Excitement, elation, struggles and juggles: A week behind the scenes

Excitement, elation, struggles and juggles: A week behind the scenes

Working for myself and on my own a lot of the time, it can be hard to explain to people what I’ve done that day or even what my  working week looks like. One thing’s for sure, no two weeks are ever the same! Thought it’d be fun to share the a ‘typical’ week with you.

Monday

First day back to it after half term. So looking forward to getting stuck back in and getting on tops of things! I love when I’ve just dropped the children off at school, coming home and putting the kettle on. Today’s a particularly grey and miserable day so I light a candle on my desk to brighten things up a bit.

The day starts with some good news. I find out I’ve been booked for Newcastle Start Up Week. Must admit this is a bit of a distraction now as I get excited and succumb to a bit of banter on Twitter with some of the other speakers!

There’s  usually a few bits and bats to get out of the way on a Monday morning. I send a couple of invoices, respond to social media comments and check my emails before I get down to the main project of the day.

I’m running a social media workshop on Thursday night and, as it’s a brand new workshop, I’ve got most of my working day today pencilled out to work on that. I have the main outline of the workshop but spend the next few hours filling out case studies and making a start on my slides.

I’m a member of the Youpreneur community and once a month there’s a group call so at 1pm I jump on that. This time I got the chance to ask Chris a question live on the call so that brightened up my Monday afternoon a bit!

Now, as you do, when you’ve got 45 minutes to go before collecting the kids from school, I make some fresh pasta. I’m obsessed with pasta and try and make my own whenever I can. I’d already made the dough so now it’s just putting it through the pasta machine and filling it with a filling (also made earlier!) of chicken, bacon, parmesan and mozarella (photographic evidence below).

Steve’s home from work early so he gets the children from school and I take this opportunity to go and do a food shop. I’ve got a call scheduled with Andrew and Pete so sat and chatted through some stuff with them in Aldi car park… pretty standard stuff.

Evenings for me usually involve a bit of catching up with people in online communities in the evening and a bit of reading. I’m part way through Chris Ducker’s new book ‘Rise of the Youpreneur’ at the moment, highly recommended!

Tuesday

So I have a full day at it today. I get the kids to school and walk back to wake myself up. I get straight down to work on the workshop for Thursday night and finish off a presentation that I’m giving tomorrow and Thursday at the North West Hospitality Show.

After lunch I see that Osmaah Sharif is doing last minute Zoom call and he’s reaching out to people to see if he can help them with anything, so jump on it! What a lovely guy. I followed him for a while but this is our first direct contact and I come away with a few great ideas.

I always feel my productivity dip after lunch so whenever I can I go for a walk.

The children are at my mother-in-laws after school today so when I get back from my walk I have time to carry on working on my slides.

natalie hailey

I pick them up at 5ish and then come home and make roast. I do a bit of work this evening, send an email out to my subscribers and update my goals in an accountability group I’m part of.

I can feel that I’m starting to get grumpy. I’ve come to realise that the day before I do a talk I get ratty and don’t want to talk to anybody. It’s obviously my version of nerves because as soon as I do the talk I’m high as a kite! I need something comforting to watch so I catch up with  Nigel Slater’s Middle East. He’s in Iran and I’m absolutely touched by the warmth of the people he meets there. For me, Nigel Slater never fails to comfort and soothe.

Wednesday

Serious case of pre-match nerves. I spend the morning doing last minute preparation for my talk and wondering why I put myself through this!

I get a few bits of admin done in the morning but head to the conference around 11.30. I go and watch one of the other talks and catch up with a few people.

The talk goes well and, as predicted, I feel good and I’m no longer ratty!

I pick the children up from school and we head to a local cafe for hot chocolate and gingerbread men.

Wednesday night’s is a double whammy of children’s swimming lessons so I’m ready for a nice glass of rouge tonight and some more Nigel.

Thursday

I have quite a productive morning. I book in a couple of podcast guests and edit the podcast episode that’ll be going out tomorrow.

I’ve got  couple of hours now to work on a client’s content marketing strategy before heading back to the North West Hospitality Show to do my talk again. This time it went even better, the nerves had completely gone thanks to my first run yesterday and I even felt brave enough to live stream it thanks to some lovely ladies in the audience who egged me on and filmed it for me!

natalie hailey speaker

After catching up with a few more people at the conference it’s back to collect the children from school. I wouldn’t normally work in the evening but this is an exception. I’m running a workshop on social media on behalf of a local council to help small businesses in the area promote themselves online so I head out about 4.30.

The workshop runs from 6pm to 8pm and I have a great time. I love meeting new people and hearing about their businesses. They were a really dynamic group who were eager to learn so I come away feeling elated, albeit very tired by the time I get home at 9.30pm. Straight to bed for me!

Friday

I’m absolutely on top of the world!!!! I loved doing the workshop last night and, as I always do, met a great new bunch of people all eager to learn. Combined with the fact that the two talks from Wednesday and Thursday are not only in the bag but also went really well, I’m buzzing.

Things get better… Going off on a slight tangent here but it’s leading somewhere I promise. For those of you who know me well, you’ll know that I’ve always been absolutely obsessed with Italy. For many years I’ve followed Jason and Ashley Bartner who run La Tavola Marche, a beautiful inn and cooking school in the Le Marche region of Italy. They are essentially living my dream! Over the years, they’ve built up a strong online presence and have great success with their social channels and, in particular, have built up a huge following on YouTube. I got in touch with Ashley a few days ago to see if she’d be interested to come on the podcast to chat about how she’s established that online presence. Much to my delight she willingly accepted and so this morning just after dropping the children at school we had a video call and I interviewed her for the podcast!

Sometimes you talk to people who you instantly click with, and Ashley sure was one of those. It’s going to make for a great episode and I feel like I’ve made a friend… already planning my trip out there!

Next up, a call with a client to discuss a piece of content that we’re working on together. I make sure I type up the notes so I have them for when I start work on this on Monday.

Friday morning is the time I always release a new podcast episode. I’m loving being consistent with the podcasting and having this set time to publish. This week I have a big one to release, a fab interview I did with Chris Marr of The Content Marketing Academy, all about getting to grips with what we actually mean by content marketing. I click publish and get the episode shared across all my social media platforms.

After such a busy and productive week I have that Friday feeling. I’m struggling to focus with thoughts of Italy and La Tavola Marche buzzing around in my head so I head out for a walk to make the most of a bit of sunshine. I head back to collect the children from school and round off a fantastic week with some tapas and some wine with the husband 😃

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