The Thrive Questionnaire With Joe De Sena

The founder and CEO of Spartan opens up about his relationship with technology, his favorite reads, and what gives him 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.

Joe De Sena is the founder and CEO of Spartan, the world’s largest obstacle race and endurance brand. Following a successful career on Wall Street, De Sena created the Spartan lifestyle. De Sena is also the host of the Spartan Up! podcast and is a New York Times Best Selling Author having written three books: Spartan Up, Spartan Fit and The Spartan Way.

Thrive Global: What’s the first thing you do when you get out of bed? 

I always drink two large glasses of room temperature water with a few drops of my concoction of oils.  Then, I go right to my 21 bodyweight movement workout. 

TG: What gives you energy? 

Inspiring people, stories, and videos, my wife and kids, and competition.

TG: What’s your secret life hack? 

Working out before breakfast, going to bed early, and not drinking.

TG: Name a book that changed your life. 

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, and Adrift by Steven Callahan

TG: Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you? 

It is a hate-hate relationship! My phone sleeps in another room, and we are headed toward a permanent breakup.

TG: How do you deal with email?

 I answer them! I like to be in the loop.

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


TG: When was the last time you felt burned out and why?

I end every day the last 40 years that way. I try and squeeze all the juice out of each day.

TG: When was the last time you felt you failed and how did you overcome it? 

I  fail daily, but just tell myself thats not the end. Quitting is the end. I don’t mind it. 

TG: Share a quote that you love and that gives you strength or peace. 

“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’ll be right.”

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