A day in the life of a business owner

“My wildest ambition is fulfilment for the whole team”

Gavin Rebello talks OT  through his busy day as co-owner of eight independent practices

A man wearing glasses and a blue suit jacket is smiling in front of an optometry practice, which has a historic wooden frontage

Malvern-based co-owner of eight Hakim Group independent practices, Gavin Rebello, talks OT through his day – from morning meditation and Spanish practice to evening business meetings with a backdrop of MasterChef Australia.



Gavin Rebello

Occupation:Owner of eight Hakim Group independent practices


Business owner since:2000

I’ve got an alarm that goes off at 6.30am. The first thing I do is stick my headphones on to meditate, then I’ll complete my Spanish lesson on Duolingo. That’s a big goal: I want to spend some time in South America, but I want to be able to speak Spanish. I’m very mindful that by the time I learn any Spanish, artificial intelligence will be able to translate everything that I can do – but it doesn’t matter.


I’m out of bed at 7am. I used to hit the snooze button all the time, and it would be 7.30am and I’d be running late. To break that habit, I bought an old school, analogue alarm clock. It’s at the other side of my bedroom, and I have to physically get out of bed to switch it off.

When I’m either working within a reasonable commute, or working from home, I’ll do some yoga or Qigong. I’ve completed my teacher training in both, so I can look after myself properly. So, the next thing I’ll do is get on my yoga mat.

On other days, I could be anywhere in the UK. If I’m delivering a workshop, that’s the priority. I’ll get up earlier and I’ll do my meditation and my Spanish, but I’ll leave the mat work.

Breakfast is a homemade power smoothie. I’ve got a big Thermomix, and I put in protein powder, frozen cherries, frozen blueberries, banana, and spinach. That morning routine has taken me a while to work out, but it sets me up for being at my best, certainly for the morning.


In my working day, the first thing I do is check in with my co-directors. I’ve got eight practices that I have part ownership of, and I have co-directors in all of them. My role is to mentor and support them, so I’ll make sure they’re all okay. If I’ve taken on a new practice, obviously there is a lot I need to be doing.

After that, it depends on whether I’m working from home, on Zoom meetings or with a blank sheet of paper planning out the future, or whether I’m on the road delivering a workshop.


I sometimes deliver leadership and management workshops for hospital consultants and hospital surgeons. I’ll give them a little bit of a spiel about why I’m there: that I have a clinical background; I’ve worked in the hospital environment.


I punctuate my day, especially if I’ve got a screen day. At 10am, I will move away and either do some phone calls, or get onto my yoga mat and do some stretches because of the sitting posture.

12 noon:

I like an earlier lunch, around 12 noon or 12.15pm. It will probably last about 10 minutes. I grab something to eat – it might be another smoothie, if I’m really ‘on it’, but it will probably be a sandwich and coffee. If I’m from working from home, I’ll have something decent for lunch, rather than something on the hoof.


I’ll often try and plan a meeting around lunch. If I want to talk to one of my co-directors, obviously they’re in clinic, so I’ll try and tune into their lunchtime.

If I’m based at home for the day I’ll go out for a walk at lunchtime, or go and meet one of the team for a coffee. I’ve never taken an hour. I’m just not used to stopping and pausing like that.

I lost my dad 18 months ago. My mum is about 45 minutes away, and my job allows me to go over every week or so, take her shopping, and have lunch. I can make sure she’s looked after. If she needs anything doing, I can change my timetable to be able to go and support her. The best thing about my flexibility is that it allows me to give back to the people that have always looked after me and always had my back*.


If I’m working from home, I’ll do the tasks that will move the businesses forward or require more thinking in the morning, and the afternoon will be more admin, from paying accounts to rotas. It’s more routine admin in the afternoon, because I’m a morning person.

When you do things that you absolutely love, you don’t get a slump. When I’m delivering a workshop, I’m told that I’m as energetic at the end of the day as I am at the beginning. I love teaching.


My evenings are often working, so I’ll clock off initially at around 5.30pm. I love cooking. I find it meditative. I’m in the moment; it’s creative. I’ll always cook from scratch, even if nobody else is around. What I cook varies, from a Thai or Indian curry to something like fish or veg – anything, really. I am eclectic with my cooking. I can open the fridge, see the ingredients and create something. I very rarely follow recipe books.

To unwind, I watch...

The Great British Menu or MasterChef Australia

When I’m cooking, my phone will be on shuffle. Again, I have an eclectic taste, from stuff that I knew as a kid, to dance that I really loved around the Millennium, to really upbeat, euphoric stuff, to acoustic guitar – all sorts.

I will sometimes go to the gym. I live in the Malvern Hills. What I aspire to is an evening walk up the hills. That’s the next habit that I want to put in place. The gym is a fairly new habit. When I left Essex and moved to Malvern in 2016, I started from scratch – I’d sold the house and my previous practice, and I was really immersed in trying to build the new practices up. But I’m in a place, now, where I can start putting all of those better habits in place.


After dinner, I’ll set myself up for the evening. I might have one-to-one clients or Zoom meetings. Sometimes I’ll have management meetings with my co-directors, to get them all in one place.


My other big unwind is watching cookery programmes. I’ll get my ideas from that. I love Nigel Slater. He doesn’t give recipes; he gives concepts and then just lets you fly. I really love the way he works. He’s so evocative with the way that he speaks. I love The Great British Menu and MasterChef, but specifically the professionals, or bizarrely, MasterChef Australia. They do it so much better than the UK. There’s more learning. The tasks are more interesting, and you get to know the people better.

I’m lucky: I’ve got some really core friends. I don’t see them very often, but I know they are there, I can pick up the phone and have a chat with them, and they leave me in a better place.

*At the time of publishing, Gavin’s mum sadly passed away. The team at OT send our condolences.