My working day: Kirsty Loveday, CEO, Love Drinks
- 7 Min Read
In a regular new series, HRD Connect speaks with leaders from all different industries about their working day. In our latest feature, we spoke with Kirsty Loveday, CEO, at Love Drinks.
Kirsty started Love Drinks 10 years ago and has grown the business with no outside investment to a turnover of £6.6 million through pure hard graft and determination. She was awarded a British Empire Medal in 2016 for Services to the Drinks Industry. She’s now taking a step back from the day to day running of the business to focus on employee well-being, happiness, and development.
We find out all about her day-to-day activities…
What time does your day start?
I’ve always been a super early riser. Life is short, and I want to make a head start. In the summer it can be as early at 5am, in the winter more like 6am
What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
Cuddle my French bulldog Frank. He sleeps in my bed and is the best cuddle but also a rather noisy sleeper. I’ve started wearing earplugs for the snoring!
What for you kick starts your day correctly?
I do prefer to exercise in the morning if possible, (running, Hiit, Yoga) and then start the day with a Spinach Smoothie. I like to try get all my 5-a-day in before 8am, it keeps me super healthy and I rarely get ill!
What is your commute like to work?
I’ve recently moved from Clapham to Teddington which meant my commute turned from a 10 minute walk to a 45 minute car drive. However, I did run in to the office yesterday for the first time which was 17km and took 1h 40 mins. Not something I’d do every morning but once a week for sure.
What is the first thing you do when you get to the office/start working?
I make sure I spend time saying hello to everyone and asking about any personal issue or troubles they may be having. I genuinely care about my team and it makes such a difference to people to show this
Can you talk me through a typical morning for you…?
Each day is different. Monday, for example, we have quite a few internal meetings and it’s a great day to align ourselves on priorities and thinking . I meet with my Senior Management team and we identify key tasks for the week which we make sure are visible in the office so the rest of the team can understand any particular challenges we are facing. Transparency really drives trust and improves our understanding of each other.
What do you have for lunch?
There’s a couple of really great delis nearby but I’m a regular at a place called “Tart” – they do the most delicious black rice and pomegranate salad amongst others which are tasty but still healthy. They also allow dogs so I can pop in and grab a salad and sometimes eat it on Clapham Common with Frank if the weather is nice
Do you feel more productive in the morning, or after lunch?
Without a doubt in the morning. I joke that my day should be 5-9 not 9-5! I’m such a morning person. I’m super productive and my mind is very clear. I can do really good quality work until about 2pm then it’s a slippery slope.
What do you think is the best way to motivate a team?
- Sharing stories of when you have faced challenges and failure along with success, and inspire by leading by example. It’s important that your team understands that you have been through many of the same situations they face. It’s also important to ask questions and shut up and listen. I’m a bit of a problem solver and my role nowadays needs to be more coaching and less solving, so I’m having to adapt how I operate which is a daily challenge for me but one I’m committed to mastering.
- What does a typical afternoon look like for you? I make sure I have some of the more mundane or admin/research/reading based tasks saved for later in the afternoon once I’ve spent all my best brain power in the morning. It’s really important to understand when you are at your best so you can do the best for your team
What is the one thing you never forget to do throughout your day?
Question and challenge myself “why” on what I am doing. It’s so easy for people to forget the bigger picture and spend time and energy on things that are not going to drive the business forward
What time do you leave work?
I’m in the office 3 days a week and on those days I go to a Gym in Clapham called Reach which is an awesome Hiit & Weight based gym. I normally make their 6.15pm classes so I need to leave about 5.50/6pm.
Do you think you have a good work/life balance?
I do now. The past 18 months have been more normal but previous to this I’d be working all hours of everyday. It was a necessity to get the business to this stage but there is only so long you can operate like that for. It took its toll on me and created stress-related health issues and a lot of mental exhaustion. I do make up for it now though and make sure I have lots of sunshine breaks planned. My parents live in Spain which helps as I can take quick and cheap flights over there, and I also have take up Kite surfing recently which is a great adrenaline sport!
What do you do in the evenings?
I don’t get home until about 8/8.30 after the gym so I grab a quick bite to eat. Normally something heated up that I might have cooked at the weekend or something simple like cod and broccoli. I’m not a massive TV watcher but I do like the occasional Netlix series – at the moment I’m obsessed with Black Mirror. On days I work from home my evenings are a bit more free, so in the summer I spend a lot of time walking Frank in Bushy park, watching the deer!
When is bedtime?
I love going to bed early! On a Sunday it can be as early as 8.30pm, but it’s normally 9.30… I need my sleep as I expend a lot of energy during the day. Sleep is the only way to repair body and mind!
A bit about you…
What is your personal career highlight?
Without a doubt being awarded a British Empire Medal for Services to the Industry in 2016. A very unexpected and proud moment
What do you do to unwind?
Relaxing for me is being active, walking Frank, running, cycling – fresh air basically
What is your favourite food?
Everyone jokes that it’s egg’s. I boil 2 eggs everyday and eat them with salt and pepper around 10.30 am which is probably a very antisocial thing to do in a small office! But I really enjoy Vietnamese food. Visiting Vietnam is on my top 3 list of places I want to visit in the next 2 years
What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
I read a lot and the Chimp Paradox really helped me understand my own mind. I have a very overactive chimp (emotional side) and recognising this helps me channel my energies into positive tasks not wasting energy on things I cannot change
What would you like to be remembered for?
Kindness and believing in people.