The theme of this month, the month of May, is about entrepreneurial mindset and well being. And what you do, to take care of yourself, to stay sane. To make sure that you are fueling the engine that is you, that makes everything else in your life and your business work.
Have you heard the age old adage of how the early bird gets the worm?
That’s actually true.
And so in that vein, today we talk about getting up early and extreme early rising in particular. A few months ago, I wrote a post about 4:00AM being the new 6:00AM in the entrepreneurial world, and all the benefits of early rising. And it is still something that I firmly believe in. And I think it’s truly beneficial for helping to build your muscle as an entrepreneur. It also helps to really fuel your work ethic, whether you’re an entrepreneur or an intrapreneur. An intrapreneur is someone who’s working, creating, innovating inside of someone else’s business. Or as an entrepreneur, staying in that visionary state for yourself and for your own business.
But I think there might be some misconceptions and some negative connotations around sleeping in. And by sleeping in, I mean getting up past 8:00AM. So what’s your entrepreneur mindset around getting up at 4:00AM?
- First let’s talk about, YES, you do have to get up early and why I’m an advocate for that.
- And then we’re also going to dig into the NO. And what are some of the ways we can look at that as a way to be productive in your business?
If you said YES to Getting Up at 4:00AM
So yes, getting up at 4:00AM is beneficial! And the number one reason that I say that is because you want to be putting yourself, your well being, and care of yourself first. That should be your number one priority if your business relies on you. And so when you think of large corporations, they do something where they put insurance on their key people and they want to make sure the key people don’t fall down, aren’t unavailable, are continuing to be able to produce for the company. Now in your business, you are that key person. That means that it is your responsibility to make sure that you are fully functional, operating at best case scenario, for the majority, if not all, of the time.
Entrepreneurial Mindset Tip #1: Make your own well being a priority
Now what that means is, you need to put your well being, taking care of your mental and physical being as a number one priority. So in my example, I have a family, I have children, I have a husband, I have this business that I run. In order for me to put myself first chronologically in my day, I need to take where my day begins in order to execute on all of those other components of my life, and then I rewind that clock about an hour to an hour and a half. And that’s why I end up getting up at 4:00 or 4:30 in the morning. Because if I can get up at 4:30 that gives me a full 90 minutes to two hours before I need to get my children up, before I need to start making breakfast for them, before I start needing to rouse my husband to get moving. All of those things that I want for myself get to happen before I start pouring energy into anyone else. So that’s the first thing.
Entrepreneurial Mindset Tip #2: Get to bed early
The second thing about this, if you’re going to go with early rising, also remember then you must also go to bed a little bit earlier. So this model presumes that you are a person who works best in the morning. I know for myself, my golden hour is going to be in the early morning hours between about 8:00AM and 11AM where I’m going to do my best work. That’s when I want to get really, really deep into any of my projects or deliverables. If I tried to do any work in the evening, I find I’m dealing with the dregs of my energy reserves and so I’m not going to be able to show up as my best, which means that is a great time for me to go to sleep.
You might not operate that way – you might be a person who actually thrives in the night, maybe you’re much more nocturnal until you get a lot of your work done at night. In that case then it doesn’t make sense to get up at 4:00AM. You know you’re going to be tired for the majority of those hours before you get to your prime time hours. So think about how you can devote your primetime hours to yourself. For me, that’s going to be the morning, first thing before anyone else, but for you, how are you going to make that happen?
Entrepreneurial Mindset Tip #3: Make sure you’re getting your sleep
The other reason that I say getting up at 4:00AM is because sleep is a priority and so if you’re getting up early and going to bed early, then you’re making sure that you’re getting your sleep because one is contingent on the other. You can’t get up at 4:00AM if you haven’t gone to bed the night before, and if you are getting up at 4:00AM you’re going to be kind of tired by like eight, nine o’clock, and so it helps set that routine for your nighttime schedule.
So that’s all in the pros column. Yes, get up at 4:00AM because it makes sure that you put yourself first, chronologically, it also ensures that you’re getting good restful sleep and putting yourself on a routine. And for me it means I get to actually be awake, alive and alert for my deep work during my golden hour.
If you said NO to Getting Up at 4:00AM
Entrepreneurial Mindset Tip #1: Sleeping in is a form of self-care
Now on the other side of the equation is not to get up at 4:00AM. And this is because sleep is really important. I’ll say I’m not a morning person in the traditional sense of the word. I am not friendly in the morning but I am extremely efficient. But if you find getting up at 4:00AM is very, very difficult for you, your brain does not function well in the morning. If it’s not your golden hour, then you should probably use that time to sleep. And that is also a form of self care, making sure that your engine is charged and ready for being productive.
Entrepreneurial Mindset Tip #2: Make yourself a priority later in the day
The other thing that I will say about this is, you can get up later in the day and still make yourself a number one priority. You can do that by infusing your day, and infusing your work sprints with well being breaks throughout the day. Or maybe you do 90 minutes of work and then you get up and you have a cup of tea. Or you take a walk outside. You stop and smell the flowers. Or you do a journaling exercise, or a 10 minute meditation. Take some healing breaths. There are thousands upon thousands of these mini-breaks that you can take to help you keep your energy up.
And there’s actually a phenomenal article about this idea of how to manage your energy that was put out by Harvard Business Review, but it talks about this very concept. So it’s not about just putting yourself first chronologically. It’s also about how can you embed your self care into your daily routine in a way that’s really non-disruptive to the workday.
Entrepreneurial Mindset Tip #3: Getting started is hard but it pays off
If you’re in startup phase of your business, you’re going to work a ton of hours in the beginning. Everyone has that mountain to climb in the beginning to get things started. It’s that startup phase when things are going to be harder. They’re going to be more strenuous typically, when it comes to the time that you’re putting it. Now, I don’t mean hard and strenuous in terms of stressful – it doesn’t have to be stressful. But it is going to require more of your time. More of your energy, than you may be accustomed to later on in your business development.
And then like every mountain, once you get up to that crest, you get to coast down the other side.
It all does pay off. But just remember no matter what time you wake up, it’s going to be a long day, at least in the beginning.
So those are my 2 cents. Don’t kill yourself getting up at 4:00AM if it doesn’t actually align with the goals for your business. And two, remember that you can start baking in some of your well being practices into your every day routine. You can continue to reenergize yourself, no matter what time you wake up.
Are you an early-riser?
I’m very curious who is getting up and rising extremely early! Versus those who have never been on board with that plan and are now relieved that I’m saying so. But do drop some comments down below! Let me know if you are an early riser, what you do in that time to set yourself up for the day. And if you’re not an early riser, how do you infuse your well being practices into your daily routine?