My Working Day – Tahi Grant-Sturgis – Founder of Jamu Wild Water

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 Tahi Grant-Sturgis, Founder of Jamu Wild Water, about her working day.

What time do you wake up?

6 am.

What do you have for breakfast?

No breakfast. I start the morning with Liquorice Tea, then once I’m up and moving, I’ll have an espresso and a long black or flat white, then back to herbal tea until lunch.

What is your mantra for your working day?

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm – Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Enthusiasm is characterised by a sense of interest, willingness, and tenacity; all attributes which help one to see opportunities, act on them and persevere when the road gets bumpy.

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

Yes, it’s a daily challenge but one that I’m committed to keeping in check and making sure we have clear boundaries between work and home life. Working from home and with your husband has its challenges; it’s all-to-easy to discuss business out of work hours, and sneak work in whenever the kids’ attention is diverted.

But on the flip side, having a husband/colleague who understands everything that is going on in the background, and can chip in and cover me with work or domestic duties, is a great benefit to having a business and personal life so closely linked.

What advice would you give to aspiring female entrepreneurs?

Set boundaries and prioritise your wellbeing (and that of your family, if you have one), so that you can work optimally. It’s impossible to do so if you haven’t allowed yourself sleep, time out or if you’re feeling guilty for not having spent any time with your kids. Having a stress management practice in place, like exercise, being outside or mindfulness practice is also crucial. You’ll have a greater capacity for creativity and will be less likely to burn out.

Who is your business idol? Why?

My dad – he didn’t set up a business but he ran a major record label, so had a lot of corporate responsibilities. Despite his workload, he was an incredibly present dad, always having time to play or read with me every evening after work, no matter how exhausted he was. He never brought work home, so I grew up believing his time was always my time. That was a great gift.

What motivates you?

Holidays. Having the opportunity to adventure, discover, learn, meet, taste, move and relax. I always feel like a child again when I’m travelling and exploring new places. It doesn’t matter if it’s camping in a neighbour’s field or trekking in Borneo, there’s always an adventure to be had, people to meet and new things to try.

How do you persevere through challenging times?

I will usually double down on stress management strategies and set firm work boundaries. Making sure I stick to healthy routines like walking the dogs, yoga and getting outside keeps me grounded and allows me to refocus.

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

Working full-time and raising happy, healthy kids is a juggling act and a daily commitment. Another big challenge is not being on the payroll, no monthly paycheck or guarantee you’ll be profiting enough to pay yourself within the first few years. It requires planning and the ability to forgo invitations and non-essential everything.

What is the best piece of advice you have received?

“You won’t go wrong if you mean well, and do everything with integrity.”

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

Yes, I am. And I think Covid has helped by forcing us to adapt to working from home, reinventing the workspace and eroding some of the predisposed gender behaviours we had. Whereas previously men will have gone to work and not seen the juggling act many women are doing at home or work (most likely both), it’s been a real eye-opener and grounds for more shared responsibilities. For women, I think it’s presented an opportunity to redefine how they want to work in future, with entrepreneurship being a real possibility.