Success before breakfast: how to stay ahead when everyone else is still asleep

Advice from the world’s billionaires, millionaires and celebrated business names
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The way you start your day will determine your productivity and performance for the hours thereafter. So choose to make the most of your mornings while the rest of the world hits the snooze button. Follow serial entrepreneur Mark Cuban’s motto “Business is my morning motivation.” The owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks gets up early and gets to work at home immediately. But the good news is, we have other ways to secure success before breakfast; and they include tips from some of the world’s most celebrated personas.
Richard Branson
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First and foremost, get up early: Legendary founder of Virgin Group Richard Branson leaves the curtains open so the sun hits and wakes him up first thing in the morning. He is out of bed no later than 5am. “Over my 50 years in business, I have learned that if I rise early, I can achieve so much more in a day, and therefore in life,” he once wrote in a company blog post.
Warren Buffet
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Next, know everything before anyone else does: The secret to Warren Buffet’s title as the world’s fourth richest person is reportedly morning reading. The CEO of Omaha-based investment company Berkshire Hathaway starts reading the news before breakfast. He begins with The Wall Street Journal followed by USA Today, Forbes, The Financial Times, The New York Times, The Omaha World-Herald and American Banker.
Ursula Burns
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Let everyone know you’re ahead of the game: Ursula Burns, the chief executive of Xerox wakes up at 5am to check her email and stay in the know. Considering Burns is the first black woman to lead a Fortune 100 company, it might pay off to follow her example. Don’t wait until you’re in the office to check and reply to emails. Once you get that out the way, enjoy a power breakfast to get you prepped for a power day.
Daymond John
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Wake up with your eyes on the prise: Entrepreneur and author of 'The Power of Broke' Daymond John keeps a list of his personal and business-related goals and sets a deadline for each of them. He uses it to stay focused and remind himself of his ultimate aims. He reportedly wakes up every morning and reads the goals to himself. Use your morning to fend off any distractions and put your focus back where it should be.
Tim Cook
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Then, hit the gym to claim your prize: Apple CEO Tim Cook is known for getting up and sending out company emails at 4:30am so he can be at the gym by 5am. Why exercise in the morning? For starters, it boosts blood circulation and energy and improves memory and thinking skills. Plus, exercising before work is said to result in a sense of accomplishment. If you can tackle morning cardio, you can tackle anything.
Sergio Marchionne
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Don’t have time? Make time: Fiat and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne reportedly wakes up at 3:30am to deal with the European market. An executive of his was once quoted as saying Marchionne invented an eighth day, “and we work it.” The chief executive never wasted a day. It was also reported he would travel to the US to work when holiday season came around in Italy, and go to Italy when it was holiday season in the US. Who ever said you can’t make time?
Brett Yormark
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Team work makes the dream work: A good leader knows that having a team on your side is better than flying solo. One of those leaders happens to be the youngest CEO in the NBA, Brett Yormark of the Brooklyn Nets. He gets up at 3:30am and is in the office by 4:30, where he sends motivational emails to his team.