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?
Tamara Mellon: First thing’s first: I make a big coffee with a shot of espresso, hot coconut milk, and collagen powder. Then I sit down with my favorite papers, the Financial Times. It motivates me for my day to hear about the amazing things other people are doing in business.
TG: What gives you energy?
TM: Other than my coffee? Art! I’m a huge art lover. My partner Michael and I like to visit galleries whenever we can. It inspires me to translate the beauty into my designs.
TG: Name a book that changed your life.
TM: Not to play teacher’s pet, but The Sleep Revolution did change my life, as is the case for so many others. It used to be a point of pride to say you pulled an all-nighter, but this book single handedly changed that.
TG: Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you?
TM: I’m ashamed to say it does, but I try to only use it for good. I listen to meditations on the Calm app as I fall asleep, and I don’t look at it until morning, when I check my email. That said, I do sleep with it next to me. I’m a mother, so I need to always be reachable.
TG: How do you deal with email?
TM: I set aside dedicated time to check email, so it sets boundaries. I also have an amazing team who I entrust to help me run the business, and they can always text me if I’m not in the office and something is urgent.
TG: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?
TM: Reality check! My daughter has two little dogs who we love, but they often go to the bathroom around the house. So I’d probably be cleaning up after them.
TG: When was the last time you felt burned out and why?
TM: When I stop taking time for myself. My daily meditations, calisthenics, and baths before bed are all moments for me to recharge, so I can give myself fully to what I’m doing the rest of the day.
In September 2016 I moved across the country and launched a business at the same time. By the time I hit December, that’s when I decided to start meditating. It became a necessity.
TG: When was the last time you felt you failed and how did you overcome it?
TM: I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t say I’ve felt like I failed many times in my life, but I think that’s normal and it’s human. What matters is how you handle the failures. If anything they’ve motivated me to become stronger and more successful, especially in business. I’ll never feel like I’m “done.”
The first iteration of the Tamara Mellon brand didn’t work. I had the right idea, but the wrong execution. But I persisted and now with the right team, we’re succeeding.
TG: Share a quote that you love and that gives you strength or peace.
TM: Never manage by fear. It’s true in business, but it’s true in life, too. When you show kindness to people, they respond more positively to you, no matter the scenario. It creates a more peaceful environment all around.
Happy people are productive people.