The Day to Day Life of a Successful Entrepreneur

By Shawn Cunningham

This article is also posted on GenZAcademy.com

A day in the life of an entrepreneur cannot be summed up easily. But like with many others, the comings and goings of an individual apply only to that specific individual, not the group of people they might be associated with.

Taking that into account, I’ve taken three giants in the business industry—Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Warren Buffett—and decided to look at their mornings, afternoons, and nights. While their daily lives might not always reflect this schedule, this is their stated daily routines.

It is my hope that by the end of this article, you will be able to see just how everyone does it differently. Perhaps, one day, we can add your name to this list!

Headshots of three men. Left to right, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs

MORNING – BILL GATES

When he wakes up in the morning, Bill Gates spends at least an hour running on the treadmill. Why? Because it is a scientific fact, that morning exercise improves cognition and focus throughout the day.

Following his daily exercise, Bill Gates follows a strict schedule for his day. In fact, it is so strict that his schedule is broken down into every five minutes. This way he knows how much time to spend on a phone call, how much time to respond to emails, and how much time he has to make decisions. You can’t waste time if you’re always on the go.

MORNING – STEVE JOBS

After waking up at 6am, Steve Jobs  immediately started work. He’d go through his emails and prepare to start a new project. When 7:30 a.m. would roll around, Jobs would spend time at his family breakfast, eating fruits and vegetables from his family’s home garden. Once the kids were off to school, he’d go back to work. After an hour or so of work at home, he’d get into the office anywhere from 8 to 9 am.

Are we missing anything? Not really. When he was younger, Steve Jobs believed that daily showers were a waste of time. We don’t condone that, and neither did a much older Steve Jobs.

MORNING – WARREN BUFFET

After waking up at 6.45 am after a restful eight hours of sleep, Warren Buffet grabs a can of Coca-Cola and gets some work done, most often emails.

Instead of running on the treadmill, Warren Buffet opts to walk to the office. However, his reason isn’t entirely rooted in exercise; there’s a McDonalds’ on the way he likes to stop at.

In the 2017 HBO documentary, Becoming Warren Buffett, it was revealed that Buffett favored this McDonald’s because of the bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit. It costs $3.17. However he’ll opt for two sausage patties on days when the market is down, because then it’s $2.61.

It makes you wonder if the locals know that what Warren Buffet is eating is a sign of how to invest!

AFTERNOON – BILL GATES

A lifelong learner, Bill Gates reads fifty books a year. On average, he starts and finishes a book every week. How does he do this?

The answer is that he spends at least one hour a day on deliberate learning. This doesn’t mean that he skims through the entire book. Instead, Bill Gates takes meticulous notes while reading the book in order for its points to anchor themselves in his mind.

Not only does reading help expand worldviews, but it also helps build a framework for new points of view. This makes him smarter and more capable of leading his company to even greater heights! Not bad for a pioneer in the tech industry.

AFTERNOON – STEVE JOBS

The afternoons of Steve Jobs would differ depending on the day. On Mondays, he would meet with the top ten executives and leaders from various departments to have the weekly “Marathon Meeting.” Here, Jobs and the team would review the entire business, from products and sales to ideas in development. Then, they would look into any struggles and possible remedies.

On Wednesdays, Jobs would hold a similar meeting with the marketing team on how to present Apple to the public.

On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, Jobs would spend his time answering hundreds of emails and phone calls daily. He would respond to customer complaints as well because, in an unusual move, he kept his email open to the public.

During the times he was not doing this, he would be having one of his signature walking meetings. In these meetings he would walk and talk to stimulate brain activity.

AFTERNOON – WARREN BUFFETT

Once in the office, Warren Buffett spends his time reading. As an advocate for newspapers, Warren Buffett reads at least five hundred pages a day, ranging from financial statements, journals and business reports, to newspapers and books.

Estimating that at least “eighty percent” of his day is spent reading, Warren Buffett doesn’t stop with just newspapers and reports. When interviewed by the Harvard Business Review, Gates stated, “When [Buffett] invests in a company, he likes to read all of its annual reports going back as far as he can.”

Despite being methodical and patient, don’t assume that Warren Buffett’s schedule is relaxed. He despises impromptu meetings that haven’t been set up at least a week in advance.

NIGHT – BILL GATES

As soon as nighttime rolls around, Bill Gates treats himself to a healthy meal and a good amount of downtime by doing the dishes. This is because he believes that mundane, everyday tasks can be opportunities to get away from it all and allow his mind to wander down the avenues of creativity!

When it’s time to hit the hay, he turns in early enough to snag seven hours of sleep. Lack of sleep impairs cognitive processes in the short term and leads to serious health problems like heart disease and high blood pressure, in the long term. Guess that’s how he’s able to schedule his day so meticulously—by being fully awake when he needs to be!

NIGHT – STEVE JOBS

After returning home, Steve Jobs would eat with his family at 5:30 pm. Following their meal, they would enjoy tea and family time. Unlike Gates, this is where Jobs allotted time for exercise, often running and/or walking around Palo Alto in the late afternoon.

Rejuvenated, he would listen to music and read before going off to bed early. He was, afterall, a self-proclaimed morning person.

NIGHT – WARREN BUFFETT

After leaving the office, Warren Buffett finds himself in bed by 10:45 pm for another restful eight hours of sleep. If it sounds like there isn’t much going on in his life, that’s because there isn’t. 

The day in the life of Warren Buffett might not be exciting. In fact, he’s notably not resisted the accusation by Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, that he makes, on average, three good decisions a year. Simply put, this is because he likes to know what he wants before he decides.

This is because time has never been on the market. You cannot buy more time in the day, so you have to use it wisely.

Photo by Daria Nepriakhina 🇺🇦 on Unsplash

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