How I spend my day as a Product Builder & Consultant

Daily life of someone who run things and build things

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As a product builder↗️, I spend most of my time between working with post-product tech startups as external consultant and building my own tech product.

I work a lot in the area of product communication, community and user base discovery strategy. 

Today, I will share about how I segment my time for work and personal project. A part narratives, part storytelling on how I approach a day in my life:

6:00am — Start the day 🌤️

Get up between 6am to 730am in the morning depending on what time I sleep. Spend about 10 mins on meditation to calm down racing thoughts. It seems like my mind never stops planning what’s next.

6:10am — Morning routine 🌻

Simple morning routine: drink 400 ml water, workout 30 mins, yogurt oatmeal, apple cider honey tea & cold shower. Even though I work remotely from home, I prefer to get dressed like I’m going to work.

7:00am — Read a book 📚

Currently reading “The Third Wave” by Steve Case. It demonstrates the Third Waves of Internet and the market opportunity to create tech disruption. I’m still working through my 40 books/year . Looks like I’m a bit behind.

8:00am — Email housekeeping 📪

Some emails to set the tone for project communication: Review of action items, what (plan) to Persist, Kill or Iterate, what (action) is Done, Pending or Next, and schedule video meeting. 

8:10am — Follow-up 🔀

Some follow-ups with one of my clients. I was tasked to segment customer targeting based on persona and purchase intent. I roll out some action items, send to get approval and start executing.

10:00am— Video call meeting 🖥️

Meeting with a US customer. I was tasked to create product awareness and product messaging based on different use cases. We start off with campaign reporting. From past week, I deployed some strategy to lower Cost Per Conversion by 19% by working on targeted audience source.

1040am — Done meeting ✅

Within 40 minute meeting, we hash out important action items for a 2-week window: non-paid acquisition strategy, design materials, use case segmentation and paid acquisition.

11:00am — Execute the strategy 🚀

Implement the agreed action items on behalf of the clients. This is when I transition “strategy advice” to “execution and outcome”. Make sure my value-add as a consultant is to help move things forward that’s aligned with the CEO’s decision.

1:00pm — Lunch time 🥦

Simple lunch to boost my energy: steamed veggies, soup and white rice. If I get bored of eating clean, I’ll get spaghetti, Japanese bento or Thai foods via food delivery app.

1:30pm — Check social media 📱

Scroll through Twitter to discover useful articles about product and tech. I receive a DM and we chat about breaking down large app into smaller “release”. Ship features on consistent basis can help us make progress.

2:00pm — Video call meeting 🎦

Jump into another Zoom meeting to discuss sales development for another client. I tend to work across functions rather than tightly scoped projects. I run between product, project management and strategic implementation to help execute toward a goal. 

4:00pm — Switch task ✔️

My day-to-day isn’t always fixed. Some days I work the whole day for clients’ projects. Some days I get to switch to work on my personal side project. I usually compensate the latter by working through end-of-day or weekends.

4:15pm — Prototype 🛠️

Work on my latest prototype. I create the basic usability layer using Parabola to integrate SendGrid API and pulling content data with a pre-defined Google Sheets datasets. I want to nail the usability before I move on to code development.

5:45pm — Random thoughts 🤔

I killed a lot of projects internally. It’s hard but it’s necessary. I prioritize prototype where I want to take it to tech company, rather than building mini tools just to improve coding skills. My focus is to solve a real problem that I want to stick with for 5 ~ 10 years with sizable market needs.

6:00pm — Take a break 💧

Take a shower to relax the stiff muscle after long hours heads down. Before taking dinner, I usually take out my notebook to review my day or plan ahead for next day.

7pm — Dinner 🍄

Simple dinner like stir-fry veggies with chicken and white rice. After dinner, I spend about 30 minutes to relax, brush and floss my teeth. 

8pm — Continue work 🔥

Continue to work on my own prototype, newsletter or blogs. Sometimes I squeeze in video meetings at night. When I’m exhausted, I will spend those time on lightweight task such as organizing and de-cluttering files.

10pm — Social media, reply messages 💬

Go through some LinkedIn messages who reach out for advice about building startup prototype, product development, product launches, user acquisition or how to get into tech industry.

1030pm — Sleep 😴

Set up my bed, adjust blackout curtain, turn off the lights, set a waking alarm, open Spotify playlist, listen to podcast to help me fall asleep easily.

Conclusion ⚡

I really enjoy working in the intersection of product and tech. By aligning my clients project and personal project close to each other (and relevant) has been super fulfilling.

Working remotely also means I get to access brilliant team from all around the world. I get to work with companies and team that build amazing products that I absolutely love to work together and contributing my service.

I have to admit my daily seems like an exhausting long-hour work day. But I never overwork, it’s just over-execute.

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