• The Lopsided Life: Randi Zuckerberg

    In her new book Pick Three, NYC mom Randi Zuckerberg encourages parents to let go of the guilt.

    By Alex Taylor

    Randi Zuckerberg

    Randi Zuckerberg is a renowned entrepreneur—she’s the founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media as well as the editor-in-chief of Dot Complicated, a digital lifestyle magazine, and the creator of “Dot,” an animated television show. She’s also a former panelist on “Forbes on Fox,” former director of market development and spokesperson for Facebook, and has worked in marketing and advertising for Ogilvy & Mather. And that’s not to mention the fact that Zuckerberg is a loving mother to two little ones—Asher and Simcha—and has a new book titled Pick Three hitting shelves on May 15.

    Despite her impressive resume, thriving career, and adorable family, she’s also the first to tell you that, as a working parent, you can’t “have it all” (at least, not all the time)—and you shouldn’t feel like you have to try to. In fact, that’s the whole concept for her forthcoming book.

    The philosophy behind Pick Three is that you (as a mother, entrepreneur, or even a young adult) pick only three items from a list of work, sleep, fitness, family, and friends, and focus all of your energy on those specific elements of your life. Zuckerberg interviewed 50 people for the book, covering everyone from Tony-winning actresses to single parents to couples who work together to on-call doctors. She hopes readers can experience the sense of adventure and inspiration she herself felt while writing.

    What inspired you to write Pick Three?

    I was starting my own company right around the time I had my first son. I was spending a lot of time thinking: “How do people balance it all?” And I quickly realized nobody actually balances it all. When I started thinking back on the things that I was most proud of, both professionally and in my personal accomplishments, I realized that all of those situations haven’t been balanced. I have allowed myself the freedom to prioritize and go deep. So, I decided to set out on this quest to encourage more entrepreneurs, parents, and workers to give themselves permission to focus and prioritize rather than trying to be balanced.

    What do you hope readers gain from your new book?

    I hope that people can free themselves from a lot of guilt we carry around and the apologizing we do to ourselves and other people. I really think that once we start giving ourselves permission to focus and prioritize, we will unlock this ability to be excellent in everything we do.

    One thing I definitely found was that women, especially, have a lot of guilt admitting that they love their work. They feel like they need to always say that being a mom is their No. 1 priority and their kids are their priority.

    How has it been picking three in your own life?

    I feel like my kind of career’s typical day is very different than most. Most of my work is on the road, and when I’m traveling, I can’t pick family. If I’m going to be on the road for three days this week, I’m going to go all in and do as great as I can at work. Then, I’m going to come home and spend the day where I don’t schedule any meetings with my children. I know that most people’s careers aren’t structured like that. They go into an office and have a more regular schedule. But I still think when we need to prioritize something, it’s really prioritizing everything out in the long run, not in the 24-hour period right in front of us.

    While you were developing the Pick Three philosophy, what did you learn about yourself?

    I learned that I was carrying a lot of guilt around and feeling like I had to be this perfect mom and great at my job and fit into certain-sized clothing. It was when I took the pressure off and said: “Okay, today I’m going to go to the gym, spend time with my family, and get a good night’s sleep—those are the three things I’m going to do,” I was able to do all three of those things well. And it really removed a lot of guilt.

    What benefits do you think parents can get from this book?

    I think for parents, it’s really easy to get caught up in exactly the phase of life you’re in right now. I interviewed parents across so many ages and phases for this book and of course the new parents that I talked to aren’t getting sleep. Nobody is picking sleep when you have a newborn baby, and it’s easy to think it’s always going to be that way. I also interviewed parents with kids that are going off to college. Suddenly they’re in this new world of picking friends all the time again when they haven’t picked friends for a decade.

    To learn more about Randi Zuckerberg, visit zuckerbergmedia.com!

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