Chris Rudolph: Maximize Your Morning Routine for a Better Business Mindset

In this episode, we talk with Chris Rudolph about how to wake up, start your day right, and implement an amazing morning routine. Chris shares the 5 M's to an amazing morning routine as well as why we all need to think smarter with the way we start our days.

He shares some myths we need to bust as well as strategies we could d implement starting tomorrow morning to help us optimize our selves and our day.

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About the Expert

Chris Rudolph

Chris is on a mission to see people (agency owners) achieve the freedom they dreamed of when they first started their that together, they can build thriving businesses and world-changing families!

Chris works specifically with digital agency owners who find themselves saying things like..."I feel overwhelmed, overloaded and don't know what to do first, "I'm not sure how much to charge or what business model is best for me", "My business is growing, but I need to hire and train a team" or "I not satisfied with the money I'm making right now."


Full Transcript

George Thomas 0:08
Ready to spend 15 minutes with the experts you admire need strategy sessions from thought leaders brought directly to your ears. Welcome to the sprocket talk 15 minute strategy podcast where every week George B Thomas uncovers the challenges that sales, marketing and service professionals face and of course, the strategies to help them overcome their biggest hurdles. So sit back and set your sights on growth with these bite sized conversations filled with your strategy goals. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 15 minute strategy podcast. Alright, sprocket tears Hey, I gotta be honest with you. This is a little bit different of an episode at least I think it's gonna be because most of the times we talk about strategy you might not think this is a strategy by the title but this may impact everything that you do in the day and that is where it impacts your strategy of not only your business but your life but before we dive into the deep end, I'm getting ahead of my So, Chris, why don't you explain to the sprockets ears, the viewers, the listeners, who you are, what you do and where you do it?

Chris Rudolph 1:07
Yeah. So my name's Chris Rudolph, and I am a husband, a father of three kids. And I'm a freedom business coach for digital agency owners. So I work specifically with digital agency owners who really want to grow their agency, but also enjoy more time with their family. So really to have good work life balance, which is is a challenge. I mean, you know, when you're touching anything digital, it's 24. Seven. Yeah. And

George Thomas 1:34
here's the fun part. You want to have a good work life balance. You mentioned work and you mentioned family, but sometimes Well, you got to take care of yourself. So Chris, this morning, we're going to talk about the deep end of the pool and the deep end of the pool is having that morning routine and so just so the sprocket tears, the viewers, the listeners myself, even to be honest with you can kind of get caught up to speed and have a great conversation. In this 15 minute strategy podcast. What are the foundational pieces Is that we need to know and understand of why a morning routine is important. And when you say a morning routine kind of what you're talking about.

Chris Rudolph 2:08
Yeah, so I firmly believe if you don't master your morning routine, it will master you. I think we just George, we live in an age where we have so many notifications, interruptions, distractions, options, marketing messages coming at us, that you just can't be reactive, in effect, you know, and expect to be effective at what you do and to do things that are purposeful and impactful. So really, doing your morning routine is really about being proactive, and how to take that you know, whether it's your first 45 minutes of your day up to two hours of your day, and really be intentional to get the things that are going to really prime your body your mind and really set you up for success for the day.

George Thomas 2:56
So I definitely Chris want to dive into that proactive versus This reactive thing, but before we do that, some of the listeners, the viewers, the sprocket tears might be thinking, gosh, morning routine, you know, this is gonna get weird and soft and gushy. So what are some of the myths that we need to debunk right out the gate, about the conversation around morning routines so that they can kind of clear their mind of that and move forward and step forward with us?

Chris Rudolph 3:24
Yeah, there's a, there's quite a few myths out there. And I think that's a really big barrier for people to get started. And one of the myths that I commonly come across is that we hear the phrase, the early bird gets the worm. And, you know, in a lot of ways that can be true, but I think that that's not that's kind of a myth when it comes to morning routines. I think, you know, we live in an age of Instagram and influencers and I think, you know, it's kind of the same thing to post, you know, a selfie of yourself at the gym at, you know, 4am or, you know, it's it's as people you know, influencers share these types of things. It's kind of cool to push the envelope a little bit farther. So I think pretty soon, you know, it's just, it will be cool not to sleep. So I think that's one of the things especially if you're if you're sitting here and you're not a morning person and you're like, you know, there's no way I'm gonna be able to do a morning routine. I think that you know, the methods that the early bird gets the worm, I really feel, you know, the antithesis of that is that consistency, Trump's timing, so you got to find something that's gonna work for you, as long as you're consistent. That's the big thing. Some of the research that I've dove into about entrepreneurs and different business leaders is that there isn't a, you know, a set time in the morning to do your morning routine that's gonna set you up for success. You know, there's people that are successful that, you know, get up at 4am. And that really works well for them. But there's also people that are equally successful that get up at 10am. And I think it's really finding the Consistency is the key.

George Thomas 5:03
Man, I'm so happy to hear that. And what I hear is that you can have a brunch routine, right? It doesn't have to necessarily be like, Oh my god, it's way too early in the morning routine, it can be like, oh, I've woken up. Now, I should do these things. And I love in that section, Chris says that it was not necessarily about when you do it. But the fact that you do it over and over and over and over again, that consistency part that undertone of what you're talking about. So So let's talk about that. doing it over and over and over again, let's talk about what are the things that you can maybe start as because I'm sure it'll be different for all people, but as far as a framework, you know, 2345 things that when you think of priming your body, priming your mind getting started having the best day that you can have like, what the heck should we put in that time?

Chris Rudolph 5:52
Yeah, before you George, I'm actually going to mention them because you mentioned like priming your body and your mind and getting ready. So when people think Look at that most of the time you think of like, doing a firewalk you know, kind of the Tony Robbins thing. Like they envision themselves having to do that every single morning. I love Tony Robbins. And there's a lot of validity to things like firewalls and things like that, but I just don't feel that's a sustainable, I just haven't seen it as a sustainable habit. And you mentioned like, how do you do that consistently, I think the All in all the time. You know, perfect, you know, practice makes perfect. That type of mindset really can set you up for failure. So I almost think about doing doing less than you think you can get some good momentum going. And then you can build from there. So that's I want you to think of that, that in the back of your mind as we dive into what the framework can be.

George Thomas 6:49
I love that the fact of Hey, just make it so you can get started. You know, make it easy to get going. And and because here's the thing, if you Don't get started, you won't be consistent. And you can always ramp it up. I do like the fact that that I was actually having a similar conversation about some business that we're doing of like, hey, let's let's just get him started. And I'm like, Oh, yeah, that makes sense. All right, so let's talk about the framework. Let's dive into that, Chris.

Chris Rudolph 7:17
Yeah, so the first the first part of the framework is the signal. So that's going to what what's that's going to trigger the start of your morning routine. So for most people, this is an alarm to get you up in the morning. And I'm going to recommend something that maybe is a little bit different for you but I think is a really key part to starting things out. Right. So for a lot of people I talk to you in in clients I work with, you know, they set their alarm typically it's on their their smartphone, and their smartphone is sitting right next to them in their bed or maybe even under their pillow. And, you know, a lot of times what happens when your alarm goes off either, you know, you hit snooze, which is not not what we want, but And another thing is, is, you know, you go to turn off your alarm on your smartphone. And what's the first thing that you do? You go to like, whether it's Facebook, Instagram, your email, all those things that can really throw you into reactive mode and see, you know, can really sabotage what you do. So a signal that I recommend is going a little old school if you've ever for some of you that might be you know, 30 or under Have you ever do Have you ever seen one of those old school alarm clocks that you know that I recommend putting it not within arm's reach? So put it across the room or somewhere where you can't easily you know, tap the snooze button it requires you to get up but to set that and have it nearby so that's what really can start your routine off. Right? Yeah,

George Thomas 8:52
I love this because the importance of that is a hitting that snooze button. Psychologically, that's something to you want to you want to get them on. noise to signal you want to get up you want to get moving. I even think of like, well, could you do something like an Amazon Echo or, you know, a Google device? And could it should there be certain things that are playing that are actually waking you up versus like none of us love that old school like a like that thing is that annoying? Like I love to wake up to like positive reinforcement or you know, I am statements or things like that. So so we've got the thing, we're not hitting the snooze button. We've got the signal. We don't have the phone next, just because the other big part of that session was the phone is not next to us. Because we're not going to go scroll. We're not going to get into reactive mode. We're trying to set us up for proactive. So So what's next after the signal? Where do we move into Chris?

Chris Rudolph 9:46
Yeah, so I have a framework that I really liked. That's, that's effective. It's, I call it the five M's. So the first M is to move. And that's really to prime your body in get your mind right to really take action. So This could be anything from a five minute like active warm up routine that you could do right in your bedroom or in your office. But that could even be like a full workout at the gym. Again, start you know, do a little bit less than you think. But the goal is to really get get that blood flowing and really get get your body primed especially, you know, those of us here that are on our, you know, computers or workstations all day, you know, we're seated in our in our body is at a state of rest and that we really want to you know, get our, our body you know, moving and activated to really make that right.

George Thomas 10:43
So after we move, which by the way, I love that usually here's the funny thing, and I'm, you're preaching to me and I'm at your pulpit here this morning, with this episode, because my movement is usually either from the bed to the shower, Or the bed to the coffeemaker. Right? And so there should be something else in there. That's really getting the blood flowing. So but after I implement this tomorrow morning, and I'm doing this movement, what's the next m that I need to go after?

Chris Rudolph 11:13
Yeah, so, mindset, that's the second M. So you really want to feed your mind with something positive and something that's going to cause you to grow. I wouldn't recommend the news, just because that is something that's typically negative and just, you know, just, I don't know, it just puts you in a bad state. So some, you know, examples of different mindset things. For me personally, I like to read like personal development books or things that are going to make me better marketing books. And it you know, it doesn't have to be, you know, for an hour, it could be if you want to, but it could be as little as 10 to 15 minutes to get started. It could be podcasts, listen to something that's inspiring you watching TED Talks, or listen to the TED Talks, isn't One So what was the thing that really gets your creative juices flowing in in starts off positive?

George Thomas 12:07
Yeah, I'm starting to feel better about myself Chris because I do this one in the morning. I'm always listening to like I am statements or gratitude and thankful pieces of content on YouTube. Or I even sometimes dive into a sermon like depends on my mood but sometimes I just like to hit TD Jakes and and let him yell at me right? And I'm like, is like this is getting my mind going. So okay, so I got to get movement going. I'm already working on mindset, why, by the way, sprockets yours. I hope you're keeping a checklist of what you are doing or not doing and so you can modify your morning routine or what can be built into a morning routine that may just be like bits and pieces right now for you that you can start to do consistently. Chris, what's the third m that we need to start paying attention to?

Chris Rudolph 12:54
That is meditate and I know for many of you when you heard that term, you mind went somewhere that just probably felt weird or religious or like that you have to sit on the edge of a mountain, you know, in the meditation position or or

George Thomas 13:08
they may have had a visual of like the Fred Flintstone where he clocks out and he slides down the dinosaur and they're like, pee some out. But but but sprockets here's I want you to hang in with Chris here. Because Chris, I want you to kind of talk about what you mean, when you're talking about meditation or use that term meditation.

Chris Rudolph 13:25
Yeah, so earlier I mentioned, you know, there's so many messages and noise in our world just coming at us, you know, constantly. So how can we really you know, prime our mind and really center ourselves before we go out into the, you know, the wild world that that we're in. So meditation is a big part of that. So there's, there's a lot of ways you can do this are some great meditation apps out there. I used to use prayer cards Actually, that's personally what I use. But if things are if that seems really far fetched, or like how to Do I stay silent for more than five minutes, you know, without going crazy. If you're one of those people, I recommend this, this is a great first start, is just pick a song that really centers you or energizes you or gets you kind of in the zone, and just put it on repeat and just listen to that, throw your earbuds in or if you have an on speaker device. I just have that over and over. And just and just let your let your mind kind of meditate on that.

George Thomas 14:29
Yeah, I love this one. And I'll suggest folks, I've used headspace historically, as far as nap. It's a really good app. And it's funny because Chris, I don't know if people realize why this one is so important, because there's this thing that has talked about all the time in US round, especially in our spaces in the marketing sales entrepreneurs base of like, well, you got to be self aware. And people were like, Well, you know, I don't know how can I be more self aware? Ladies and gentlemen, you spend time with yourself. Like you quiet the noise, you start to look inward instead of always looking outward, right? And, and again, it goes back to this as soon as you pick up that phone, you're looking outwardly, somebody's Instagram, somebody beats somebody's house, somebody's, like, you gotta have time to listen to that music to focus inside to become self aware of what you are, who you are what you want to be. So okay, so we've got movement, we've got the mindset, we're meditating, we're starting to love ourselves and be with ourselves and hang out. What's the fourth m Chris that we need to focus in on?

Chris Rudolph 15:35
Yeah, so the fourth M is much that means to hydrate and fuel your body. So one thing, hydration is really a big thing, especially if you live out in the, you know, the western part of the country in warm weather climates, but probably for everyone. I think I've read quite a few studies that most of you know Western society is dehydrated, and there's just a lot of things around focus and performance and energy levels that that that really affects, but one of the things you can do is just have your water bottle, right at your bed stand. And, you know, first thing you do, you know, you get that that morning alarm or you know that whatever that signal is, and just drink water right away, that's a way to really not only boosts your mental capacity, but it actually can improve your just how you burn burn calories and your metabolism throughout the day. So that's a big thing, but also you know, your your food that you're gonna really, you know, healthy, healthy food that you can feel your body for the rest of your day. So a lot of that is is just really having a plan with that. I know. A lot of us know what healthy is but we don't really do it. So you know what, what that could be. I know one thing that really works well for me and in my clients is to have like a healthy fruit smoothie. That's something that you know, is easy. You can also kind of take on the go but whatever that is, is really really planning that if if you're someone who you know you commute to work and you have a long commute what are what are the words that healthy pickups spot along the way? Or if you if you speak or you travel quite a bit you're heading to the airport. What's that healthy airport stop that you can stay in your routine even when? When you when you're on the go.

George Thomas 17:27
Yeah, it's funny because it's Rocketeers Don't be like me Don't be really good at figuring out how to fit captain crunch and cinnamon toast crunch into a healthy food because it's really not. It's not I'm good at doing that like hey, this is this is helpful. It's not it's not and it is about the choices that you're making. I love me some smoothies smoothies have been something that I really enjoy in the morning lately. And I love the if you travel if you commute. Keeping your mind open your eyes open for that healthy choice versus just easy. Because, trust me, the rest of the world is trying to make it easy for you to make bad choices. We could go really deep in that whole conversation, but we won't, because it's the 15 minute strategy podcast. Chris, as a last question, before we close this out, are there any other pieces of information or calls to action that we need to have for the sprocket tears, to start to use these four M's in the morning to have that signal? And to really just start their day better so that the strategies that they learn on this podcast they can implement easier, quicker, better jet, you know, have a better life, generate more revenue, whatever it is for them?

Chris Rudolph 18:38
Yeah, so I shared four M's and those can really those four M's Can you could do those in any order. And I recommend you know, you could maybe have ideal of like I'm going to spend 15 minutes or half hour on each one. But if that's the most overwhelming, you know, start with five minutes or 10 minutes, and they don't have to be uniform or you do 10 minutes on each one. You can You can modify it, but there is a fifth m, I want to share in this one, this one you want to do last, and this is doing the most important, least urgent things. So that's, that's something that maybe if you're not familiar with that term is things that are really going to move your business or career forward. But they're not urgent and screaming at you. So, George, I think maybe in your in your business and what you do, what's one thing that comes to mind? That's really, really important. That's a for the start of 2020. That is really important, but you know, it's not due next week. Is there anything that comes to mind for you?

George Thomas 19:39
I mean, for me, and immediately goes to building the community and the resources for the community that is sprockets off, that's huge, but it's not necessarily due immediately.

Chris Rudolph 19:50
Yeah. So a lot of times, here's the first thing, let's say maybe we even do the first four M's really, really well. And then we go to our workstation, and what do we what it mostly people typically do, you log into your email or you look at your messenger. And immediately those urgent things, those emergencies are just screaming at you. And if you've ever you know, those of you that are listening out there, have you ever had a day where you just you put out so much energy and you're exhausted the end of day, but you look back, you're like, what did I actually do that's going to move my business or career forward? And you answer for

George Thomas 20:26
all this rocket tears and say, yes,

Chris Rudolph 20:28
yes, I've had those days. Yeah. So to avoid that we want to spend I really recommend that spend at least the first hour of your day working on your most important, least urgent thing, so that you can really move your business or career forward. And then after that hour, you're just gonna put pause on all the things that are screaming at you and those deadlines that are urgencies. And then after that hour, you can you can do those things. So what I do is I, you know, you might have different task management systems that you use are listed That use to you know, get done what you need to get done. But what I do is I take a post it note and I write down everything I need to do. And then what I do is I pick out all the things that are most important and least urgent. And I put those kind of in order of importance, like in a stack, and that's when I'm going to spend an hour before I look at anything before I look at email, voicemails, texts, anything, I really, you know, focus on those things that are really going to move my business forward. And in really, you know, preserve that time and then you know, it's it's not easy to get mode, it's not hard to get motivated for the things that are screaming at you or you know, the emergencies, the fires to put out the things that are due this week. A lot of times those will will take care of themselves.

George Thomas 21:51
Good stuff, Chris. What I hear is spend the first hour working on things that are important to you. Because the rest of the day you're going to be working on things that are important. to others, that's what text is. That's what email is. It's what's important to them. And I'm helping them or getting things done for them. Chris, this has been amazing. if people have questions if they want to reach out to you if they want to connect, where do you want to send them?

Chris Rudolph 22:13
Yeah, so you can check out my website, website freedom business. that's freedom business family calm, or you can shoot me an email at Chris. Ch, ri s at freedom business.

George Thomas 22:26
So sprockets years Remember, don't wake up to be a firefighter. Make sure you're implementing those M's that are going to impact your day. And be consistent. Make sure you set it up in a way that it's super easy for you. And while you're doing that, we'll be here waiting for you on the next episode. Did you enjoy this episode of the 15 minute strategy podcast, we'd love to know. leave a rating and written review wherever you listen to your favorite shows and keep that learning going by visiting sprocket talk comm sign up for your free membership and in that membership area. You can find bundled episodes where we combined like strategies To help you grow better, make the world better and share this episode with your friends and co workers who may be battling this same obstacle. You can always reach out to George B. Thomas on Twitter with questions or guest suggestions or just to talk about your favorite Marvel superhero and go out into the world and leverage this strategy for your success. And we'll see you on the next episode of the 15 minute strategy podcast.