The Thrive Questionnaire//

Kevin Durant’s Manager & Business Partner, Rich Kleiman, On His Definition of Failure

Plus what gives him a burst of energy.

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?
Rich Kleiman: Check my phone. I know it’s a bad habit but I always need to see if I missed anything while I was asleep. We run a media company, but at the end of the day, my day job is making sure Kevin’s life on and off the court is straight. So I feel obligated to always be available to him.

TG: What gives you energy?
RK: My kids, watching the Warriors play, and fast-moving business.

TG: What’s your secret life hack?
RK: Wearing sweats all day. When you travel as much as I do, being comfortable is usually the most important thing.

TG: Name a book that changed your life.
RK: Make Your Bed. It’s clear and concise and unlike most leadership books, I think the lessons translate to any role in any workplace.

TG: Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you?
RK: It’s very close by when I sleep, and it’s definitely in my hand most of the day.

TG: How do you deal with email?
RK: I always read them right away, delete immediately after I’ve responded, or save if I’m waiting to answer.

TG: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?
RK: I’d probably turn on the TV and check Instagram and Twitter to catch up on what’s going on in the world.

TG: When was the last time you felt burned out and why?
RK: On my longest stretch of work travel away from my kids. It made me realize I needed to be smarter about my schedule so that I can be with my family as much as possible.

TG: When was the last time you felt you failed and how did you overcome it?
RK: I don’t look at anything as a failure – I just keep learning.

TG: Share a quote that you love and that gives you strength or peace.
RK: “This too shall pass.”

Rich Kleiman is Kevin Durant’s manager, as well as his co-founder and business partner in The Durant Company and Thirty Five Media. With the Durant Company, Kleiman oversees Durant’s investment portfolio, including Postmates, Acorns, The Players’ Tribune, JetSmarter, and many others. The duo’s latest venture, Thirty Five Media, is a media production and creative development company. Their work can be seen on Kevin Durant’s YouTube channel at youtube.com/kevindurant.

Previously, Kleiman helped launched Roc Nation Sports, where he served as Vice President of the agency founded by Jay-Z and still works in partnership with the firm. Kleiman started with Roc Nation in 2008 as a music manager representing Solange, Wale, Mark Ronson, & many more. Kleiman has also served as executive producer on HBO’s The Offseason: Kevin Durant and Jay-Z’s Fade To Black. 

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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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