How to banish shiny object syndrome forever
“Oh look, a brand new solution to all of my problems that will mean I can make tons of sales while I get on with painting/looking after the kids/drinking sangria on the beach”
“Oh great! A new tool I have to learn because that lady I met last week said everyone is making a ton of money from it and I’m totally missing out”
Shiny object syndrome.
It happens to all of us. We’re happily working away at our business when we come across a new thing that’s going to be the solution to all of our problems. The one thing that will save us from the horror of trying to make sales or talk to customers (just kidding, I love customers)
— Instagram is like a cash machine.
— Facebook Ads will solve all your problems.
— Get featured in Country Living and money will fall from the sky.
— Pinterest is better than Facebook.
— Snapchat is better than Pinterest.
— Instagram is the new Snapchat.
— Vero is the new Instagram.
Of course it doesn’t really exist, but we keep falling for it over and over again.
It’s not because we’re stupid. Or greedy. Or lazy.
Shiny object syndrome is caused by one main issue.
Not having confidence in what you know about your business.
We fall for it because we think that other people know something we don’t know.
We think that other people have the answers, so when someone contacts us and tells us that this advert, or this SEO service, or this new online platform will solve all of our problems, we don’t dare turn it down.
We can’t resist it because we don’t want to be the idiot who said “nah, I’m good working my butt off over here” when there was an easier way that everyone else knew about.
But, here’s the truth.
NOBODY knows your business better than you do.
This is good…..and bad.
It means that you already know (pretty much) what you should be working on, or at least you could figure it out if you sat down and thought about it. Even if you’re pretty new, you still know more than that SEO “expert” who spelled your name wrong in the email (they call me Nicole every time!)
Of course, it also means that the white knight isn’t coming. No one is going to be able to fix things for you. If you want to make tons of sales while you get on with painting/looking after the kids/drinking sangria on the beach then you have to figure out how to do that.
You have to develop a STRATEGY, and then test it.
A strategy is basically an experiment that you are running for your business. It has an aim and some way of measuring if and when that aim has been achieved.
In fact, running a business is really just a series of experiments to find out what will give you the level of sales, the level of income and the level of fulfilment you want from life.
The more often you test, analyse the results and change your strategy based on what you’ve learned, the faster you figure out how to get what you want.
If you want more email subscribers, you need a strategy.
If you want more social media followers, you need a strategy.
If you want to get more of your followers to visit your website, you need a strategy.
You can’t develop a strategy, and you certainly can’t test one, if you’re following every next big thing, or accepting every offer made to you.
This doesn’t mean that you have to figure everything out yourself. There will be lots of trainings, tools and resources that can help you to achieve your goals faster than you might otherwise.
The key is to stay focused and say yes only to the ones that fit your strategy. Following random offers that are made to you is unfocused action that has the potential to waste a large amount of time and money.
Here’s how you tell the difference.
“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”
~ Warren Buffett
TRUST YOUR STRATEGY
When you have a solid strategy that you are testing and you understand why this is supposed to work, and how you’ll know if it is or not, then you can very quickly tell whether this is an opportunity that fits or not.
It’s when you’re unsure about where you’re headed or you don’t have confidence in your strategy that is when you start grabbing at every opportunity.
Let go of the FOMO and stop looking for quick fixes
Let yourself say “thanks but no thanks” to some of the opportunities that come your way. Because, let’s face it, absolutely everything takes some work. There’s no magic cash machine.
And while you are dashing from one thing to another, you know what you’re not doing? Carefully testing your strategy and learning what works and what doesn’t.
There are tons of things you COULD be doing but what fits your vision for what you want?
What do you already KNOW you should be working on?
I can guarantee that, even if you’re pretty close to the beginning of your business journey, there are at least a few things that you just know you need to work on. From what you’ve experienced, it just makes sense.
Try those first, test them out, learn from them before you get into something new. Too often, we use shiny objects as a way to avoid doing the actual work. It’s hard so we look for something quick. It’s a false economy.
Building a business is a continual process of aiming for something, trying some stuff to get there, learning from it, and then trying again.
There are no shortcuts – even when it seems otherwise. And pursuing those shortcuts can actually end up taking you the long way around.
Stay focused on what you know is the most likely route to your success. Because, no matter what anyone else says, you’re probably right.
And when you let go of waiting for someone else to tell you what to do and start developing and testing your own strategies, you get where you’re going much faster anyway.
I'm Nicola and I founded the Maker's Business Toolkit to help all Artists & Makers to build profitable businesses.
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