January 20, 2017
The way I start my days usually heavily influences what the rest of the day will look like.
That's why I've been on the lookout for a morning routine to boost my productivity and happiness. I've followed many tips from many books. I've tried dozens of things that people said worked magic for them. None of those routines lasted for more than a couple of days for me.
Late December 2016, I finally came up with a daily routine that works wonders for me. I've been using it religiously ever since and the results are short of astonishing.
I wanted to share it with you.
First thing I do after I wake up—before I get out of bed, before I check my email, before anything else—is I write my answers to the following seven questions:
1. Who's got my money today?
2. What do I do today to grow Trademark Factory®?
3. What makes me a better business owner today?
4. What makes me a better husband today?
5. What makes me a better father today?
6. What makes me a better drummer today?
7. What will I do for fun today?
Answering these questions is not easy. Sometimes, I find myself pondering over these questions for 20 or so minutes.
But this routine is helping me shape an epic day, every day.
The first question comes courtesy of Grant Cardone, with the addition of the word "today." It makes me focus on my most revenue-generating activities.
For the the second question, I usually come up with more long-term projects that will allow me to continue growing the business.
I list books to read and seminars to attend in the "What makes me a better business owner" field.
The first two stages of any business are existence and survival, and as I was working my assets off to build Trademark Factory®, it was only natural for me to get used to feeling that my only role and responsibility was to grow the business.
2016 was a very successful year for us: the team grew to 11 people strong, the revenues grew by a third. We are finally getting noticed as we transition into the growth stage.
But guess what, by the time we got here, I almost forgot that I have other roles and responsibilities.
This is what the other 4 questions are all about.
Coming up with daily new ideas for "What makes me a better husband" has been a difficult one for me because "If I just make more money, I'll be able to provide better for my family" doesn't cut it anymore. This question makes me focus on what would actually make my wife happy, not just what would make me feel good about myself.
The kids obviously love this one. The first thing THEY do now is look for my daily answers to find out what's ahead of them. I even started writing these messages in code—and it's up to them to decipher the message. Lots of fun!
As you know, I'm a wannabe rockstar and a drummer who has been drumming for almost 30 years but hasn't really learned to play properly until very recently. I started taking lessons a couple of years ago and now I want to take this to a whole other level. Actually, another post in this issue will boast some of the results.
Finally, the fun question. Believe it or not, this one is usually the most difficult for me. I mean, it's easy to find stuff to mindlessly relax. But the question makes me focus on, will I REALLY enjoy it or it is just the un-work time? The goal, of course, is to do something worth doing and something worth remembering.
This routine has worked magic for me. Business-wise, January has been our best month ever. The kids are ecstatic that the man they live under the same roof with is actually back to being their father. Emilia, suspicious as she is, is happy, too.
Most importantly, I feel that I have a life now. It's not about work-life balance. I don't believe in that. It's about setting intentions and growing in more direction than one.
Feel free to borrow :)