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?
Janice Bryant Howroyd: Every wakening, I begin with gratitude. Every day I reach for it until I’m filled with it. Gratitude will not always come naturally. When rough patches appear, it may seem distant, but it is always within us. It’s innate.When I get up in the morning I meditate and pray. It’s important for me to be mindful in my actions and my intentions. Devoting time to honor the Universe sets the tone and direction of my day.

TG: What gives you energy?
JBH: Life!

TG: What’s your secret life hack?
JBH: Forgiveness. Forgiveness eliminates wasted work. Forgiveness encourages fresh thinking and free-flowing energy. Everyday, I say aloud to myself: “The Supreme Intelligence is my strength. All of my weaknesses are forgiven. I forgive everyone and I forgive myself. Only good comes into my life.”

TG: Name a book that changed your life.
JBH: As one of those people who reads three books at a time, I’ll share the titles of three books that have profoundly impacted my life:
The Bible: Our Mother encouraged us that, whether we read the Bible as history or as inspirational teaching, reading it for our own understanding would offer us lasting value.
From Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t: Reading this book enhanced my professional approach to business, and its teachings can be reapplied to help hack personal life/culture.
As A Person Thinketh: This is the book, without question, that changed my life.

TG: How do you deal with email?
JBH: As the most magnificently mature mellinias you will ever meet, I am also one of the most responsible email managers. In my company and social circles, I’m likely one of the quickest responders – even if it means I’m simply saying, “Understood, and I’ll get back to you by XXX date/timer.”

TG: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?
JBH: An unexpected 15 minutes occurring in my day is highly unlikely. Should I discover them, I’m likely gift them to someone who needs them.

TG: When was the last time you felt burned out and why?
JBH: Honestly, I can’t recall a moment in time when I’ve ever felt burned out. Burned up is another thing. Staying committed to a healthy life in mind, body, and spirit, I exercise daily, eat right, take vitamins, and fuel my brain and soul with positive thoughts, affirmations, pray, and meditation. These practices help ensure that I don’t ever feel burned out. It’s more likely that I will strategically alter a bad decision or course, regroup and start over/differently, than stay long enough to burn out. After all, discipline – for me – is not a dirty word!

TG: When was the last time you felt you failed and how did you overcome it?
JBH: The next time I fail will be the first time I fail.

TG: Share a quote that you love and that gives you strength or peace?
JBH: There is power in reciting and seeing quotes and affirmations. They are framed in various locations throughout my office and corporate headquarters. The quotes that have given me peace and strength through the years are:
“Become the change you wish to see.”
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
“Conceive, believe, and achieve!”
Of course, my own personal life mantra is: Never compromise who you are personally to become who you wish to be professionally.

Businesswoman, entrepreneur, educator, ambassador, author, mentor and Presidential Special Appointee, Janice Bryant Howroyd is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The ActOne Group, a global leader providing customized cutting edge solutions in the human resources industry. The ActOne Group is a multi-­‐billion dollar (USD) award-­winning, international Talent and Talent Technology enterprise with multiple divisions that each service unique areas of employment and provide talent management solutions.

She is currently #39 on Forbes list of America’s Richest Self-Made Women. In 2014, Mrs. Howroyd was recognized by Black Enterprise as the first black woman to own and operate a billion‐dollar company. She was BET’s first ever BET Honors Entrepreneur of the Year and has received Black Enterprise’s Business of the Year award. In 2013, she was appointed a USA Ambassador of Energy at the White House.

In May of 2016 she received a key Presidential appointment by President Barack Obama as a member of the President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. In 2017, Howroyd was appointed to the Federal Communications Commission’s Advisory Committee on Diversity and Digital Empowerment (ACDDE).