In January, Gina Rodriguez won a Golden Globe for her starring role in comedy show Jane the Virgin. In her acceptance speech, she told the audience of a daily habit that led to success: “My father used to tell me to say every morning, ‘Today is going to be a great day. I can and I will.’ “
How you start your day matters.
Ideally, if you start on a positive note, you’ll find things will stay that way. On the other hand, if you begin your day with attitude, you may see it trickle into everything you do.
With that in mind, we asked seven highly successful women to give us a sneak peek at their morning routines and habits. Keep reading to learn how these seven entrepreneurs – from inDinero CEO Jessica Mah to Forbes 30 Under 30 honouree Lais Pontes – start the day right.
1. Natasha Case
Blending food and architecture? Not a problem. At least not for Natasha Case, who co-founded Coolhaus, a buzzing business that creates architecturally-inspired ice-cream sandwiches, with wife Freya Estreller in 2009. Following a highly successful launch – at Coachella, no less – the duo published the Coolhaus Ice Cream Book, jam-packed with delicious recipes, in 2014.
Natasha’s morning routine: “Iced coffee. Always iced, no matter the weather. Then tennis with Freya, my wife, or [a] ClassPass class. Our dogs join [us] at tennis or [we] go for a walk around the block, then a run in the yard. [We] always eat breakfast. [Then we listen to] calming nature sounds – yes, I said it – en route to the office.”
2. Jessica Mah
Jessica Mah was seemingly destined for entrepreneurship. She was coding by the time she was eight years old, and she started her first tech business at the tender age of 12. Thirteen years later, Mah is the co-founder and CEO of inDinero, an Inc. 5000 financial firm helping business owners manage their money.
Jessica’s morning routine: “My most useful morning habit is on Monday mornings I block off several hours so that I can focus on setting goals and planning for the week to come. It’s a great way to consistently get each week’s focus squared away before the sea of to-dos flood in and take you where they want you to go, instead of the reverse. I love keeping my hands on the wheel.”
3. Sarah Hamilton
Sarah Hamilton is the co-founder and CEO of Bellabox, one of the largest beauty subscription box businesses in the Asia-Pacific region. In 2014, Australia’s Allure Media bought slightly more than 50% of the company for $6 million.
Sarah’s morning routine: “[I] drop off [the] kids on the way to the train. Once [I find] a seat, [I do] a mini-meditation [for] approximately three minutes to ensure that I am ready for the new day. After meditation, [I] check emails on the train and catch up on the news for the day. When I first arrive at the office, I refine the day’s goals … to ensure that all [my] priorities are aligned.”
4. Brooke Harvey Taylor
Pacifica Beauty president and founder Brook Harvey Taylor began mixing fragrances when she was a teenager. Despite this early addiction, she couldn’t have known she would go on to create one of the first all-natural vegan beauty brands to hit the market.
Brooke’s morning routine: “I am a huge fan of coffee. In fact, coffee makes me so happy. But I now try to have a big glass of water before my coffee just to get re-hydrated. I have three kids, so my mornings aren’t a magical ‘me-centred’ experience; rather they are a rush to get everyone out the door with shoes on – staying calm and grounded [is] important. A few simple things make my whole day run smoother: Picking my clothes out the night before makes my morning routine a breeze; making sure that I get enough sleep, [and] taking my Vitamin B.”
5. Jessica Greenwalt
The Huffington Post says Jessica Greenwalt, the founder of Pixelkeet and the co-founder of CrowdMed, is “rocking tech for good.” Meanwhile, Tech.co says Greenwalt is one of 50 women dominating in Silicon Valley. We can’t disagree.
Jessica’s morning routine: “I fill up to eight hours of each workday on my Google Calendar with tasks, blocking off a minimum of 30 minutes for each one. I estimate on the high side when trying to guess how much time each task will take to try to account for delays. Then I use my calendar as a to-do list, making sure I complete the tasks scheduled for the day. Placing tasks on my calendar gives me a visual for what my day will be like and gives me concrete goals to accomplish. Limiting myself to eight hours of calendar time per day also forces me to focus on completing the most important tasks first.”
6. Elle Kaplan
Elle Kaplan is the CEO of LexION Capital Management, one of the only women-owned and operated investment firms in the United States. Although her success was born from humble beginnings – when she was 22, Kaplan moved to New York City with just $200 in her pocket – she exceeded her goals for the year within 24 hours of launching LexION in 2010.
Elle’s morning routine: “Every day, without fail, I walk to work. Yes, even in the winter. Saying things get stressful at LexION Capital is an understatement, so it’s vital I have ‘me’ time every day to clear my head. During this stroll, the agenda is no phones, Twitter, email, etc., just relaxing thoughts. When you’re working crazy, round-the-clock startup hours, those precious moments of fresh air and mental clarity are vital, not just for protecting your health but also to protect against burnout.”
7. Lais Pontes
Lais Pontes prides herself on her points of difference; rather than think outside the box, she aims to create new boxes. Her philosophy has taken her far. She launched her fashion PR company, The Pontes Group, when she was just 24 years old. Three years later, The Pontes Group has a global inventory of clients, and Pontes made it onto the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for 2015.
Lais’s morning routine: “To do what I do, and do it well, I must have laser focus and a solid routine. A few of my morning habits: walking my dog around my downtown Fort Lauderdale community; reading the newspaper, [as] I don’t have televisions in my home, and creating a personal/business to-do list based on my calendar for the day.”
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