If you’re like most people, your morning routine is just that—routine. You get up, you get ready and you’re out the door as soon as humanly possible. But many women entrepreneurs are harnessing this time to set themselves up for success.
During this brief window, before the hectic world starts making its incessant demands for our attention we can set priorities not just for our work, but for our lives by journaling, meditating or carving out precious time with our families. In short, we can practice living with intention.
While there is certainly no right or wrong way to start your day, it can be inspiring to see how other women entrepreneurs spend their mornings. I started meditating about two years ago every morning, first just five minutes a day and now I am up to twenty! Starting my day with something that is just for me and that calms my mind before all the multi-tasking and juggling of running of a company has been a huge help. Some women stick to a specific time schedule, others have a routine they follow and are willing to get up at 5:00 to make it happen.
For me, mornings start at 6:00 and include 20 minutes of meditation, exercise (I alternate running, swimming and yoga on 4 mornings a week) and looking at my Google calendar to see what my top priorities are that day (an important meeting? a big deadline?) so I can think about what I need to wear and prepare. I listen to podcasts and Ted Talks while I get ready. It’s an inspiring way to think BIG and get new ideas first thing.
I love starting the days that I take my kids to school by eating with them and getting my little guy to second grade on time. I check my emails on my iPhone on the way to work (thank you NYC subway) so that I can be productive at my office as soon as I arrive. If you are looking for a little inspiration and a way to boost your mornings, check out my friend Hal Elrod’s blog and book, Miracle Morning, and you’ll be rocking your own morning routine in no time!
Read below to see how 4 women who have built successful companies start their day to get inspired. And in case you only have a few minutes I’ll give you the highlights now.
Here is what they all have in common:
Engage in some sort of exercise. According to many experts, exercising before starting your day is a great way to clear your mind and relieve stress. And because it releases endorphins, exercise can put you in a positive, proactive mindset that allows you to approach even the most difficult tasks from a place of calm.
It may seem like a trivial thing, especially for busy entrepreneurs, but there is a reason that it’s deemed the most important meal of the day. When we get the proper nutrients through eating grains, proteins, vegetables, fruits and other non-fried or fatty foods (sorry, that raspberry Danish might need to become a sometimes treat!), our ability to concentrate increases, as does our level of energy!
3. Checking email
All of these women make it a point to check their emails before they get to the office. It helps them prepare for the day ahead, know who has reached out, and if the team or a client has had something urgent happen overnight. Doing this also allows them to address any serious issues before they get to the office, where their attention may be called in a hundred different directions. Getting ahead of the story ensures the most important things will get handled.
Each of these entrepreneurs takes the time (ok, maybe not every morning!) to set her intention for her life and her work. She creates a routine that fits her lifestyle that allows her to focus on her biggest priorities. Once you master your morning routine, you will find your days go better too. If you are thinking, “I can’t possibly fit one more thing into my mornings,” check out this 6 minute version from Hal Elrod.
Write and tell me how your morning routine motivates, inspires and empowers you!
Until next time,
The Power Mornings of 4 Female Entrepreneurs
1. Shama Hyder, CEO and Founder of the Marketing Zen Group
As the head of a Top 100 U.S. Company, this marketing maven admits that she’s not a morning person. Although she travels extensively, which often upsets her routine, she’s learned that sticking to it when she’s home is the best way to start her day.
- 7:30: Wake up, check email, and take care of any urgent issues.
- 8:00: Get dressed. Since she’s not a morning person, she showers at night, which makes her morning less stressful.
- 8:30: Eat breakfast. She never misses breakfast because, between meetings and everything else she has to do, she sometimes misses lunch.
- 8:45: Drive to work.
- 9:00: Team meeting with employees. Discuss everything that happened overnight (this is a digital company so a lot can change in a matter of 10 hours).
- 9:30: Have a cup of tea and write out a list of priorities for the day.
2. Katherine Power, CEO & Co-founder of Clique Media
Because things change on a minute-by-minute basis for Power, having a ritual that she follows every morning gives her life stability and makes it easier to manage that work-life balance. Here’s what her morning routine looks like:
- Wake up and exercise. According to this successful entrepreneur, exercise is the best way to get juices flowing.
- Post-workout breakfast. Check emails, write down brainstorms that occurred while exercising or call and share her ideas with anyone who is up and willing to listen at 7am.
3. Victoria Beckham, Founder & Creative Director, Victoria Beckham Fashion Line
Having some quiet time before her children wake up is key to this dynamic CEO’s morning routine. It helps her clear her head and get ready for the day. Here’s what her AM ritual looks like:
- What Victoria calls “Me Time”
- Shower, wash up & check emails
- Wake kids, sit and have a small breakfast of fresh fruit and granola and green tea
- Double espresso time and then off to work
4. Reem Rahim, Co-founder, Chief Brand Officer of Numi Organic Teas
It’s probably not surprising that this queen of Tea starts her day out calmly listening as her stepson tells her what he dreamt about the night before. For her, it’s a wonderful way to ease into the day and spend some quality time together. You may be surprised however, to learn that she drinks coffee first, not tea, as part of her morning routine.
- 6:30: Wake up to a puppy whining or her stepson climbing into bed to talk
- 7:00: Feed stepson breakfast, help him get dressed and prepare his snack
- 7:30: Prepare breakfast and make coffee for herself and her husband (not tea!)
- 8:00: Eat breakfast with husband
- 9:00 Grab laptop, go through journal and list things that need to be accomplished and the time needed to do each one, then start checking email
- 10:00: Make first cup of tea