A day in the life of a Twitch executive in Australia, who takes breaks to play Frisbee with his dog and sets aside an hour of ‘old man time’ with no screens before bed

twitch exec lewis mitchell sits at home desk with headphones on
Mitchell, who’s been at Twitch for five years, works from home in the Wollongong area, about an hour south of Sydney.

  • Lewis Mitchell is head of content for the Asia-Pacific region at Twitch, a live-streaming platform for gamers.
  • In between meetings with Twitch employees around the world, he throws a Frisbee for his dog, Beanie.
  • In the last hour before bed, which he calls his “old man time,” Mitchell avoids screens and reads books.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Lewis Mitchell is the head of content for the Asia-Pacific region at Twitch, the live-streaming platform that draws more than 30 million visitors every day, according to the company.

twitch executive lewis mitchell smiles with arms folded against light gray backdrop

Based in Sydney, Australia, he oversees a team of three people.

Mitchell — who’s in his mid-30s and moved to Australia from England when he was 15 — took a somewhat roundabout journey to working at Twitch. He originally wanted to be an animator but decided to go into coding instead, spending a few years as a developer before changing gears and going into radio broadcasting. 

As a gamer himself, Mitchell had been aware of Twitch, which was launched in 2011. But it was when he discovered Twitch Plays Pokémon — a social experiment on the live-streaming platform where more than a million players controlled a single character — that he knew he had to try and get a job there.

“It was the first time I’d seen a digital platform that was content-based around video games, and I’m just like, I have to work here,” Mitchell said.

He joined Twitch in May 2016 and started his current role as head of content while Sydney was in lockdown this spring.

Mitchell works from his home in the Wollongong area, about an hour south of Sydney. Here’s a look at his daily routine.

8 a.m. to 9 a.m: Mitchell starts his day drinking coffee on his balcony while he scrolls through Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, and news apps to catch up on current affairs.

twitch exec lewis mitchell sits on chair swing on porch while drinking coffee and checking phone

Some “noisy but awesome” Kookaburras — a type of kingfisher bird native to Australia and New Guinea — often sit in the Jacaranda tree nearby, he said.

Mitchell said he’s appreciated being able to get more sleep while working from home in the pandemic. 

“If left to my own devices, I would absolutely be waking up at 11 o’clock and going to bed at like 1:00 in the morning,” he said. “But having that little bit of extra time has been really helpful.”

9 a.m. to 11 a.m: His work day kicks off with meetings with Twitch employees in the US.

twitch exec lewis mitchell sits at home desk with headphones on
Mitchell, who’s been at Twitch for five years, works from home in the Wollongong area, about an hour south of Sydney.

“I’ll grab insights of high-level decisions during these meetings, then take them back to the APAC teams,” he said.

During the pandemic, Twitch has seen record numbers. In June 2020, the number of people streaming on Twitch in the Asia-Pacific region was double the year prior, according to the company. Last year, the total minutes viewed on Twitch grew to 1 trillion minutes.

11 a.m. to 1 p.m: Mitchell has a couple of hours of team meetings with the Asia-Pacific group and one-on-ones with country leads.

screenshot of google hangouts meeting

Twitch has 1,800 corporate employees around the world, according to a spokesperson for the company.

2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m: In the afternoon, he takes a break to take his Goldendoodle for a walk. Her name is Old Bean, but he and his wife just call her Beanie.

a hand holds a purple frisbee with a white dog in the background

“She loves a Frisbee, but hasn’t mastered the art of dropping it yet, so we take two Frisbee’s for the bribery,” Mitchell said.

2:30 p.m. to 3 p.m: When they get back, Mitchell makes a sandwich for lunch – “usually in the presence of a hopeful dog looking for cheese,” he said.

twitch exec lewis mitchell makes a sandwich for lunch while his dog looks on

3 p.m. to 5 p.m: He has more meetings in the afternoon, this time with the heads of departments in Asia Pacific to talk about how to improve the region for Twitch creators.

twitch exec lewis mitchell stretches

During these meetings, Mitchell stands and does some stretches.

Working from home in the pandemic, Mitchell said he’s learned the importance of investing in a good chair: He used to use gaming chairs but recently splurged on a Herman Miller office chair.

“I will say so far, it’s felt amazing,” he said. “My back is not hurting anywhere near as much.”

5 p.m. to 7 p.m: Mitchell spends the last couple hours of his day catching up with streamers and going through emails.

twitch exec lewis mitchell works on his computer

“I find it important to make sure I’m up-to-date with the type of content and tools people are utilizing the most to engage,” he said.

7 p.m. to 7:30 p.m: Mitchell fits in a workout, either a jog outside or in the small home gym he put together during the pandemic.

a home gym with weight lifting and treadmill

7:30 p.m: For dinner, he makes some burritos.

view of meat cooking on a stove with a bowl of vegetables on the side

After dinner, Mitchell spends time with his wife and they watch TV together. “Highly recommend ‘The Hour,'” he said.

From about 8:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m, he finishes going through some emails and does any reading he needs to do for the rest of the week. 

11:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m: Mitchell calls this his “old man time,” when he avoids looking at screens for the last hour before bed.

twitch exec lewis mitchell sits in chair reading while wearing bathrobe and sweats

“I’ll get into my slippers and dressing gown, and sit in my old man chair,” he said.

He recently finished the works of fantasy writer Robin Hobb and has also been reading about stoic philosophy.

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A 23-year-old former waitress started her own restaurant marketing business that earns 6 figures. Here’s how she spends her days.

Sherane Chen
Sherane Chen

At 16, Sherane Chen started her first job at Steak-n-Shake as a waitress. By the age of 21, she’d launched a business specializing in restaurant marketing. Today it earns six figures, as seen in documents confirmed by Insider.

She got here by gaining restaurant industry experience, studying marketing, and having the confidence and wherewithal to spot an opportunity to combine her two areas of expertise. The hospitality industry was devastated by the pandemic, but the The National Restaurant Association is expecting some type of bounce back this year, with food and drink sales projected to hit $731.billion.

During and after college at the University of North Florida where she studied communications, Chen worked in restaurants. She made sure to build savings because she knew one day she wanted to start her own business.

After years as a waitress, she got a job in marketing at a local place called Oceanside Grill where she learned the operational aspects of the restaurant business. When she launched her own marketing firm focusing on social media management, graphic design, video creation, and hiring in 2019, Chen landed her first clients selling marketing services door to door.

“I would say, ‘hey I found your social and saw you weren’t active and I wanted to give you some tips on how you can get more customers in the door,'” she told Insider. She would leave behind her business card and wait for them to call.

Today her company has 17 clients and makes over six figures a year, according to documents provided to Insider. To Insider she reveals what her typical day is like, from walks on the beach, to endless Zoom calls with clients.

She wakes up at 7 a.m. making her first of many cups of coffee

Chen’s day typically begins at 7 a.m.

The eponymous restaurant company she founded has always been remote, which has allowed her to work from wherever, whenever. It currently has two-full time staffers including a graphic designer, a social media manager, and a part-time copywriter.

Before the pandemic, Chen used to work from local coffee shops, but now that she’s working from home, she invested in a top-tier coffee machine that keeps her going throughout the day. “I truly don’t know a marketer who doesn’t love a good cup of coffee to get all of the creative juices flowing,” she added.

Sherane Chen

After having her coffee, she then either makes breakfast or “treats” herself to a breakfast from a restaurant nearby. “Whenever I eat out for breakfast I usually take my computer so I can work on a few things while I’m out,” she continued. “The area I live in is peaceful and not very crowded so it’s usually just me getting things done while enjoying pancakes, eggs, bacon, and whatever else I decide to have that day.”

Around 9 a.m. she prepares to Zoom with her clients

After finishing breakfast, she prepares for her meetings with clients, which have been happening over Zoom since the pandemic struck.

Normally, she said, she would meet them at their restaurant to work on rebranding various parts of it, such as the menu, or develop new general marketing strategies. “We work on the strategy together and then I re-assign to my employees who took over most of the tactical things for me,” she said.

This part usually takes up most of her day. Meanwhile, Chen also makes ads for her own business, which she then runs on platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook to help attract new clients.

Chen always finds time to take a ‘breather’ during the day

Like most, her workload depends on what day she is having. “It’s not the same every day,” she said. “Some days are super chill and others are hectic. All holidays are really busy, and the start of each season – spring, summer, fall, and winter.”

Once Chen finishes the bulk of her workload, typically after lunch or in the early evening, she goes to get some fresh air. Her favorite place to go is the beach because it’s close to where she lives. “Taking a walk along the beach really helps to clear my head and gives me the boost of energy I need after being on the screen for so long,” she said.

Sherane Chen

Often during the day, Chen hops on the phone with her mentor Bruno DiFabio, a pizza chef who’s been helping her “learn the ropes” of the restaurant business for the past two years. Together they chat about ways to help grow her business.

And he isn’t the only mentor Chen has had these past few years – at 19, she met local business owner Nate Mayo, who does social media marketing and photography for various Jacksonville-based restaurants, and has a viral Instagram account that highlights popular food places in the area. Chen snagged an internship with Mayo around 2016 and began working for him, which inspired her to launch her own company.

After her ‘breather’ she goes straight back to work

She typically holds more meetings with restaurant owners throughout the evening, especially since the “lunch rush” is finished, which is usually around 2 p.m.

Chen says to manage the workload of having two jobs she makes sure to always take some time off. She books vacations and takes breathers such as the walk above. Chen also sometimes gets up an hour early to clear her head and prepare herself to stay focused for the day ahead.

After her breather, she usually goes back to work but likes to make a “quick snack.” She likes to recreate YouTube recipes, such as the snack she made pictured below. “I found this on Youtube years ago and have been eating it ever since,” she said. “Brown rice cakes, almond butter, and chia seeds are really filling and hit the spot when you are not a big lunch person.”

Sherane Chen
A snack

Around 6 p.m. she takes photographs outside

Chen’s favorite time of the day is “golden hour” – around 6 p.m. when the sky is a golden-tinted yellow. Chen takes advantage of the good quality light to take photographs of food she is seeking to help advertise.

Sometimes she has to hire someone to help her do it, as work can get busy. “I don’t really get a chance to do food photography anymore,” she said. “When I do have time to go, I love it.”

She eats dinner around 7:30, this day choosing to grab Mediterranean food. Afterward, she spends time studying – reading new books to help her gain knowledge in different areas outside of marketing. She’s currently reading “Zig Ziglar’s Secrets of Closing the Sale” by Zig Ziglar and “Spin Selling” by Neil Rackham.

Sherane Chen

She goes to bed around 11 p.m.

Chen says she doesn’t really “finish” work until around 11 pm. “People always need me all day,” she said, of her marketing exec job. “It’s a management role so I always get my team texting me at all hours.”

But when the calls finally stop and the text messages slow down, Chen has time to think about her next business idea – a podcast agency that helps brands and entrepreneurs achieve success in podcasting. She’s already started running ads for the venture.

“I’m working toward seven streams of income to be a millionaire by 2025,” she said, adding that she has a dream board of other projects she would like to helm. Asked about possible burnout, Chen let her ambition answer for her. “Just keep your focus on what you’re working hard for,” she said. “If you want it bad enough, you’ll make it happen.”

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I’m a teacher in a tiny Alaskan village. My class consists of 8 students and there are no sports teams or after-school clubs – here’s what my life is like.

two small white buildings in the Alaskan bush
The view of Taryn Williams’ house, right, from the school steps.

  • Taryn Williams, 28, is a teacher and freelance writer based in the rural Alaskan Bush.
  • Everything is really close by, but groceries cost more than they do in mainland US.
  • She spends an hour cooking dinner and stays entertained by participating in local customs.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

One of the greatest benefits of life in the Alaskan Bush is how close everything is.

Taryn Williams
Taryn Williams.

When I lived in Philadelphia, it took me nearly an hour to commute to my school via public transportation.

Here, it takes less than two minutes to walk there. I get to sleep in later and have a slower morning, as there’s no stress that I’ll have to pay for a taxi if I miss the train.

Read more: I moved from Atlanta to a tiny Alaskan village of 270 people. It’s wildly expensive, but I’ve never felt more at home.

There are no coffee shops on my route (or any in a hundred-mile radius). Instead, I make my own chai lattes with chai tea, milk, cinnamon, and spices in a pot on the stove. It’s not quite as convenient as a local shop, but it tastes just as good.

School is different in the Bush, too. Most teachers have multigrade classrooms (think kindergarten to fourth grade or all of middle and high school) and class sizes are generally smaller.

In my current seventh- to twelfth-grade class, I teach 8 students in 5 subjects.

With students in so many different grade levels, there’s a lot more facilitating than there is in larger schools, but my students have also gained an enormous amount of independence because of this.

Since I live so close to school, I’m able to go home for lunch every day, and it’s something I’ve really grown to appreciate.

Last year, my students brought me a puppy they found – there’s a problem with puppy overpopulation in the Bush – and she’s been with me ever since.

white puppy on a mountain in the Alaskan bush
Taryn Williams’ dog, Betty.

My lunch is only 30 minutes, but my house is close enough that I can get there quickly and play with her outside for a few minutes while my food heats up.

There are no local sports clubs students can join, and they can only interact with youth from other places remotely.

I want my students to have the most enjoyable high school experience possible, so I’m always looking for after-school opportunities for them.

Most recently, I facilitated an internship where students learned how to make their own podcast from a Native Alaskan podcaster. I try to find activities that align with my students’ interests and guide my search based on that.

There are no restaurants, movie theaters, bowling alleys, or other ‘traditional’ Western sources of entertainment.

My students often ask me to take walks with them or share a mug of tea after school. They enjoy learning about the other places I’ve lived and what my life was like where I grew up. Often, they accompany me when I take my puppy for a walk down to the local store and post office.

a scenic view of the Alaskan bush
The view of the village from outside Taryn Williams’ home.

The store is small and the prices are higher than you would find elsewhere.

If there’s something that I use frequently – something that others would use as well – they’ll sometimes order it. I usually buy all perishable products there, such as pints of Ben & Jerry’s ($9) and blocks of cheese ($15). I buy orange juice only on special occasions, as it usually costs about $17.

After walking to the store to pick up any groceries or packages, I try to go for a longer hike or run with the puppy.

In the spring and fall, when we have 18 hours of daylight, I try to spend as much time outside as possible. In the winter, we only have a few hours of sun and I tend to stay closer to home – or follow along with Yoga with Adriene videos on my SmartBoard at school.

I usually spend about an hour cooking dinner each night.

I’m a vegetarian and order produce from Full Circle Farm in Washington for all of my meals.

Cooking is one of my greatest joys in life and I’m so grateful to live somewhere where I can dedicate significant time to it each day.

If there’s something going on in town – a gathering for a wedding or a holiday, for example – I always head there and participate in local customs. Most nights, however, I cozy up in my reading nook or play a movie I downloaded on Netflix.

I often spend weekends tagging along on hunting or fishing trips even though I don’t participate, and I’m incredibly grateful to the villagers that have welcomed me into their lives. I’ll take the things I learned from them and from living here with me wherever I go next.

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A day in the life of Google’s New Zealand country director, a single mother who oversees more than 1,800 employees and flies to Australia once a month

google exec caroline rainsford sits at table in office with laptop
Rainsford said she was offered her job at Google eight months into her year-long maternity leave, and Google encouraged her to take the full year.

  • Caroline Rainsford is Google’s New Zealand country director based in Auckland.
  • She’s also overseeing 1,800 Googlers in Australia to cover the managing director’s year-long maternity leave.
  • As a single mother, Rainsford advocates for working mothers: “You can absolutely be both and make it work.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Caroline Rainsford, 39, is Google’s country director for New Zealand. She oversees about 50 employees in Auckland.

google executive caroline rainsford stands in front of google logo background in professional headshot smiling
Rainsford has worked at Google for nearly four years.

Rainsford, who previously worked at L’Oréal, Philips, and GE, got a recruiting call from Google in 2017. At the time, she was three months into her maternity leave for her second child.

After a five-month interview process, Google offered her the role and asked how long she intended to take for her maternity leave. (In New Zealand, parents are entitled to one year of maternity leave — six months of which are paid.)

She told the recruitment team that she was planning on taking the full year, but for this opportunity she would end it early if necessary.

“And they said, ‘No, we’re happy to wait for you,'” Rainsford said. “And so I started in this company with just the best experience. Being a mother was always first. So in my approach as a leader, I feel like I’m this custodian to make sure that everyone has that experience now if they want to be a working mother.”

On top of her New Zealand duties, Rainsford has been managing more than 1,800 Googlers in Australia for the past several months while their managing director is on a year-long maternity leave.

selfie of smiling blonde woman with office cafe, fruits and vegetables in the background
Rainsford checks out the new café at Google’s Sydney office.

She’s been flying to Sydney once a month ever since Australia and New Zealand opened a travel bubble in April.

“With working more closely on the Australian business, it was important that I got over to Sydney to get valuable face time with some of the team,” she said. 

Here’s a look at Rainsford’s daily routine in Auckland while she oversees both Google New Zealand and Google Australia.

6 a.m: “On a weekday I usually wake up at 6 a.m. naturally thanks to two small children-shaped alarm clocks,” Rainsford said.

blonde child sits at counter at home eating breakfast
Rainsford’s four-year-old son, William, eating breakfast.

Rainsford said she tries to get eight hours of sleep each night so she’s at her best for a full day of parenting and working.

“The kids and I usually have Vegemite toast for breakfast — a classic in any Kiwi household,” she said.

7:45 a.m: Rainsford drops her son William, four, and daughter Olivia, six, off at school three mornings a week. “I love doing this as they tell me all the good stories in the car on the way,” she said.

two blonde children standing close together outside smiling

Rainsford employs a nanny who takes the kids to school the other two days of the week.

As a single mother, Rainsford’s message to young women is that you can “have it all.”

“I think that it’s really about integration.” she said. “… Everybody at Google New Zealand and a lot of Australia know my two children. The nice thing about the last year and a half is it’s made us all way more vulnerable and it’s made us more open to who we actually are as people.”

On the days she doesn’t do school drop-off – or if the traffic isn’t too bad – Rainsford takes a morning walk around the waterfront of Auckland.

selfie of a woman in sunglasses smiling with sea and nature scene behind her

“The eastern bays are stunning and it hasn’t been too bad getting through the past 12 months with this on my doorstep,” she said.

On Friday mornings, Rainsford plays golf.

woman plays golf outside in new zealand
Rainsford playing golf at a course called Millbrook in Queenstown.

“I used to play golf before I had children,” she said. “One of my goals since joining Google has been to sharpen my skills, so every Friday morning I go and play. Sometimes I only have time for 40 mins of chipping but it is amazing mindfulness!”

9:30 a.m: Rainsford starts her work day by answering emails and preparing for the day ahead before her meetings kick off.

selfie of smiling woman sitting at home office

“I’m a huge planner so I always know the most important things I need to get done during the day,” she said. “I also have a sign above my screen in my home office that says, ‘Are you doing what matters?’ and it helps keep me focused on the important stuff.”

Since Googlers were allowed to return to the office in November, Rainsford is working three days a week from home and two days a week at the office.

10:30 a.m: Rainsford heads into the office and has a virtual meeting with Google leaders from the Singapore and US offices.

google exec caroline rainsford sits at table in office with laptop

Rainsford said her number of daily meetings has increased by about 20% since she took over Australia, so she now has an average of eight to 10 meetings per day.

“This has been a really great stretch opportunity for me — something that I encourage everyone to think about in their career and work life,” Rainsford said. “It’s important to feel challenged … it can be where you see the most growth in your abilities.”

11:15 a.m: Rainsford takes 10 minutes to pop over and check on the progress of Google’s new office, which – like the current office – is in Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter.

interior office space under construction with views of city of auckland in background

“The views are stunning from this vantage point, across Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour,” she said.

The building will be targeting a 5 Star Green Design from the Green Building Council of Australia and will feature a vertical planted green screen with native species and rainwater harvesting, she said.

Rainsford heads back to the current office for a client meeting before lunch.

12 – 12:30 p.m: Rainsford has lunch at the office with some of the Google New Zealand team. “Since we’ve been back in the office, I know the team (and I) have really appreciated this space again,” she said.

three coworkers sit around a table in an office talking

When she’s in the Auckland office, Rainsford schedules fewer meetings so she can spend informal time with her team. During the pandemic, she’s tried to be more open with them as a leader about how she weathers challenging times.

“I think there’s going to be a new breed of leadership,” she said. “We will see more vulnerability coming from leaders.”

The biggest lesson she’s learned during COVID-19 is how important it was to reset expectations for her employees, Rainsford said.

“I have this amazing exec business coach and he said to me, ‘OK, you’re in lockdown now across Australia and New Zealand. How are you thinking about resetting expectations with your team? Because they’re not going to be able to achieve like what they would normally, given this pandemic,'” she said. “And so we spent ages in the teams talking about really leveling expectations.”

After lunch, Rainsford heads to a session of a week-long director training course she’s taking through New Zealand’s Institute of Directors.

group selfie of five people sitting at a table with laptop and documents
Rainsford with other attendees of the Directors course (not Google employees).

“This was a one-off course so I can learn about governance,” she said. “I really want to join a few Australia-New Zealand boards in the coming years to support New Zealand business growth and transformation.”

Google helped cover the cost of the course. 

3 p.m.: She dials into a Women & Google panel held in Sydney, where she was one of six women participating in a Q&A.

five women sit on stage for a panel with two other women participating virtually on screen

“We spoke about the intensity of work in the first few months of 2021 as well as some of our career highs and lows,” Rainsford said.

Then Rainsford heads to watch her daughter Olivia’s after-school activity: rugby.

caroline rainsford poses outside with her six year old daughter

“Since COVID I have learned that it is possible to make time to attend my children’s most important moments,” Rainsford said. “Like when my daughter got player of the day at rugby. She is six and plays in an all-girls team. She is very good at chasing the other team!”

5:45 p.m: Rainsford speaks at a Digital Boost Launch Event at The Mind Lab, an education center in Auckland.

caroline rainsford speaks at podium at event

In New Zealand last month, Google searches for “online learning” spiked more than 600% from the year before, showing a growing appetite to learn new skills, according to Rainsford.

5:30 to 7:30 p.m: Rainsford spends time with and has dinner with her children.

selfie of mom and two children smiling at dinner table
“Olivia has a potato in her mouth,” Rainsford said.

“I have a tradition that once a week we have a family roast and the kids have to sit at the table with me,” she said. “It means we talk about the day. I cherish it.”

Rainsford tries to limit her kids’ screen time throughout the day, but while she’s cooking dinner, she lets them watch YouTube Kids on the tablet. “Some of their favourite local creators are Rainbow Learning and BBC Earth for the volcano content,” she said.

After the kids are asleep, Rainsford gets back on her computer and takes some time to get any “life admin” done.

selfie of smiling woman sitting in front of computer at home office

“That’s birthday presents for friends, or ordering flowers for my Mum to say thank you, or even booking our next New Zealand staycation,” she said. 

Before bed, she spends some time watching Netflix (right now it’s “The Queen’s Gambit”) or reading. “I am currently reading a book called ‘Mental Fitness — Build Your Mind for Strength and Resilience Every Day.’ It’s so relevant given our current environment.” 

Rainsford said that despite her busy schedule, her two young children, and the pandemic, she doesn’t regret taking on the challenge of leading Australia for a year.

“Sometimes doing these things that are out of your comfort zone are really, really good, and you should embrace them,” she said. “But I think a lot of particularly young females would say no to a lot of this. So I’m hoping that Australia will convey that you can take on these additional challenges even at the most unusual time.”

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Freed of London sells pointe shoes to the world’s most famous ballet companies. Thousands of pairs are handmade each year by only 24 artisans – here’s what their jobs are like.

man making a ballet pointe shoe
A shoemaker at Freed.

  • Pointe-shoe maker Freed of London employs 24 full-time artisans, who make about 30 pairs a day.
  • They create stock and custom shoes for dancers at top companies, like ABT and the Royal Ballet.
  • Many of the makers stay at Freed for their entire careers – sometimes upwards of 30 or 40 years.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Like a painter’s brush, a ballerina’s pointe shoe is her most important piece of equipment.

Pointe shoes extend a dancer’s range of movement and allow them to stay suspended in the air and move more quickly across the stage. Since their invention in Italy in the 1800s, they’ve come to define ballet as we know it.

At popular pointe-shoe maker Freed of London – which works with ballerinas at some of the most renowned ballet companies in the world, including the Royal Ballet in London and American Ballet Theater in New York City – there are 24 artisans dedicated to crafting handmade shoes for ballerinas at every level. While there are many different companies that produce shoes, Freed is renowned for its dedication to customization, a tradition that can be traced back to the company’s founding in 1929 by cobbler Frederick Freed and his wife, Dora.

Custom shoes are typically worn by professional dancers and paid for by the companies with whom they dance. Costing about $100 a pair, companies make substantial investments in these essential instruments.

ballerina pointe shoes
Pointe shoes.

At the Royal Ballet, the annual shoe budget exceeds $350,000, and some dancers can go through up to three pairs a day, the company told Insider. American Ballet Theater reported that each female dancer is allotted 10 pairs of pointe shoes a week, equaling about 3,600 pairs each year.

Central to the Freed’s practices are the 24 shoemakers themselves, specially trained to build a pointe shoe from scratch. Here’s a look at what their jobs are like on a day-to-day basis.

The career of a shoemaker

The makers create both stock and custom shoes, averaging about 30 pairs a day, and are paid per piece.

pink pointe shoes laying on a table
Pointe shoes.

Many of them are known to the dancers by just a single letter or symbol (a bell or fish, for example) that indicates their handiwork. While a dancer will usually try out several makers at first, they grow attached to one specific maker over time who fulfills their custom orders.

The training for the role is mostly done on the job. Prospective makers apprentice with Freed and are taught the basics of shoemaking.

At first, very little of what they produce is usable, but some take to the job with ease. “It came naturally to me,” Taksim Eratli, who’s known as the “anchor maker” and been with Freed for 18 years, told Insider. “I would say it took me about six to eight months to master the making.”

Still, it’s a while until the new hires are entrusted to fill custom orders. “As they learn, we put them next to other very experienced makers so they can mentor them and are on hand to say what’s good or what’s bad,” Sophie Simpson, a senior manager of sales and pointe-shoe fitter who’s been with Freed since 1998, told Insider.

There are innumerable customizations that a dancer can specify for their shoe. Freed can change the strength of the insole, the sides, the strength of the block – the stiff cup that encases the toes and allows dancers to rise en pointe – the length of the back, and more. As the shoe is meant to support a dancer’s foot, customization isn’t just for fit but also for injury prevention.

Many of the makers, once trained, stay at Freed for the rest of their careers – sometimes upwards of 30 or 40 years. Because the shoes themselves and the way they’re made are so specific to each dancer, makers become critical to a dancer’s career as well.

“Having a comfortable shoe can make or break a performance,” Brittany Pollack, a soloist with New York City Ballet, told Insider. “When I’m onstage, the last thing I want to worry about is how my shoes are feeling.”

The assembly process

The first essential step in the shoemaking process is a fitting. The fitters work out the length and width of a dancer’s foot and then select a maker that can naturally produce the type of shoe that fits their needs.

“All the makers follow the same system,” Simpson said, “but there is a slight difference because the shoes are made by hand.” Simpson compares this to variations in handwriting – the words can be the same, but the way writing looks on the page will differ from person to person.

If one maker retires, it can be disappointing news for a dancer. Pollack, who had used the same maker since first joining New York City Ballet in 2006, was recently told that Bell, her maker, had retired.

“I probably tried about 10 different makers over a period of a few months to find what pair would work best for me,” she said. Finally, Pollack found a replacement – the “diamond maker.” “When I first put those shoes on, I knew right away that they felt right,” she said.

The day starts early at the company’s London factory. “I get up at 4:30 a.m., and I’m at work by 6:30 a.m.,” Eratli said. “My finishing may vary, but I’m usually done by 2:45 or 3 p.m.”

All of the work is planned often months in advance. The factory is high energy throughout the workday, which Eratli finds enjoyable. “It’s where all the magic happens,” Eratli said.

The makers build the shoes inside-out in layers, beginning with the outer sole. The sole is staple-gunned or tacked together and then covered in the satin fabric and canvas lining. An extra pocket is left at the top where the maker will build the block. The block, according to Eratli, is the most difficult element of the shoemaking process. It can be made in a variety of ways using fabric pieces, papers, sacking, or other materials that determine its strength.

hands holding a pointe shoe
The pointe-shoe assembly process.

Halfway through the assembly process, the shoe is tied down and sent to the stitching area. Up until this point, the shoe remains inside out. Once the sole is stitched on, the shoe returns to the maker, where it’s turned the right way out. The process is completed by shaping the block with a rounded hammer. Once the shoe is shaped, it’s baked overnight in the factory’s industrial oven.

Changing with the times

While the shoemaking process is steeped in tradition, as the times change, so does Freed. The company often speaks with dance medics, rehabilitation and physical-therapy teams, and other experts to improve upon the safety of the shoe. “We’re renowned for being as healthy for a dancer as a pointe shoe can be,” Simpson said.

The company has begun to make pointe shoes for men, which are typically much bigger and stronger at the toe, as more male dancers gravitate to pointe work.

They also create shoes in a variety of colors for special occasions or for different skin tones. This is a divergence from Freed’s signature peachy pink that famous choreographer George Balanchine first fell in love with (and which no other shoe company can use).

fabric for pointe shoes in multiple neutral colors
New pointe-shoe colors.

Now, as ballet reckons with its history of exclusion and more dancers of color are represented in the professional world, there’s a need for shoes that reflect the diversity onstage. Freed coordinates colors to replicate what was meant to be achieved with the ballet pink – not necessarily to match skin tone, but to give a unified, blended look to the legs and feet. In short, to disappear.

The shoes, these craftsmen know, play a supporting role. “My ultimate aim – if I do my job correctly,” Simpson said, “is that when you watch a dancer on stage, you don’t see the pointe shoe.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

A day in the life of a Twitter exec in Singapore, who fits in an hour of ‘me time’ during his workday and doesn’t plan on going back to the office full-time

twitter executive arvinder gujral sits at desk in home office
Arvinder Gujral doesn’t plan on going back to the office full-time post-pandemic.

  • Arvinder Gujral is Twitter’s managing director for Southeast Asia, based in Singapore.
  • Gujral says he developed a healthier lifestyle in the pandemic and he doesn’t plan on going back to the office full-time.
  • He fits in a workout before his morning meetings and sets aside an hour each day to read or write fiction.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Arvinder Gujral, 46, is Twitter’s managing director for Southeast Asia, based in Singapore.

twitter executive speaks into microphone onstage at event

He’s responsible for growing Twitter’s business across Southeast Asia and reports directly to Yu Sasamoto, the company’s vice president for the Japan, South Korea, and Asia Pacific region, according to a Twitter spokesperson. The spokesperson said it’s against company policy to disclose how many employees Gujral oversees.

Before joining Twitter in 2013, Gujral was the head of digital and innovation at Aircel, a telecom operator in India. He has also lived and worked in Silicon Valley.

Gujral told Insider that he’s started living a healthier lifestyle during the pandemic.

“Before the pandemic struck, I was on a plane almost every week — meaning irregular sleep, an unhealthy carb-led diet, drinking during weekdays, and no time to work out,” he said. “My current routine corrects all these mistakes made during my travels.”

When he returns to traveling for work again, Gujral says he will bring his healthy lifestyle with him. Still, he said he can’t wait to visit his teams in the region to share a coffee “or something stronger” with them in person.

Here’s a peek into Gujral’s daily routine in Singapore, where he lives with his wife and two sons.

6:30 a.m: On a typical work day, Gujral wakes up at about 6:30 a.m. so that he and his wife can get their two sons – aged 14 and seven – ready for school.

twitter executive Arvinder Gujral smiles while his son hugs him
Gujral gets a hug from his son.

First, he checks his notifications on his phone and does a quick scan through Twitter.

He and his wife make sure their sons have their breakfast, shower, and are on the school bus by 7:30 a.m.

“This is almost always followed by a huge collective sigh of relief — it’s usually a last minute sprint down to the bus stop,” Gujral said.

Once the kids are out the door, Gujral sits down on the couch to drink his “daily magic potion,” a protein shake breakfast made with cacao, protein, banana, peanut butter, and Greek yogurt.

protein shake sitting on table with tv in the background

“I typically enjoy my breakfast while switching between Bloomberg, CNBC, and CNA on the television,” he said.

8 a.m: Gujral does his morning workout, usually alternating between yoga and a home dumbbell gym routine.

twitter executive Arvinder Gujral works out with dumbbell at home

“Yoga is a relatively recent addition to my life (all credit to my wife), and it has really helped me manage the various aches and pains channel ling throughout my decaying (!), worn-out body,” Gujral said.

The dumbbell is the only home gym investment he’s made since Singapore’s coronavirus lockdown, but it allows him to work out almost every part of his body at home, he said.

While he works out, Gujral listens to podcasts instead of music. 

“I am a firm believer in ‘continuous learning’ and I use this time to learn about philosophy, astronomy, anthropology, history, as well as occasionally mixing it up with plain old fiction thrillers,” he said.

Some of his favorites include “The Daily” from The New York Times, “Against The Rules” by Michael Lewis, “The Seen And The Unseen” by Amit Varma, and “Throughline” and “Planet Money” by NPR.

 

After the workout, it’s time to get to work in his home office, which he converted from a guest bedroom when Twitter employees started working from home in March 2020.

a laptop sits on a desk with bookshelves and a window in the background

Twitter provided a budget for all global employees to set up a home office, so Gujral bought an office desk and ergonomic chair (helpful for his lower back issues), a printer, and a standing desk.

“I share this room with my younger son whose study desk is also in the same room, so you can imagine taking calls becomes quite a challenge on days when he is home,” Gujral said.

Before the pandemic, Gujral said he liked to keep his work and home worlds separate.

“Now that the inter-mix has happened there is no going back,” he said. “While I miss the serendipity that an office environment provides, I don’t see myself going back full-time to the office in the near-term.”

9 a.m: After a quick shower, it’s time for the first virtual meeting of the day.

screenshot of virtual team meeting

It’s with the board of Interactive Advertising Bureau Southeast Asia and India (IAB SEA+India), of which he’s a member. 

Gujral’s next virtual engagement is moderating an “inclusive marketing” webinar panel with Campaign Asia, a magazine that covers the marketing and advertising industry in Asia.

screenshot of three people speaking on inclusive marketing webinar

His fellow panelists include the Global CMO of Dole and the Chief Investment Officer of media agency Mindshare. The marketing community still has “much more distance to cover” in diversity and inclusion, Gujral said.

11 a.m.: Gujral has two more morning meetings: One is a sales finance meeting, where they review plans for the upcoming quarter, and the other is with Twitter’s product lead for the region.

screenshot of virtual meeting with smiling man with headphones

“Anyone else find that work definitions slowly end up creeping into family life?” Gujral said. “I have to admit, I’ve found myself talking in quarters even when talking to my wife about events in our life happening!”

12 p.m: Lunchtime. “For me the biggest gain from the current pandemic climate has been the ability to have lunch at home with my wife every day without the kids around,” Gujral said.

a bowl of grains, fruit, vegetables, and cheese on a table

Gujral said they like to keep lunch light and simple.

“There are times where our lunch is nothing more than a plate of fruits, an acai bowl, or just some baked veggies with a protein on the side,” he said.

12:30 p.m: “I use the hour between 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. as me-time,” Gujral said. This is usually when he reads or does some writing.

twitter executive Arvinder Gujral sits in a blue chair reading the new yorker

“Inspired by a virtual class on the ‘Art of Clear Writing,’ I’ve been exploring the ‘potential author’ in me (that’s been stated in my Twitter bio since 2008),” Gujral said.

He publishes some of his short stories on Substack.

1:30 – 5:30 p.m: The rest of the afternoon is taken up by a series of back-to-back meetings.

screenshot of virtual team meeting

In between meetings, Gujral gets what he says is his “one and only caffeine fix” of the day.

glass of chai and rusks on table

He enjoys an Indian chai tea, in which he dunks three measured rusks, an Indian crispbread snack.

After his meetings finish at 5:30 p.m., Gujral plays cricket with his seven-year-old son.

“I’ve devised a novel scoring system and our game becomes highly competitive,” Gujral said. “It’s incredible how much trash talk a seven-year old is capable of.”

6:30 p.m.: Gujral has dinner with his family, with a “no-phones-on-table” rule.

a plate of salmon and vegetables

“This is when we all catch up with each other and hear from our teenage son,” Gujral said. “Teenagers seemingly live in a parallel universe, operating on a completely different time zone, so my wife and I really treasure these moments when our two worlds collide.”

Their dinners typically fluctuate between Indian food like vegetable kebabs, palak paneer, lentils, and chicken curry, to non-Indian fare like roasted chicken, Tuscan butter salmon, or pasta, Gujral said. “I try to avoid carbs at dinner as much as possible,” he said.

After dinner, Gujral cuddles with his seven-year-old while reading him a book in bed — right now it’s “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.” His son is tucked in for bed by 8 p.m.

8 – 9 p.m: After dinner, Gujral typically spends another hour working.

twitter executive arvinder gujral sits at desk in home office

He finishes up any final tasks and prepares for the following day.

After Gujral has wrapped up his work for the evening, he and his wife start their daily ritual of deciding which show to watch on which platform.

hand holding a kindle reader showing novel titled 'death in the east'

“Rom-com or thriller? To preserve my marriage of more than 20 years, I cannot reveal the victor,” Gujral said.

At 11 p.m., they head to bed.

“My bedtime routine after a shower has been the same for the last 20 years,” Gujral said. “Regardless of what time I go to bed, I must have a book in my hand. The only thing that’s changed is that I’ve replaced physical books with a Kindle since we’ve run out of space. We are a family of voracious readers.”

Gujral usually alternates between reading a thriller and a thought-provoking book. He recently finished “The Forty Rules of Love” by Elif Shafak and is now reading “Death in the East” by Abir Mukherjee. 

He reads for about 30 to 45 minutes before going to sleep.

Read the original article on Business Insider

This 19-year-old climate advisor who started her own nonprofit and worked on Greta Thunberg’s youth strikes spends her days meeting UN officials and grabbing pizza with friends

Sophia Kianni Day In The Life
Sophia Kianni.

Days are busy for Sophia Kianni, a climate activist and founder of the nonprofit Climate Cardinals.

Much of her work centers on the climate crisis, a topic she has been interested in since visiting Iran, her parents’ homeland, seven years ago and discovering her extended family knew nothing about the subject.

Launched in May 2020, Climate Cardinals translates information about the climate crisis into over 100 languages, including Swahili, Bulgarian, Mongolian, and Portuguese. Kianni, 19, had realized that most of the research was in English but that most people in the countries most affected by the climate emergency don’t speak English.

Climate change is a global issue that disproportionately affects communities that don’t speak English,” Kianni told Insider. “It’s critical to translate climate information into as many languages as possible to make sure that these mostly-minority communities are informed.”

Kianni made headlines in 2019 after joining the activist Greta Thunberg’s Fridays For Future to organize climate strikes and protests with high-school students. She became a national strategist for the group and a partnership coordinator for the environmental advocacy group Zero Hour.

Last year, Kianni was named a spokesperson for another climate-crisis organization, Extinction Rebellion.

She’s also a climate advisor at the United Nations and the American Lung Association; a board advisor for the tech startup CommunityX and the charity EarthPercent; and a senior partner at the Gen Z marketing firm JUV Consulting.

When she’s not working, she’s studying public policy and environmental science at Stanford University.

Kianni was hailed as one of Vice’s humans of the year in December. She was selected as a National Geographic Young Explorer and the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis tweeted about her advocacy.

Kianni broke down what a typical Friday looks like, including taking meetings with UN officials and getting pizza with friends.

She wakes up around 5:30 a.m.

Kianni wakes up in her home in McLean, Virginia, and eats breakfast: a banana, a homemade rice pudding, and a protein shake. She styles her hair, packs her computer and a few professional blazers for her meetings, and checks her calendar to see what her day looks like.

Sophia Kianni Day In the Life
Kianni heading to Union Station.

On this day she headed to New York City to visit the UN and JUV’s headquarters. Last year, all of Kianni’s events were virtual, but since being vaccinated she’s been traveling to attend meetings in person.

“My relatives in Iran knew very little about climate change because there’s very little information available in Farsi, which is their native language,” Kianni said. “The United Nations only provides climate information in six languages that account for less than half of the world’s speaking population.”

Kianni, who is bilingual, began translating articles about the climate crisis from English to Farsi and sending them to her family via WhatsApp. Last year, she decided to further her work by launching Climate Cardinals, where she and 8,000 volunteers translate climate information and upload the documents online for anyone to access.

Climate Cardinals also works with organizations such as Unicef and the UN Environment Program.

At 7 a.m., her friend’s mom picks her up

Her friend is also headed to New York City, so they take the train together. Kianni lives about a 30-minute car ride from the nation’s capital. She and her friend arrive at Union Station at 8 a.m. and buy bagels as they wait to board their train.

Once seated, Kianni reads “The Martian” by Andy Weir, a science-fiction novel that was made into a film starring Matt Damon in 2015. “My friends and I have a mini book club,” she said. Now that school is out for the summer, she said, “I have time to read again.”

Still on the train, she virtually attends a UN meeting at 10 a.m.

Kianni calls into a UN meeting with Jayathma Wickramanayake, the UN secretary-general’s envoy on youth, and six members of the UN Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change.

Kianni was invited to join the group last summer as the only US, Middle Eastern, and Iranian representative – and its youngest member. As part of the group, Kianni attends meetings with António Guterres, the UN secretary-general, and gives him advice on things like which UN documents to translate and when to emphasize environmental racism.

Sophia Kianni Day In The Life
Kianni.

During the call, they all give updates on their projects. In December, the group published a report outlining six key actions young people wanted world leaders to take regarding the climate crisis.

“Our generation is going to be disproportionately affected by climate change,” Kianni said. “There is a need for young people to be involved in decision-making spaces, so we can really convey the work we’ve been doing for the past few years.”

Next she answers emails

Kianni coordinates speaking engagements and confirms her attendance for an ocean-conservation gala in Washington, DC.

Kianni also goes over updates from Climate Cardinals, which has chapters in over 41 countries.

As she’s just transferred to Stanford from Indiana University, Kianni posts an introduction message in the Stanford 2025 Facebook group to connect with classmates. “It’s a great success,” she said. “Students from Stanford follow and direct messages to me on Instagram.”

At noon she arrives in New York City

Kianni walks from Penn Station to her hotel to drop off her luggage, then takes the bus to the UN building in midtown. She’s greeted by Esther Agbarakwe, a UN program officer.

Sophia Kianni Day In The Life
Kianni at the UN.

They head to the office of Selwin Hart, a special advisor to the secretary-general on climate action.

Kianni said that in the beginning she was a bit nervous about meeting big names. “But now I really believe that I belong at the table and that my voice is important to UN discussions,” she said. “I’m no longer nervous but more so excited to share my experiences and perspective on climate justice.”

Sophia Kianni Day In the Life
Kianni and Selwin Hart, a special advisor to the secretary-general on climate action and the assistant secretary-general for the climate-action team.

Kianni and Hart discuss strengthening the UN’s commitment to youth participation and the role of young people in advocating the delivery of the $100 billion that countries pledged in 2015 to help combat the climate crisis.

“You really need money in order to fund the infrastructure needed to have a sustainable transition away from fossil fuels,” Kianni said, adding that it was “critical” to prioritize frontline workers. “We need to make sure they can now work in the clean-energy sector.”

After the meeting, she goes on a brief tour of the UN building.

At 2:30 p.m. she heads to her next job

She walks to the nearest bus station and heads to JUV Consulting’s headquarters to meet the rest of the senior executive team.

Sophia Kianni Day In The Life
Kianni visiting colleagues at JUV Consulting.

Cofounded in 2016 by Ziad Ahmed, 22, the firm works with over 20 Fortune 500 companies on everything from major research projects to full-scale marketing campaigns. Last summer, Kianni applied to work at JUV as a consultant, and she was promoted to junior partner before becoming a senior partner in January.

At JUV she advises clients on social media and sustainability and how to use TikTok to reach Gen Zers.

After meetings, the team takes a break. “We make some fun TikToks and also head to the rooftop to have coffee and enjoy the beautiful weather,” Kianni said.

At 4 p.m. she meets with friends

She walks across the city to meet up with some friends at Madison Square Park.

Kianni says she walks everywhere because it’s better for the environment and more affordable than pricey Uber rides in New York.

“Honestly, I got a blister after a few days ’cause I was walking so much,” she said.

She walks back to the hotel at 6 p.m.

Back at the hotel, Kianni takes a nap before continuing work. She schedules a Zoom call with a BBC reporter about the climate emergency and a call with a new JUV client.

Around 8 p.m. she meets up with another friend. They walk to an Italian restaurant and order a margarita pizza.

Finally, around 10 p.m., it’s bedtime

Kianni walks back to her hotel to answer a few more emails.

She texts her younger sister to help her find a prom dress. Kianni scrolls through TikTok and Instagram for 20 minutes before she gets drowsy and falls asleep.

On Monday she’ll head back home and continue to do it all virtually.

Read the original article on Business Insider

A day in the life of a Singapore-based managing director at ServiceNow, who squeezes in 2-minute workouts between meetings and says 2020 was the best year of his working life

servicenow executive singapore
Wee Luen Chia (right) says 2020 has been the best year of his working life because it allowed him to spend more time with his family.

  • Wee Luen Chia is a Singapore-based executive at ServiceNow, an American software company.
  • He wakes up early to get his four-year-old daughter ready for school, works from his home in the morning, and spends part of his day at the office.
  • He says 2020 was the best year of his working life because he got to spend more time with his daughter.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Wee Luen Chia, 43, is a Singapore-based executive at ServiceNow, an American software company with a global team of 14,000 people.

Wee Luen chia servicenow executive

As Managing Director and Area Vice President in Asia, Chia oversees a team of more than 100 people in his home country of Singapore. He joined ServiceNow, which makes software that automates business processes to help its customers work more efficiently, in 2019.

He previously worked at Oracle, Red Hat, Qlik, and the Singapore government’s Infocomm Media Development Authority.

He told Insider that despite the pandemic, “2020 has been the best year of my working life.”

While he used to fly around Asia for work on a weekly basis, he said he now has more time to spend with his four-year-old daughter, Chloe. Here’s a peek into his daily routine in 2021. 

Editor’s note: This is a look at a typical day in Chia’s life before May 16, when Singapore reimposed COVID-19 restrictions like closing public schools and instructing most office workers to work from home.

6:45 a.m: Chia wakes up, showers, and drinks his coffee. Then he has breakfast with his wife, Susan Tan, and their four-year-old daughter Chloe.

Wee Luen Chia servicenow singapore

“I try to get up at least 15 minutes earlier than my four-year-old daughter so I can prepare for the day before I wake her up,” Chia told Insider.

On weekends, the three of them often go out to breakfast for more family time.

In the pre-pandemic days, Chia woke up at 4 a.m. about once a week to catch a flight to meet with customers and other ServiceNow teams across Asia.

8 a.m: It’s time for Chloe to head to preschool. Chia sees his daughter off and his wife takes her to school.

Wee Luen Chia servicenow

“She is currently attending full-day pre-school, so we’re very fortunate to be able to have the time to concentrate on work,” Chia said.

Tan, Chia’s wife, also works in the IT industry for National Computer Systems.

Chia said he and his wife have tested out different ways to balance their work and family lives.

“What has worked best for us — I get up early to prep our daughter for school while Susan prepares for her work day,” he said. “We have breakfast together as a family. Susan takes on sending Chloe to school so that I can get an early start on planning for the day ahead.” 

Chia’s meetings typically start between 8 and 9 a.m.

Wee Luen Chia servicenow singapore

He uses any free time to go over emails that have come in overnight, which are usually from colleagues in different time zones.

Before he started working from home last year, Chia didn’t have a proper work-from-home setup, but he slowly built one up. Both he and his wife have dedicated home office setups and work in different areas of the home.

8:30 a.m: His first meeting of the day is a one-on-one with Albert Li, ServiceNow’s Managing Director for North Asia, who joined the team in March.

Wee Luen Chia
Albert Li, left, and Chia have a one-on-one virtual meeting.

They brainstorm ideas and check in about onboarding progress.

“These one-on-one catchups really help when the agenda is not too structured – there’s an opportunity to build rapport, share challenges and experiences, and work together to learn from one another,” Chia said.

Throughout the pandemic, Chia said he’s continued to hire and onboard team members virtually across Asia. 

9:30 a.m: Chia has a meeting with a customer in Malaysia, market expansion services company DKSH, for a “go live” event.

servicenow singapore exec

“The ‘go-live’ event is the moment in time all of the hard work is realized and the product is ‘live’ in the hands of the consumer – either consumers, citizens, employees, or business partners,” Chia said.

11:30 a.m: If he’s home and not traveling between meetings, Chia tries to fit in some exercise.

servicenow singapore executive

He keeps weights and other exercise gear in his home office to work out between meetings in short, two-to-three-minute intervals.

“It’s not a lot, but a little goes a long way over time,” he said.

12:30 p.m: Chia has lunch with his team at a sushi restaurant in Singapore’s Bugis neighborhood.

servicenow expat singapore

“I make it a point to bring my team out to lunch once a week, when it’s possible,” he said. “I like the opportunity to meet in small groups, connecting employees from different functional areas.”

They talk about how they’re adapting to the changes in where and how they work, how they’re dealing with the pandemic, and how their customers are adjusting.

Chia said he values face-to-face interactions more than ever. “Each moment I spend with someone is focused on building our relationship,” he said.

1:30 p.m: After lunch, he heads into ServiceNow’s office in downtown Singapore, which is the company headquarters for the Asia-Pacific and Japan region.

Wee Luen Chia servicenow singapore

ServiceNow transitioned to remote work in March 2020, a company representative told Insider.

“The Singapore team, much like the other teams globally, will continue to be allowed the flexibility to work in a way that is most productive to them – and this will look different for different people,” the spokesperson said. “The hybrid workforce is definitely here to stay for the foreseeable future.”

Last year, the company hired 3,000 people in 25 countries, growing its global workforce by 25%.

4 p.m: Chia leaves the office to head to off-site meetings.

servicenow singapore expat
Chia’s meeting with SGTech.

One of those meetings is with SGTech, a trade association for the tech industry in Singapore.

“I joined the committee as a means to use my years of experience to give back to society by helping Singapore-based companies accelerate their digital transformation journeys,” he said.

6:30 or 7 p.m: Chia is home for dinner with his family.

servicenow singapore exec

Tonight, the group includes his 69-year-old father, his 32-year-old brother, and his 43-year-old brother-in-law.

7:30 p.m: After dinner, the family plays Monopoly and Chia has to console his daughter after she loses.

servicenow singapore executive

“Sometimes there’s a teaching moment – it’s OK not to win every time,” Chia said, adding that he teaches her to be humble when she wins and gracious when she loses.

“This is currently one of my key focus areas in her development so she grows up to be able to take failure in her stride and be a good sport about things,” he said.

8 p.m: He reads his daughter a bedtime story, which he says is one of his “favorite moments” to spend with her.

servicenow singapore exec

“Her favorite book is ‘Rapunzel’ but I try to change stories when it’s possible to introduce new ideas,” Chia said. “She loves the classics including ‘Snow White’ and ‘Hansel and Gretel.'”

8:30 p.m: In the evenings, Chia goes on a run around his neighborhood.

servicenow executive singapore

He lives in Serangoon, a residential area in northeast Singapore.

“Each time, I change something in my routine,” he said. “Sometimes I listen to recorded Zoom calls during the run or listen to lectures on Udemy on different topics like AI and design thinking. I like to fuel my body and my mind.”

9:30 p.m.: Back at home, Chia showers and catches up on the news on TV and prepares for the next day’s meetings.

servicenow singapore exec

Around 11 p.m., he usually spends an hour reading a book or watching a Netflix show with his wife. Recently, they’ve been watching “The Last Dance” on Netflix and Chia has been reading Simon Sinek’s “Infinite Game.”

Around midnight, it’s bedtime. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

A day in the life of Google’s highest-ranking executive in Southeast Asia, who lives in Singapore, has 40 hours of meetings a week, and used to live on a sailboat

google singapore stephanie davis
Davis, who’s from the US, moved to Singapore in 2017 in the role of Google’s Country Director.

  • Stephanie Davis is Google’s Vice President for Southeast Asia, based in Singapore.
  • Since April, she’s been back at the office two days a week and working from home the other three.
  • Davis has about 40 hours of meetings per week, most of which are virtual.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Stephanie Davis is Google’s Vice President for Southeast Asia, making her the company’s top-ranking executive in the region.

google singapore stephanie davis
Davis is from Georgia in the US and has lived in Singapore since 2017.

Davis, who’s in her 40s, has worked for Google for 15 years. Originally from a small town in Georgia in the US, she spent stints working in the San Francisco Bay Area, Dublin, and New Zealand before moving to Singapore in 2017 as the company’s Country Director.

Now, she’s Google’s highest-ranking executive in Southeast Asia, overseeing about 2,000 employees at Google’s Southeast Asia headquarters in Singapore, as well as teams in the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia. 

Before the pandemic, Davis said she was typically traveling in the region for work eight to 10 days out of the month.

Stephanie Davis

Whenever possible, she would tack on a personal day to a work trip and her husband would join her for a mini-vacation.

“I think it’s one of the beauties about this region,” Davis told Insider. “You have the organization, the safety, and the beauty of Singapore, a professional place to be in terms of career. But then you step on a boat, step on a plane, and you can just be in some of the most adventurous, amazing spots in the world.”

Now, like many office workers, Davis has been working from home for over a year. In April, however, Singapore’s loosened restrictions allowed Davis to start going into the office two days per week and to work from home the other three.

singapore google executive
Davis’ home workstation.

Davis, who lives in Singapore’s Tanjong Pagar neighborhood with her husband, Jack, said she thought she had a sufficient home office setup before the pandemic.

“But I soon realized my desk and my small chair may have worked for weekend work and a few hours at night, but it certainly wasn’t cut out for working full days at home,” she said. “So I’ve certainly had to adapt a more ergonomic setup.”

Davis got a better chair, a desk that raises and lowers so she can alternate between sitting and standing, and a keyboard and monitor. 

Google, which is known for providing lavish amenities to its employees like a free café and on-site massage therapists, is saving more than $1 billion a year while its staffers work from home, Bloomberg recently reported.

7 to 7:30 a.m: As often as her schedule allows, Davis starts her day with a yoga session.

singapore google executive stephanie davis

“I have found yoga to be so helpful to my well-being during this time that I sometimes manage to squeeze in two sessions a day, with a second one that’s a nice wind-down before bed,” Davis said.

One of her favorite channels is Boho Beautiful with Juliana Spicoluk, she said. The morning yoga is a new addition to Davis’ routine since she started working from home.

“Singapore is an easy city to get around so it’s not that I have a really long commute, but that saving of time in the morning has allowed me to do yoga most mornings,” she said.

7:30 to 8 a.m: After yoga, it’s time for Davis’ morning coffee made with Malaysian-grown coffee beans from the local Tiong Bahru market and brewed by her “kind husband,” she said.

google executive singapore stephanie davis

“No fancy coffee machines in our home — we lived on a boat for many years, and it’s still a stovetop espresso maker for us,” Davis said. “We love the simplicity and low waste.”

With her coffee in hand, Davis starts getting ready for her day.

“Another pandemic-driven change: I get ready for WFH much faster than I get ready to work from the office,” she said.

8 to 9 a.m: Davis typically spends the first hour of her workday clearing her inbox.

singapore google executive stephanie davis
Davis at her home workspace.

Davis said she gets “hundreds” of emails per day and tries to “carve out time each day to read and respond to top priorities.”

9 to 10 a.m: Davis’ first meeting of the day is with the Southeast Asia Search Product and Marketing team. It’s one of about 40 hours of meetings in a typical week.

singapore google executive

They discuss how to make Google Search more useful for consumers in the region. 

“We know that people in Southeast Asia are increasingly using voice search to discover a wide range of information — from song lyrics to recipes to store hours, restaurants nearby and items to buy,” Davis said. “The number of people across SEA who used their voice to interact with Google on their phone grew 49% compared to the previous year.”

10 to 11 a.m: Her next virtual meeting of the day is with Southeast Asia’s YouTube team.

singapore google executive

Google sees YouTube (which Google owns) as an “integral partner” to the growth of the internet economy in Southeast Asia, Davis said.

Five of YouTube’s biggest markets globally, based on watch time, are in Asia: India, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand and Vietnam, she said.

After the meeting ends at 11:00 a.m., Davis takes a 15-minute break to stretch and refill her water bottle.

11:15 a.m. to noon: Davis meets virtually with Farhan Quresh, Google’s country director in Pakistan, for South Asian frontier markets.

singapore google executive
Quresh and Davis.

Davis typically meets with her direct reports for 45 minutes every two weeks.

She and Quresh discuss how Google can help start-ups and developers in Pakistan. 

Noon to 12:30 p.m: Davis sits in on an in-person meeting at Google’s office in Singapore, where the company’s Incident Response Team is discussing their continuing efforts to make the offices safe for Googlers to return.

singapore google executive
A socially distanced meeting with the Incident Response Team in December 2020.

The meeting is typically virtual, but some members of the team were able to meet in-person at the end of last year.

12:45 to 1:45 p.m: Davis has lunch at a local café with a founder who has decided to start a new business that aims to fight climate change.

singapore google executive
Davis had the Oriental Shrimp Salad at Singapore’s Little Part 1 Cafe.

“I look forward to when we can once again host guests at our offices, but I’m also thankful for the many local cafes in Singapore, where we can easily meet up and have productive business discussions,” Davis said.

2 to 4 p.m: After lunch, Davis has more virtual meetings, including one with Google’s philanthropic arm, Google.org, to get an update on its recent projects.

stephanie davis google singapore

Google.org announced on April 26 that it was contributing $18 million to the COVID-19 crisis in India. The philanthropic arm also works with local organizations in the Southeast Asia region to support education for underprivileged children, Davis said.

Then she has a 30-minute call with a large e-commerce company in the region about how the two companies can work together to get more small businesses online.

At 3 p.m, Davis takes part in a regional Google town hall to celebrate diversity, inclusion, and belonging.

“Town halls like these are an integral part of Google’s culture, and at this one, we hear personal stories from Googlers across the region,” she said. 

4:15 to 6 p.m: Davis is a few minutes late to the monthly meeting of the Singapore Computer Society, where she’s an Executive Council Member.

stephanie davis google singapore
Singapore Computer Society president Dr. Chong Yoke Sin, left, with Davis, right.

The Singapore Computer Society is an infocomm and digital media society with 42,000 members — including industry professionals, students, and tech enthusiasts — that helps grow the tech industry in Singapore, she said.

The meeting is in-person, with masks and social distancing, Davis said.

6:15 to 6:30 p.m: Just as she gets back home, Davis gets a video call from her brother in North Carolina so she can say good morning to her 1.5 year-old niece, Vivian Cora.

stephanie davis google singapore

“It’s been more than a year since I last saw my family in the US,” Davis said. “I come from a close-knit family, and it’s been difficult to not see them, but I’m grateful that we’re healthy and well connected via video calls.”

6:30 to 8 p.m: Davis and her husband go for a hike at Singapore’s Mount Faber, a 138-acre park with scenic views of the city. It’s a hike they do several times per week, she said.

google executive singapore stephanie davis

“He and I catch up on our respective days, but then our earbuds go in, we listen to our favorite podcasts or books, and then share learnings with one another,” Davis said.

Davis recently finished “So You Want to Talk About Race” by Ijeoma Oluo and said she liked the author’s “straightforward style in suggesting how we can have better conversations about race.”

“A few stretches at the top and some reflection while the sun goes down is a great way to close the curtain on the day,” Davis said.

8 to 9 p.m: For dinner, Davis and her husband have a kale Reuben sandwich. “Jack is the chef in our home – lucky me,” she said.

stephanie davis google singapore
Jack’s kale Reuben and tomato soup

While they eat, they watch YouTube videos including the evening news, late night replays, and some sailing videos like Ruby Rose.

9 to 11 p.m.: After dinner, Davis gets some more work done.

google executive singapore stephanie davis

“This is when I prepare for the next day — read materials for meetings, think through presentations, look at the revenue numbers, etc,” she said. “All with a nice candle burning nearby.”

11 p.m. to midnight: Davis spends some time reading before bed.

stephanie davis google singapore

“So that I don’t wake Jack, I have a little light that attaches to my book — or should I say one of a few books, as it’s common for me to be reading several at once,” Davis said. “I seem to read fiction when on a holiday, but otherwise, I enjoy non-fiction.”

One of Davis’ favorite books is Jane Goodall’s “Reason for Hope,” which she says has influenced how she chooses to lead.

And finally, it’s time to sleep.

Read the original article on Business Insider

28-year-old Tyra Myricks makes 7 figures and has 5 side hustles. Here’s how she typically spends a day.

Tyra Mavericks
Tyra Myricks

  • Tyra Myricks, 28, makes seven figures a year working a day job and five side hustles.
  • She works for Drake, has a fashion line, a branding company, a website for entrepreneurial resources, a pizza shop, and co-owns a gym.
  • To Insider, she breaks down what a typical day looks like.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

If the Land of Side Hustles had a queen, it would surely be 28-year-old Tyra Myricks, daughter of hip hop legend Jam Master Jay. It all began in 2009 when she launched a fashion label while still in high school that eventually helped pay her way through college. She initially went to university to study pre-med but dropped out after the label saw her earning over double her tuition.

She took the streetwear world by storm with celebrity partnerships, and advertising on Instagram’s TMZ the Shade Room. In 2012, she rebranded the company now known as Wealth as high fashion streetwear.

“It’s not the business you do, it’s what you do differently,” she told Insider.

Aside from owning a fashion label, and branding and merchandising company, she’s also the co-owner of The Method, Los Angeles’ first Black-owned gym. Myricks is also about to launch a pizza shop with T’yanna Wallace, daughter of rapper Biggie Smalls, and she’s co-creating a platform to provide young entrepreneurs with resources to start their own businesses.

“It’s not an easy game,” she said of being an entrepreneur. “Everybody on the internet shows the glorious side, but nobody shows the treacherous side where it’s hard to get up in the morning.”

Her day job, of course, is working as director of design, merchandising, and development for Drake’s OVO lifestyle brand, which earns her six figures a year. In total, she makes about seven figures a year and says a secret to her success is knowing how to constantly be agile with the opportunities life brings.

To Insider, she breaks down how she puts that process to use on a typical day.

She wakes up at 5:45 in the morning

Waking up before the break of dawn, Myricks prays, takes a shower, gets dressed, and downs six espresso shots. Her first stop this morning is to The Method to prepare the gym for opening.

Around 6:30 a.m. she leaves the house and puts on gospel music as she drives downtown, trying to beat the morning traffic rush.

At 7 a.m. she opens the gym and gets breakfast

She arrives at the gym and inspects everything to make sure space was cleaned properly before closing the night before. She also folds extra towels and gets the system ready for patrons.

Myricks became co-owner in the gym after investing a substantial amount last year, though she declined to share how much she gave. There are no employees at the gym, though it has 17 independent contractors. It opened in a new location last summer in the middle of the pandemic. Myricks remembers that day clearly because a few days later, the city of Los Angeles shut down again due to COVID-19.

“It was a grand opening, grand closing,” she said.

Tyra Mavericks
Tyra Myricks

During the shutdown, they moved classes outdoors, which helped cover overhead costs (rent is $6,500 a month). Currently, the club has nearly 300 members, giving it a feel of exclusivity, which is something Myricks prizes in all of her entrepreneurial endeavors.

Membership is $99 a month, another reason to ensure service is top-notch. “What’s stopping someone from going to planet fitness for $30 a month?” Myricks said.

After opening the gym she gets breakfast. This day: a green smoothie.

Then, she preps for her day job

Myricks is also the director of design, merchandising, and development for rapper Drake’s OVO lifestyle brand. At 9:30 a.m., still at the gym, she prepares for a Zoom call with the OVO team to discuss upcoming projects. That lasts until about 11 a.m.

Cofounded by Drake in 2011, OVO is known for selling high-end streetwear and has done collaborations with Canada Goose, and the Major League Baseball, as well as having hosted pop-ups at Nordstrom and the once-popular retail store Colette in Paris. “I look at the recipe and formula a lot of successful people use and get little pieces of that to create my own recipe and formula to be successful,” she said.

Tyra Mavericks
Tyra Myricks

Afterward, another business partner meets her at the gym to discuss upcoming projects for the branding agency they own together. Drake offered Myricks a job after seeing some of the branding and merchandising work her agency did for an artist signed to his label. She moved from New York to Los Angeles in 2017 to take the job.

Without giving exact numbers, Myricks said she makes six figures a year from working at OVO, where she leads the design team, approves and denies designs, and deals with manufacturers overseas. “It’s a constant 24-hour job because China and other manufacturers are 12 hours ahead of us,” she said. “When you ask what is a day like – it’s literally a day. It’s a constant revolving door that never stops.”

At 11:28 a.m. she starts working on her fashion side hustle

Next, she heads to the factory she co-owns with a business partner and begins ordering fabric for her Wealth fashion line which she primarily sells online and in one store in downtown LA.

“This isn’t because other stores aren’t interested,” she said. “We like to keep exclusivity.”

She also discusses plans with her business partner on renovating the space next door to expand the factory, makes sure production is on track and approves new patterns for sweaters. There are 16 people currently working for her company, and the brand produces about 2,500 units each week. Each item sells for between $13 and $1,300.

Tyra Mavericks
Tyra Myricks

Finally, it’s lunch time

An assistant brings her lunch around noon, which today is a grilled chicken salad. Before eating it, however, she heads to the screen printer to drop off samples for Wealth’s upcoming fall/winter collection.

When she gets to Wealth headquarters around 2 p.m., she finally eats lunch as she packs all of the orders that arrived the day before, preparing to ship them to customers.

Next, she orders a double shot of espresso from Blue Bottle Cafe. Then, she keeps it moving.

Around 4 p.m. she finally ships off the Wealth packages, then heads to the Inflamed store downtown, the only brick-and-mortar location that sells Wealth. There, she restocks and checks inventory.

On to another side hustle

Next, she heads to a meeting at the pizza shop she’s opening called Juicy Pizza to discuss patio design and merchandise. Myricks said she came up with the idea of Juicy Pizza because, as a New Yorker living in Los Angeles, she felt there was “no good pizza in Los Angeles.”

Tyra Mavericks
Tyra Myricks (L)

“The more I thought about how to bring that New York theme to Los Angeles, I felt, who represents New York more than Biggie Smalls?” she continued. So she called her friend T’yanna Wallace, daughter of the late rapper, and presented her with the idea. “She loved it,” Myricks said.

Myricks also knew the importance of reaching out to Wallace because, being the daughter of the late Jam Master Jay, she knows first hand what it’s like to have people profit from her father’s name and career. “I was like I don’t want you to invest anything,” she recalled telling Wallace. “Let’s just make money together. Let’s make moves.”

The shop is set to open later this year.

Last stop: a dinner reservation downtown

At 7 p.m. she meets two friends at a Latin restaurant called Dama downtown, where she orders a celery salad with pineapple juice, Mexican corn, and an Oxtail Tostada.

She picks up shipping bags from the storage unit before heading home.

Around 9 p.m. she finally arrives home and begins to unwind, if only for a moment. She answers emails before starting her next project, a website for celebrity client merchandise, which is part of the branding agency she co-founded.

Around midnight, she falls asleep. In five hours, she will get up and do it all over again.

Read the original article on Business Insider