The Series

Those moments between turning off the alarm and getting into our work routine can be the most defining 60 minutes of our day. Benjamin Franklin set a day's worth of plans by 5 am and Steve Jobs asked a simple question: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" Whether it's exercise, time spent with the family or simply enjoying a cup of coffee, our rituals are a reflection of us. So we've ventured out to discover how some of our most influential and fruitful peers get started.

Inside Builder's medicine cabinet.

My Morning Routine

Josh Builder

Being the head of technology for a company that relies on and encourages their customer to drop all technology when using their product can create a bit of cognitive dissonance. However, it's been in large part due to technology that SoulCycle has grown from a single studio on the Upper Westside of New York to a nationwide phenomenon among the fitness forward. Since arriving as Chief Technology Officer in July of 2015, Josh Builder has been at the helm of Soul's digital progress. From strategy to engineering to their robust retail systems that have fostered one of the most valuable boutique fitness brands, Josh oversees it all. He seamlessly translates the brand's business needs into technological solutions while running a cross-functional team. Visit SoulCycle's app or website, and you'll see Josh's fingerprints all over the interface. So how does a guy with such a unique set of responsibilities stay on top of it all? Did we mention he just had a kid too? It all starts with his morning routine featuring a healthy smoothie, meditation and a little quality time with the fam.

My Routine

I'm usually up around 5:45, 6 o'clock. We're in Brooklyn with my wife and twenty-month old daughter, so suffice it to say, my morning is quite a bit different now versus two years ago.

The first thing I do is sit with my wife and meditate for a half hour. I've been doing it for about three years now, and it's such a big part of my life. It's really been one of the biggest life changes for me. There's an app called Headspace that is great for people trying to get into it.

I'm definitely not a morning person at all, but ... Waking up early gives us time to spend together. My wife and I can sit down and actually communicate. And when our daughter wakes up, we're able to spend time with her—it just takes that frantic feeling out of the morning.

While my wife gets ready and showers, I throw together a smoothie. Right now, I like almond milk, frozen berries, some protein powder and a little kale and some chia seeds. Throw it all in a BlendTec blender and you're set. For coffee, I use Counter Culture Coffee. They deliver me a new bag once a week and I take it either black or with a splash of almond milk.

But I really prefer espresso. I find the caffeine buzz to be a little smoother, and honestly, coffee is just a lot of liquid to drink!


Over the years, I've finally homed in on a good shower product lineup.

Aesop's tonic and face wash are my go-tos. The last step is this super refreshing and soothing stuff I found—a probiotic facial moisturizer that leaves you with really clear skin.

Headspace app,
free for iOS
and Android

Clear Skin
Probiotic Moisturizer,
$58 by Eminence

B & Tea
balancing toner,
$33 by Aesop

Selvedge jeans,
$185 by A.P.C.

Blender, $279.95
by Blendtec

chambray shirt,
$125 by Trumaker

Clockwise, from top left:
B & Tea balancing toner, $33 by Aesop; Clear Skin Probiotic Moisturizer, $58 by Eminence; Custom chambray shirt, $125 by Trumaker; Selvedge jeans, $185 by A.P.C.; Blender, $279.95 by Blendtec; Headspace app, free for iOS and Android

Clockwise, from top left:
B & Tea balancing toner, $33 by Aesop; Clear Skin Probiotic Moisturizer, $58 by Eminence; Custom chambray shirt, $125 by Trumaker; Selvedge jeans, $185 by A.P.C.; Blender, $279.95 by Blendtec; Headspace app, free for iOS and Android


I'm out the door at 8:15 and listening to a lot of podcasts on the commute. My favorite one is Reply All. It's sort of a tech-y, internet commentary podcast. Robert Thurman is a professor of Tibetan studies at Columbia, and I'll listen to him a lot too.

In terms of style and my daily look, fit is huge for me. I'm basically between a medium and a large, so I'm constantly on this quest for fit. Selvedge denim works well for me after I break them in, and am always experimenting with brands. APC are some of my favorites. I have quite a few pairs of those. I love Self Edge on the Lower East Side. I get all of my jeans hemmed there with custom stitching.

Trumaker is this custom shirt maker that I love. They have reps that'll measure you, and save your measurements online. Then you can head to the site and order and customize whatever you want. Them and Alex Mill are at the top of my wardrobe right now.


SoulCycle's innovative stationary bikes were specially-designed to work the entire body. You can get one for your home but it will cost you. $2,200 to be exact.