This post was originally published on NOEW.org. New Orleans Entrepreneur Week is an annual festival celebrating entrepreneurship and innovation in New Orleans.
We know you have big dreams that you want to bring to life. You’re grinding, and working hard to make things happen. I am right there with you. But we can all use a little help to get us there. So, this month, we’re introducing The Distillery Book Club, a monthly collection of books curated by our readers.
Here’s how it works.
We fill feature one book a month with a guest post from the reader on the book they’ve read, why they love it, and their key takeaways from it. Chris Boyd, founder of Apptitude is kicking off the first book, The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life, by Hal Elrod.
And it’s a good read on something I have always had a hard time with — waking up earlier. For the past six months, I’ve tried to wake up half an hour earlier in the mornings–and failed miserably. The stuggle is real, y’all.
But every single successful entrepreneur I’ve interviewed has told me that waking up early is one of the keys to their success. That includes entrepreneurs, professionals, CEOs, writers, artists. The whole lot.
So, when Chris told me about a book that changed the game for him, I had to find out more, and share it with you.
First, here’s the backstory on the author, Hal Elrod.
“At 20-years-old, Hal Elrod was hit head on by a drunk driver at 70 mph, and was dead for 6 minutes. Doctors told his parents that if he ever came out of his coma, he would have permanent brain damage and may never walk again. After 6 days of fighting for his life, Hal proved that we all have the ability to overcome any obstacle, and create the life of our dreams. Not only did he walk, he became an ultra-marathon runner, hall of fame business achiever, international Keynote Speaker, Success Coach, husband, father, and bestselling author of “The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed To Transform Your Life (Before 8AM)” and “Taking Life Head On: How To Love the Life You Have While You Create the Life of Your Dreams.” (Source: Amazon.com)
In the Miracle Morning, Elrod offers practical advice on how anyone – no matter where they are in life – can transform their days. Chris tells us what he learned in his own words.
The Miracle Morning gave me a game plan, which I tend to do well with, and a set of instructions I could use to harness the power of a morning’s clean slate. If I hadn’t read it, I would likely still be hitting the snooze button, rushing out of the door, grabbing something quick and unhealthy for breakfast, and wondering how I can find time to fit a workout in at the end of the day. No more of that! Here are the key takeaways that I learned:
- You don’t have to be born a morning person, you can become a morning person. It’s a habit, and just like any other habit, it can be developed. The book outlines a framework for your morning routine the author calls SAVERS (Silence, Affirmations, Visualization, Exercising, Reading, Scribing). You decide how long you want your routine to be (start small…expand once you build the habit) and how much time you want to devote to each piece. So instead of a vague “I’m going to get up in the morning and get more stuff done!” you have a checklist of sorts. Wake up and meditate in silence, review some affirmations and visualizations, do your workout, come back and read, then write for a bit. Frameworks make everything easier.
- Your level of success mirrors your level of personal development. The more you work on yourself, your shortcomings, the areas where you need the most work, the more likely you are to succeed at whatever you’re trying to accomplish. Knowing yourself, the areas you’re focusing on at the moment, the areas where you’re trying to grow and expand your capacity lends itself to success in all areas. If I know I can conquer something like meditation, I can conquer dealing with a difficult project or client.
- Change your morning, change your life. Starting the day off with a focused, calm, inward-facing practice is beneficial to your health, career, and your personal life. Entrepreneurship is hard, and at times it can be grueling. You wear so many hats and have so many random things come up every single day. It can be extremely difficult to have any sort of normal routine or schedule. Carving out a set time of the day that isn’t likely to be overcome by things piling up the rest of the day means you are highly likely to actually do the things you want to do. For example, rather than saying, “I’m going to the gym after work,” you’re saying “I am going to the gym at 8:30 am.”
Chris Boyd is the founder of Apptitude, which helps companies design, develop, and launch projects for smartphones, tablets, and the web. You can follow him and all his tech musings on Twitter @chrisboyddotnet.
Editor’s Note: Maybe we’ve finally found the answer to help us say no to snoozing! We can’t wait go delve in. Are you reading a book you love and would recommend to your friends? Let us know! We’d love to feature it in The Book Club. Send us a message in the contact the editor form, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave a comment below. And check back with us next month for May’s featured book.