The Thrive Questionnaire//

“You’re Not a $20 Bill, Not Everyone Is Going to Love You”

This top music exec shares real-talk advice and what gives her energy.

Photo Courtesy of Natalia Nastaskin

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?                        Natalia Nastaskin: Brew coffee and meditate, almost simultaneously.

TG: What gives you energy?                                                                                                    NN: My daily morning workout. I switch between resistance training, cardio, hiking and yoga, depending on the day.

TG: What daily habit or practice helps you thrive?                                                     
NN: It’s a combination of eight hours of uninterrupted sleep, meditation, exercise and reading the trades to stay current.

TG: Name a book that changed your life.                                                                          NN: Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist.

TG: Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you?           
NN: My phone is an appendage, basically attached to me during the day. At night, it sleeps on my night-table about a foot away from me, but only because it doubles as an alarm. I stay completely off my phone at night.

TG: How do you deal with email?                                                                                     
NN: I open all emails I receive daily and respond in order of urgency within no more than 24 hours. Some things are more complicated and require more time, but I don’t like emails to linger in my inbox longer than they have to.

TG: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?                NN: Put on my headphones and listen to new music.

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

NN: Being an executive in the entertainment industry can be stressful, but I don’t let myself burn out. I’m no good to myself or to anyone else that way.

TG: What advice would you give your younger self?                                                       
NN: Stay the course and don’t give up — you’re on the right track… it’ll be a long, difficult and sometimes painful track, but you’re going to achieve everything you’ve ever wanted.

TG: Share a quote that you love and that gives you strength or peace.                       
NN: “You’re not a $20 bill, not everyone is going to love you.”

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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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