My Working Day – Lee Thawley – Co-Founder of MuddyWellies

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 Lee Thawley, Co-Founder of MuddyWellies, about her working day.

What time do you wake up?

I’ll be honest, I snoozed my alarm three times today and managed to wake myself up about 6:55 am. Maybe one day I’ll make it to the 5 am club! But probably not anytime soon.

What do you have for breakfast?

Today, I had a sip of berry-flavoured Huel that was honestly vile, while staring longingly at my heavily pregnant Co-Founders’ M&S Eccles cake brekky. Then I decided I deserved a couple of pieces of toast for being so brave.

What is your mantra for your working day?

Write a manageable list. I still make it look pretty, use a fancy pen, or cover it with doodles in meetings, but if it’s concise, I’m more likely to get it all done. There’s no point in putting too much on your plate, and if I need to walk away and come back to it, that’s fine – our days are flexible. I can always come back to my work in the evening on the sofa and get it finished, then I’ll sleep better and feel ready to crack on the next day.

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

It can be, definitely. MuddyWellies is our baby and sometimes we don’t know how to switch off. Our work excites us and we’re often thinking of ideas at every hour of the day! But when we noticed we were getting into bad habits, we started checking in with each other to book time to reset – whether that was a lunchtime dog walk, online yoga, or a no-work-allowed FaceTime.

What advice would you give to aspiring female entrepreneurs?

Just go for it. Have faith in yourself and your ideas. I don’t know why it took us wellies so long to take the leap because we’ve never looked back. And be more sponge. Read, listen and learn in every spare moment. It could be a podcast on the train, a book whilst you’re waiting for the kids’ activities to finish, or a webinar before work. If you never stop learning, you’ll be surprised at how much you know.

Who is your business idol? Why?

We love Whitney Wolfe Herd of Bumble. She recognised a real issue at Tinder and wasn’t afraid to walk away. I think her story resonates with a lot of young women in the corporate world and that makes her a great role model. Then, better yet, she had the courage to take on her rival and dominate the market.

What motivates you?

Am I allowed to say skiing holidays?! Only kidding. Seeing our business grow from the hard work we’ve put in really does it for me. Knowing that people want to listen to us, and positively interact with what we’re saying – on our website, on socials, and in proposals – that’s what really drives us, and makes us quite emotional! Plus, we’ve just added two fantastic new wellies to our team, and it only makes us hungry for more.

How do you persevere through challenging times?

I call my Right Boot: we’re a pair for a reason. There’s nothing we can’t put to rights after a peppermint tea and a brainstorm. We balance each other perfectly in the hard times and the good.

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

Feeling the need to be perfect. I think being a bit of a perfectionist is ok most of the time, but it took both of us a while to stop putting extreme pressure on ourselves. We’ve started a business from scratch, and we get better with each day. You must give yourself credit for how far you’ve come. Now, we’re on an adventure to learn from the amazing women around us, not to be the know-it-alls we thought we should be.

What is the best piece of advice you have received?

“Don’t be afraid to have an opinion.” There are always going to be people that disagree with you, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t shout about what you believe in. It’s better than sitting on the fence. We believe brand and people go hand in hand, so we’re going to keep spreading our message.

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

I truly am. I’m seeing more and more female-owned businesses popping up all the time and I’m sure it’s a domino effect. I think we’ve moved into an era of confidence and lifting each other up, instead of jealousy and tearing each other down. Women are unlocking their power every day and I love to see it.