The Morning Routine Of A Million Dollar Business Owner

Hi there! I’m Alisha M. Pennington, a business mentor, and consultant, with 10+ years of entrepreneur experience. I started my first business, a staffing company, in 2012, scaling it to $1 million within 4 years and now do $3 million+ annually.

In 2016, I started my own podcast educating on the intersection of sports medicine & business (her niche expertise) and then began providing mentorship for those desiring to start and scale their own business.

After several years of informal mentorship, my husband and I decided to officially pursue business consulting as a formal venture and Pennington Perspective was born. Shortly after, we had our daughter, Tatum, which completely changed how we approached life and business. She became the priority and so we shifted all our work to include her and we became entrepreneurs + parents.

I invite you to follow me on Instagram and join our weekly email series Clarity Is Confidence, which helps the overwhelmed business owner identify the next steps in business with simple, yet foundational techniques.

What time do you wake up in the morning, and how do you wake up?

Most days, I naturally wake up with the sun, which now that it’s spring time, is around 6:30a (in winter it can be as late as 7:30a). My daughter’s baby monitor is on my phone, so on rare occasions she wakes up before me and her babbling will wake me. 

How do you like your coffee (if you drink it)?

I don’t drink coffee anymore (since pregnancy), but I still love a warm cup of something in the morning. So now I make myself a London Fog, which is an Earl Grey Tea Latte, made at home with steamed almond milk + splash of vanilla creamer. And I add collagen each morning as well. 

What’s on your bedside table?

On my bedside table, I have my phone & watch charging. Additionally, I have the “Super Attractor” affirmations deck from Gabby Bernstein (which I typically pull from each morning or night), and recently added the @omnilux face mask that I also wear either day or night depending on the flow of my day. 

Do you prepare for your mornings the night before? If so, how?

I don’t really do anything the night before to prepare for mornings, aside from taking myself to sleep at a reasonable hour (which is 9p-10p). Waking up each morning, responsible for a toddler, can require a lot of energy, so I make sure I don’t stay up late and make myself crabby.

What are your skincare/body care rituals?

I don’t do much with my skin in the mornings, except for sunscreen + Vit. C (I don’t always remember both!). At night, I wash my face, use a toner, apply retinol, and a moisturizer.

If I am using my omnilux mask, I will do that treatment before any ointments. I don’t wear much makeup anymore, sometimes just an underage brightener and some powder to even out my skin tone. Otherwise, its au natural + Lashify. 

What does your morning routine flow look like?

Once I wake, I check to see if Tatum is up yet. If not, I will close my eyes and either do some gratitude practice or pull a Super Attractor card and meditate on it’s words. If Tatum is up, I will get up and get myself fully ready (brush teeth, apply face ointments, get dressed, put on wedding ring + watch).

Then I go into her room, she usually greets me with a high pitched “MOMMY!” and then proceeds to tell me about each of her stuffed animals (same thing, every morning, lol). She stays in the crib while I grab her vitamin, a new diaper, and choose her clothes for the day.

Depending on her mood, I either dress her completely in the crib or she comes out and wanders around her room while I chase after her with pants and shirt in hand (we’re quite the site!). She then goes to the bathroom where she “climbs tower” to brush her teeth and get her hair done.

After completing both of those, we head downstairs to have “toast” before she gets dropped off at one of our moms’ house.

I get her toast started, and also get the water boiling for my tea at the same time. In her independence, she wants to spread the butter and cut her bread, so its a constant battle of letting her do things and finding ways to be safe.

Once she is eating, I complete my tea latte (which she helps stir + add the cinnamon atop), then we head out the door. Tatum goes to each of our moms’ house 2x/week, so we have care 4 days a week, which is incredibly helpful for us. After she gets dropped off, I either head to Pilates (2x/wk) for 50 minutes or I come home and get straight to work. 

When do you kick off your workday? And do you have any starting-work rituals?

Each day I start my work by addressing outstanding emails (deleting or marking as unread, as needed), then go to my calendar to see what is scheduled for the day, then straight to my OneNote to see what I need to get accomplished this week/month/quarter.

I am pretty strict about writing a new note every Monday, so throughout the week I don’t have to spend brainpower thinking about “what do I need to do?” It’s all listed right in front of me.

I usually tackle the hardest/biggest projects first and then work down from there. I also sync my work productivity with where I’m at in my menstrual cycle to ensure I am focusing on tasks that best suit the stage my brain is most adept to. 

How does your morning routine change on the weekends?

The morning routine looks pretty similar on weekends. On Saturdays we take Tatum to gymnastics, so we might not be right out the door after toast, but we do head out within about an hour or so.

On Sundays, we usually have nowhere to be, but I like to get out and play/walk in the mornings, so we’re usually out the door headed to a park or farmers market. We try to keep the routine very consistent for her so she knows what to expect in her days, despite what we have going on in our lives.

What does your mindset look like at the beginning of the day?

Most mornings I have a pretty optimistic and positive mindset. I believe this is due to a few reasons: I prioritize sleep, so I don’t wake up tired or grouchy most days; I am naturally a morning person, with most of my energy and focus being in the first half of the day; I am able to do a gratitude practice or meditation to start my day fairly often; I enjoy waking up and being with my daughter (even when she’s grumpy or difficult, I still really enjoy having that time with her).

What’s non-negotiable vs. what does an extra-luxurious morning look like?

My primary non-negotiable is getting myself ready before getting Tatum up. Giving myself the 10-15 minutes I need in order to feel ready for the day creates space for me to show up for her and for other people as needed.

And an extra-luxurious morning is when Tatum sleeps in later than expected and I get an elongated morning to myself. If I can meditate, and drink my tea, and maybe even answer a few emails before she wakes up.

What would you like to improve with your mornings?

If I improved my mornings, it would include some intuitive movement prior to getting Tatum. Perhaps a few sun salutations, combined with deep breathing, and stretching my body as it desires.

What’s your #1 recommendation to others who struggle with mornings?

Mornings have always been a favorite time for me because I have something to look forward to. Perhaps identifying something to look forward to when you wake up could make mornings easier, as simple or profound as it may be.