The 5 AM Club: Mornings are for World Domination

Marvin Liao
2 min readApr 23, 2024

I’ve always been a night owl. It’s how I’m wired. When I am left on my own without any work, I will just naturally stay up late, writing, watching videos, or reading books and comic books. And I mean till really late like 4 am. Then I would sleep until early afternoon. I used to jokingly call this vampire mode. And I was immensely productive. Night time is when I am the most awake and alive and there is no one to bother you. It’s peaceful and you can focus.

I used to smirk or be skeptical when I saw that book by Robin Sharma called “The 5 AM Club.”

But this all changed when I joined the working world and then especially when I became a father. Between business/work, family and baby, you are not left with much time to yourself. So I had to discover early mornings, like really early mornings. A decade ago it was 6 am, now I’m doing 5 am or sometimes 4 am. It’s just as quiet and calm but you don’t feel rushed or hurried.

I can do my meditation for a full 30 minutes which has been an immense unlock to my mental state. I get to do my exercise regime and I get to read and really carefully review emails. I’ve done all the hard things early in the day.

It also helps that my business partners and many of my portfolio companies are overseas in Europe, MENA and Asia so I am able to catch them for calls. I feel like I am able to steal a march on everyone here in America with this early start. I’m almost always jetlagged from my regular flying anyway so it works out well.

Now to make this work, you have to get enough sleep. So going to bed at a not crazy hour is critical. I try to get at least 8 hours of sleep so going to bed around 8 pm is important.

But if you can’t do this, a short 30–45 minutes nap in the early afternoon is helpful. Or you can take a coffee nap. Have a coffee and then take a 20–30 minute nap. It works, you snap back alert and awake after.

So for those who are trying to get a lot done but have crazy schedules, doing the 5 AM club is a good routine. You can get so much done and free up time in the afternoon to spend time with family or read or just chill. It’s a good strategy especially if you have a day job and are trying to get your side hustle or personal business off the ground. So I am now a fully fledged member and believer of the 5 AM club. Be there or be square.



Marvin Liao

Ever curious: Tsundoku, Reader, Aspiring Shokunin, World traveller, Investor & Tech/Media exec interested in almost everything!