When FUBU founder and CEO Daymond John, star of ABC’s Shark Tank, sat down to write his latest book Rise and Grind: Outperform, Outwork and Outhustle Your Way to a More Successful and Rewarding Life, he tackled a simple question that not many entrepreneurs take the time to fully explore: how and why are some people more successful and productive than others given that everyone has the same 24 hours in a day to work with? Everyone has their own routine, their own rituals and personal pathway to success but the question is if there’s any similarities or rules that everyone can follow?
Anyone who works in the tobacco industry knows it takes a certain mindset and personality to truly excel and find success. There’s but so much shelf space to compete for, so many hours in a day to truly hustle and make moves, so much one person can do to push the needle in their favor. While what happens in a day matters, true greatness and progress actually starts in the morning.
Thriving tobacco industry entrepreneurs know the power of mornings–a time where there may be less demands, more time for productivity and can serve as the foundation of what’s to come for the rest of the day. We asked several tobacco industry entrepreneurs about their morning routines, finding each had a completely different approach to the most vital time of the day to any and professional. Here’s how they’re spending their mornings and how you can turn those early hours of the day into your most productive and successful of the whole day.
1. Wake Up Early
Did you know there’s a correlation between waking up early, success and how much money a person makes? In a study conducted by Sleep Junkie, those who woke up early often benefited in many ways, from feeling more content with their jobs to even having a higher salary.
“I love routines and I don’t like winging it,” says Sean Knutsen, CEO of Boveda, Inc. “It’s hard to get up early but I force myself to do it because it’s just right and more productive. I start my day early. I get up at 5 a.m. on a daily basis. I try to workout 2 or 3 days a week from 5:30 a.m.-6:30 a.m. That puts me in the office at 7 a.m. every day.”
Not a morning person? The best way to ease into this habit is to simply set an alarm and force yourself not to hit the snooze button. Take a cue from your mother and make your bed once you get up. This will reduce the temptation to get back into bed once you are up.
2. Make Time for the Family
Several of the tobacco entrepreneurs we spoke to mentioned how spending time in the morning with their family was an important part of their daily routine. “If I am not on the road – caffeine, time with my son, skate, then I dig in,” says Matt Booth, founder of Room101, when asked about his own morning routine.
Business and work demands can often conflict and clash with family time but successful entrepreneurs know the importance of making time for both. While the benefits of family time for children are numerous, so are the benefits for older adults. A study conducted by NCBI found that being isolated and disconnected can lead to poor physical and mental health. Want to be more effective at work? Make family time part of your morning routine and reap the benefits.
3. Create a Meaningful Morning Routine
Are your mornings predictable and structured or is each morning free and loose? If you think having an unstructured morning is a benefit to you, think again. Most successful entrepreneurs have a set routine that will set the tone for the rest of the day and can lead to big gains.
“I’ve typically had a cigar in my mouth by 10 a.m. for the last 21 years,” revealed Juan Lopez, national sales manager for Gurkha Cigars. Whether it’s smoking a cigar, coffee, or exercise–make a routine and stick to it. A morning routine or ritual can help you reduce stress, help you remember things, and help you better manage your time all around the more structured you are in the early hours of the day.
4. Start Your Day in Your Inbox
After his morning coffee, Ventura Cigar Company’s Michael Giannini checks his email. While there are ongoing debates on when’s the best time to check your email–and how frequently you should do so–a survey conducted by Robert Half Management Resources gives reason for why those who check their emails early in the day may be the most successful. In this survey, nearly 50 percent of executives reported that they start their day checking emails compared to 39 percent of entry-level employees who do the same.
Checking emails in the morning has many benefits, from giving you an early sense of accomplishment that can lead to more productivity, to helping you manage your day and prioritize tasks.
5. Mornings are for Learning
Boveda’s Sean Knutsen and Tim Swail both block out time to learn each morning. Both executives believe in the power of reading and starting off the day with a book, something many other successful executives in the tobacco industry agree with. One of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, Warren Buffet, recommends reading at 500 pages a day to help build up your knowledge.
Reading has many other benefits other than helping you learn new stuff. It can improve your comprehension skills, it can reduce stress, improve your speech, and can help you understand other people’s mental states, all skills that can be of great benefits to anyone working in the tobacco industry which is very people-driven.
– Story by Antoine Reid, an editor and digital content director for Tobacco Business Magazine. You can follow him on Instagram @editor.reid