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In this edition of Day in the Life of an Entrepreneur, Rashi Goel, the founder of The Bright Side, a brand that designs and manufactures cool car signs, shares her day with us.
Mine is not a story of passion and grit to start with. Yes, those did come later but not when I started my business. I consider myself one of those extremely lucky people because my business just happened to me. No, not served on a silver platter, but almost by default.
After five years of working in advertising in Mumbai and Bangalore, in August 2011, I decided to make the move back to Pune. I had no clue what I was going to do there but it had been home all my life so I was sure I’d figure something out. Not long (read two weeks) into this sabbatical, during a casual chat with my cousin, an idea sprung to life, an idea called The Bright Side. And life would never be the same.
The one thing about being an entrepreneur that sets you apart from everyone else is that your brain will probably never shut down, you will constantly be thinking of ways to improve your business. For the past two and a half years, I have been a powerhouse of ideas. I have also been more successful at multi-tasking than I probably was ever before – I read relevant information about entrepreneurship and the market, I write cheques and invoices, handle finances, carry out social media updates, draw up marketing plans and strategies – my productivity seems to be at its best.
My day starts around 8 a.m with a swim or yoga on the days that I’ve managed to keep my drive for exercise at its peak. I aim to reach office at 9:45am – the official office timings have been kept at 10am to 6pm.
I believe that if one works thoroughly and efficiently throughout the day, then a 7-8 hour work day is enough to achieve a set of tasks and to make day to day progress in one’s work.
I use the first hour to check my email, take stock of the orders and duties for the day and then have a 15 – 20 minute meeting with our office assistant to set timelines and priorities for these tasks. During this time, I also note down my own to-do list for the day, sometimes even for the week or the month as and when they come to me.
By around 11:30am, all other offices have come to life and the office phone starts ringing incessantly. Almost all major business functions have to be looked in to each day. On the production front, we have to keep in touch with the manufacturer and follow up on the status of the last job given to him; on the finance front, we need to prepare invoices and oversee pending payment collections, and marketing of course is a function that needs to be worked on day in and day out.
Each day, around 2-3 hours are spent in operational work – coordinating with the logistics partner, dispatching orders and maintaining sales information. Another 2 hours are spent in research. It is very important for anyone to read professional journals or magazines to be up to date with the latest in their area of work – this becomes even more vital in the case of a businesswoman (or man).
I also spend around 30 minutes everyday on Social Media – posting and sharing content on Facebook, engaging in conversations on Twitter, taking cool pictures to upload on Pinterest, etcetera.
Our office breaks for lunch for 30 to 60 minutes each day between 1pm and 3pm. By 6:30pm I wrap up work and head off to the gym to indulge myself in some fitness. 7pm to 8pm is probably the one hour in my day where I do not think about work and trust me, every single one of us needs this downtime.
As an entrepreneur, one is faced with challenges every single day. There are calls to be taken which one rarely ever has to take when working a mid-level job. It is usually post dinner around 10pm that I sit down to ponder over these issues.
Sometimes it is advice from my father, sometimes a discussion with good friends and at still other times, a start-up meet at a bar. Production is the main area where we face a problem – producing goods in large quantities does have the advantage of economies of scale but it leaves us at the risk of high investments.
It is essential to bounce off ones thoughts with peers – I find that it provides me with a lot of insight. I received considerable help and advice on my pain points from acquaintances and found that I was better able to tackle certain difficulties faced by The Bright Side.
I usually go to bed a little past midnight on weekdays. I knock out as soon as my head touches the pillow dreaming of the next day and what it will bring for both me and for my company!
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