Kate McKay

woman waking up morning routine stretching bed

The Morning Routine of 10 Millionaires & Billionaires

January 31, 2023

Successful people became a success after combining the right set of morning habits that work for them. So I studied the morning routines of the most successful millionaires and billionaires in the world to find what works best. 

Let’s explore billionaire and millionaire morning routines!

 Historic interview of Oprah Winfrey by Dave Letterman

1. Oprah Winfrey Meditates

Start your morning off in a calm way with a daily meditation practice like Oprah Winfrey. The talk show superstar has been said to light three candles and Zens out for anywhere from 10 seconds to 20 minutes a day. She said she also tacks on 20 minutes in the evening when she’s on point. 

Meditation has been shown to help with better sleep, creativity, productivity, positivity, improved relationships, release anxiety, and even can help with migraines. But out of all these proven benefits, Oprah says she primarily uses it as a way to connect with her inner self. 

When you meditate, you become aware of the constancy of stillness. And when you know that that stillness is where “creative expression, peace, light, and love come to be,” you will easily learn how to draw from that power. Then you can fully embody your true potential. 

There is no greater space to then create the rest of the day. Alongside a peaceful meditation session, Oprah reads 365 Gathered Truths cards, has an espresso (a mix of caffeinated and decaffeinated espresso with milk and a little hazelnut), and goes for a walk or jog in nature surrounding her lovely Montecito, California home. 

2. Jeff Bezos Spends Time With Family

After getting a full night’s sleep, Jeff Bezos forgoes the alarm clock and wakes up naturally around 6:30 AM. Then he “putters” around; making coffee, reading newspapers, making breakfast for his kids (chocolate-chip-blueberry pancakes from scratch!), and doing the dishes. 

It can be commonplace for successful businesspeople to push aside family time to make way for the tasks ahead. But not Bezos. He understands that spending quality time with his family can improve your mood, making it only increase the trajectory of your day. 

When you’re around family, you are reminded of why you work the way you do. And when you do this every day, it keeps the important things in perspective. The other secrets to his success? In the mornings, he practices visualization, reads up on personal development, does a daily physical workout, listens to podcasts, and practices gratitude. 

Then he’ll finally get to work around 10 AM at Amazon HQ ready to take on the day. 

3. Craig Ballantyne Wakes Up Early

Who would know morning routines any better than Craig Ballantyne, the bestselling author of The Perfect Day Formula? This multi-millionaire self-improvement coach gets up at the painful time of 3:45 AM so that he can start writing at 4:00 AM for an hour. He says he is most creative and productive during this time, which he calls his “magic time”. 

Ballantyne says that “magic time” is available to everyone. We all have a specific time in which we are 3-5 times more productive, creative, and energetic than during any other part of the day. Don’t wanna wake up early? Not to worry. If this isn’t your “magic time”, determine when yours is. 

Ballantyne encourages everyone to identify the time of day they are most creative and productive. You can do this by paying close attention to where you have the biggest bursts of energy. Write it down in a time and energy journal. Determine which space of time is most likely your “magic time”, in which you tackle all your most challenging tasks. 

After Ballantyne knocks out some early morning writing, he meditates, walks his dog, exercises, and has breakfast. 

4. Bill Gates Plans His Day

Every morning, Microsoft founder Bill Gates wakes up at 6 AM, drinks a half liter of water, meditates, and reads news and business headlines. Then Gates uses a five-minute scheduling method to plan his day. Yes, this man is so busy he has to plan his day in five-minute chunks.

He carefully plans every minute of his valuable time. This may seem a little excessive for the common man but for Gates, it is what is needed to ensure he is working at the highest efficiency possible. If you have a hard time being focused and productive, this could be a valuable tool for becoming more efficient.

And if 5-minute intervals are way too much detail to plan for your workday, try 10-minute, 30 minutes, or one-hour intervals instead. Got a full to-do list? Like Gates, make sure you are leaving yourself enough time in the morning to plan your day. This will allow you to stay on track throughout your day; have fewer distractions, more productivity, and as a result–more success. 

5. Jack Dorsey Does a Cold Plunge 

Another early riser is Jack Dorsey, the former Twitter CEO. Getting up at 5 AM allows Dorsey plenty of time to practice stress-reducing meditation and punch out a workout. Although Dorsey is a billionaire, he has decided to opt out when it comes to personal trainers. Instead, he uses the Seven app, doing just seven minutes of exercise a day. 

Dorsey will take three ice baths and three sauna sessions a day. In the morning, he alternates between a 220-degree sauna and a 37-degree ice bath for 15 minutes, followed by a detoxifying “salt shake” consisting of salt, water, and lemon. Does a cold plunge sound like torture?

As it turns out, combining a cold plunge with sauna bathing can jumpstart fat-burning, allowing you to lose weight. Being exposed to icy water activates brown adipose tissue, which burns fat for energy and allows you to stay warm. So it will feel much less cold than it sounds. And according to Dorsey, the icy water boosts his confidence as a bonus. 

Dorsey often skips breakfast due to the OMAD (one meal a day) diet. He usually only eats between 6:30 PM and 9 PM on weekdays. When he skips breakfast, he can maintain the mental clarity that accompanies a fasted state. Dorsey ends his morning routine with a long walk to work (an hour and 15 minutes) to “feel alive”.

Putting in challenges to your morning routine like a cold plunge or extended physical exercise can help you learn to push the barriers of comfort. And with this kind of strengthened mindset, you can achieve the things you never thought were possible.

6. Mark Zuckerberg checks Facebook

If you aren’t an early bird, not to worry–Mark Zuckerberg isn’t either. In fact, the Facebook CEO will wake up at about 8 AM and start scrolling social media. First, he’ll check out his Facebook account to catch up with the latest news. Then Zuck will check messages from Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.

And all this even before going to the bathroom or putting in his contacts. After he is caught up on the world’s goings-on, he will work out (3 days a week), then slap together a breakfast of whatever he can find in his fridge. Like Zuckerberg, it can be helpful to implement some elements of your job into your morning routine.

In his case, it involves using his app. It gets the wheels spinning in motion as he moves through his morning. You can also begin to think about the various tasks you can do that day, and by the time you get to work, you are motivated to knock out those tasks one by one.

7. Warren Buffet Reads in the Morning

One of the richest men alive, Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffet, eats “like a six-year-old”.  But alongside a cherry Coke and Mcdonald’s for breakfast, Buffet gets a lot of reading in every morning. Full of both bad habits and good ones, this habitual routine has helped make Buffet the success he is today. 

So what does one of the most successful investors in the world read in the mornings? The billionaire spends 80% of his time reading publications like the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, the New York Times, USA Today, the Omaha World-Herald, and the American Banker. 

Buffet also recommends that if you want to increase your knowledge in things that matter to you, you should add reading at least 500 pages to your daily routine. 

8. Elon Musk Showers 

One of the most successful tech titans only gets about 6 hours of sleep a night. Elon Musk, Tesla CEO, wakes up at 7 AM every morning. He says that sleeping in is just not an option for him, concluding that he is more productive with less sleep per night. 

And to get him wakeful and alert, he showers daily along with a nice morning cup of coffee. Musk typically skips breakfast, but occasionally will have an omelet as his go-to. What’s the secret to his billion-dollar morning routine? He showers. Musk has stated that the most important part of his day’s morning routine is his shower.

Going without a shower doesn’t give him the right headspace he needs to tackle the day. He has stated that this easy daily habit has had the “largest positive impact” on his life. Not only is showering daily more hygienic, but it also has been shown to rejuvenate the body; get rid of toxins, improve our immune systems, and get our blood flowing.

It is also an excellent way to wash away stress that plagues our daily lives.

Keys to a New Dawn Event, Sir Richard Branson

9. Richard Branson Exercises Daily

Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin, one of the most recognizable brands in the world, says he attributes his success to placing importance on his health and fitness. After waking up at 5 AM, Branson will either go for a walk or a run, bike, kitesurf, or play tennis.

He says that exercising puts him in the mind frame to “get down to business”, as well as helps him sleep better at night. “There’s nothing more satisfying than knowing I have applied myself both physically and mentally every day,” said Branson. Exercising in the morning is a great way to get your stress level down.

You will also feel more confident and clear-headed which directly affects job performance. And of course, exercising is also important for minimizing the effects of a high-fat diet. After his daily workout, Branson likes to have breakfast with his family. Like the daily exercise routine, family time is another aspect of his life he will not compromise.

The billionaire says the way he raised his kids had an impact on the way he ran his businesses. 

10. Naomi Campbell Hydrates

The first thing supermodel Naomi Campbell does when she hops out of bed is drink hot water with lemon and probiotics. Adding lemon to hot water not only makes it taste better, but it helps boost your immune system, encourages clear skin, and can freshen your breath. 

These millionaire habits are surely the secret to her youthful looks and flawless skin. When it comes to coffee, Campbell has never been a fan of the smell. And besides that, the caffeine in coffee is a known dehydrator that can dry out your skin. Instead of coffee, when Campbell needs a boost, she’ll brew a hot cup of green tea instead (which is much lower on the caffeine scale). 

To keep your skin radiant like Campbell’s, make sure you are drinking a ton of water and staying away from high quantities of caffeine. I’d recommend drinking water first thing in the morning; try to aim for at least 20 ounces as soon as you get up. If you knock this out first thing, your body will feel instantly hydrated and your brain will be more alert. 

You never know, eventually you may even be able to skip the tea or coffee altogether. 

It All Starts in the AM

Combining these billionaire morning routine habits with things like confidence, hard work, motivation, and a little magic, you too could turn into a successful millionaire (or billionaire).

Cheers to your success!

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