The Journey 2020 The Journey Blog

A Day in the Life of Me & 10 Weeks!

What does my typical self-employed day look like? Let me tell you in today’s Day in the Life of Me blog.

But first! …

I’ve been blogging for 10 weeks now! Other than a two-week gap over the New Year break anyway. This is my first blogging milestone and I’m pretty proud of the progress I’ve made since my first post (initially published on LinkedIn but since migrated to my website).

A bit of background.

While everyday is different, there’s definitely an informal sort of routine that’s forming. I’ve talked about time management and structure in previous blog posts – this is more about rhythm and using the tools at hand to best effect. Factors which influence my day are:

  • When my first meeting is – hopefully not too early!
  • Where my meetings are
  • How I’m getting there – bus, cycle, walk, or Mevo (if I’m running late!)
  • What the weather’s like (because it influences how I get around!)

(P.S. Interested in trialing Mevo? Use my discount code to get a $20 voucher to give it a go! No strings attached.)

A typical day.

How it starts: A typical day for me starts with my 6am alarm. I’m up and out the door by 6:30 to get to Lyall Bay beach where I exercise and listen t0 one of the many podcasts on my favourites list. I get home, have breakfast and get ready for my day (plus probably send a few emails!)

A normal day: A normal day for me has meetings at 11am through to 3pm. Up until recently, I’ve been busing into central-Wellington for meetings. I’ve always liked 10am meetings but the bus network either gets me to them way too early or way too late. You’ve got to adapt, I guess! Fortunately, I’ve levelled up this week and got back on the bike – take a look, she’s old but gold (actually red though haha!).

Bicycle Self-Employment
My trusty steed. I was gifted the bike and, since then, I’ve lovingly cleaned and serviced it.

The evening (pre-7pm): Early evenings are spent with my wife, Lydia. Lydia often works nights so we have dinner and spend some time together before she heads off to work.

After-7pm: This is my peak time for getting work and admin tasks done. I’ve found I do the majority of my computer based work during these evening times and, surprisingly (to me, anyway) it’s working pretty well!

Wildcards: Of course, what is life without a few spanners in the works. I’d love to say I spend everyday as I’ve just written down but I don’t – I spend time with clients working in their offices, I dedicate a day each week to working with my business partner on BigAir (our Airbnb business!) and I try to spend a weekday at home each week.

Anyway, that’s a day in the life of me.

How’s this different to day in the life of employed-Sheridan?

Employed-Sheridan had to go into central-Wellington everyday. He drove (boo!) and was desk-based for the majority of each day. There was more meetings but less time for them. Employed-Sheridan got pretty burned out. Basically, I wasn’t in control of my schedule and I didn’t have the skills to take control. I’m still learning but I’m making good progress.


Not much to add in the #pupdate this week other than… we’ll be picking her up in about a week. Woohoo! 🙌


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The Journey 2020 The Journey Blog

Self employment: A New Direction

I’ve been wanting to write a blog post about the differences between self employment and employment for a while now.

I’m certainly no expert in this space but I feel like I am really starting to get an idea of what my day-to-day and week-to-week looks like now.

Of course, then I tried writing a blog post about this topic and realised it just isn’t possible. It’s a massive topic and I’ve got a lot of thoughts and opinions on it to boot.

So, awesomely, this thought-process represented the start of this blog taking a more consistent direction. I know I went a bit off track with some of my earlier posts because I didn’t really know what to write about or how to structure a blog! On that note… 

Self employment observation one: Structure

I have always been a fan of structure. I thought that one of the more difficult parts of the self-employment journey would be the relative lack of structure I’d have. Largely due to the fact that there isn’t a consistent amount of work each week. 

I am fortunate because I have never struggled to motivate myself. In light of my concerns about how I would structure my time, I approached this journey by actively looking for things to occupy myself and create structure around. It turns out there is no end of work to do out there. Bizarrely, I’ve had to actively remind myself not to structure all of my time, all of the time. It turns out I need unstructured time as much as I need structure! Not sure how I didn’t realise this until now.

Putting chaos to good use!

Yes, I’ve found that using a combination of structure and ‘chaos’ is working really well for me in the self-employment life. Chaos is written in inverted commas because it’s not really chaos – more just the absence of complete structure. I’ve found that I have thrived in the chaos and so I’ve been encouraging myself to foster these moments. I have created structure where needed because I know there are certain tasks that I need to dedicate time to. Then I use the unstructured/chaotic times to say yes to random opportunities as they pop up. As I wrote about a couple of weeks ago, saying YES more frequently has been a huge change of mindset that I am employing this year.

I have found that I can use the following methodology to plan my time:

  • Create a list of jobs, tasks, projects etc. that I need to dedicate time to, and
  • Allocate time to allow me to focus on completing these tasks, and 
  • Trust myself to use free/semi-chaotic time in the way that is best for me. This could be; online education/webinars, meeting new people, networking sessions, exercising or relaxing – whatever works!)

Question to you:

How do other self-employed people manage their time? I’m particularly interested in others who are on a similar journey to me (or who have been on that journey previously!).

As a reminder: My journey consists of me wearing multiple hats as a co-founder of a B2C business, working as an independent consultant (B2B), being an Airbnb host, and serving as a board member for a small charity


On top of that, we’re getting a puppy (with the white crest on her head). Exciting times in the Jamieson/Boon household!

self employment puppy

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Let’s talk about Social Enterprise

One of the very first things I wrote about when I started blogging was that I was going to start working with Social Enterprises. Funny thing is, I’ve never really defined what I view as a Social Enterprise. So, to those who have asked (and to those who haven’t), have a read of this.

One side note, I also sometimes refer to Social Enterprises as purpose-led businesses. To me, it means the same thing.

So, what is a Social Enterprise?

Social Enterprises (SE) are organisations that bridge that the gap between traditional businesses and charitable organisations. Traditional businesses operate for profit and charities operate for purpose. SE’s hit the sweet spot in the middle of the spectrum by using their profits to deliver purpose or, in some instances, derive profit from delivering purpose.

The thing that I find amazing about social enterprise is that these organisations have the ability to sustain themselves without needing grant money or outside funding. The only thing that can really slow them down is whether or not their business can continue to grow.

The best part is that a Social Enterprise run well and based on a good idea can be easy to grow (okay, maybe not easy, but easier than other businesses!) Because of the Good that these businesses do, they have this in-built marketing tool – consumers can feel good about buying a Social Enterprise’s goods and/or services. Consumers can know they are part of solving a problem rather than causing it.

Where do I find out more?

A couple of years ago, the Department of Internal Affairs commissioned The Impact Initiative. This organisation was formed through DIA’s Social Enterprise Sector Development Programme. Yeah, it’s a bit of a mouthful! While there is no formal definition of Social Enterprise in New Zealand, The Impact Initiative have coined the following:

  1. Have a clearly identifiable social, environmental or cultural mission, and
  2. Generate the majority of their income through trade, and
  3. Reinvest the majority of their profits or expenditure in their social, cultural or environmental outcomes (their ‘impact’), and
  4. Track and report on the impact they achieve.

Anyway, that’s enough of definitions!

Cool – give me some examples!

Here are some Social Enterprises and purpose-led businesses which you either might have heard of or that I think you might like to know about!

  • StayNative: Stay Native is New Zealand’s socially and culturally-minded answer to Airbnb.
  • Thankyou Payroll: Thankyou Payroll are, funnily enough, a payroll company but with an awesome purpose-led difference
  • Dignity: Dignity are a women’s wellbeing initiative looking to end period poverty
  • The Good Registry: The Good Registry are reinventing gift giving. Basically, it ‘s gift giving that’s better for society and the environment

I’d highly recommend checking these companies out – because I know you won’t regret it.

And that’s just four of an estimated 3,500 social enterprises in NZ. Get on board the movement because when you buy from and work with social enterprise, you can feel good about where you dollars are going.


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The Journey 2020 The Journey Blog

Saying YES in 2020

This is the year for saying YES more. Yep, that’s right – I’m saying YES in 2020. This isn’t a New Years Resolution. It’s just a life resolution to be a bit bolder and take up opportunities as they’re presented to me.

What am I saying YES to?

Earlier this week, I mentioned in a LinkedIn post that I had seen an advert from Hatch about a free online course called ‘Learn how to invest in 2020.’ In the past, I likely I would have dismissed this as I was ‘too busy’ and ‘didn’t need it’ but, in taking the course, I realised there were a few things I needed to brush up on.

You don’t know what you don’t know!

It got me thinking, what else have I said YES to recently? I’ve learned a bunch of new skills to enable me to do more DIY projects around home (thank you Youtube!), signed up and completed multiple Google Digital Garage and Analytics courses, I’ve even attended various online webinars. Basically, I am actively putting myself in situations where I know I will learn something new… I realised I want and need to learn more! It’s awesome and I know that I wasn’t doing that 12 months ago.

Admittedly, things are a bit different for me now than they were this same time last year. Because I’m self-employed and largely working from home, I’ve been able to take advantage of the increased control I have over my time. However, based on the experience I’m having now, I know I should have been doing this anyway! 

A challenge for you:

So, here’s what I want you to do:

Make 2020 the year you put yourself out there and starting saying YES. Because people are bombarded with so many events and adverts, I reckon it’s easy to say no by default. Therefore, I think people need to re-train their thinking and allow themselves to get into situations where they can gain positive experience and learn new skills by saying YES – even if it’s uncomfortable.


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The Journey 2020 The Journey Blog

Time Management

Well, for the first time ever I am writing this post on the morning that I’m meant to be publishing it. I’ve only been blogging for five weeks so it’s not that dramatic but I am wishing that I had been more organised. My time management has not been up to scratch this week!

BUT, the silver lining here is that it’s given me a golden opportunity to write about how I want to be managing my ‘self-employed time’ and look to set some goals.

If I think about my various commitments in life, I need to make sure that I’m budgeting enough time for;

  • Family (in particular my wife, Lydia)
  • Friends
  • Building and running my independent consultancy, Seedling Consulting
  • Likewise, building and running BigAir with my business partner, Hayden Bishop (I’m realising how much of a different ball game running a B2C business is!)
  • Serving on the board of FARA NZ
  • Myself (!)

Coincidentally, Hayden and I decided this week that we need to have an ‘office’ day each week instead of just ad hoc meetings. With each of us having separate personal business commitments (speaking of, if you need a great photographer – Hayden is your guy!), our weeks can get quite busy. We decided we’d make Monday our office day – which mean we’re just working from the same space (combatting that lonely #solopreneur feeling!) and can do a bit of work on Big Air as well as any other stuff we’ve got on.

Moving forward, I’m guessing client visits for BigAir will mainly happen in the weekends. (This is where we take all the photos and gather information for client Airbnb listings)

So, that’s BigAir sorted.

Then, I’ve decided I’m going to have a mid-week day at home with no meetings each week. This day aligns with Lydia’s day-off which changes depending on her shifts. Lydia often works weekends and it’s easy enough for me to work through the weekend too – our calendars are pretty non-traditional so I’m not really losing any time by doing this – just making sure I have a day at home with Lydia every week. This day also helps cover off the fact that I need to give ‘myself’ time.

Then that leaves 3 weekdays for Seedling Consulting and the time commitment for FARA NZ is pretty small – while the charity is not a client of Seedling, I’m finding that if I treat the work I’m doing as if it is for a client, it keeps me on track.

We regularly see friends in the evenings and try to get up to Palmerston North to see our family for a weekend roughly once a month.

It’s a busy life but I think I’m getting the hang of managing my own time. It will be interesting to see how I get on when I get into a busy patch. Given it’s only been 3 months since we got back to NZ, it has all been smooth sailing so far. I’m marking this most recent week as a temporary blip caused by the short-week (I spent Monday celebrating Wellington and listening to the dulcet tones of Fat Freddy’s Drop!).