On Daily Routines, we profile successful leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, executives and athletes to explore their routines, schedules, habits and day in the life.
In 2010, speaking on his machine-like work ethic, 50 Cent said, “sleep is for those people who are broke. I don’t sleep, I might miss the opportunity to make a dream become a reality.”
A decade later, in his 2020 self-help memoir, Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter, he wrote “maybe I could get away with skimping on the sleep when I was younger, especially because I don’t drink or smoke, but now I understand it’s a shortcut I can’t take anymore.”
The maturation of Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson has been a fascinating one to watch. As a drug dealer on the streets of South Jamaica, Queens, Jackson survived the 1980s crack epidemic, to become one of the biggest rappers in the world. Not only was 50 one of the best-selling artists in recent history, he was also one of the best rappers of the 2000s. He then transitioned to a music mogul with a knack for spotting the right deals.
In 2007, around the same time when his music career was starting to go downhill, Coca-Cola purchased Glacéau, the owner of VitaminWater for $4.1 billion. Jackson, who was a minority shareholder and celebrity spokesperson, earned an estimated $100 million from the deal.
While others were marveling at the huge payout, Jackson was looking at the bigger picture. He told Forbes, “people were talking about how much money I made, but I was focused on the fact that $4.1 billion was made. I think I can do a bigger deal in the future.”
Now, as an TV producer, actor and business executive, Jackson has levelled up in a way that very few of his peers have managed to do. In addition to being one of the greatest rappers of all time, he’s in an elite category of successful artists-turned-businessman, up there with Jay Z and Diddy.
True hustlers are prepared to get hustled and know when to change positions and move to something different and aren’t afraid.50 Cent | Interview Magazine
But, despite his transformation over the past 20 years, Jackson has maintained the same, relentless work ethic and focus on his physical and mental wellbeing. “In order to truly be in the position to hustle your hardest day in and day out, it’s not enough to only avoid booze and weed,” he wrote in Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter. “You also, especially as you grow older, need to proactively try to preserve your body.”
In 2015, 50 Cent spoke to The Cut and broke down his typical morning routine:
It fluctuates, but this morning I got up at 7 a.m. to be at the gym by 7:30 a.m. I usually wake up at 9 a.m. to be at the gym by 10 a.m. I’ll have liquid protein before the gym. I’m not really a breakfast person. Like this morning, I was like: I’m not hungry yet. I was still wiping my eyes at the gym. When I do have breakfast, it’s at 11 a.m. I’ll train and go to the office by 11:15 a.m. If it’s a press day, a stylist meets me there to figure out what I have to wear, and after I get dressed, I make my way over to start publicity and professional stuff.50 Cent on Working Out, Being Well, and Eating Cheese | The Cut
Similar to The Rock’s daily routine, Jackson’s gym routine not only provides him with physical benefits, but also gives him uninterrupted space in the day for clear thinking. “When I work out, I feel better. Everything about me — my spirits — is just in a different space,” he told The Cut. “Because I do it before work hours, it gives me a chance to think about everything that’s in front of me for the day.”
On his specific training routine at the gym, Jackson wrote in his book:
Most days I’ll do a session with my trainer that might include non-weigh work like pushups and pull-ups, jumping rope, sledgehammer swings, and hitting a heavy bag. Then once my training session is over, I’ll stick around the gym and hit some weights on my own. My go-to routine is lifting light weights with very short breaks for rest between sets. That helps me get toned and get a cardio workout at the same time. If I’m preparing for a film role where I have to look really cut, then I’ll also work with heavier weights to add bulk. If I’m trying to lose weight for a role or photo shoot, I’ll incorporate running into my routine. Generally I try to go between three and four miles per run.Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter | 50 Cent
For his diet, Jackson prefers to avoid carbs and processed food, focusing on eating whole foods and vegetables. He broke down a typical meal plan in his book, “I’m not really a breakfast guy, so just a smoothie or protein shake of some sort will do. For lunch, it’s usually a salad. If I’m eating out for dinner, which is hard to avoid for me, I’ll order something like a chicken and lettuce wrap or a steak with asparagus.”
Unlike many rappers, Jackson is famous for being a non-drinker and non-smoker; preferring to stay clear-minded for business opportunities. Even when he’s partying at a club or hosting a party, he has a strategy for staying off the alcohol.
“First I’ll pour drinks from a bottle of Champagne for everyone who is in VIP with me. When the bottle is empty, I’ll give it to one of my guys and have him quietly refill it with ginger ale,” he wrote. “For the rest of the night I’ll have that bottle in my hand. I’ll take swigs every now and then just to keep the vibe right, but I’m not drinking anything but Canada Dry.”
Jackson admits that, when it comes to his sleep, there’s still improvements to be made. Earlier in his life, Jackson was motivated that his lack of sleep meant that he was out working while his competitors were sleeping. Nas’ legendary no-sleep lyrics (“I never sleep, ’cause sleep is the cousin of death”) certainly didn’t help.
But as he got older and saw successful people like Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg all prioritise sleep, he switched his mentality. These days, he uses Sunday mornings to sleep for up to 9 hours to refresh his body.
One aspect of my lifestyle where I know I need to improve is getting as much sleep as possible. When I’m locked in on a project, I do become that robot. I can go eighteen hours straight and barely feel fatigue. I love knowing that I’m outworking my competition, but I also realize that I need to find a way to make sleep a bigger priority.HUSTLE HARDER, HUSTLE SMARTER | 50 CENT
Before you go…
Check out more daily routines from Barack Obama, Joe Rogan, Jeff Bezos, Michelle Obama, Sheryl Sandberg, Richard Branson, Warren Buffet and plenty others.