“So fetch” is tired; “so Betch” is wired… at least in Sami Fishbein’s world. The co-founder of Betches Media is running her online empire from home in New York City, though—full disclosure—when things are “normal,” she’s in the same office building as Newsette HQ. (Hey, neighbor! Do you miss the painfully slow elevator as much as we do?)

As Sami pivots her brand and guides millions of readers from her living room, she’s making sure those in more dire straits are getting help with The Good Influence Fund, which has raised over $60k for the COVID-19 relief fund. She’s also helping her team produce podcasts, a dating show, and vital news posts about Amanda Bynes, who is—phew—not pregnant, ok guys?

Sami called us from home to describe working through “one of the strangest times in our lives.” Here’s how she’s changing her leadership style during COVID-19’s rocky takeover of 2020.

8 A.M. I don’t use an alarm to wake up. They’re pretty stressful to hear first thing in the morning—they’re pretty stressful in general, to be honest—and why would you want the first thing you feel every day to be stress?

9 A.M. I used to be one of those people who watched TV while she did home workouts, but now I’ve graduated to doing a home workout while listening to a podcast while the TV is on mute, turned to the news… I’ll listen to whichever episodes [of our Betches podcasts] I’m not on!

10 A.M. Before my first Zoom call, which is usually at 10, I do a skincare routine from Dr. Shari Marchbein. I’ve been doing it for two months and I love it. First I use Micellar Water from Garnier. Then I use SkinCeuticals Discoloration Defense and Phloretin CF serum, and a Supergoop moisturizer.

11 A.M. What I’ve found to be a surprise challenge about Zoom is that it’s much harder to gauge how everyone’s actually feeling. Every time I speak with anyone at Betches, I’m wondering, “Are you struggling? Are you okay? How’s work; how’s your personal life?” It’s hard to tell what someone’s personal feelings are, and I want to make sure everyone on our team is having the easiest time possible, and that they have everything they need from us to do their jobs well. I mean, we’re not just “working from home” for the hell of it. We’re home because of a global pandemic. That’s extremely stressful. Let’s not forget that.

12 P.M. Of course, I have coffee every day. I can’t kick my iced coffee habit, so we’ll make a big French press of instant coffee and stick it in the fridge for the next day. We even bought Starbucks cups from Amazon so when you drink it, it feels like you’re getting it from Starbucks! It’s funny but it definitely helps.

2 P.M. The best part of our team at Betches is that they’re also representative of our core audience. So if they’re entertained—and comforted and informed—by the content we’re all producing, that’s a good indication we’re doing our jobs. If we laugh out loud on Zoom, that’s a great sign. And I’m a big believer in actually talking to everyone instead of just diving into meetings or assignments. What’s happening? How are you? What’s up? We’re humans; let’s be the best ones we can.

4 P.M. We have a new Bravo podcast, which means I need to keep track of so many reality shows right now. I really like Summer House; I’m a big fan of Real Housewives of New York and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Personally, I can’t ever see myself on a reality show, but I love watching them and I love talking about them… and I especially love Bethenny Frankel. Our Good Influence Fund raises money for charities, including her bstrong disaster relief fund. I really admire how she’s used her platform to make a really big impact. Isn’t it crazy that a Real Housewife has been more effective than the federal government? That makes no sense to me. I admire her so much for stepping up.

5 P.M. If you want to dress up for a Zoom meeting or a Zoom happy hour, you should, but I don’t want to say you “must.” It’s complicated. We’re in uncharted territory, right? My fiancé works in finance. He’s much more careful about what’s in the background during Zoom calls. For me, when I’m talking to a new person, I like to look put together. In terms of makeup, I don’t love the idea of telling people, “You have to look pretty.” But if you’re being recorded for something, or you want to be camera-ready, go for it… and you can wear pajama bottoms instead of heels and tight jeans, even if you do have to dress up!

7 P.M. Right before quarantine, I made my kitchen a little nicer. Now when I cook, I pretend I work in a restaurant.

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