You do not want to spend all of your own money and time doing everything because realistically you can’t sustain this. This requires me to find investors/clients to keep funds coming in and outsourcing tasks that I don’t have time or the expertise for. This helps me stay on track and running a successful business.
Chris Cronin, KITANICA
Track Goal Progression
A lot of my day-to-day involves deep work that guides the company’s long-term vision. That includes how goals are evolving, along with reviewing the daily functions that are needed to achieve those goals. What’s working, and what could be improved? These are the questions that require feedback and communication from the team, but also independent time to process. I’m also overseeing all teams so if any hiccups come up — with tools, people, or processes — solving those becomes my priority.
Lisa Odenweller, Kroma Wellness
Stay Flexible by Working From Home
Working from home has been so liberating for me. While my son was taking his school classes online, I was working next to him. It was really nice to be with him during the day. I also appreciated that I didn’t have to commute several hours each day! The amount of time I have saved not going into the office is like a full 2 week vacation! I doubt I will ever go back into the office full-time. Covid taught me that I am far more productive at home than in the office. I think my staff struggled a bit at first with not being able to just ask a quick question in person, but Slack is virtually the same.
Nancy Belcher, CEO and Co-Founder, Winona
Find Time to Unwind
Being an entrepreneur is not easy, and I always find myself doing one thing related to the business at odd times of the day. I am never off of work, and sometimes I work more than 12 hours a day. But in between the work, I take at least two coffee breaks in which I watch one episode of my favorite series to relax, and in the other one, I have some snacks and chat with my friends and family for some time to stay in touch and get to know the insight of their lives and tell them mine as well. I also take one two-hour long break in which I pray and take a nap to get refreshed. With all these activities, I feel that I am keeping a perfect balance between my professional, personal and social life, which helps me stay focused.
Daniela Sawyer, FindPeopleFast
Spot Opportunities and Cheer on Team Members
Leadership is about setting a vision and ensuring the team is always moving toward it. Part of a typical day for me is checking in on data, trends, and KPIs (key performance indicators) so I can spot opportunities or problems as early as possible. I believe that numbers can show me the heartbeat of the company’s health and that helps me keep us going in the best possible direction, adjusting the short term priorities as needed to keep us in line with the larger goals. The other half of things, the people side, is also a part of my daily routine. Humans are not machines — they require ongoing alignment and inspiration but can also contribute amazing creativity when aligned with opportunity to express their natural talents. Making sure that I’m there to answer questions, remove roadblocks, coach, and cheer my team members each day is a key part of our success, so something that is at the top of my daily priorities.
Christie Kerner, My Little Mascara Club