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 a business owner and founder is like? We’re here to give you a glimpse! In honor of International Women’s Day (March 8), we will feature a female entrepreneur every week for the entire month — giving you an exclusive, first-hand look into 24 hours of their day.
This week, we shine the spotlight on entrepreneur Jenkin Xia, co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of WUUK Labs. WUUK is a smart video doorbell that lets you monitor your doorstep, see who’s there, and communicate with visitors. It’s affordable, easy to install, and promises to give your home or business professional-level wireless security without any hidden storage fees or expensive monthly subscriptions.
Read on to see how she spends her day, shuttling between Shanghai and the Bay Area. Then scroll down for a brief Q&A to get to know her better and get inspired!
9 A.M. – Boil a cup of coffee using my Moka pot, while listening to audiobooks on my phone. Recently, I’ve been listening to Bob Iger’s The Ride of A Lifetime. I am a big fan of paper weekly planners. It’s a bit old-fashioned, I know. Currently, I use the Traveler’s Notebook. I would use the time over breakfast and coffee for planning.
10 A.M. – Daily Scrum meeting. Usually before the team scrum meeting, I spend about 10 minutes checking all the support channels to collect feedback or replies from our users and customers. I usually request them the night before.
11 A.M. – I use this time to work cross-functionally on tasks with other team members, like communicating with our designer to improve our UI, or creating assets for social media content.
12 P.M. – It’s lunch time! Time to browse the news.
1 P.M. – Our team usually takes a break around this time. Sometimes, we take naps. Sometimes, we will have fun team-building activities, like order bubble tea takeouts, or play one or two rounds of online games together. In a hectic startup life, having fun is important!
2 P.M. – I talk to external partners, like our campaign agency or packaging design company to check on the project progress and data report from the past day.
3 P.M. – I concentrate on tasks that require my full attention, like writing our Indiegogo campaign updates and email newsletters, or doing customer support.
5 P.M. – For me, these 2 hours are the most relaxing and enjoyable hours in a day for those who work across the US-China time zone. Most of our backers are about to wake up, so these are our quiet hours.
6 P.M. – Dinner time. I usually order food via a food delivery service known as Waimai.
8 P.M. – Our regular off-work time. Before that, our team checks the level of completion on the work scheduled for the day, and see if there is anything we need to sync up on before we go. This is especially important for me because I will start to have back-and-forth conversations with our backers.
9 P.M. – I bike or walk home, then take a shower.
10 P.M. – Before I go to bed, I usually check all the support channels one last time. Working across the Pacific Ocean, many of our users and backers have woken up by now. They start submitting tickets, support requests, and sending feedback. If I can get them a timely response, and communicate back and forth with them, I’m able to get their information confirmed quickly. These usually involve setting up their network, if they need troubleshooting support. Sometimes, this process can last for hours until 2:00 A.M.
Now that you’ve gotten a glimpse of what her day is like, get more inspiration in our exclusive Q&A with her below!
INDIEGOGO: How did you become an entrepreneur?
JENKIN XIA: It was something I planned for myself. As a journalist turned marketer, now an entrepreneur, I think genuine curiosity is what drives me all the way to where I am.
When I was in elementary school, I intended to be a reporter. I was fortunate enough that I started my career in media, and got into business, finance, and tech reporting. Later, I realized that behind every story a reporter writes, behind every number a company presents on financial reports, there are a fair amount of people working on fulfilling, realizing, and creating. So I flipped sides in order to understand and discover what is on the other side of what I have experienced. This happened a few times in my career, and eventually led me to launch the startup with three co-founders, the journey that allowed me to discover the fun of creating things from scratch.
Being an entrepreneur opened me up to new opportunities, to discover more stories on a fundamental level, and build experience from a unique perspective. For me, it is not too different from being a reporter.
IGG: What makes WUUK unique?
JENKIN: Our team is in a unique position to connect Chinese manufacturing’s capabilities to the market’s need for reliable, user-friendly smart home devices on the other side of the ocean. We all know that in manufacturing, to do business with an industry that is a bit traditional, you need to be there. No matter what the hardware specs or app features are, our team has collectively applied all the insights we’ve gathered from our living, working, and educational experiences into the product. Secondly, we design for everyone. We bear inclusivity in mind when we design the product from the beginning, because we embrace diversity in our team. Do not design for men or women. Design for everyone. And with a female founder in the product’s decision-making process, it helps.
IGG: What’s your best advice for women entrepreneurs like you?
JENKIN: Dare to be authentic. And partner with people who you can be authentic with.
Value the experience instead of money and status, so you are not scared by the challenges. Value all the opportunities presented to you to find solutions and gain experience.
IGG: What tools do you recommend to anyone starting their own business?
JENKIN: The Lean Startup by Eric Ries, Zero to One by Peter Thiel, How I Built This with Guy Raz podcast on NPR, and I follow @naval on Twitter. I also recommend everyone to download a favorite game on your mobile device, for times when you need a break from your thoughts or a distraction from work. Try Hole.io (game app) or Overcooked. This is my way of not getting myself burned out.
IGG: What’s your favorite Indiegogo campaign?
To support and back WUUK, check out their Indiegogo campaign page.