UPDATE 4/30/2021: Model Breakers is now published and available on Amazon.
Running your own business is no easy feat. It takes a healthy dose of passion, discipline, and commitment. Ever wonder what a day in the life of a small business owner and founder is like? We’re here to give you a glimpse!
This week, we’re talking with Charlene Wang, the author of Model Breakers, a book that aims to help readers break up with the model minority stereotype and change the immigrant narrative at large. She’s running an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds to publish her book. Charlene is also the founder of LivingOS, an online community dedicated to helping high achievers get more out of life.
Read on to learn about a typical day for Charlene, and then scroll down for a brief Q&A to get to know her better and get inspired!
6:30 A.M. I start the day with the most important things: exercise, meditation, oolong tea. When I’m mindful of my body, I take a cold shower and exercise for 15 minutes. Other days, I dive right into my first 15 minute meditation and reward myself with a hot cup of Dong Ding Oolong tea.
7 A.M. Deep writing time. I like to write down all my dreams and meditative thoughts before they go away. This is when most of the Model Breakers stories are done.
8 A.M. I write down how I want this day to unfold, hour by hour, in the past tense (as if it has already happened). I first fill out the most important thing, so that everything, including rest and play, has a time slot in my calendar. Then I will walk through my day with my fiancé over breakfast, and get some quality time as the day unfolds.
9 A.M. I begin to tackle the most brain-intensive task at work. Sometimes it’s making a presentation for an upcoming product review, or writing a strategy document for the next big bets. This is often the time where I get the most output done during the day.
10 A.M. In meetings. Catching up on emails in between.
11 A.M. Still in back-to-back meetings. I try to take a five minute bio break in between.
12 P.M. I like to learn something, be it news or skills, while having lunch. My default platforms are Masterclass and Mindvalley.
1 P.M. Team meetings at my standing desk.
2 P.M. 1:1s. This is my favorite type of meeting because I get to build deep relationships with people I care about.
3 P.M. More 1:1s. I try to convert a few of them into walking 1:1s to break away from my desk. I also take my second 15-minute meditation of the day.
4 P.M. Wind down my day job, follow up on quick tasks and send out the last batch of emails.
5 P.M. Coaching time. I specialize in helping high achievers find clarity out of life. My clients include founders, tech execs, product managers, and college students. We are kicking off the LivingOS Fellowship very soon!
6 P.M. Dinner might be chicken legs and jasmine rice. As I take the final sip of my oolong tea, sitting in the family room with the last bit of light coming in, I ask my fiancé, Chris, “What should I write about tonight?” I like to bounce ideas off of Chris and he always responds with the same question, “What’s on your mind?” Talking my ideas out loud helps clarify my focus.
7 P.M. After Chris walks away, I open my laptop to check out my recent drafts on Substack. I ensure that there are at least 30 working drafts at all times. My intuition begets my energy for the next two to three hours.
8 P.M. I put on my favorite Spotify jam and began to write my daily newsletter. I alternate between fleshing out the most recent draft and transcribing my rambling thoughts. Then I wrap up this 50-minute writing session with a cup of oolong tea.
9 P.M. I like to write from the couch because the change of environment gives me a creative boost. When I get stuck, I wander around my second brain to get new inspirations. When I finally finish the draft, I will share the piece with my fiancé, read the piece out loud, and review everything with Grammarly one last time. I stop writing before I am finished so that I can keep my interest and momentum going.
10 P.M. After I send out my Daily Newsletter, I write down 2-3 sentences to capture the most memorable moment of the day. Then I debrief on what worked or didn’t work with Chris. This immediate feedback loop helps me reflect on what I want to keep for the next day.
11 P.M. Winding down. I take a shower and roll into my bed.
Now that you’ve gotten a glimpse of what her day is like, get more inspiration in our exclusive Q&A with Charlene Wang below!
INDIEGOGO: How did you become a writer? Was it something you always intended for yourself?
CHARLENE WANG: I’ve always wanted to improve my writing skills. During my first college writing class, I had to spend many hours at the writing center and bugged my friends to proofread my essays. Given how much I struggle with writing, it still feels like a dream that I wrote 200 articles in 200 days and am now publishing Model Breakers!
INDIEGOGO: What makes your Indiegogo project unique?
CHARLENE: Model Breakers is about the struggle we all experience: the struggle to be fully ourselves.
The most important stories are often left untold in the cultural dialogue. This is certainly the case for Chinese Americans. The insidious model minority stereotype rampant in America has affected the lives of every Chinese person living in the US, who feel vulnerable or invisible.
With this book, I hope to shatter the model minority stereotype, show why our individual stories and histories matter, and start a movement for our generation.
INDIEGOGO: What’s your biggest piece of advice for women who want to start their own business?
CHARLENE: Train yourself to listen to your intuition. No matter what the world says, we know ourselves best. If you feel called to start your own business, just do it.
INDIEGOGO: What tools (gadgets, apps, books, podcasts) would you recommend to anyone starting their own business, crowdfunding campaign, or project?
CHARLENE: I love to optimize my life with productivity apps. I put all my notes in my digital brain Notion, design new creatives in Canva, and put all tasks in Todoist. I also ensure that my Calendar reflects the life I want to live.
INDIEGOGO: What’s your favorite Indiegogo campaign, or a campaign you’ve recently supported?
CHARLENE: BladeX, a slim, on-the-go monitor.
Want to support Model Breakers? Check out the Indiegogo campaign, find Charlene on Instagram and Facebook, and sign up for the LivingOS newsletter. And don’t forget to check out her Instagram Live with Indiegogo!