Welcome to The 6 a.m. CFO, where finance chiefs share how they jump-start their days and engage with the tasks that are in front of them.
Today, Everphone's Dr. Veronika von Heise-Rotenburg shares her morning pet routine, where she gets the herbs for her daily homemade teas, and how a narrow focus relieves her work-related stress.
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Everphone supplies, updates, repairs, replaces, and recycles corporate smartphones and tablets serving as a one-stop shop for enterprise customers.
Size: 300 in Berlin, Munich, and Miami
Growth: 110% YOY
Weekday wake up time and first thing I like to do: Pet the cats (if they’re sleeping in my bed), get up, clean up after the cats, empty the dishwasher, feed the cats and hand out medication to our handicapped one, feed the chicken, and go running.
As I have been a streak runner since 2018, this is my most important to-do outside of work.
Coffee, tea, or other morning beverage choice:
1st — Matcha latte with cashew milk and vanilla while cleaning up and preparing pet food.
2nd — Tea. Brewed when I leave for running so that it’s nearly cold and ready to drink when I come back.
3rd — Ongoing during the day: regularly brewed tea in a big teapot. I drink all sorts, but mostly my own “brand,” which consists of seven herbs I collect from my garden and the woods around the house.
Workday start time: When I’m not traveling, 7:30-8:00 a.m.
How I usually spend the first hour of my day: Organizing and preparing for meetings, and answering emails and LinkedIn messages.
Time I send out my first email: 2 a.m. or so. If I wake up and there is something in my inbox, I can answer it quickly. Otherwise, whenever I start working.
Best advice for writing an effective email:
KISS – Keep it simple, stupid.
Start with a compelling subject.
Tell the most important information first — and then go into the details.
Include a clear ask (at the beginning or at the end, ideally highlighted and with a timeframe) of what you need the other person to do.
First dashboard I review: Depends on my most urgent question of the day. Usually, shippings of the month, or P&L.
How I structure my morning meetings: Depends — Usually, we have an agenda or it's a 1-1, for which we have a topic list.
Mid-morning snack of choice: None — intermittent fasting rocks. :-)
Leadership and Inspiration
Favorite quote or mantra: “Ask for forgiveness, not for permission.”
Favorite leadership lesson: If someone else thinks you’re ready for the job, you probably are (even if you don’t feel it).
Growth happens outside of your comfort zone, and it’s so important to have someone to push you out of your comfort zone.
Something important to know about me that you wouldn’t know from my business bio: I have danced and taught Argentine tango a lot.
I love cooking and eating vegan food.
I once ran a lot and am currently training to achieve my comeback as an ultramarathon runner.
What was the last job you did at your company that fell outside your traditional scope of work:
Pretty regularly — doing the dishes.
Sometimes — cooking food/baking cakes for our Munich office (Sorry, Berlin — my kitchen there is just so small!).
Most unusual — taking home and repotting our plants when we moved offices.
Can you share one way in which you have learned to manage work-induced stress: Just focusing on everything that my team and I have already solved. So, I have a deep conviction that this situation/problem that feels so heavy will pass, too.
Favorite number: None, really.
Most noteworthy items in my workspace: Clean desk, so usually I bring my laptop, cell phone, airpods, and a tea mug.
If I’m at home, the cat usually sleeps on my lap or above the desk on the windowsill.
Do you have a pet sitting in your office right now: In my home office, yes, of course.
In the Berlin office, we have plenty of dogs, but unfortunately, none on my floor. I go downstairs for cuddles, though.
Favorite app on my phone that is not related to business: LinkedIn for quick commenting during travel.
Audible for listening to both business and fiction books.
When do you take time for learning/reading:
- Learning — often podcasts, so when I run or travel.
- Reading — evening/weekends mostly for books, in-between times for newspapers (all digital, of course).