Many entrepreneurs (including myself once in a blue moon) are far too familiar with shiny object syndrome (S.O.S.) So, I thought what better time than now to dig into WHAT it is, WHY it happens and HOW one can use it as a benefit rather than a distraction. So, let’s get started with tackling today while keeping an eye on tomorrow …
First of all, let’s talk about WHAT shiny object syndrome is because the other day I realized some people don’t know as it’s not a common term used in our day-to-day business lives.
At its core, shiny object syndrome (S.O.S.) has most often been referred to as a disease of distraction. It affects everyone around the globe but especially entrepreneurs due to the what makes us so unique in the good ‘ol virtual land of technology. We constantly crave new technology, new platform developments and upgrades. And due to us being highly motivated, we are certainly not afraid to create new things, try out shiny new platforms or programs and start new projects all on a whim!
But when S.O.S. creeps up and sets in, it forces one to chase virtual platform after platform, project after project, new idea after new ideas, and change after change. Sadly, this means one may never settle on/with just ONE option. Which then leads to a great deal of daily inefficiencies, lack of productivity then leading us to lack of time and a whole heck of a lot of stress!
It’s called shiny object syndrome because it’s the entrepreneurial equivalent of a small child chasing after shiny objects. I like to think of it as an animal — a cat with a laser pointer that it can never seem to grab its cute little paws on no matter how hard he/she tries.
For entrepreneurs (myself included once and awhile), rather than literal shiny objects, it’s usually the newest cat’s meow of a platform (you know, the one “everyone” says is the “next best thing), social trends, marketing strategies, clients or perhaps even other business ventures.
Technology has some powerful downsides to go along with its benefits and S.O.S. just happens to be one of them! At the true entrepreneurial heart of the issue, when you are constantly distracted, a few things tend to happen …
- You spend too much time on new ideas and “fancy” tools that just build noise rather than fundamentals.
- You are always scrambling for time because you are never getting anything done. You’re always on the path to everything new instead of working on what’s right in front of you.
- You become the Jack (or Jane) of all trades yet the master at none because you’re not spending enough quality time becoming great at something.
If this feels like you as you’re thoughtfully reading this post, it’s time to buckle down and focus.
“Starve distractions. Feed your focus.”
– Rachel Gadiel, Writer and Content Strategist at RachelGadiest.com
You must understand that new doesn’t always mean better and to try to see past all the hype. Every single minute of every single day there are new shiny object in our virtual worlds. New platforms, new social trends, new products and./or services, new start-ups … Do your very best to not follow the mob mentality; where you feel the need to jump ship and follow the herd. Just do what works for you and your team – if you have one.
And ask yourself …
- Do I really need this for/in my business right now?
- Will it add value to my work life (or life-life)?
- What are the pros and cons to jumping ship immediately?
- Is this going to improve my productivity? Or just create more time constraints?
- Does it have something my current tools can’t provide?
In most situations, it’s best to play the “wait and see” game. To take some time to differentiate if it’s a real opportunity or just another shiny object. Be ruthless in saying “no” so you can make room for the real opportunities that will make a true impact on your business.
So, share with us …
Do you feel you suffer from S.O.S.?
And if so, what’s your most recent technological culprit?
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