The one book I wish I read looooong before I decided to go down the Entrepreneur road
Although it wasn’t that long ago, I love to think back to the times I decided to go down the entrepreneurial road and to try this Start-Up „thing“. My energy levels were high throughout and I couldn’t stop thinking and talking about ideas, execution and the supposedly great self-employed future awaiting me.
One thing every entrepreneur knows — and so do the people outside of the area as well — is that the failing rate throughout the Start-Ups is absurdly high. I don’t have an exact number, but from reading and listening to the influencers (almost warning the next generation) I suppose the failing rate is somewhere between 85–95%.
The conclusion I drew from these numbers was simple: if you want to give yourself even the slightest chance of making it and if this is really what you want to do, you’ve got to step up your learning curve and bring your A-Game every day of the week. Not in the “I’ll commit to this and break it tomorrow” manner (remember your new years resolutions?), but in a way that could really give me a chance to learn and succeed. So my first step was to take an empty sheet of paper and map out all the topics I assumed I’ll have to know something about in order to even set foot onto the court. This approach only made sense to me, because this way I could systematically start to learn as much about the topics as I felt I needed to get a good grasp of each area.
One thing I didn’t prepare for though — because I didn’t even knew that it would be that big of a deal and therefore I didn’t even acknowledge it as a problem — was one thing: I absolutely hated getting up early in the morning.
Now before I get into why this is important let me clarify what getting up early meant in my case. I usually had to be at work around 9am. Driving there took me about 20 minutes. Therefore, I was waking up around 8:10am. I call this my “not so magic 30/20” rule.
Using this formula I ran into one pretty simple problem: I did a ton of extra stuff, but the day only had 24 hours (What a discovery, right?). Since I already had eliminated all the unnecessary stuff I was usually doing (bye Playstation, bye watching Suits) and had a clear set of priorities I realized rather quickly that 8 to 9 hours of sleep are absolutely out of the question for me going forward.
The Miracle Morning written by Hal Elrod
Let’s talk about the book. Let’s attack your problem of not being able to get up in the mornings, because that’s what you came here for, right?
Beforehand: don’t get sceptical when you see the rather small size of the book (around 140 pages). I agree that in some cases this means less value. In this case, however, this simply means that you’ll get into the good stuff right away.
Miracle Morning…pretty self-explanatory title, coming with a big promise. Not only will you be able to get up in the morning, but you’ll be producing miracles as well!
In the first part of the book, the author focuses much more on the why instead of throwing suggestions of how to do it at you right away. Actually, I think this is the reason why this book is able to separate itself from the other books on this topic, as it not only tells you how to execute certain methods, but I’ll also trigger a sense of urgency in you by telling you why adopting this new habit will be a cornerstone for your long-term success.
If you want to get into the elite group of the high achievers, you’ll have to do more! Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Wouldn’t it be clever to start doing more while the rest of the world is still sleeping, giving you an uninterrupted window of time?
I was impressed how the author was able to immediately show the reader that if you don’t change something now, you’ll set yourself up for failure and therefore it’ll be highly unlikely that you’ll be able to achieve the really big goals you set for yourself.
Also, I advise you to have pen and paper ready, because one thing you’ll be doing is mapping out your motivation, your why, your long-term vision as this is the only way you can clarify why it’ll be essential to think about the “big picture” every time you get ready to hit the snooze button just one more time. Doing so, you’ll quickly realize that every part of your day — this of course includes the time your alarm goes off — is a small piece of your whole mission and each and every one of these little pieces has to be taken seriously, as ignoring a few of them can be enough to significantly diminish your chances of succeeding in any area you want. well!
The key to sucess in any area: apply your knowledge
Another reason for why this book is such a success is the fact that the advice in the book itself is so easy to apply.
The author describes how he structures his “miracle morning” and which process he goes through every day. In doing so, he’ll present you 6 helpful activities that not only help you to be more productive in the morning, but will also set your mind right for the upcoming tasks of your busy day. In essence, that’s what the books about: get up earlier, be productive right away AND as a result set yourself up for a successful day.
As with everything in self-development books, there’s no “one fits all” method. Therefore, in the first 2 weeks after reading the book, I basically tried out all the methods the author proposed in various combinations to see how they affect me and my day. As of right now, this 4 step method works best for me:
1. Before going to bed, I’ll take 10 minutes sit down and “finish” my current day (so technically, my miracle morning starts 7 hours before I get up), reviewing all the things I got done on that particular day
2. In the next step, I’ll make a quick list of what needs to get done tomorrow. This can range from attending meetings, listing projects that need to get finished or reminding myself of whose birthday is coming up the next day
3. After getting clear about what I’ll have to do the next day, I then put together my miracle morning list. This gives me the chance to set priorities and to attack really important things with a fresh mind first thing in the morning. Note, that although the activities might be different every morning, I have developed two separate morning programs that perfectly fit my needs. One is more on the “spiritual” side, meaning that the activities in the morning will focus on things that get my mind and body into the right place. Therefore, my morning routine might include meditating, stretching or even a workout. I prefer to focus on these things when the day before was super stressful or when I know that I won’t have to do a ton of stuff the next day. My other morning routine is focused on productivity, meaning that on the days I have a lot of stuff to do, I usually try to get the worst task of the day done right away. Now this doesn’t mean that I don’t include some stretching or do some reading, but the main goal will be to get a headstart on my tasks
4. Get up in the morning — without hitting the snooze button — right away and start to work-off your list. Whatever you do, don’t waste your time in the morning with checking emails or surfing on social media. Focus solely on yourself and try to be as productive as you can!
You can follow the authors order, you can follow the steps I pointed out or you can combine both into one program which works for you. The whole thing isn’t really about doing all of the activities in a prescribed sequence or exclusively doing 1 part of it every morning, but it is more about trying each and every puzzle peace and ultimately finding a schedule that is working for you.
As you can tell, the book’s purpose isn’t just to make you get out of bed earlier every morning, but to set yourself up for success, getting your mind right prepared first thing in the morning. While it is true that there are also a ton of productivity tips that you can apply throughout your day, there’s one factor that all those tricks can’t provide: the feeling that being productive in the morning gives, the confidence boost that’s provided by tackling your worst — but usually most important — tasks first thing every morning.
As I sit here writing at 6:11am I’d like to add one more thing that is an absolute requirement if you really want to make this book work: you have to come clear about YOUR WHY. Why do you want to get up in the morning? Why is it important to make getting up earlier a habit? How will getting up every morning and doing more contribute to your overall, long-term goals? Why will lying in bed for another 2 hours be detrimental to your long-term success?
Once these questions are answered and clarified, you’ll be looking forward to getting up in the morning. Going to bed after a productive day, you’ll be waiting for the alarm to go off so can get going while your competitors are sleeping. Don’t resist your life by hitting the snooze button 3 times before you get, but rather make the morning something magical, an undisturbed window of time every morning, where you focus on your most important goals and to the activities that take you ahead.