Why turn off your phone?

Alexander Lyadov
2 min readJul 7, 2022
Dan Hillier

During transformational sessions with clients, I usually suggest not only putting cell phones in airplane mode but also removing them from the table. This is not an attempt to impose authoritarian control, as a freedom-loving tech founder might think. Since the first decade of my career was spent in advertising, a penchant for minimizing restrictions is in my own blood. A long time ago, I read a study that the mere presence of a phone on a desk impairs the quality of a conversation by about 30%. An unwillingness to separate from the world prevents one from being in the here and now. This finding is consistent with my experience in various fields.

For example, I’ve noticed that when my dinner is nothing special, I listen to my favorite podcast at the same time. That way, along with the nutrients, I get a set of new ideas. But if something particularly delicious is prepared, then distracting myself from eating is a mistake. As long as the experience is unparalleled, you want to enjoy it to the fullest. Otherwise, the investment in peculiarity loses its meaning. Why interrupt a moment of illumination, ecstasy, or peace? This is masochism.

If a potential business partner assures you of the importance of the joint venture, but is late for a meeting, does not respond to emails for a long time and is distracted during the discussion of the deal, the partnership is not a priority for him. If the founder dreams of radically increasing the profits of his company, engaging in strategy rather than routine, and make an “exit” on a premium valuation, but is not ready to forget about the phone during the session until the next coffee break, then what does that tell you? When it comes to something of value to you, it’s time to make a choice — either it’s worth your hundred percent attention, or it isn’t in fact.

The best way to understand the significance of something is to assess the size of the sacrifice made. What are you willing to do for your desired goal?

Yours sincerely,


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As a business therapist, I help tech founders quickly solve dilemmas at the intersection of business and personality, and boost company value as a result.

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Alexander Lyadov

As a business therapist, I help tech founders increase the value of their business by unlocking the potential of their personality.