Bright Shiny Object Syndrome, is in my experience, the biggest problem facing most business owners and entrepreneurs today.
Chances are, you’re a sufferer too.
You see, entrepreneurs by their very nature, see opportunity at every turn. They look to make things better, meet a need, provide a cheaper alternative or fix a problem.
It’s not a lack of ideas that holds business owners back from achieving their goals and dreams, but having too many ideas to choose from and don’t know which to start.
Are you easily distracted by bright “shiny” new ideas?
Are you constantly starting something only to move on to the next thing as soon as progress gets hard?
Maybe you make it half way through a training course, like my free business growth workout, only to give up for another course/book/idea which promises bigger results in less time?
Only of course to give up on that one too before you reach the end of the course (and realise any benefit).
Or maybe you leap from one tool or application to another hoping to get some bigger or better result?
Maybe if you used tweeted more or pinned more, then you’d get better results?
But what about Google plus? Don’t you think you should master that?
Hold on, surely it’s Facebook that you “need” to be on by growing your “likes” and interacting with your “fans”?
If this sound like you, then chances are you are suffering from Bright Shiny Object Syndrome, but don’t worry, it’s not fatal.
Unsurprisingly, Bright Shiny Object Syndrome can leave feeling exhausted and frustrated, from being constantly busy, but never actually getting the results you want.
What Is Bright Shiny Object Syndrome?
As you might have guessed, the term “bright shiny object syndrome” refers to business owners or management teams that cannot agree a strategy, or if they do, fail to stick to it.
As a result, business owners and management teams end up chasing after things that on the surface look great, but after a while, prove to be no more achievable than the original idea.
How Do You Know If you’re a Sufferer?
So by now you’re probably thinking about those 30 business ideas you have jotted down in your notebook, some of which you haven’t looked at in months and you know that you haven’t actually taken action on any of them.
Or maybe you’re thinking about the changes you need to make to the home page of your website, so that it’s more user friendly, but in reality you have no visitors?
Basically, you constantly start things, but never finish them.
If that’s you, then you’re definitely suffering from bright shiny object syndrome, but here’s how to avoid it:
How To Avoid Bright Shiny Object Syndrome
Here’s my 5 step guide to overcoming and avoiding Bright Shiny Object Syndrome
This is where most people actually go wrong. Of course, they don’t mean to, but by lack of decision they screw up and never decide what they are going to do.
Maybe the lack of decision comes from too many choices – so if you have too many choices you need to start by getting rid of a few of them start with these two articles. How To Kill Ideas When To Kill A Project. Too much choice causes indecision. If you don’t make a decision you can’t be certain of what the future holds out for you.
The failure to make a decision is often by bouts of procrastination. Followed by guilt for procrastinating, followed of course by yet more procrastination.
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.” – Henry Ford
Make a decision. Decide what you want to do then do what ever it takes to get things done.
If you make a decision but don’t actually do anything about it, then you might as well of not bothered making a decision. So when you’ve decided what you’re going to do, you’ve got to commit to getting it done. Which to be honest is just as true for a multinational corporation as it is for the solopreneur.
Once you’ve decided what you’re going to do, committed to doing it, then you need to start doing it.
You’ll find that as soon as you start taking action, you’re half way there.
“a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” – Laozi
It doesn’t matter how small the step. Just start. Then take the next step, and the next. The key here is action. Now of course as a sufferer of Bright Shiny Object Syndrome starting probably isn’t your problem, it’s this:
Keep on going
This is the bit that sufferers of Bright Shiny Object Syndrome have the most trouble with. Keeping going. Too many distractions and temptations get in your way. But this is when you have to be really tough with yourself and keep on going.
Keeping going can be hard so you have to be really tough with yourself and keep on going.
Remind yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing in the first place. Keep the faith and keep the focus.
There’s a host of productivity hacks that you can use to keep your focus, but what I find really works for me is the Pomodoro Technique – which is focused work time of 25 minutes without distractions (no email, browsing or phone calls) – just work, followed by a 5 minute break where you can do the things I’ve just described.
There’s some variants to this technique, such as working 20 minutes at a time, but the key is to find a way that works for you and get on with it.
Keeping going is really tough. But think about first time marathon runners taking part in a big city marathon. They’ve trained for months, nursed injuries and spent a small fortune on a pair of the latest trainers or running shoes.
Somewhere where around mile 22 they want to give up. Their feet are sore, they are tired and they are probably hungry. But the keep on trudging on. Maybe out of a sense of commitment to their family or loved ones, or maybe to win a bet.
The point is they keep on carrying on and eventually cross the finish line.
Sure it’s going to be tough and things are going to suck. Yes, really really suck. And you’ll feel like giving up.
If you quit here, you’ll never really be cured of bright shiny object syndrome and you’ll be sentencing yourself to lifelong sentence of never really getting the results you wanted.
keep moving forward, but above all finish what you start.
It’s okay to have bright shiny object syndrome. It’s not fatal, but you do have to treat it.