Power Players

Melinda Gates wakes up every morning at 6:30 a.m. — here's the first thing she does

Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the world's most powerful philanthropic organisations.
Alain Grosclaude | AFP | Getty Images

Many successful moguls from Richard Branson to Kevin O'Leary have standard morning routines that set them up for success throughout the day. And billionaire Melinda Gates is no exception.

Gates recently gave The Cut a glimpse at her typical morning, which begins when she gets wakes up at around 6:30 a.m.

"I spend that first hour in 'quiet time,'" Gates told The Cut. "I do meditation, some stretching, yoga, and I always do some kind of spiritual reading, like Mark Nepo's 'The Book of Awakening.'"

(Melinda's husband Bill Gates also meditates for 10 minutes two to three times a week, saying "meditation is simply exercise for the mind, similar to the way we exercise our muscles when we play sports.")

After reading and meditating, Melinda Gates makes sure she gets outside. "Even if it's cold here in Seattle, I'll get outside. I really like to go in the lake when it's cold outside, or get my feet out in our yard, in our garden," Gates says.

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Then, Gates says, she will try and have a quick breakfast with her 16-year-old daughter Phoebe, who is a sophomore in high school. (Gates also has a 23-year-old daughter, Jennifer, and a 19-year-old son, Rory.)

Most days breakfast includes "a couple of cups" of black coffee and a muffin or yogurt, or oatmeal in the winter, before she heads to work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation or at her investment firm, Pivotal Ventures.

But "I'm from Texas, so about once a week I'll eat 'huevos rancheros,' which is my all-time favorite," Gates says.

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