I love reading articles about the average day of a really successful person. They are designed to make you relate to their subject, but still remain in awe of them. Such articles convey a picture that is very clear though probably untrue, of what this particular person does with their days and how they go about doing it.
Successfully combining the humble human with the super human, reconciling the professional with the personal self, showing a sign of normality in the middle of grandeur...
They go something like this:
Mrs X gets up at 5 a.m. and starts her day with sizzling hot water and lemon. After a ten-mile run, she makes breakfast for her husband and four kids. Mrs X says that this is the best part of her day -- sharing a meal with her entire family and that despite appearances (always immaculate), she only takes about 20 minutes to get ready.
The kids are dropped off at school by her husband ("He is a wonderful father -- so hands on" -- she says as she sips her mint tea from a beautiful Wedgewood cup in her designer warehouse office in an up-and-coming part of town) while she gets to the office for 8 a.m. By the time she is in the office she's already gone through her emails ("Everyone knows I start the day early, so they get into work before me and email me with ideas and updates immediately"), responded and spoken to her assistant about her schedule for the day.
"As soon as I get in I have a quick 30 minute meeting with my top team, to discuss the day ahead. Everyone will say what they did the day before and what they set out to do today and we will talk about any issues anyone might have. I try to keep it short and efficient so everyone has to stand in the meeting and leave their mobiles outside of my office. I find that this really makes people focused and present" -- claims animatedly Mrs X, elegantly perched on the edge of her chair while she gently flicks her perfect, silky mane.
After taking the meetings scheduled for the morning, at 1 pm comes time for lunch. Unless she has an appointment for lunch with a business partner, Mrs X usually takes her lunch at her desk.
"I don't eat much for lunch. I am lucky enough to have our personal chef send me lunch most of the days. Of course, all produce that he uses is organic and naturally sources. We really try to teach our kids that as well, how important it is to eat well. So I will normally just have a salad, or some fish as that kind of food makes me more energized after lunch."
The afternoon is usually taken up by visits to her showroom, where Mrs X really pays attention to every detail. Still, a day doesn't go by without at least a dozen phone calls with her husband. While they are both lead really busy lives, Mr and Mrs X constantly keep track of each other's days and make sure they spend some quality time together.
Mrs X leaves the office at 6 pm. She is notoriously punctual and disciplined and, as her assistant quietly tells me, she expects a lot from those that work with her.
"That's because she gives 120 percent at all times. She wants to work with people like that and while it may be a lot for some, for those of us that can measure up the rewards are immeasurable. I mean, just to work with a person like that every day it so rewarding, you learn so much" - she says in one breath.
The evenings are normally reserved for dinner or an event she must attend. Despite being a mother of four and head of her own empire, Mrs X finds the time to do a lot of charity work which often includes organizing galas to raise funds for all the organizations she supports and even runs.
"My husband and I really prefer not to talk about it." - she says, with a hint of annoyance. "We do what we do to help those that are less fortunate not to get space in the media. I think we have quite enough of that already."
With that our day together comes to an abrupt end. Mrs X thanks me for my time and makes sure I can get to where I need to go next. She apologizes -- she must dash to her son's school for the annual school play -- something she says she wouldn't miss for the world. And just for a brief moment, you can see she is just a human -- like the rest of us. But as she gets into her chauffeur-driven car, I can smell her expensive perfume and I remember that though she may be just a human, she is an exceptional one at that.
Do you buy this sort of stuff?
Or do you think: Who are they kidding?
What sort of an image would an article about your day portray? And how realistic would it be?