#296 – Smash Your Morning Routine With Adrian Knight

Thomas Green here with Ethical Marketing Service on the episode today, we have Adrian Knight. Adrian welcome.

Thomas, hello. Lovely to meet you. It’s good to have you. Would you like to take a moment and tell the audience a bit about yourself and what you do? Absolutely. So I buy and sell businesses for a living. Um I’ve been doing this for a while now. I’ve acquired, I think it’s about 10 businesses uh in the last sort of 3, 3.5 years. Uh I’ve also sold a few as well. Um It hasn’t all been roses. I’ve had uh definitely had some train crashes in there, um, in the journey. But uh yeah, it’s been great fun. Um, but I’ve used my skill set to uh to build a small group of companies in the children’s education space. So, um we currently have two businesses there. I just about to bring in the third one and uh yeah, we educate around 10,000 under five year olds, uh each academic term here in the UK. So, um yeah, lots to uh lots to keep me occupied.

Well done. Thank you for the introduction. I’ve spoken to a couple of people who, um, uh, acquisitions and that sort of thing and my interpretation is that it’s not the easiest thing to do. So, um, well done on that. Um, the interesting thing I wanted to speak to you about today was, um, your mindset and personal growth stuff. And, um, you said in messages to me that you’re up at 4 a.m. every day and, uh, you go through a very specific process. So, um, I and I have uh seen some, some interest in what some people refer to as the morning routine. So, um, I’m interested to know what it is that you do and, um, what it has given you in your everyday working life. Absolutely. I love talking about this and we pretty much talk about it to anyone who’s prepared to listen because it has been so transformational for me. And I suppose the best place to start is to give some context and a bit of backdrop. And so without going on for too long or into too much detail about two years ago.

Now, I was waking up at around 2230 in the morning in a complete and utter uh state of panic because I’m very severe anxiety attacks to the point that I was laying awake for the next like hour and a half, sort of two hours in a state of complete dread, utterly, like convinced, like curled up, utterly convinced everything was imploding. And, um, all of this stuff was happening and it would take me around two hours to, to gently talk myself out of that and to realize that it’s ok, you know, it’s not as bad as what you may have thought over the last hour or so. And, um, a couple of hours. And so it got to a point where I, I just, there’s two things, one I realized I just couldn’t carry on like that. It was having a massive impact in my life. Um But two, it also made me realize that the lifestyle I was living then, like, it made me think more about that and it, and I just sort of projected out like a few years, sort of five years.

Um And even, you know, a bit further and I just felt that at the end of that period in that time, I may have a successful business, but I almost certainly would have lost my family, um, would have lost my partner, my four year old daughter. She’s four now. Um And yeah, what sort of place would I be in? So that started me on a journey where I actually started to go and see a therapist to help uh sort of untangle some of this. And that led me to a place where I started to create more space and bandwidth in my life for me and to use that time to focus on me, which up until that point was quite a rarity because I was so busy trying to be everything for everyone else that actually having some time, even 15 minutes to sit down and have a cup of tea completely uninterrupted, not, you know, on social media or anything. I mean, that was just a, like a, a breath of fresh air. And so I’ve always liked, uh, I’ve always liked early mornings and so in order to get this space I started getting up half an hour earlier and I would use that time to read 10 pages of a book.

No, that’s all it was. Like, every single day I would just get up half an hour earlier and I’d read 10 pages of a book. And what I noticed was that in a very short period of time, like literally within a matter of weeks, I started to feel quite differently and I started to view that time in the morning, not as a chore as in, oh, I need to get up early, which I think is the, the natural reaction to most people when you, when you say about early mornings. But I started to see it as a gift. And I started to recognize that that was quite quickly becoming the best part of my day. And so that led me very organically to say, well, what if I got up 45 minutes earlier? What could I, what else could I do? You know, maybe I could do some meditation or some visualizing just something that focused on me. And so it, it kept going along like that to the point where I was getting up at the time around 5 a.m. every morning and before I was getting up around sort of 637 o’clock. So I started, you know, I didn’t start at four. Certainly, I didn’t even start at five. but I found myself getting up at 5 a.m. and having two hours in the, in the day before the day even started to read, to meditate and then to go to the gym and exercise and I was feeling pretty good and life was starting to get pretty good as well.

But I didn’t connect the dots and it wasn’t until I went on holiday. So we went on holiday just for a week with Vicky who’s now my wife and my daughter, Evie and it was a really lovely holiday. Um, and like the sun was shining and it was just a nice relaxing holiday. But I felt awful and I couldn’t understand it. I was like of all of the places, of all the environments. This is not what I like. It’s not how I expected to feel. And it was the day before we came home when I woke up and it clicked. I was like, you know what? Yeah, I know exactly what’s changed here. I haven’t done me like I was waking up and al, although I was on holiday I was going straight into dad mode. I was going straight into partner mode or husband mode now and, and again, just like being there for them, but I hadn’t been there for myself. Like I had been, uh, like previously and that was when everything sort of fell into place. So I came back from that and went straight back into like my, my morning routine again and instantly felt better and instantly felt that ok, I’m back type thing.

Um But what sort of come from that, from that morning routine is that these massive changes started happening in my life that I couldn’t understand why they were, why they were happening and they were all extremely positive. And um yeah, they, they were just like quite profound in all, in all different areas to the point where I was like, this is so cool. I’m gonna get up even earlier. So I now get up at four ami genuinely hand on heart, go to bed every night. Excited to wake up at four ami actually wake up just before 4 a.m. Like I rarely wake up to my alarm. It’s normally around 10 to sort of 5 to 4. And the first thing I’ll do is take a screenshot of my phone and uh put a quote uh uh the like the time, put a quote on there and just post it on to Instagram to start my day in the right way. But hopefully other people’s as well. Uh Just immediately makes me think of Jocko willing uh with the, with the watch. That’s right. The watch. Yeah, I love that watch. Yeah. And, uh, it’s a great, um, shall we say introduction to the episode?

There’s lots I want to uh follow up on, uh the first um thing that stands out to me is, is in relation to the waking up at 230 with some uh panic. Did you get to the bottom of what it was? That was, you know, the root cause of that issue? I did and I didn’t do it by myself. I needed uh some external help with this, which I think is quite common and also quite healthy as well because it’s quite easy to go round and round. And sometimes you just need even just like a, a 15 minute conversation with someone who could be a bit more objective. Um But the way my uh the therapist who I went to see the way he described the situation and why and the root cause of this anxiety was like he said, imagine your life as a car and you’ve got the four wheels and one of the wheels is your love and relationships. And another one of the wheels is your working career. And another one of the wheels is your health and fitness and the fourth wheel is your fun and recreation.

He said your car, your wheel for the work and career one is massively over fated to the point. It’s about to burst and your other three wheels are flat like there’s no air in them at all. He’s like that is the cause of, of this. There’s no, there’s no sort of balance there and even just taking some of the air out of the work and, uh, like the work and career wheel and putting it into the others, you’re gonna find that your car starts moving forward a bit more easier. And if you can get to a place where the four wheels are evenly pumped, then you’re gonna be going forward at a speed that, you know, you’ve not quite experienced to date. And when you first said that to me, I was like, ok, that’s cool analogy. I can understand that, but didn’t think too much more of it, but certainly in hindsight, that’s exactly what’s happened. Um, like the, and this is what I sort of touched on earlier. Like, the changes that have happened have been profound and the speed that they’ve happened as well have been profound as well.

And so, yeah, it, it just kind of, it flew in, you know, I was always under the impression that I had to work really hard if you want to be successful and stuff like that. But actually it was not working as much. That sort of speeded up some of those. Uh, yeah, sort of symbols of success, I guess. Well, I think it’s a cool analogy as well. Um, and I also was gonna follow up on the fact that if someone is in the same position as you, meaning they’re stressed, but, uh, having they’re putting a lot of effort into work and perhaps not so much in the other stuff, the, the reservations there would be, well, if I stop working so hard, then, you know, my work’s gonna take a, take a dive in some way, but presumably that was not what happened and things got better for you. Is that right? Well, what happened was because I was getting up earlier, I was creating space. I was creating some space in my life for me starting with, you know, a very short amount of time. It wasn’t even like an hour, like it was a very short amount of time.

But that felt good and it made me want to create more space very organically. And then as I started to get some more space, I started to use that space to exercise as well. Exercise is a big part of my, of my life. But what I’ve come to appreciate more than anything is that like the exercise isn’t there because I want to be, it’s not there for the physical reasons. Like it’s not because I want my body to look in a particular way or to like to do anything. It’s more about what it does to my mind. And so that first part of my day. Um I’m investing in my emotional well being, my mental well being and my physical well being. And what that, what that did and what it continues to do on a daily basis is that if I’m waking up, uh regardless of what time I’m waking up, I’m waking up as a level two, level three version of myself. And it, it pretty much applies to everyone. We’ve just spent 6 to 9 hours lying down. There’s a lack of oxygen going round our body and we wake up and because of that lack of oxygen, we feel groggy and we feel negative and you know, we start to, we start our day off in a negative way.

Now, what a lot of people do myself included for a very long time was then you go into your day, that level two level three version of yourself. And so you turn up to the work and you turn up to your family and to everything else and you’re at that, that level. But because I was investing time in me and my well being I was coming back from the gym 7 a.m. and I was feeling great and I was coming like through the door and I was going straight into dad mode, straight into work mode and family mode and all that. But I was more like a level seven, level eight version of myself. And so that started to have an impact. But then what that also done was, and I didn’t appreciate this until again, looking back in hindsight was I started to turn up to my work as a level seven level eight version. And what I mean by that was that I started to see things with more clarity and I started to have a lot more confidence in following through on my decisions that I was making. So I was looking at my uh my work load for example and being like, well, why am I doing?

That doesn’t make any sense? Like I’d never seen it in that light before because I didn’t have that level of clarity. And I was like, well, that doesn’t make any sense. Like why don’t we just stop doing that or get rid of that or go in a different direction there? And I had the confidence to be able to follow through on that plan. So the work side of things started to balance out quite naturally because I started to cut away the low impact stuff, like the stuff that wasn’t really moving the dial forward and actually spend my time now f or spend the time focusing on the high impact stuff. And if anything’s kind of gone the other way now because like my children’s education business, I’m not involved in that at all daily. I have a team of very experienced people running that which puts me in a very lovely position of having quite a lot of bandwidth. So I can spend more time doing that. But the time I’m working is more about, you know, high quality decisions and high quality like high leverage activities. And so it all happened organically, it wasn’t something I’d planned. It just happened organically by creating that, you know, bit of space in my life every single day consistently.

Well, um you mentioned initially that you started by um just adding like 15 minutes before your normal day in order to read. Um, there’s a, a sort of like a two part question. Would you recommend people do it incrementally in the way that it kind of happened for you? And um also whi which kind of books are you reading? And is there anything strategic there when you, when you first do it? Yeah. Brilliant. Um Brilliant question. So, yeah, absolutely. I always recommend people start incrementally. I like, I have so many people approach me and um like I’ve taken this quite far now and that I’ve, I’ve actually like got my own app where I manage myself on this on a daily basis. And I’ve got some people on there who I’m sort of helping them get their stuff, right? And they always say, oh, I can’t get up at 4 a.m. It’s the first thing they say to me every single time I couldn’t do that. I couldn’t even do 5 a.m. And I’m like, great. You don’t need to. What time do you normally get up at like seven o’clock. I’m like, great. We’re gonna start at half, six or quarter to seven, depending on the person and that’s all we’re gonna start.

And if it’s 15 minutes earlier, that’s absolutely fine because you’re not gonna have time to do much. But what you will have time to do is to go downstairs completely uninterrupted. Make a nice cup of coffee, nice cup of tea, sit there without your phone and just like we are like, just do you, you, you may wanna look at a book, you may read a couple of pages. That’s fine. The point of this is that you’re creating time in your day for you and you’re not using that time to just mindlessly scroll through, you know, Facebook or, or whatever, or to just mindlessly stare at TV, or just creating some space for you. And what happens again, it’s very organic is people start to cherish that time of the day that 15 minutes, it doesn’t take long, like literally like you’re talking weeks, maybe even in days for some people. And they’re like, oh, you know what, I will get up at half six rather than quarter to seven because II, I read a page or two pages of that book yesterday and I’d quite like to read a little bit more before I start my day. And so it’s a very, very organic um process.

And in terms of the books, like I’m an avid reader, um and the books I think are really important or the reading is really important because like, you want it to be like some romance novel is not what we’re talking about here. Nothing wrong with that. I don’t read them personally, but the books you wanna be reading and the information you wanna be taking on is to be focused around you, like your personal growth. So whether that’s a, you know, it all out personal development book, whether that’s a book on relationships, whether that’s a book on, if you’re a business owner, like marketing or something that will help move you forward in your life, that’s what you want to be reading. I, I got a call this week actually from a good friend of mine who was so excited, uh just put my daughter to bed and he rung me up like can like, can you speak? Have you if you’ve got five minutes, we’re not speaking for an hour. He was so excited because he had started implementing this in his, in his day. And he’s like my gym doesn’t open till six, but I go to the gym and then right after that, I sit down and I read the financial times like he’s, he works in the city.

He’s like, I feel amazing. And you know what happened? He said I had a conversation with a guy who runs quite a big business. Many, many millions. And he said, not only did I hold my own conversation with him that I actually came back with information that he was trying to reference but didn’t have the knowledge for. But that I’d actually read in the Financial Times and he was so impressed. He, he’s just sent me a text message to say what, how he thoroughly enjoyed the conversation. And it all came from that little bit of reading the Financial Times that improvement. And this is what I mean by the Advan, the advancements you start to take organically because had he not got up a little bit earlier and read that he would not have been in that position to like, make the most of that opportunity, but he almost certainly wouldn’t have recognized it even was an opportunity, you know, so I can certainly see the merits in doing it in the morning, meaning like it’s the first thing you do. Um, and it starts your day off and also no one can get hold of you. So no one’s trying to interrupt that time.

Do you think that it’s possible to do elsewhere in the day or would you only ever recommend it in the morning? I, I don’t, not to the same, not to the same level. And I’m what I’m not saying, like, I, I think a bedtime routine is important. I see people struggle with that a lot and I, I think routines at different parts of the day are important as well, but if you were to do something like this, say lunchtime, then you gotta think. Well, I’ve just spent, you know, that whole morning, 34 hours, whatever, you know, however long as that level two, level three version of myself for starters. And also that time, like the benefit of doing it, doing it in the morning is that you can’t be interrupted and it’s just so it’s such a relief to know that I’m just not gonna have any messages come through for two or three hours. Like, I just know that and it’s just such a relief. And I’ve tried doing this at, uh, like, lunch time before and, like, sitting there and do my meditation and getting knocks on the door and, and this is like, ah, like, you, you come up more stress from it and at the end of the day I just find, like, the same with going to the, like, the gym or exercising at the end of the day, it has its place.

But as part of your core routine, I think it’s so easy to be. Oh, I’ve had such a long day. This has happened. I’m tired, I’m not gonna do it and then you don’t do it and then you start it, like, to defeat yourself and give yourself a hard time. Like, I feel it can only really work in the morning, like, for, for the purpose of what we’re trying to do this for. Well, I can, I am totally on the same page as you in that regard, the, uh, the voice in my head, you know, that nagging voice in the head. I have compared myself previously to a grumpy bear in the morning. So, um, and this is a question for the night owls who might be listening. Um, I mean, what are your thoughts in, in relation to that? Like, I’m not a morning person, uh, subject. I, I really do hear that a lot and I also recognize that some people are more happier getting up in the morning and some people are more happier staying away or staying awake until the early hours in the morning. Um I used to actually be the latter.

I used to be a night owl and yeah, sort of half one like two in the morning would have, would have been my bedtime. Um I think it’s all relative. And so if you’re used to going to bed at two and you wake up at 10, great, wake up at 930 wake up at 9 a.m. and start, start there. Um I also think it’s really important to, uh to like to, to say, you know, I am quite a positive person and I get very passionate about this, but that doesn’t mean I jump out of bed, you know, big star jump and like a, like a rocky scene sort of punch in the air. I wake up and I’m groggy and I’m like, uh and uh like, I don’t want to be getting up most days. And that’s my instant, like, the first thought that comes to my mind. But then it, because I’ve been doing this for a while now, it quickly switches and, like, oh, wait a minute, I remember why I’m doing this now and I tend to fumble downstairs. I, I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve gone to the gym with my t-shirt on the wrong way and not even, like, recognizing it until I’m sort of like finishing my workout.

Um, like, yeah, like I see, like, uh, so many times because I can’t see that I’m not of that mind. Um, but emotionally you start to get through that when you start this process. So the first few days are always gonna feel a little bit uncomfortable. But as you start to connect, the reason why you’re doing it and how good it feels to have a bit more time for yourself. It, it starts to get a lot easier a lot quicker and then at some point down the line, it just completely switches and you’re like, I couldn’t, I couldn’t, not do this because I know I will feel rubbish the rest of the night, the rest of the day. And, uh, I know that we’re starting, um, initially with just 15 minutes. Uh, what do you, what’s the end goal in relation to, you know, is it two hours or three hours before you’re typically, or normally waking up. I don’t think there, I don’t think there is a, a hard and fast goal for people to have. I think it varies from, uh, from person to person.

Um, it also varies on how you want to be using that time as well because there’s no point waking up and sitting downstairs for three hours and, yeah, you’ve read 10 pages but you’re not doing anything else. Um, I do think you start in, in like small sections and you gradually push it back but know what you want to use the time for. So I, I kind of instinctively sense that at some point down the line, I think I’m gonna be getting up a little bit earlier, around half three, maybe three. I don’t see it going any earlier than that. But if I was to start doing that now, I don’t know how I’d use that time and that time probably wouldn’t be use very productively. Like I, I know how I use my time now. I meditate, I visualize I exercise. Uh I do a number of things and it, and it, and I’m really happy with that. So I think the time will naturally shift depending on how you like how you want to use that, that, that period of the morning. OK. So in, in relation to visualization is that um an outcome or a goal that you’re trying to achieve?

I think with all of this, it there’s nothing about it. Like with all of this, there’s no, none of this is being done with an end goal in mind. It’s about the process. That’s where the value is. So I’d use the gym because it’s a really simple example. I’m not going to the gym because I want to get a certain size of muscle or body fat or even because I want to train for a marathon or event, I’m going to the gym because I know what it does to my mind. And all of those like outbound results are just uh like an offshoot of it. Same with reading a book. I’m not so much reading a book because I wanna finish the book. I’m reading the only the 10 pages because it focuses my mind and it feeds my mind and the enjoyment is in that part. If I was to read more than 10 pages, I’d probably start to switch off and get a little bit bored. It’s the, it’s more the process than the, the goal that is like the value here.

And that’s kind of what I meant when I, I sort of mentioned that there will be at some point when it switches and that’s when your mind is sort of switching from that end result type focus through to, you know what, I don’t care what book or how long it takes me to read the book or how big or how small it’s about the reading itself and the time and the space I have to do that. Yeah, it sort of reminds me of the uh focus on the journey rather than the destination type. Uh The phrase, um, would you say it’s predominantly a well-being exercise? I really would. I really would. It’s a, it is a well being exercise and it’s physical, mental, emotional and even spiritual well being. And what I’ve noticed because I’ve been doing this for, you know, quite a while now consistently is that, that well-being compounds. So you’ve got the same input going in every single day, but the output is compounding and building up.

Uh It’s sort of building up speed. So it’s not like one plus one plus one sort being each day is coming out with seven at the end of the week, it’s more like a nine or a 10 or 11, but every week it’s getting bigger and bigger. So the uh the physical is the gym, the mental would be the reading, the spiritual for you would be the meditation or the visualization. Is there any other aspect uh that you consider like dietary or anything? Anything else that we’re missing? Yeah, I do. I mean, for me, so just to say with the physical or the gym, you don’t, I choose to go to the gym because that’s what I want to do. Um walking a dog, you know, 30 minutes, 45 minutes in my book. That’s a big tick that’s a really big tick, particularly if it’s early morning and before all the other dog walkers come out and it’s impossible to just, you know, like walk without a sort of, you know, lovely as it is, but just to walk uninterrupted. Um, so it doesn’t have to be the gym. The reading I think is, is pretty standard across everyone. The meditating doesn’t even have to be meditating for some people, you know, some form of mind, uh, mindfulness, whether that’s a crossword, whether that’s learning to play a musical instrument, like highly concentrated focus that in my book is a big tick as well, particularly if they’re doing it every single day and making the space for that with the nutritional side of things that is important.

But I’ve always found that the nutrition aligns with the exercise. So the fastest way to take control of your diet, which is, you know, the definition of a diet is just what you’re consuming every day, doesn’t mean it some yo yo diet or whatever. Um, but the fastest way to take control of that is to actually start with the exercise piece because you feel better, you’re less l you’re less likely to want, like to overeat on the chocolate or the, you know, the junk food. Yeah, I totally agree with that. Um One question around the, because we’re adding uh extra time into the day. So, you know, if you would, if you would be getting up at six, and you get up at four, it’s like two hours out of the day. Do you then take that off the end of your day too or do you sleep less? Um It’s a little bit of a combination actually. So I just knowing myself, I always make sure that I’m, I think more about how I manage my energy rather than how I manage my time.

So the morning, like waking up in that morning routine, that is when I have, you know, technically the most energy, even though I’m groggy, first thing, like I have the most energy because none of it’s been used anywhere else. And it’s been directly focused on my most like valuable and important like asset, which is myself and it’s the same for everyone next is going into like family and then work. But then when you break down work, like I always leave, um I always have like the important stuff that I’m doing in the morning and then stuff like admin and that things where you can be a little bit more mindless about, it tends to be towards the end of the day. Um Then for me personally, it rolls into spending time with my daughter and her bedtime routine and, you know, reading her a book and all that. Um I very rarely work past that. Uh I may do a podcast but that’s not work. Um uh uh But yeah, I always try and have a cut off and I always, like, personally have a time where I wanna sit down and have my meal, like my evening meal or my, my last meal of the day.

And to, uh, at that point I may watch, you know, half an hour of Netflix or, or whatever, like something on TV, is a little bit more mindless as it is most of the time. But that’s exactly what I want. I want to switch off and then I, and then I go to bed. So my bedtime normally ranges somewhere between nine and 10 p.m. if I’m feeling really tired, then I go to bed a little bit earlier. Um, but yeah, it’s, I’m certainly not an advocate of getting as little sleep as possible. I think our bodies need rest and our minds need rest. But the evening part just naturally rolled out of the mornings I found I found and I continued to find if you fix your mornings, then the rest of the day tends to take care of itself, particularly your bedtime. You just need to be mindful about lying in bed and say scrolling on social media that will massively derail you. So. Well, that’s nice, nice segue actually because, uh, we’ve covered like how to do it correctly for lack of a better term, but we haven’t covered how to maybe, uh, do it incorrectly or maybe, uh, go wrong in some way and that involves, I mean, the, the first example I think of is like scrolling social media, that kind of thing, which would interrupt what I think would be a positive thing and make it a negative thing.

So there are any thoughts you have around ways that this process can go wrong. Yeah, absolutely. Uh, the most common one is that someone wakes up at say half six and they stay in bed and even if they do their reading in bed, it, it’s not quite the same cos I’ve, I’ve just had too many people come back to me and saying, oh yeah, I fell asleep or uh I didn’t quite get my reading and like, I think it’s really important that when you wake up and you get up, like you get up, you get out of your bed, you get out of that environment because don’t forget biologically, you’re still largely lying down. You’ve not got oxygen going through your body. Like there’s only so much that you’re going to feel sleepy and you’re going, you’re creating an environment where you’re going to feel groggy and you get up and you get moving. Even if you go downstairs, it’s just, it makes all the difference and it gets you out of that, of that mindset. That’s the biggest one I see. Uh The second biggest one is uh the biggest mistake is people and I used to do this at the beginning, I’d get up early Monday to Friday, but I mean, I was sleeping on the weekend cos I deserve it cos I get up early and, uh, that’s a very common one as well.

Um, because you’re, then again, if you think about it, you’re going into your day at that lower version of yourself, which means you’re more inclined to, you know, let’s get the takeaway tonight or y you know, it has, it has a very di, like direct effect. And so it’s all about, especially in the beginning getting to that place, not forcing it, but get into that place naturally where it, the penny does drop and you’re like, wait a minute, this is a b, like, this is a blessing. This is a gift I’m giving myself. Why would I want to shortcut myself by sleeping in even if it’s a Sunday? You know, like the world is still, I’ve got this completely, this freedom to do what I wanna do without any real obligations. And it surely is, it surely is a gift, but it could be hard for people to see that at the beginning. And the final one. sorry, I don’t mean to go on Thomas, but the, the final one is the evenings and, um, it’s normally derailed by either TV or people’s phones.

Uh, and again, I’ve done this for a long time, um, particularly with my phone getting to bed. And I actually used to look quite like I, I used to look forward to getting into bed and going through Face, uh, Facebook and catching up on the day and then going on Instagram, like all the social profiles and, uh, just browsing the web a bit mindlessly. But then I was noticing that when it came to sleeping, like, if I said to myself. Oh, yeah, I wanna get a bit of an earlier night. I’m gonna be sleep by 930. It’d be 10 o’clock and I’ll still be on my phone because I’m getting engrossed in something. And then when I did put my phone down, I’m wired like I can’t quite sleep. Like I, I’m switched on and so it might be 1030 then I’m getting wound up because I know I want to get up early, but I’ve just lost an hour of that sleep time. So then I’m like, oh, I’m gonna get tired tomorrow and blah, de blah. Um, I think you need, like, a lot of people need to be more disciplined there. I’m not even saying like, uh, like highly regimented, but just have a cut off with your phone.

Like, like put it on charge, turn it down and just don’t look at it and it forces you to do crazy things like speak to your partner or um, you know, just to chill out without anything. So I’m interested to know what your take is on devices just because my interpretation of this conversation is, this is a very purposeful thing that you’re doing, which is improving your life. And I think a lot of people um with screens, it’s detrimental to their life. So I’m just wondering whether that has followed through into that area of, of your life or in relation to screens and social media. Do you have any tactics or strategies in relation to that topic in terms of how, how I manage myself with social media and yeah, my time with that. Yeah, it, it, it does bring a bit more structure to it. So when I first look on social media, it’s normally actually because I’m posting on Instagram and just sharing like aspects of my morning routine, which I do every single day. Um just to sort of, you know, motivate people to, to, to want to at least explore this.

Um But I don’t do that normally until around 6630. So it’s, it’s been like two hours of the day is I’ve had, but I haven’t actually been on social media and that’s been, that’s been really important to me because it, for the same reasons when you go to bed, it’s quite easy to get lost. And uh yeah, just to get sucked into that, uh sucked into that world. Um I’ve, I’ve never been one to be glued to my phone, like particularly social media every single minute of every single day. That’s just not been me. Um largely because I, I’m quite hands on with stuff. So I like to be out there doing things and um I’ve seen it probably as a bit more of a, of a distraction than, than most. But um uh I also see it as a very powerful tool as well. I think the biggest one with people is just the, is the, is again setting yourself some, some boundaries like right come eight o’clock, I’m off social media, I’m off my phone.

I may get messages from whatsapp or, or, you know, uh text messages but they can wait till the morning. There’s nothing, there’s not gonna be anything that urgent and if it is, they would call and I would know that um that’s the biggest one and I’ve got some people who they uh they didn’t even go on whatsapp anymore. Not my personal choice. I use it a lot. Um But that was their choice because they recognize how it was sucking their time and throwing things out of Kilt for them. So having rules that you stick to essentially. Yeah, I like to think boundaries because it sounds quite, it. It’s, well, it sounds quite sort of jocko willing like in a sense that like hard and fast discipline and there’s like extreme and no compromise. You’re getting up seven days a week and you’re not allowed to go on conversation like it comes across or can come across as quite um hard. But that’s, it’s because of how it’s being viewed, you know, I view it as seven days a week, I’m giving myself a gift and I have a boundary of not going into social media, which is, again, I wasn’t like you can’t go on social media.

I really wanted to go on at 4430 than I will. Um But it was more a case of, I don’t want to spoil that time that I have for myself by something like social media. And the same with bedtime is that I’m gonna be waking up tomorrow. I can’t wait, even though I work for groggy in the morning, I don’t want to do anything that’s gonna massively derail that. So it’s coming from a place of, it’s a lot more gentle than it may appear on like on the surface of it. It’s a lot more like it’s just about your well being, you know, I appreciate the uh you sharing it and I think it would be really beneficial for basically for everyone to introduce it. So, um thank you, I guess is what I was trying to say. Um uh Before we move on, I just, I had 11 question that I wanted to ask you about your business, but before we move on from it, are there any misconceptions that we haven’t covered today that people have, which you would want to clear up? Biggest one I I encounter is I’m not a morning person and people will immediately think, you know, 345, even six o’clock.

I’m just not a morning person. Um, again, I just think when you change your perspective on that. Well, certainly if you keep telling yourself you’re not a morning person, then you won’t be one for starters. It’s a self fulfilling prophecy. Uh, but when you change your perspective on it slightly, it at least opens up when I am I, or, you know, could I be, um, because we have just spent many hours lying down biologically, there’s less, you know, less oxygen going round when you wake up. We all feel groggy like all of us, like regardless of how positive or negative one is like that’s how we feel and it’s perfectly human and natural to feel like that. The trick then is just to get going and just to give yourself that nudge um which is where people stop, they just say, oh no, I’m not a morning person. I think that’s probably the biggest one. And also the that this is highly relative in the sense that for me, it’s 4 a.m. but it doesn’t have to be for everyone. If you get up at 6 a.m. that could be such a huge win.

And if you use that first hour of your day to read 10 pages of book, which take you 15 to 20 minutes, have a nice cup of tea um and maybe do 15 minutes of meditation or however you want to use that. As long as it’s investing in yourself, you will very quickly start to notice differences and you start to feel differently and you start to notice changes, changes happening and you won’t really understand why. But, you know, the changes are good and, and so, yeah, that’s, they’re the sort of two moments. So for the someone who says that they’re a morning person, how would you reframe that, that they are a morning person. How could they tell themselves instead, um, that you’re giving yourself probably the greatest gifts that you can, that you can give yourself. Which is, is true. Like you’re, you’re giving yourself, you, like you’re giving yourself time for you in time to like, develop and uncover who you really are and what you really want.

Uh, you, you said previously about the fact that, you know, everyone feels groggy when they’ve been lying down for a certain number of hours. It, um, my perspective is, it could be, it’s less about the mornings and more about how someone feels when they’ve been lying down for that certain period. So it’s, it, it wouldn’t necessarily be about being a morning person, but it’s about how quickly you can get yourself the, the oxygen around the blood, which is what you said, uh, in order to make yourself feel better is, um, is one thing which I mean, you, you shared with me, which I’m, I’m repeating your words back to you. But, uh, I’ll, I’ll take credit for it anyway. Yeah, but you’re absolutely Right. I mean, if you’re a night owl and you get up at 10 a.m. you’re gonna feel groggy, whether it’s 10 a.m. or whether you’ve, it’s six or four, whatever time, like you’re gonna feel groggy. Um, it’s just, yeah, part of being human. Well, um, I just had one more question about, um, you know, what you do for a living, which is, um, buying and selling businesses. Uh, my, uh, the interesting thing I find about this topic is uh how you segue into that because uh I, I don’t feel like um people, for example, go and get a degree in buying and selling businesses and that’s what they do.

It’s more like uh this is how I went from this to that. So, have you got anything you wanna share there? Yeah, I mean, I uh I mean, the first thing to share is that I am a absolutely terrible start up entrepreneur. Um I had 12 failed start ups before I acquired my first business and my first business I bought for a £1. It was a 30 year old uh management consultancy. Um had around 89 people in it and it specialized in uh like building value in a business and exit planning in a business in preparation for a sale, which is a process that normally takes, you know, a few years to do properly, at least. Um And then that business physically sold those client businesses. So it sold about 100 and 50 million worth of uh companies over the course of its career. And um that was an amazing platform for me, an amazing insight into understanding. Well, I’ve just bought the business and now I can see how to add value and then to sell them. So it kind of like gave the full picture. But um so I show people how to do this and uh like the buying the business is the easy part is what you do when you’ve got it is where the hard work is and where the most value is added and then how you get out of it with, you know, you know, with, with a good upside.

Um What I’ve learned over time and work and working with other people is that there is no like you can’t learn this stuff from sitting in a classroom, like there is absolutely knowledge you need to have and it is the starting point here because there are risks involved and you need to know how to protect yourself. Um But you need to have a baseline of knowledge, but there’s a very fine limit on that. Like if you used to do a three year degree in this, I honestly don’t know what you do after the first flight term because that you need that based on knowledge. But you learn this from doing it. It’s from having conversations with people. It’s a very experiential learning process and I’m continuing to learn so much and it’s been, yeah, you know, multiple acquisitions and uh and sort of exits down the line and I’m still learning a lot from this. Um the biggest thing, the biggest uh thing I would say to anyone who’s interested in this is that, you know, what do you need to be successful? The conception everyone has or a lot of people have is that you have to be great with numbers.

You have to be like an accountant or come from a finance background. And when people say about buying and selling businesses is like, quite often people say stuff like, oh, do you mean like pretty women? And where they like, like Richard Gere buys businesses and like, it’s that kind of like boardroom environment where you may have like 10 lawyers on each side. That’s how it may work out like large businesses. But at small business level, it’s a highly relational process. It’s about being human again. And the number one skill you need is people skills to be able to sit down in front of the owner of a business. And to recognize that for most people, this is their life’s work. They’ve spent 1520 25 plus years building this, they’ve got their retirement tied up in it. They’ve got their majority of their wealth and certainly their income tied up in it. They’re now now to the point where they want to move on typically because something’s happened in their personal life or maybe even their business life. But there may be a health scare or there may be something that has caused them to realize I don’t want to be doing this anymore. There’s other things I want to do in my life and they’re like sitting down having a conversation with you because they want to know, are you gonna be a safe pair of hands for their business?

And are you gonna be able to give them what they want to be able to leave, you know, with a happy face? That’s what you need. That’s a skill. So thank you for sharing that. Um If someone wants to get in touch with you about uh the buying or selling of a business, um where do they go? And then also would you help someone uh if they actually wanted to implement a morning routine? Is that something that you would do? Yeah, it is actually. So, um so the best place to go. Uh Certainly right now is actually my Instagram profile um of all places because I’ve, um first of all, I’m very active on it. I post several times a day and I share sort of inside, you know, like the first thing in the morning and kind of what I’m doing what I’m reading and stuff that morning for people to see. But then I also share quite a bit about what’s going on in my business, like children’s business and then, uh with the acquisitions I’m doing as well. So it’s a good place for people to sort of get some like actual insight um on, on that profile. I have links to mini website where people can, uh find out more about like the morning routine stuff.

So I’ve got a, a, an app. It’s been so powerful for me. I’ve basically built an app where I manage like all of this on there on a daily basis, like tick off what I’m doing and, and that, and I’ve got a number of people who’ve uh joins that and whose lives have changed very quickly. Um And also on the, the, the buying and selling side of things, got a few scorecards where people can at least start to understand it. Is this right for them and if it is, then we can have a, a conversation and um yeah, I could potentially sort of help them through that process. Good stuff. Well, uh you’ll definitely have a new follower at the end of this conversation. I’m sorry, I should probably actually say what my Instagram profile is though. The handle is uh Adrian J, Knight, um Knight with A K and no S on the end. So, no. Well, I’ll put that link in the description anyway, but um is there anything that I should have asked you about today? Honestly? I don’t think so. I think the um the questions around, you know, what could get in the way obviously working for someone really great questions because for a lot of people, they don’t even give themselves the opportunity of trying this.

They, they just talk themselves out of it before they’ve even done it. And it’s just such a great shame because they’ve just got so much to gain, like, so much to gain. So, um, I think we’ve covered everything. Well, uh, when this episode airs, uh, I will, I will say whether or not I’ve been successful with it, but uh you’ve inspired me to give it, give it a proper go anyway. So, thank you for that. And um thank you very much for being a great guest today. I’ve really enjoyed talking to you. Likewise, Thomas. Thank you so much.