Hi, I'm Ashlie. Owner and lead designer at Wolf & Willow Design! I'm a 12 year corporate accountant turned full-time designer helping other small-business entrepreneurs chase their dreams. I'm also a wife, #girlmom, and Air Force veteran.
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Today we’re taking you behind the scenes of a day in the life at Wolf & Willow! The biggest struggle I had when I first transitioned from an office job to becoming an entrepreneur was figuring out how to schedule my day. At the office, I was given a list of expectations to fulfill, which made it easy for me to prioritize. However, now that I’m my own boss, I had to learn how to give myself those list of expectations and then figure out how to divvy up my attention.
You might find some of my tips in this blog post are helpful to you and you may not resonate with others. That’s totally fine because everyone works differently! I simply want to give you a glimpse into my world as an entrepreneur and what I do to run a successful business after a lot of experimentation, in hopes that you don’t have to go through the same lengthy experimentation process.
From strategizing new marketing campaigns to client work to self-care, here’s a typical day here at La Casa de Thompson.
I’ll be the first to confess that I’m not a morning person, and I think that’s the rebellious part of me feeling resentful against living 12+ years of my life waking up at grueling early times for my corporate job.
Whatever the reason is, I’ve found that I don’t function at my best anytime before 9 AM. That being said, I have a 9-year-old who is also not a morning person but needs to go to school. That means, during the school year, my mornings start at 5:45 AM to make sure she and my 15-year-old daughter get to school on time. And you best bet I’ll climb right back into bed until about 9 AM, though!
I think this is super important to highlight because it’s not uncommon to come across articles or videos titled something along the lines of, “Habits of every successful entrepreneur” with one of the tips being waking up early. I’m living proof that you don’t have to be a morning person to be successful!
I’ll usually start my day slow by checking my emails from bed and catching up on social media. Doing this usually gives me a few to-dos for when I get on my computer. Then, I’ll go take care of our mini zoo. The dogs get their breakfast, they’ll enjoy some time on the back patio, I’ll prepare veggies for Tofu and Bean (our two rabbits), and I’ll make sure the cats have food in their bowl.
Here we have Whiskey (left) and Scotch (right) patiently awaiting their breakfast.
Aren’t these the cutest little bunnies you ever did see? Bean (top) Tofu (bottom).
And finally, we have Enzo (left) and Gypsy (right) being the lazy kitties that they are.
After the animals are taken care of, I make my coffee. My go-to coffee these days is from a vegan subscription service called Daily Harvest. (You can use my discount code if you’d like to give them a try — just enter RE-4Y7G862 at checkout!) I love their coffee and almond latte pods mixed up with some almond milk and blended in the Vitamix for a lovely iced latte. As a busy mom and entrepreneur, I love using Daily Harvest because they offer convenient, nutritious meals, snacks, and drinks.
Coffee finally in hand, I head to the bathroom for my morning skincare routine. This past year I took a hard look at how I was treating my skin and committed to taking better care of it. So my morning and evening skincare times are very important to me. It’s a small amount of time out of my day to focus on myself. It also makes me feel ready to tackle the day and wind down in the evening.
After my morning routine is done, usually 10 or 10:30 AM, I sit down at my computer to start working.
The first thing I like to knock out in the mornings are phone calls and meetings. Being an introvert, I tend to progressively lose energy to socialize. So I find that if I need to make calls or have meetings, the time for me to put my best face forward is first thing in the morning.
Once my calls are done, I review scheduled social media content to ensure everything for the day is good to go. I’ll also take that time to schedule out any additional content that is ready. It’s usually this time when I also check in with my VA and copywriter for anything coming up that may need their attention.
Then, depending on what day of the week it is, I’ll spend a few hours either working on upcoming blog posts or client work.
This is usually when my most productive work takes place. The house is nice and quiet since Garrett is at work and the kids are at school. The pups are hopefully napping and not bugging me to go in and out the back door.
I’ll also crank up some music and put my creative cap on. It’s honestly my favorite part of the day and when I feel the most accomplished!
I’ll wrap up whatever I’m working on and prep something to eat. It’s usually something simple like a flatbread or harvest bowl from Daily Harvest. I keep my fridge stocked with easy-to-heat up snacks and lunches from them. I love it because they’re tasty and quick!
If it’s not too hot, I’ll hang out with the dogs on the patio and check the mail to get some fresh air.
I also like to use this time to do research either personal or professional endeavors. I’ll take some time to read up on or look into things that I’ve been interested in learning more about. Or, I may spend some time sketching out a new template design if I’m feeling inspired. The overall goal is to spend 30 minutes to an hour on myself and something that interests me to avoid an afternoon burnout.
This is a super important part of my day, and I always encourage entrepreneurs to take time out of their day to pursue something that grounds them. Whether that’s research and sketching like me, walking, or working on a hobby, it’s important to take breaks to help you reset.
After lunch, it’s back to work! I’ll spend more time on client work, anything that requires my immediate attention, or I’ll focus on Wolf & Willow backend operations. Operations can be anything from analyzing our current social media, brainstorming new marketing efforts, or working on new services or products.
My first daughter gets home just before 3 PM, and from that time on it’s a hit or a miss on whether any more work gets done. As the kids roll in from school, I’m usually hit with conversations about their day, forms that need to be signed, or the latest book fair.
This is one of the parts of working from home that I love and looked forward to before leaving my job to run my business full time. I love being here when they get home and just being available to have those conversations and learn about their day. I feel so much more present in their lives.
On a less eventful afternoon, they typically head to the kitchen for a snack and then retreat to their respective afternoon leisure activities before dinner, which means I can get another hour or
two of work in. But I love that this part of the day is so fluid and centered on how the girls and I feel. It’s not uncommon for me to decide to play “hooky” for the afternoon and snuggle up on the couch with one or both of them for some girl time before dad gets home. This is hands-down my favorite part of being an entrepreneur and owning my schedule.
Then, Garrett gets home from work usually between 4:30 and 5 PM, and that’s where my work day ends unless I have a pressing deadline for a project.
I love the evenings once everyone is home together. My husband’s job frequently puts him on odd schedules, so having him home in the evenings is a rarity I love taking advantage of when I can. We’ll take about five minutes to convene and discuss dinner plans, and then Garrett and I usually tag-team dinner. If I’m lucky, I can get Jaycee (my youngest) to help as well, which is so much fun!
I like to make sure we sit down and eat as a family as much as possible because it’s something we missed out on so much when I was working a 9-5 corporate job. We also prep the pups’ dinners so they’re usually eating around the same time as us.
From there, we either enjoy some TV time together or Garrett and I will spend some time playing video games.
Once the weather cools off, it’s time to take the pups for their evening walk around the neighborhood. Sometimes we stop and say hello to some of our friends along the way if they’re outside.
When we get back home, we start settling down for the night. I close out the evening with my skincare routine before hopping in bed to enjoy some one-on-one time with Garrett. This is our time to connect and be present with just each other, so we may chat about our day, waste time scrolling TikTok, or catch up on our favorite shows with a glass of wine.
There are, of course, deviations from this schedule, but the point is that it’s really up to my family and me. That’s the beauty of being an entrepreneur. I can focus on myself and my family while balancing running a successful business. When one needs more attention than another, I shift gears as needed.
Although I touched on it a bit at the beginning of this post, I want to reiterate that I didn’t always have this schedule. There was a time (not too long ago) when my family revealed they felt I worked more as an entrepreneur than I had in my corporate job.
I was more determined than ever to prove that I had made the right decision to start my business and leave my reliable job. That determinism translated into many late nights and stressful days. I felt like I needed to work 24/7 to make this thing work. But the truth is, all it did was leave my family and I in a state of burnout, which didn’t help my business grow any faster.
Once I took a step back and remembered why I wanted to start my business in the first place, I overhauled my way of thinking and started setting some hard boundaries.
This routine is what has worked best for my family and me, and I hope that it in some way inspires you to create your own balance or gives you something to look forward to if you’re just beginning your journey into entrepreneurship.
Questions or comments? Want to see more days-in-the-life of an entrepreneur? Join us on Instagram! My DMs are always open.
Till next time,
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