Welcome to Day in the Life, where we peek into the lives and schedules of solopreneurs and freelancers. Today we’re chatting with Lis Dingjan of The Identity. Lis works with smashingly talented people to create big impact for their incredible offerings over at The Identity. She does biz consulting, branding, custom website design & development and a whole lot more. Part creative and part very nerdy, she’s in love with helping businesses succeed with style, a dash of elegance, lashings of high quality, a sprinkle of rustic fusion and a whole lot of passion and value.
I’ve always got a million things going on at once so my days are jam packed and often changing. One of the wonderful things about going after your own dreams and ideas about life is that you don’t have to follow a strict concept of time. It’s your life after all! I’m also a bit of a nomad so I’m regularly in another country…I’m actually typing this from 30 thousand feet up on a flight to Europe whilst Love Actually plays and I fall in love with Hugh Grant all over again (I would pour orange juice all over me for days if it meant he stumbled into me!).
I’m a huge believer in hustling your butt off to get the life you want and I love kick starting the day and getting to it so I’m usually up by 6am. I’d like to say that I gently wake up, go for a run in Lululemon looking sassy and sexy and then make a green smoothie sipping it slowly on my rustic wooden balcony with 360 degree views in the Bavarian alps whilst flicking through a design magazine. Sadly, my life isn’t so glamorous…
6am-12pm: My mornings instead tend to start with doing a few hours of client work (branding, website design & development and consulting) from my Mac Air. Sometimes in my PJ pants and the always patience testing spinning wheel from way too many open applications. Most days I try not to open my email until the afternoon. If I’m in Cambodia my early hours are spent in the sun (though my porcelain skin fails to ever achieve a sparkling glow), with wonderful, inspiring families in the villages and rice fields or children at schools.
12-6pm: The rest of my day changes wherever I am in the world but it’s always filled with client work, Skype consults, charity projects, administration, responding to an inbox full of emails, reports, exploring a new town and no doubt some debates on current world events!
I’m incredibly lucky to have friends all over the place and love meeting passionate people in cafes so my days are interspersed with fruity tea catch-ups in alternative, kooky, recycled or comfy cafes. My tip? I don’t have social media applications or work email on my phone (I didn’t even have Facebook until this year!), which frees my time up for work, head space for creativity, seeing the world and connecting with amazing people.
6pm-7pm: I used to exercise regularly but that’s fallen by the way side a little lately. I do love exploring countries so I’ll walk a lot in cities to ogle at architecture, people watch or buy food from the markets (can’t go past Borough Markets in London) and get out into the mountains and make my thighs shake. I do work on weekends but I also adore camping so some weekends I escape in a tent. You’ve got to get away from the daily routine; best inspiration comes from outside your industry.
7pm-12am: Night times are often filled with side projects (never stop experimenting and learning!) whilst playing Friends, Grand Designs or music (Leonard Cohen, Rod Stewart, Pink Floyd, Beegees, Billy Joel, ABBA or whatever strikes my fancy that day). Otherwise I can be found at cafes wolfing down wood fired pizza and watermelon juice, at comedy events or concerts or talking world changing ideas with inspirational people. Toward exam period each year I will also be found cramming entire units in, in the space of a few weeks in a stressful panic (I’m still debating a masters for this year) and ironing becomes an unbelievably exciting hobby of mine.
12-2am: If I’m on my own I fall asleep somewhere around 1-3am otherwise I try to attempt to get to bed by 11pm (I have good intentions, I promise!). I’m one of those people that gets crazy creative at night, but I also like starting my day early (thank you years of swimming training). I’m revamping my business so 2014 has a few more early nights and pool time. 2014 will be all about refining…and attempting to look more like Blake Lively than our ancestral apes.
Questions for Lis? Ask them in the comments!