As I am now well into the second half of my life, I typically take miles stones as opportunities to reflect and look back on the most recent season of my life. As I have gotten older it has also been more common for other people to ask me to share what has made me successful. To answer this question, I usually give a cheeky response and say lots of coffee.

In many ways, that is the truth. I have loved coffee for years. While I do enjoy a fancy cup of coffee from one of the hipster coffee bars, I can still remember waking up as a child and smelling my dads freshly brewed cup of Folger’s Coffee. Equally as important to the coffee, was the early start to the day I learned from my dad. My dad taught me the value of waking up early and getting more done by 8am than many people do in an entire day. The goal was to get the 3 most important things for the day done by 8am.

For me that meant lots of early morning planning, executing, building, and of course drinking coffee. When I smell coffee I associate it with the daily hustle and grind that over years helped make me successful. Today when working with young entrepreneurs one of the first things I ask them is what time do they get up and how many of the most important things have they completed before 8am. Simple but effective tweak is learning to own the first three hours of your day.

With focus and discipline, new habits can be created and your life can be changed. For me, an early morning cup of coffee, focused goals, and consistent hustle helped make me be successful. Apply the same principles and you will have a great start to your day and ultimately change your life as well.