First Hour: a morning with Michael Parrish DuDell

You’ll never catch Michael Parrish DuDell sitting around and doing nothing. The entrepreneur, award-winning speaker and newly minted author of the book, “Shark Tank: Jump Start Your Business,” is always keeping busy. “I fill my days with meetings, friends, events and tasks,” he told us. “I’m just not somebody who likes sitting in one place.”

We sat down with DuDell for the first edition of First Hour — a new series that showcases the morning-side of entrepreneurs. Below, DuDell shares how he keeps busy in the early hours of his day.

WeWork Magazine: Are you a morning person?

Michael Parish DuDell: Absolutely, 100%. I’m the definition of a morning person.

WWM: What time do you normally wake-up?

MPD: Between 5:30am and 6am.

WWM: What are your first thoughts when you wake up?

MPD: What the day looks like, so, I’m a huge planner. Schedules and planners are very important to me. So, generally when I wake up the first thing that’s on my mind is just a snapshot of what my day is like and figuring out where I need to be and how to get stuff done.

WWM: Do you plan things out the night before?

MPD: I do a lot of planning the weekend before the week. Sunday nights are my nights that I usually look at my calendar, put everything together, tie up any loose ends and get ready for the week ahead.

WWM: What gets you up in the morning?

MPD: My work, my job. Like I said, I love what I do and I’m not one of those people that ever go, ‘Oh, God, I have to go to work.’ It’s thrilling to me and everyday is a new opportunity and a new challenge and I wake up in the morning super excited to start.

WWM: Describe your morning routine.

MPD: Routines are incredibly important to me. I live my life by routines and so if I don’t follow my routine I don’t have a great morning. I wake up–these days closer to 6am, because i have a lighter client load than normal–have some caffeine, check my email for about the first half hour, read the news, figure out what’s going on in the world. At 6:30am I get my sweats on and I go to the gym and I run five miles. I’m back home by 8am: shower, breakfast, listen to music during all of that, do any more emails I need, out of my house by 8:45 and in the office by 9:30am.

WWM: What do you eat for breakfast? 

MPD: I work incredibly long hours and I do a lot of different things but I have three things that never, ever, ever get messed up: I always eat healthy food (I’m vegan), I always go to the gym and I always sleep at least 6 hours. I wake up and eat half of a power bar because I can’t have too much when I go run, then I come back and usually have oatmeal or something warm and breakfast-y. I make sure that I always eat breakfast.

WWM: How important are your morning runs? What if—knock on wood—you sprained your ankle and couldn’t run for a few weeks? 

MPD: I’m not one of those people that think exercise clears my mind. I f*cking hate exercise. I exercise ‘cause I don’t want to get fat. I used to be about 90 pounds bigger than I am so I know what happens when you don’t exercise. I’m not somebody who finds a lot of joy in exercising. To me, [laughing] I’d be really happy in some ways if sprained my ankle because then I wouldn’t have to run anymore. For me, it’s routine…every morning it’s annoying but it’s something I have to do.

WWM: What do you do on your morning commute?

MPD: It depends on the day and it depends on where I’m headed. Most of the time I try to use my commute as a way to catch up on reading. My commute is about 40 minutes each way and so I have a really good opportunity to read. I use [apps] like Pocket, Feedly…all day long I’ll throw stuff in that folder that I can read while I’m traveling. For speaking, a lot of the time I’ll prepare for the speech while I’m on the train. But then there are some days, too, where there are no seats and you’re tired and you need to listen to music to get yourself going.

WWM: What kind of music do you listen to?

MPD: Country. I’m a huge country music fan so I listen almost entirely to country music.

WWM: Who’s your favorite country artist?

MPD: Oh man, come on; you can’t say that. I can give you a list: Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Tim McGraw, you name it. If I wasn’t in the business I’m in I’d be in country music–that’s how much I love country music.

WWM: What’s the first thing you do when you arrive at your office?

MPD: Emails. A big part of my business is being really communicative, so a lot of social media when I get to work and a lot of emails.

WWM: What do you do in the mornings of your days off?

MPD: It’s pretty much the same routine. I’m not someone that sits at home a lot. I don’t work from home, ever…I can’t stand sitting around.

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