Bright-shiny-object syndrome is the downfall of many online entrepreneurs. If you keep chasing after the latest business opportunity, buy too many launch special offers and generally jump back and forth between too many different things, your business will never make progress.
The good news is: you're not alone with this problem and it absolutely can be fixed.
Step 1: Remove Email Noise
The more marketing newsletters you're subscribed to, the more likely you'll get sucked into bright-shiny-object pursuit mode. The reason is simple: marketers are good at marketing (at least some of them are, anyway). They will write emails that demand your attention and convince you that you must drop everything you're doing now, to buy their latest thing.
- Hit that "unsubscribe" link: check your inbox for senders who are constantly promoting offers and never providing real value. Look for senders who link to JVzoo products all the time. And then unsubscribe from those mailing lists. It's not enough to tell yourself "I'll just ignore them". Do yourself the favor and unsubscribe.
- Create a separate "Guru Inbox": completely avoiding marketing emails is almost impossible. And sometimes, you can learn a lot from how good marketers use email marketing. BUT you should not get marketing emails in your main inbox. Set up a "guru inbox" you can use to receive marketing newsletters and make sure you don't get any notifications of new emails from that inbox.
Step 2: Know Your Numbers
It's easy to buy new ebooks, tools and other stuff you may or may not need for your business, especially when everything's seemingly cheap and discounted. But all those low priced purchases add up over time. The sobering reality of what you're spending on stuff you don't need helps you keep bright-shiny-object syndrome under control. And by using our accountability spreadsheet you can force yourself to take action on everything you learn.
- Keep a spreadsheet of all your business-related purchases: that includes information products, memberships, software, tools, bits and bobs. Always write down what you bought and what you paid for it.
- Calculate annual expenses: for anything that has a recurring cost, write down how much you're paying per year. A few seemingly cheap subscriptions can quickly mean paying $1,000+ per year (on stuff you rarely use). The annual price number puts the real expense into perspective.
- Track your implementation and ROI: for each thing you buy, write down why you bought it (what your goal with this product is) and hold yourself accountable. Have you used the information or tool you purchased? Did you get the result you bought it for?
- Make your business pay for the bright shiny objects: want to buy a shiny new tool for $200? You can, as soon as you've made at least $200 using everything you already have. A simple rule, but super effective for getting your business into gear.
Step 3: Get Laser Focused with Goal Filters and Just-in-Time Learning
As an entrepreneur, you like to be creative and try new things. And you want to be informed of what's going on in the marketing world. This is only natural, but it makes shiny new objects difficult to resist. These steps will help you combat the endless distractions:
- Decide on your main goal: what's the number one thing you want to do, for your business? This could be "I want to write and sell my ebook" or "I want to launch a new online course".
- Apply the "goal filter" to all incoming information: for any email, product launch, special offer, blog post or whatever that you come across, ask yourself "does this help me move towards my main goal?" For example: "Does this help me write and sell my ebook?" If the answer is "no" ignore the thing and get back to work.
- Take it up a notch with just-in-time learning: seek out and use only information that is immediately useful. While you're writing your ebook, only seek out information that helps you write better or faster. And only seek out more information when you've implemented what you already learnt. Only once the book is finished and you start selling it, start seeking out information about how to do that.
Step 4: Become Resourceful to Achieve More With Less
Resourcefulness is like an entrepreneurial super power. It helps you achieve your goals with less time, money and resources. It makes you more creative in solving problems and helps you overcome obstacles more easily. And it's the very opposite of chasing after bright, shiny objects all the time.
- Create a daily reminder for yourself: research shows that even just thinking about resourcefulness can make you more resourceful. In a few short sentences, write down your goal of being more focused and resourceful and write down why this is important for you and your business. Then, take a minute every day to read this note to yourself.
- 30 day challenge, part 1: for the next 30 days, don't buy any new tools, courses, books, ebooks etc. Instead, focus on accomplishing more using everything you already have.
- 30 day challenge, part 2: deliberately limit your resources to boost creativity and grow your skills. For example: build a mailing list of 100 people without using opt-in forms, email marketing tools or any technology. Create a video every day, using just your phone (no cameras, no editing software,...). Become a better writer by creating content using only words, no images, video, gifs, media etc.