When you have the opportunity to ask some of the most interesting people in the world about their lives, sometimes the most fascinating answers come from the simplest questions. The Thrive Questionnaire is an ongoing series that gives an intimate look inside the lives of some of the world’s most successful people.
Thrive Global: What’s the first thing you do when you get out of bed?
Jen Berliner: For better or for worse, do a quick scroll through email and texts to see what’s happened overnight. Then, chug a glass of water with lemon, turn on a podcast, and head out for a run. I’m very much still working on the whole mediation thing, but working on integrating that into my morning routine as well.
TG: What gives you energy? Being outside in sunshine and fresh air.
JB: One of my favorite things about moving to San Francisco is the ability to walk out my front door and be in the Presidio, with amazing views of the bay, within minutes. It really allows me to clear my head and put things in perspective.
TG: What’s your secret life hack?
JB: Not a secret or a hack… but a tough vinyasa yoga class and drinking my veggies in the form of ZÜPA NOMA do wonders when I need to feel healthy and grounded.
TG: Name a book that changed your life.
JB: “Nudge” by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein. I’ve always been obsessed with understanding why people make the choices that they do and how to influence them – and reading this book helped me realize that this was a real field of study with the potential to create massive change across our society. It puts structure around these ideas, and I apply the principles from that book all the time, especially in the food world.
TG: Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you?
JB: It sleeps on the floor next to me, but generally on airplane mode.
TG: How do you deal with email?
JB: I do my best to stay on top of it, but also know that an empty inbox isn’t what drives success for me personally or professionally. I try to respond to the most important stuff, and in batches, so that it doesn’t totally take over my day. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m never going to be an inbox zero person!
TG: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?
JB: Go for a quick walk. Otherwise, glance at the brand’s social media accounts to see what consumers are saying about and to us – or maybe reply to some of those emails I’m probably behind on. You can also often find me multitasking in the form of walking and emailing at the same time!
TG: When was the last time you felt burned out and why?
JB: I don’t really get burned out, though I do try to stay off my laptop on Saturdays to give my brain space outside of Outlook, Slack and Excel.
TG: When was the last time you felt you failed and how did you overcome it?
JB: Running a startup truly does allow everything to feel like a learning experience.
TG: Share a quote that you love and that gives you strength or peace.
JB: “We are what we repeatedly do.”
Jen Berliner is the President for ZÜPA NOMA. She’s passionate about building compelling brands and delicious products that change behavior to make people healthier. Berliner joined ZÜPA NOMA in Fall 2016 from PepsiCo, bringing strong experience in growth strategy, insights-driven innovation, and channel and customer specific marketing programs. During her time at PepsiCo, she progressed quickly, growing Mug Root Beer, Manzanita Sol, and SoBe, and commercializing multiple “better for you” Foodservice innovation platforms. Most recently, she led Shopper Marketing at top national retailers for three of PepsiCo’s $1.5B+ food & beverage brand portfolios: Lipton Tea, Hydration, and Frito-Lay Multipack snacks. Prior to joining PepsiCo, Berliner developed integrated marketing campaigns at GMMB, a communications strategy firm in Washington, D.C. She has also consulted for Google Food, where she led qualitative research into employee eating habits and provided recommendations implemented at the corporate level to improve food choices. Berliner earned a B.A. in Political Science and French from Vanderbilt University and an MBA at the Yale School of Management. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and way too many plants.