Michael Bloomberg: ‘You’re Never Going to Please Everyone’

The entrepreneur, philanthropist, and three-term mayor of New York City on what gives him strength.

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 gives you energy?
Michael Bloomberg: Work! And making a difference in people’s lives.

TG: What is your relationship with your phone? 
MB: I have a spotty relationship with my phone, but a great relationship with the Bloomberg Professional app.

TG: How do you deal with email?
MB: Emojis, mostly. :)

TG: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?
MB: Talk to colleagues. Check the news. Catch up on calls. Or make a dent in the stack of papers and magazines that piles up.

TG: Share a quote that gives you strength.
MB: When I was mayor of New York City, someone told me, “Even if you have a 90% approval rating in a city of 8-plus million people, that just means that 800,000 people don’t like you.” It was another way of saying what my mother used to tell me: “Don’t let it go to your head.” It’s important to stay grounded. And the truth is, you’re never going to please everyone. But if you do what you believe is right, most people will respect you for it.