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A typical WFH workday…includes a mix of work gear, baby gear, and an always-jammed schedule.

I’m a new mom with an 8-month-old baby girl at home.

Well, technically, since I’ve been working from home, she’s always “at work” with me, too. One month after I returned to work from maternity leave, I got a new job, and for a long list of reasons, I decided to spend the following three months transitioning out slowly, doing a little of both. To top it off, I decided to keep breastfeeding, which, at six times a day, was essentially another job of its own.

Since then, I’ve learned a lot about time management and prioritization. But I also noticed that, particularly when breastfeeding, it’s been hard for me to find any time for “Deep Work” — those super focused periods where you get strategic thinking done. So I thought it might be helpful to share my experience — and what few tips I’ve learned along the way. …

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After nearly 5 years, it’s time to officially say goodbye to this killer view from USV’s office.

At the end of the year, I’ll be leaving my job as General Manager of the USV Network after 5 years to join one of our portfolio companies, Bolster — an on-demand marketplace for executive-level talent. In that role, I’ll continue to build connections and community at the unique intersection of VCs, startup CEOs, and their executive teams. In the world of startups, five years is long; in venture capital, it’s only half of a fund cycle. But I picked up a few things along the way. Here’s what I’m thinking about in my last official week at USV.

How do you reflect on a firehouse of knowledge, nuances, and insights over five years?

“What exactly is the job description of the President of the United States?”

My brother asked this the other day, over a couple of beers. “I’ve been trying to figure this out for years,” he continued. “YEARS.”

“Well, what do you think it is?” I asked him.

“Honestly,” he said, “I still have no idea.”

We each considered this thought for a bit. As it turned out, neither did I.

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“I know what I’d like it to be,” I acknowledged upon reflection. “But I’m not sure that’s actually what it entails.”

We spent the next 30 minutes spit-balling different ideas of what the President might have as their 2–3 main responsibilities. …

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I was asked to write a blog post on my golden rules. Originally I thought this was going to be a post about little business tips and life hacks. This is what came out instead.

I suppose this post is for anyone who wants to live their life without too many guardrails. So here you have it, 10 rules I try to hold myself to on a daily basis. Thanks for the inspiration Hunter Walk.

  1. Do one thing every day that scares you.
    This Eleanor Roosevelt quote has been in my email signature since I was in college. Every once in awhile, someone asks me if it’s still true, and so I’ll pause and think about my last few days. Yes, I tell them, upon reflection. I still do this.

When I was younger, I was obsessed with the American Revolution. What a time to be alive, I’d fantasize, to be a part of history as it was being written, to feel like every action taken somehow contributed to our nation’s independence. How thrilling it would have been, to stand up to the bullies in the British government and help to forge a new set of rules for a brand new country.

I used to imagine myself handing out pamphlets on the streets of Philadelphia, excited by the energy of a group of people on the precipice of something disruptive and extraordinary. Who would I be, I wondered, if I lived during that formative time? What great things would I have accomplished? …

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It’s been an interesting two months of living the isolationist lifestyle at home with my husband. The first was my ninth month of pregnancy. The second was our first month of life with a newborn. To top it off, my husband, who works as a sound engineer for Broadway musicals, has watched his entire industry take an indefinite hiatus.

This probably seems like a recipe for severe marital stress and disaster. But here we are — 60 days in — and so far, nobody has gotten hurt. And since both of us had time to shower and eat breakfast this morning (and it’s only 7 a.m.), …

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For the past six months, I’ve been working on a new podcast called Everyday Experts, where I profile people from a variety of jobs and industries about the people and systems behind the work they do.

I know a lot of business podcasts already exist. But I wanted this to be different. Rather than look to people we might traditionally perceive as de-facto experts (such as, CEOs, renowned entrepreneurs, or celebrity figures), I wanted to help uncover great leaders in unexpected places. That’s to say, people you might come across in your day-to-day life, but not necessarily recognize as experts.

Bus operators. Physical therapists. Beauticians. The local bar owner who’s always there to take a shot with you when you need one. …

Every morning I wake up and the headlines look a little bit more like a post-apocalyptic novel. Today’s included:

Trump suspends most travel from Europe to try to limit virus

Tom Hanks and his wife both have Coronavirus

NBA suspends season after player tests positive for Coronavirus

I think back to the long list of worries that I shared with my husband before conceiving this baby, chief among them was: “Is it really prudent, to introduce a new human into our world right now, with so much going so wrong?”

And now, here we are — 3 weeks away from doing just that. In the midst of a pandemic. Already resources around us are getting scarce. Duane Reades have been out of toilet paper for the past week. Their cold and flu aisle ravaged, shelves nearly empty. Nobody can find hand sanitizer or soap anywhere. Local businesses are getting fined for severely marking up the prices of sick masks. Our hospital has instituted a two-person visitor policy for birthing mothers, not to extend beyond the partner or grandparents. And I’m working from home, in all likelihood up through when this baby arrives. …

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A glimpse at the lower level of the Guggenheim Museum during an exhibit changeover this spring.

This Exhibit Under Construction

A couple of months ago, I went to see a show at the Guggenheim Museum while their main veranda was in transition from one exhibit to the next. Since the main shows at the Guggenheim snake around the main walking path of the museum in a snail shell design, attendees have the unique privilege of getting to watch the “work in progress” as museum curators and art handlers carefully package up one piece of art and bring in the next collection.

Not an artist myself, I found this process entirely fascinating. I stood by the elevator bay in the museum, leaning over the ledge, trying to take in what was happening. At the lower level, yellow and tan crates stacked on top of each other while a half-dozen workers set up makeshift stands that held some of the larger works. In the corner, a couple of men worked on small projects at a desk, their hands illuminated by the lamp as they pages through some of the specifications for the display. …

I hired an executive coach the same month that I hired a doula. As it turned out, these were pretty similar tasks. So, I thought it might be helpful to share some reflections about how I approached this process and a couple of questions that might help you, too.

First off, let’s start with some basics.

What Are They?

Executive Coach: Someone who coaches career professionals on their personal and professional development. Often, they serve as a “mirror” to their clients, reflecting back on themes or ideas that might be hard to see for yourself. …


Bethany Crystal

GM @USV, alum of @StackOverflow and @NorthwesternU, board member at @CompSci_High and @NUalumni, co-founder of #BeyondCodingNYC

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