This Startup Founder Thinks You Can Only Be Successful If You Wake Up At 4 A.M. Every Day

Paul DeJoePaul DeJoe

Paul DeJoe, founder of a sales productivity tool maker Ecquire, has one golden rule for success:

Get up at 4 a.m.

In a column for Fast Company, he says he became interested in getting up ridiculously early when he was researching depression. Turns out depression and lack of sunlight are correlated, he says, and thus the more sun you get the happier you might become.

He’s so happy now, he says, “I don’t need a vacation.”

The first time he tried this, he spent the small hours making “The World’s Best Omelette.” The experience taught him that there’s an early window of peace and productive calm, if you can be bothered to get out of bed:

If I had to boil this down to why I felt focused and unhurried at this time: Not one person is expecting anything from you in the next 4 hours. So the ability to appreciate the task at hand and thinking creatively seemed natural.

What I was depriving myself from was time in the day where there was no pressure and no expectations. For the same reasons that I felt most creative on Saturday mornings and on planes, 4 a.m. has become a place of productive peace. That feeling is why I love what I do. I don’t need a vacation. I don’t need to step away. I just need a couple hours a day before anyone else is up.

By 6.45 a.m. he’s focusing on his biggest problems, and not getting distracted by the inevitable email tidal wave that hits afterward.

DeJoe does not, however, say what time he goes to bed at night.

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