My Working Day – Emily Keogh – Founder of Palm

As the leader of a company, you are there to set an example, to lead and inspire a team of individuals to achieve a series of business goals. But how do these business leaders go about their daily routine? Business Leader spoke to Emily Keogh, Founder of Palm, about her working day.

What time do you wake up?

6 am (unless my son wakes me up before this!)

What do you have for breakfast?

I have a power shake with banana, spinach, plant-based milk and a good quality multi-nutrient elixir like WelleCo with vitamins, minerals and adaptogens. I believe starting the day right means making the right food choices.

What is your mantra for your working day?

We are a family business (I own the company with my brother Liam) – and I try and take these values through everything we do with the whole team. I am so privileged to work with such an incredible group of people – and they are really at the heart of everything we do.

As a business leader, is it hard to separate your business and personal life?

Because a huge thrust of my job is creativity, it’s totally interwoven through my personal life. You can’t really put a timer on creativity. I might not think of a campaign creative during office hours but then I’ll have a great idea at a moment when I’m walking the dog, or in the shower, or first thing when I wake up in the morning – and I jot all those down immediately.

I don’t mind this at all – it goes back to the fact that the sectors that I’ve chosen to be in – hospitality, travel, food and drink – are my passions anyway.

What advice would you give to aspiring female entrepreneurs?

Don’t expect everything to be perfect all the time. Lots of entrepreneurs try to sugarcoat what it’s like to run a business – but it’s not for the faint-hearted. There will be lows, as well as amazing highs, and that’s totally normal. You need to learn to constantly be open to evolving the business – embracing change is an integral part of what we do.

Who is your business idol? Why?

I don’t have a particular business idol – I’m inspired by industry leaders across a broad range of sectors, from academia to the arts and media. I believe having a wider lens to creativity, beyond business, is really key.

What motivates you?

I am lucky enough to work with some amazing visionary founders in the food, drink and hospitality scene. I find their disruptive approach to businesses really inspires me to think big – from Soho House-designed Mollie’s motel brand disrupting the budget luxe travel sector to trailblazing UK plant-based meat brand Moving Mountains. I’m motivated to translate these brands into far-reaching communications campaigns that help realise the founder’s visions.

How do you persevere through challenging times?

This comes back to the family values that we have at Palm. We support each other and the team is really collaborative and close. It’s important to also carve out time to socialise together, strengthen the company culture – and also to allow time to reflect and celebrate achievements. In our fast-paced world, it can be easy to neglect this – and it’s so important to take stock and feel grateful and proud of the work we’ve done as a team.

What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced as a female entrepreneur?

I went to the all-female Cambridge University college Newnham College and so I’ve been privileged to be surrounded by driven, ambitious and brilliant females from my academic career onwards. I’m in a hugely supportive, female-led industry and I’ve experienced more collaboration than challenge.

What is the best piece of advice you have received?

Put your team first. People are the most important part of your business.

Are you hopeful about the future of female entrepreneurship in the UK? Why?

Absolutely! I meet incredible, driven and brilliant female founders every day. Often, the founders I meet are mothers as well and are brilliantly embracing the juggle. They are grounded in their approach to work, clever at navigating the difficult work/life balance – and inspiring the next generation of UK entrepreneurs.