A day in the life of Startup Guide’s growth hacker

4 min read
06 Mar 2019

ver wonder what a typical day is like for someone who works at a startup? For Carla Napoleão, Startup Guide’s Lisbon-based growth hacker who works on the company’s digital projects, each day is different from the next.

This is the first in a series of articles which look at a day in the life of the team members at Startup Guide.

The early bird catches the worm

My day starts at 7 am, if not ten minutes earlier, since sometimes my brain has its own alarm clock. At 7:01, I’m out of bed and into my wardrobe.

While I get ready and pack my laptop, I’m thinking that I should hurry and try to catch the 7:43 am train. This is the last train in the morning heading to Lisbon that isn’t too terribly packed (commuting while pressed next to others like sardines is bloody impossible).

What a one hour commute looks like

My commute is when my work day really starts. Since I live near the town of Sintra west of Lisbon, it takes me an hour to get to the office (which is located in a coworking space in the Beato neighborhood). I open Slack when I arrive at the train station to see if there are any updates. Our Copenhagen team starts their day early.

On the train I browse newsletters. First up on the list today is New York Times’ Morning Europe Edition newsletter. In the morning I mostly like to get my daily dose of world news first – other days, it’s tech.

Twitter is a must during my commute. I can’t wait to see what happened on Facebook while I was asleep. On this particular morning, I read an article on Wired about Facebook and Apple’s feud with the new data scandal and why it was so invasive.  

After my train ride, I head to the subway and then take the bus. By this time, the Startup Guide team has already posted a few messages on Slack. I check messages and respond. I also share some interesting links in our “cool hunting” Slack channel for some inspo to start the day.

Lists I can’t live without

Looks like I’m the first to get to the office. I turn on the lights, put the FLYTE lamps in their place in our store (find out how our offices turned into stores here) and open my laptop. The first thing I do is check my to-do list with Notion, a note-taking app. A coffee and croissant from Copenhagen Coffee Lab down the street set me up for the day. This is my quiet time.

When my colleague Vera arrives, we do our usual morning check-in. She always asks “Are you ready to have a wonderful day?” Usually, I respond with a  “Yes!” We tell each other what we plan to do for the day and end the conversation with a laugh.

Headphones on, let’s get some work done

Time to check Startup Guide’s social media accounts and respond to our audience. If we have ads running on Facebook, this is my go-to task in the morning. I also like to see how our website performed the day before via Google Analytics.

Around 11:30 am I’m usually done with smaller things and bring out the big guns in tackling some bigger tasks. I begin by finishing the SEO tasks for our membership website and then create a brief for our copywriter, Brendan, about some of our upcoming marketing campaigns.

I also typically have a quick check-in with the content team in Berlin, as they might have a new article to publish on the website.

Neighborhood lunch

By the time I look up from my screen again, it’s lunchtime. Today I’m going with some of my colleagues to the best restaurant in our neighborhood, Gosturuzas. It serves cheap, homecooked meals and a bowl of soup is only €1!

Varied afternoons

Back at the office, and this afternoon we have visitors. I see a few more faces in the coworking area that I didn’t catch in the morning. Scheduling social media posts for the day is done, so I start on bigger projects like developing the newsletter strategy and working on the paid media and analytics reports for the website.

I might share more links in the “cool hunting” Slack channel and participate in a conversation on some newsworthy topic. In recent weeks the team has been discussing our digital media business model and big tech privacy issues, which I find especially interesting.

I might listen to a few of my favorite podcasts. Then I check Asana, a platform that helps organizations organize their work, multiple times (my email account is 60 percent Asana notifications).

Normally I don’t take many breaks. I’m quite intense and like to be in my zone.

A quieter commute

Out of the office and onto the train for the commute home! Startup Guide has an amazing collection of books and magazines and I’m on a mission to read most of them. Right now, I’m reading On being nice, a book from the School of Life collection. Its insightful content helps me calm down and reflect after a busy day in front of a screen. I really enjoy this time.

Catching some Z’s

When I get home later in the evening, I have dinner and wash dishes to relax. By midnight or even closer to 1 am, I’m scrolling on my phone to see what else is up on Instagram and Twitter. I may end up reading a few more pieces on Wired or Medium.

When I eventually close my eyes, I reflect on the day and how much my life has changed in a year (I joined Startup Guide almost a year ago). I’m excited for a brand new day that awaits me.