Last week I had a great time speaking to a group of apsiring entreprenuers at the University of Virginia.
It was great to be able to talk about how I went from a frustrated and miserable employee with no idea what to do with my life, to someone who now has an online business that allows me the freedom I have always wanted.
It wasn’t an easy journey and I’ve certainly had my ups and downs, but I stuck with it and with each experience it made me a better person.
In today’s episode, I share what I said to them. My road to being able to call myself an entrepreneur is applicable to any age whether you’re 20 or 60. Because I believe it’s never too late to start what you’ve wanted to do.
The month of February was a busy one for me. Three out of the four weeks in the month I was traveling somewhere. I love traveling and it’s one of the reasons I wanted freedom from a 9-5. But when it comes to getting work done, I have a really tough time doing it while traveling.
One reason is that I like to go out in the city I’m in. We were in Los Angeles and Las Vegas early in the month. Those are great cities with lots to do. So the only time I had to do any work was in the morning before leaving and at night before bed. The same when I was in New York City the last week of the month.
Because my time when I could work was so limited in February, I had to choose what I wanted to do. I knew I could not get everything I wanted done. I had to figure out what my #1 priority was.
It wasn’t a hard choice. My business was my #1 priority. Everything else that I needed to get done could wait. That means now my inbox is way out of control. I just didn’t have the time to sit and reply to all the emails. That valuable time was used instead on my business.
And that decision paid off because I had a five figure month selling t-shirts in February. If I didn’t devote the time, I probably would have just done a few thousand.
I know you’re busy too, but I know also you do get free time during the day. It might not be much, but you do have time to yourself. What are you going to do during that time? Watch TV? Get on Facebook? Work on your side hustle? Exercise? Read?
You have to figure out what is important to you so that you can make it a top priority. So when you do have free time, you’re not trying to figure out what you should do.
There are a lot of excuses that hold us back. One of them is “I don’t know how.” I get this a lot in emails sent to me. Someone wants to change their life or start a business but the one thing that is holding them back is “I don’t know how.”
Two years ago, I didn’t know how to sell t-shirts online. I didn’t know how to run Facebook ads. That didn’t stop me from wanting to learn how. So I bought an online course. I used free resources available to be like articles, Youtube videos. and Facebook groups to learn how. More importantly, I was putting into action what I was learning.
Now people come to me asking for help with the very thing I didn’t know how to do two years ago.
Because of the resources we have available, we can become an expert at anything that doesn’t require physical talent. I’m not going to become a professional soccer play by watching Youtube videos, but that’s not what I’m trying to do.
So in today’s episode, I talk about ways you can become an expert at anything and hopefully if that is one of your limiting beliefs, you won’t let it hold you back anymore.
You’re familiar with the saying you are what you eat, right? Well, another saying we should be familiar with is, “You are how you start your day.”
Over the past few months I’ve spent over 100 hours researching, reviewing and reaching out to entrepreneurs to see what their morning routines look like. I always knew that a morning routine was something that could benefit me, but I just wasn’t sure where to start. Since some BIG changes are coming my way – mainly a new baby daughter any day now – I knew my window was closing.
My desire to start a morning routine, love of learning by example and a weird quirk that has me always making projects out of goals, created the perfect storm for a morning routine ebook – Win YOUR Day: Insights, Inspiration & Data From 100+ Entrepreneurs to Improve Your Morning Routine & Daily Productivity.
Below I’ve outline the top 5 morning routine building blocks plus included an infographic that outlines some of the most important stats. Enjoy!
Top 5 Morning Routine Building Blocks
Even though everyone surveyed did not have breakfast, it should come as no surprise that food/drink we’re at the top of the list. The research aligned with what reports like those from the Huffington Post have found- about 90% of people eat breakfast each day.
Your first meal after not eating for a while has a big impact on your metabolism. Beyond that, it can also greatly impact your productivity and more.
The biggest surprise came via the most common drinks: hot water with lemon (including Benny), green smoothies and ice water. The top three foods mentioned were eggs, yogurt and granola.
The spectrum of responses were vast. From 7 minute workouts and jumping up and down for bone health to full-blown gym routines, entrepreneurs are a creative bunch. Regardless of what you decide to do:
Makes sure it’s enjoyable and fun.
If possible try to combine something else with your exercise, like listening to a podcast, learning a language, etc.
And remember that even 15 minutes of light exercise per day can increase your lifespan.
For someone like me who rarely finds time to make it to the gym, this was a huge breakthrough. Before, I was always down about my exercise habits. Now I feel more hopeful and positive about what I am able to do. If you’re struggling to exercise regularly, I’d suggest you look into this free, customizable 7 minute workout app from Johnson & Johnson.
“I read something thoughtful, philosophical or spiritual. For example, I’m re-reading The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer in 10-15 minute increments most mornings.” – Jason
Beyond improving your knowledge, reading (even fiction) had some surprising benefits. Did you know reading literature can improve your ability to understand what people around you are thinking? Neat!
This was hands down the deepest divide amongst entrepreneurs. People like Harrison (and myself) check it first thing:
“I tend to always check my email first thing to see if there is anything of urgent matter to attend to. I feel that skill was ingrained in me while I was working at corporate office at Target, where you would look over the emails, and prioritize based on highest urgency to lowest.”
While others like Rajiv avoid email and alerts to start all together:
“Around April or May of 2015, I decided to not check my email until after 2-3 hours of being awake. Now my phone stays on ‘do not disturb’ until 9 AM.”
Whatever side of the line you land on, just be sure your morning routine works for YOU.
Planning & Goal Setting
Provided you haven’t been living under a rock and have read your fair share of the GBL blog, you’ll already have some knowledge on goal setting. If not, brush up on past articles.
For the entrepreneurs with a planning/goal-setting ritual, it was an important part of their morning:
“I find [that planning] especially really helps me focus on the day ahead. Once I see everything I need to do in writing, I can begin to tackle everything.” – Joe
Learnings From 100+ Entrepreneurs [Infographic]
The infographic below points out some of the biggest takeaways from examining over 100 morning routines. If you like the quotes above or the data below, I invite you to check out Win YOUR Day on Amazon. For a limited time you can download it for $1!
Jonathon Knepper is a digital strategist, efficiency nerd, hot sauce fanatic and lover of great eats. When he’s not working (and sometimes when he is) you can find him traveling with his wife, daughter and soon to be newborn daughter. You can learn more about him on dudewiththehair.com or connect on Twitter.
I’ve always dreamt about having my own online business. It was back around 2007 that I knew that the way I wanted to be able to quit my job was to start an online business.
I had looked through job ads and tried to figure out what other job I’d be interested in. But the idea of working online appealed to me.
It wasn’t that easy of a start though. I tried and failed many ways to make money online. I know why I failed, but I’m glad I had that experience. Because with each failed attempt, I learned a bit more about myself and what I liked and didn’t like doing.
In this episode, I give advice to those who are wanting to start an online business. There are so many ways to make money online now, which is great, but