The Morning Routine Of A Brand Story Strategist and Copywriter
Hey! I’m Ché Elizaga Castro (pronounced “Shea” like the Butter, not Guevara). I believe you were made to come alive in your unique gifts + audacious vision, and that the best way to do this is through telling better stories — to yourself, and to others. That is why I founded Come Alive Co: a Brand Story Copywriting Studio unlocking impact-driven women to show up fully, stand out as the authority + scale up business their way.
As an award-winning Brand Story Strategist and Copywriter, I spent the last 15+ years guiding household names like Toyota, GoDaddy x the Super Bowl, and will.i.am to great growth. Through this experience, I crafted Your Breakthrough Brand Story: the first female-led Brand Story framework proven to drive deeper customer loyalty and sales through a more human approach to marketing.
When I’m not guiding female founders to come alive in their gifts + vision, you can find me sipping oat milk lattes, dancing to ANY beat, or chasing down this world’s most awe-inspiring sunsets with my ER nurse hunk of a husband.
Curious about Brand Story? I’ve got a FREE Guide for you: 3 Steps to a Brand Story That Sells. Get it here: www.comealive.co/email
What time do you wake up in the morning and how do you wake up?
I’d like to impress you and say 6 a.m., but I’ve been ranging between 8 and 10. I’m flexible based on the schedule of the previous day; entrepreneurship, after all, is all about energy management.
My alarm rings with the song “Nobody Love” by Tori Kelly, because as a music and dance lover I’ve got to start the day off right with upbeat sounds. That said, I’m never really fully awake until I get some Vitamin D on my face as I stand by the window.
What’s your go-to morning beverage?
Water, water, water. Our bodies can get so dehydrated after a night of sleep, so chugging a glass of water in the morning helps get your system going. I like to mix my water with Athletic Greens: a powder chock-full of nourishing supplements.
All that said, I love my coffee. Some days, I can’t even start work if I don’t have a delicious oat milk latte in hand, preferably from my favorite local coffee shop James Coffee.
Over quarantine, however, I’ve really enjoyed soaking in slow mornings with a homemade matcha. This act is really meditative, and it’s so rewarding to have a delicious drink as a result of making it yourself. My go-to is Ippodo Tea: an authentically Japanese-owned matcha and the best I’ve ever had.
What’s on your bedside table?
My charging phone, some books, and clothes I’ve yet to put away (ha!). I try to decompress from screens at least an hour before bed and dive into a book. Keyword: try.
Do you prepare for your mornings the night before? If so, how?
Totally! “If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail,” is what I imagine my parents would’ve drilled into my head if they were super strict.
I took a high-performance coaching course with Karissa Kouchis (KK), Tony Robbins’ youngest female coach (and a dynamo, at that), who instilled in me a weekly preparation routine. At the beginning of each week, my husband and I plot out our weeks together and communicate how we can support one another, depending on whose week is more packed, through meal prep and cleaning. Most importantly, we make sure to prioritize FUN and self-care for ourselves, plus a weekly date night so we can connect.
We call this act BWEP (“Bee-Wep”): Best Week Ever Planning.
The night before each weekday I review my tasks for the next day, along with my goals and values for the week. This helps me know what I need to accomplish, while keeping me grounded in the bigger picture.
What are your skincare/body care rituals?
I never used to be a skincare type of gal, until I got into my 30’s. I’m obsessed with washing my face every night and morning before applying either night cream or SPF moisturizer. I love my Goldfaden eye cream, which I use to soften and help shrink these hereditary eye bags I’ve had since I was a baby!
My latest hack to feelin’ good and looking great in this area is my gua sha: a massage tool that helps improve circulation (and just feels darn good!). I bought mine from Simply Jess Skincare, and I really love the quality of her gua sha tool and all her facial products.
For body care, I enjoy working out with the Obe Fitness app. I cycle between yoga, dance, and strength training, which makes me feel strong. Quarantine really led me to include walks at sunset, either in my neighborhood or at a gorgeous San Diego beach. To relax, I love me a nice bathtub soak with Himalayan salts and lavender, as well as a bimonthly massage to treat myself!
What does your morning routine flow look like?
I’m obsessed with my morning routine! I used to be a “roll out of bed and into work late” type of gal, until working for myself and seeing how much a solid morning routine really enables better work throughout my day.
Here is a typical workday:
8 a.m. Wake up. Open my eyes; thank God I’m still here; reflect on what I’m looking forward to that day, and most importantly ask what I need to succeed.
As women, we often tend to everyone else’s needs before even looking at our own. Asking yourself what YOU need before letting everyone else’s needs weigh you down is key to running a business with longevity, sustainably.
8:08 a.m. Make the bed
8:10 a.m. Gotta chug that water to get the system goin’!
8:13 a.m. Change into workout clothes and strap on my FitBit: my work from home outfit of 2020-2021, plus a constant reminder to get my body moving.
8:15 a.m. Brush my teeth andwash my face with face wash and apply my SPF moisturizer, both from Proven SkincareProven Skincare: a woman-owned skincare line backed by science. It’s always nice to massage your cheeks or jawline here, which tend to hold so much tension!
8:20 a.m. After I wash my face I sit in front of my mirror with my hand on my heart and lovingly speak declarations over myself. Similar to affirmations, these statements declare identity and worthiness over myself so I start each day from an overflow; not having to earn love (the marks of an Enneagram Wing 3), but knowing I’m inherently valuable and loved.
8:25 a.m. If I’m feeling in a funk or somewhat tired, I’ll move myself into joy. I have a Dance Playlist created by my artist friend Sam I love grooving to, so I’ll put on a feel-good song and get to dancing about alone, or with my husband :) It’s such a fun way to welcome the day!
8:30 a.m. Go downstairs and immediately stretch. I’m finding how important it is to move your body first thing in the morning. I do a vinyasa flow 2x to stretch out my body.
8:40 a.m. Based on what I’m feelin’ that day, I’ll cycle through a various list of activities. I’m not one for strict rules, so allowing myself the freedom to pick a few activities is freeing, and fun. These activities include:
Journaling – dumping out feelings I’m processing to free up more headspace
Reading my Bible or listening to scripture on audio. Connecting with my Maker gives me so much more peace and perspective for my day.
Writing out a gratitude list to center myself
Going for a jog, to get my body moving in the sunshine, and admiring nature along the way
9:15 a.m. Now that my body, soul and mind are charged, my hubby or I will cook a delicious breakfast, ranging from peanut butter toast; an egg with toast and a vegetable like kale; or — my favorite — a homemade breakfast burrito featuring sausage, eggs, hash brown, greens, and salsa wrapped up lovingly in a gluten-free tortilla.
9:50 a.m. Before heading into work I read my Legacy Statement, which I teach in my Breakthrough Brand Story Mastermind. It’s basically your obituary, which states the legacy you’ll leave by the time you’re gone. Reading this helps me tend to what’s important, not just urgent.
10:00 a.m. After a riveting morning (and possibly, chatting with my hubby over our morning meal), I get to work! How fun to start my days off slow, my way :)
When do you kick off your workday? And do you have any starting-work rituals?
I know this sounds late to some people, but I’ve found that slow mornings give me so much life, so I often don’t go into work until 10 a.m.
My office is in our home, which makes the morning commute quite stressless.
When I get into my office I thank God for the privilege to do meaningful work I love. I pull up the blinds to allow myself — and my beautiful but vain co-worker Perla the Pothos (plant) — to soak in the Southern California sun. I light my candle, open my computer, turn on lo-fi chillhop as background music as well as coffee shop background noise from Coffitivity: sounds I’ve missed when coffee shops closed on those of us who like working in that atmosphere.
I’m convinced that the energy and attitude you bring to your desk will transfer to the work you do and the people you interact with. This is why I relish in slow, me-first mornings.
How does your morning routine change on the weekends?
Okay, let’s be honest. I may be disciplined during the week to produce great work, but on the weekends, I kind of go HAM. I know this is bad, but in keeping it real, I sometimes don’t sleep ‘til 3 or even 5 a.m… scrolling TikTok as a means of just catching up with the world and giving myself a laugh or chance to decompress. That said, I tend to sleep in late on the weekends!
My Dad takes pride in being a night owl. It’s when he’s the most focused and creative. I used to wear that claim with pride, too, but the older I get the more tired I get… so I’m thinking I might try to scale back on my late-night scrolling soon; especially as the world is opening up and we finally get to hang out with our friends!
(If you’re reading this, send me a DM @comealive.co to see where I’m at. We can be accountability buddies.)
What does your mindset look like at the beginning of the day? Do you have any tips or tools for getting in a good mindset?
Yes! As mentioned above, it’s so important to move yourself into a state of rest, joy, and ease in order to work from an overflow.
Some days I’m excited for the tasks before me; other days, I wake up wondering if I’ll be able to do them right. Sometimes I’m straight up exhausted, from working hard or just an emotional dip, because entrepreneurship and the madness of the world this past year are enough to take a toll on anybody. Although most people see me in my most joyful state, this is something I fight for; not just wake up to naturally day after day.
This is why I’m so adamant about starting my mornings with activities that move me into rest, joy, and ease: from dancing to a song I love with my husband, to a yoga flow on the mat; journaling out my thoughts to spending time in prayer.