Steve's note: I get asked a lot about the key to my success. When it comes to investing, I've written about my process in DailyWealth time and time again. But when it comes to how I approach life, there's a simple secret... The essay below shares how I do it, and how you can do it too.
A few years ago, I was out to dinner with a couple of the most successful guys I know – and they were giving me a hard time.
They were ribbing me about what Stansberry Research founder Porter Stansberry calls the "Sjuggerud Advantage."
Hey, I can take it... The Sjuggerud Advantage, as I'll explain, is a major secret to my life's success.
The nice part is that anyone can do it... The Sjuggerud Advantage requires no special skills. Let me tell the story...
We were at the Prime 112 restaurant in Miami Beach. It's a hip restaurant today, no doubt. As we were leaving, rap star Rick Ross was stepping out of his Rolls Royce and walking in.
Dinner was great... But my definition of a great dinner is "good times with good friends." I don't need a fancy bottle of wine or an unpronounceable delicacy to enjoy a meal.
Around 9:45 p.m., I started checking my watch... And Porter and the other guys at dinner gave me a bit of a hard time...
You see, I don't drink. I don't normally go out for fancy, three-hour meals. And most important, I go to bed early and get up early.
Porter was giving me a hard time about missing out on some of life's finer things. But I know these are parts of what Porter calls "the Sjuggerud Advantage."
I've heard Porter tell others: "You don't see the benefits of the Sjuggerud Advantage across a day or two. But over time, it adds up. The guy gets a lot done."
It might sound silly. But I think the most important part of the Sjuggerud Advantage is simply getting out of bed... and doing it an hour earlier than anyone else...
"Getting to work early is such a common virtue of successful people that I'm tempted to call it the single most important thing you can do to change your life," my friend Michael Masterson wrote in his book Automatic Wealth. Michael is a self-made multimillionaire.
And I agree with him...
I get more done in the first two hours of my morning than I do in any other four-hour stretch during the day. More importantly, I get my BEST work done then – with no interruptions and no distractions, just focus.
I probably take it too far... I've come to like driving the streets when they're empty, before the sun has come up. I think it's partly because I know I'm going to get A LOT done.
And I've found that once it gets past 10 or 10:30 at night, I'm not very productive at all. I'm tired, I'm sidetracked thinking about the day's problems, and I'm better off calling it a day and starting up fresh in the morning.
While Porter would likely tell you there's more to it, I think simply getting up early is the big secret of the Sjuggerud Advantage. It's the big secret to getting a lot done.
It requires no special skills to get up a half-hour or an hour earlier than you usually do. And most of the extremely successful people I know get their days started very early. It's a simple thing, but it has a dramatic effect over time.
As Porter said, you might not see the benefits after a day or two... But they add up. You get a lot more done early in the morning... And ultimately, you become more successful than the next guy.
It costs you nothing, and it could make you dramatically more productive, successful, and wealthy.
It has certainly worked for me. I think it's the biggest part of the Sjuggerud Advantage.
It's so simple. But most people don't do it. Based on what I've described, though, isn't it at least worth trying?
Editor's note: As we step into the holiday season, keep an eye on your inbox for more classic essays from Steve. We hope you enjoy these timeless pieces on building wealth, making lasting connections, and giving yourself every advantage to succeed – in business, and in life.
You can set yourself up for success in many ways. Sometimes, it looks like cultivating good habits... And sometimes, it takes a dramatic gesture. Read more from Dan Ferris on how to "totally commit to winning" right here: 'I Wish I'd Thrown the Money Out the Window.'
You might not realize it – but individual investors have one big advantage over professional investors. And it's one big reason why you should manage your own money. Find out more right here: The Biggest Advantage You Have Over the 'Smart Money.'
To me, living well isn't about monster flat-screen TVs, driving a BMW, or wearing diamond-encrusted watches. It's about something much more important...