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Why Wasn't I Awake?! Dealing with the Morning Factor
Stuart Crawford





   Have you ever heard of the old saying “the early bird gets the worm?” This is so true in business today. However, many entrepreneurs and business owners are struggling to find success. They are consistently working late into the evening, spending long hours at the office, using personal time to attempt to become productive, and burning the candle at both ends. With this being said, they continue to struggle with getting their business going.

What I have seen in my travels is that many entrepreneurs, managers, and key employees miss opportunities simply because they were not awake. They are exhausted from the long hours of work, lack of appropriate sleep or suffer from just plain unawareness of their surroundings. The lack of awareness is the hardest one for me to grasp, especially for business owners.

There are many aspects to personal success in business, from enthusiasm of what you do, proper diet, proper rest, not spending time in front of the television (that is time you never get back), continuous study/personal development and many more. The one area I would like to expand upon is the morning factor. The morning factor means getting up ahead of everyone else so that opportunities do not pass you by.

Just like in a horse race, getting out of the gate early is critical to finishing the race successfully. If a horse leaves the gate late, he is forced to work harder by the rider to try and make up lost ground. Same in business, those who decide to sleep in that extra hour may find themselves having to play catch up or even worse, have “the boss” breathing down your neck to find out why you are behind.

My personal example of being a business owner in the Mountain Time Zone automatically puts you behind two hours from your counterparts in the Eastern Time zone. In North America, most of the business schedules correspond with being in the Eastern Time zone, from the stock markets, political centres and many of your upstream vendors work on Eastern Time. So why is it that many western-based businesses fail to realize this?

I continuously receive messages and emails from my friends at my upstream vendors expressing surprised views of why am I corresponding with them so early. Simple questions get a simple answer. It is because they are working at this time, and if I want to work with them I need to schedule myself into their time zone. The benefits of this are endless. Now when my colleague in Toronto or Montreal has an opportunity in the west, they can feel comfortable knowing that they can send it to me because I am on their clock and not forcing them to work on my time. This is an excellent example of the worm and I am the early bird.

Brian Tracy says in his book “Getting rich your own way” that “early to bed, early to rise does seem to make people healthy, wealthy and wise.” There is a tremendous amount of truth to this statement. Getting a good night's rest allows you to be fresh and fully aware completely throughout the following day. On the other hand, it is plain to see, that those of us who stay up late and then force ourselves out of bed to make it into the office on time the next day are not fully aware of opportunities in our environment, lack simple comprehension skills as well as develop adverse health issues.

So here are my simple tricks to leading a successful, healthier business lifestyle:

•Rise and Shine - No earlier or later than 5 am

•Spend one hour until 6 am - reading paper, emails or other trade related bulletins

•6 - 7:30 am - Workout, preferably at your local gym. The majority of professionals work out in the morning, so besides being good for your health, it is also good for your business because you can connect to an excellent network of people.

•7:30 am to 5 pm - Regular business hour activities

•After 5 pm - Healthy dinner, time with friends or family, networking events or other activities that grow you as a person inside or outside of business.

•10 pm - Bed

If you follow these simple guidelines you can easily become a more productive person both inside and outside of your business. Have more energy, be more aware and awake in your surroundings and reap the awards of being the early bird getting the golden worms.

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About the Author :
Stuart R. Crawford is Business Development Strategist specializing in Information Technology with You Factor (http://www.youfactor.ca), a leading business development consulting company in Calgary, Alberta. He can be reached at stuartc@youfactor.ca

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