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Hi, my name is Nataly and I am freaked out about the economy

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My grandparents called me the other day to ask what they should do with the bit of money they have in the bank. At first I wasn’t sure what they were asking, but then my grandma clarified that because I am a financial whiz (really? I guess all those years I spent in the mysterious-to-them world of venture capital somehow means that I know how to weather the current financial storm) she wants my opinion about whether they should pull their savings out and keep them home.

I calmly explained that their deposits are protected by the government, up to $100,000, and that they shouldn’t worry. After I hung up the phone I was pretty proud of myself for not letting on about how FREAKED OUT I AM ABOUT THE ECONOMY.


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Bad career advice: Here are my three least favorite ones

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The other day I got an email from a woman who recently graduated from my alma mater. She found my contact info through the alumni database and was asking if I could spend a few minutes talking with her about my career path. Of course I said yes — yes, I want to help, but who doesn’t like to feel like Miss Smarty Pants for a while?

We’d scheduled a call and I started thinking about things I wanted to make sure to tell her. Don’t go into venture capital before having some operating experience. Consulting is a great way to learn how to process information quickly and to become a whiz with financial spreadsheets, but don’t stay for too long. If you’re thinking of joining a start-up do your homework on the team (they should be smart, hardworking, and fun to spend 18 hours a day with) and the financial plan for the company.

And then I started to think about all the things I wanted to make sure to NOT tell her, the cliche career advice I often got when I graduated from college, or truly bad career advice, that I also got and in most cases didn’t realise was bad until years later. I thought I’d share some of it with you and see what you think — is it bad advice and what other horrible career advice have you received?

1. As a woman, you will have to work harder than guys to get the same recognition at work.
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School or daycare drop off: Do you check out other moms?

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I was dropping off my daughter at preschool the other day and one of the moms commented that she was envious about my gym commitment. “I see you in your gym clothes all the time!” she said, as I looked down to remember that yes, I was once again wearing my favorite yoga pants and black T-shirt uniform.

I quickly reassured her that actually, I wasn’t heading to the gym but to a meeting, a very casual one, thankfully. But as I walked to the car I thought, wow, she notices what I am wearing every day, I should put in a bit more effort.
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Does your family life suffer because you work?

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According to a new study out of Cambridge University, 62 percent of Americans say yes, up from 49% who thought so in 1994. In Britain, 54% of women and 58% of men believe that when a mom works it has a negative impact on family life.

My initial reaction was to get upset, naturally, that so many people feel this way. I then thought about our family life and started to get upset thinking that crap, this is probably true.
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Mistakes I’ve made as a mom

Categories: Just For Fun, Money, Uncategorized

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I was inspired to write this post after reading this GREAT article by Julie Wainwright, titled Five Life-Changing Mistakes and How I Moved On. It’s an article everyone who has ever failed at something should read.

I don’t think we talk about our mistakes, failures, messups nearly enough — not as moms, not as career women, not as entrepreneurs. I am truly guilty of this because many people I know think I’ve got it all figured out. (Ha!) And while I’ve gotten better at sharing just how imperfect my life really is — and have found out how great it feels to find out that I am definitely not alone in that — I think we can all benefit from sharing our mistakes more often. For me, the best thing about sharing my mistakes is realizing that none of them are the end of the world.

So I thought I’d share some mistakes I’ve made as a mom, and then in other posts, mistakes I’ve made in my career and as an entrepreneur. You know, pretending that you guys care to read this stuff.

#1 I drove myself crazy trying to get my daughter to 6 months on only breastmilk
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Three ways to be more productive

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I generally think of myself as an extremely productive and difficult-to-distract person, but I’ve recently realized that I’m deluding myself. Sure, I get stuff done, but I procrastinate, waste time, and get distracted often. For all the complaining I do about needing more time in a day I should start by creating more time in a day by wasting less of it.

So here are the three specific things I’ve come up with to be more productive this week — I promise to report back next weekend and let you know how I did:
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Affluenza: A disease I don’t want my daughter to get

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I just read this great piece by Judith Warner about $10,000 summer camps and overbearing, can’t-let-go parents who send their kids there. Some of these camps employ parent liaisons, whose job is to basically be a concierge and deal with parent requests, or more likely demands (e.g. check that my kids have put on their sunscreen today.) Judith Warner uses the camp example to talk about affluenza, a social phenomenon where one’s self-esteem is closely tied to what one is able to get. The study of affluenza mentioned in Ms. Warner’s article defines it in the following way:


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Should you love your job?

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I am kind of obsessed with the idea of loving my job. Out of my 7 job/career changes, I’d say 5 or 6 were motivated by the fact that I didn’t love what I was doing. I’ve now had enough jobs to understand that it’s impossible (and just plain silly) to expect to love everything about my job, but I still believe that spending 10 hours a day doing something that doesn’t tickle my mind/heart/soul in some way is a sad notion.

My mom thinks I am nuts.
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Changing jobs: Why did you leave your last job?

Categories: Career Talk, Uncategorized

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changes-sign.jpgThis is my 7th job in 10 years. When my mom tells people about what I do for a living she always makes sure to say that I can’t stay in the same place for too long and jump around a lot. That’s hard to argue with, although I was in my last job for five years, which I think is a solid stretch of time. (It was about three years too long, but that’s another story.)

For the most part I’ve changed jobs because I wasn’t entirely into what I was doing and I pursued my idealistic belief that I can make money and do something I enjoy at the same time.
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Eating slower: My latest (very) small step towards feeling less frazzled

Categories: Balancing Act, Uncategorized, Your life

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breakfast-on-the-run.jpgI’m a master of doing everything as fast as possible:

I take less time in the shower than my husband and can completely my entire morning routine in less than 12 minutes (yes, I’ve timed it and yes, this is from getting out of bed to being showered, make-uped, and dressed for the day).

I am NEVER rarely one of those people who hold up the line at the store while they look for their wallet or count out 95 cents in change… and you will laugh, but I put everything on the counter with the on top, so the cashier can scan things easier.

My breakfast is an incredibly boring combination of one or two things (tea or coffee, toasted English muffin with peanut butter, egg white omelet or Greek yogurt with berries) and I’ve figured out the optimal way to make it so that it’s ready in 2-3 minutes and consumed in about as much.

As I was wolfing it down the other morning I was flipping through an issue of Body and Soul Magazine and one of the articles I skimmed through talked about mindful eating:
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