How I do it: Vivy Yusof

The FashionValet co-founder, mother and reality TV star gives us a glimpse into how she manages to achieve so much in just 24 hours

By ELLE Malaysia | Published: 26 Aug 2016

HIDI: Vivy Yusof
Photo: Vivy Yusof

I wake up at 6am, do my morning prayers, then check my emails – that's the first thing I do, even before I brush my teeth. Then I wake my kids – that's always a difficult task! Both my husband and I will send them to school together. My morning is usually a rush and I have a reputation for being late to school. I am always rushing in. Then sometimes my husband and I will stop and have breakfast somewhere together before reaching the office. For breakfast I'm a very Asian girl. I'm not a fan of Western food like my husband – he likes scrambled eggs or a full English breakfast. I just like bread, toast. The bad thing is I usually skip breakfast as we're in a rush. If we go out I'll have nasi lemak or roti canai. 

FashionValet's editorial website (Photo: Vivy Yusof)

When we started, my husband and I did a bit of everything – orders, dispatch in the warehouse, everything. But now the company is more structured, and we have a clear division of his role and mine. My role is PR and marketing, buying, meeting designers. I go out a lot, I do interviews and shoots, I meet designers. At the the same time I always keep in touch with the team. I call someone from the team to have lunch with me. Keeping in touch with my staff is very important to me. Since I'm out a lot I work very closely over Whatsapp with the group. I think there are no two days the same.  For now I travel a lot, because now we have offices in Singapore and Jakarta and we're opening in Brunei. At most we take 2 days away as I don't want to be away from the kids for too long. We also have the reality show, Love, Vivy now too, so on shoot days I'll be busy with that. I love my job!

Innai Red's moodboard for KLFWRTW 2016 (Photo: VivyYusof)

I wear makeup every day. My skin is very sensitive so I have to always wash it. I've only recently started wearing moisturiser 'cause I'm getting older! I guess I hide a lot behind my sunnies. That's a tip! I drink a lot of water through the day too, I guess that helps because I don't really eat veggie or sleep much.

Every day is different but usually I leave work around 7pm and my husband and I go home and have dinner with our kids. I love cooking – though it's not that nice! – or I would go and have dinner outside with my husband, a date night thing. If I cook at home I make a point everyone has to sit at the table together. My kids go to bed late, 11pm sometimes, because I want to see them and spend time with them! My thing with my kids is I read with them. I won't miss that. They have their favourite books and we read, then they sleep and I have some time alone with my husband. We like to watch comedy, to have a laugh, maybe New Girl or things like that. In terms of the amount of sleep I get, it's never fixed. Sometimes I sleep at 2am, sometimes 3am. It's always past midnight. But that's my quiet time when I can actually blog or write, and unwind.

On set (Photo: Vivy Yusof)

I don't have any knowledge of finance or accounting, so this might sound very basic, but the number one thing I have learned is that you really to have a plan. That's something my husband is really good at. How he sets the targets is, he says, 'Okay I want to make X amount of million this year,' so then he breaks it down into 12 months, then he knows the peak seasons and works backwards, so you know your target every month. He is very logical. I'm the type that dives in! I'm very impatient, I'm the exact opposite of my husband. So it's good to have the balance we have. I couldn't do it without him and he couldn't do it without me.

The first thing I'd say is to not lie to yourself. When you're an entrepreneur, everything changes. Your whole life becomes about your business. Especially if you have a family and kids, it's going to get really tough as it all depends on you. A lot of people think it's very sexy or cool to be an entrepreneur right now but actually, when people ask me, I say you don't have to follow the trend. Being an entrepreneur is not the only way to define success. A lot of young people feel the pressure to follow. If you don't feel you have the determination or are willing to sacrifice everything you won't succeed. Secondly, know your flaws. You need someone to complement them. Either they become your partner or you hire them.

Vivy on holiday with her family in Melbourne (Photo: Vivy Yusof)

My motto is 'Do not fear anything but God'. It's nice to have faith in a power greater than you. If things are meant for you, then no other competitor or person can take them away. If it's not meant for you, then God has a greater plan. In e-commerce, it's a fast pace, anyone can set up a website overnight. We've had Western companies with huge resources come in, and lots of new competition... I think if it wasn't for this principle of mine I would have found it a lot tougher.

My dad is tough, he's more a disciplinarian. He always tells me and my sister, "Never be comfortable. You always have to work hard and innovate and be better, better, better." He still says if I don't get number one he won't come for the award ceremony. He's like, "98 per cent? Hmmm." My mum is more spiritual. She says it's rezeki, what God wants to give you he will. He's got your back. So it's a good balance.

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