A REAL day in the life of a CEO/Founder of a startup tech company who wakes up at 4:30 a.m. to work,
25 Oct 2018
Recently I, and many of my friends and colleagues were stunned when we read an article by Business Insider following a “day in the life” of a female banking executive. Choc full of anecdotes about her playing tennis, drinking smoothies and taking a 1 ½ hour lunch the twitterverse went wild, my Facebook feed blew up. Not because people wanted to tear a woman down, all acknowledged she is accomplished and have no doubt she works hard. I for one, was proud to see a woman showcased. But the article — like airbrushed swimsuit models — held up a nearly impossible ideal. Examples like these have us asking ourselves “Why isn’t my life like that? Is that really the way it’s supposed to be?” No, life is messy and imperfect. The cognitive load of our day-to-day tasks, things like career, child care, caring for aging parents, pet care can be enormous. Business publications especially should not propagate the myth that you can have it all. You can have all of it, just maybe not at the same time.
A REAL day in the life of a CEO/Founder of a startup tech company who wakes up at 4:30 a.m. to work, hardly has time to eat, and has no free time
Kathryn Rose is always on the move.
The Founder/CEO who is launching a new technology platform that provides on-demand advice for women in business, career and life and is also a best-selling author, keynote speaker and consultant to technology companies and a mom. She was previously a successful wall street salesperson, marketing consultant and enterprise level software executive.
On a typical day, she gets up at 4:30 a.m. to meet with her development team, get through the mountain of emails and practices her investor pitches before getting her kids up for school.
She has to drive everywhere because well, that’s what suburban moms do, and spends her workday between meeting with her team, filling out school forms, preparing for the oh-so-important crazy hair day at school today and working on the day-to-day of running a startup.
She recently broke down her daily routine for her social media audience. Here is what her day looks like.
Rose wakes up at 4:30 a.m. to meet with her overseas development team
“If I don’t have coffee, I don’t think I would make it through the day. I work with the development team to fine-tune the platform for launch and get the priorities for the day,” she said.
At 6:30 a.m. she wakes her kids up for school…they are always happy to get up and go!
Rose has two children, ages 10 and 6, a dog and a husband. She spends her morning getting them breakfast, trying to get them dressed and out the door for their school bus.
At 7:15 a.m. she is corralling the kids to get their backpacks loaded and get to school
“I try really to have a tranquil morning but after asking them 500 times to get their shoes on, sometimes I lose it,” says Rose.
At 7:30 a.m. she realizes that they missed the bus so they head out to sit in the dreaded drop off line
“Most mornings I don’t have time for breakfast, never mind a trip to the gym, so I just pour another cup of coffee” she said. “There’s an hour of my life I’ll never get back”, she said
At 8 a.m., she heads out to her co-working space
The trip takes 45 minutes to go 10 miles. Instead of flying into an uncontrollable rage, she listens to Sirus XM radio, 80’s on 8…it reminds her of a simpler time. “There’s nothing like jamming to GnR to get you going in the morning.”, says Rose.
Around 9:30 a.m. she gets a call from the school. Her son forgot his saxophone and he has band practice, could she bring it in?
She leaves her office and goes home to pick up the saxophone. “It’s what moms do!, she says
Around 11 a.m. She gets back to her office just in time for another soul-sucking….er….exciting and informative investor pitch
“I know they really care because they keep asking about my family” she says.
It’s time for trip to the co-working space vending machine around noon
She forgot her own lunch because she was too busy focused on packing her kids’. “It’s hard to remember everything” says Rose.
At 1 p.m. she gets a call from her mother
“My mom was left paraplegic due to a brain aneurysm 10 years ago, usually she calls and asks me what the kids want for Christmas for the 10th time but I always pick up because I know that because I came so close to losing her, I am grateful to hear her voice no matter what. So if she wants to talk for 20 minutes that’s what we do”, Rose says..
She rarely leaves her desk
She is too busy to leave her desk with all of the workload. Things like, platform testing copywriting emails, landing page design, sales outreach, social media, bookkeeping, travel planning, hiring and organizing, fundraising, public relations and, you now, just the two or things bootstrap founders need to do. “Sometimes it’s overwhelming but hey, that’s business!”
Around 5 p.m. she leaves her office and stops to get the finest supermarket prepared food money can buy
“I’m too busy sometimes to cook,” she explains.
At 6 p.m. the family gathers in the kitchen to shove some food down in record time
“The kids have so many activities, but it’s very important for us to try and eat together for at least 5 minutes”, she says.
A big believer in giving back, Rose is also on the Advancing Women in Technology Executive Council, a board member of the her town’s Education Foundation, an Advisory Board member of a startup that focuses on people with disabilities and co-manager of her son’s hockey team.
“I know it’s a lot but we all have to do our part,” she says.
Later in the evening, she brings her kids to their activities which involves sitting in a smelly, freezing hockey rink or sweltering gymnastics studio
“Sometimes I get tired but it’s all good,” says Rose
At 8:30 p.m. she helps her little cherubs through the bedtime routine
“They are so sweet, they just don’t want to go to bed,” she says with a smile.
At 9 p.m. she and her husband wind down by folding the 3 baskets of laundry that never seem to be empty
“He never fails to fold the socks the right way” she says.
At 10 p.m. she logs back on to her computer and continues to work to get ready for more meetings the next day
“I always like to make sure I get a jump on the next day’s activities”, says Rose.