Morning Routines of Popular Billionaires

6 June, 2020 5 min read
good morning savien

Some of the world’s most successful people today have some strange morning routines. Just like how breakfast is the most important meal of the day, how you start your morning will dictate how the rest of your day goes; so it’s important to figure out a good routine and to stick with it (even on weekends).

Here are the morning routines of some of my favorite billionaires.

Warren Buffett

One of the most well known and well respected investors in the world, Warren Buffett has rightfully earned the nickname “the Oracle of Omaha”. Using the value investing methods taught from his mentor Benjamin Graham, Buffett is worth a whopping $89 billion (US) as of December 2019.

So what does a multi-multi billionaire do with his day?

As any one who has ever heard or read about Mr. Buffett will tell you, he loves to read. Buffett typically spends 5 to 6 hours a day reading to help improve his mind and keep up-to-date on current events.

I have definitely taken a page out of Warren Buffett’s book (pun not intended). Tom Corley, author of Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals, found that those with an annual income of at least $160,000 read for self-improvement, education, and success. On the other hand, those who earn $35,000 a year or less read for entertainment, if they choose to read at all.

Typically, Buffett gets breakfast after markets have already opened; not an expected move for someone who has earned his vast wealth in the market. Stranger still, Mr. Buffett doesn’t dine on Maine lobster or wagyu beef first thing in the morning. In fact, what Buffett gets for breakfast depends on what the market is doing.

In the HBO special Becoming Warren Buffett (order it on Amazon here), the investing pro talks about how he decides what to get for his first meal of the day. If stocks are up, he’ll order a bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit for $3.17. If they are trending downwards, he opts for a cheaper breakfast of two sausage patties for $2.95 (to save money, of course).

And he pays exact change. Sweet God, I love this man.

Mark Cuban

I like Mark Cuban. Worth an estimated $4.3 billion, he is the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, the author of How to Win at the Sport of Business, and one of the “sharks” on ABC’s Shark Tank.

In 2015, Cuban dropped an F-Bomb on live TV and was given a $15,000 fine which was then donated to CyberSmile, an online foundation aimed at eliminating online bullying. Later in the show, Cuban was informed that he was fined and told where the money was going. When asked if he wanted to “double down” to make it a cool $30,000, he responded “fuck it” (watch the video here).

Like I said, I like this guy.

Cuban has an awesome tactic for starting his day that I have incorporated into my morning routine… eating a frog.

OK, not literally eating a frog. In his book Eat That Frog, he describes “eating a frog” as getting a huge, difficult, and complicated task out of the way as early in the day as possible. If every morning you had to eat a frog, it’s best to get it out of the way ASAGDMFP (as-soon-as-goddamn-motherfucking-possible). By eating a frog first thing in the morning, you can look forward to the rest of the day knowing that the most difficult task is now behind you.

After waking up at 6:30 and eating his frog (in his case, checking hundreds of emails), Cuban likes to keep fit, both physically and mentally. He finds time in the day to workout for at least an hour, and reads for an additional 3 or 4 hours as well.

Elon Musk

Ol’ Musky has some pretty insane ideas including naming his child X Æ A-12 (Little X, for short) and launching his $100,000 Tesla Roadster into space. But truth be told, it’s those with the zaniest ideas that can do the things no one else can imagine.

Elon’s morning routine is pretty straight forward. He likes to take care of business before his morning has even started. He sleeps for 6 hours, wakes up at 7am every day, and responds to emails for a half an hour.

Like most infantry soldiers, his breakfast usually consists of coffee.

Elon likes to prioritize, ensuring that he only focuses on the tasks that really matter. He calls the important things “signals”, while all the other stuff droning about is the “noise”.

Focus on signal over noise. Don’t waste time on stuff that doesn’t actually make things better.

– Elon Musk

I have tried to take up this philosophy in my own life; often I notice that I am busy, but I would much rather be productive. Afterall, it was Warren Buffett who said “busy is the new stupid”.

Jeff Bezos

After having been in the military since 2012, I have learned to love getting up early to the sound of my alarm notifying me that it is time for a 6:00am workout. Jeff Bezos, on the other hand, prefers to wake up in a much more peaceful and natural way.

You’d think that the owner of the Washington Post would have hectic days and sleepless nights. But in reality, Jeff Bezos likes to live a relaxed life. He doesn’t have an alarm clock, nor does he use the alarm app on his phone. He prefers to wake up naturally, as dictated by his mind and body.

Bezos says his likes to “putter around” during his mornings. He has a coffee, reads the newspaper, and has breakfast with his kids before they go to school. Not only that, but the business billionaire (almost $150 billion as of this writing) is responsible for doing the dishes.

He starts his day with his most important meetings and tasks, stating that taking on the highly technically objectives first brings about optimum results.

And, most importantly, he knows when to shut his mind off. Once he starts feeling tired or realizes that there is not enough time in the day to take on a new project, he calls it quits. This is to reduce the amount of bad decisions made, which he calls decision fatigue.

Final Thoughts

Having a morning routine is important; it brings structure to your life, helps set and regulate your internal clock, and can help ensure you can perform your duties for a longer period of time.

While not everyone who follows the morning routines of their favorite successful role models is going to become a billionaire, there has to be something said for the common traits of these people. They are motivated, disciplined, and have the willpower to succeed. It has been suggested that willpower is more important than IQ when trying to predict success, so maybe there’s something to those facts that should be explored further.

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