Answering the Tribe: A Day in the Life of a Virtual CEO (My Not-So-Usual Daily Routine!)

by Chris C. Ducker · 48 comments

Day in the Life of a Virtual CEO!The image above I took just yesterday whilst hanging out at the beach with my family. Note: I was not working. In fact, I never work from the beach!

I’ve had a bunch of requests recently from people wanting to know how I get so much done every day / week / month, especially online and in the creation of all my content, additional resources and the running and developing of my businesses. Some VBL Tribe members have even asked what my daily routine is, too.

So, to answer these questions I thought I’d put a few things down in a post and then open the forum to questions and comments, on perhaps anything I’ve not answered, or left out, or anything that people want more info on. Here we go!

My Daily Routine

There is no major ‘secret’ here. I try and get as much of the ‘daily work’ done as possible, in as little time as possible, so I can focus on my other projects and actually working on growing my existing businesses, and building new ones.

The one thing I should mention here is that my daily routine does change quite a bit, its the freedom factor that I have, that I enjoy, and because of that, its always flip-flopping. That’s the way I like it. And, although there is no ‘real’ pattern to my day, my ‘routine’ will normally go something like this:

10am – Breakfast & ‘Urgent’ Email. Because the majority of the business I do is with US-based clients, by the time I wake up in the morning here in the Philippines, its the evening of the day before over there. So, I check ‘urgent’ email whilst enjoying breakfast (usually a bowl of cereal or a protein shake of some variety – in case you wanted to know!), and reply to anything I feel requires an immediate response.

11am – Playtime. I’ll play with my youngest for around an hour or so, or until I pass out!!!

12noon – Task time. I will go through everything I want my VA’s (I have two), and my marketing staff to do throughout the day, sending a few emails and probably a couple of quick Skype calls, too.

1pm – Exercise. I regigiously shoot 30mins of hoops each day and do around 15mins of swimming. Once or twice a week, I’ll also do some light weights. It’s how I keep my sexy body in check (BHAM! Sorry, I just fell off my chair in merriment!) :-)

2pm – School Time & Lunch. Either myself, or my wife will drop the little one to playgroup, then have lunch.

2pm – Creative Work & Lunch. On the days I am not dropping off the ‘trouble maker’, as I like to call him, I will drive to one of a number of local coffee shops and work for a bit. This time is reserved for my ‘creative stuff’, it’ll be either writing a blog post, putting together podcast ideas, or perhaps focusing on other things such as travel plans , or family stuff.

4pm – Family Time. I do nothing, but play with my kid, hang with my wife, watch TV, go shopping, whatever…

6pm – General Email. This is the time where I will get stuck into clearing out my Inbox. If it takes an hour, great. If it takes two hours (very RARE), then, not-so-great, but still, its achieved.

7pm / 8pm – Staff Meetings / Catch-Up Time. This is where I will meet with my staff, either in the office, or via Skype and go over any projects that we might be working on. If, for whatever reason, this meeting doesn’t take place, I use it for catching up on my favourite blogs, reading a book with a cup of coffee, or generally mooching around online.

9pm – Management Meetings / Consultations. I meet with my COO and other management personnel twice a week to go over operational stuff, as well as any business development work we are putting together. On the days where this meeting doesn’t take place I spend time doing consultation calls with Virtual Staff Finder clients, or with entrepreneurs that have hired me for other consultation services.

10pm and Beyond – Client Calls / Biz Dev Work. Again, the majority of my clients are Stateside, so this time is geared towards speaking with them, when needed. Although my staff do an amazing job of allowing me to be as hands-off as possible, when it comes to the day-to-day operations of my businesses, it doesn’t mean I neglect my clients. If they need me, I am always, ALWAYS available. I also do a certain amount of business development work around this time, too.

Other Times - Putting together podcast episodes, arranging webinars, being interviewed, working on business growth strategies, shooting video posts, handling other local projects, spending time with other members of my team,

It’s NOT The 4-Hour Work Week!

As you can see, I certainly DO work more than 4 hours a week, thats for sure! And, although I rarely ‘work’ on Fridays anymore, I will still check in and spend the time I need to, on my businesses and other business related interests, if and when its needed.

The thing about Tim’s great book was that he was showing you that you didn’t have to do it all; that you could travel more, and enjoy great vacation time; that it was possible to spend more time with family and to be able to make a little money whilst you sleep. He was showing us all of this, plus a lot more.

However, here’s the big thing… How many hours of that daily routine do I class as ‘work’. To be honest… NONE. I’m serious. I love what I do so much that I enjoy every single minute of it. Sometimes the days are a little longer than others. Sometimes I need that additional problem to solve as much as a bullet in the head. And sometimes, just sometimes I wish I really was on a beach with a cocktail in hand (some people actually believe I work from the beach regularly… sorry to burst the bubble, but the internet connection isn’t THAT good when hanging out under a palm tree!). :-)

I’ve crafted my ideal virtual business lifestyle, and its right for me. This schedule might be totally ‘off’ for you. You might do things completely differently. And that’s what I’d now like to know.

If you’re already working for yourself, whats YOUR daily routine like? If you’d like to break-away from the 9-5 grind, what schedule are you dreaming of? Let us all know below in the comment section.

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{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

Joe Magnotti October 3, 2011 at 17:34

Great post Chris. I try to tell people all the time that living this lifestyle only works with set schedule. It’s funny how similar our day to day is. I’ll have to get to Cebu and challenge you to some hoops though!

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Chris C. Ducker October 3, 2011 at 21:28

Hi Joe

Would love to shoot some hoops, man. Let me know when you’re in town. We’ll arrange it.

You schedule…. Have you done a post on it, too..? If so, please post a link, bud.

Cheers,
C

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Joe Magnotti October 3, 2011 at 21:31
Chris C. Ducker October 3, 2011 at 21:40

Nice. Great stuff…

You’re right. Wow. Very similar. And scary… Its recent, too!!!!! I swear I hadn’t checked it out…

LOL :-)

C

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Joe Magnotti October 3, 2011 at 22:25

I would be flattered if you had copied me. Seem like a logical subject to write about in our cases though.

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Chris C. Ducker October 3, 2011 at 23:15

Yeah, indeed.

And its one of those topics, that I should have gotten around to earlier, I think.

However, now its done, at least I can copy n paste a link to the post whenever I get an email on the subject – which seems to be getting more and more regular for some reason! :-)

Thanks again for participating, bud.

C

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Joe Magnotti October 4, 2011 at 09:02

One more question, which may be a good idea for a follow up post, how do you measure success and tell if you are accomplishing things? By that I mean, it’s easy to get caught up in the reactive cycle, where “emergencies” and other daily tasks occupy to much of your working day.

Personally I use Basecamp to track my projects, ensure tasks are being done, and create milestones to get projects completed in a reasonable time. There are only so many hours in the day so you have to prioritize. Good project management can help you achieve that, IMHO.

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Chris C. Ducker October 5, 2011 at 00:37

I tend to try and not work on any more than TWO projects at any one time.

Doing this allows me to stay super focused and to genuinely concentrate on getting things done every day on either one, or both of those projects. Sometimes things get in the way, but I handle them, then get back to things.

Not overloading your plate is a great way to make sure you focus on completing things – the success is just a by-product.

C

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Ella October 3, 2011 at 17:44

I used to think you religiously follow the 4hr work week. But it’s close enough. Its nice reading this post esp since we’re both from the same location. I used to think I am the only one with irregular working hours :)

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Chris C. Ducker October 3, 2011 at 21:30

Hi Ella

The 4HWW is a myth in my book. I enjoyed the book – it WAS instrumental in me making several changes to my lifestyle, thats for sure. But, its certainly not a lifestyle I follow – as you can see.

I love the HUSTLE too much for that!!! :-)

Thanks for the comment, Ella.

C

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steve wyman October 5, 2011 at 19:10

Hi Chris

we discussed this elsewhere but i just wanted to add a thought.

The 4HW is a myth but i still see that as an ideal situation 4 Hour WORK week though. I mean just look at your working day theres not a lot of Boring depressing tiresome Work going on there :-)

For me the goal is a 7 hour work week. 1 hour a day doing what i have to do. Then the rest doing what i want to do which can be new launches or just looking at the sea scape.

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Chris C. Ducker October 6, 2011 at 19:16

I like the way you broken this down to a ONE HOUR a day thing, Steve.

1 hour of ‘what you have to do’ and the rest of the day doing ‘what you like / love to do’.

Nice approach – and all very essential…

C

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David October 3, 2011 at 19:12

Hi Chris

I especially like the expression “freedom factor” :)

I am looking forward to the interview you will have soon with Florian from our site, especially the ‘becoming a virtual CEO part’.

By the way: I hope you haven’t been affected by the current floods in the Philipines. Don’t know where exactly you’re located :)

Regards from Greece,
David

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Chris C. Ducker October 3, 2011 at 21:31

Hi David

Yes, looking forward to doing that with Florian on Wednesday this week, I believe :-)

Just heavy rains here in Cebu. Praying for the people of Manila, for show. Those guys got hit hard again.

Freedom Factor…… Yeah, baby!

C

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Florian October 5, 2011 at 01:48

Ehh… I think the interview is on thursday :-) We should look it up again :-)

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Chris C. Ducker October 5, 2011 at 14:06

It’s been on my calendar as today, bud.

I will have my PA double check and confirm with you via email… :-)

C

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Florian October 5, 2011 at 14:08

Oh yes. Right. It’s today :-)

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Stuart Bell October 3, 2011 at 21:28

Hey Chris

Great post again. When I moved from a ‘job’ to my own company it was exactly that freedom of being able to focus on what I enjoyed doing that made the difference between ‘working’ & ‘doing’. Working is hard work, but ‘Doing’ is great fun (even if it’s hard work at times).

And with Virtual Staff Finders help to get some great people, we’re building a team to better service our clients in a way that allows all the team to get the best balance in life.

Speak soon buddy.
Stuart

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Chris C. Ducker October 5, 2011 at 00:47

Hi Stuart

Awesome, glad that your team is building – it certainly helps. And if VSF can help, all the better, as far as I’m concerned! :-) Er, obviously…….

I love the terms ‘working’ and ‘doing’ that you use. Bang on the money, dude.

Keep rockin’ it.

C

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Barry October 3, 2011 at 21:54

“Normal” schedule (all Eastern time) could include:

6:30am – wake up, protein shake, start going through emails, working on some projects with deadlines, etc.

8:00 – 8:30 – hang out with boys until they go to school / work – they are 20, 17 and 14

9 – 11:45 – working with clients via email or web meetings, working on projects, business development, etc

noon hour – play pickup hockey in local arena with sponge puck – very very nice bunch of guys, and I can’t think of better fun or excercise!

1:30pm – light lunch

2pm – 5pm – working with clients via email or web meetings, working on projects, business development, etc

5pm – onwards – family time with my wife and boys, and maybe other events outside the home

8am – sometimes catching up on a few more emails, projects, etc.

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Chris C. Ducker October 5, 2011 at 00:49

Hi Barry

Hanging out with your boys each morning must be a great way to start your day.

I also notice that you do two bouts of business development stuff – this must lead to lots of new business no doubt. Good for you! I’m lucky to have people helping me with that now… So, its a little easier to manage for sure.

Great schedule, and it looks productive as well as healthy – awesome.

Thanks for the insights.

C

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Frank Schwarz October 3, 2011 at 23:00

Great Post Buddy. (Hope you don’t mind me calling you a buddy; I feel like I’ve known you for years and you do teach relationship building.)

My day starts at 4:30 to 5am
My day ends around 11pm

My issue is that I have no set schedule and that is my major problem. Time management and simple goal setting.

I don’t think it’s work either because I LOVE all that I do.

Thanks again Chris!

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Chris C. Ducker October 5, 2011 at 00:50

Hi Frank

Buddy is fine! Buddy………… :-)

You have a long day… But, I am assuming that its broken up quite nicely into different chunks, like mine and others.

Are there any one or two tasks that you partake in each day, regardless of schedule……?

Thanks for the comment.

C

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Lucy October 3, 2011 at 23:48

I think if you truly love something working 4 hours a week on it is not an option! Your passions (and time) will show in your work, its inevitable.

I’m looking forward to my 12 hour workDAY – Where I’m being productive and loving what I do in my waking (non lounging) hours haahaha

Lucy

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Chris C. Ducker October 5, 2011 at 00:43

Hi Lucy

Passion is what its all about… Doesnt matter if its 2 hours or 12 hours a day. Just focus on your goals and live life to the max. A lot of people say that, but if you REALLY concentrate on doing those things, you can, as far as I’m concerned.

Thanks so much for dropping by and commenting. :-)

C

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steve wyman October 4, 2011 at 01:14

Hi Chris

Very cool you have loads of thinking time built in. Very important not enough people do that. Joes article is also very illuminating.

Doing several startups and getting other projects through beta testing im currently doing.
Wake up 12 noon start “working” break 9pm to 11pm back to “work” until 5am.
Then once a month take a whole day out :-)

Id love working so its not an issue to me. Next year I may well take a 3 month Mini-retirment again.

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Chris C. Ducker October 5, 2011 at 00:42

Hi Steve

Gotta have that thought time put to one side… And sometimes its nice to just sit back and breathe, too.

What do you have planned for that mini-retirement, then…..?!

C

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stevewyman October 5, 2011 at 02:59

Hi

April 1st or maybe ill wait until the 2nd..

then 3 months in the sun.. Still be “working” ofcourse but with some time off for r&r

Funds permitting :-)

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Chris C. Ducker October 5, 2011 at 14:09

Nice. And the big question is WHERE…..?!!

The sun is a given…. but, doesnt exactly narrow it down. Any ideas?

C

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steve wyman October 5, 2011 at 19:16

Well, I should go somewhere different.

Bali, Philippines or back to Cambodia. But I bet i end up in Thailand, Koh samui or Ao Nang…

I have bucket list things i want to do but at a different time of year and big bucks – Antarctica Penguin photos :-) Japan in February to photograph Snow Monkeys.. Go Google Snow monkey’s during your coffee breaks folks they are soooo coool or hot :-) And I must get back to Yellowstone in mid winter..
You’ll notice that these places are all very cold. A person of extremes I am 

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Chris C. Ducker October 6, 2011 at 19:15

Well, if you pick the Philippines, let me know with enough time ahead and perhaps we can hook up for a bit…

C

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Michelle Dale October 4, 2011 at 01:26

What a great post Chris – what’s “regigiously” ha ha!! I love the idea of this post so much that I think I will steal it and do one on my blog. I am at the desk much less these days, but really only because I have taken on more people to help me. The routine tends to depend on where we are living at the time and how reasonable the kids are being :)

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Chris C. Ducker October 5, 2011 at 00:41

Hi Michelle

Regigiously is nothing but a typo, my dear – and as you mentioned it in the comments, I will leave it, un-edited, in the post! :-) Just for fun.

Love the way you’ve eliminated so much of your desk duties. Just awesome!

Keep lovin’ life, always…..

C

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stevewyman October 5, 2011 at 03:01

You tell her chris (sorry Mchelle thats sounds a bit rude) I hate people that can sellp and ypoe its really anoyngly. Luckily I can;t do either so im fine…

:-) I needed a bit of light relief.

Must get sometime to go ack to your awesome blog Michelle always good things to read.

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Chris C. Ducker October 5, 2011 at 14:10

LOL

Light relief. One of those days, Steve…….??

C

PS. Agreed on Michelle’s blog… Love it.

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Michelle Dale October 10, 2011 at 20:01

Thanks so much guys much appreshiated.

(hee hee!!)

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Wasim Ismail October 4, 2011 at 15:42

Nice one, I now work for my self, and yes i do put more hours in than my standard day job 9-5 but i dont call it work, i enjoy every bit of it.

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Chris C. Ducker October 5, 2011 at 00:36

Hi Wasim

Thats awesome, man. Keep that attitude and you can achieve anything you go out to get for yourself! :-)

Thanks for dropping by.

C

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Rob October 5, 2011 at 02:59

Great post Chris.

I am still a little confused on how to get started and how YOU can help me and my business.

Can I e-mail and see what we can do in the future?

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Chris C. Ducker October 5, 2011 at 14:09

Hi Rob

If you have any quick questions, I prefer to answer them via the VBL Facebook page, as I get so much email – sometimes it can take me a few days to respond. On FB, its much quicker!

Look forward to hearing from you, either way.

C

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Rob October 5, 2011 at 21:12

I understand but I prefer not to write my business idea and plan on facebook. Is there someone else that I can e-mail to get some info and to see how I can build my business with the help of virtual assistants?

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Chris C. Ducker October 5, 2011 at 23:26

No problems. Email me. Address is on my contact page, bud.

C

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Matthew Needham October 9, 2011 at 18:29

Hi Chris, its great that you get so much family time into your schedule. That’s really what being an entrepreneur is all about!

Personally I’m extending my day as I pick up more US based clients, but that means that I can have more flexibility into my day schedule.

All in all the busier I get the more flexibility I get because it means that I’m forced to eliminate, delegate or automate the routine activities.

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Chris C. Ducker October 10, 2011 at 15:39

Hi Matthew

Great to hear that business is going well for you, bud. :-)

Eliminate. Delegate. Automate.

Words to LIVE life by.

Thanks for dropping by – I missed ya!

C

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Timo Kiander October 11, 2011 at 00:40

Chris,

Great to see what your schedule is like!

It is true what you said – when you love to do something, the word “work” loses it’s meaning. When you are passionate about what you do, you don’t consider it as work anymore.

My ideal schedule combines of four elements: family&relationships, business, exercise and personal growth. Naturally my life is already all that, but trying to squeeze everything on top of a day job is sometimes a bit challenging :) I know that working for myself would give much more flexibility to my schedules.

Cheers,
Timo

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Chris C. Ducker October 11, 2011 at 14:40

Hi Timo

This is what its all about, my man.

I’m also happy to hear that you’re enjoying what you’re doing and that the energy you feel is pushing you to the next level. That’s awesome.

Keep it up, and don’t worry about that day job – it’ll be history soon… I know it will. :-)

C

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Mighty November 1, 2011 at 13:03

Hey Chris, I discovered your site through Spencer’s Niche Pursuits. Glad to know that you’re in the Philippines, too! Wow. You’re really making a killing in your online business man! Cool.

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HP van Duuren November 2, 2011 at 16:10

Since I read an interesting book about - Laziness - I look at ‘work’ somewhat differently than I used to.
(btw you can find out more info about Laziness on my - Travel Lifestyle - Blog.) A lot of my time is devoted to things like Excersising and other things I enjoy such as doing things like writing Short Stories or doing Blogging and Affiliate Marketing and things like that. I can litterly throw a stone out of my window and you will hear it drop in the water, since I live near the Beach. Sometimes I do ‘work’ at the beach, that is to say sometimes I enjoy reading some info about – Internet Marketing – or a book about some Successful Entrepreneurs
inbetween Swimming & Drying up in ‘Rinse and Repeat’ routine.

I frequently get all kinds of new ideas and Inspiration when I swim and relax. And than sometimes on such a day in the life of an Internet Entrepreneur like me I start to wonder, if I don’t need to devote a lot more hours to the Blogging and Business Building to be able to be Successful? For example recently on my - Writing Lifestyle – Blog I thought that I wasn’t really making any progress, only when I looked back at some months ago I did discover that I have an Increase of +400% in the amount of unique visitors. So I do think that I do at least
make some progress on a daily basis.

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