When did our lives get taken over by three little dots?

You’re hunched over your phone. Staring. Anticipating. Waiting to see what will come when the three little dots stop dancing.

Three dancing dots, making you wait, postponing your life, delaying you from actually doing something, causing you to ignore someone who’s right in front of you, trying to have a conversation.

How much time would you estimate you spend staring at the three little dots on your phone waiting for someone to get back to you? I don’t think MIT has done any studies on it, but my guess would be, scientifically speaking, A LOT.

I recently wrote an Amazon bestselling book called The Worst Business Model in the World: A New Kind of Guide for a New Kind of Entrepreneur. The chapters are full of theories and worksheets to help people I call UDOTs, an acronym for Us Doing Our Thing, the folks who are good at what they do and passionate about doing it, and need some help to build a business around it.

There isn’t a chapter about our lives being destroyed by three little dots, because it’s an awful, negative thought. If I did write a chapter about it, it would be called Stop Staring and Start Doing. Or maybe, Put Down the Phone and Pick Up a Friend. It would encourage you to take a walk, hop on your bike, get on the train or in your car, or go see somebody in person. Celebrate the awesomeness of an actual conversation with a real human.

I’ve learned and practiced a lot of things that have led to my ten years of success as an entrepreneur. Most of them revolve around UDOTs’ scientifically unprovable belief that if you do a certain thing for potentially no apparent reason, something good will come of it. And there’s nothing better and potentially more productive than making a real connection with someone sitting across from you over a cortado or a cocktail, leaning in and actively listening, hearing what’s up in her world, or thinking about who you might connect him to. Laughing, enjoying their presence, taking advantage of every precious second we get to inhabit this planet, talking about things we’re passionate about with people we like. Thinking about the possibilities of where the conversation might lead, professionally and personally, and what might come out of it.

Staring into their eyes and actively listening to what they say.

Looking up, not down.

Paying attention to your friend’s words, not three little dots.

Not waiting on anything, but starting something great.