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Does waking up early equal success?

I'm sure you've heard that waking up early equals success a million times. Or maybe you even got caught up in that god-awful social media disaster where Rachel Hollis, the author of Girl, Stop Apologizing, had to, um, apologize after this video.

woman holding a book, next to a coffee mug

But is it true? If you wake up at 4 AM, 5 AM, 6 AM... does that mean you have what it takes to be "successful"?


“Success doesn't have a linear process.”

I guess I should start this off by saying... I personally get up ass early. Like, my alarm goes off at 6 AM, but I'm usually up before then checking my calendar on my phone for what the day has in store for me.

That being said, I'm not here to tell you that waking up early has any scientific evidence that it makes you successful. Some creatives just work better in the night time, which means they inevitably sleep in.

So, "success" isn't linear. First of all, the meaning of success varies from person to person. Secondly, your version of success could mean that you work from 11 PM - 4 AM because that's what works for you. I will never understand it, but I appreciate it.

Why do we associate time with success?

You're probably wondering why everyone has a stick up their ass about this topic. It's because THEY want what THEY'RE doing to be "right". People who wake up early tend to have a smug demeanor about it and I think it's because they (myself included) think that they're doing the right thing for themselves (so you should do it too! 🙄).

I wish I could sleep in, tbh. Even if I'm hungover, there's no way I'm making it past 7 AM. It's awful. It's also why I'm trying to drink way less these days. But, I digress.

Time is an interesting thing when it comes to our work. We're so used to a 9-5 job and in that amount of time is when we are supposed to be working 100%. This starts at an early age, too. Think about school, the schedule was something like 7AM-3PM. This is a constant in our lives; we're programmed to believe that we need to wake up early, go to work/school, go home, and then do it all again. In that order.

We associate time, specifically an early morning start, with success because we are taught to live this way. How many times have you heard, "Early bird gets the worm!" It's just engrained deep within us that early is good and sleeping in is bad, when in fact, that couldn't be further from the truth.

Is there a secret sauce to success?

“Success is never achieved.”

Hear me out.

I don't think that anyone ever achieves success fully. Let's say your version of success means you have made $1M by the time you are 40 years old. Well, then what? Are you done then? You have like a good 50 ish years left. Do you stop trying? Or does your version of success start to form into something else, something greater?

I think it's immensely important to have goals and to try and achieve something slightly or, maybe even, vastly out of your reach. I don't believe there is any one way to do things; there's no one size fits all.

You'll probably get a lot of advice from me on this hub and you probably get a lot of advice from marketing experts, but every journey is unique (thankfully!). The best thing you can do is to be gentle with yourself when things don't measure up to your version of personal success, and to celebrate all of things that do. Make goals, and then never stop making goals. Is that the secret sauce?



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