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?
Gordon Rubenstein:  Check on my wife and kids to see if they are awake and say good morning.

TG: What gives you energy?
GR: Creating and building with inspiring partners.

TG: What’s your secret life hack?
GR: Be a giver: If you are supporting and assisting others, everyone benefits in the end.

TG: Name a book that changed your life.
GR: James Michner’s Centennial. I read the book in Mr. Maddox’s U.S. history class in high school. It was an early inspiration to be an entrepreneur and move to California.

TG: Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you?
GR: It’s a business tool. I shut it off and place in another room.

TG: How do you deal with email?
GR: Succinctly and efficiently. I respond to almost every email that was thoughtfully written.

TG: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?
GR: Go for a walk with my wife.

TG: When was the last time you felt burned out and why?
GR: I have never felt burned out in the conventional sense as I have always tried to keep things balanced and in perspective. I am fortunate to have a strong supporting wife and partners and live in an area/community where there is a tremendous amount of support and understanding of the innovation and creation process.

TG: When was the last time you felt you failed and how did you overcome it?
GR: Today. Everyday. If I am not failing, I am not learning and creating. Failing is a critical part of the process—personally and professionally.

TG: Share a quote that you love and that gives you strength or peace.
GR: Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. –Mahatma Gandhi.