Real-estate powerhouse Aaron Kirman believes in protecting his morning time. The star of CNBC's "Listing Impossible" has a detailed and time-consuming routine that, even on the busiest days, he refuses to cut short.
"I've noticed that my performance is much better when I'm happy, healthy and living the way I choose to, which means being somewhat selfish in the morning," says Kirman, who says he has sold roughly $6 billion worth of real estate over his 25-year career, making him one of the top and highest-paid agents in Los Angeles. He is currently an agent at Compass.
Kirman's schedule changes so much that he rarely has a "typical day," but the one constant he can count on is his triple soy cappuccino from Starbucks. "It's my addiction," he tells me when I spend a day shadowing him. "No matter where I am, in any given city, I can't get up without it."
His personal assistant hand delivers his coffee every morning between 7 and 7:30 a.m., which is when his day normally starts.
"A lot of people start at like 5 or 6 — it's just not in my nature to do that," he says. Though, a later start does typically means a longer day: "We sometimes work until 10 p.m. When I don't have dinners or events, it's more like 8:30 to 9."
He doesn't eat right away — "breakfast is not my meal," he tells me — but always has a protein shake on hand for when he gets hungry.
After his coffee, Kirman meditates for five to six minutes by his outdoor pool. For him, that's a long time: "In the past, meditation was almost impossible for me. I move really fast, so I've had to work on that part of me. But I've noticed that I'm now much more creative, innovative, calm and centered."
He then swims a few laps and reads hard copies of The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal to catch up on the news. He finishes getting ready for the day before heading to the gym, the last part of his morning routine.
Kirman aims to get in a 40-minute workout, but on jam-packed days, he'll do 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes at night. Today, since I'm slowing him down by tagging along, is a split-workout day. He does an efficient, 20-minute circuit with one of his personal trainers at a private gym. He's also a member of the gym Equinox.
Around 10:30 a.m., he changes into his work clothes — black jeans and a black T-shirt — at the gym so he can head straight to his first appointment from there. Kirman used to get dressed up, but now that he's established himself, he can get away with a more casual look, he says. Plus, he's learned that "the more comfortable you are in life, the better you'll do. My competition gets dressed to the nines. They wear suits, they wear ties, they wear $5,000 clothes every day. I'm a T-shirt and jeans guy."
His morning routine pushes back the start of his work day quite a bit. Today, he doesn't officially start until 11 a.m., when he has his first meeting, though he's been taking work calls from home and the car all morning.
"Our schedule is insane, and it doesn't help that I have this morning routine that probably drives everyone crazy," he admits. "My staff is like, 'Would you mind skipping the gym? Would you mind not swimming? Would you mind not meditating?'
"And my answer is, no. I have to protect my time."
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