Ashley Ward is the co-founder of Maple Organics, an organic skin care company that she runs with business partner Rosy Atwal. Working for herself is vital to the life she wants to live, and to what her business offers its team of Consultants. Here, Ward walks us through her Monday, and tells us about working remotely while leading a team, getting food thrown at you, and loving working from home.
6:00am: The alarm is always set but the sound of my three-year old running around upstairs is a welcome sound and one that means it’s time to start the day. Her younger sister follows suit quickly after and we can hear babbling and yammering. I take a quick peek at my schedule for the day and messages to ensure I’ve got a sense of what’s happening for the day, then I’m off for morning cuddles with my littles.
7:45am: If anyone had a lens into our home at this time of the morning it would look like the animals had been let out of the zoo! Kids running one way, someone showering, Cheerios and some banana thrown at me by my one-year old, lunches getting packed, teeth brushed, and there is an audible sigh and sense of calm once the front door shuts. I get dressed (oversized blouses with skinny jeans and strappy sandals are my current choice), grab my protein shake and coffee, and sit down at my desk to get in the zone for my workday.
8:00am: Planning time. I spend a few minutes at the start of my day to ground myself and look at the week ahead. What are the Top 3 things that I am going to accomplish no matter what? What are the big rocks I am going to move forward? Who am I meeting with this week? How will what I choose to do move us closer to achieving our quarterly strategic goals?
8:30am: I check my Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest to see the level of activity and who has been engaging on my accounts. This is a treasure trove of potential customers, consultants and business partners. I research and plan our Motivational Monday post—used to kick our Consultants’ week off on a good note—and for our learning team meeting for the evening. Direct Sales Reps are almost always part time so I want to give them the most value for the time they spend in their business and help them to earn the most they can per hour spent.
10:00am: One of my jobs is to pound the pavement actively promoting our business and spreading the word about our mission to make families healthier through organic, pure and clean products and providing career opportunities for women. Most days I’ve got at least a meeting or two lined up with smart, fun, and ambitious women from my network. Sometimes it’s a playdate, and I get to bring my kids along and meld my favourite things together—connecting with my kids and friends while promoting my business which usually leads to a new customer, host or Consultant. What could be better than that?
11:30am: Working out in the middle of the day releases endorphins and gives me an extra boost for the afternoon. I crack open my 30-minute Beachbody workout, clear my living room and break a sweat. I often do my best thinking during my workouts or in the shower—when I give myself the space to let my mind go where it wants I get to move the ball forward on areas where I’ve been stumped or I can dream about what’s next. I love working from home. Then lunchtime. Eating nutritious meals four times a day keeps me satiated and my brain focused on the task at hand. Lunch is a veggie-filled omelet with a piece of multigrain toast all slathered with some hot sauce. Filling, clean and protein-rich.
1:00pm: Working from our home offices, the importance of finding time to connect, set goals and bounce things off each other is a crucial piece of what makes our business work. My business partner, Rosy Atwal and I connect to share our Top 3 goals for the week together. We spend time discussing and planning an upcoming product launch for our new Nourishing Hair Line—a luxurious hair oil with Kokum, Camellia, and Amla oils, a shampoo bar, a liquid shampoo, and a conditioner—and all of the lead up to make it a success from the pre-marketing to the in person event.
1:30pm: We’re in growth mode which means capital is key to our success right now. I spend some time assessing our capital requirements and then digging into grants, loans, and other financing options for our business.
3:30pm: I go to Bows x Arrows for coffee. Their bright, open space with community table is a hub for satellite work spaces and their Americanos give me just the caffeine boost I’m looking for. I review our sales orders from the previous week to see what the shipments going out are for the week and collect some of the key KPIs for our business to share with Rosy and the team.
4:55pm: I race out the door and drive the five minutes down the road to get my littles from their daycare with an outdoor haven. Best case scenario, they are happy to see me. Not so great, when they don’t want to leave because they want to keep playing. After I get them home, the zoo picks back up as I put dinner together—roast chicken, cubed sweet potatoes, and veggies with hummus—and then their Dad gets home. We make an effort to eat together every night and by this point, my three-year old has started to ask about everyone’s day. Next step is to get her to listen to the answer!
7:30pm: My husband does the final stories and kisses, and I sit down at my dining room table with a glass of Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc and crack open my laptop. Monday nights have been dedicated to coaching my team of Consultants in their growing businesses and I want to be prepared for a great call.
8:00pm: Being a business where we promote the ability to work from anywhere we meet in the same way—using Zoom for video conferencing. Our diverse team of smart and ambitious Consultants come together for an hour to connect and help learn from each other. Each brings one thing to the meeting they want support and problem solving on and they get the advice of everyone else in the group. I facilitate, for now. Our meeting goes long tonight as we dive into a new marketing tool we’ve been using for small graphic design requests called Canva. Although anyone can leave the call at 9pm as planned, they all stay on to learn about how this tool can help them build their business.
9:30pm: Follow up emails sent, I sit down to catch up with my hubby and then watch Game of Thrones. Off to bed by 11pm so that I’m refreshed for the day ahead. Fingers crossed the kids will sleep through the night.
Photos by Rochelle Elise and courtesy of Ashley Ward.