It’s 4AM and your alarm goes off. Are you hitting snooze or getting up? For most people, answering this question is easy: hit snooze and continue sleeping for a few more hours. While I hate to admit it, for many years I would do the same until one day I came to realize the power of getting up at 4AM and from that point on, my financial life was never the same again. Here’s how getting up at 4AM changed my financial life forever!
For most people, the thought of getting up at 4AM is about as appealing as kissing your second cousin and I totally get it. If you asked me to get up at 4AM only a few years ago, I would have laughed in your face and told you that you were crazy. However, as I got a bit older, I started to awaken to a harsh reality of being an adult: shit’s expensive! Month after month, I would be barely able to meet my bills and I started to fall into a depressive state because I was working 50 or more hours a week and had literally nothing to show for all of my hard work. It was at this point that I knew I had to make a change and this is when I started my YouTube journey which I will dive into more in a bit.
Now, most people cringe at the thought of getting up super early not because there’s something inherently wrong with the early hours of the morning but because it probably means getting a lot less sleep than they’re used to. I had this same uncomfortable experience when I first started to shift my sleep schedule so I could fit in more work into my day which would allow me to escape the financial rut I was in.
So, how did I shift my sleep schedule from getting up at 7AM to getting up at 4AM? Simple, I adjusted my wake up time by 20 minutes each day until I got to my goal wakeup time. Yes, it took about a week or two to become comfortable getting up at 4AM. However, now that I’m here, it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done. Sure, getting up at 4AM has its drawbacks like having to be selective with your late nights out and the fact that your alarm will wake up the whole house if your family aren’t as keen about getting up earlier as you are. However, I can honestly say that getting up at 4AM has changed my financial life for the better and here are five reasons why that is!
Reason #1: More time for distraction-free work
If you’ve ever gotten up super early before, you’ll know just how peaceful it can be. At 4AM, there’s no boss messaging you to talk about work, no kids asking you to play and no friends texting you about their drama. In all honesty, in the busy world we all live in today, it may be the only peace you actually get and sadly most people are giving up this precious time each and every day by sleeping in.
Now, I’m not trying to turn this into a spiritual talk so let’s get into how getting up at 4AM is going to make you rich. You see, making more money comes down to adding more value. This is why we pursue college education to offer our employers more expertise and why people with more experience tend to be paid more money. In a business context, we see that companies that either sell more products or serve more people end up making more money. To put it in the words of Millionaire Fastlane author MJ Demarco, earning more should be seen as collecting value vouchers and your goal is to give more value and collect more vouchers.
Well, getting up at 4AM actually offers you three distinct advantages when it comes to offering more value that 99% of people who get up late overlook and they are the following. First, there’s the fact that when you get up at 4AM, there is no wasting time. No one gets up at 4AM to sit around and twiddle their thumbs which means that once you’re up, you’re straight into work.
Second, when there are no distractions, the quality of your work is undoubtedly going to be better. I think we can all agree that when you’re busy at work and have a million notifications coming in that it’s easy to make mistakes but like I said earlier, at 4AM there won’t be another soul around and there definitely won’t be anyone texting or calling you at that time. Finally, beyond creating better work due to the lack of distractions, your total output will be greater as well. Being able to get into deep work in the morning will allow you to harness quality and quantity and whether you’re using that time to build your business, do freelance work or the like, I can promise you that getting up early is going to change your financial life for the better!
Reason #2: Less “Netflix hours” in the day
I’m no different from everyone else in the fact that I love myself a good Netflix night from time to time. Especially when you tack on “and chill” to that phrase, there’s nothing better. However, as you know, spending time watching mindless TV is not the most effective way to level up your money game and once I got to the point in my life where I couldn’t stand remaining in my financial position for a second longer, I knew that I had to start cutting out activities like Netflix from my life.
Now, Netflix is just a euphemism for any unproductive activities that people engage in throughout the normal course of the day. Netflix for one person could be playing Call of Duty for another person or watching every game scheduled on Monday Night Football. While all these activities have their time and place, unless you are an E-game star or literally playing in the NFL then these events won’t have you making any meaningful financial strides and this is why I’ve found getting up at 4AM to be so powerful.
No one, and I mean, no one gets up willingly at 4AM to play video games, watch Netflix and there aren’t even any live sports on at that time. So you know what that means? You guessed it, the only option you have when getting up at this hour is to be productive and get work done. Once I shifted my sleep schedule to cutting out those typical 8PM-10PM Netflix hours of the day and replaced them with focused work from 4AM-6AM, my output rose exponentially and you guessed it, my financial life catapulted forward as well!
Now, am I telling you that you have to suck every last ounce of fun out of your life? Absolutely not. However, what I do recommend you do if you want to see similar financial progression as I have is to assess how many hours of the day you are spending on these unproductive activities and start to shift some of those hours from consuming to producing. This self-audit should really open your eyes to where opportunities for growth exist and when you capitalize on this time, financial progression will be inevitable!
Reason #3: More time to learn
We’ve all heard the saying “the more you learn, the more you earn” and if you feel as if your income is not where you want it to be, ask yourself the following question, “how much time am I committing to learning every single day?”. For most people, the last time they opened up a book was in college and this is a major factor as to why most people remain financially stagnant for years. You see, every single day, the old knowledge you acquired from friends, mentors or yes even college becomes more and more obsolete. As such, if you want to stay competitive in the money making game, you need to keep your skills and knowledge up to date.
But where do you find the time to read, take courses or practice your skills amidst the busy lifestyle you live? You guessed it, you get up early and get to work. As I already said, those first few hours of the day are precious and should be used to advance whatever skills or knowledge set you’re presently working on. For instance, I like to use part of my morning hours to go for a walk and listen to audiobooks that will allow me to learn more about finance and online business. For you, these hours can be spent taking a new course or practicing a skill you aim to use in your next freelance endeavour. The point is, learning is a must which means making time to learn is a must as well and if you’ve been wondering when that time will be, set your alarm to 4AM and you’ll be all set!
Reason #4: Less spending opportunities
If I haven’t already convinced you to set your alarm for 4AM tomorrow then I know this fourth reason will get you to do so and that reason is saving money. Saving money is the basis of all financial progression because without savings, you have no money to deploy that will in turn allow you to make even greater strides in your quest to ultimate financial success. So, how does getting up early save you money? Let me explain.
Getting up early allows you to save money in two different ways. The first is that stores aren’t open at 4AM and because of this, there is no opportunity to scratch your spending itch. Now, I am not blind to the fact that Amazon never sleeps; however I think we can both agree that by removing at least some of the spending options from the table, it will push people to tone down their purchasing behaviors.
The other reason that getting up early will save you money is that it removes the hours from your day where you’re going to be the most likely to spend. In a 2019 study performed by EachNight, 1000 respondents were asked when they usually make their online purchases and 60% of them said that their purchases took place between 12–4AM. I don’t think it’s any surprise that as we tire, our ability to control our spending temptations wither and as such we tend to spend money even when we know we shouldn’t. Therefore, if saving more money is of any value to you then set your alarm to 4AM and start watching your bank account grow bigger by the day!
Reason #5: First access to timely information
They say that the early bird gets the worm and that worm is timely information. Let me ask you this. How much further ahead in life would you be if at 18, you knew everything you know now? I would guess that having your present knowledge back then would have been infinitely valuable to you in your younger years and this speaks to the importance of having the right information at the right time. Sadly, most of us only acquire the information we need well past the time we actually needed it.
For example, how to solve that math equation only clicks in our minds days after the exam or the fact that Jenny always liked you during high school but you were too busy playing video games to realize it and now she had a boyfriend. Timing in life is essential and while it can get you better grades or a girlfriend, it can also make you more money.
One example of timely information making you money comes in the form of stock market investing. If you get up at 4AM and have time to study yesterday’s news, review closing figures and generate a trading plan for the day, you are going to be miles ahead of other investors who get up at 9:30AM just as the market bell rings.
It’s for this reason that we see most successful individuals getting up early every single day. They love to be in full stride while others are just rolling out of bed. If you ask me, there’s no better feeling than getting up early and having a productive morning and I promise that if you commit to living the early bird lifestyle, your financial future will be as bright as the morning sun!