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A Day in the Life of a SaaS Founder

Written by Val Sopi on Sunday, March 08, 2015


Val Sopi

Hi. I’m Val Sopi (Twitter), founder and Chief Everything Officer at Goodwerp. I wish I had a job description that lists a maximum of 2 duties I need to perform, but that’s not the case.

Below is a sample of my working day.

Disclaimer
I will not possibly be able to keep up with this rhythm in 5 years time. Though, it seems I get most of my inspiration when I’m hitting a problem from few different angles.

Here we go.

Rise and shine

I get up around 7 and depending on my 3-year old’s waking time, I get to spend some early morning quality time with him: set up the table, make/eat breakfast, jump and run around for no apparent reason, and so forth.

Gym

I start with a gym routine sometime before 8. I try to spend no more than 50 minutes in total to get my blood pumping and my heart rate at some 70% of my theoretical ceiling (220 minus your age).

The key is not go overboard, since I want to preserve some of the good energy for the rest of the day.

Physical activity, early in the day, helps me get my thoughts clear and flush out any negativity for the rest of the day. Plus, being fit helps me deal better with pressure.

Office

I start work at 9.

Things I do in no particular order are:

  • Quick face-to-face meeting with my team about what we’re doing for the week/day
  • Get an update about the latest in Goodwerp: stats, analytics, performance.
  • Check and respond to Email
  • Check out the most recent activity in our company and most recent completed tasks (link)

Work

Right after the initial office routine, I start actually producing.

My work may consist of any of the tasks below:

  • Write/blog
  • Code/design
  • Project management, delegate tasks
  • Planning/KPIs
  • Customer Happiness and Support
  • Social media management

Coffee break/Snack

I get my coffee sometimes around 10:00. I’m a big coffee drinker, though recently I’m trying to cut back and not have more than 3 cups per day.

In addition to my coffee-break I try to get my snack/proteins in so my morning workout-routine does not go to waste.

Lunch

I’m usually working at full speed up until around 12:30 when I start feeling the need to move around and do something different for a change. I get my lunch brought in and don’t spend more than 20 minutes eating. During this time I catch up with our team.

Nap*

This is something I’m not practicing yet, but want to. The conditions in our office space just don’t accommodate for such a need yet, but if I’m working from home, it’s one of those little things I try to fit in. These quick naps are truly refreshing and help my focus.

How it’s done

If I’m actually working from home, I try to quickly sip a small cup of coffee right before the nap and set my alarm for 20 minutes. It’s key to wake up right away when the alarm kicks in.

If you snooze, you will lose! Because you’ll go into your deep-sleep patterns and it’s all downhill from there.

Back to work

From 1p to right after 5p, I’m fully immersed in my work.

During this part of the day, I’m doing:

  • Check with my team about what we’ve accomplished during the day, roadblocks, solutions
  • Finishing up front-end/design/build with my team
  • Debugging, after updates/release
  • Designing ads for our outreach and re-targeting efforts
  • Finishing up a blog-post I’ve been writing since the am
  • On a call with one of our Goodwerp users (demo/feedback)
  • On a call with a potential strategic partner
  • Set up auto posts for today, overnight, and the next morning via HootSuite
  • Checking and replying to responses from our posts online:
    I usually post on Quora and Twitter the most, and I’m just getting started with Hacker News and Inbound.org
  • And I randomly check out our Goodwerp metrics in Baremetrics.com

Shoot the sh*t

Sometime around 3 we tend to shoot some ping-pong with the team. These are more like standing meetings where we play a game and talk about the product. Truly refreshing from the productivity stand point and more often than not, some of the best/quick ideas/hacks come out of these sessions.

Finishing work

Around 4:45 or so, I try to do a quick recap of what I’ve been doing all day and see what I can deploy and what I have to postpone for the next day.

Also, we discuss with our team ideas and thoughts about the product, better growth strategies, new tools and features that could possibly make our users even more awesome, and dream about a possible global notoriety.

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At Home

I usually get home at around 6. The time from 6 to around 9 is fully dedicated to my family (my wife and son). Movies, games, guests, playtime with my boi, are some of the activities of this part of the day.

Also, there are nights when I skip my family routine and chose to hang out with friends instead.

Inspiration

I get tons of inspiration at night when relaxing at home. I tend to write down all bubbling ideas without any judgement. I like to put them aside until the next morning and see if they still make any sense. Some don’t right away, some do, some other ones need more time to grow. Whatever the case, I try to pick the ones that are doable run with them.

Productivity pattern during the day
My productivity pattern during a work-day

As the day unwinds

Usually I kick back on my iPad and read articles I’ve saved on my Pocket.

These articles range from SaaS all the way to the latest findings about our Universe. Yup, I’m an astronomy junkie.

Few things I like to spend time reading are: Hitten Shah’s newsletter, Clement Vouillons newsletter, Jason Lemkin’s answers on Quora, and Alexander Theuma’s SaaScribe.

Also, we get together with our team on Facebook group chat and shoot random ideas.

This time of day is another chance I try to use to reply to customer support tickets, start writing a blog, code, reply to our online posts, code some quick ideas about new flows in Goodwerp, and check out Quora.

Meditate

I wish I could do this more. 20 minutes of meditation does crazy awesome things to your brain. I’m not a pro at this, but I try to workout few basic techniques. What this does during the day is treat all challenges and obstacles the same. It helps you objectively evaluate a situation and hit it in the nut-sack.

Sleep

The most important thing of my entire life. I try to get at least 8 hours a sleep. There are times when I’m fully stressed and get up at 3am and stay up till 5am. To fill up this time, I check our product status, read some articles online and go back to sleep.

Weekends

On weekends I try to stay away as much as I can from the computer. If I have to work on something, I try to be highly effective and get in-and-out of what I’m supposed to do.

Key in weekends is to recharge, relax, and spend time with my family. The goal is to face Monday full-throttle (on Monday) and give it a good run for its money.

Important

From everything listed above, about 70% do actually happen in a given day.

It’s obvious that at this rate, I’m burning on both ends. The way I’m trying to maintain my sanity is to get away from work as much as possible, spend more time with my family and friends, stay active through workout and sports, stay away from anything “digital” on weekends, and try to do things that have nothing to with my work (biking, chopping wood, landscaping).

Down the line, as we and our resources grow, the plan is to hire other people that are extremely better than me in many of the areas I’m currently working on. Until then, I’ll have to maintain this lifestyle.

Thanks for reading this far! Please, start using Goodwerp and see how awesome it can make you in your efforts to increase your overall productivity and profits.

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