Uncommon Wisdom: Vassilena Valchanova
“Uncommon Wisdom” is about sharing those habits or stories that we wouldn’t normally think to share. There’s so much talk about morning routines and self-care practices these days but a lot of it can seem kind of superficial or maybe just predictable and repetitive. This is why we asked a bunch of high-performing creatives and entrepreneurs a few questions about awareness, energy, and productivity. We wanted to learn something a bit more unexpected, and here’s what we found out.
Who is Vassilena Valchanova?
Vassilena is a digital marketing strategist, trainer, and speaker. She has close to 15 years of experience in marketing strategy, content marketing, funnel building, and CRO for e-commerce and SaaS businesses. She has worked with brands like LG Electronics, DELL, Razer, Ozone.bg, Inoreader, and Enhancv. Her expertise lies in the B2C field and has been applied to SaaS products with more than 500,000 registered users and e-commerce stores ranging up to €12,000,000 in annual turnover. In her daily work, she serves as the hands-on expert and the consultant, but also the trainer. Her ambition is to “fire herself” by working with clients’ teams to first build a robust strategy and then transfer the knowledge for optimizing and improving marketing actions to the in-house team. In her spare time, she organizes popular science events with Ratio, teaches content marketing and growth at SoftUni, and authors a blog on digital strategy and growth.
#1. What's something unexpected or uncommon that made you more aware?
Weightlifting. I guess it’s still seen as an uncommon answer from a girl. Working up to deadlifting my own weight showed me how my body moves. It proved how little attention we pay to the way we make our muscles work on a daily basis – and how, if you do pay attention, amazing things can happen.
#2. What's something unexpected or uncommon that gives you energy?
Public speaking energizes me like nothing else. I feel like you get the same from the performing arts (judging based on a dozen years of drama classes). But there’s also the joy of passing on knowledge and experience. And there’s the kick of seeing your imprint on someone else’s mind.
#3. What's something unexpected or uncommon that makes you more productive?
Handwriting is the best form of task management. When you need to move one unfinished task from today to tomorrow, there are a few extra seconds that give you the space to think, “If I didn’t do this today and no one was worse off, do I still need to do it?” And, of course, ticking a box with a fountain pen is a much better way to celebrate a task done than simply tapping on your phone.
#4. What does your morning ritual look like?
I’m definitely an early bird and I like starting my day around 6am. During wintertime when the sun is still not up, I usually meditate or jump on my spinning bike for half an hour. If it’s already summer and there’s some light out, I’ll go out for a run. In any case, I try to be done with all that by 7am so that I can have breakfast together with my partner. We don’t talk much during this time – usually each one is occupied with something – but it’s still nice to enjoy the morning together. My new favorite thing during the morning is my Chemex coffee maker. It takes more time to prepare my coffee than just firing up the espresso machine, but the meditative feel to it helps me center my thoughts. During breakfast I read a book or watch a marketing course. It gets my brain going and ready for the day. And I’m learning something new each day. I’m all done and ready for my work day to start at 8am. I usually take these morning hours to do some deep work – write, plan, or do research. Calls and meetings come after noon unless it’s an emergency.
#5. What does your evening ritual look like?
Evenings are much less structured than my mornings. The only thing that’s sure is that I’ll generally be in bed by 10:30pm and asleep by 11:00. I’ll try to read a book but I’m very bad at reading in bed – I fall asleep almost immediately. I try to finish work around 6pm. I love cooking and the same thing is true for my partner, so there’s often a fight who will be cooking that evening. We prepare some food, get a glass of wine and watch a movie or a favorite series. At least 2 nights a week I’ll spend some time writing blog posts for my own website or work on my newsletter. It’s still “work”, but there’s a ton of fun there, too. The creative process makes it a great way to end the day.
You can find Vassilena at @vasvalch
Show us some love:
The world’s first holistic productivity tool. Translate your long-term vision into daily priorities. Awera fuels your personal growth with powerful data-driven recommendations.