The Thrive Questionnaire//

Entrepreneur, Ben Lee, On Growth After Failure

'We survived because we were able to use it as an opportunity to ask critical questions and break down our working process.'

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.

TG: What’s the first thing you do when you get out of bed?
Ben Lee: Meditate. I always try to make space for about 20 minutes of meditation before I get started with anything. It lets me approach the day from a much more clear-headed perspective.

TG: What gives you energy?
BL: Thinking about next steps. I get motivated by thinking about the next challenges and where the next pivot is going to go.

TG: What’s your secret life hack?
BL: Knowing when, how, and why to delegate. One of the absolute most important skills for an entrepreneur.

TG: Name a book that changed your life.
BL: “Just Start,” Leonard A. Schlesinger. It taught me the truth behind this quote: “Everything is a gift.”

TG: Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you?
BL: It’s a tool. An important one, but just a tool. It sleeps near me but I don’t wake up checking it in the night.

TG: How do you deal with email?
BL: No email on my phone. Only on a computer. I try to timebox email. Anything I can deal with over Slack, I do.

TG: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?
BL: Either read or think about topics I could write about.

TG: When was the last time you felt burned out and why?
BL: Been a while, but when I was working as a coder at another agency, before starting my own; that was a rough period for me. I wasn’t doing something I believed in.

TG: When was the last time you felt you failed and how did you overcome it?
BL: My agency almost went bankrupt because we got screwed on a fixed scope project. That was almost a catastrophic failure. We survived because we were able to use it as an opportunity to ask critical questions and break down our working process. Those conversations produced Rootstrap, our roadmapping workshop, which not only saved our business but grew into a thriving agency in its own right.

TG: Share a quote that you love and that gives you strength or peace.
BL: “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” -Anaïs Nin

Inc. 30 Under 30 CEO and founder of Rootstrap, digital agency responsible for 250 apps for 500 founders with $500M in combined revenue and 100M+ downloads. Writer for Forbes, Inc, & more. 

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