In my early days of business, I tried every trick in the book in the hope of finding the one lifestyle hack which would help me make my millions. What one thing would make me rich?
What did other rich people do?
Tony Robbins, that guy seemed to be doing well, what did he do? And Oprah, how did she behave? What habits was Marie Forleo adopting? Which food groups did Richard Branson eat for breakfast? How could I find out what lucky colour underwear Gabrielle Bernstein wore?
Basically I wanted to know how could I too walk in the footsteps of these giants by modelling their behaviour and so reap the same results.
Meditation – check!
Get a great coach – check!
Immerse myself with the right tribe – check!
Continually invest my time, money and energy into my education – double check!!
Waking up at 5am – meh not so much.
Here’s the honest truth.
If I’m awake at 5am it’s for one of two reasons.
Either I have a plane to catch or I’m still awake and partying from the night before.
Now don’t get me wrong, I gave it a red hot go in the early days.
I mean, it made sense!
Wake early, get shit done before everyone else, hustle hustle hustle right?
But here’s the thing.
I want to enjoy my life and my business and sleep deprivation isn’t part of that for me.
Let me break this down for you.
In his book Why We Sleep, Matthew Walker explains that there are morning people and night people.
Some people’s circadian clocks are wired for them to rise early and be alert.
These people tend to be in bed by 10 pm and they thrive with a 5 am alarm clock.
Others come alive at night.
They get productive and creative as night falls, hit the pillow after midnight but getting anything out of them before 10 am is hard.
It’s basic pack survival – we are vulnerable when we are asleep and having some of the pack awake into the night and some awake early in the morning limits the time that the pack is in danger of predators attacking us in our slumber.
It’s biology’s shift work and frankly, I think it’s pretty bloody clever!
So, if 5am sounds like punishment to you, don’t do it.
Just because it works for some people doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you.
Me? I’m a huge fan of working into the night so dragging myself out of bed at 5am felt like torture and left me sleep deprived.
The most important thing you can do for yourself and your business is sleep.
Never sacrifice sleep.
Avoid the glorification of being busy, it’s a fool’s game and it impresses no one. (Believe me I tried it and it just led to burn out).
I know many successful entrepreneurs who are lights out by 10pm and out of bed by 5am. But I also know others who fall into bed at 2am and don’t emerge until 10am the next morning.
Find what works for you and your lifestyle but never compromise on sleep.
There is one thing that all rich successful people do, regardless of when they choose to sleep and that is they have a morning routine.
Rituals are so important for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, they create certainty in your day regardless as to how uncertain the rest of your day might look. We don’t know how that marketing video is going to land, we don’t know how many leads we’ll convert, there is huge amount of uncertainty in business, getting rich and life in general and the certainty of a morning ritual is a great way to help us balance that uncertainty.
Secondly, my morning ritual trains my brain to think positively. Business is first and foremost about mindset. So spending some time getting that on track makes a massive different in your results.
For more on this, have a read of The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod but for now, I’m gonna let you in on my rich making morning ritual.
My morning ritual.
1. My alarm goes off and immediately I practice gratitude. Lying in bed, eyes still closed, I have trained my brain to think it’s first thought as a thought of gratitude. I can’t be in fear if I’m in gratitude and I have spent too many mornings of my precious life waking up in fear. No more!
2. I Exercise. I try to exercise first thing for two very simple reasons. One it wakes me up and energises me and two if I leave it until later I have all day to convince myself I don’t need to exercise and I can be pretty convincing.
3. I shower. Sounds simple and (hopefully) mandatory. right? But it’s what I do in the shower that counts (stay with me). I use this time to visualise how I want my day, my week and my life to be. Then, I say my affirmations – who do I need to be, what do I need to believe and what do I need to tell myself to take the action towards my goals and dreams? Like everyone else, I have shocking self-talk (I am such a bitch to myself) and I need to counteract those voices of fear and doubt in my head. One of the things I teach my clients is the science and formula behind creating affirmations that work and using visualisation effectively but for now, here’s a little example of the conversation I have with myself in the shower.
I am worthy, strong, capable and focused.
Everything is always working out for me.
I live in glorious abundance and making money is easy.
I’m sure you’ll agree that this appears to be a much more effective use of my time than standing in the shower worrying and telling myself I’m a failure.
4. I Meditate. It’s the common habit of successful people so if you’re not keen on matching Gabrielle Bernstein’s underwear colour all good, but this one’s a must. I spent so much time with my clients teaching them about meditation because to calm the body and mind allows for action and creativity.
5. I check in with my mates. Connection is one of my highest values and so every morning, I check in with the ones I love. I shoot off a few text messages and speak to my bestie religiously at 8.30 every day. When you tell people you’re thinking of them and you love them, guess what, they tell you back. And that makes me feel great and less alone in this entrepreneurial world. Everything I do in business comes from a place of love, and so love has to be part of my morning ritual.
So there you have it.
Does waking up at 5am make you rich? Hell no!
But your mind does.
So create morning routine which sets you up for your day and remember, sleep is your superpower.