What 11 highly successful people read every morning

Warren buffettAlex Wong/GettyWarren Buffett

Successful people know they are what they read.

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett, for example, spends 80% of his day reading.

So what is the first source that highly influential people check when they wake up?

Here are some resources leaders across industries use to sustain their morning reading habits:

Mark Zuckerberg, unsurprisingly, starts his day on Facebook


In a Facebook Live session with Jerry Seinfeld, the Facebook cofounder and CEO tells the comedian that the very first thing he does in the morning, even before he gets out of bed to use the bathroom or puts in his contact lenses, is check his phone.

He says that he starts by looking at Facebook -- 'I like to know what's going on in the world' -- and then checks his messages on Messenger and What'sApp. 'On a good, calm day, it will probably take no more than a few minutes,' he tells Seinfeld.

Jeffrey Immelt reads his papers in a very particular fashion

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

'I typically read the Wall Street Journal, from the center section out,' the General Electric CEO told Fast Company. 'Then I'll go to the Financial Times and scan the FTIndex and the second section. I'll read the New York Times business page and throw the rest away. I look at USA Today, the sports section first, business page second, and life third. I'll turn to Page Six of the New York Post and then a little bit on business.'

Barack Obama reads the national papers, a blog or two, and some magazines

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The Former President of the United States told Rolling Stone he begins his day with the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. He's a devoted reader of the Times' columnists, and also likes Andrew Sullivan, the New Yorker, and The Atlantic.

Bill Gates reads the national papers and gets a daily news digest

Chip Somodevilla / Getty

The Microsoft cofounder gets a daily news digest with a wide array of topics, and he gets alerts for stories on Berkshire Hathaway, where he sits on the board of directors. Gates also reads the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and the Economist cover-to-cover, according to an interview with Fox Business.

Jonah Peretti reads the business or sports section of the New York Times on his morning commute

The Buzzfeed founder and CEO wakes up around 8:30 a.m. and heads into the office with the sports or business section of the New York Times, he tells The Wire. He also takes New York magazine. (Subscriptions to the New Yorker and Economist fell by the wayside after he had twins.)

Still, like many younger leaders, the principle way he discovers information is through Twitter and Facebook.

Kara Goldin wakes up early to check email

Kara Goldin

Hint Water's founder and CEO considers her morning a critical part of her day and devotes the wee hours of the morning to checking her email and schedule.

She says she heads straight to her inbox at 5:30 a.m. because 'doing this gives me a clear understanding of what the next 12 hours are going to look like and what my priorities are once I get to the office.'

Howard Schultz has kept his morning-reading routine intact for 25 years

Spencer Platt/Getty

In 2006, the Starbucks CEO told CNNMoney that he gets up between 5 and 5:30 a.m., makes coffee, and then picks up three newspapers: the Seattle Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times. The habit must work, because he's stuck with it for more than two decades.

Scott Adams reads business and political news to prime his brain for creativity

S. Miles

The creator of syndicated comic 'Dilbert' says he wakes up at 5 a.m., eats a protein bar, and reads Business Insider for inspiration.

'I prime my creative engine with external news, but I avoid the dreary and hyper-political stuff, because it would be a downer,' Adams says. 'I am looking for patterns in life, not jokes. For example, a story about war in the Middle East might give me a joke idea about meeting etiquette.'

Kat Cole logs into social media first thing

Kat Cole

Cole, the group president of FOCUS Brands, the parent company of brands like Auntie Anne's, Carvel, and Cinnabon, wakes up every morning at 5 a.m. and checks her calendar, all of her major social media platforms, news sites, blogs, emails, and any other messages that may have come in overnight.

'I'm looking for relevant news, urgent business and team needs, updates from startups I invest in, or anything awesome to get my brain going and know what's going on in the world,' she says.

Kevin O'Leary catches up on business news during his morning workout.

Courtesy of Kevin O'Leary

The 'Shark Tank' investor writes that he wakes up every morning at 5:45 a.m., checks the Asian and European bond markets, and watches business television for 45 minutes while he works out. He then spends another hour from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m reading the latest business news.

'Knowledge is power,' O'Leary says, 'and it's important to have a 360-degree view of the financial climate all over the world.'

Gary Vaynerchuk devotes most of his attention to Twitter.

Gary Vaynerchuk

'I start my day by consuming quite a lot of information,' the entrepreneur and social-media guru writes.

He reads TechMeme, the email newsletter MediaREDEF, Business Insider, ESPN, and Nuzzel, an aggregator of headlines and links that his network is sharing.

Next he heads to Twitter, where he spends 'a significant amount of my morning responding to people and starting conversations.'

Lastly, he checks Instagram to see what his friends are up to.

Alison Griswold, Max Nisen, and Jenna Goudreau contributed to an earlier version of this article.

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