Rachel Zoe: ‘Try Not to Over Plan Your Life’

The fashion designer, editor, author, and entrepreneur on the importance of honesty and kindness.

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?
Rachel Zoe: Snuggle my boys and place my Starbucks order on Postmates.

TG: What gives you energy?
RZ: I have always required very little sleep. I get energized by the passion for what I do, and the support from Rodger and the boys always reinvigorates me after a long day.

TG: What’s your secret life hack?
RZ: Try not to over plan your life. Take one day at a time while being kind, honest and loyal.

TG: Name a book that changed your life.
RZ: The Giving Tree has always held a special place in my heart, and it has taken on a whole new meaning now that I read it to my boys.

TG: Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you?
RZ: I’m glued to my phone during the work day, but when I’m home, I try to be 100% present with my kids…but it does sleep next to me.

TG: How do you deal with email?
RZ: In business, email is how we communicate. I take my laptop to bed every night to catch up on emails I’ve missed throughout the day. However, I’ve found that I have been relying more on text messaging because in my world it gets a quicker response.

TG: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?
RZ: If my boys are anywhere near me, I hug them to re-energize. If I’m at work, I usually step into Rodger’s office to catch up and download on work.

TG: When was the last time you felt burned out and why?
RZ: When I was a stylist and working 24 hours a day there was a point when I was completely exhausted….my life was 100% my work. I think I was burnt out for most of my career without knowing it. Since I had children, I’ve become more aware of when I’m burnt out. I try harder to take care of myself now and I try to remember to breathe.

TG: When was the last time you felt you failed and how did you overcome it?
RZ: Business is a lot of trial and error, but it’s important to approach each day as a new day, and appreciate your everyday successes. I have not been great at accepting failure, but I always try to learn from my mistakes and use that experience to change how I handle situations in the future.

TG: Share a quote that you love and that gives you strength or peace.
RZ: “Imagine there’s no countries. It isn’t hard to do. Nothing to kill or die for. And no religion too. Imagine all the people living life in peace” — John Lennon

Rachel Zoe is a distinguished designer, editor, author, and entrepreneur renowned for her effortless take on glamour. As a designer, Zoe makes her exceptional taste and expertise accessible to the fashion savvy as Creative Director of the Rachel Zoe Collection, comprised of ready-to-wear, footwear and jewelry lines. Zoe is the Editor-in-Chief of The Zoe Report, reaching over 14 million worldwide and Box of Style, a subscription service of beauty and lifestyle items.