Shiny Object Syndrome

Today I was listening to a great podcast by my friend Justin Lukasavige. Justin’s podcast is titled CoachRadio.tv. At least once a week Justin puts out a podcast where he explains to people how they can do business better. He also has a weekly series titled Your Story where he interviews entrepreneurs in various stages (from just getting started to successfully doing it).

Earlier today I listened to show 049 Your Story – Joel Boggess (GREAT SHOW! Please go listen to, link at bottom). Near the end of the interview Joel talks about getting distracted form what should have been his main purpose because he was being bombarded by excellent ideas from fellow members at Free Agent Academy, an online community dedicated to helping people start successful businesses.

With each new idea Joel would get excited and run off in another direction. Then another idea would be presented and Joel would chase that idea down. While each idea was valid in and of itself, it was not necessarily consistent with Joel’s main business idea. So his main idea started suffering while her pursued the various new ideas coming his way.

Joel finally received a piece of excellent advice. Focus on your main goal, which for him was getting his coaching business up and running. Once Joel focused he started seeing significant improvements in his business.

Listening to Joel, I instantly thought, “Shiny Object Syndrome”. By this I mean Joel kept getting distracted from his main idea by all the other ideas (shiny objects) that kept coming his way. With each new shiny object Joel would head off in a new direction, taking him away from his original goal of starting a successful business.

Joel is not unique here. I believe all of us, to a greater or lesser degree, fall victim to Shiny Object Syndrome. We know we should be looking up contact information for possible new customers online but we get distracted by the shiny object of our friends on Facebook or Twitter.

We should be determining which accounting software is right for our business but we get distracted by by the latest AV equipment on sale at Best Buy.

We want to start a car wash business and start marching down that road and get side tracked by what it will take to start an auto parts business or a pressure washing service.

As my brief examples suggest, shiny objects don’t have to be completely negative. They can be completely valid ideas, they just lead us away from our main idea. Our core purpose.

I have found that the best way for me to deal with my Shiny Object Syndrome is to make a quick note about what grabbed my attention and email it to myself so I can look at it later. That way I don’t forget what excited me earlier in the day, but yet I also don’t forget to spend time on my main goal.

What have you found to be the best way to deal with your Shiny Object Syndrome?

Here are links referenced above:

Coachradio.tv

049 – Your Story – Joel Boggess

Free Agent Academy

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About Ivan Bickett

I want to help people see that there is a better way to conduct business and life. If I can help, let me know.
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4 Responses to Shiny Object Syndrome

  1. Definitely need to watch out for Shiny Object Syndrome. I’ve been guilty of it many times and it usually does nothing but distract me from my best ideas.

    Joel’s interviewing me at the end of this month so keep an eye out on his blog for the replay.

    • Ivan Bickett says:

      Justin, thanks for being a HUGE part of the inspiration behind this post. I love Coachradio.tv and have learned so many things from you that I’m applying right here at A Better Way of Business!

      Looking forward to Joel’s interview of you.

  2. Chris Peek says:

    Nice post Ivan. I’ve fallen victim to this syndrome on many occasions. It’s so easy to get excited about new endeavors when you consider them with a wide lens. But when it comes down to the the individual details and the process, it’s easy to lose focus. Keeping the main thing the main thing is necessary to move forward.

    I really like what you’re doing here. Way to be intentional!

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