From getting up early for a morning run to intentionally sleeping in, every chief executive has his or her own routine for a highly productive day. Here's how the CEOs of some of the fastest-growing businesses in America, as tabulated by the 2018 Inc. 5000, get going in the morning.

1. "My weirdest morning habit is actually starting to text and email people around 4:30 a.m. when I wake up." --Eric Garrett, The Garrett Companies, No. 10 on the Inc. 5000

"I think most people would tell you that it's strange to receive texts and emails from me at that time," the Greenwood, Indiana-based real estate developer admits. But for the busy CEO, making time for correspondence--even in the wee hours of the morning--is vital.

2. "I usually read a Wikipedia article or watch a YouTube how-to video." --Justin Quinn, Natural Force, No. 431 on the Inc. 5000 

"I have a goal to learn something new every morning before I start working," says the co-founder of the Jacksonville, Florida-based fitness supplement company. Meanwhile, his co-founder Joe Rakoski comes from the do-nothing school of thought: "I like to walk around outside in my bare feet. It helps get me grounded for the day," adds Rakoski.

3. "I do calf raises when I brush my teeth. It's like the only exercise I get." --Kilee Nickels, Nickel & Suede, No.127 on the Inc. 5000

For this busy mom and jewelry business owner, committing to a morning run is a bit of a stretch. So, she squeezes in a workout when she can.  

4. "At least once a week we'll sit around the table and have breakfast together." --Mike McKenna, Diamond Assets, No. 7 on the Inc. 5000

At the Milton, Wisconsin-based electronics refurbisher, hosting a weekly breakfast for the company's more than 40 employees fosters a greater a sense of community. "I view our company as very close, kind of like a family," says McKenna.

5. "Every morning I have two almond butter and olive oil sandwiches with a smoothie and green tea." --David Barnett, PopSockets, No. 2 on the Inc. 5000

For the founder of the Boulder, Colorado-based phone accessory company, consistency is critical to running his fast-growing business. 

Published on: Apr 23, 2019