Unusual Habits That’ll Help You Achieve That Dream of Yours

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We roadtested them.

It’s so easy to get hooked on the endless stream of inspiring business podcasts on offer. Every day, another success story bravely shares their tale of failure and triumph, and the habits that helped them achieve their own ‘happily ever after’. It’s enough to make you want to get out there and conquer the world!

But, as we all know, these business-domination impulses are worth nada if we don’t actually do anything about it. That’s why I finally got up off my proverbial to test two of the quirkiest habits I’ve come across in the land of podcasts.

“Wake up at 3am and hustle”, Eric Thomas on The School of Greatness:

Nope, that’s not a typo. The Hip Hop Preacher – best known for his speech, “When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you will be successful”, which has now been viewed 40+ million times – wakes up at 3am every day.

He says he isn’t the smartest, most talented or well-connected guy, but he’s created a million-dollar business because he “hustles” and acts on opportunities before anyone else.

Eric says: “I can outwork you. So if I’m getting up at three o’clock in the morning, and as sweet as you are – [with your] networks, parents, wealth, opportunities – and you’re getting up at 8am, I’ve got a five-hour jumpstart on you … I’m gonna get there before you get there.”

I tried it: After a week of setting my alarm for 5am – not 3am – and snoozing for two hours straight (my husband wasn’t happy), I finally did it. I got out of bed as soon as the alarm went off, walked to my computer and, still half asleep and bleary eyed, started writing the book I’ve been wanting to write for years.

I felt good (read: slightly smug) getting it done before heading into work. The downside was that my coffee intake increased threefold and it was hard to keep up after two weeks. I’ve now switched my wake-up time to a reasonable 6am, which still gives me a couple of hours to write before getting down to business.

Verdict: Best for people who have no social life past 6pm, because you’ll collapse in bed by 7pm.

“If it isn’t a hell yeah, it’s a no,” Derek Sivers on The Tim Ferriss Show:

Derek is a former circus performer (true story) and a successful entrepreneur who sold his company CDBaby for $22 million, then donated the proceeds to a music education trust.

He busies himself writing books and gracing the TED stage, so when it comes to deciding what he wants to spend his time on, he has a habit of asking himself this one question: Is it a hell yeah? If not, the answer is no.

Derek says: “The idea is, if you’re feeling anything less than ‘hell yeah, I would love to do that, oh my god, that would be amazing!’ – if you’re feeling anything less than that, then just say no. Most of us say yes to too much stuff and then we let these little mediocre things fill our lives.”

I tried it: This habit is great for anyone who over-commits or suffers from a severe case of FOMO. How many coffee meetings or industry events do you attend just because you think you have to? Me: too many.

I applied the “hell yeah or no” to all invitations and found that it freed up my time to chill out on my own, which, in turn, reduced my stress levels. It also meant that when I did decide to catch up with people or go to an event, I had a great time because it was somewhere I really wanted to be.

Verdict: Hell yeah, give it a go.

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