I’ve been reading a lot of articles about what entrepreneurs do, and more importantly what millionaires and billionaires do. This article from Business Insider, this article from Inc and even this article from Entrepreneur all talk about the benefits waking up early.
I’ll tell you the truth.
I read the first article a couple weeks ago and thought to myself, “Well, millionaires and billionaires have more time than I do, so they can wake up early.”
Then, out of curiosity, I spoke to one of my clients who IS an entrepreneur and millionaire. During one of our meetings I asked her, “Christy, do you wake up early? I’ve been reading all of these articles from top publications and they talk about waking up early in almost all of the articles.” She looked at me and said, “Absolutely. I ALWAYS woke up three hours before going into the office. I would use it to catch up on emails, have personal time, and plan out the day.”
I sat back in my seat in defeat. Ugh. She had done it too, even before she was a millionaire; before she sold her business and was STILL in the hustle phase.
That was it.
I went back to my office that night after our meeting and thought about it a little more while staring at my computer screen full of unanswered emails. For me, getting to ‘inbox zero’ is virtually impossible. I’m the type of person who leaves emails in there to be read, to research and to investigate later. All my client emails, of course, get taken care of and filed away.
Then after thinking, I told myself, wait… when I first started my business I woke up at 5AM to work until 6:30, hopped in the shower to get ready for my then full-time job and worked from 8AM-5PM. Then, I came home and worked until 6PM until around 11PM. I did this constantly to make sure nothing failed and that I could leave the job and steady paycheck to start my own venture.
Duh. That’s the only thing I could think to myself. Why did I think a year into business, an office and two employees later I could slow down? I was actually disappointed in myself for thinking that it was going to easy that quickly. I should have known better.
The Business Insider linked above was the ‘mind game-changer’ for me. It made me sit back and realize that if all these wealthy people are doing it, maybe there’s something to it here! Now, mind you, I had read this about 65 million times before but it never clicked. It takes people a LONG time to realize something needs to be done, hence how long it took me. 65 million times and a conversation with a client who had done it herself, with amazing results.
So I did it.
From that moment on, I set my alarm to play a soothing but alarming wake-up call at 6AM. If these entrepreneurs and millionaires are getting up early – then so am I. This really is what my alarms look like. If I’m feeling VERY dedicated, I’ll wake up at 5:30. (No, I didn’t change my alarm to say that, it has always said that because that’s my mentality)
Here’s what I realized:
This whole waking up early thing is AWESOME. Am I tired? Yes. Do I hit snooze once? Yes. BUT, here’s the kicker, I get SO much done in that window from 6AM to 9AM when I go into the office. Here’s why, no one is bothering you before 8 or 9 am. Clients aren’t calling me, employees aren’t asking me questions, no one’s walking into the office for a random cold-call and my phone is silent. The coveted silence.
Just so you know, this did take time to get acclimatized. Sometimes I feel like people don’t tell the whole story about making drastic changes. The readers just see the fruits of their labor, not the actual labor itself. I get tired a lot earlier now and Friday nights are an effort to go out. However, the hustle that I’m putting in let’s me get a jump start on my day. I’ll always take that trade off.
If you’re anything like me, you’re out meeting with clients, scheduling your own meetings, answering the phone, texting and emailing to make things work. Waking up early allows me to get emails taken care of, to start on project deadlines coming up and posting to social media.
Here’s how I make it work well for me:
6AM: Wake up
6:00-7:00: Schedule social media posts. I post to Instagram early because when I started it I gained a following early in the morning. I woke up early before and gained my audience at that time, hence, more interaction.
7:00-7:30: Finish up emails and or projects
7:30-8:00: Run. This is another thing that the articles talk about – staying healthy. I can tell you firsthand that I let this slip. Before I quit my full-time job, I didn’t have time to work out or do anything. I would fall asleep on the couch at 8PM from exhaustion and wake up the next morning to do it all over again. I let my body slip and have learned never to put anything before myself. You are the most important and if you’re not 100%, your business won’t be either. Find a great balance and running during this time is what works well for me. Surprisingly, exercising gives me more energy.
8:00-9:00: Get ready for the work day.
I honestly can’t tell you how much this has helped me. I feel more prepared, I get more done and I am not as stressed out. I feel like I have a firm grasp on everything going on and I have more time to focus on what’s important rather than checking emails and replying to emails.
Try this hustle for yourself to see how it works for you. It will take some time, but I promise you, you’ll feel more organized and in control of your business. Not only that, but you’ll be on your way to being a millionaire because this is one of the many key attributes.
Are you an early riser or wanting to be? Comment below and make yourself accountable!