Jeff Sanders is the founder and host of The 5 AM Miracle podcast, which has been ranked #1 in iTunes in the Self-Help and Business categories and surpassed 1 million downloads.
He's also the author of 4 eBooks, and he's currently writing his first published book - also called "The 5 Am Miracle" - which is expected to be available in early 2016.
Jeff's mission is to help motivated professionals find out and become the highest and best versions of themselves - and he does this by focusing his content on good habits, personal development, and productivity.
In this interview, Jeff shares his motivation behind starting The 5 AM Miracle podcast, his #1 "success" tip, and more.
Tell us about your background. How did you get into personal development? And what was the motivation behind starting your blog and The 5 AM Miracle podcast?
Jeff: I discovered personal development during my first job after college.
I got a job in door-to-door sales, which was awful, but my boss asked me to read a book by John Maxwell called "Your Road Map for Success." That book changed my life and sent me on a path of self-awareness, personal growth, and an obsession with reading everything I could get my hands on.
Within a few years I decided to take the lessons I had learned from the books I was reading and share those thoughts on a blog of my own. I quickly decided to write my first book, "Graduated and Clueless," which features all of the lessons that helped me discover what to do with myself after college.
A few years later, I transitioned that work into my current website, JeffSanders.com. On that site I post a new blog post and episode of my podcast, The 5 AM Miracle, each week talking about productivity, healthy habits, and personal development.
The motivation behind all of my work has been to share with others the strategies that have helped me grow into a better version of myself.
What makes your podcast different than the other personal development & productivity podcasts that are out there?
Jeff: My podcast is all about energy and enthusiasm, but that wasn't the goal initially. What I discovered over the last few years is that my biggest fans are people who simply want to hear from me each week with a positive message of inspiration.
My audience certainly wants to learn new strategies and try new tips and tricks, but mostly they want a helpful voice to encourage them to keep pushing forward each week.
I think my personality and style separate my show from other podcasts in the productivity space.
You have a very successful podcast and a great personal brand now - but you had to start from somewhere. What was the biggest challenge you faced in your career? And how did you overcome it?
Jeff: My biggest challenge has always been figuring out who I am and what I want. Once I know what I want I am relentless about making it happen.
Over the last 5-7 years, I have worked tirelessly to develop my brand, which is really just a public representation of who I want to be on the inside. My work in this arena has paid off in many ways, especially with helping me grow into the man I want to be.
Overcoming the challenge of self-discovery is an ongoing battle, but I'm making great strides ever year thanks to my willingness to experiment and open my mind to new possibilities.
What's your one piece of "success" advice for people who are pursuing their dreams?
Jeff: Be a constant learner. The only way up is on the shoulder of giants, meaning that you will be your best self when you learn what made others their best selves.
Pursuing your dreams is no different than setting a practical goal and clearing all of the obstacles in your path between you and that specific end result. It sounds simple when I say it, but its super hard in practice.
That's where personal development, reading, and constant learning makes the up the difference. When you commit to learning you commit to discovering how many endless opportunities truly exist for all of us every day.
Switching gears to grooming - how do you think grooming impacts productivity?
Jeff: Every morning, I make it a habit to look and smell good before I begin my work, even if I'm working alone at home.
It amazes me how important it is to be able to look at myself in the mirror and smile, knowing that I look my best, which means I am ready to give my best.
You've spoken about your Morning Routine on your podcast. Do you have a special morning grooming routine that you go through as part of your overall Morning Routine?
Jeff: I begin my morning with a workout, so my daily grooming doesn't begin until after my shower. Then I put on an attractive and professional outfit, style my hair, and splash on a little cologne.
I only shave twice a week because I like the process of growing and shaving stubble every few days.
I also schedule my haircuts once every 3 weeks so that I always maintain the look I want.
How can people find out more about what you're up to and connect with you online?
Jeff: The best place to connect with me is on my website at JeffSanders.com. My podcast, The 5 AM Miracle, is on iTunes, and that's where I share my latest and greatest content.
You can also get email updates of my work in The 5 AM Club at JeffSanders.com/5amclub.
Really good stuff from Jeff here. He provides so much great content on his podcast, and he delivers it with tremendous energy and positivity.
If you're looking for a boost of energy in the mornings or just want to hear some new ideas on how you can keep on becoming the best version of yourself, do yourself a favor and check out The 5 AM Miracle podcast.