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?
Lindsay Samakow: Brush my teeth – I can’t speak without doing so.

TG: What gives you energy?
LS: Beyoncé and coffee (number of cups depend on the day!)

TG: What’s your secret life hack?
LS: Journaling. I try to write at least one thing every day – whether it be something funny or something meaningful, it’s really cool to go back and read things I’ve written in years past. It’s also a really good way to hold myself accountable with goals and things I want to accomplish. 

TG: Name a book that changed your life.
LS: #GIRLBOSS. Sophia Amoruso’s unconventional road to success reminded me that there isn’t only one “right” way to do anything. Moving from a boutique lecture agency outside of Washington DC to a major talent agency in Los Angeles has been truly illuminating. Most agents start out in the mailroom then work as assistants and coordinators, which I fortunately never did. I think I would have been an awful assistant so that worked out well for me!

TG: Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you?
LS: I wish I could say my relationship with my phone is a healthy one – but unfortunately, it’s not. All of my friends and family are back east so I keep my phone right next to me (and on full volume) just in case they need me. Also, given the nature of my job, I am always on call and need to be available. I will say I turn on the do not disturb on the weekends, though!

TG: How do you deal with email?
LS: I try to respond immediately – even if I don’t have the answer right away – to let the person know I’ve seen their note. People appreciate being responded to – and in a timely manner. I know I do.

TG: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?
LS: Call someone from back home to catch up and check in – the time difference has definitely made that challenging but we’re figuring it out!

TG: When was the last time you felt burned out and why?
LS: Last week. Building an entire department – basically from the ground up – is a massive undertaking. I might spend hours on one task that ends up being thrown out, which can be frustrating. Ultimately, I’m laying ground work for a new division so there will undoubtedly be some obstacles along the way but the end product will be amazing!

TG: When was the last time you felt you failed and how did you overcome it?
LS: I had a really big client cancel a speaking engagement with very little notice because she was filming a pilot. This happens all the time in my business but it doesn’t make calling the buyer any easier. Fortunately, I work at one of the most prestigious talent agencies – ICM – which has an extensive roster of talent and I was able to find an outstanding alternative, who ended up going off without a hitch.

TG: Share a quote that you love and that gives you strength or peace.
LS: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” – Maya Angelou

Lindsay Samakow is a senior agent in the ICM Partners lectures unit, now branded under the Royce Carlton banner following ICM Partners’ acquisition of the storied speakers agency. The Penn State grad previously spent six years at Virginia-based Keppler Speakers, where after two years she became its youngest-ever Vice President. At Keppler, Samakow recruited high profile speakers including Laverne Cox and Breaking Bad’s RJ Mitte and also was known for developing the company’s college and university division, a key part of its business.