The Thrive Questionnaire//

A Leading Female NASCAR Driver Explains How She Overcomes Failure

Julia Landauer on the first thing she does when she gets out of bed and her inbox strategy.

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?
Julia Landauer: The first thing I do in the morning is put on coffee. Then (this is new and I’m still working on consistency) I do 10 minutes of silent deep breathing.

TG: What gives you energy?
JL: I get energized when I see opportunity, even if it’s far fetched. I love going after anything that has a sliver of possibility that could help me achieve my goals. I also find exercise to be a great source of energy.

TG: What’s your secret life hack?
JL: Listen to your gut, always and no matter what.

TG: Name a book that changed your life.
JL: Forever, by Pete Hamill.

TG: Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you?
JL: I don’t get any notifications on my phone besides calls and texts, and even the text alerts are silent. I do keep my phone on my bedside table at night but it’s always on silent and I try not to look at it once I enter my bedroom to go to sleep.

TG: How do you deal with email?
JL: I strive to get to zero unread emails and I try to plow through the buildup at least once a week. If I feel a lull during the day I use that time to skim through newsletters I get.

TG: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?
JL: Go outside!

TG: When was the last time you felt burned out and why?
JL: I can spend up to three weeks on the road for racing/speaking/other business, so by the time I get home I always need to take a day. There’s a limit to how much travel and airports and physical and mental exertion one can take for any period of time. The end of the season right before Thanksgiving is also rough and I typically crash pretty hard.

TG: When was the last time you felt you failed and how did you overcome it?
JL: My manager and I were so close to closing a deal for financial partnership when it fell apart last minute. It was devastating. To overcome it I looked back at everything I did and didn’t do, assessed what I could’ve done differently and/or better, and moved on to the other discussions I had going on.

TG: Share a quote that you love and that gives you strength or peace.
JL: “If it’s both terrifying and amazing, you should definitely pursue it.” – Erada

Julia Landauer is a 2-time championship winning NASCAR racer from New York City. With dozens of wins across different series, Julia is now making history with her results in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West. Away from the track, Julia is a graduate of Stanford University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Science, Technology, and Society. During college Julia was a contestant on season 26 of CBS’ reality TV show SURVIVOR. It was also in college that Julia started her motivational speaking career, with a TEDx talk. Julia has since collaborated with Spotify, Disney/Pixar, and the One Love Foundation and has been written about by The New York Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, Entrepreneur, and espnW, to name a few. Julia is also an honoree of the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for sports. As Julia continues to develop her career and brand on and off the track, she uses her platform to advocate for STEM education and women’s empowerment.

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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