Attention thieves; keeping you from living a "FOOCamp life?"

Last week when I was talking with Linda Stone I told her that I tried to live a “FooCamp Life.”

What’s FOOCamp? That’s Tim O’Reilly’s annual campout where he invites about 300 “Friends Of O’Reilly” to O’Reilly’s headquarters in Sebastapol, CA, for a campout. I was invited for the first two years, then haven’t been invited ever since.

Not getting invited back was the greatest gift that Tim O’Reilly could have given to me. Why? Because he had shown me a way to live, then by pulling it away he forced me to do it on my own. Interesting too, that the same effect caused the creation of BarCamp.

How did FOOCamp create that need? I remember one night at the first FOOCamp when I arrived with my son, Patrick, and we were hungry. There were a few people setting up tents and stuff and they pointed us to the kitchen. When we got there it was empty, but found a box of apples (the eating kind, not the computing kind) and started munching away. Soon an executive from AT&T walked in. Then Yossi Vardi did (his kids started ICQ). Then Linda Stone walked in (she gave me some heck for working for Microsoft which struck me as odd at the time since she was a former executive at both Apple and Microsoft). Then the two guys who started Google walked in. Then Tim O’Reilly himself walked in. That was the beginning of my FOOCamp experience and it only got better from there.

So, when Tim stopped inviting me I told myself I’d have the ultimate revenge: I’d live a FOOCamp Life and have an interesting conversation every day, just like the one I had at FOOCamp that Friday evening at about midnight with my son and a bunch of interesting technologists.

When I told Linda this story she was taken aback. She’s been tracking how people manage attention and she said that my “do an interview every day” was attention management done right. It does keep my life on track and keeps me from being distracted by Twitter, Google Reader, Facebook, and all the other stuff. It’s my #2 priority after hanging out with Milan, Patrick, and Maryam. All else, including important emails, gets dropped on the ground.

Anyway, the FOOCamp Life was in high gear yesterday with an interview by NHK’s brightest in the morning, a meeting with Brad Mays, who does PR for AT&T, then onto an interesting conversation with Andrew Feinberg and Alex Tcherkassky of www.capitolvalley.net, a blog that tracks the intersection of politics and technology. More on that conversation in the next post.

Then onto a party where there were tons of interesting people from across the tech industry.

Today I’m going to a film screening at Stanford. More on that when I get permission to talk about the movie.

So, who else is living a FOOCamp Life? How are you managing attention?

Anyway, that gets to the point of this post: attention thieves.

What gets your attention off of your life goals? Or, in my case, keeping me from living a FOOCamp Life? For me, this post was conceived because I started up MSN Messenger and instantly got distracted by several conversations with my friends.

So, what is distracting you from your goals?

Twitter? Facebook? Email? An RSS Reader? World of Warcraft? Flickr? Phone calls? TV?

How do you manage attention? Er, how do you manage your attention thieves?

Comments

  1. I think there are some simple answers to this.

    The first problem is found in “Attention Thieves” – I think of a “thief” as someone (in this case *something*) I wouldn’t allow anywhere near my stuff. That’s despite my dislike of having stuff. I’d *like* for someone to come and steal all my stuff, but instinct tells me to protect it.

    I used to sit down, open the laptop, and get barraged by IM, email, comments…

    I remember when I finally decided to shut a few things down. It was when I moved to Connecticut to do .Net Rocks with Carl Franklin. I was sleeping on the couch in his office. It was 4:00 AM or so, and fired up the laptop to see if I got any email. At the time, IM junk was started up automatically as well.

    Within the first ten seconds or so, I had the usual innocuous messages. “Hi” – I’d say “Hi” back. Done.

    Then a couple guys from the other side of the planet started up with some long questions about coding. There was also a bit of conversation thrown in.

    A half hour later, I wanted to get out of it. I had actually wanted that in the first five minutes, but they were so nice that I didn’t want to abruptly ditch them. I realize that this is my fault, and that I should have stopped things, but – unless I’m going through one of my life-is-falling-apart phases – I don’t get angry, I don’t get curt… I try to do what I can to be polite.

    That one interaction isn’t what led me to shutting off any IM routes into my life. It was the cumulative effect beginning a few months prior. I saw that only a handful of my contacts were people I actually knew. The rest were people who wanted to be added just to be added.

    So, I shut it off and didn’t turn it back on. I tried a couple times later, but the attempts didn’t last five minutes. IM is a horrible, horrible distraction, and I value peace of mind over trying to connect with everybody on the planet. I’m easily overwhelmed.

    But, the solution was so easy. I dealt with that “thief” by turning off IM. That simple.

    Email… I make it clear to correspondents that I’m going to take anywhere from a day to a couple weeks to respond.

    Facebook and Myspace – if I don’t have time to chat, again, I tell them as much.

    Regular mail… I leave it in the regular mailbox. I take it all out every couple weeks or so. I do this in part because I think that, in an age when it’s so easy to fill out forms online, regular mail is a colossal waste of my time. It also arrives with several pounds of junk-mail I don’t want. By leaving it in there, I frustrate the mailman. I get notes every once in a while about being a slob with my mailbox. I like that. The USPS is a tyrannical organization.

    When I’m busy, I change my outgoing voicemail message to something very long – very tedious. And, by the end, I tell people not to leave me a message. If they want to get a hold of me, they can email or text, and that I’ll get to it in my own time. This pisses people off, but I don’t care anymore. There are so many demands made of my time, and people don’t seem to take that into consideration. They treat their calls as though they’re the only ones I’m ever going to receive.

    It’s tough doing that now, though. Since we’ve all got cellphones, people expect that you’ll answer no matter where you are or what time it is. That’s why I keep mine on silent nowadays.

    Cellphones are the blackmail of modern communication.

    Now that it’s quiet, I can sit down and play the guitar without being bothered. I can write without being bothered. I can make my daily trips to the cafe where I have daily conversations with *real* people who don’t ding or beep or ringtone every time they say something.

    I used to live my life online, but it’s been sunny the past few days, and no connections, no money, no high-profile job is worth removing me from the streets in my neighborhood where the beautiful womens are just beginning to be springtime friendly.

    The way to deal with these “attention thieves” is to lock the door.

  2. I think there are some simple answers to this.

    The first problem is found in “Attention Thieves” – I think of a “thief” as someone (in this case *something*) I wouldn’t allow anywhere near my stuff. That’s despite my dislike of having stuff. I’d *like* for someone to come and steal all my stuff, but instinct tells me to protect it.

    I used to sit down, open the laptop, and get barraged by IM, email, comments…

    I remember when I finally decided to shut a few things down. It was when I moved to Connecticut to do .Net Rocks with Carl Franklin. I was sleeping on the couch in his office. It was 4:00 AM or so, and fired up the laptop to see if I got any email. At the time, IM junk was started up automatically as well.

    Within the first ten seconds or so, I had the usual innocuous messages. “Hi” – I’d say “Hi” back. Done.

    Then a couple guys from the other side of the planet started up with some long questions about coding. There was also a bit of conversation thrown in.

    A half hour later, I wanted to get out of it. I had actually wanted that in the first five minutes, but they were so nice that I didn’t want to abruptly ditch them. I realize that this is my fault, and that I should have stopped things, but – unless I’m going through one of my life-is-falling-apart phases – I don’t get angry, I don’t get curt… I try to do what I can to be polite.

    That one interaction isn’t what led me to shutting off any IM routes into my life. It was the cumulative effect beginning a few months prior. I saw that only a handful of my contacts were people I actually knew. The rest were people who wanted to be added just to be added.

    So, I shut it off and didn’t turn it back on. I tried a couple times later, but the attempts didn’t last five minutes. IM is a horrible, horrible distraction, and I value peace of mind over trying to connect with everybody on the planet. I’m easily overwhelmed.

    But, the solution was so easy. I dealt with that “thief” by turning off IM. That simple.

    Email… I make it clear to correspondents that I’m going to take anywhere from a day to a couple weeks to respond.

    Facebook and Myspace – if I don’t have time to chat, again, I tell them as much.

    Regular mail… I leave it in the regular mailbox. I take it all out every couple weeks or so. I do this in part because I think that, in an age when it’s so easy to fill out forms online, regular mail is a colossal waste of my time. It also arrives with several pounds of junk-mail I don’t want. By leaving it in there, I frustrate the mailman. I get notes every once in a while about being a slob with my mailbox. I like that. The USPS is a tyrannical organization.

    When I’m busy, I change my outgoing voicemail message to something very long – very tedious. And, by the end, I tell people not to leave me a message. If they want to get a hold of me, they can email or text, and that I’ll get to it in my own time. This pisses people off, but I don’t care anymore. There are so many demands made of my time, and people don’t seem to take that into consideration. They treat their calls as though they’re the only ones I’m ever going to receive.

    It’s tough doing that now, though. Since we’ve all got cellphones, people expect that you’ll answer no matter where you are or what time it is. That’s why I keep mine on silent nowadays.

    Cellphones are the blackmail of modern communication.

    Now that it’s quiet, I can sit down and play the guitar without being bothered. I can write without being bothered. I can make my daily trips to the cafe where I have daily conversations with *real* people who don’t ding or beep or ringtone every time they say something.

    I used to live my life online, but it’s been sunny the past few days, and no connections, no money, no high-profile job is worth removing me from the streets in my neighborhood where the beautiful womens are just beginning to be springtime friendly.

    The way to deal with these “attention thieves” is to lock the door.

  3. Comic Strip: well, I had one of those just a few years ago. I found a way to change my day job into something else. It takes time, focus, and some luck. Hope you get there!

  4. Comic Strip: well, I had one of those just a few years ago. I found a way to change my day job into something else. It takes time, focus, and some luck. Hope you get there!

  5. PXLated: yup, that’s what happens when I blog about them later, like today. Also, because I have to drive to most of these things, I think a lot while driving around. That’s usually when I come up with great blog posts.

  6. PXLated: yup, that’s what happens when I blog about them later, like today. Also, because I have to drive to most of these things, I think a lot while driving around. That’s usually when I come up with great blog posts.

  7. Robert -

    “Rory, you sound a lot happier than last time we talked. Nice to hear from you.”

    Last time we talked, I was a recovering junkie. Several months into an outpatient rehab program. Part of that program was a drug-addict specialist who put me on all these horrible meds. I had been on Klonopin for several years – he was giving it to me to help with the anxiety and stress of morphine withdrawal – but it’s a terribly addictive med.

    He had put me on about five other things as well, all of which create physical and psychological dependence – addiction, in other words. So, he basically tried to trade my worst addiction for half a dozen others. It was insane.

    The week you wrote that post, I was taking myself off those “medications” – he didn’t know, and I didn’t have any help. It was a nightmare, quitting all of that on top of the opioids.

    Your post *did* rile me up, but my reaction was that of… well, someone who’s having the worst withdrawals you could imagine. Anger and fear are two of the most prominent emotions you feel – bad combo.

    While I don’t apologize for having responded to your post, I *do* apologize for the way I did it. In the strong language of the post itself, but especially in the way I attacked *you* in other posts and comments. Whatever I was going through, nobody else deserved to be on the receiving end.

    Thought you might want to know what happened. I was finally through rehab by the end of August or so – there were still a couple months of PAWS left (PAWS stands for “Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome” – it’s a period of depression, anxiety, and other bad news that persists for several months after you’ve gone through the worst of “acute” withdrawal).

    I’ve been rebuilding my life over the past few months. I just recently got back to wanting to communicate with people. I also have a list of people to whom I needed to apologize – I’ve actually gone on what you could call a “tour of apologies” – I hurt a *lot* of people while I was a junkie and after.

    I don’t expect people to forgive me, though. I just want them to know.

    And now I can cross you off that list…

  8. Robert -

    “Rory, you sound a lot happier than last time we talked. Nice to hear from you.”

    Last time we talked, I was a recovering junkie. Several months into an outpatient rehab program. Part of that program was a drug-addict specialist who put me on all these horrible meds. I had been on Klonopin for several years – he was giving it to me to help with the anxiety and stress of morphine withdrawal – but it’s a terribly addictive med.

    He had put me on about five other things as well, all of which create physical and psychological dependence – addiction, in other words. So, he basically tried to trade my worst addiction for half a dozen others. It was insane.

    The week you wrote that post, I was taking myself off those “medications” – he didn’t know, and I didn’t have any help. It was a nightmare, quitting all of that on top of the opioids.

    Your post *did* rile me up, but my reaction was that of… well, someone who’s having the worst withdrawals you could imagine. Anger and fear are two of the most prominent emotions you feel – bad combo.

    While I don’t apologize for having responded to your post, I *do* apologize for the way I did it. In the strong language of the post itself, but especially in the way I attacked *you* in other posts and comments. Whatever I was going through, nobody else deserved to be on the receiving end.

    Thought you might want to know what happened. I was finally through rehab by the end of August or so – there were still a couple months of PAWS left (PAWS stands for “Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome” – it’s a period of depression, anxiety, and other bad news that persists for several months after you’ve gone through the worst of “acute” withdrawal).

    I’ve been rebuilding my life over the past few months. I just recently got back to wanting to communicate with people. I also have a list of people to whom I needed to apologize – I’ve actually gone on what you could call a “tour of apologies” – I hurt a *lot* of people while I was a junkie and after.

    I don’t expect people to forgive me, though. I just want them to know.

    And now I can cross you off that list…

  9. Rory: I forgive you. I don’t hold grudges. Many of your comments were right anyway. A few weren’t, but I learned from them anyway.

    I deleted your second post, yeah, it was held in moderation.

  10. Rory: I forgive you. I don’t hold grudges. Many of your comments were right anyway. A few weren’t, but I learned from them anyway.

    I deleted your second post, yeah, it was held in moderation.

  11. Robert -

    “Rory: I forgive you. I don’t hold grudges.”

    Thanks, mister.

    In return, I forgive you for having written the posts in the first place :)

    (That’s a new thing I do – when I screw up and it’s my fault, I forgive the person who should be mad at me – it results in entertaining situations that take attention away from whatever idiot maneuver I made.)

    “Many of your comments were right anyway. A few weren’t, but I learned from them anyway.”

    Yeah… I wish I’d framed them differently, though (as should be obvious).

    I’ve always disliked the way Ballmer feels like he has to slam Google to promote Live – if the product’s actually good, there’s *no* reason to slam the competition.

    I did just what I didn’t like about his approach. I had some things to say that were sound, but I slammed you the whole way through. After I’d cooled off a few days later, I stuck to my guns, telling people that I wouldn’t have done it differently, but the truth was that I was disappointed in myself. At the time, I didn’t have the resilience to admit I’d made a huge mistake.

    And don’t worry about replying or whatever – comments like these can go back and forth forever, as you no doubt know.

    As I said earlier, I just wanted you to know Why.

    On another note, I’m jealous as all hell that you got a ride in a Tesla – if I had all the money in the world, *that’s* the car I’d buy. Not some eight-bajillion dollar Italian exotic supercar… it’d be the Tesla. That thing’s just gorgeous.

    Aight. I’ll leave you alone now.

    Carry on, mister…

  12. Robert -

    “Rory: I forgive you. I don’t hold grudges.”

    Thanks, mister.

    In return, I forgive you for having written the posts in the first place :)

    (That’s a new thing I do – when I screw up and it’s my fault, I forgive the person who should be mad at me – it results in entertaining situations that take attention away from whatever idiot maneuver I made.)

    “Many of your comments were right anyway. A few weren’t, but I learned from them anyway.”

    Yeah… I wish I’d framed them differently, though (as should be obvious).

    I’ve always disliked the way Ballmer feels like he has to slam Google to promote Live – if the product’s actually good, there’s *no* reason to slam the competition.

    I did just what I didn’t like about his approach. I had some things to say that were sound, but I slammed you the whole way through. After I’d cooled off a few days later, I stuck to my guns, telling people that I wouldn’t have done it differently, but the truth was that I was disappointed in myself. At the time, I didn’t have the resilience to admit I’d made a huge mistake.

    And don’t worry about replying or whatever – comments like these can go back and forth forever, as you no doubt know.

    As I said earlier, I just wanted you to know Why.

    On another note, I’m jealous as all hell that you got a ride in a Tesla – if I had all the money in the world, *that’s* the car I’d buy. Not some eight-bajillion dollar Italian exotic supercar… it’d be the Tesla. That thing’s just gorgeous.

    Aight. I’ll leave you alone now.

    Carry on, mister…

  13. Great post Robert. Really spot on. I myself have been letting all kinds of crap divert my attention from the stuff that really matters in the long run. It’s so easy to get pulled off track. Thanks for the reminder.

  14. Great post Robert. Really spot on. I myself have been letting all kinds of crap divert my attention from the stuff that really matters in the long run. It’s so easy to get pulled off track. Thanks for the reminder.

  15. Excellent post Robert as well as some heart-warming stuff going on in the comments between you and Rory :-)

    I must say I like the idea of a FooCamp life. You are a very lucky man that you can derive an income from having interesting conversations (but you know that anyway ;-) )

  16. Excellent post Robert as well as some heart-warming stuff going on in the comments between you and Rory :-)

    I must say I like the idea of a FooCamp life. You are a very lucky man that you can derive an income from having interesting conversations (but you know that anyway ;-) )

  17. Wow, this post really hit home. I appreciate the added discovery and peripheral vision that I get through Facebook and my Google reader with way too many feeds. But the “interestingness” of everything often detracts from what I want to be focused on…so I find that what can be an incredible enabler also can become an attention thief…for me, right now, its blogging, commenting and feedreading… :) But on the other hand, I looked at the speakers at TED and after my initial regret for not being able to go, I decided that what I really wanted to do was customize my own personal TED in my life and not just subscribe to someone elses agenda. OK, thanks Robert!

  18. Wow, this post really hit home. I appreciate the added discovery and peripheral vision that I get through Facebook and my Google reader with way too many feeds. But the “interestingness” of everything often detracts from what I want to be focused on…so I find that what can be an incredible enabler also can become an attention thief…for me, right now, its blogging, commenting and feedreading… :) But on the other hand, I looked at the speakers at TED and after my initial regret for not being able to go, I decided that what I really wanted to do was customize my own personal TED in my life and not just subscribe to someone elses agenda. OK, thanks Robert!

  19. Great article… I realised a long time ago that t’interwebs was taking up far too much of my time. I know I have a slightly addictive nature, but I thought being addicted to information can’t be too bad.. its not the worse addiction after all!

    Anyway, finding something new out gives me a great feeling, and with RSS feeds I find loads of new things out everyday. But its really distracting. So I had to amend this habit, so it wasnt too time consuming!

    Now I still can’t actually cull the feeds, but using some shared feeds and ranking my sites ; Primary / Secondary / tertiary / personal & work, means I can spend a little free time reading my PRIMARY feed, a little work time reading my WORK and FRIENDS feed, and mark the rest as read.

    gReader gives me the ability to search, so if I need to find something its my third stop – after two pages of Google & del.icio.us

    I still spend a couple of hours a day on this, but now I dont feel as guilty, and actually get on with life!

    As for the others, I just let gReader pick up a PERSONAL feed, and can scan what my my friends are doing, and go to the site if I need to respond.

    Anyway… Like I said at the beginning “great article” .. I know it is when you can spend some time writing a comment, as it struck you in its own way. Thanks.

  20. Great article… I realised a long time ago that t’interwebs was taking up far too much of my time. I know I have a slightly addictive nature, but I thought being addicted to information can’t be too bad.. its not the worse addiction after all!

    Anyway, finding something new out gives me a great feeling, and with RSS feeds I find loads of new things out everyday. But its really distracting. So I had to amend this habit, so it wasnt too time consuming!

    Now I still can’t actually cull the feeds, but using some shared feeds and ranking my sites ; Primary / Secondary / tertiary / personal & work, means I can spend a little free time reading my PRIMARY feed, a little work time reading my WORK and FRIENDS feed, and mark the rest as read.

    gReader gives me the ability to search, so if I need to find something its my third stop – after two pages of Google & del.icio.us

    I still spend a couple of hours a day on this, but now I dont feel as guilty, and actually get on with life!

    As for the others, I just let gReader pick up a PERSONAL feed, and can scan what my my friends are doing, and go to the site if I need to respond.

    Anyway… Like I said at the beginning “great article” .. I know it is when you can spend some time writing a comment, as it struck you in its own way. Thanks.

  21. Robert, as you do so often, you’ve hit the nail on the head. After just attending my first Foo, I was struck by the quality of the interaction and how wonderful it was to be in this isolated, cloistered environment even for just a few days. But at its essence it really was about having great conversations with great people. So simple, right? But where to find the time? It was such a breath of fresh air. I’ve got to work on my diffused attention pattern, Scob. You’ve given me the impetus.

    Roger

  22. Robert, as you do so often, you’ve hit the nail on the head. After just attending my first Foo, I was struck by the quality of the interaction and how wonderful it was to be in this isolated, cloistered environment even for just a few days. But at its essence it really was about having great conversations with great people. So simple, right? But where to find the time? It was such a breath of fresh air. I’ve got to work on my diffused attention pattern, Scob. You’ve given me the impetus.

    Roger

  23. ‘internet addiction disorder’ and respecting attention

    There’s a timely piece in the Times about taking a ’secular Sabbath’ away from electronic distractions. Scoble and Roger Ehrenberg also recently lamented ‘attention thieves.’
    I’m guilty too. There are precious few …

  24. Hi, Scoble,
    thanks for the post.
    I’ve been personally using ‘low-tech sabbath’ for a few years now…sometimes keeping it, sometimes not. Mainly, we try and not use ‘screen-based’ tech as they seem to be the ones that steal attention and relationality.

    My name is Leif Hansen (I’m the managing director of Spark Northwest) and I’m one of the two facilitators for the Soul Tech workshop that was recently shown last week on the Today Show.

    One of our participants, Ariel Meadows started her 52NightsUnplugged experiment as a result of our workshop, which in turn was mentioned in the NY Times article you’ve sited in your post (Ariel was also on the Today Show for the live portion.)

    While I do think there are some practical things one can do (i.e. bracket one’s tech time with breaks, set some family boundaries, set a power-timer on your wifi, etc) our workshops are really more about facilitating a process that helps people to think about how technology is helping or hindering the achievement of broader life/work goals.

    Actually, we’ve just put together a 7 step e-workbook that takes people through the same process. The steps and exercises covered in the e-workbook are basically to:
    (perhaps first identify what you like about your tech life)
    1. Identifying your challenges with tech
    2. Identify the needs trying to get met
    3. Develop your vision/goals
    4. Finding your focus
    5. Finding solutions
    6. Turning ideas into actions
    7. Sticking with your plan (can be hardest)

    I think if people would really take the time to think about what they want from life, and how technology is helping and hindering their moving in that direction, it would be a tremendous first step.

    Unfortunately, most of us would rather just turn off our minds, and click on some entertainment. Neil Postman called it “Amusing Ourselves to Death”.

    Good luck and keep us posted on your process!
    Warmly,
    Leif
    http://www.SparkNW.com

  25. Hi, Scoble,
    thanks for the post.
    I’ve been personally using ‘low-tech sabbath’ for a few years now…sometimes keeping it, sometimes not. Mainly, we try and not use ‘screen-based’ tech as they seem to be the ones that steal attention and relationality.

    My name is Leif Hansen (I’m the managing director of Spark Northwest) and I’m one of the two facilitators for the Soul Tech workshop that was recently shown last week on the Today Show.

    One of our participants, Ariel Meadows started her 52NightsUnplugged experiment as a result of our workshop, which in turn was mentioned in the NY Times article you’ve sited in your post (Ariel was also on the Today Show for the live portion.)

    While I do think there are some practical things one can do (i.e. bracket one’s tech time with breaks, set some family boundaries, set a power-timer on your wifi, etc) our workshops are really more about facilitating a process that helps people to think about how technology is helping or hindering the achievement of broader life/work goals.

    Actually, we’ve just put together a 7 step e-workbook that takes people through the same process. The steps and exercises covered in the e-workbook are basically to:
    (perhaps first identify what you like about your tech life)
    1. Identifying your challenges with tech
    2. Identify the needs trying to get met
    3. Develop your vision/goals
    4. Finding your focus
    5. Finding solutions
    6. Turning ideas into actions
    7. Sticking with your plan (can be hardest)

    I think if people would really take the time to think about what they want from life, and how technology is helping and hindering their moving in that direction, it would be a tremendous first step.

    Unfortunately, most of us would rather just turn off our minds, and click on some entertainment. Neil Postman called it “Amusing Ourselves to Death”.

    Good luck and keep us posted on your process!
    Warmly,
    Leif
    http://www.SparkNW.com

  26. Robert, I’ve been living a FOOCamp life for 6 years now. My secret is simple.

    Don’t be afraid to be selfish.

    This means shutting out the world at anytime you see fit – but also being willing to accept any consequences as merely collateral damage to the goal of living life on your terms.

    What has it done for me?

    *Tight relationships with a dozen buddies
    *Loving relationships with the wife and kids
    *A thriving business
    *Barely a gray hair at the age of 40

    Rather than driving people away, being unafraid of being selfish has actually brought people closer to me because they know my time with them is genuine, not obligatory.

    When I hang with my buddies, it is flat out fun. When I plan with my clients, it is flat out adrenaline. No fat on the bone. Quality over quantity.

    I do it all for the sake of spending time with my family and myself, in that order. If a friend or client isn’t willing to accept my terms, I’m willing to accept the consequences of having them walk away. I love ‘em but I love my family and myself more.

    Thankfully, it has actually translated into more friends and more clients. So I know my system works if you just have the guts to execute it as follows:

    Don’t answer every call and I don’t jump at every client request. Don’t reply to every e-mail message and don’t attend every function you are invited to.

    Your “scarcity” actually makes your engagements more valuable.

    Try it, you’ll like it.

    Regards,
    George

  27. Robert, I’ve been living a FOOCamp life for 6 years now. My secret is simple.

    Don’t be afraid to be selfish.

    This means shutting out the world at anytime you see fit – but also being willing to accept any consequences as merely collateral damage to the goal of living life on your terms.

    What has it done for me?

    *Tight relationships with a dozen buddies
    *Loving relationships with the wife and kids
    *A thriving business
    *Barely a gray hair at the age of 40

    Rather than driving people away, being unafraid of being selfish has actually brought people closer to me because they know my time with them is genuine, not obligatory.

    When I hang with my buddies, it is flat out fun. When I plan with my clients, it is flat out adrenaline. No fat on the bone. Quality over quantity.

    I do it all for the sake of spending time with my family and myself, in that order. If a friend or client isn’t willing to accept my terms, I’m willing to accept the consequences of having them walk away. I love ‘em but I love my family and myself more.

    Thankfully, it has actually translated into more friends and more clients. So I know my system works if you just have the guts to execute it as follows:

    Don’t answer every call and I don’t jump at every client request. Don’t reply to every e-mail message and don’t attend every function you are invited to.

    Your “scarcity” actually makes your engagements more valuable.

    Try it, you’ll like it.

    Regards,
    George