The 21-year-old founder and CEO behind a social media agency that’s worked with Deloitte and the UN swears by this 7:30 a.m. to midnight schedule

Picture of Erifili Gounari

When Erifili Gounari advises her clients on their social media strategy, she tells them three things: Be community-driven, modern, and most importantly, authentic. Those practices have helped the 21-year-old grow her social media agency The Z Link, which launched last May.

The Z Link helps companies refine their appeal toward Gen Zers in the hopes of netting a piece of their $US140 ($AU191) billion spending power. Since launching, Gounari’s company has worked with the United Nations, publishing house Hearst UK, and is currently helming a project with consulting firm Deloitte Greece. What’s more, Z Link is on track to net six figures by next year, according to documents verified by Insider.

“Social media marketing was one of the lucky industries that didn’t take a huge hit from the pandemic as the demand for it continued steadily,” said Gounari, who’s currently based in Athens, Greece.

The Z Link also operates “The Gen Z Club” room on social networking app Clubhouse, which amassed over 14,000 members since its creation in January. In addition to creating and running The Z Link, Gounari is earning her master’s degree at Imperial College Business School in London and works full-time for Silicon Valley-based insurance company SafetyWing.

Before that, she worked in social media marketing for Greece and the European Parliament and was included on Greece’s Forbes 30 Under 30 list last year.

California is ten hours ahead of Greece, adding to the difficulty of balancing two full-time jobs, Gounari said. She gave Insider an exclusive look at how she spends her day, including taking time to meditate and setting clear boundaries on when to clock out.

She wakes up around 7:30 a.m.
Coffee and oatmeal
‘s breakfast Erifili Gounari
Gounari goes on a 30-minute run with her boyfriend to start her day. 

If the weather is bad, she’ll do a quick workout inside before showering and meditating. Then, she’ll eat the breakfast she prepped the night before and drink a hazelnut-flavored coffee.

It’s important to take care of both mental and physical health, so she reads a book while drinking coffee. Currently, she is reading “Working Hard, Hardly Working,” by Grace Beverly, one of her favorite entrepreneurs. 

This is the only time she’s able to incorporate reading into her day. “I took a speed-reading course earlier this year so that I can fit even more books into my life while comprehending and retaining all the information,” she said.

Around 9:30 a.m. she dives into work
A notebook next to a computer
Example of the to-do list Gounari creates each day. Erifili Gounari
She starts by making a to-do list. 

It’s imperative to stay organized while running The Z Link and working full-time at SafetyWing, she said. Gounari’s everyday tasks include reviewing content made by her team at The Z Link, coordinating with The Z Link clients, creating and scheduling content for SafetyWing, and devising social strategies for both companies. 

Then, meetings start
Picture of Erifili Gounari,
After reviewing all of her Slack messages and handling a few projects, she starts taking meetings. She tries to handle all of her Z Link meetings first and then dive into SafetyWing projects.

“I try to keep meeting under half an hour,” she said. “The more asynchronous we can make the work, the better.” 

On this day, she met with Deloitte Greece, a new client of The Z Link, and had an onboarding meeting with a new designer that joined the team. 

She eats lunch around 2 p.m.
A salmon poke bowl
Gounari’s Lunch Erifili Gounari
During lunch, she makes sure to decompress with relaxing activities, such as watching a television show with her boyfriend.

“A relaxing lunch is so important to recharge during the workday,” she said. “And spend some more time with my boyfriend and be mindful about what I’m eating and the time I spend away from work,” she said. 

Then, she goes back to work
Erifili Gounari with a computer looking down
When Gounari dives back in, she often finds ways to repurpose social media content from one platform to another. For example, she takes information or photos posted to Instagram and often turns them into Twitter threads. 

“Small tasks like these come up every day all related to different aspects of social media marketing,” she said. “You truly never get bored.” 

Recently, The Z Link launched an effort to hire more people and expand their current team of seven. So far, they’ve received over 70 applications, Gounari said.

“I try not to micromanage the team at all because everyone’s responsibilities are mostly the same week to week,” she said. “I just check the results they deliver and that works great for me, the team, and the clients.”

She ends work around 6 p.m. and goes to bed around midnight
Sidewalk and trees
Gounari takes morning and evening walks Erifili Gounari
At the end of the day, she joins a virtual meeting with the SafetyWing team. She also reviews whether she achieved the goals she set for herself the week prior. For example, she is working on targeting nomads and remote workers on social media while the work-from-home trend continues. 

If she finishes work early enough, she goes for a walk and eats dinner with her family. “There are times where I have to deal with a work task later in the day,” she said. “But it’s important for me to set boundaries and remind myself you should really not be working 24/7.”

On this day, she went to an open-air cinema to watch the movie “Nomandland.”

Dinner is usually around 8 p.m. and she’ll prep breakfast for the next day. To wind down, she spends time with her family and boyfriend. Around midnight she goes to sleep and does it all over again tomorrow.