Shiny object syndrome and what you need to know!

Shiny object syndrome is something all entrepreneurs will face, at one stage or another. As entrepreneurs we are naturally attracted to new ideas and new ways of working. But if that natural attraction is at the point where it is standing in the way of your business and personal success, you’re most likely falling foul of shiny object syndrome.

What exactly is shiny object syndrome?

It’s a phase that’s often talked about in the entrepreneurial world. It’s where you’re constantly distracted by things that catch your eye. So much so, that you leave what you’re currently doing, to go and grab whatever caught your attention.

And if you get too distracted, you’ll lose sight of your original goal. You’ll find yourself never finishing things and constantly spinning your wheels, as you step further away from those original goals and ideas you had.

How do you know if you have shiny object syndrome?

The problem with shiny object syndrome is it can keep you stuck and in a constant cycle of fear and needing more. You feel you need to learn more so you can have all the answers and solutions you may ever need. There’s a fear that you’ll miss out on something crucial and, without knowing what you’re looking for, you’ll end up accumulating everything that’s offered to you.

This can leave you feeling stuck, demotivated and totally insecure over your next move, let alone which direction you need to head in. You never finish projects and courses and you’re constantly changing what you’re doing. You’re unable to stay focused and keep implementing new platforms, hacks and tricks in an effort to move forward.

How shiny object syndrome shows up in your life

Let’s look at how it typically looks for you. You often find yourself being taken down a rabbit hole of distractions and dead ends. Your to-do list keeps growing, as you springboard from one thing to another and don’t finish outstanding tasks and projects. You find yourself looking for answers and solutions to problems you didn’t even know you had! This is usually followed by you getting out the credit card and buying things you didn’t even know you needed.

You can see where this is going.

You want the latest, greatest, newest thing, so you can be the best, the first or the influencer of choice. The problem is all of the things you get attracted to, are offering to help you become or do something, you weren’t previously aware of. You started out interested in something due to clever marketing and trigger wording and you end up thinking you have problems that need solving. In reality, you just needed to stay focused and on the track you were currently on.

So how can you solve this problem – by being focused and on plan!

Start by understanding that shiny object syndrome is normal for an entrepreneur. It helps keep us open to new ideas and it helps us stay ahead of the competition and evolve, as our business grows and we adapt to new market trends.

But planning and focus are key here. It’s about being able to notice those things that need changing and implementing them into your business plans – not immediately dropping what you’re currently in the middle of doing. You’ll also then be able to see how new platforms or workflows can improve what you’re already doing, rather than totally changing how you work or what you’re currently doing.

[Need help staying focused on your goals? Read this blog that will show you how to stay accountable to your goals and this one on those goal setting mistakes you need to avoid! ]

It’s part of an entrepreneur’s nature to want more

As entrepreneurs we all love being at the forefront of something and trying new things out. But we also need to be able to implement a game plan to follow through on our ideas and dreams, if we want to reach our full potential. Ensure you’re assessing long-term goals, carrying out feasibility and sustainability studies and plotting out an exact route to reach the results you’re after. Only then, can you see what tools and platforms you need, to support you along this journey.

Time and patience are key

You need to ensure you’re giving projects and changes enough time to produce results. Take a step back and look at your business plans and projects with a detached viewpoint. If it were someone else’s business, how would you run it? What time scale would you give for results to become apparent? What would you invest in, if you were financing this business?

Know why you’re attracted to the next shiny thing

Understand why you were attracted by something and see if it’s fulfilling a current need or problem for your business – and not for your emotions. Frustration can be a big driving force behind impulse buys. You may be frustrated with your lack of results and progress, but if you’re not putting in the work or allowing time for results to show, you need to hold your horses and not invest in something else just yet.

Shiny object syndrome is something all entrepreneurs will face, at one stage or another. However, the key is no to avoid it but to ensure that you’re managing it. Implement a plan for your business that you can stick to, one that keeps you focused and on track, so next time something shiny comes along, you’re focused enough to make a rational choice based on the real needs of your business.