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 sitting down with entrepreneur Susie Harrison, Co-Founder of Hearth Display, a digital calendar and task manager that organizes your household all in one place. The women-owned founding team behind Hearth Display wanted to reimagine the traditional family bulletin board with a touch screen display and a lot of powerful, smart features. Today, it’s become a fan favorite in the crowdfunding community, raising more than $566,878 USD in funds to help make their vision happen!
Read on to learn about what a day in the life is like for co-founder Susie Harrison as she runs a crowdfunding campaign, followed by a Q&A to get to know her better.
6 A.M. I typically wake up around 6:15 a.m. to get ready for the gym. I try to have a full glass of water before heading out the door.
7 A.M. I work out at 7 a.m. about four days a week. I have to attend an actual class because otherwise, I wouldn’t have the willpower to workout on my own! My favorite classes typically combine strength training with high-intensity interval training, or occasionally I’ll mix in yoga. I am a “just get it done” type of gym person – I’m in and out in under an hour.
8 A.M. I’m typically showered and at my computer ready to start the work day by 8:15 a.m. While our Hearth Display team is under 10 people, we’re pretty spread out when it comes to time zones – so I try to accommodate others’ schedules and be ready for meetings early in the day.
A few days a week, we have a team stand-up first thing in the morning. We use this time to keep each other updated on our workstreams, ask for help, or identify any blockers that are in the way of us progressing a project or task. Once a week, we also carve out time for a team ice breaker to get to know each other better.
As founders, we make space for transparent and open questions during this time to ensure the team is on the same page. Once a month, we review our strategic roadmap together and chat about what’s up ahead.
9 A.M. I try to reserve a couple of hours for heads-down time, as I’m most productive in the morning. This time usually includes project-based work or creative work – like planning our monthly content calendar, analyzing our growth metrics to understand how best to pivot our strategy if needed, outlining team goals and objectives, working on strategic partnerships, and more.
12 P.M. If I remember, I take a quick break for lunch. I am terrible about remembering to eat lunch so I try to block time on my calendar for it. I live by my calendar, so if something’s not on there – even small things – chances are I won’t prioritize it. This is part of why calendar visualization is such a big part of Hearth Display – having a central place in the home where everyone can see their calendar and responsibilities helps keep everyone on track.
1 P.M. My afternoons are better spent on email catch-up, customer support, check-in meetings with team members, or other administrative tasks. I try to schedule internal, recurring check-in meetings back-to-back all on the same day. Time batching (grouping similar tasks together) helps me stay focused and organized.
6 P.M. I end the day checking my to-do list to make sure I didn’t miss anything urgent and making a quick list for the next day while projects are top of mind. I try to categorize to-dos by identifying what is urgent vs important – which aren’t always the same thing but we often think they are! There are great options for collaborative and visual to-do lists on Hearth Display too!
7 P.M. I often have a dinner planned with friends, but if not, I’ll go for a quick walk with my husband to decompress and transition out of work mode. My husband and I enjoy cooking together when we can; if we’re feeling ambitious we’ll open a fun cookbook like ‘Cook This Book’ by Molly Baz and try a new recipe.
9 P.M. I end the day reading or watching something light-hearted.
10 P.M. Lights out around 10 p.m. – usually falling asleep with a book open!
Now that you’ve gotten a glimpse of what Susie’s day is 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?
SUSIE HARRISON: My dad started his own business, so I was exposed to entrepreneurship from an early age. I saw how much he invested in his business: he was passionate about the problem he was solving for his customers and wanted to build something he couldn’t find elsewhere. Similarly, I identify with and am deeply invested in Hearth’s customers’ needs. I’m passionate about what we’re building because I don’t believe anything currently fully solves the problem our customers experience daily. Being an entrepreneur means you get to be close to your customers – or at least, you should be! One of my favorite things about my job is getting to talk to families and learn more about how we can make their lives easier.
INDIEGOGO: What makes your Indiegogo project unique?
SUSIE: Hearth Display is designing modern technology to make the pain points of family management easier and more equitable. Our core product, which is currently featured on Indiegogo, is a first-of-its-kind operating system that combines beautiful hardware with smart software to create a central hub for the thousands of decisions, tasks, and plans a family makes in a day.
We’re building technology that modernizes the home and gives everyone a role in managing it, and we believe equal partnerships at home are the way forward for modern families.
We also have incredible investors behind Hearth – including Female Founders Fund, Stellation Capital, and more – which means our Indiegogo campaign doesn’t fund Hearth’s operational expenses. We chose Indiegogo as a preorder partner because we wanted to amplify Hearth’s mission with a larger audience who might identify with the problems we’re solving.
INDIEGOGO: What’s your biggest piece of advice for women who want to start their own business?
SUSIE: Don’t do it alone! Building a meaningful business that lasts takes a village. For me personally, I can’t imagine building Hearth without my co-founders. For others, this might mean key investors, advisors, or teammates. Regardless of what it looks like for you, intentionally building a community around you makes the ‘good’ moments more fun to celebrate and the ‘bad’ moments less lonely.
INDIEGOGO: What tools (gadgets, apps, books, podcasts) would you recommend to anyone starting their own business, crowdfunding campaign, or project?
SUSIE: My favorite business podcasts are 20VC, My First Million, and The Consumer VC. As an auditory learner, I enjoy podcasts or audiobooks for anything business-related. My favorite book is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho – a book that believes all individuals should live in pursuit of their individual dreams. While it’s not a traditional business book, it helps you evaluate what’s most meaningful to you and what you’re willing to do.
INDIEGOGO: What’s your favorite Indiegogo campaign, or a travel campaign you’ve recently supported?
SUSIE: I really admire what Lomi accomplished through their Indiegogo campaign last year. They have a brilliant, beautiful product that makes people’s lives easier and fulfills a deeper purpose by positively impacting the environment. The combination of fulfilling a consumer need while also helping solve a larger societal issue is inspiring, and models our vision for Hearth.