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Aug 15, 2018
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Jenny Wu is the General Manager of Digital Product at ClassPass where she has incubated and built ClassPass Live. At brunchwork, she shared her best strategies for work-life balance.

Q: How do you achieve work-life balance?

I try to work smarter rather than harder. I check in with myself throughout the day to ensure I am working on my top priorities. There is always more to be done, but I think about ruthless prioritization every single day and limit myself to the five things I need to finish.

It’s also important to realize that your time off is just as important as your time on the job. Fill your life with things that give you energy.

Whenever I’ve been interviewing for jobs, I’ve made it a point to be conscious about what kind of work-life balance I want and ask questions about the culture. You want to find the right fit for your own needs.

What health and wellness mantras do you live by?

Sleep is very important. I need to make sure I get my seven hours and ensure that I’m functioning.

What is your favorite self care advice?

Have a regular routine that is just yours. It can be really, really soothing; I think having that routine is so underrated. For me, it’s often going for a walk by myself and listening to a podcast. For others, it might be taking a yoga class or tidying up their room in a specific way.

You started a few companies before joining ClassPass. What lessons did you bring with you to ClassPass?

A: First, being a founder comes with extreme highs and extreme lows. It’s not for everyone. If you are going to pursue it, you need to have a strong support network of friends and family to get through the rough patches.

Second, in the early stages of any product, you should do things that are unscalable. Go out and talk to customers, email a bunch of micro-influencers. You should be nimble and do these unscalable things. Even now with ClassPass Live, since we’re only four months old, we can try the unscalable things.

Tell us more about ClassPass Live.

We wanted to recreate the studio experience at home. For us, the magic is centered around the instructor, the excitement of the workout, and accountability. We want to ensure that users feel like they’re in the studio with us.

Additionally, we created a heart rate monitor that tracks real-time heart rate, zone and calorie burn. As you go through the class, there’s a leader board that shows how you compare to others. The hardware really brings you into the studio.

What are the challenges of incubating a startup inside a company?

It’s difficult when a bigger company tries to do something different. It helped that we had our own product and engineering teams. We were able to iterate quickly without having to fold into the larger infrastructure of ClassPass. Leadership was thoughtful in allowing us the time and space to innovate and move quickly.

There’s always a challenge, however, in how much you communicate what you’re doing. People were excited about Live, and so we shared accordingly. It’s easy to lose track of everything that’s going on within the company because so much is being built, but it’s great to get buy-in from both co-workers and executives.

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