My Morning Routine: How Successful People Start Their Day

My ex-boss used to repeat this phrase so often that it has been permanently imprinted in my brain:

If you replicate 100% of the actions of successful people, you will get 75% of their results

The lesson was to copy the routines, strategies, and habits of successful sales- people so that their results could be replicated, and it worked! I also found that this approach could also be utilised in other areas of my life like working out, meditating, listening, learning, investing, managing etc. This is one of the primary reasons that I consistently read autobiographies of successful as well as not so successful people.

While these autobiographies provide the mental conditioning required for the long road ahead, very few provide details on the daily routine these people deploy to start, run and end every day. While I have always been in awe of how a Warren Buffet, a Richard Branson, an Amitabh Bachchan or a Brad Feld find the time to run a much larger operation than mine, write books/blogs/poems, make videos, devote time to their respective social causes, be famous and make it all look so effortless, I was certain that there had to be a secret to the system or hack that they were using.

To find an answer to the riddle, I subscribed to various podcasts, read multiple books on time management, signed up for several productivity apps or hacks, attended seminars and even bought expensive diaries and journals. These solutions would only work for a few weeks and also at the trade-off of my close ecosystem going insane. (Sorry, Sandy)

Invariably, I would find out that these systems were built for a machine and inflexible for the needs and wants of an entrepreneur’s time. Even worse, these systems would make me feel guilty if I missed out on a dot or a tick or on making a task list. I had to look for something better!

Then I came across a blog post in my news feed that listed out the morning routine for a regular joe like me and I was intrigued. I went through the website (where the blog was posted) and saw several examples of morning routines that I could identify with. I signed up for the newsletter trusting that I had finally found the answer I was seeking. But my prevailing habits won and I didn’t end up diligently reading those newsletters or making any changes to my routine.

At the beginning of this year, as I was cleaning out my inbox, I found several Morning Routine newsletters. That’s when I promised myself that I would make the change this year. I took the first step by buying the book ‘My Morning Routine’. I started to write down the elements from the morning (and evening) routines of people being interviewed that aligned with my own goals and life situations. Then, I began to incorporate those changes into my daily routine and have witnessed excellent results for the last 52 days of this year.

Who is this book for?

I believe that this book is for any individual who wants to focus on getting results versus getting busy. It is written as a collection of interviews of CEOs, artists, journalists, actors, entrepreneurs, authors, VCs and working parents.

In my honest opinion, it is a must-read for entrepreneurs and people working inside VC firms (especially you Nikita, Karishma and Sandesha)

My Morning Routine is available on Amazon


Video of the Week: The Undisputed King of Bollywood

I must be honest that I was not a big fan of Akshay Kumar through most of my teens. His movies centred around his martial arts abilities and he had typecast himself into a brand of cinema which I did not identify with. Then something happened 10 years ago that altered the actor’s career and this transformation & success formula should be a case study at the top management & entrepreneurial schools in India as it pole-vaulted him to highest paid Bollywood actor (7th highest in the world).
Akshay has been a vocal critic of movie schedules that can take 300-400 days and he adopted a simple success formula which I found is on the lines of the lean start-up mentality.

  1. Akshay completes his movie schedules in 60 days (Housefull 3 was done in 38 days!) which significantly reduces the carrying cost of the movie i.e. the path to profitability is significantly reduced.
  2. He releases 4 movies a year, therefore, increasing the number of shots he has at delivering a hit. Compare that to the competition that does 1-2 movies a year, therefore, has to maintain a near perfect record.
  3. The more releases per year also means that Akshay gets to read the audiences’ pulse regularly and he can adjust/alter/update his next product iteration thereby catering to his customer’s (read: audience) preferences much faster.
  4. The success of this simple success formula can be gauged by the fact that Akshay has delivered 100+ crores in box office collections every single year since 2007

The inspiration to do this research came from two videos wherein the actor provide an insight into his journey, both are must watch videos!
The first one is in Hindi

The second one in English


Dont Quit

Looking out at the inclement weather from my car window I reminisced my days as a door-to-door sales agent. Door to Door sales could be an excruciatingly painful job on occasions when the inclement weather coincided with a day with no or low sales. It was at those times that this poem, “Don’t Quit”, shared with me by my boss, helped tremendously to tide over the tough days. My boss got this poem from his boss.
Later, when I became a manager, a founder and an investor. This poem helped me get over the tough days when the perfect storm brewed right above my head. At times like these that I recite this poem to myself – quietly.

Don’t Quit

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,

When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,

When the funds are low and the debts are high,

And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,

When care is pressing you down a bit,

Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,

As every one of us sometimes learns,

And many a failure turns about,

When he might have won had he stuck it out;

Don’t give up though the pace seems slow–

You may succeed with another blow.


Often the goal is nearer than,

It seems to a faint and faltering man,

Often the struggler has given up,

When he might have captured the victor’s cup,

And he learned too late when the night slipped down,

How close he was to the golden crown.


Success is failure turned inside out–

The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,

And you never can tell how close you are,

It may be near when it seems so far,

So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit–

It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.

The poet remains anonymous. If you know who he/she is, please share it in the comments section.