How These 5 Entrepreneurs Kick-Start Their Mornings

Mornings: You either love ‘em or hate ‘em. While many of us might be squarely on the “snooze, repeat” end of the spectrum, others love doing their hardest work before the sun is up. Exactly how do the influencers we know and love make their own mornings better? We partnered with Chameleon Coffee, creators of our favorite cold brew, to find out.

Below, we’re chatting with Dani Austin, Jessi Afshin, Agatha Ashiofu, Paola Mathé, and Jen Pinkston on wake-up call times, coffee routines, and their favorite time of day to hustle hard.

Are you a night owl or a morning person? When do you do your most important work and why?

Paola: I'm naturally a night owl, but I had to adjust my lifestyle since I'm a new mom. Most of my brainstorming and solution solving come in the quiet sounds of the night after my husband and baby are both deeply asleep. Everything else happens during the day.

Dani: I am kind of both. In my most productive of weeks, I usually wake up around 7 a.m., run for two miles to get my brain moving and clear, and that helps set me up for success the rest of the day. However, when it gets cold outside I find myself working later and sleeping later. If I am in my early morning routine then I do my most important work in the morning because I’m inspired. If I am in my late-night routine, my husband gets onto me because my inspiration usually hits at 5 p.m. which is really funny.

JessI: I am a morning person! I actually set my alarm extra early every morning to schedule in quiet time at my local coffee shop. I get all important work and writing done early morning as it is when I am most focused! I literally never miss a day.

Agatha: I'm mostly a night owl because I work on my side hustle after my 9-to-5 job.

Jen: My whole life before having kids I was a night owl. It's naturally how I'm wired. However, post-kids that just doesn't work, so now I'm rigid about making sure I get 8 hours of sleep each night which means I'm usually in bed by 9:30! I still get some of my best ideas in the evening but instead of running with them immediately, I make a note in a notebook by my bed or a new email draft and return to it in the morning. Honestly, it's a nice system because some times in the morning things don't seem like the genius idea that they did 12 hours prior.

What time do you get up? What’s the first thing you do upon waking?

Dani: I usually get up at 7 a.m. in the spring and summer and 8:30 a.m. in the winter. I guess I have hibernation patterns in the winter. I usually always like to have fruit for breakfast because I’ve never been a big breakfast eater even though it’s the most important meal of the day. My best mornings are when I exercise first. Running has a way of clearing my head and setting me up for success for the rest of the day.

Jessi: I wake up around 6am everyday. After a morning of prayer and mediation - I start working as early as 8am. I am a writer and it’s the time I write best!

Jen: My current alarm clock is my 18 month old daughter who wakes around 6:15am, so the first thing I do in the morning is snuggle a baby which might actually be the best possible way in the whole world to wake up! Oh my gosh, what am I going to do in a year when she's a kid?!

Agatha: I get up at 5:30am and snooze my alarm a million times till I get out of bed.

Paola: I wake up between 6-7 a.m. each morning, mostly by a cranky, hungry baby. Before that, when I lived in NYC, I enjoyed waking up a 6 a.m. to exercise. I find that my routine is constantly changing and I just have to find ways to adapt to the new one as my baby gets older. The first thing I do upon waking up is greet Zuli (my baby) in a high pitched voice. She loves it, and her smile brightens the day. Then, I take her to the bathroom with me to brush our teeth. She only has 2.5 teeth, but she likes to be included in this routine. Lastly, I go downstairs to our kitchen and ask Alexa to pay "Black Coffee” (the album) by Peggy Lee. I feed my daughter and make coffee/breakfast for myself.

I find that my routine is constantly changing and I just have to find ways to adapt to the new one as my baby gets older.
— Paola Mathé

What’s your coffee ritual? How do you take your coffee?

Jen: I have been making lattes in the morning since I was 25 years old and Aaron and I discovered them while we were in Europe. I'm dating myself, but that was 10 years ago! When I had my first baby almost 5 years ago now, she was sensitive to dairy so I started using almond milk and have never gone back. Although, lately I've been known to dabble in oat milk. I've never sounded more millennial than I do right now. But yes, the more succinct answer is that I'm an almond milk latte girl, through and through.

Dani: Coffee actually makes me anxious and jittery and so I don’t usually drink my own—instead, my ritual is to steal sips of my husband’s every morning.

Paola: I grind the beans using either a hand or electric grinder. Heat up the water in our electric kettle. Then slowly pour in my mug to make the perfect cup of joe. I take it black with no sugar.

Agatha: I drink coffee once a day when I get into the office and I need to kick start my day.

Jessi: I drink a cappuccino every morning from my favorite downtown coffee shop in Austin. It’s my favorite way to tie in prayer journaling and mediation and writing. I also bring my puppy—it’s a morning routine! Coffee gives me fuel!

How do you kick-start your morning? Share in the comments below—and try Chameleon Cold-Brew to get your morning started right.

Image sources: Chameleon Coffee & Instagram (Dani, Jessi, Agatha, Paola, Jen)