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?
Kimbal Musk: Cook breakfast for my fiancée and our kids. I like to do a slow soft scramble to get my mind relaxed and ready for the day.
TG: What gives you energy?
KM: Real food is the gift I give to myself three times a day. It gives me energy through nourishment and through connection with others. I eat real food and almost never eat alone.
TG: What’s your secret life hack?
KM: Eating and cooking real food with and/or for my friends and family that is delicious and nourishing. I’ve cooked for people around me since I was twelve years old and I love it.
TG: Name a book that changed your life.
KM: Good to Great by Jim Collins. It taught me to think long term, don’t panic, and take reality head-on.
TG: Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you?
KM: It sleeps next to me. But I put it on silent from 8pm until 11am. If someone really needs to reach me they can call twice. If not, I prefer to sleep without disturbance and I don’t like to receive calls before 11am while I’m getting into the day.
TG: How do you deal with email?
KM: I’m a zero inbox guy. But I’m learning to prioritize emails better so that I don’t treat every email with the same importance.
TG: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?
KM: Meditate or go on a hike.
TG: When was the last time you felt burned out and why?
KM: When our team built our first 200 Learning Gardens in less than three years in schoolyards across the country. The first 200 Learning Gardens was like building a plane while we were trying to fly it. That was incredibly difficult but I’m really happy we got it done. Now we have a system built off that process and have scaled up to nearly 400 Learning Gardens across six major US cities.
TG: When was the last time you felt you failed and how did you overcome it?
KM: When I was running a technology company but my heart wasn’t in it. I overcame it by turning my focus back to real food. I love what I do and have never looked back. Honestly, I fail 10 to 20 times a day, but when I’m passionate about the outcome I’m able to keep my head up and get it done.
Kimbal Musk is Co-Founder of The Kitchen, a growing family of businesses that pursues an America where everyone has access to real food. Kimbal is a 2017 Social Entrepreneur by the Schwab Foundation, a sister organization to the World Economic Forum, for his impactful, scalable work to bring Real Food to Everyone.
His family of restaurant concepts, including Next Door and Hedge Row, serve real food at every price point. They source food from American farmers, stimulating the local farm economy to the tune of millions of dollars a year. His non-profit organization builds permanent, outdoor Learning Garden classrooms in hundreds of underserved schools around the U.S. reaching over 200,000 students everyday. His urban, indoor vertical farming accelerator, Square Roots, seeks to empower thousands of young entrepreneurs to become real food farmers.
Kimbal is on the board for Chipotle, Tesla, and SpaceX. Follow him on Twitter @Kimbal and Instagram @KimbalMusk.