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?
Emma Ponsonby: Most mornings my little fur-monsters wake me up. Then I usually do a short meditation before a workout or a walk. Because I’m usually working remotely I have my mornings to myself and I start work a little later when my team come online.

TG: What gives you energy?
EP: Seeing others shine. Overcoming their fears or limiting beliefs and see them become who they never thought they could be in the world.

TG: What’s your secret life hack?
EP: Travel. As often as you can. Explore new places, meet new people, learn about different cultures. It opens your mind to discover what matters to you in life.

TG: Name a book that changed your life.
EP: Tribal Leadership by Dave Logan and John King.

TG: Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you?
EP: It does! But always on silent. I often leave my phone behind if I’m going for a walk on the beach or to meet friends, it’s nice to disconnect and be present with people.

TG: How do you deal with email?
EP: These days I’m usually on Whatsapp or talking with people. I mostly use email to connect with people outside of my team and my inbox is pretty organised.

TG: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?
EP: I would sit and daydream, let my imagination explore new possibilities… see where my thoughts lead me!

TG: When was the last time you felt burned out and why?
EP: Whenever I feel burnt out, I try to understand both the physical and the mental sides of it. What am I doing or not doing and my circumstances at the time, as well as looking at the ontological side of burn out and try to become more self-aware.

TG: When was the last time you felt you failed and how did you overcome it?
EP: Someone once told me if you’re not failing we’re not playing a big enough game. I have learnt from previous experience to have a more empowering relationship to failure, and what follows failure is the success.

TG: Share a quote that you love and that gives you strength or peace.
EP: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?”

Emma Ponsonby
CEO & Co-Founder at Little Voyage

Emma is co-founder and CEO at Little Voyage, a high-end travel company empowering people to pursue their travel dreams. Emmas’ entrepreneurial spirit has taken her on an extraordinary journey all the way from rural New Zealand to London, New York and Dubai. She is dedicated to empowering people through responsible travel, connecting people from different cultures and exploring the relationship between humanity and the experience of being alive. Her proudest achievement is the Little Voyage Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation supporting disadvantaged children in Nepal to get better access to education. Every trip booked through Little Voyage contributes towards the foundations’ activities enabling people to travel and give back at the same time.