This is a transcript from the Business Secrets Podcast With Robert Kanaat. Click here to view and subscribe on iTunes.
Hello and welcome to another episode of Business Secrets. My name is Robert Kanaat, founder of wanderlustworker.com – the premier online destination for all things informational and transformational.
Today what I wanted to talk to you guys about are early morning rituals. So I’m sitting here in Zagreb, Croatia. Yeah, you might need to look it up. I rented this little villa with a private pool, and it’s just incredible. We started off in a place near Split, which is kind of on the coast of Croatia. It’s on the Adriatic Sea. You can actually look out across and see Italy on the other side, which is pretty cool.
Anyways, we got here to Zagreb yesterday, and I woke up really early this morning and this place is just epic. There are flowers, and the garden is just– I haven’t seen anything like it in a very long time, since my grandfather’s garden, who – God rest his soul, he’s not with us anymore. But I am awake this morning, and I woke up at four o’clock in the morning. I wake up at around four o’clock every single day without an alarm. I sit down and I write, and I write at least 2000 words.
So that’s become kind of a ritual for me. Just as like this podcast has become a ritual for me. Every day I sit down, and not only am I now writing 2000 words on my blog – or elsewhere, basically writing in a book to create content or something like that. I’m also recording an episode of this blog, which is roughly between ten and fifteen minutes. Which doesn’t actually take too much time, but it’s the planning that takes a little bit more.
But I wanted to just talk to you about the importance of early morning rituals. Because a really long time ago, I didn’t have a great early morning ritual. I was kind of knee deep into partying and had made a lot of money. I kind of stopped paying attention. That kind of thing happens when you make money. They call it the “sudden wealth syndrome,” actually. It’s when you suddenly come into a bunch of wealth.
For example, there have been studies about lottery winners and people who inherit large sums of money – and who just don’t know what to do with it. Then they blow it, and then they end up in bankruptcy a few years later. Which is crazy to think like if millions and millions of dollars come into your bank account, something that you’ve always wanted – that it could actually turn around and bite you in the butt. Even if you actually make that money, I think the problem is – if you make it a little bit too fast, there’s an issue.
So but my whole point is that I strayed from early morning rituals. I wasn’t paying attention. I wasn’t getting up early in the morning. I was focused – I was heavily focused on not paying attention. More about girls and going out and all this other stuff. I can’t tell you the amount of progress that has occurred since I’ve sat down, buckled down and gotten serious about my early morning rituals.
I don’t know – I have been a morning person for a long time. As much as I can remember, but not this much of a morning person. Maybe I was waking up at like seven or eight? I think that I strayed to like nine or ten in the morning for a while there. But since I’ve been doing this early morning ritual – I mean, some incredible things have started happening for me. I have made more progress than I could ever imagine making.
So I wanted to talk to you guys about creating an early morning ritual, and how you can actually do that – and how you can actually create that habit, right? Because a lot of what we do– Studies have shown it’s 45% of our behavior. So habits are 45% of our behavior. But I was speaking with John Assaraf, and he claims that it’s more like 85% of our behavior if habitual.
So whatever it is – whether it’s that study or John Assaraf who is right, and I have a lot of respect for John Assaraf – because he’s one of the most brilliant people that I know. Whether or not either one of those is correct, it’s somewhere in that range. So almost everything that you do, a large part of what you do is habitual. It’s all happening in the neural pathways of the mind. It’s just easier to do, right? It’s not like this is something difficult. It’s like you get up and you’re used to doing it.
Like if you’re smoking – if you’re a smoker and you’re smoking cigarettes – you wake up and you’re going to smoke a cigarette. Or if you’re eating and you finish your meal, you’re going to want to smoke a cigarette – because it’s habitual, you’re used to it. All of those – every little part of that, whatever happens. If you’re a smoker right now, even hearing me talk about inhaling a plume of smoke from a cigarette, and that feeling – that rush of relaxation and the departure of anxiety that leaves you. Probably is going to make you want to smoke a cigarette right now. Because it’s habitual. I’m not a smoker, by the way. But I’ve heard people describe this in detail.
But anything that you’re used to. If you’re used to drinking. If you’re used to taking a morning walk – whatever it is, it’s habitual for you, right? If you’re used to surfing a specfic website, or checking out social media on your phone consistently. It’s habitual. Early morning rituals are habitual. I’m awake this morning at 4 am, because it’s an early morning ritual for me, right? Sitting down, writing, creating content – that’s a ritual for me.
So I wanted to share with you one thing that I’ve learned. I’ve talked a lot about this on the blog, and I’ve gotten some awesome comments about it. So I wanted to tell you and bring that kind of gold nugget to you here. Is something that I call the micro changes approach, right? So if you’re not an early morning person, or if you’re not doing something right now that you want to be doing – here’s how you do it. I’m going to tell you kind of the secret little hack, okay? I don’t know if it’s so much of a secret – but when I discovered it, I definitely thought that it was.
So here’s all you have to do, okay? To create an early morning ritual – to build any habit, you have to start small. So habits are kind of like rubber bands. So if you stretch a rubber band too fast, what happens, right? It snaps. If you don’t want that to happen, if you don’t want to revert back to your old ways, right? You know what they say, that when people diet they always come back and gain more weight. Why? Because it’s like a rubber band. The rubber band snaps, and then all of a sudden you’re actually less off than where you were when you started. So the whole kind of proverbial back to the drawing board.
So if you don’t want that to happen, here is exactly what you do. It’s called the micro changes approach. So all you have to do is start very, very small. Seriously, I mean very, very small, okay? I don’t mean like – if you want to work out one day, you get up and work out for 45 minutes or an hour. I’m talking about literally – if you want to– If you want to become a runner, all you have to do is walk around your block once a day. That’s it.
You think that that’s too small, right? So what happens? When you walk around the block once a day – maybe for the first few days you’re going to do it, and you’re going to feel accomplished in that goal, right? Because it’s too small to fail. So when a goal is too small to fail, you don’t set the mind up for over thinking, right? Because we have a tendency to overthink things. As an entrepreneur, as a business owner trying to grow and scale any business, we overthink. So I’m going to show you how like this analogy relates to your business.
So you walk around the block once a day, right – and you do that continuously for at least a week. Then the next week you double it. But what’s going to actually happen is you’re going to probably find yourself doubling it anyways, without even thinking about it. Because you build momentum, right?
So what are the things that can help you the most in life? It’s obviously to build momentum. Because any activity that you start, and you consistently pay attention to – like – not that you start it, and then you stop it, right? That’s not going to help you at all. But if you consistently pay attention to it, and you grow it – it naturally turns into something bigger. It balloons, right?
Like anything, like for example my blog. I remember starting out and it was just like a sporadic thing, and I was devoted to it. But it just grew, and it grew and it grew – until now it’s become this massive thing with millions of readers. But that doesn’t start that way, right? Nothing starts that way. But we have a tendency to over think. So if you’re an entrepreneur, if you’re a business owner and you want to scale your business – what you have to do is create an early morning routine that’s going to empower you, right? That’s going to empower your business.
So what are the things that empower your business? Is – first of all, health is wealth. My buddy Howie Panes always says this. “Health is wealth.” If your mind is not right, then there are going to be – everything wrong with your life and your business. So if you are a drinker, if you are a smoker, if you are putting other toxins in your body – I’m even talking about if you’re abusing prescription drugs – anything, right?
First of all, you have to remove those things. Because as much as you think that it doesn’t impact you, it does. Now take this from somebody who partied pretty hard, right? I was drinking consistently for quite a while, maybe for like a couple of years – and definitely partying more than I should’ve been, and not paying attention. It was not even in the first months that it really helped me.
About six months after I stopped – literally after no more toxins entered my body, my brain, my mind became like a laser beam. I couldn’t do all the things that I do today if I didn’t stop doing all of those other things. So that’s number one, first and foremost – that’s the hardest thing. I know breaking habits is really, really hard. You have to experience a lot of pain, kind of like I did. Or you have to have something else bigger that’s fueling you. So that’s one thing, right?
The other thing is – obviously you have to create other empowering rituals. So like you have to build other empowering habits. So like what kind of habits can you build? You have to find the right habits that are going to serve you, right? So what’s going to serve your business? Health is wealth. Obviously working out. But if you can’t full blown work out, do the micro changes approach. Start small, right?
Let’s say for example you want to go to the gym. Like get dressed for the gym in the morning, get in your car and drive to the gym. And stop, and then drive home. Don’t even – you don’t even have to go inside. I’m serious. This sounds really weird to you, right? But I’m serious. So get dressed for the gym, go into your car, drive there, and stop. Do that for a few days or even for a week. Then the next week, go inside, right? Or when you first start out, put your gym clothes at the foot of your bed. So when you wake up and your feet hit the floor, you instantly get dressed.
Don’t even think about it. So do this, and then go into the gym and then work out for five minutes. Then just promise yourself five minutes a day, right? Five minutes a day. Then increase it to like 10 minutes a day or 15 minutes a day. Week after week, I assure you this will get you there faster than tyring to go and work out an hour a day. That is not going to work. You are always going to get set back.
So all the other things that help to build your business are things like setting and achieving goals. Like for example, Mark Twain once said that you should eat a frog, right? It was a quote. I don’t have the quote in front of me right now. But if you have to eat a frog, eat the biggest frog first, right? That just basically means you should do the most important tasks of the day first. So this should become habit, right? The night before, you should write those tasks that you have to do in the morning, and then do those tasks in the morning.
I’ve talked about time management before, but these most important things are like those things that help you with quadrant two – the strategical. So if you haven’t listened to that podcast episode, go find it. It’s called – I believe it’s called – something about managing your time. All of those things help to create an empowering morning ritual. So if you want to be an author or if you want to like create content for your business – sit down and write 2000 words a day.
Stephen King writes 2000 words a day. He’s gone through so many rejections. All through his life, I believe his book Carrie was rejected 30 times. He even threw it in the trash, and his wife took it out. He writes 2000 words a day without fail. That’s where I got that habit from. I read that he does it, and I sat down and I did it. I was consistent with it for a very, very long time.
So these empowering rituals are going to help to grow your business like you can not even imagine. If you just actually sit down and do it, and don’t overthink it – start very, very small. But be consistent, right? Every single day. So whatever it is that you are struggling with, just sit down and be consistent with it – but only promise yourself very, very little. Don’t promise that you’re going to do too much, right? And that’s how you build, that’s how you grow momentum, slowly but steadily.
So that’s what I have to share with you guys today. So hopefully you take a big nugget of information, and please go and implement it and let me know what you guys think. Drop me a message on my blog. Just go to wanderlustworker.com, click on the “contact” tab, and send me an email. I hope you guys are enjoying these episodes. Again, please, please comment, like, share – and definitely subscribe on iTunes, tell your friends. I would greatly appreciate it. Until next time, I will speak to you guys soon.