I have always loved and advocated the early hours. Doing what is important first thing in the morning – every morning. For me it is a long walk, a short run and a blissful swim in the ocean. However, Craig has a different take on his mornings, especially Saturday mornings – and I like it. As he says: “If you’re not working on Saturday mornings, you are missing out on what is probably your most creative time of the week.”
What do you do on Saturday mornings?
My Wild and Crazy Belief About Saturday Mornings
By Craig Ballantyne
When I was twenty-five I often spent Saturday mornings lying in bed until ten or eleven o’clock. If my girlfriend had the day off, we would head out for brunch – making bad food choices that sadly left us taking a nap an hour later.
On weekends when she was working, I would wander aimlessly around the city, feeling lost. Not physically, but mentally. By that point, although I didn’t know it at the time, a magical opportunity had escaped. I was left deflated and empty.
It took me far too long to make the connection between my wasted Saturday mornings and my struggles in life. If only I knew then what I know now.
Two years later there came a turning point in my life. My personal training business was getting busy, and my best clients demanded that I train them on weekends.
Michael, Boris, Richard, Suzie, and Barbara all wanted to grab early Saturday morning timeslots. At first, I was confused. Why did these CEO’s and VP’s of major businesses want to exercise so early on weekends? Didn’t they have more leisurely activities to enjoy?
I was so naïve. I still didn’t get it. But I was on the verge of a life-changing discovery that I will share with you today, as well as my strange belief about Saturdays that will help you make massive progress on your big goals and dreams.
It was at that same period in my life that I had discovered the power of morning Magic Time. Each weekday I would get up at 4:30am and focus on my number one online business priority for 15 to 20 minutes. This allowed me to make small, but significant progress every day. After three years of putting this habit to work I was able to quit my day job and multiply my personal training income through my online business.I woke up every Saturday morning before six o’clock in order to train Michael, the retail CEO, at the gym downtown. Then I trained Boris, then Barbara, then Suzie, and finally poor Richard, the lawyer that got stuck with the ‘late’ 11am session. As I rode the subway from the leafy streets of High Park into the rich enclave of Rosedale, I found myself coming up with bigger and better ideas for my online business then I did on any other day of the week.
The biggest breakthrough came when I recognized the power of working on Saturday mornings. This is not advice you want to hear, I know. It wasn’t what I wanted to hear back then, either. It is politically incorrect (heaven forbid an evil wealth creator like me should tell you to sacrifice any of your sacred weekend time), but it is also the best advice I can give you.
If you’re not working on Saturday mornings, you are missing out on what is probably your most creative time of the week.
Early Saturday morning, as your competitors and colleagues sleep off a tough week and a late night, there are no interruptions. No phone calls to take, no urgent emails to deal with, no commuting nightmares. It’s just you and your thoughts. You and a wide-open road of opportunity. This is bonus Magic Time. This is your chance to get a full day of quality work done in just a couple of hours. Two hours on Saturday morning each week adds up to over 100 hours per year. But in reality it’s much more than that, and more like 300-400 hours of work (10 full weeks!), because those two hours will be focused, more creative, and more productive than 90% of the hours you spend at work. The opportunity for massive progress is there for the taking, if you’re up for it.
Saturday mornings became my secret weapon, and still are, long after I stopped training my executive clients in the fancy, expensive boutique gyms downtown Toronto. These days I use my Magic Time on Saturday mornings, from 5am to 7am (and sometimes to 9am), to write thousands of words for my book, my best Early To Rise essays (such as my Personal Rules for Living,) my private online business coaching newsletter, and my best sales copy.
It was one Saturday morning back in January of 2013 where these few magic hours turned into millions of dollars for me. I had just finished creating my latest exercise program. The product consisted of over fifty follow-along bodyweight exercise videos that required no equipment. There were no obstacles to success. It eliminated every excuse. It was the most effective and highest quality product I had ever created. It was my masterpiece.
But I was struggling with how to bring it to market, what to name it, and the sales copy needed to sell it. I relied upon my wild and crazy belief about Saturday mornings to solve these problems.
That Saturday morning I woke up at 4:30am and wrote down thirty unique and emotional benefits about the program. From there I turned those thirty benefits into thirty headlines, spanning the continuum of dull and boring to completely over-the-top hype. All of this was done in ninety minutes. Had I tried this on a Tuesday afternoon, it would have taken me five or six hours, and it certainly wouldn’t have been as thorough or creative.
At this point I was ready for a break, and Bally the Dog was ready for a walk. We went out in the cold Canadian winter air and made our way around a three-mile loop of the neighborhood. Still struggling to find the best headline to use in my sales copy, I let Ol’ Bally off the leash and watched as both he and my thoughts raced ahead of me in the park.
A few minutes later, with dog back on leash, we made the final climb up the steep hill heading back home. It was there that I had my Big A-Ha moment. On that cold, clear wintery morning, my strange belief was vindicated. The headline appeared in my mind. That one big idea helped Early To Rise sell over 60,000 copies of the exercise program in 2014. It was a multi-million dollar breakthrough, all thanks to my two strange beliefs about Saturday mornings.
My first belief is that Saturday mornings hold the secret to your success. If you are willing to sacrifice just two hours early on Saturday morning, before your kids get up for sports and television shows, before your spouse asks you to run out for Starbucks and biscotti, before you get wrapped up in your weekend hobbies, then I guarantee you will make massive progress.
My even stranger, far-out-there, impossible-to-prove second belief is that because fewer people are working on Saturday morning, it leaves more creative energy in the air (or ‘the Universe’, as Law of Attraction-types might say) for you and I to tap into so that we can create our best articles, sales copy ideas, sermons, architectural drawings, landscape paintings, love letters, tree-houses, or whatever else it is that you want to create or build.
The later you wait on Saturday morning, the more this creative energy is sucked up by the rest of the world as they head out to the cafes to read the weekend paper. I know it sounds crazy but this strange belief has been proven true to me time and time again in my work.
Many of my biggest breakthroughs have come in the first few hours of many magical weekends. Although I’m writing this article at 6:11am on a Thursday morning (in my weekday magic time), I’ll bet it would have been written even better and faster had it been done on a Saturday morning when I didn’t have to compete for creative energy with all those dang type-A East Coasters. On Saturdays, I strangely believe, there would be more creative energy for me to harness.
It sounds crazy, I know. Whether it’s true or not, it doesn’t matter. The most important lesson is this: If you set aside two hours this Saturday morning to work on a big project in your life, you will get more quality work done than if you tried to do the same work at any other time during the week.
The stress of Monday wipes the creativity from your soul, and the chaos of the world always gets in the way of your afternoons. But on Saturday mornings it’s just you and me, us against the world, making massive progress on our big goals and dreams.
Add this Saturday morning success habit to your schedule this year and you’ll achieve more in 2015 than you have in the past three to five years combined. See you then. I’ll even bring the Starbucks – and save you a little creative energy, too.