Running your own business is no easy feat. It takes a healthy dose of passion, discipline, and commitment. Ever wondered what a day in the life of an Indiegogo entrepreneur is like? We’re here to give you a glimpse!
Today we’re featuring Sara Arnell, co-founder of My Friend The Sea, which is the team behind Salt Stone, a revolutionary new device that enables dry salt therapy in the comfort of your own home. At the push of a button, you are able to turn pure salt into a respiratory cleanse for allergy relief, boosted immunity, and cleaner lungs.
As a former advertising CEO, Parsons School of Design professor, author, and brand consultant, she sets the vision and direction for this buzzy, talked-about crowdfunding campaign. Here’s what we found out about her day-to-day routine. Read on!
7 A.M. Wake and head downstairs for coffee. I can’t do anything without my morning coffee. My toy poodle, Otis, sits on my lap and we read the NY Times online. I savor this time, alone in my kitchen. No TV or social media. If it’s a nice day, I’ll open my back door to listen to the sounds of nature and feel the fresh air. I’m a fan of the slow morning ritual as a way to take time to nurture myself before the craziness of the day begins. It actually helps me stay focused and calm throughout the rest of the day.
8 A.M. Meditate for 20 minutes. I’ve been practicing Vedic meditation for years and it’s what I credit with helping me manage both my stress and energy. I sit in a chair in my office which is a very peaceful saffron color, close my eyes and tune in to my breathing.
9 A.M. I keep a monthly paper calendar that I write in – old school style – on my desk. I like to look at the month at a glance. I also like the process of handwriting in my appointments and calls. I remember things better when I actually write them down. I also have everything in my google calendar, but this written paper calendar is my touchstone. After I check my calendar, I’ll grab something to eat, which often consists of leftovers from the night before. I like to keep things easy. Next, I’ll Facetime my mother to see how she’s doing. This is the time my three children know they can reach me – pre calls and meetings – so I often speak with them too around this time.
10 A.M. My workday begins. I like to schedule my calls and meetings between 10am and 1pm so I typically sit at my desk and go from one thing to another, with little down-time in between. I take copious notes. I have a notebook for each project I’m working on and I document everything.
1 P.M. I take a break and if I have things to do around the house, food shopping or errands, I try to accomplish them during this time. I also go outside to walk my dog and move my body too…I have a tendency toward being sedentary and I try to be very conscious about not sitting for too long. Walking is my preferred exercise, when the weather permits. I also have a vintage exercise bike in my kitchen that I hop on during down time or calls with my children or friends.
2 P.M. Pick at food in the fridge or snack. I’m a grazer vs a sit down for a meal person.
3 P.M. Back to my desk to check email, DM’s and messages. There ‘s usually a block of afternoon calls or meetings. I like grouping my appointments in blocks of time versus spreading them out throughout the day. Having a scheduling strategy like this helps me both physically and mentally feel ready and prepared for what’s ahead. I have my desk time, my me time, my get-stuff-done-around-the-house time etc.
4 P.M. Meditate for 20 minutes. My vedic meditation practice consists of two 20 minute meditation sessions, every day. There’s a famous quote from a legendary meditation teacher. He said, “If you’re too busy to meditate twice a day, you’re just too busy.” I really take this to heart and make sure I make the time to take care of myself. There’s always time, if it’s important to you.
6 P.M. I end the day by creating a to-do list. I’m a huge fan of the to do list. It consists of items I need to complete, emails I need to send, stuff I need to order, calls I need to make etc, and I try to order things in terms of priority. If I don’t finish the list the next day, it gets added to. It’s a running list that can include anything from “get dog food” to schedule a call with a new investor.
7 P.M. I’ll usually have a salad or vegetables for dinner – something light. I’ll often eat on the couch while binging a Netflix or Hulu show. If college is in session, I’m back online teaching my advertising and marketing class at Parsons.
10 P.M. Bedtime
Now that you’ve gotten a glimpse of what Sara’s days are like, get more inspiration in our exclusive Q&A with her below!
INDIEGOGO: How and why did you become an entrepreneur? Was it something you always intended for yourself?
SARA ARNELL: I never thought of myself as an entrepreneur before. I see myself as someone with a curious mind, who likes to try new things, solve problems and focus on solutions to make life better. I think this is the basis for entrepreneurism – it’s a spirit as much as an activity or profession. If you can tap into this within yourself, that’s what will make you an entrepreneur.
INDIEGOGO: What makes your Indiegogo project unique?
SARA: Salt Stone was created based on both personal need and the need of the times we live in. The focus on respiratory wellness has never been greater or more urgent. The pandemic, increased air pollution, longer allergy seasons and increasing wildfires make the air we breathe unreliable in terms of purity and cleanliness. Dry Salt Therapy, which is what Salt Stone delivers, has been used in Europe for over 200 years in spas, wellness centers and hospitals. It felt like it was time to bring this natural and effective therapy to mainstream consumers in an at-home device that is easy and convenient to use. As someone who is immunocompromised, I found that Dry Salt Therapy is one of the most effective ways to help me breathe better and easier. As usual, need became the mother of invention.
INDIEGOGO: What’s your biggest piece of advice for women who want to start their own business?
SARA: This may sound obvious, but the best way to start is to just start. So many women have ideas that they’ve been thinking about for years but have put them on the back burner for multiple reasons. They’ve thought about it so much that the only thing left to do is push the go button and bring it to life. A practical piece of advice is that I like to accomplish the easier stuff first and save the harder stuff for later. There’s nothing like knowing you got a whole bunch of things taken care of – it will help make the elements that take longer to complete easier to cope with, knowing you have already knocked many things off your list.
INDIEGOGO: What tools (gadgets, apps, books, podcasts) would you recommend to anyone starting their own business, crowdfunding campaign, or project?
SARA: I love organization. Using tools like Calendly, Asana and DocSend are great ways to streamline appointments, tasks and sharing of information. If something is out there to help make life easier and more convenient, use it to your advantage. Also, listening and learning from others is a great way to grow your breadth of knowledge and understanding. There’s nothing like real-life experiences to shed light on what may or may not happen and what’s worked or hasn’t worked for someone who’s launched a new business or product. At the same time, it’s important to read or listen to podcasts for pure fun and entertainment. Don’t focus all your energy on work stuff. Expand your joy along with your expertise.
INDIEGOGO: What’s your favorite Indiegogo campaign, or a campaign you’ve recently supported?
SARA: Of course, I’m extremely passionate about Salt Stone. Most recently, I supported Lomi. I love the idea of composting easily and conveniently at-home. It’s actually very similar philosophically to Salt Stone in that both products take something that isn’t always seen as easy or convenient and use innovative design and technology to help consumers ease these pain points and get desired benefits.
Want to support Sara’s campaign? Check out Salt Stone on Indiegogo.