Why entrepreneurs are prone to Shiny Object Syndrome and what they can do about it.
If you’ve ever found yourself being distracted by new must-have technology, gadgets and business opportunities, you may have succumbed to Shiny Object Syndrome; be assured, you are not the first and you won’t be the last! Just here for the free Self-Sabotage PDF?
What is Shiny Object Syndrome?
Shiny Object Syndrome (Objectivius Shinium Syndromus) is defined as;
the attraction to objects that exhibit a glassy, polished, gleaming or otherwise shiny appearance. Something as simple as a reflection in your peripheral vision may easily distract your attention. Over time, you’ll find that your attention to said object is directly correlated to it’s shininess and your attention fades as the shininess wears off.
Like most entrepreneurs, you may well have an abundance of ideas…and like most entrepreneurs at some point in their journey, these ideas might well lead to to lose focus, as you head off down a new path chasing the latest ‘once in a lifetime’ thing, without having really considered the implications.
Clues You Might Have Shiny Object Syndrome…
- You’ve bought a lot of self-development books, many of which remain unread on your bookshelf
- You’ve bought numerous online courses because #scarcity and you didn’t want to miss out…but you haven’t finished any of them
- You own more than 10 domains because you’ve had an idea and rushed off to buy the domain, just in case
- You get excited by the idea of new projects, but your enthusiasm wanes before you’ve completed them…and then it’s straight onto the next thing = lots of unfinished projects
- You’ve purchased numerous online tools and software but they remain unused (hello AppSumo deals!)
- You’ve tried more than 3 network marketing business opportunities
- You overspend due to all of the above
Do you tend to flutter from one tempting opportunity to the next? This is something I can personally relate to, as my past distractions have been related to business ventures.
First up, I think many entrepreneurs try out lots of ideas before they find their ‘thing’, so from that perspective, if you’ve dabbled in a few different businesses, you’ve probably just been testing the water to find something that suits you.
Likewise, if you’ve had some business failures due to Shiny Object Syndrome, that’s OK too. Take J.K. Rowling, Arianna Huffington, Richard Branson and even Walt Disney, who all experienced failure before becoming successful.
The problem is working out whether your new idea/opportunity is a part of your journey, or whether it’s a distraction! Taking on these exciting new ventures distracts you from your core business and when you take your eyes off the prize, no one wins.
7 Ways to Avoid Shiny Object Syndrome
1: Face up to your problems
Are things a bit stale in your current business? Are you subconsciously self-sabotaging by conveniently ‘discovering’ a Shiny Object?
Or maybe you’ve realised that to move forward with your business you have to challenge yourself and step out of your comfort zone? And that prospect might be altogether anxiety-inducing.
This certainly happened to me. Rather than address any challenges in my existing business, I found that new opportunities conveniently made their way into my field of vision. I was then able to start a shiny new business, rather than face those scary things head on.
If you get distracted by a Shiny Object, before you do anything else, take a long hard look at your business and get really honest with yourself about what problems might be present.
2: Don’t act out of fear
Have you got a fear of missing out? (F.O.M.O).
This is especially common in network marketing. A new opportunity comes along and it’s the best thing since sliced bread and everyone seems to be jumping ship. People are encouraging you to join, flattering you…telling you how great you’d be at it…so long as you get in right at the beginning. Of course it’s very tempting when you’re being singled out in this way, but don’t write off your current business because you’ve been blindsided by flattery.
Likewise, if this happens with a new course, or tool, or software etc. just remember that you aren’t actually missing out. You are just opting out this time round. It doesn’t mean you will never buy that new thing, just not now. Save your cash for things you really need.
3: Give your gut instinct a miss
Intuitive decision making can work out and I’m a big fan of listening to your gut instinct, however occasionally in business it pays to be a little more controlled about decisions, especially if you’re prone to overspending or Shiny Object Syndrome.
Before you decide to jump in, sleep on it, jot down some pros and cons and ask others for advice. If after a few days you’re still sure, then go for it!
4: Play devils advocate
Ask yourself lots of questions about new opportunities presenting themselves…
Is it too good to be true? Do I have enough time, resources, energy, and money? Do I have incomplete goals that need to be finished before I start something new?
Think about what advice would you give to a friend in the same situation. If you’re struggling to make a decision, consider what Lady Gaga would do!
5: Commit to the journey
Being an entrepreneur is hard but that doesn’t give you an excuse to give up, jump ship or get distracted by alllll the shiny things.
Commit to seeing your projects through to the end and stay on task. Every single day you should be reviewing your goals, checking your to-do list and asking yourself “Are the things on my list aligned with my goals?”.
6: Do what you love
It’s what all the experts say and it’s true. You have to be doing something that you’re truly passionate about AND that makes you money, or you’ll find that Shiny Object Syndrome will come up time and time again.
If you used to love what you do, but things are a bit stale, find a way to fall back head over heels. Your relationship with your business is still a relationship, it needs attention ❤ It’s much easier to maintain focus when you’re doing something that makes your heart sing.
7: Stop starting
And start finishing instead! When you never give yourself the opportunity to finish a project, you miss so much. Not only do you get the satisfaction of a job well done, but you’ll be able to start a new project guilt-free.
The cycle of starting, getting mid-way, then stopping, then starting something else is exhausting and will eventually mean failure.There’s nothing wrong with loving innovation and reinvention. Just make sure you don’t lose focus on what’s most important for you, your business and your customers - Karen Greenstreet #shinyobjectsyndrome Click To Tweet
Self-sabotage – Free PDF
If you can relate to any of the above, maybe you’re subconsciously self-sabotaging?
Self-sabotage is often an unconscious thought or behaviour that is in direct conflict with our desire to succeed; it’s the act of doing a particular behaviour that goes directly against what we need or want to do.
Is this something you need to explore further?
It IS possible to be free from the chaos of Shiny Object Syndrome. Keep in alignment with your business mission, be mindful of your habits and commit to YOURSELF. You are worthy of an amazing, calm business.
Have you experienced Shiny Object Syndrome and how did you overcome it? Share your story below.