Be 4 Months Ahead of Your Competition

Dear Reader, 

Benjamin Franklin shared a lot of great aphorisms in his day. 

From common favorites like, “Don’t throw stones at your neighbors, if your own windows are glass,” to truisms such as “He that lies down with Dogs, shall rise up with fleas,” many of Franklin’s best observations stand the test of time. 

One of my favorite Franklinisms is this:

“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”

My recent guest Jean-Claude Biver is living proof of this. 

Jean-Claude is the luxury watchmaker behind some of the world’s leading watch brands including Omega, Hublot and Tag Heuer. His career has spanned 40 years, and many describe him as the man who “single-handedly saved the watch industry”.

He’s also a lecturer, businessman and cheesemaker. As if that wasn’t enough to keep him busy, Jean-Claude is currently serving as a non-executive chairman of the LVMH watch division, responsible for Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior.

He spends his “free” time sharing his wisdom and experience through lectures and interviews in an attempt to inspire future generations of innovators.

Before he was a leader in his field, though, he had to build his empire from scratch just like anybody else. 

At age 34, he was lucky enough to have an audience with the president of Switzerland. When Jean-Claudes’s secretary called to remind him about the appointment, she told Jean-Claude to be there at 5am sharp.

He was stunned. He asked, “Surely you mean 5pm…” She reiterated that the appointment was for the morning, so Jean-Claude made sure he was there bright and early. 

When he went to the castle for his appointment, the president asked, “Biver! Do you know why I made this appointment so early? 

Here’s why. 

4 Months Ahead of Your Competition

If you work 300 days a year, and you work two more hours a day than your competitors, that’s 600 hours. If your competition only works 40 hours a week, that’s 15 weeks’ worth that you’ve worked and they have not. 

Essentially, this puts you four months ahead of your competition! Imagine what you could accomplish by adding two hours to your day – you’ll be four months ahead of everyone else!”

Jean-Claude never forgot this advice. He’s gotten up at 4am to begin his day ever since. He’s the first one at the office, and he’s the one who turns the lights on every day. 

This attitude and tenacity is what’s gotten him where he is today.

What could you do with an extra four months in your year? 

What could an extra two hours do for you every day?

And besides work, what other benefits could you get from waking up with – or even before – the sun?

Well, for starters, you’d obviously get a jump on your tasks for the day. This means that when 5pm rolls around, you won’t feel overwhelmed by what’s left on your plate but also worried because you feel obligated to go home and see your family. 

You can accomplish a lot more every day. 

In addition to that, getting up earlier can make you healthier and less stressed. You can wake up early enough and fit in a workout, or you can simply use the time to get ready for your day at a more relaxed pace. 

It seems that this early morning time will set the tone for your whole day, and if it becomes a lasting habit, the cumulative effects will be even greater. 

According to a study done at Roehampton University in London, “Morning people tend to be healthier and happier as well as having lower body mass indexes.”

Additionally, morning people tend to be more cooperative, more persistent, and more successful in the long run.

Per a study done by Christopher Randler, a biology professor at the University of Education in Heidelberg, Germany, “When it comes to business success, morning people hold the important cards. My earlier research showed that they tend to get better grades in school, which get them into better colleges, which then lead to better job opportunities. Morning people also anticipate problems and try to minimize them. They’re proactive. Many studies have linked this trait, proactivity, with better job performance, greater career success, and higher wages.”

This All Sounds Amazing, But You Might Be Wondering…

What if you’re a night owl? 

Does that mean there’s no hope for you?

Luckily, just about anyone can develop a routine that will help them become an early riser. 

Small changes like creating a sleep routine and keeping your bedroom totally dark at bedtime will help you to get more restful sleep. 

Avoid alcohol or foods that give you indigestion in the evenings. Just a small amount of discomfort can ruin your night and make it feel impossible to get up early. 

From there, try to wake up earlier in increments – 15 minutes one week, then 15 minutes more the next. 

Instead of sitting at a desk or on the couch for most of your daylight hours, make it a point to stay active and exercise so you’re tired enough to sleep well. 

Don’t fall back into your old patterns on the weekends. As tempting as it may be to sleep in on Saturdays, that will only make it harder to wake up early again come Monday morning. 

If you don’t feel like jumping out of bed when the alarm goes off, remember this. 

You might not have a meeting with the president of Switzerland to wake up for, but you do have your whole future to take care of. 

That’s enough to make anyone skip the snooze button and get moving, so wake up earlier and take charge of your day.


Brian Rose

Brian Rose
Editor, Brian Rose Uncensored

You May Also Be Interested In:

How to Cure Your Bad Money Habits

So many people get the wrong idea when they hear me say you should pay yourself first to get ahead financially. They usually think it means “treat yourself,” which is far from what I mean. To get ahead financially, you have to invest in assets. But most people can’t go out right now and buy a cash-flowing asset. This is where the pay yourself first rules come into the picture.

Brian Rose

Brian Rose is an MIT graduate, with a degree in engineering. Upon finishing school, he immediately began working on Wall Street. An advanced technical trader, Brian was trading a book of $100 million at the age of 22. He spent years on Wall Street, working in New York, Chicago and London. He made millions, but...

View More By Brian Rose