A Day in the Career of…Katie Mythen Lynch, Co-Founder, FSTVLR & YAY Cork
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket is a mantra to live by for Katie Mythen Lynch. Alongside her partner in life and business, Johnny, Katie is steadily growing her Cork based media business alongside an events company hoping to put a unique spin on the Irish festival line-up.
Here’s a whistle stop tour through a day in the career of Katie.
What time do you usually get up and how do you start your day?
My alarm goes off at 6.30am and I usually spend a few minutes checking Yay Cork and FSTVLR.ie on my phone before getting up. I like to force myself into the gym first thing. Otherwise I’ll generally spend the day dreaming up fantastic new excuses for not going. I’m back at my desk, large hazelnut coffee in hand, by 7.45am.
Take us on a jaunt through your career to date…
I started off as a news reporter fresh out of college and I adored every second of it. Later I ended up writing and editing at various weekly newspapers and a few magazines before I decided to follow the readers and make the move into digital.
Working as News Editor at the Her Channel at Maximum Media for a few years put me right at the centre of that exciting world and I was totally hooked. I loved the immediacy of digital and the idea that everybody in the industry is always learning and growing, every day.
Still, I noticed most of the most popular lifestyle content was very Dublin-centric. Johnny (my husband and longtime business collaborator!) and I launched Yay Media and our first site, Yay Cork, in late 2017 and we haven’t looked back. Finally we felt we had an opportunity to create a brand with a persona and aesthetic that appealed to us. It was extremely exciting to discover that it appealed to our readers too.
This year we added FSTVLR to the mix.
Every day I make a new list. The day is not over until the list is cleared. At the very least, it allows you to chart your progress for the week.
What is FSTVLR?
At FSTVLR we run themed festivals across Ireland, with our online site, FSTVLR.ie, creating content designed to help the public discover unique festivals and inspire them to join in the fun.
The next event is NOURISH #YogaFSTVL, a week-long celebration of health, wellness and mindfulness from September 17th-23rd. There are already some fabulous events organised, including a whole day of yoga classes, workshops and discussions, to a fun pop-up yoga brunch at a coffee shop.
I’m really looking forward to going along to as many #YogaFSTVL events as I can pack in. You can register your business to take part here.
You have carved out a portfolio career for yourself, something many people dream of. What’s the trick to making it work?
I’ve always been happier when I’m multitasking. I feel better when my day is full to bursting. I really think you need to be okay with that if you want to run more than one business. Johnny and I also run Cool & Company, a custom wedding stationery design company we launched in 2014. There is always a last minute change to make for a client or a late delivery to sign for. It never ends.
I’m very serious about my lists and calendars. Every day I make a new list. The day is not over until the list is cleared. At the very least, it allows you to chart your progress for the week.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Even if you’re happy working for someone else full time, having a side hustle is good for your brain and your confidence.
How do you motivate yourself on days when your energy levels are lower?
Taking a few hours off is so important. When you work for yourself you never really clock off. If I’m running out of steam I’ll choose the fastest jobs on my list, get those done and head out for a long walk with the dog and a few podcasts (usually true crime). By the time I get back I’m usually ready to dive back in.
What’s the best bit of advice you’ve been given in your career?
Choose a job you enjoy – you’ll never work a day in your life.
Also, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Even if you’re happy working for someone else full time, having a side hustle is good for your brain and your confidence.
What’s the next step for FSTVLR and YAY Media?
It’s been a thrilling start for Yay Media. Yay Cork is firmly established itself as a brand that local readers trust and we hope to replicate that success in another location soon.
FSTVLR is going from strength to strength. The first ever national #DessertFSTVL made headlines all over the country this summer, #YogaFSTVL is filling up fast and we have a pizza festival and a whiskey festival in the pipeline for later this year.
How do you relax & de-stress at the end of the day and during difficult periods?
A long walk and a juicy crime story is usually enough escapism to get me back on track. I also like to cook so I’m trying to make an effort to put more thought, time and care into our meals every evening instead of living on a succession of omelettes!
Another hobby that caught me by surprise is gardening. I call it ‘gardening’ but really I just planted a few shrubs, roses and ferns, successfully kept them alive, and now I feel like Charlie Dimmock every time I water them. It’s super satisfying and it’s a nice break from the laptop and phone screens.