If we want extraordinary lives, we need to unplug from the constant barrage of disruptions. In an on demand 24/7 society, where distractions cost us millions in lost productivity, profitability, relationships and peace. Neen James, author of Attention Pays,believes that the best thing we can do is learn to pay attention to what matters most.

The effects are profound. For instance, do you know the one-second action you can take to make people feel cared for in meetings? Hint: it’s not putting away your phone.

Neen also gives some amazing advice at the end on how to transition as an author into a successful speaking career, as she speaks 50 times a year to companies like Cisco, Marriott, Via Com and Pfizer. Pay attention, because in this episode, attention pays.

Neen James: You know, I’ve spent my life being obsessed with productivity. Meaning, how do we get things done, how do we get it done better, quicker, faster, easier, cheaper? I always did it in my corporate career, and when I went out on my own as a keynote speaker, this was what I was passionate about.

What I realized was, it was so much more than time.

I don’t believe in time management.

I realized when I was talking to my clients and I personally was getting frustrated because we all get 1,440 minutes, then I was thinking, “Okay great. Once they’re spent, then what?”

I had flown out to Denver, Colorado, to spend some time with Mark Sandborn. Mark and I were talking about the evolution of my business, we were talking about some of my frustrations with where I was at in my career and my brand. I said, “It’s more than productivity.”

He said to me, “Neen, what do you really want?”

“I just want the world to pay attention.”

He was like, “Yeah, of course you do, because that is what you’re about. You’re always so good at paying attention to other people, and it makes you crazy when people are disrespectful to others.”

It was like this light bulb went on for me. So we started to play with the whole idea of attention and payment.

Our parents told us to pay attention, our teachers told us to pay attention, it’s really quite annoying. They only started to think about “Okay, does attention pay? What would that look like?”

I had this lightbulb like, “My god, imagine what would happen if we could get the world to pay attention.

Companies might make more money, people might have better relationships, hey, we might even take care of the planet that we live on, right? That was the realization for me was this phenomenal conversation with Mark Sandborn really challenged me.

Sometimes we need someone to do that for us because things are sometimes so close to us, we don’t see it ourselves.

Listening Isn’t What You Think It Is

Charlie Hoehn: Let’s define what paying attention means in this case because I’d imagine it means different things for different people.

Neen James: My little friend Donovan, he’s five, and I remember having this huge argument with him one day. I mean, if you’ve ever debated with a five year old, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

He kept like inserting himself into the conversation. I was simply trying to have a cup of coffee with his mom and he kept tossing me these questions and I’d answer. He got so frustrated, he jumped up to meet me and grabbed my face in his tiny little hands and he said to me, “Neen, listen with your eyes.”

Man. Talk about being schooled by a five year old, right?

“It’s listening with our eyes.”

Donovan made me realize, we don’t listen with our ears, we listen with our eyes, we listen with our heart, we listen with our soul.

Paying attention to me and really flipping that to attention pays is about listening for sure. It’s also about eliminating distractions, it’s about getting rid of devices when there’s someone, a human in front of us that needs our attention.

It’s about being able to ask questions to show you’re engaged in the conversation and to solicit more information.

It’s about watching people and reacting to them and understanding that what they’re saying is supported by their body language, by their tone of voice.

It’s so much more than just listening, but gee, that’s a great place to start.

What We Lose to Inattention

Charlie Hoehn: How do we know when we’re being inattentive, and what is it costing us to be inattentive?

Neen James: Well let’s just talk about the cost first, Charlie. Think about the fact that in the US, we lose 588 billion dollars every year because we’re not paying attention. Nine people die. Isn’t it crazy? It’s crazy, right?

Charlie Hoehn: Yeah, is that just attention or is that also the fact that people are bored or frustrated at work?

Neen James: It’s because we’re constantly interrupting people. You know, this is just the cost of interruptions according to the information overload group.

Then, think about it Charlie, nine people die every day because of distracted driving. I mean, it breaks my heart that people have made it more important to update their Facebook status or like a post on Insta instead of paying attention to the road.

“There are real costs of not paying attention.”

The people we share our lives with, the people who have divorce rates, who don’t take care of their health, who suffer from all kinds of illnesses because they’re not paying attention to themselves.

It costs us with our customers, if we aren’t paying attention to our customers, they leave and they go and get someone else who will pay attention to them. If we don’t pay attention to our talents, we can’t retain them and then they leave and go and work for another company.

If we don’t pay attention to our vendors, then we don’t get the best deals that we really need. Not paying attention costs us personally in our health, our relationships, our own sanity, professionally, it costs us in team, in talent, in clients and globally, I think it costs us too because we don’t take care of the planet we have and we have species that are becoming extinct, we have the beautiful Barrier Reef in Australia which is now bleached.

You know, it’s amazing to me what the cost of not paying attention are, and I think we don’t stop and think about it ourselves.

The Real Problem with Attention Span

Charlie Hoehn: With all the things that you just listed, couldn’t somebody argue, “Hey, we’re paying too much attention to everything that we’re spreading our attention all over the place rather than just on what’s in front of us?”

Neen James: Have you ever heard that stupid marketing phrase that we have the attention span of a goldfish?

There are people out there, speakers included, who are saying we have the attention span of a goldfish. Now, I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t want my intelligence measured by that of a goldfish.

I don’t even know how they measured the goldfish swimming around the bowl. I mean, who does this?

There’s no evidence to support this crazy marketing theory.

I don’t believe that we have really short attention spans. I believe our attention is split. We get to choose who gets our attention, what gets our attention, and how we’re going to pay attention in the world.

“We think we’re paying attention, but we’re not.”

But we’re paying out this attention, so we feel like I’m giving everything my attention but I’m still not getting anything done. I think that’s because, we’re not paying attention to the right people, the right things, the right way, and so we feel exhausted.

In the book, we talk about this whole idea of what we call The Over Trilogy being overwhelmed, overstressed and over tired.

I think that’s what some of your listeners are suffering from, is they feel like they’re paying attention, but all of these things are just becoming too much. So they are not sure where to focus first.

Make the Minutes Count

Charlie Hoehn: Let’s say I’m a leader at a company. What’s different with Attention Pays? How can we stick with this?”

Neen James: I think it’s about doing it in really small increments, right? I think these tiny little impacts, these tiny little things we do make a massive impact. Let me give you an example.

If you are a leader and people are in and out of your office or your cubicle all the time, one of the things you can do is when someone comes in and needs your attention, close your laptop and look them in the eye. That’s a really easy thing to do.

In your personal life, if you are in a conversation with someone, you might be on a hot date with someone, how about putting your devices away so you can look someone in the eye?

I think we have to start small. I’s my belief Charlie that people want to be seen and heard. As leaders, we have a responsibility to make the most of the moments we have.

One reminder I would give leaders is, we all do get those 1,440 minutes in a day, but once they’re spent, that’s it, they’re gone. I think we have to start with those moments.

“Take it minute by minute if you have to.”

Maybe an easy way to do it would be professionally invest 15 minutes every single day in a strategic appointment with yourself. In your strategic appointment, as a leader, write down your three non-negotiable activities.

So before your head hits the pillow tonight, what are three things you must get done?

Now, this helps you to focus your attention on what’s going to move your goals forward. How can you support your team? What are the things that are really going to make an impact to the business? Work really hard on those three.

We’ve got to start small so that we feel the massive impact.

Our team loves it when we look them in the eye. They love it when we reply to their emails, they love it when we acknowledge them in the team meeting. Team members love it when you honor your one on one appointment with them and not cancel all the time.

You know what they do love? Team members love it when you cancel unnecessary meetings. A really quick, easy thing every leader listening to this could do is cancel those silly meetings that nobody really wants to pay attention to anyway.

They’re not serving a purpose. That would be a fantastic easy way to start paying attention to what your team wants.

Stop Killing Time

Charlie Hoehn: I like the idea of just allocating the time in your schedule and saying like, look, this is 15 minutes. That’s a good stretch of time.

Neen James: You know, Charlie, I think no one has an hour anymore, would you agree? When we want an hour of someone’s time, it’s such a huge investment when you really think about the concept of 60 minutes.

All I’m asking people to do is take 15 of those minutes.

When you think about time differently as a leader, you become more diligent and intentional with your attention. 15 minutes of strategic planning will give you so much more time back.

Maybe the listeners would agree that we waste time. We have this awful phrase in our language where we want to “Kill time.” I don’t know what time ever did to people, it’s crazy.

Charlie Hoehn: Other countries—which by the way are not as stressed out—say the phrase, “Passing time” because it’s not something you get to kill or waste.

Neen James: I think we have to think about the way we talk about time as leaders and the language we use. If we say to someone, “I’m too busy,” what you’re really saying is, “I’m too busy for you.”

If you say to someone, “I don’t have time,” you’re a big liar because you do have time. You want to get the same amount of time. Time is the great equalizer, time is not prejudiced.

As leaders, I want to invite people to remove some of these negative words from their language so they can be seen to be more attentive.

Don’t say “I’m too busy,” don’t say “I don’t have time.” You might replace it, you might say something like, you know, “I’m at capacity right now.” That’s honest, right?

In my world, with my team, that is code for I am literally drowning.

Listening with Your Eyes

Charlie Hoehn: Now, you talk about listening with your eyes. Is this just holding eye contact or is it something different?

Neen James: Listening with your eyes is being fully present in the moment that you’re being gifted at that particular point in time.

Listening with your eyes is absolutely looking at someone, but it’s also being engaged, it’s showing them with your physicality that you’re involved in the conversation.

It’s asking great questions to validate your understanding of the conversation, or even to paraphrase things you’ve learned up until that point.

“Listening with your eyes is reassuring someone that there is nowhere else I’d rather be.

I would much rather be just here with you right now.

When you think about like you and I getting to hang out today, nothing else is happening around me, it is just you and I having this chat. I don’t have emails going off, my social media is all turned off, I’d even turn off the printer so there’s not even a possibility of an interruption.

I think that’s what that intentional listening, that intent, really thinking, “How can I be even more engaged in this moment?”

The distractions that we’ve allowed ourselves into our lives is overwhelming for so many. I think we often blame our devices, but technology is not the enemy of our attention, we are.

Breaking the Device Addiction

Charlie Hoehn: The problem though is a lot of our tools have built in addictiveness, right? Do you have any suggestions on how to circumvent some of the addictive qualities of our tools?

Neen James: Yeah, absolutely. Just so that everyone knows, I am a work in progress, like everybody else. You know, Harvard published a study that said we are obsessed with our devices, and I disagree with Harvard. I believe we are addicted to our devices.

It’s going to be stated as an addiction in our future, just like there were addictions in our past we didn’t know about until fast forward future years and we learned about the health disadvantages of some of the things we’ve done.

I believe devices will be the same.

To manage this addiction, what I’ve realized in my own life is I have to be so much more diligent. I have to be smarter than my smart phone, which means I have a cover on my phone like a cover that literally wraps around my phone so I don’t’ even see it.

I’ve turned off every notification available, it is permanently on silent.

I think what happens is, we allow these interruptions. If we see a notification or an update or a text message or we hear the noises, it interrupts our thought process. Where possible, I have minimized all of those things.

I also have to be really diligent about this when I’m socially out and about.

Obviously because I talk on attention, I guess I’m under the radar a little bit more. I have this great game I play with dear friends. Whenever we go to a restaurant or we’re hanging out together, we make an agreement that all cellphones go in the center of the table.

“The first person to touch their cellphone picks up the check.”

If you and I are in conversation, I say “Hey, I’m heading to DC this afternoon, can’t wait to speak for J and J… I don’t know what the weather is going to be?” Now, because you’re a great friend and you’re a great guy and you want to help me out, you will often pull up the weather app and say, “Let’s see what the weather is in DC.”

It’s not that the people aren’t well intentioned, it’s just that their intentions are in the wrong place.

I think we have to be more diligent of enjoying the moment with that individual, that team, that particular client, that vendor, or the people we share our lives with.

Why We Can’t Focus

Charlie Hoehn: Do think it’s the intention’s in the wrong place or the fact that we’ve just sort of progressively become more reflexive in making these decisions with how convenient and expedient things have gotten?

Neen James: Yes. I think what’s happened, you know, I love and hate One Click because it’s so easy on my phone.If someone mentions a great book to me, I automatically order it. Because I’m like, “Oh that sounds great.” I have hundreds of books to read. But I think that we have gone to technology as a default.

Let me explain what I mean by that. If we’re sitting in a meeting and we’re listening to something and we think, “This doesn’t really relate to me,” so we go check our email and clear it, right? If we’re on a teleconference, we think, “Well, it’s not my time to speak,” so then we go clear our email.

Even if we’re with someone that we love and they’re driving and you’re a passenger and you’re like, “Well, I know where we’re going,” then we’re on social media.

I think what’s happened is we’ve gone to our devices as a default instead of trusting ourselves to be fully in this moment or even potentially, goodness, maybe alone with our thoughts.

“We often are not able to think things through clearly because we allow ourselves to split our attention.”

What I realized with some of the executives I work with and I get to work with some really big companies, so many of them, we’ve been talking recently about the impact of my book and what it’s having on them.

They’ve being saying, “You know, I didn’t realize, I don’t remember last time I had a complete thought.

When you think about that level of honesty and the fact they were willing to be that vulnerable is volumes to me. They’re not alone, it’s just they have the intelligence to articulate it.

When was the last time, for the listener, you had a complete thought that you could work a whole project through or a new creative strategy? Or for the authors who are listening, you could really formulate not only the skeleton of your book but the actual chapters?

When was the last time you refined a story because you gave it the energy it needed all the way through?

 I think this challenge to the listeners is really around having complete thoughts, having complete moments, being so intentional that you feel great as a result.

Results from Attention Pays Principles

Charlie Hoehn: Do you have some transformations or success stories that you’ve personally seen?

Neen James: Yeah, absolutely. So remember all the costs we outlined at the beginning of the call? Now flip them.

One of my leadership teams in Seattle is in the advertising sales company, and I challenged their executive leadership team. I said, “You know what? You guys need to spend 15 minutes every day working out what are your most strategic activities.”

This team unfortunately were not achieving their sales. Their team wasn’t engaged. They didn’t have a good onboarding program, so people are leaving. Their morale was low, the leaders weren’t trusting each other.

So I worked with them, and I ask them to simply invest 15 minutes of their attention every day in a strategic appointment with themselves. I asked them to be more diligent when their team came in. I asked them to form a committee to put together an onboarding program.

Well what is fascinating about this team is that they were able to do some remarkable things.

“This team became the highest performing team in their region.”

Their talent was phenomenal, their onboarding program was brilliant, and they were then held up as a benchmark for the rest of the company, and their leadership claim was because they were investing their attention differently.

When we pay attention, our customers feel like we see them, therefore they have a relationship with us.

It’s not transactional, it’s intentional.

When we take care of our team, we can attract and retain that top talent that we want. We make them feel special, and we want to become that employer of choice. That’s one of the ways that attention pays.

In our personal relationships, we are staying with our partner. They feel like they are valued at home. When was the last time that we took home flowers or said “Thank you” or wrote a note to someone we cared about?

When we pay attention, it pays it back to us so many times. I think we need to move from this attention deficit society that we are living in. Not ADD, I am not talking about that, but we need to move from an attention deficit society and use attention as a currency.

I’d like to make this intentional attention in our currency so that we move to an attention surplus economy where people feel like they are seen and heard every day.

Attention in Action

Charlie Hoehn: So can you give an example of a company, whether it’s one you work with or not of what they would look like if they changed to an attention surplus currency basically, or they really focused on attention much more?

Neen James: You know a great example of a company that’s paying attention is Peloton. Peloton is a bike that goes nowhere.

So I don’t know if people are aware of this, but Peloton is a home fitness equipment. It was founded by the CEO John Foley, and what I find really fascinating about this brand, besides the fact that I am obsessed with my own Peloton, that when I bought my own Peloton the experience was mind blowing.

It is a very personal level of service. Anytime you are even on the website, someone is there to chat. Whether it is a robot or not, I really don’t care. Someone is there and available.

What was fascinating to me though is how John Foley has selected his instructors. His instructors perform classes in their New York studio, which you can take on demand or you can ride live with an instructor in your home. On the tablet attached to the bike is what they call the leaderboard.

You can see the instructor, you can hear them, but you can see who else is riding with you. Here is where John has been very clever. He gets the instructors to give shout outs to people’s leaderboard names. Now, I am in my 40s and I get so excited when I hear my name.

“He’s constantly looking for opportunities for personal touchpoints.”

Not only that, once a year they invite all of the home riders to come to New York and get to meet the instructors. Do classes live, they put on cocktail events, they open the boutique.

It’s really interesting how John has created not just that intimacy from the instructor to the person riding at home but also how those people then advocate for this brand. They wear the gear, they talk about the instructors, they follow them on social media. Not only that what I’ve noticed is they have a Facebook group now which is crazy, like 70,000 people on one of their Facebook groups.

If they see someone going through a hard time, a surgery, a new baby, getting ready for a wedding, they send handwritten notes to that individual. I am astounded at how he has created what I call systemized thoughtfulness throughout all of his company policy and procedure.

It is a great case study in intentional attention, and they are growing faster than Facebook.

They have an incredible brand loyalty and they’re about to launch a treadmill for the house. So they will take over the home fitness equipment I am sure of it.

So attention pays not only from Peloton but John also has chosen his instructors so well that if you wanted to you can work potentially with some of them one on one. So Jennifer Jacobs is my favorite instructor. She is also my personal trainer and she’s a really cool human in real life and that was interesting to me. The consistency of attention throughout everything that they stand for.

The Life of a Speaker

Charlie Hoehn: Can you break down what your speaking business is like? How many speaking gigs do you do? Is it 80% of your revenue that sort of thing?

Neen James: For those of you who are authors, get out there. It is the best marketing distribution for your book. It’s a really great way to test your theories, it’s a wonderful way to hear what the audience thinks about your ideas. So do it, get out there and do it. I speak between 50 to 70 times a year and ideally it’s more on that 55 to 60 times.

Basically, I live on planes, trains, and automobiles.

And that is my choice, I love it. I am always on a hotel, a convention center, or an airport, and when I have the privilege of catching the train, it’s my favorite.

The way that my practice has been established is it’s me and I have a virtual team. I have chosen a practice model not a business model. So my distinction is I will never sell Neen James. It’s just me, I’m the brand, I’m the talent, that’s it.

“I’m not trying to license it, I am not building an empire.”

I love running a practice, and I have a virtual team that I adore and they support me, and I could never do what I do without the amazing team that I work with. It is 80% of my revenue. So the way that my profit centers is set up in my practice is that speaking is predominantly where I make the bulk of my money, but I also run an executive mentoring program.

The reason I work one on one with executives is that it’s really great for me to give them that individual attention they need.

But I am a confidential source of information who is outside the organization who speaks very directly and very honestly. As an Australian, I have an advantage. I don’t sugar coat things.

A lot of executives are surrounded by people who would tell them what they want to hear, whereas I don’t. So I love that, because it also allows me to speak to their teams, because they always invite me to speak to their leadership teams.

It also makes me stay current and relevant with some of the things I am thinking about. It’s the same thing I say to the authors, test your theories.

Speaking is such a privilege to me. I still get so excited every time I step on the platform. It could be a team of 10 or a room of a thousand, I still get excited about it and I love it. I mean I was the kid who was kicked out of class constantly for talking. Every report card said, “Neen is a good student, but she talks too much.”

I mean my gosh, if my teachers could see me now.

Content and Performance

Charlie Hoehn: What would you tell an author who has done some speaking over the years but they only do a handful each year and they’re trying to make it their business but they can’t just seem to figure it out?

Neen James: Sure, well let’s start with a couple of great resources. The National Speakers Association is the professional industry body for speakers. Check it out, go to their annual events as a starting place, have a look at their conference because you’ll see so many different styles of speakers. You’ll see hundreds of different business models.

That’s where I got to connect with our mutual friend Erin Gargan. Her book, Digital Persuasion, is phenomenal and so we got to connect at NSA. So check out the National Speakers Association as one of the resources.

If you are just starting out and maybe you can’t afford to attend the annual conference, have a look at the webinars that they offer. Have a look at the pages and blogs that they publish. Have a look at their magazine and their podcast that they do.

They are called “Voices of Experience” and if you go to neenjames.com and you type into the search functionality like “Professional speaker,” there’s also lots of articles you can download for free.

I would also recommend if you are starting out, one of my favorite books for people to read is a book called Steal the Showby Michael Port. Whether you’re doing a sales pitch or a speech – he has some really great information. So check out the National Speakers Association, have a look on my website, read Michael Port’s book.

But when you’re starting out, there’s two things you need to think about. One is content, and one is performance.

You need to have something unique to say, and the way that you write as an author is different about the way that you speak and I’ve even realized this in my profession. I am a keynote speaker. That’s my living. And I realized I can’t even tell the stories the way that I wrote them because the way you write and the way that you speak in front of an audience can be different. So the first thing to focus on is what’s your content.

“What’s that core message you want the world to know?”

Then use your original, very unique intellectual property. Don’t be quoting everyone else. Talk about what your beliefs are in the world and show up as the best version of yourself. That’s what audiences want. They want you to just hang out with them and have a conversation.

The second thing I mentioned is performance. Get yourself some coaching, go watch the brilliant speakers.

Watch their TED Talks, go on to websites of speakers you admire. Look at their show reels, sit in the audience and look at the techniques that they are using.

You don’t have to be an introvert or an extrovert to be a great speaker, you’ve got to be the best version of yourself. So work on the performance as well.

“Do not get up on stage without doing some form of rehearsal.”

Don’t just stand up there and think you can go through all those PowerPoint slides. Nobody cares.

Make sure you have content that is engaging and relevant to the audience, and then spend time on performance.

My performance coach is Michael and Amy Port, and I love what they are doing with their community. They have a community called Heroic Public Speaking, and they are really great at helping people capture their ideas and then share them in the world.

There’s so many resources available to people. I would encourage you to get good at speaking, because the world needs your message.

How to Be a Better Speaker

Charlie Hoehn: Beautifully said. Now what about the latter group that they have been doing some speaking for years, they have a handful of gigs kind of fall into their laps or they feel like they get lucky but they can’t propel themselves to the level that you’ve gotten yourself to, where you are doing 50 speaking opportunities a year.

Neen James: I was given the same advice. I still get coaching every single month from my performance coaches. I still read books constantly, I am still listening to podcasts constantly. So I think we have to strive to be better.

I leverage the resources of the National Speakers Association. I still listen to their podcast every month and read their magazine. I am engaged in the community. I would encourage people who want to get better to volunteer.

Start to volunteer where you see exceptional speakers, whether it is helping the meeting planner, whether it is going to the National Speakers Association or Heroic Public Speaking.

“If you want to get better at this, surround yourself with people who are better than you.”

So I am very fortunate to be involved in a Facebook group which is predominantly very successful speakers. Everyday we’re talking about how we can get better or we’re sharing challenges we face. Or we are sharing experiences we want advice on.

Get yourself involved in a community or create a Mastermind group where you can start to bounce ideas around how to get better.

When I started running, I hired a running coach and I started running and I ran a marathon in less than five months—which, to listeners, is stupid. Don’t do that. I am not advocating for that, but I loved it.

I used to get frustrated. I would run with my running coach, and I’d say, “How am I going to get faster? How am I possibly going to do this?” And he would say to me, “Neen, it’s time on your feet.”

Speaking is exactly the same. You need time on your feet. If you want more stages, you need to speak more. The more you speak, the more you speak. Every time you do a great job, chances are there is someone in that audience, maybe two people who say to you, “Can you come and do this for my organization?”

Don’t be scared of speaking for free. I still speak for free for the right opportunity, and I love it. So always, always be working on your craft. If you really want to get good at speaking: The more you speak, the more you speak.

No One Really “Makes It”

Charlie Hoehn: I’d imagine you get a lot of your speaking opportunities presented to you the moment you get off stage basically where they’re like, “You would be great for our organization. Can you come speak to us?” So it’s in the room sales right?

Neen James: Yeah wouldn’t that be amazing if that were true all the time? But I got to hustle, honey. I got to hustle just like everyone else.

Remember, I came to this country from Australia. I sound like I’m five, I had no clients, I had no money to buy shoes and champagne, I mean what’s a girl got to do? So you better believe I hustle like a lunatic.

I spoke at the local Chamber of Commerce. I spoke at Women’s Networking Events. I spoke at the Chamber of Commerce in Philadelphia. You name it I did it—and by the way, I still do it.

So please don’t misunderstand that because I have that maybe perceived level of success now that I’ve stopped hustling.

I still make sales calls every day. I still send thank you notes every day. I still blog every week. I still shoot videos every week. I still am on social every day. I am hustling like all of your listeners.

“I don’t think you ever make it in this business.”

I am not like some of those amazing big names like Scott Stratton and Scott McCain and some of these people who are kind of on a pedestal who are constantly always working because they have this beautiful body of work and they have been in the game for a long time.

Please understand I have to work at this, I have coaches who help me. I have accountability partners who make sure I do what I say I am going to do. Just like the listeners, I am working this business.

Please don’t think I have made it, I am working just like you.

Being Honest About the Hustle

Charlie Hoehn: I just love that you said you’d never make it in this business because I think that applies to everything. You are always a work in progress, you’re always moving forward or you’re standing still and it’s just up to you.

Neen James: It’s true, oh my gosh so true, but imagine writing a book right? Think about it Charlie, we write the book, that’s the easiest part. The hustle, it’s the marketing, it’s the selling.

You know, I have been on TV, I’ve been flying all around the country for this book because I believe in this message. That’s the hustle. The writing on the book, honey that’s not the easiest part. The selling of the book, that’s where the work is.

So I think that if you think someone has made it, just try and live a day in their life and you will realize they have to put the trash out just like you do. They have tired days just like you. It’s just unfortunately you’re seeing the Instagram version of their life. You are not seeing all the hard stuff. Now if you follow me on Insta, you get to see me with eye patches on. You are going to see me looking super tired and unglamorous. You can see me working out, it’s the ugly side but it is my life, right?

“I think people are filtering too much.”

They are only putting the best versions of things online, so that’s what they believe to be their truths. I think we need to be more authentic and more honest.

Erin Gargan and I have the most fun experience. We jumped on Facebook together, we were just going to have a virtual champagne and she was like, “We should record this” and I was like, “Okay” and then she streamed it live, which was hysterical.

Because we both forgot that we were doing a Facebook Live basically and we had the time of our lives.

So many friends of ours were like, “You guys are hilarious,” but we were just having fun. There’s something missing in our social media world for that authenticity, that real connection.

Connect with Neen James

Charlie Hoehn: Where is the best place for people to get in touch with you, contact you and then actually before you answer that, let’s do this real quick, what is a challenge something that our listeners can do today from Attention Paysthat will make a positive impact on their life?

Neen James: Listen with your eyes, and if you are willing to do that, you might also be willing to take up this attention challenge that we’re putting out into the world.

So an easy way to do that is take out Five Step Attention Challenge. The easiest way to do that is grab your cellphone and simply text this number: 44222. In the message, simply write the word “attention.

So the number is 44222, type in the word “attention” in the message, and you can sign up for our five step attention challenge. That makes you part of our attention revolution.

Charlie Hoehn: What is the best way, apart from the number, what if somebody wants to bring you in or have copies of your book for their team and have you speak, what’s the best way to get in touch?

Neen James: Well fortunately for me, there’s only one Neen James online. So if you go to neenjames.com, you can follow me on social media. You can connect with me on my website and you can get the book anywhere that books are sold. You can get that on Amazon or your local Barnes & Noble or you can find it at neenjames.com.