Running your own business is no easy feat. It takes a healthy dose of passion, discipline, and commitment. Ever wondered what a day in the life of a small business owner and founder is like? We’re here to give you a glimpse!
This week, we’re featuring entrepreneur Lenja Doms, co-creator of Lazlo, a new line of premium, polarized sunglasses that are made from recycled plastic. Read on to see how she spends her day as a partner at Yuma Labs, the Belgium-based team responsible for creating Lazlo and running their current crowdfunding campaign. Then scroll down for a brief Q&A to get to know her better and get inspired!
“When I sketch my day, I have to be completely honest right away. I’m very bad at time management, and structure is a work in progress. Every day looks mostly different,” Lenja shares. “Since we’re a small startup, it’s possible that our day can change in a minute. Sometimes that’s good, but I could appreciate some structure from time to time. I would like to give an overview of one single day, during the early preparation period of our campaign.”
5 A.M. My alarm goes off at 5:30, I’m an early riser, thanks to my boyfriend who works in construction. First task in the morning: take a shower.
6 A.M. I have breakfast with my boyfriend and then I meditate for 15 minutes. To be completely honest, when I’m stressed, I might skip these important minutes, unfortunately. Depending on the location where I work, I take the train and hurry to the office. about an hour-and-a-half commute. Or I work from home and put myself at the desk. I work half-time at home, alone, and the other half I work together with the team at the office.
7 A.M. I love it when my first emails get out before 6:30, but I can’t do this every day. When I need to take the train to the office, I listen to podcasts or read a book. From my home to the train station, and from the train station to our office, I use my e-step.
8 A.M. Mostly my day starts with my to-do list from the day before. I plan from day to day, so I’ll decide in the morning which tasks I’m going to do and when.
9 A.M. Social media hour – I try to block off one hour in the morning for our social media channels to interact intensively with our community.
10 A.M. Sprint call with our growth agency. For our campaign, we decided to work together with an agency. Certainly, for the technical aspect of ad management we can use their help well. Two times a week we plan a sprint call to plan our actions for the week and evaluate what works well.
11 A.M. Follow up sprint call. During our sprint calls there are sometimes twenty small things I need to follow up on and it’s important to do those things immediately.
12 P.M. Since I eat breakfast around six, I’m hungry at exactly 12 PM. I eat lunch with the team. Usually we don’t have a very elaborate lunch. Luckily, we can still find a jar of jam and some crackers somewhere at the office, and this is our meal. It has become a real joke at the office that when we become rich we can afford a real lunch
1 P.M. E-mailing
3 P.M. Reading grant call from the city. The city of Antwerp decided to give grants to startups who had suggestions for new kinds of economic models post-COVID-19. We at Yuma Labs believe that the circular economy will be the future and is even more relevant after the corona crisis.
4 P.M. Brainstorm with my colleague about a project for the city.
5 P.M. Writing proposal for the city
8 P.M. I come back home and eat something. It’s important to be able to discuss and vent about my day a bit, luckily my boyfriend (mostly) wants to listen.
9 P.M. I prepare myself to sleep, I try to be asleep at 10 P.M.
10 P.M. Zzz
Now that you’ve gotten a glimpse of what her day is like, get more inspiration in our exclusive Q&A with her below!
INDIEGOGO: How did you become an entrepreneur?
LENJA DOMS: My parents are entrepreneurs and on my 18th birthday (when it’s legal in Belgium to do business) my father thought it was high time for me to start my own business. First I had an events agency, and then I became a freelancer, so it was pretty clear. But when I discovered that you can do business and change the world with that, I was completely hooked.
IGG: What makes your Indiegogo project unique?
LENJA: Yuma Labs launched a pair of sunglasses called Lazlo. Our sunglasses are fully circular, which means three things: we start from waste; we design them in such a way that they never become waste again (made for disassembly); and we recycle them again into new sunglasses by asking you to send them back with our special case, and rewarding you with a discount code for the next purchase.
IGG: What’s your biggest piece of advice for women who want to start their own business?
LENJA: Surround yourself with good people. I have the best friend in the world. Not only are they the perfect distraction on Friday nights after a difficult week, but they’re also my sounding board. I’m lucky that in my close circle there are also many entrepreneurs, so I can share a lot. If you don’t have that, go and look for it. Before you know it, you’ll discover great like-minded people close by.
IGG: What tools would you recommend to anyone starting their own business, crowdfunding campaign, or project?
LENJA: It’s important to know that entrepreneurship can be a bumpy road. And I believe that you can only be on top of your game as an entrepreneur if you are also as a person on top of your game. So, my main ‘tool’ to be the best version of myself as an entrepreneur and a person is to take enough time to take care of myself. Meditation is my important ritual (I’m a big fan of Headspace and my Muse headband), and, of course, sports: yoga and fitness (always with my Apple watch to track my progress). Oh, and I try to read on a daily basis but I’ve been losing that habit for the last few months.
IGG: What’s your favorite Indiegogo campaign, or a campaign you’ve recently supported?
LENJA: I’m a big fan of wearables and since a few day’s I received my FOCI to track my focus. I’m not completely there yet, but I think I will figure it out and use it day to day. I like to measure my body and challenge myself on that data.
To support LAZLO, check out their Indiegogo campaign page.