The early bird catches the worm
Success comes to those who prepare well and put in effort.
This is first recorded in John Ray's A collection of English proverbs 1670, 1678:
"The early bird catcheth the worm."
Clearly, the title of the work indicates that this was considered proverbial even in the 17th century.
See also: the List of Proverbs.
See also: Carpe diem.