How I spend my working day – digital entrepreneur Dervla Louli Musgrave

Dervla Louli Musgrave designed her own dream job. As founder of Compare Retreats, a luxury wellness travel discovery and booking platform, she gets to visit some of the most luxurious holiday locations around the globe. The Irish born, but Hong Kong based businesswoman talks us through an average working day. 


Having cut her teeth as digital editor of Hong Kong Tatler and director of integrated content at Edipresse Media Asia, Dervla founded Compare Retreats two years ago. Since then she has travelled the world, curating a platform of luxurious wellness retreats. “The connection between social platforms and e-commerce hasn’t hit the travel sector yet and we’re hoping to change that.”

She has moderated events at The British Chamber of Commerce, Hong Kong University and Swire Hotels, and was the youngest panel member invited to speak at the Goldman Sachs’ International Luxury Conference in 2013. Somewhere along the way, she found the time to become a certified yoga teacher and is a contributing digital editor at Vogue Hong Kong.

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Dervla Louli Musgrave, founder of Compare Retreatsa luxury wellness travel discovery and booking platform.

I wake at…
Usually 7am during the week. However, this morning was a 5.30am wake up call for a Pilates class with an investor at 6.30am. I'm in the middle of fundraising for my wellness travel company Compare Retreats and a lot of meetings happen during and post workout.

The first thing I do every morning is…
Check CompareRetreats.com, iced coffee, workout, check retreat enquiries.

 Enter now: IMAGE Businesswoman of the Year 2019

 

Breakfast is usually…
Emails.

I can’t go to work without…
My blue Smythson notebook, laptop and phone.

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Deciding what to wear each morning is…
Interesting... one side of my wardrobe is black and the other a kaleidoscope.

The best investment I ever made in my work wardrobe was…
A DKNY midi black sleeveless dress with a high neck, Prada black ballet flats and a Louis Vuitton black Epi leather tote.

I travel to work by…
Uber if I’m going uphill to my office from a workout class or walking if I'm going downhill from home. Hong Kong's Central slopes are so steep there's an escalator going through the centre of the city.

I start my working day at…
Because bookings come in from all over the world at all times of day there’s no real ‘start’ or ‘finish’ to my working day, but that’s exactly how I like it. The team usually meets in our Hong Kong HQ at 9 or 10am.

 

I usually spend the first portion of the day…
Getting the most urgent tasks out of the way.

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I break for lunch at…
Around 1pm. I usually have something light lunch. But if I’m short on time I’ll have some coffee.

I think meetings are…
Critical for big projects and to keep everything moving forward, but we don't schedule them in advance and have them when needed on an ad hoc basis.

Buy tickets: Gala event, Nov 25 2019

 

The most useful business tool I use every day is…
Dropbox and Google Calendar.

I save time by…
Not being a bottleneck in the workflow process and always being available to my colleagues so they can get things done efficiently and easily.

I rarely get through my working day without…
Sending 5 million WhatsApp messages.

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The best part of my day is…
Coming home to my husband and dog.

The most challenging part of my day is…
Not having enough hours to do everything I want to.

I know it’s been a good day if I…
Every day is a good day.

I usually end my day at…
Midnight (I’m writing this at 11.55pm).

I switch off from work by…
Never.

Before I go to bed, I’ll always…
Tell my dog Clive he's the most handsome dog in Hong Kong.

I often prepare for tomorrow by…
Checking my Google Calendar, laying out my workout clothes and packing my bag for work.

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Read more: Stories from inspiring Irish women

Read more: Enter the IMAGE Businesswoman of the Year 2019

Read more: Buy tickets to this year's gala event on November 25

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