The 5 AM Challenge: It Begins

I am NOT a morning person…

5 am challenge!

So, why even start a 5 AM challenge?

I’m not really a morning person. Never have been. 

When I was little I used to wake up in a bad mood every morning. This bothered my Mum quite a bit as I was a major disruption to our morning routines. It got pretty bad up to a point where Mom had to make up games and incentives for me just to wake up in a positive mood.

One particular incentive I remember was when Mom said she would get me a gift if I woke up happy every day for 7 days straight. The gift was one of those Shuttle Pens with multiple colors and ink that smelt funny. I really wanted it. We tracked my progress each day on the “Smelly Pen Chart” which was a piece of cardboard that hung beside my bed.

But even with this awesome incentive in place, it still took me a looong time to actually wake up happy for 7 consecutive days.   (My poor Mom 🙁 Don’t worry, karma will kick in when I have kids and they’ll be level 10 moody in the morning)

Fast forward 25 years…

My whole life I’ve hated waking up early. If I had work or something important in the mornings, I would always wait until the very last second before getting out of bed. Sometimes, I would wake up and stay in bed just playing on my phone for a few hours. Sometimes late at night I would watch movies on my phone until 3 or 4 AM. My bed was the comfiest place in the world… Until this happened…


It started at a late night party:

I was at a late night party talking with a friend. It was about 1:30 AM and we were joking around about how long we were going to sleep in the next day.


Me: Did you know there are people out there that actually get up at 5 AM every day?

Friend: Yeah, it’s crazy. I actually tried that once for a few months.

Me: What? Why?

Friend: I heard most successful people get up at 5 AM every day. So I tried it for a few months.

Me: So what happened?

Friend: I started crushing it in every area of my life. I was more motivated and happy than ever. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done.

Me: What!? Well if it’s the best thing ever, why did you stop?

Friend: It’s also extremely difficult. Harder than you think. And I didn’t have anyone else to do it with.


Right there my friend said the magic few words that set me off:


“Extremely Difficult yet Extremely Rewarding”


This is my favorite combination. I love a good challenge. Especially something seemingly impossible with a big unknown reward at the end of it. Ever since that conversation I’ve been getting up at 5 AM. Every day. Including weekends. My life has changed radically!


Some immediate notable differences after starting my 5 AM Challenge:

Beast Mode 5 AM

– I started crushing it at work. 168% of sales target the first few months I started 5 AM-ing.

– I read more books than ever. Used to read maybe 2 books per year. Now I’m smashing out 2-3 per month. And hundreds of podcasts. Here’s the type of crap I read.

– My attitude is a constant 10 out of 10. Before, it was only a 9.5 out of 10… (OK, not a huge change there)

– I started the daily 5 AM email list. As a result, I help and motivate hundreds of others.

– My fitness has improved drastically. I’m healthier than ever.

– I now make smarter investments with my time, and my money. I doubled down on my out of state real estate investing.

– The biggest and most recent change: I quit my 9-5 job. I am now taking some time off to enjoy my life!


So, why am I writing about all of this?…   The goal of this site is to a) document and share both the good and bad lessons learned from this wild 5 AM life. b) Motivate others to be the best they can be, and live life to the fullest. c) Bonus dribble on financial independence, personal finance, my sometimes boring real estate investing stories.


“I used to laugh at people who got up early. Now I laugh with them.”






*Pic up top by SHTTEFAN!

2 thoughts on “The 5 AM Challenge: It Begins

  • You’ve inspired me to wake up at 5am too. I walk in the mornings to get my steps in while listening to NPR podcasts. It’s so energizing and makes you feel like you can conquer anything the day brings! Thank you for the push, Joel!

    • Awesome!!! It really does set a good tone for the day. Let me know if I can help support or keep you accountable in any way. 5am is a hard thing to do consistently and I prob wouldn’t have made it this far without buddies! 🙂

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