Derek Sivers

from the book “Hell Yeah or No”:

Solitary socialite


For the past ten years, I’ve answered up to two hundred emails per day. I sit alone in my little office for hours, engaging with everyone’s stories and questions for a few minutes each.

Then when friends want to hang out with me, I say I need some me-time first. They wonder why, since I’ve been alone all day, so I explain how I’ve actually been very social and connected with so many people.

I like what I do, so I’m not complaining — just explaining. It’s unusual to be physically alone, but extremely social. A solitary socialite.

At first I thought this was a new internet thing. But for decades, there have been people who talk on the phone all day. Before that, there were people who just answered paper mail all day.

It works for me. I love people one-on-one. When I’m not answering emails, I’m often talking on the phone with one of my dear friends across the world, getting into great conversations for hours.

But it’s a strange life. The solitary socialite.