The Thrive Questionnaire With Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz

The President of The Charles Schwab Foundation shares what makes her tick and how she deals with an overabundance of emails.

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.

A leading advocate for financial literacy, Carrie served on President Bush’s and Obama’s Advisory Councils on Financial Capability and was nominated by the San Francisco Chronicle for its Visionary of the Year Award in 2014 for her work on financial literacy. Additionally, she serves on the national board of governors of Boys & Girls Clubs of America and was appointed Commissioner of the San Francisco Status of Women, which fosters the advancement of women through policies and programs.

In her Thrive Questionnaire, she shares secret life hacks, how she’s dealt with burnout, and how she overcame failures.

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

Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz: I start every day with stretches and exercises from the Egoscue Method. It’s the best for posture and strength, and helps me counteract the effects of all the time I spend at my desk and in front of a computer.

TG: What gives you energy?

CSP: I definitely get my energy from other people. Meeting new people, connecting people, and tossing around ideas. That’s what makes me tick!

TG: What’s your secret life hack?

CSP: It’s taken me a long time, but I’ve finally gotten more comfortable with delegating, both at work and at home. And the best part? Generally the job is done better than if I had done it myself!

TG: Name a book that changed your life. 

CSP: Hamilton gave me a fresh perspective on today’s political craziness. I was amazed to learn that our forefathers could get so down and dirty.

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

CSP: Must admit, I’m hooked. I do manage to turn it off at night, but I’ve got a gazillion apps and check in with it constantly.

TG: How do you deal with email?

CSP: I get so many requests that I have to constantly remind myself that I don’t have to respond immediately. That said, every day I try to find a good 15 minutes or so to quietly keep up.

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

CSP: I catch up on phone calls. As hooked as I am to text and email, I prefer voice to voice.

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

CSP: I always hit a rough patch in the fall… lots of travel for work at the same time that I’m trying to prepare for the holidays and family events.

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

CSP: I constantly overcommit, and then I’m in the uncomfortable position of having to pull back. I guess I’m just a girl who can’t say no!

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

CSP: Recently someone said to me “you’re a really nice person.” That simple validation gave me strength, and I often go back to it.

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