Is Staying Home, The New Going Out?
Understanding the value of making yourself scarce!
Blogger and CEO, Anil Dash coined the phrase, the “Joy of Missing Out” or J.O.M.O in a blog post by the same name. He shared the benefits he gleaned after taking a break from his tech devices, and thus from social media.
There is certainly merit in detaching from our phones to get away from social media. However, if you are an executive, leader or in certain social circles, there is another hefty pull on our time. Invitations.
Invites to the never-ending cycle of parties, fundraisers, social events, networking happy hours, grand openings, golf outings, and sports events and the like can have you out more than you are in.
Years ago, I would have been envious of the endless VIP invitations that flooded the inboxes of C-Suite leaders, public figures and socialites. However, once it begin happening to me, things quickly spiraled out of control. I remember one month in particular that I was home a total of only 6 nights before 11pm. So that means in one month, I had roughly attended over 20 events. 20!
· Over 20 Different outfits
· Over 20 Tickets or donations
· Over 20 mad dashes to change from work to evening wear
· Over 20 varieties of a Chicken dinner
· Over 20 side-eyes from my understanding spouse
I learned an important lesson relatively quickly.
That’s the lesson. I learned to say no. All the events were becoming a blur and I didn’t really add anything to its success or failure. So why did I break my neck to attend? It was the FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) at another level.
But I now decline double the invitations than I accept. I also do not plan to more than 3 evenings away from home a week unless I am out of town.
My philosophy is simple and it's the very point I want to drive home to you. Anything that is in surplus, diminishes in value. It’s true in economics, it’s true with the clearance rack, it’s true with your presence.
If everything is special and deserves your attention, is anything really special? Being able to discern what really needs our presence versus what needs our representative, our donation or our regrets shifts our presence to a privilege, not a right. Become intentional and protective with your time and don’t devalue it, by spending it everywhere for everyone.
Quite honestly, this new paradigm also adds an air of mystery and intrigue to your personal brand. Think, if you aren’t at “the party of the year” some may actually wonder what in world could you be doing that you aren’t there? Is there something bigger going on that they don’t know about? Are they missing out on the next level of exclusivity? In most cases, you see the SAME people at the SAME events, EVERY year. So actually, your absence can be more valuable than your attendance.
Remember, when something is limited or scarce, it carries more value. Think about the people of Chennai, India. This city of over 4 million people has basically run out of water. The scarcity is so great that they get a few gallons of water, per family, per day, to bathe, eat, cook with and drink. They appreciate every drop like it’s liquid gold.
Here in the states, we run water like it’s in infinite supply! We run dishwashers, take long showers, have water balloon fights, water our grass and flowers and fill kiddie pools all summer long. Of course, we appreciate water, but we don’t value it like those in Chennai. Why, because again scarcity increases value.
Here is how to ease into making yourself scarce and leverage the value of your presence:
1. Start with enjoying some events without documenting it. That’s right no pictures, no check ins, no posts. Just enjoy the event and go home. Send a handwritten note (not a post!) to the host thanking them for their invitation.
2. Come late/leave early. If you must make an appearance, show up after the opening networking meet/greet time and leave well before the program is over. Limiting your access not only feeds into this scarcity model, but it also (and more importantly) gets you home earlier.
3. Don’t go when a donation will do! If it's a fundraiser that needs your support, send the check and call it done. They have what they need (money) and you have what you need (popcorn on the couch).
4. Pick your day a week to unplug. Usually, this is easiest on a Saturday or Sunday. But no social media, no checking email, no scrolling, no phones if you can help it. Substitute this time for a hobby you need to rekindle like cooking from a recipe, reading a book, scrapbooking, or working on a car. Go from a day to 3…then from 3 days to a week.
5. Set your limits, say no and learn to send your regrets with ease.