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Inside My Daily Routine As A Consultant: Podcast #97

Being able to balance building a business with having a life full of freedom that allows you to travel, spend much time with your family, and take care of yourself is an ideal daily routine for most people. Today, we get inside Michael’s daily routine as a consultant. As a believer of health is wealth and motion is the key, he dives into the importance of going to the gym. Michael also tackles the value of structuring your day so that you’re able to make significant progress, see the results, and feel good about what you accomplished. At the end of the day, it all boils down to performing tasks with the highest impact and family time.

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Inside My Daily Routine As A Consultant

I’m going to be sharing with you my daily routine that has helped me to consistently run a seven-figure consulting business while traveling the world and working with clients all around the world. Most importantly, being able to make real progress on a daily and consistent basis inside of the business. Being able to balance building a business with having a life full of freedom. A life that allows me to travel, to spend a lot of time with my family and take care of myself as well from a health perspective. The reason I’m recording this is because a client who I enjoy working with and respect a lot posted a question in our private Clarity Coaching Program forum. She asked, “What is your daily routine, especially how you start off the mornings?” A bunch of our clients shared their daily routines in the Clarity forum. I shared mine as well there and I thought, “Why don’t I record and share with you how I approach my daily routine?” Maybe it will be of interest.

I thought it was interesting that this client asked about the morning especially. That made a lot of sense. The morning is so important. It sets you up for a great day. If you don’t set your morning up the right way, you may find that you’re getting started on a challenging note. You can either start your day facing an uphill battle or you can start your day looking down and being able to coast. It doesn’t mean that your day is going to be easy. It does mean that you can set yourself up for a greater chance of success and enjoyment for each day if you approach things the right way. I’m going to share with you my approach or my routine. It doesn’t mean that it’s the right one for you. It’s what works for me. I have over the years and I continue to study successful people, whether it’s in business or in other areas of life. That’s an area of interest for me.

You can either start your day facing an uphill battle or looking down and being able to coast. Click To Tweet

A lot of the principles that I have applied to my own routine, into my own life, lifestyle and business come from what I’ve learned from coaches and from mentors that I’ve invested in over the years. As a company, we’ve brought into our fold, but also from studying texts and books and just learning. I believe that all of us should be learning. Those who continue to learn and invest in themselves are those that continue to see greater and greater success in their business and their lives. Let me dive into it. I’m going to take you through what my Monday to Friday often looks like. Let’s get into it.

Waking Up Early

My typical weekday is I rise at 5:30. I always set the alarm. The alarm does not usually go off. I usually turn it off myself. The reason why that happens is I’m often waking up earlier than 5:30. Sometimes I’ll get out of the bed when my eyes open. Other times I’ll stay in and keep looking at the clock until it gets a bit closer to 5:30 and decide to get moving. In wintertime, it’s a little bit harder to get out of bed in the morning because it’s darker here and it’s colder.

Going To The Gym

The first thing that I do is I go and I get changed. I put on my workout gear. I grab a glass of water and I head out. I jump in the car and I go to the gym. That’s why when it’s wintertime and there’s snow on the road, it’s freezing cold and it’s dark, I’m not as eager to get moving. I always get moving around that time. The first thing that I do is I go to the gym.

CSP 97 | Daily Routine

This is important in many different aspects. It’s important from a mental standpoint. When I’m at the gym, I’m able to think about my business, about life and gain different perspectives. I know that many people find the same thing. By changing your environment, your mind is able to focus or to see clearly or to make better decisions or to shine a light on a challenge or an opportunity from a different angle than you might approach it if you were in your typical work setting. I do it for a mental perspective. I also do it for a health perspective. I want to stay healthy. I’m not trying to become a bodybuilder or to bench press huge amounts of weight. I did that when I was younger. It’s about staying healthy. I want to build some muscle. I want to have good cardio. I want to be healthy and motion, for me, is the key.

I remember when I was younger growing up, I had a neighbor. She was an elderly lady from Taiwan. She spoke very little English. We would sometimes communicate in Japanese. Many elderly people from Taiwan had the Japanese being there and having to study Japanese. We communicate in Japanese a little bit when I was starting to study. I’ll never forget that she used to go for walks every single day. I asked her, “Why are you walking? Why are you out? What’s going on?” She said it’s so important to keep the body active. I continue to observe that with people who are older that are healthy. Their minds are more with it. Their bodies are more with it. They seem like they have more energy. It’s that they’re active. That’s another part.

Motion is the key. Starting your day off by going to the gym is an instant source of energy. Click To Tweet

The third part in terms of why I go to the gym is it’s a source of fuel. It energizes me. I have a condition called idiopathic hypersomnia, which I wrote about in my book, The Elite Consulting Mind. Doctors don’t know why, but I always feel tired or fatigued. It doesn’t matter if I sleep five hours or if I sleep for ten hours, I still feel the same way. It doesn’t matter what I eat or what I drink. I’ve tried all different things. If I have some wine or I don’t have wine, there’s no real change. I don’t want to use prescription drugs all the time. That’s what doctors have suggested or recommended. I’ve looked for healthier alternatives. It doesn’t solve and it doesn’t cure because there is no cure, but the biggest thing that has an impact is going to the gym or staying active. To start my day off by going to the gym is an instant source of energy. It carries me throughout the day. I don’t go for a super long workout. I might be there for 40 minutes or give or take. I’ll typically alternate between doing cardio one day and doing weights another day, stretches and all that stuff.

Freshening Up And Rehydrating

The first thing that I would do after the gym is to jump into the shower and freshen up. I get another glass of water. I always have with me a 500-milliliter, half a liter type of glass. It’s almost like a jar. That’s when I pound water back in. Research shows that your body gets dehydrated when you sleep. Water is not only important for your body, but it’s important for your mind, for your brain. I try and drink as much water as I can early in the morning. Let’s call it now 6:45 or so in the morning by this time, everyone in my house, my daughters and wife, are still sleeping.

Prepping For The Day

The next thing that I do is I start reading and prepping for the day. When I say prepping, I’m not so much planning the day out. The key is that I do that the day before. When I wake up, I already have a list. My calendar is already organized. I know what I need to be doing that day. I’m not scrambling or wondering what should I do. I already know. I review that. I think a little bit about the day.

CSP 97 | Daily Routine

I’m also reading. I might be reading a book. I might be reading some stuff online. I often prefer to read printed books. That’s a time for me to study. I might look into other things. I’ll check out what’s happening in the financial markets and the world. It’s studying, reading, thinking and looking at some lists of what’s going to be happening that day. I’m setting myself up for success. I’m getting myself prepared. It’s a nice and quiet time in the winter. It’s still pitch black at that time. It still feels interesting. I’ll head down to the kitchen table. That’s usually where I’ll be sitting. It’s maybe on the sofa in the house, reading, drinking some water and thinking about the day.

Breakfast And Family Time

The next thing that I do is breakfast and family time. I’m going to wake my older daughter up. My wife is getting up or preparing. Our younger daughter, at this time, would be crying because she’s still very young. She’ll be waking up. She’ll be wanting food and all that stuff. Either my wife or I will make a smoothie. That’s healthy stuff. We’re putting in spinach and collard greens or we’re putting in an apple or a banana, turmeric and flax oil. Typically, it’s a minimal amount of fruit and a lot more vegetable. Typically beets. We put in carrots. We try and vary it up day-to-day. It’s a lot of super fruits or super vegetables, things that are packed with nutrients and antioxidants and all that stuff. Sometimes that will be my breakfast. Other times, I’ll get like a slice of organic multigrain toast that we get from a bakery nearby the house, which is delicious. I’ll put avocado on that, with some olive oil and salt. That’s my breakfast. That’s all I need. It’s perfect. I got my smoothie. I have my avocado toast. I’m hanging out with the family. We’ll hang out and get my daughter ready for school or whatever it might be. Sometimes I’ll drive my daughter to school, depending on the day.

Rather than getting started with stuff that consume time, start your day with the number one priority. Click To Tweet

I’ve adjusted my schedule over the years. When I was younger, when I wasn’t married or even when I didn’t have kids, I would be starting work a lot earlier. I’d be working a lot later into the evening. Depending on your situation, there’s no right or wrong. The most important thing is figuring out how do you want to structure your day so that you’re able to make great progress and see the results and feel good about what you accomplished. This is how I set my schedule up. If we went back in time in ten years, my schedule would have been different. I want to be transparent and make that distinction.

Heading To The Office

After that, I will typically head to the office around 10:00 AM. My office is about a twelve to fifteen-minute walk. Usually, I walk pretty quickly, so I’m there in about twelve minutes. I leave the house and walk to the office. That’s an important thing for me in terms of focus. I used to work from home. When I lived in Japan, although we did have an office in Osaka that I would go to. I’d often be working from the house. I almost always did that. In the last several years, once we had our first child, Rae, I couldn’t work from home anymore. My daughter has vocal cords like an opera singer. She is very lively. She’s powerful in the way that she speaks and she sings. She’s full of energy. She’s wonderful, but I can’t concentrate the way that I would like to at the house. That was the only reason I decided to start first renting an office and later bought an office. It was and still is important to have a place where I can concentrate and focus and doing client calls or recordings like this and so forth. I get to the office by 10:00 AM. Sometimes a little bit earlier but it’s somewhere around there.

CSP 97 | Daily Routine

Music And Coffee

Here’s another thing that I’ve done and I never thought that I would be into this. When I get into the office, I put on Luciano Pavarotti. I put some of his music on. I get coffee. I never thought I’d be into that kind of music because growing up, I always listened to jazz music or world music or hip-hop music. There’s something about aspects of whether it’s classical or opera. What I’ve been listening to a lot is Pavarotti. It allows me to focus my mind. It gets clear when I’m listening to that. I feel peaceful. I’m able to get a great start to the day. Later in the day, I might listen to something with a stronger rhythm, some more jazz or world music. When I’m working, whether it’s writing or doing work, I tend to listen to instrumental music, not music with people singing. I find that a little bit more distracting. It’s hard for me to concentrate, probably because I’m thinking of what they’re saying to a degree. Instrumental music is what I listen to.

Taking Care Of The First Priority Of The Day

I then go into my first priority for the day. This is key. This is so important. Rather than getting started with stuff that consumes time or things that are nice to-dos, I start my day as much as I possibly can, I’m not perfect so it doesn’t always happen, with the number one priority for that day, the real initiative, the real thing that’s going to move the business forward. I always have my Google calendar, which has most of my stuff on there. I find that if I don’t put something in the calendar, it often doesn’t happen. If I don’t write things down, they also don’t happen. It’s important to have lists. I have my online list on my Google calendar, which is great. It doesn’t matter whether I’m at my standup desk or whether I’m sitting down on the desk in the office or whether I’m on my phone at a meeting someplace or somewhere on the world. It doesn’t matter because it’s central. I can access it. Even with that, I always write things down. I always have a book where every day, I will write down.

By starting off with the areas of highest impact, you're able to make great progress. Click To Tweet

For example, if I have five things I need to do or ten things or whatever it is, I’ll write them all out. Once they have been written out, I will go through them one by one. I’ll prioritize starting with what needs to happen first, the biggest priority, the highest area of impact. Once it’s done, I’ll cross it off. I’ll go through that day, crossing things off. I’m sure that you’ve heard this before. The reason why this is so key is if you start with things that aren’t as important, the day consumes you because stuff comes up or whatever it might be. You haven’t gotten the stuff that matters the most done. That gets pushed to the next day and the next day. By starting off with the areas of highest impact, you’re able to make great progress. Even if something comes up like you’ve got to run to pick up your kids because something happened or the power goes out in your building or whatever it is, if you start with the number one priority and that’s what you get done first, you’ll always make more progress. That’s important. That is a theme throughout every day and every week.

I’m always pushing myself and working with the team to look at the 80/20, the points of greatest impact. It’s the few numbers of things that we can do and I can be doing consistently or on a daily basis and on a weekly basis to move the business forward. Every day, I have new ideas pop into my mind. Sam or someone else in the team will share some idea with me. I process and I think, “Is this key? Is this core? Is it going to move the business forward? Maybe it’s something we should do, but maybe we shouldn’t be doing it until we’ve got these other things done. Maybe that’s a great idea. Let’s take action on that right away. Let’s delegate that to this person or pass it to them.” It’s good to filter new ideas but I always push myself to remove or abstain from starting things that aren’t key or aren’t a high priority. As you grow your business more and more, you’ll have more and more opportunities coming your way. I would encourage you and respectfully suggest that you say no to a lot of things. You say no to the majority of the things that aren’t right, so you then can be focused on the things that are going to move your business forward.

CSP 97 | Daily Routine

Client Calls, Coaching, Podcasting

We’re into late morning and early afternoon. I typically reserve this time for client calls or doing coaching calls, getting on podcasts, whether I’m recording for the show or I’m a guest on somebody else’s podcast. Most of that type of work happens in the late morning or early afternoon. After that, depending on the day, I will work on whatever else is still on the list that is important that I haven’t gotten to yet. Once I’ve done that, I will start to plan for the next day. Before I leave the office to go home or if I’m traveling somewhere, before I shut things down for the day or leave the office, the Airbnb, the hotel or wherever it is that I am, I will plan for the next day. I’ll make a list or I’ll review the list online. I’ll make sure that when I start that following day, I’m not using that initial time and that initial opportunity to try and figure out what I have to do that day. I’ve already planned it. I’ve already prioritized it. That allows you to have a great start to the day.

I typically will leave the office by 3:30 PM or 4:00 PM, sometimes a little bit later. Sometimes it’s earlier. It depends on what’s happening and where I am. That is my core schedule. In most cases, on Mondays, I’m doing strategy and review, planning and coordination and more deep work that is priority items. I don’t schedule as many calls on that day. On Friday, oftentimes I don’t schedule calls because I’m also doing more deep work prioritization, strategy and certain things like that. On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, it’s core workdays. Monday and Friday are days where I try and keep to working on the business and doing deep, meaningful, important work to build and to grow. Sometimes also, Fridays, it’s nice to be off early and go with family and go away, whatever it might be. Those days are a little bit more flexible. Typically, I’m in the office by 10:00 AM and I’m out by 3:30 PM or 4:00 PM.

As you grow your business more and more, you'll have more and more opportunities coming your way. Click To Tweet

Here’s the thing. I don’t look at it like you can only work in the office. Sometimes I’ll work a little bit if I want to on a Saturday or a Sunday. The key thing is that I’m spending time with my family. I’m spending time with friends. I’m enjoying life, but I’m also growing the business and working on the priorities. What I’ve found is that by focusing on the areas that are going to move your business forward and not doing the things that are distractions, it frees you up to have a lot more time to grow the business more, hustle it, which is what I did a lot when I was younger. I still want to work hard but working smart because I want to spend a lot more time and be a present father and husband and travel and all that stuff. That’s my approach. That’s what I do. That’s what works for me. I’m always looking at ways to refine and to improve. I’m studying what others are doing and testing things out. This is my approach. Hopefully, you found it helpful. I hope that there are a few things in here that you can take and apply to your own business. I wish you a wonderful rest of the day and success. I look forward to bring you our next episode.

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