For many college students, the hour of 5 a.m is usually spent sleeping soundly in the comfort of one’s bed. Those who regularly—and voluntarily—rise at 5 a.m are often viewed as superhuman individuals with the boundless energy and motivation needed to make breakfast, work out, shower, meditate, read, send emails or complete any other number of morning tasks before the sun even has a chance to appear. It’s a habit that seems virtually impossible for the average college student—especially after long, coffee-fueled nights of studying or projects.
But for Fisher College of Business alum, Chiedu Bosah, such a habit is exactly what he seeks to promote with his new motivational company and website: UpByFive.
“UpByFive is a platform that looks to motivate millennials to follow their dreams. We do this by interviewing people at the top of their game in the 18-28 age group who are following their passions,” Bosah says. “Our goal is for our audience to see that other people are following their dreams and passions and get encouraged to do it as well.”
UpByFive gets its name from Bosah’s practice of starting his daily routine at 5 a.m each morning, a habit which he initially tried in order to study for exams but later expanded to become a regular occurrence. While acknowledged as a difficult routine to get into at first, Bosah attributes his personal and academic successes in part to waking up at such an early time.
“Anything in life requires sacrifice, time and effort,” Bosah asserts. “Waking up at 5 a.m is just the first step in getting a head start to push your dreams forward.”
Although it was just recently launched in January of this year, upbyfive.com already features an array of interviews and stories about young, up-and-coming entrepreneurs as well as tips on self-improvement and personal motivation. The site also includes a store section featuring UpByFive logo wear, which Bosah hopes will help expand the “early riser” message at the core of UpByFive.
Despite its auspicious launch, the road to the creation of this startup was anything but . Throughout his collegiate career, Bosah had several failed business ventures, including a photography service, DJ company, and even a personal networking-based startup company. It wasn’t until last summer that Bosah came up with the “UpByFive” moniker and began to build the brand.
“For UpByFive, I worked closely with a friend of mine and his overseas team to build [the website],” Bosah recalls. “We had a vision in mind and had frequent check ins and tests. The team on the backend was really what made the difference between this successful startup and the failed one.”
After graduating in December with a specialization in Information Systems, Bosah moved to New York City, where he continues to further support UpByFive and expand its presence with more regular posts, interviews and articles designed to share motivational success stories.
“The main goal for the website is to have daily content about people impacting the world and following their dreams,” says Bosah. “My long-term goal is to have [user and officially-submitted] content posted daily, as well as places where people can set their goals and track them. I also want there to be regular interviews, Facebook live streaming and a weekly interview with someone famous to just get that motivation out.”
Additionally, Bosah looks to expand the message of UpByFive through its social media and clothing line. Within two months of its launch, the store has already generated several thousand dollars in online clothing sales. Also on the rise is UpByFive’s social media presence, such as the steadily growing #UpByFive hashtag and its popularity among Snapchat users who have taken a liking to the message.
“When I was building UpByFive, I didn’t expect to get Snapchats every morning,” Bosah says. “Every morning this happened from all [kinds of] different people who were up leisurely or doing work. It started out with friends, then spread to others around the nation sending Snapchats by 5 in the morning saying ‘I’m up by 5. I’m chasing after my goals.’”
But regardless of the site’s clothing sales or short-term successes, the motivational message of UpByFive is what Bosah ultimately hopes to drive home with his audiences: the idea that anything is possible with enough work and time.
“When people see successful individuals, they see things like the cars, houses and lifestyle. But they don’t see the hours of work behind it,” Bosah says. “Anything is possible and I hope [I can show that] with UpByFive. It just takes time—nothing is overnight—and it definitely takes a lot of personal effort.
And it all starts by being up by 5.