A Day in My Life ....
Sue and Lesley at ruralmums.com asked me if I could write about a typical day in my life.
Thank you Sue and Lesley, but cripes, there’s no such thing!
Why I became an entrepreneur
I started my travel company Foot Trails 10 years ago. I was hugely frustrated by the quality of country walking experiences available here in the UK.
I grew up on several farms which firmly rooted my passion for rural England and my childhood consisted of the sort of things which I can now hugely appreciate. Climbing trees, running through fields and woods to play, getting very muddy and making dens out of the hay bales (I hope my dad isn’t reading that one!).
When my youngest son was two I decided that I was going to do something about this idea for walking holidays. Having spent weeks researching a business plan, I sat in front of a business advisor who looked at my business plan then looked firmly at me and said – I think you just need to begin Alison. And my journey into life as an entrepreneur began.
It is the best journey I have ever made. There are times of frustration and challenge of course, but the rewards make it all worthwhile and somewhat addictive.
We create walking holidays for guests from all over the UK and around the world. It might be a 2 day short break or a 2 week tour for someone who has never been to England before.
No two days are ever the same. I love the variety of that.
So I would like to write about one particular day recently and tell you about that if I may.
A typical day in my life
On this Thursday morning my day started as it often does at 6am. I train every other day, either outdoor fitness or body weight in the morning or a dance class or swim in the evening. Training gives me energy and helps me focus.
After that its downstairs to my office to respond to emails. I try to be ruthless with email and either respond immediately, delete or file otherwise they build up.
From 8am to 8.30am I take breakfast with my youngest daughter and drive her to school. My husband is away this week so I am running the office and business and have sole charge of the children. This arrangement necessitates a sort of military style planning to pull off!
I’m back at my office by 9am and straight on the phone to have a discussion with our web designer Sarah. We are creating a new website. Having finalised the content and new colour theme we have a talk around navigation.
I make a few decisions and Sarah says she will get the new pages to me later today.
By 10 am its time for me to work on holiday itineraries for some of our guests. Today I am planning holidays for Canadian and American guests. I carefully work out the time differences for calls later that afternoon, usually twice as I never want to call someone mistakingly at 3am!
By 12pm I am writing the copy for the new advert for our gift vouchers which is to appear in Countryfile magazine in November. I sort that out and then answer a few emails from the Head Teacher at my daughter’s primary school where I am a parent governor.
I make lunch ( It’s important that I sit down to eat lunch every day – even if it’s 10 minutes) and take a short walk through the village to stretch my legs, bumping into my neighbour who has just had a lovely little baby. Quick chat and a quick cuddle with Billy!
The rest of the afternoon flies. My youngest has a play date today so I work on.
I spend time on marketing, answering enquiries and calls from guests and responding to a press enquiry from a national magazine.
At 5pm I cook and eat with my son, at 6.15pm I pick up my daughter and return to read the notes for my evening meeting (I’m helping with my village community initiative for rural broadband). My husband returns just in time to take over the reigns at home and I’m at my meeting by 7.30 pm.
Home by 10pm and ready for a good nights sleep. Tomorrow I am off to Wales to meet and be interviewed by Fergus, the editor of Countryfile Magazine.
Thank you for reading. I love what I do and it’s been great to share my day with you.
Warm wishes, Alison
Alison is founder and MD of Foot Trails, the leading UK rural walking holidays company. http://www.foottrails.co.uk/
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