“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

~ Mark Twain

Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day.

Few really leverage every second given to them.

The ones that do are the crazy ones, the ones that get up early and stay up late, the ones that keep going when everyone else quits.

What makes them different? What compels them to accomplish more?

Can just anyone take what they do and copy it, can you learn their “insider secrets,” the tips that propel them forward?

Of course, there are aspects that can’t be copied or emulated. Timing, IQ, personal experience, and luck are not things that can be emulated.

get up early and workoutThere are some things, though, some simple things that virtually all successful people do every day that are common. So simple and effective. Most of the secrets I’m about to tell you don’t seem like secrets at all, in fact upon reviewing this list I’m guessing you’ll doubt the real impact these seven things could have.


Here’s my challenge to you, take the following list and employ them in your life for 90 days, for real. Don’t cheat! Do each of the following things for 90 days and I promise, those 90 days will be the most productive of your life. Don’t believe me? Prove me wrong.

  • early morning coffeeWake up early– Most people wish this one could be removed from the list. In a survey of the top 100 executives of the last 100 years, ALL of them got up early, most at 5:30 or earlier. It makes sense really, think of the distractions of the day. Most people don’t start working until 8:30 – 9:30, so if you’re up by 5:30, you have 4 solid hours of interruption-free time. Half the average workday with NO ONE interrupting your brain allowing it to do it’s best work. Free from distractions.
  • Exercise – Yep, on typically on everyone’s list, however, in a recent study they found that while most people intended on exercising in the morning most did not do it consistently. Consistent daily exercise helps your body to wake up, get oxygen flowing to your brain and allows your subconscious mind time to process the happenings of yesterday in preparation for today.
  • Do the hardest tasks first. – Most people procrastinate the task they least want to do, they push it off until the last possible minute. This is foolish for a couple of reasons, first, tackling the hardest task first while your brain is fresh allows your brain to problem solve and dig into the difficult task when your mind is sharpest. Second, accomplishing something difficult right off the bat in the morning creates momentum in your day. Momentum is critical for getting a lot done in a lot in a short amount of time. Doesn’t it feel amazing to finish something difficult, especially if you have most of the day ahead of you?
  • Network each week – The saying “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” is a powerful, truthful statement about business and success. The “who you know” is all about relationships. The funny thing about relationships is they require time and investment. Successful people are always developing relationships, what better time to connect with people than for an early morning breakfast.
  • meditateMeditate or pray – Studies have shown the power of prayer and or meditation. Clarity of mind is critical for efficient and productive time throughout the day. Most successful people set aside time every single morning for this important habit.
  • Write down what they are grateful for daily – Life is busy, full of minutia; little victories are often forgotten or missed. Stress, problems, and the urgency of life around can quickly overshadow all the amazing things that are happening every day. Successful people take the time to reflect on what’s working, what’s not working, and write down and appreciate what they are grateful for.
  • Plan the day first (top 3 things) – Once the day gets in full swing, you’re hit with notifications, emails, phone calls, meetings, and a million other distractions. Knowing what NEEDS to be done, and getting that list of tasks accomplished is critical, studies have shown that taking the time to think through the list of what must be accomplished is a critical part of ensuring the most important stuff is the stuff that actually gets done.

Of course, there are lots of other things that could have made the list (like eating breakfast), but this list of 7 things are not only common between most of the most successful people in the world, they are also things I have found to be the most effective in my own life.

Running multiple businesses, writing, and raising 4 kids demands a lot of focused energy and time. There’s not a lot of space in the margins, it’s important to ensure the “right” stuff is getting done, and done well.

If you think something is missing from this list, or you disagree with something I have here, I would love to hear from you! You can reach me at [email protected]


~Chris Behnke

Christopher Behnke, Chris BehnkeChris Behnke


Entrepreneur, Advisor, Author, & Pilot who loves business getting outside the box & inventing new ways of doing the impossible.


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