A behind-the-scenes look at the glamorous lifestyle and morning routine of the world’s best unfamous gay writer, YouTuber, and entrepreneur, Michael Noker.
A Day in the Life of a Solopreneur
In this post, I’m going to tell you why I don’t read my emails or check my mentions anymore. And why you shouldn’t, either.
But first, let’s do a rundown of my day.
My Morning Routine
4 AM. I wake up. Not to do yoga or to watch the sunrise or sit on a fancy patio in Los Angeles with my coffee and my laptop. Rather, I’m parked outside a strip club on El Paso’s east side, waiting to give one of my regular clients – a dancer – a ride home.
Sometimes, when you’re not that funny and your life isn’t that interesting, a career in comedy and social media means also driving for Uber so you don’t starve to death or end up living out of your car. As much as I’ve considered going the homeless route, AT&T said they won’t install wifi for a bridge.
From here, my day turns into a “choose your own adventure” free-for-all. If my client decides that she wants to go get food or run errands, we do that. Because I’m too broke to say no. On our worst days, I listen to her coked-out ramblings for 30 minutes silently cursing the day I was born. Generally, I get home around sunrise, or 6:30 AM.
I usually feel like I’ve been hit by a truck because I’m running on about two hours of sleep, so I often crash into my bed and hope that an additional three hours will get rid of the dark circles and general despair.
If I’m wired, sometimes I’ll drive for Uber for the morning rush.
11 AM. This is usually wake-up time. For a while, this was when I’d check my email, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube comments, etc. But not anymore. More on that later.
Once I’m coherent, I shower because I don’t want to continue with my day until I look and smell less disgusting. This is often when I get my daily cry in and shake my knuckles at God while I contemplate whether any of this will ever, in fact, be worth it. Sometimes I get an idea for a video.
My Afternoon Routine
Noon. This is when normal people would eat lunch, but it’s usually when I get back on my laptop and start working out a plan for the rest of the day. I usually film videos around this time (once my hair is dry) or wrap up editing on a blog post. Sometimes, I take myself the right amount of seriously and start planning a future project that will be on-trend and work out some keyword research for it.
3 PM. I’m hungry. I check my bank account balance and my monthly earnings for AdSense, Amazon, Patreon, and Zazzle to see if I can afford to eat today. Food can wait. Lately, my client has chosen to disrupt this time period by calling me to ask me to bring her lunch. Again – too broke to say no.
3:01 PM. Generally, I start putting my final touches on whatever I’m posting today. This means getting my graphics ready and planning out any social media posts I want to make. Most of the time, this content is scheduled to post automatically because I’m generally out of the house (read: driving for a client or for Uber) by the time it’s live.
RELATED: Should You Tip Your Uber Driver?
On bad days, this is when I become tragically overwhelmed by the futility of existence and resort to a binge. Right now, that means Jack in the Box curly fries and Gossip Girl. On good days, this is when I can crank out a blog post, upload a video, design a t-shirt, write 10 blog comments, schedule my social media posts for the next few days, and catch up on my emails (hold on… we’re almost there).
My Evening Routine
7 PM. My client generally calls and lets me know what time to pick her up to take her to work. This is usually around 8 PM, although most nights this then changes to 9:30, then 8:30, then 9.
9 PM. I go to pick up my client, wait 20-45 minutes for her to get her shit together, then drop her off at work. I get home around 10 PM if I’m lucky.
10 PM. I eat, then tell myself that I’m tired, that rest is important, and that tonight is the night that I actually get a full night’s sleep. Upon laying down and tossing and turning for 45 minutes, I get up and attempt to get work done. Sometimes, this means doing all the things I was supposed to do during the afternoon (I’m writing this at 2:30 AM. What’s up?). Other times, it means rewarding myself for a job well done with some Netflix. Most days, it means following up a wasted afternoon with a wasted overnight. If I’m being honest.
3 AM. Regardless of whether I’m asleep, in the middle of movie night, or tapping away on my laptop, this is when my alarms begin to go off at 15-minute intervals. Each time, I check my text messages and eagerly await the moment when I get to go pick up the stripper, take her to her hotel, and spend a couple hours curled up under my cozy covers.
My Bedtime Routine
Glamorous, isn’t it?
Why I Stopped Checking My Email (And you should too)
There’s a fairly common thread throughout the above post, right? That I’m a bit of a hot mess, in a bit of a rut, creatively and motivation-wise, and that I seem to have a lot of very bad days? The thing about being self-employed is that bad days still need to be productive.
Frankly, there’s not enough time to do everything I need to get done. Not even if I work 24/7 at my highest output. I can’t conquer the world on the timeline that I try to hold myself to.
I touched on that, a bit, in my video from last week. Watch it if you’d like.
Basically, time is of the essence every single day. Obviously, we can’t work at our full capacity all day every day. We need breaks. And as entrepreneurs, we need to take the time to remind ourselves why we’re doing what we’re doing.
I don’t have a boss breathing down my neck. Nobody is going to fire me. But I do have rent (and about a dozen other bills) hanging over my head. And I have to spend as much time figuring out how I’m going to make money as I do actually making the money.
That’s the bad part of self-employment. Half of your time is uncompensated because it’s spent trying to find someone who’s going to compensate you. It gets overwhelming.
So I stopped checking my emails in the morning. I also don’t check social media until I’ve already accomplished several of the things I need to do.
I didn’t make an active choice to stop checking my email as a first step to every day. It happened naturally.
I picked up #GIRLBOSS at Barnes and Noble recently and started reading it. It’s an excellent book, but it’s hard to read. Don’t get me wrong: I wouldn’t change a damn thing about it. But I can’t get through more than a quarter of a chapter without feeling the fire burning under my ass.
It’s the most inspiring fucking thing I’ve ever read. And as soon as I turn a couple pages, I have to get going on something.
(Yeah. It’s that good. So why the fuck are we still talking about Jim Rohn?)
So I started reading that first thing in the morning. By the time I become aware of what time it is, I’ve already crossed a dozen things off my to-do list (along with several additions). Then I reach a stopping point, I catch my breath, and I remember that I have an inbox.
That’s how I’m getting out of this rut. That’s what I recommend to you if you find yourself where I am. Find something that inspires you to do great things and then make that your first priority. Don’t read this shit at bedtime (I know you do). Never read it when you’re stuck away from your laptop or notebook. Don’t waste a slay queen moment when you can’t capitalize on it.
Choose your moments.
And read #GIRLBOSS. Thank me later.