Based in Sydney, Australia, Foundry is a blog by Rebecca Thao. Her posts explore modern architecture through photos and quotes by influential architects, engineers, and artists.

3 Ways to Tune Out Distraction


When was the last time you were able to shut out all the distractions around you—emails, Facebook notifications, the endless stream of Tweets or Instagram likes?

You have a side business that you’re passionate about, and you dream of taking the leap to being your own boss, making your own hours, finding financial freedom… yet you find it difficult to stay focused—you’re distracted by the noise of insecurity, judgement, and time—and you just can’t seem to focus on the very thing that will set you free.

First, don’t blame your lack of willpower—our modern environment is designed to attract our attention with constant news, updates, and gossip. It doesn’t seem to end, and we both know that it’s not going anywhere. Second, blaming your boss or that ‘life happens’ won’t help either. Instead, consider the three options below to allow you more focus to attract the things you want, and help create meaningful experiences that are right for you.


There’s a lot of distraction in this world–and it often feels overwhelming, scary and stressful. From constant news to multi-tasking to social media–how do we stay focused? Especially when we know that it’s not going anywhere.

The best way to approach this dilemma is to realize the root of our own commotion. Biggie Smalls said it beautifully: “We can’t change the world unless we change ourselves.” This demonstrates that we need to look at the internal, rather than the external.

When you wake up, what’s the first thing you do? What are you doing that drains your energy? Do you constantly check social media updates on your phone? Do you listen to the news while eating dinner? Do you find that when you write your blog posts you also check for updates on Facebook?

The key is to do more of the things that lift up your energy–not the other way around.


This is a major threat in your business. When I started taking my business seriously, I realized that there were already so many people like me doing the same thing, and thoughts of insecurity started to creep up. Yet, this is only one way of looking at the situation. You could also just focus on your own shit–because there’s no one like you that can do your business. Even if they tried, it would not work.

For those who may know my background story, I’m hard of hearing, which I consider a special talent—I’m able to easily tune out distractions (if you know what I mean). It would be absurd if someone magically came out of nowhere and said that they have my special talent, but they have normal hearing.

Rather than looking at your influencers, focus on yourself. What are you good at? What are your strengths? What have people told you that you’re good at? How do you do things differently? What’s your style? How do you work with people? How do you serve? What is your story?

There are many questions you can ask yourself to help you see (and realize) how unique you are, and you’ll soon learn that you really don’t have to worry about competition.


Commodity means that something can be duplicated in a way where it’s all sort of the same. Like a hairbrush: some are more special and expensive than others. It comes down to the consumer’s needs and expectations: Are they a hairdresser and have a desire for high-end products? Or are they like me where they spend minimal time on their hair? It really depends on what they want, trust for a certain brand, and how much they’re willing to spend.

It’s easy for a business to become commoditized. You may be rolling your eyes and telling yourself: well, that’s just great because my business is not unique because pretty much, everyone is doing the same thing.

Hold on, you do have a unique business–whether it’s photography, coaching, or teaching yoga–your special skills can positively change the world. The good news is that people don’t look for business—it’s personality that attracts. This is where you can add value, and this is how you eliminate competition.

Don’t get into the head trap that you can’t scale your business, because really–it’s all about the value you provide. Be real, and don’t be afraid to be a small business. Don’t just stand there and talk – Show, and live your big idea. Keep snapping those pictures on Instagram, providing awesome inspiration banners, or striking a fancy move like a handstand in the city.

Be more of you.


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