A day in the life of a business owner

“I start the day with gratitude, always”

Specsavers optometry director, Kirsty McLardy, talks OT  through a domiciliary day that starts with an early morning run and ends with a moment of reflective journaling

A young woman with red hair is standing behind the open door of a lime green, Specsavers branded car
Kirsty McLardy
Kirsty McLardy, optometry director at Specsavers Home Visits, talks OT through her day – from crystals and morning runs to pulled chicken and bedtime yoga with her four-year-old.


Kirsty McLardy

Kirsty McLardy

Occupation:Optometry director at Specsavers, Manchester 2 Home Visits


Business owner since:May 2023.

My alarm is set for six o’clock each morning. I’m an early riser anyway, so even at weekends I’ll be up without the alarm. I start the day with gratitude, always: I’m straight up, feet on the floor, acknowledging three things that I’m grateful for from yesterday.

I’m a big fan of the power of positive thought and manifestation. I use crystals every day. That sort of thing is definitely my vibe.

I charge my crystals on full moon and a new moon. I’ve got eight or nine of them, that sit by the side of my bed. Each of them has different meanings. On a full moon, the idea is that you’re releasing things that no longer serve you – if you feel a bit short tempered, for example, or if there has been something that you think you need to let go. When I bring them in from having been out under the moonlight overnight, they are effectively charged. My husband laughs at me every time.

In the morning, I’ll pick a particular crystal and say whatever it is that I am letting go of. If I’m feeling a bit anxious that day or overwhelmed, I’ll pick the crystal that’s to do with power or feeling a bit more stable.

I’ll go out for a 5k run on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings. Then I’ll be home, showered, having breakfast with my husband and my little one.


My husband will be off to work for 7am, and my little boy and I will mess about until 7.30am. He gets reading books every Tuesday from school, so we’ll read those in the morning, and then get ready for school. Then I’ll drop him off at the childminder and make my way to my first visit of the day.


As an optometry director, with a team of 26, I tend to be out testing four days a week. One day a week I am in the office.

Being remote and on the go, joining a morning call isn’t ideal, especially when you’ve got an hour’s travel to get to your first patient. But Specsavers has podcasts that you can listen to. There are various subjects, depending on the day: mindset, or getting the best out of yourself, for example.

Sometimes, I might feel like I’ve already done half a day of work before I even get to the first patient. I’ve got a four-year-old, who really hasn’t wanted to go to school, up and ready, and I’ve had an hour’s travel. But I'm an extrovert, so I gain energy through interaction with people throughout the day.


I arrive at my first patient for 9am, where I am met by an optical assistant, who works alongside me. We go to the visit together. We have a natter with the patient, and I test their eyes.

I say to them at the end of the eye test: ‘ok Mrs Smith, you showed me your bifocals when we came in, you told me that they’re not working for your puzzles, so we have decided that you’re going to have X, Y and Z. This is your optical assistant, and she’s going to help you choose the glasses.’ Then, off we pop to the next patient. We carry that on throughout the day.


We tend to have a break wherever it fits into the day. If I’ve phoned a patient ahead of time, they might say their carers haven’t arrived yet and that they’d rather have their medication before I come. We would take that as the natural break point in the day.

I'll text the optical assistant and say, ‘I’ve just gone past Starbucks, I’m going to whip around the drive-thru, what do you fancy?’ Then we’ll have 20 minutes together before heading to the patient.


Obviously, as the optometric partner, my phone might go off throughout the day. I have a bit more responsibility, if people need me. But because I am on the go a lot and in between patients, I do have nine intervals in the day when I can make that call, without skipping in and out of clinic all the time. It works well, in that way.

In the 30 minutes or so that I’m with a patient, if I can leave them feeling even 1% better than when I went in, that’s why I do this job. More often than not, that 30 minutes is the best part of their day.


There will be days when we are flagging, when it has been a tough day, or if there has been a lot of driving. In that situation, it’s like, ‘right, let’s regroup. Who has had a really funny story today? Who has done something great today?’ If the person I’m with is not having the best of the days, when we drive past a McDonald's, we grab a hot drink and a doughnut. That little bit of sugar, more often than not, will push us through.

The value of domiciliary...

is being able to provide a service to people who didn’t know that they could have it


We tend to finish around 4.30 or 5pm. During the drive home, I’ll have a call with the retail partner, who has been in the office, and discuss what we have done during the day, as well any actions that we’ve got for the next day.

We’ll have a recap with the domiciliary team, too. If anyone has gone above and beyond, or if we’ve had a card come through from a patient, we’ll share that with everybody, and then sign off with those guys for the evening.

I love podcasts, particularly Stephen Bartlett's Diary of a CEO and Simon Sinek's The Power of Optimism. They’re two for the rest of the drive home, to wind down.


I’ll get home at about quarter to six. At that point it’s phones down, and family meal together until about 6.30pm.

We’re a big fan of pasta bolognese in our house. That’s always a winner: everyone eats that; it’s a one pot go-to. But at the moment the favourite is pulled chicken dirty fries. I think we’ve had it every week for about five weeks. It’s basically chips that I throw in the air fryer. I’ve already put the chicken in the slow cooker in the morning, so by the time I get home at night I just pull it apart with a fork. There’s sweet chilli sauce and some barbecue in it – nothing fancy. I put it over the chips, put some cheese and spring onion on, back in the air fryer, and then we have that with a side salad and a bit of coleslaw. It’s so easy and everyone loves it, so it’s a crowd pleaser.


The little one goes in the bath at 6.30pm, at quarter to seven we do bedtime yoga, and at 7pm he’s in bed.


At that point my husband has his laptop open, I have my laptop open, and we have 45 minutes to an hour where we can finish off anything that we need to for the day.


After that, it totally depends. If it’s a Tuesday and The Great British Bake Off is on, that is going on at eight o’clock. If it’s a Wednesday and it’s Champions League night, football will go on at eight o’clock. That’s also when we have time to chat to each other about our day and relax and unwind.

To unwind, I listen to...

Stephen Bartlett's Diary of a CEO podcast


Before I go to bed, I journal three things that I’m grateful for. I'll also put a crystal by my bedside. If it’s a new moon, that’s about inviting new things into your life: new opportunity, trying something new, or a new way of thinking. If I've been thinking I want to have new opportunity to communicate, for example, or if I know I've got a one-to-one to do with a colleague who I don’t know as well, I’ll use that. It’s not something that I put a lot of time into, it’s just more of a daily practice.