Sandi Mendelson: My Secret Life Hack Is Getting Enough Sleep

The CEO of Hilsinger-Mendelson on making the most of 15 spare minutes and living life according to the Golden Rule.

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?
Sandi Mendelson: I check the weather, news of the day, put on my exercise clothes and get out the door to go work out.

TG: What gives you energy?
SM: Working out and eating cleanly.

TG: What’s your secret life hack?
SM: Getting at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night.

TG: Name a book that changed your life.
SM: To Kill a Mockingbird made me want to delve into more books when I was young; Siddhartha set me on a path of looking inside myself as I began my own spiritual journey of self-discovery; Catch-22 stoked a desire to fight against the Vietnam war and to support social causes; and I just love The History of Love by Nicole Krauss — a beautiful story of love and loss that hit me at a time when I was coming through a personal tragic loss.

TG: Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you?
SM: My phone is on my bed but turned off.

TG: How do you deal with email?
SM: I’m anal about my email; I’m really fast with answering everything that comes in. I try to respect folks that do email and I want to get back to them promptly.

TG: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?
SM: When I have 15 minutes, I want to read and absorb more info.

TG: When was the last time you felt burned out and why?
SM: When I’m in crisis mode with my clients and want to turn everything right for them.

TG: When was the last time you felt you failed and how did you overcome it?
SM: When I can’t be there for myself and everyone who’s relying on me — I just take each thing separately and somehow everything resolves.

TG: Share a quote that you love and that gives you strength or peace.
SM: I think it’s really the Golden Rule: “Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.” That’s always been my credo.


Sandi Mendelson is CEO of Hilsinger-Mendelson, a preeminent literary public relations firm; she orchestrates book and branding campaigns for individuals and organizations, across fiction and nonfiction publishing genres, and devotes significant time to charity and social endeavors.