Is “Bright-Shiny-Object Syndrome” Keeping You from Growing Your Business?

July 18, 2017 - 24 Comments

Do you think coming up with a good idea for a product or learning the skills to build it is hard? If you've tried launching your own product or service before, you know that there's one thing that's even harder: shipping it! 

We're here with a brand new podcast series that we named "Your Job Is To Ship".

As the title says, in this series we're discussing why shipping is the most important part of your business, why so many of us fail to do so and leave projects unfinished, and, most importantly: what you can do to get better at shipping quicker. 

It's time to take that unfinished book out of your drawer and stop abandoning projects that you've been meaning to finish. 


In the first episode of this series, Shane and Hanne are talking about how you can stop always going for the newest, most attractive tools, products, information products that keep distracting you from focusing on your goal.

Listen to this episode to get our six, tested and highly practical action steps.

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Episode Transcript 

Bonus Content

We're putting together a course with all the action steps from this podcast series. You can register here to access the first part of the course right away.

This will also give you access to all the future parts of the course, which will be added as the new episodes are released. In the first part of the course, you will also find the example spreadsheet Hanne mentioned in this episode.

In This Episode, You Discover:

    • How PayPal can make you purchase more stuff online
    • Why you shouldn't read the latest marketing blog posts all the time
    • Why you shouldn't focus on publishing a book to actually publish it
    • How your business will benefit from you shipping more 
    • Six practical action steps you can take today that will help you be more focused on your project and stop you from getting distracted
    • Why building your mailing list is sometimes quicker if you don't set up a website and an opt-in form.


    Watch the full Seth Godin talk, from which we played a clip in the intro (and which, in part, inspired this entire series):

    Speaking of creativity and resourcefulness, here's a video that is both inspiring and entertaining. An example of what being resourceful can mean, even relating to very simple things:

    What Distracts You?

    Do you also suffer from the bright shiny object syndrome that prevents you from focusing on your goal? Which of our tips are you going to implement and why?

    Let us know in the comments below!

    See you next week with another episode!

    About ​Alexandra Kozma

    Alexandra is a traveling marketer. When she is not editing podcast episodes or writing blog posts, she's out there exploring a new city. She's the creator of the Morning Mindset daily mindfulness journal.

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  • Lorenzo D says:

    Fantastic episode. The Resourcefulness vs. Resource Chasing meme alone is worth the whole hour. Spot on, very useful. I’d like to hear you exploring it further some time.

    Regarding the rich boy-poor boy story experiment: I think it works even better if you can recall an episode or period of YOUR personal story (life) during which circumstances put you in Terminator mode. Just visualizing tose moments for a few seconds allows you to replicate that whole “mood” on purpose, and if you’re good, tweak it to “subtract” the anger and fear that you felt at the time.

    Or just, well, use a more positive moment if you have one. But negative motivations are usually stronger.

    • Thank you, Lorenzo.

      The things I learnt about resource chasing vs. resourcefulness were really eye-opening to me as well. A super important topic, especially when you think about how abundant information and resources and tools and everything is online…

      I love your idea of “terminator mode” and I think it’s a great suggestion. I guess in the experiment, they had people write fictional stories, so that everyone would be on a level playing field, regardless of their actual childhood situation. But yeah, if you can relate the resourcefulness to stories from your own life, that’s definitely a good thing to remind yourself of.

  • Fran Canete says:

    Very inspirational. Thanks, Shane! Reminds me your other post about Quantity vs. Quality and how important is to “go on the road” and get things done. Fran Canete

    • Thank you, Fran!

      Yes, a focus on quantity instead of quality is very much part of this topic. In fact, in the next episode, we touch on this as well. As you can tell from my recent content, helping people get better at shipping has been on my mind a lot. :)

  • Why is the sound so quiet on iTunes guys?

    If I am in a more noisy environment like on a bus for example, even with the volume at max, I can barely hear anything…. Please fix.

    • Thanks for letting us know, Ion. We’ll check to see why this happened and what we can do to fix it.

  • Geoff Anthony says:

    Greetings from sunny Ireland :) Just wanted to take a moment to say a BIG “thanks” to you both – Shane and Hanna for a fantastic Podcast. Just love what you are doing! Keep up the good work! :)

    • Thank you, Geoff!

      The first line of your comment makes me suspicious, though. You say it’s sunny? Are you sure you’re in Ireland? :D

      • Geoff Anthony says:

        Yep, really sunny today Shane. But the rain is a coming. :)

  • Darlene from Texas USA says:

    Honestly Shane it’s one of the BEST podcasts ever! Not just best of yours, but best I’ve heard anywhere in a long time.

    You two cracked me up with some of your honesty. Loved it.

    I listened to it.

    Read the transcript (BTW, thank you for offering that)

    Sent it to a bunch of my friends.


    Wrote out on a card and set it front, center so I remember to take my few minutes and absorb what 2 things I’m focusing on for the next three weeks.

    I’ve heard it before but the way y’all presented and the examples you gave resonated so that I know it’s a MUST to learn, then implement. Do not keep reading, learning, whatever… on stuff that I’m not going to use right away!

    xo, darlene

    • Thank you for your comment, Darlene! It’s super encouraging to know that the podcast was so useful to you. :)

  • Kelly E McClelland says:

    I have to admit it. But that is also how I found Thrive Themes and you two!
    What a shiny object you are–I could not resist! Now I need to learn how you can do so much and ship it. It is a blessing and a gift and I am very grateful that I found you!

  • Claudemir Martins says:

    This podcast came in the right moment. I was doing so many things at the same time just like crazy. Then I stopped everything just to focus on an e-book that people are asking me to write forever. I confess that after sometime writing it, I feel like time is passing fast and I’m not doing a lot of other stuff.

    However when I look at the content I’m writing, I feel so proud of myself, because I’m pretty sure that it will be the best material ever created in my niche. I look at other guys e-books and they are far from what I’m doing regarding quality and good content.

    Listening to this podcast I feel that I’m in the right way to finish what l’ve started. Thank you guys for such content. Shane and Hanna your are really awesome.

    Luckily I’m approaching the 30 days mark without looking for new shinny objects or other resources. My followers are begging to have the end product and soon they will have the best one they can get their hands on.

    Thank you again for the podcast.


    • This is a great position to be in, Claudemir. People are asking for something and you know you can deliver a better product than your competitors? Excellent! Like you say, focus on bringing this value to the people who are asking for it. For me, that’s something that really drives me. It’s something that is more attractive to me than shiny objects. :)

  • Trevor McAlpine says:

    Shane, Hanne, Alexandra,

    One of the key “aha’s” for me is the powerful contrast between how I perceive Thrive and IM Impact (now Active Growth) emails vs. so many of the other “guru emails” I have regretfully signed up to receive.

    When your material arrives in my inbox, it is almost always so full of value that I feel good about interrupting my work to look at it and, if I cannot consume it all at once, evaluate when I should consume it.

    Contrast that with my dawning realisation as of late that almost all of the other gurus are by and large failing me. Your observations have just helped confirm what I have been feeling for weeks.

    In fact, months ago, I started sending most of my guru email to a seperate email address, but had forwarded said inbox to my main inbox “for convenience sake.”

    Ugh! Talk about “close, but no cigar!”

    So, thanks to your gentle coaching, I will take the final step and sever that connection, leaving the “guru mail” to fetch up in their own private limbo email zone.

    I may even visit them more than once a week. ;-)

    I would love to comment more on some of your other great ideas, but alas, I have too many pending actions (each one motivated by your advice) for me to take the time to do so at this moment…!

    From one business coach to another: Thank you!


    • Thank you, Trevor! It’s great to know that you perceive the emails you get from my business differently from other marketing emails. For me, delivering genuine value is very important. I love teaching more than selling.

      Looks like setting up the guru inbox will be small step for you. Remove that forwarding and you’ll experience almost instant relief. :)

  • I was really glad I caught this. The initial problem description is exactly what I’ve been doing. Interestingly, a fellow was mentioned and I’ve bought his $7 things and I was trying to get through one of them that I thought was vital to proceed. I started it a month ago. I finally realized it was very bad as most of the software was not even available unless you bought it and no principles were being taught, only skipping through the software to achieve what you were supposed to need except it was very poorly described. I spent an entire day coming to the realization I needed to drop it and concentrate on Thrive Themes resources. I look forward to setting up my guru inbox and using the resources I do have. Also, thanks for the brilliant idea on how to make your first email list.

    • Thank you for your comment, John!

      Spending too much time trying to implement something from a $7 ebook is better than buying a new ebook every other day. So I think you’re already doing better than most bright-shiny-object addicts. :)

      But of course, it’s also frustrating to get “information” from someone who’s concern is only to make money and not to actually teach.

  • Great topic! It’s especially helpful to realize LOTS of others have this same problem! I always thought it was just me, and it has had a pretty paralyzing and negative effect on me…

    Especially helpful were the suggestions on how to combat this. For now, I’m starting with the “Why I’m doing this!” And finishing one thing first!

    • You’re certainly not alone with this problem, Karen. One of the psychologists we talked to mentioned how if you are entrepreneurial, you’re especially prone to bright shiny object syndrome. It’s something we simply have to be aware of and deal with.

  • I can confirm that the volume seems to be lower than other podcasts.
    That goes for most or all of the episodes.

    Keep up the good work. I am sooo guilty of procrastinating. Thanks for your useful tips in this episode.

  • BobbieNabinger says:

    Hello, my friends!
    This episode came at the perfect time to reinforce a decision I made on June 30th – the 1/2 way mark on the year to ELIMINATE everything that does not move me closer to my goals with the resources I already have. Love ThriveThemes, by the way! ;)

    I tend to run on 90-day tracks in my business. However, at the end of the 2nd quarter; I always evaluate my progress as it relates to my yearly goals, expenses, what’s working and what’s not working. This is usually the most important pivot point in the year for me.

    For every business I have ever owned, I have prided myself on being resourceful and “shipping” on time. I have experienced much success over 20 years this way. However….online businesses are definitely different!

    Well, I started a new online business one year ago. And much to my surprise found myself in a perpetual state of shiny object syndrome!! I kept thinking that I needed more knowledge, more tools, better systems etc, etc!

    Needless to say this lead to little success, failure to ship on time for myself and my clients AND a ton of “extra crap” (AKA emails, expense, worthless products, irrelevant products)

    Your podcast gave me great ideas about the guru emails as I had just tried an unsubscribe service (SO DO NOT LIKE THE INVASIVENESS!!)

    I love what you are doing here and am thrilled to be a part of Active Growth!! Thank you so much!

    • Hi Bobbie,

      Thank you for your comment! I like your method of breaking the year into 90-day stretches and doing a review after each one. That’s a great, systematic way of making sure you are on track with your goals.

      It’s also interesting to hear of your experience of offline vs. online businesses. I guess online, the bright shiny object syndrome is a bigger problem than in traditional businesses!

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