The Power of Being an Early Riser

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What's your typical day like?

If you're like most business owners, you probably get up, do your morning routine, check your agenda, respond to a few emails, then head to work.

Perhaps you grab a coffee to charge up for the day because you have some big goals to accomplish - things that are going to take your business to new heights.

Before you know it, the world starts coming at you. A tornado of emails, phone calls, meetings, urgent requests. Things you don't plan, they just happen. 

The day blows right by and you wonder where it went. The only thing you have to show for it are the goals on your list - unchecked, again.

You're not alone

Most people spend almost all of their day chasing (work), not creating (growth). You got into business to gain your freedom, but most days you feel as if you've given yourself another job.

I was no different. That is, until I made a discovery that changed the course of my business - and dare I say, life. I'm going to share my discovery with you.

"Most entrepreneurs fail because you are working IN your business rather than ON your business."
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- Michael Gerber, author of The E-Myth

I discovered the power of being an early riser

Get more done before 9am than most people all day

Get more done before 9am than most people all day

A few years ago, I'd have told anyone who told me they get up at 5am every day they're crazy. Today, people tell me I'm crazy.

I'm okay with that, because my business wouldn't be where it is today had I not made this simple change. 

Making it took time. I wasn't a light bulb that illuminated the instant I flipped the switch. At first, I engaged in the same mundane activities I would have at 7am, only earlier. I made coffee, watched the news, and responded to some emails on my iPad.

It was more like a dimmer. Every morning I dialled my activity up a little. Today, the bulb isn't just burning bright, it's virtually on fire! Here's why.

I'm helping people pursue their dreams

I started Localthority because I believe that everyone has the freedom to do what inspires them, every day.

I help others follow their passion and gain their freedom by inspiring them to think BIG and make it easy to start marketing their business in ways that don't just work, but change how they define success.

For years, Localthority was once nothing more than a hope, wish, or dream. The dream consumed me and followed me around everywhere.

Now, it's reality. Since I began rising early, I've created a website people visit, published articles people learn from, and posted on social media where I connect even more entrepreneurs. I'm helping people pursue their dreams, and it feels awesome!

Last Thursday (early morning, of course), I had a super-inspiring Skype call with a friend who finally quit his job so he can finally pursue his dream. He told me passions, expertise and experience. He's a brilliant guy and he's going to create something awesome! We brainstormed ideas, thought different about his opportunity, and propelled his journey forward. I can't wait to see him take the next step.

Remarkably, in the process of helping others achieve their dreams, I'm achieving mine!

Now, who's next? I'm adding early-morning calls to my Daily Practice. :)

I'm being mentored by some of the smartest people on the planet

One of my mentors, the late Steve Jobs (Flickr creative commons image by Charlie Wollborg)

One of my mentors, the late Steve Jobs (Flickr creative commons image by Charlie Wollborg)

In business and in life, we all need mentors - people who guide us and impart wisdom, experience, expertise and encouragement.

There are two types of mentors:

  • Direct mentors: Trusted advisors you meet regularly to reflect on successes, failures, share ideas and receive guidance on your journey. While having a direct mentor is an extremely powerful ingredient in your success, it also requires a large investment of time, money, and often, both.
  • Indirect mentors: A near-limitless number of authorities in your industry or niche you can learn from by following them on social media, subscribing to their podcast or blog, reading their books, and exchanging emails, tweets or Facebook messages with. The upside of indirect mentors is greater diversity and a smaller investment of time and money.

Since I began rising early, I've given myself the gift of time to follow, read, listen, comment, discuss and learn from indirect mentors. Extraordinary people like:

  • The late Steve Jobs (iBooksKindle), who inspired me to always think different
  • Simon Sinek, inventor of the Golden Circle, who taught me to Start With Why (iBooksKindle)
  • Dan Benjamin,  5by5 founder and host of Grit, who inspired me to create something awesome
  • John Lee Dumas, host of Entrepreneur On Fire, who taught me the value of investing in myself
  • James Altucher, author of Choose Yourself (Kindle), who taught me that anyone I choose can be my mentor
  • Darren Entwistle, Executive Chairman at TELUS, who taught me that if I defined success in any less than a global context, I'd be selling myself short, and setting my expectations too low 
  • The late Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich (iBooks, Kindle), who taught me that a burning desire recognizes no such word as impossible, and accepts no such reality as failure

My mentors taught me that I can achieve great things, but first I had to change myself. And guess what? None of these wildly successful people get up at 7am, grab a coffee, sit on the sofa and watch the news.

Now, neither do I.

If you want to achieve your dream by creating something awesome and taking your business to new heights, give yourself the gift of time.

Then, choose a few mentors and subscribe, read, learn, post and participate in their journey as much as you can. Eventually, they'll be a part of your journey, too.

I'm producing more results by 9am than I used to produce all day

Focus on your most valuable tasks before 9am and take your business to new heights

Focus on your most valuable tasks before 9am and take your business to new heights

Before my discovery, I would have enjoyed a cup of coffee, accomplished very little and been uninspired by current events on the morning news.

By 9am, when the world begins their day, the emails, phone calls, meetings and urgent requests would come hurtling toward me, forcing me to work IN my business instead of ON my business by creating growth and getting my most important tasks done.

Today, it's 8:35am and I've already:

  • Taken a brisk walk (2 laps around the neighbourhood, soon to be 3) as I watched the sun rise. I'm fitting into clothes I haven't been able to wear in years and it feels great!
  • Done my Daily Practice - inspired by James Altucher, a personalized cadence of peaceful silence, stating my personal mission, visualizing success, expressing gratitude and generating ideas.
  • Don some reading and listened to a podcast to get my motivational ball rolling.
  • Enjoyed two warm, perfectly sweetened cups of coffee. Some say I should skip this, but I love my java far too much!
  • Made some quick improvements to my homepage.
  • Sent an interview invitation to a pair of ultra inspiring small business owners whose story you've got to hear (stay tuned)!
  • Nearly finished the first draft of this post.

John Lee Dumas, a former officer, often shares a mantra of the US Army: "We get more done before 9am than most people do all day."

A practice not limited to the military, Jeff Sanders created an successful online business teaching others the value of dominating their day before breakfast.

Now, so do I.

If you want to have more energy, be more creative, and feel more accomplished at the end of each day, start rising early and completing your post important tasks first.

I'm not saying you have to jump straight to 5am heads-down productivity. Remember, it's a dimmer, not a light switch. Every week, get up 30 minutes earlier until you reach your goal, and gradually dial up your level of activity until you discover a Daily Practice that works for you.

Everything I do is for my family

My family

This reason requires the least explanation.

It's my family that inspires me most in life. They're the reason I get out of bed, every day. 

Everything I do, is so they can live a secure, free, happy, healthy, joyful life and achieve whatever they dream possible - for themselves, and for each other, and so I can be there to experience it with them.

Excuse me, it's time to go tell them I love them and wish them "good morning." 

What do you think?

I want to know what you think.

What's your morning routine?

Do you have goals you've been carrying forward day after day? If so, what habits prevent you from working ON your business, not IN your business?

Do you have a Daily Practice? Who are your mentors?

I'd love to hear your ideas and experiences in the comments.

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