4 young entrepreneurs share the insanely productive habits that make them successful

by Taylor Majewski
July 20, 2017

The discipline it takes to become a successful entrepreneur in your twenties is no easy feat. It’s often a decade people reserve for entry-level jobs, friends and serious soul searching, but some young New York tech leaders have used their twenties to launch companies and disrupt industries.

If you’re looking to channel the productivity and efficiency these leaders employ in the same 24 hours you use, we’ve got you covered. We caught up with four of New York tech’s successful young entrepreneurs to find out the daily habits that have made them successful.

Frame.io helps its users facilitate video collaboration with their teams and clients across one platform. Think email, Dropbox and Vimeo combined into one space. The company was founded by Emery Wells and John Traver in 2014.

John Traver, co-founder and CTO

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?

I have been following a book called "The Miracle Morning" by Hal Elrod. The idea is that in the morning you do six things for 10 minutes each. The six things are meditation, reading, writing, affirmations, visualization, and exercise. I highly recommend checking out the book.

What’s the last thing you do before you go to sleep?

Based on the success of my morning routine, I developed a more creative focused night routine with five things done for 10 minutes each. The five things are freestyle rapping, drawing/sculpting, speaking/foreign language, balance board (see Indo Board), and more reading. To manage both these routines I use an app for iPhone called "Morning Routine." It allows you to define a routine by defining the tasks and giving them time limits. When you start a routine, you are alerted when it's time to move to the next task. It keeps me focused on completing the entire routine.

What do you have for breakfast?

Sprint nootropic from Nootrobox.

During work hours, what part of your routine do you never sacrifice?

I have been making overnight cold brew coffee for the office fridge everyday for about four years now. During the nicer seasons, I always try to take a midday walk. Got to get that vitamin D.

Slack or e-mail?

Slack.

 

Helix Sleep creates personalized mattresses backed by data. The company was founded in 2015 by Adam Tishman, Kristian von Rickenbach and Jerry Lin, who were inspired by terrible mattress-buying experiences and subsequent sleepless nights.

Adam Tishman, co-founder at Helix Sleep

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?

I take a shower first thing every single morning. Not super interesting, but necessary to jump start the engines!

What’s the last thing you do before you go to sleep?

Before I go to bed, I always clear out my inbox so I have no emails lingering around. But never while I'm actually laying down in bed, because that's terrible sleep hygiene! You have to keep that space sacred.

What do you have for breakfast?

Banana, KIND bar, and a Bai pretty much every single day with the occasional hard boiled egg thrown in. I'm someone who always wakes up thirsty but not hungry, so I like to go heavy on the liquids and lighter on the breakfast.

During work hours, what part of your routine do you never sacrifice?

I rarely, if ever, will bring my own lunch into work because I really enjoy the 5 to 10 minute walk down the street to get lunch, regardless of the weather.

Slack or e-mail?

Slack!

 

Nate Beatty and Shane Scranton co-founded IrisVR in 2014. The company came out of Techstars’ Winter 2015 cohort and allows architects, engineers and designers to use VR to create true-to-scale renderings of architectural projects. The company launched in beta in 2016, offering the first full-suite of products that can edit, share and visualize 3D models in virtual reality.

Shane Scranton, co-founder and CEO at IrisVR

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?

Listen to Up First on NPR.

What’s the last thing you do before you go to sleep?

Watch some mindless TV, except for Silicon Valley, which feels like work.

 

What do you have for breakfast?

Two coffees and one yogurt or granola.

During work hours, what part of your routine do you never sacrifice?

Afternoon coffee around 2 p.m. or 3 p.m.

Slack or e-mail?

Slack

Nate Beatty, co-founder and CTO at IrisVR

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?

Head straight to the gym or lace up my running shoes for 8-10 miles by the river. I spend more time running outside in the fall and winter because I love starting the day by watching the sunrise. Steady endorphins are a critical part of how I deal with the occasional unpredictability of startup life.

What’s the last thing you do before you go to sleep?

I read and respond to email. Although it is not a great way to ‘wind down’ at the end of the day, I can sleep better knowing that my email inbox is just a little bit shorter. I also mix up some milk and oats and put it in the fridge to soak overnight for the next morning's breakfast before going to sleep — I like to have at least a few minutes of separation from my screen before bed.

What do you have for breakfast?

Same thing every day for five years: Two eggs on whole wheat sourdough toast with orange marmalade, and a bowl of cold oatmeal with a scoop of plain yogurt and peanut butter, topped with nuts, raisins, whatever fresh fruit I have on hand and a copious amount of cinnamon. Breakfast is my favorite meal by far.

During work hours, what part of your routine do you never sacrifice?

Spending time with the team. One on one time and ad hoc meetings are always my number one priority so if someone wants to book some time, I make sure it fits into work hours.

Slack or e-mail?

We use both Slack and e-mail. As the team has grown, I find it increasingly difficult to keep up on Slack, so email is for the really important stuff, or for documentation and planning conversations that I'll need to refer to in the future.

 

Photos via Facebook and LinkedIn. 

Know more companies that deserve coverage? Let us know or tweet us @builtinnewyork.

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