Krystle Church Working On Island

The Morning Routine Of An Island-Living CEO

Hello there! I’m Krystle Church, a Copywriter, Consultant, and the CEO of The KC Copy Studio, a boutique copywriting agency crafting research-back sales messaging for industry leaders and luxury brands. 

I started the first arm of the KC Brand in 2020 after quitting my 5th-Grade teaching job with just a broken keyboard and no Plan B. The business grew quickly to 6-figures in just 14 months thanks in a large part to using Day Rates to reduce my client workload. 

In 2021, I retired my partner from his job, moved us to Mauritius, our dream island in the tropics, and expanded our offerings to include mentorship opportunities for other copywriters and online service providers ready to scale, too.

I believe in building companies that are not only highly profitable – but fun, fulfilling, and freedom-filled! So every week you can catch a new episode of the Freedom Found Podcast for your latest copywriting, business, and mindset insights to help you create a life you can’t wait to wake up to. (Oh and I’ve been told my emails are bingeworthy, too.)

So, what’s it like being an island-living CEO? Let’s get into it!

What time do you wake up in the morning and how do you wake up?

Most days I let the sun stream in through the window and – wait, that doesn’t sound right… The sun comes up as early as 5:15 am here in Mauritius in the summer and I need a little more shuteye than that. I keep my blackout curtains drawn until I wake up to the sound of birds in nature from my alarm around 6:30. 

What’s on your bedside table?

Lavender hand cream from L’Occitane, my favorite. My wave sound machine, if ever the cats are too noisy to sleep. My phone charger, a glass of water, and current read – which right now, is The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller.

Do you prepare for your mornings the night before? If so, how?

I’ve learned that the best way for me to have a great day is to have a great night’s sleep. For me, that looks like no phone time after 8:00 pm, in bed by 9:45 pm, and setting my alarm after my wonderful partner takes a quick glance at my morning calendar and lets me know what time my first scheduled meeting is. 

This way I don’t open my calendar and start to think about everything happening the next day. We started this a few months ago and I love it! I don’t ask what the meeting is for or who it’s with to keep my brain disengaged from work and just make sure that I know when my first in-real-time obligation is.

What are your skincare/body care rituals?

I don’t do much in terms of skincare except apply sunscreen before my mornings outside and moisturizer on occasion.

What does your morning routine flow look like?

I think this is the part in our relationship where I should tell you something about me – I’m a snoozer. Yep. 

I tend to hit the snooze button 1-2 times in the morning and enjoy an extra cuddle with my man before I hop outta bed, pull back the curtains, and grab my bikini or yoga pants.

Most mornings I either grab my paddle board or put on my Nikes, head across the street to the beach, and take a 5k walk or paddle along the shore. I like to get my heart rate up but in all honesty, I stop a lot. Sometimes I sit and think about new, exciting ideas or directions for the brand, or something big-picture for life. But most often I just try to appreciate everything

It’s truly beautiful here: Turquoise waters, white-sand beaches, beautiful homes, palm trees. I try to be present – something that can be challenging with busy lives and businesses – and just enjoy the fact that I don’t have to head into my old teaching job and am right where I wanted to be just a few years ago. (Again, something that deserves reminding when you’re usually looking forward.)

I’m a huge audio-book lover so while I’m walking I usually listen to my latest non-fiction book or favorite podcast.

On the mornings I don’t head to the beach, I go to my favorite Vinyasa yoga class where my teacher can be counted on to challenge me to do something new and different than I have before. I always leave feeling clear-headed and ready for the day.

I then head home, make a smoothie and oatmeal, and eat breakfast with my partner in the sunroom. I either read my current novel or journal on what I’m grateful for, what I’m excited to help clients with, and what I’m working toward that day.

Then as I finish breakfast I’ll hop on Voxer and check-in with my coaching clients. We usually chat back and forth for a little while and then I head to my office to get started for the day (perhaps with a cheeky 20-minute stop at the piano on the way there). 

When do you kick off your workday? And do you have any starting-work rituals?

Part of living on an island far from North America where most of our KC Brand Clients are based means my schedule is varied throughout the week based on meetings scheduled.

(In case you didn’t know, Mauritius is a small island nation nestled near Madagascar and the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean. That means we have pristine beaches, perfect year-round weather, and gorgeous marine life, while we compromise on being a little further away from home and 9-5 compatible timezones.)

I usually start my workday between 7-9:30 depending on the day and my call schedule. Days that I have later meetings that start around 5:00 pm because of timezones are days where I’ll take a slow and relaxed morning and maybe even jump in around 11:00 am so I don’t end up over-working. 

When I first sit down at my desk I check in with my team via Slack to answer questions and get them anything they need to fulfill their day’s responsibilities. Then I prioritize my to-do list. I find that I have the most energy in the morning and evenings so I’ll use this time to focus on whatever big project we’re working on, a new idea, or reviewing copy for our KC Copy Studio clients so my most creative energy is used wisely.

I’ll save my inbox, and other click-tasks for later in the day.

How does your morning routine change on the weekends?

I’m usually up bright and early on a Saturday morning to go hiking, snorkeling, or otherwise exploring this beautiful country! My partner and I are pretty obsessed with climbing to the top of all the gorgeous volcanic mountains here and like to get up and going before the day gets ahead of us.

Sundays are usually slow and relaxed days where we head to our favorite beach with friends, tie our paddle boards to a perfectly-placed buoy, and talk, and laugh, and float until we’re tired of the sun. 

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?

Up until the time I sit down at my desk, I don’t check my phone.

I firmly believe that if you can control your mornings, you can control your day, and if you can control your day, you can control your weeks, your months, and your life. 

When I used to check my notifications in the morning, I’d usually feel stressed about something I needed to do or obligated to respond to messages before I’d spent time filling up my own cup first. Switching things up and creating a boundary for my own personal brain space every morning has been imperative to cultivating productive and positive days!

I also keep all notifications except from friends and family off during the day. So I manually have to go into apps to check on things (think: Instagram, Slack, Voxer, etc). This both helps with productivity so you don’t get unnecessarily pulled out of a certain task and into another and also in reducing the mental drain that can come when so many things are happening at once.

It might seem difficult at first, but I found that with just a couple of weeks of practice it became a new routine that’s now a must-do. 

What’s non-negotiable vs. what does an extra-luxurious morning look like?

Exercise is a requirement for me. When I get up and move my body right away, I step into my day on a clear and fresh note – the days I don’t start with yoga or a walk always feel like something’s missing so I stick to this pretty tightly.

And on many-a-luxurious occasion you can find me snorkeling down the beach with our neighborhood sea turtles or at the piano playing songs with my partner for an extra 30 or 45 minutes before we start work. Our top favs include anything from Disney, A Star is Born, and Damien Rice.

What would you like to improve with your mornings?

I’ve been slowly working toward waking up earlier. 6:00 am or earlier wake-up times are in my near future which means sunrise walks or extra time for snorkeling and paddle boarding shenanigans.

What’s your #1 recommendation to others who struggle with mornings?

Let me just say, I don’t subscribe to the idea that you need to master a morning routine or wake up at 5:00 am to be successful. I just think you need to create time and space to fill up your own cup. Whether that means you wake up before the rest of the house to hit the gym at 5:00 am (something one of my clients does every day before she sends her kids to school) or you get up at 9:00 am and kickstart the day with a journal session and your favorite pump-up playlist – YOU DO YOU.

Just don’t not prioritize filling up your own cup. Taking care of yourself first is the one thing you can do to set yourself up for helping others in a way that won’t drain your energy. And when your cup is full you can bring more support, positivity, and care into other people’s lives throughout your day.

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