Anyone who's ever tried to create or promote a business online at one time or another suffers from the Shiny New Object Syndrome. In this article, we'll talk about what that syndrome is, why it's deadly to your success, and how you can overcome it.
But first, here's a brief video for you:
Alright, that video doesn't really have anything to do with the topic. I just wanted to show you how easy it is to get distracted from what we want, need or ought to do.
Here are some signs you're suffering from Shiny New Object Syndrome:
Are any of these true for you?
Before you start beating yourself up, rest assured you're not alone. Every other online marketer I've talked to experience one or more of the above. And most of us still have a relapse now and then.
The important thing is to consciously resist the lure of Shiny New Objects.
To get motivated and driven to do so, let's take a look at the…
This syndrome is truly insidious. Before you know it, you'll notice:
Now that you realize how much damage this Syndrome can cause, let's talk about how to overcome it.
I'm pretty sure the Shiny New Object Syndrome has deep psychological roots. However, I'm neither a psychologist nor a psychiatrist, so what I have to offer you are practical, everyday stuff you and I can do to control this Syndrome.
Here you go:
Assuming you have your business goals, devise a training plan to go along with it. Identify the skills and experiences you need to accomplish your goals, and put them on a schedule and budget. Follow this plan and only get the programs you need to implement your training plan.
Do not read every single email you get. I guarantee, if you read that marketing guru's email, you're gonna buy something! There's always going to be a pre-launch sale, special offer or discount code that's going to be too hard to resist. Unless that offer is relevant to either your business goals or your training plan, don't use it. Just say no.
I'm one of the few people who didn't appreciate it when Apple made it possible for us to multi-task on our iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. I believe the Internet has made us develop attention deficit disorder (ADD). We need to proactively counteract this! To do so, focus on just one task at a time. Turn off your email, IM, Skype and social networking notifications. Leo Babauta says we do this, because we crave social validation (Hey, someone commented on my update. I'm popular!) Only check email and your social networking accounts at set times of the day. Close your Internet browser's tabs unless you're actively reading them. This can be very hard to do at first. Start slowly, say, 10 minutes at a time, taking 15-minute breaks in between. As Nicole Dean says, your kitchen timer can be your best friend.
By the way, Leo teaches how to train your mind to get more focused in his ebook, Un-Procrastination.
Who doesn't like free stuff? I love 'em, and I tell everyone to use its allure to attract prospects and build leads. Here's what I learned from Alice Seba: nothing is free. At the very least, that free content will take up your time to consume. It can also take hard disk space or a physical space on your bookshelf. Free software will require time, energy and mental bandwidth to learn. Not everything that's free, of course, is to be avoided. If something fits into your training plan (see above), then by all means, get it!
I know, there's plenty of brilliance out there. And the Internet has made it a lot easier for us to discover them, and for them to share their genius with us. However, you don't have all the time in the world to consume their content, digest it, and actually put them into action. And unless you ACT, you won't see results. So devote, say, at least three months with one person you'd really like to learn from. During this time, read only his email, keep up with her blog, and go through his courses. Don't move on to another mentor until you've actually implemented a new strategy you learned from her.
This is something I learned from the awesome Lynn Terry. Make your current project profitable first, before starting another one. You can pretty much substitute other things for “project,” such as “blog,” “niche,” “product,” or “market” — anything that takes up your time for a prolonged period. Nowadays, it's so easy to put up a new website, you could create one every day or every few hours. But resist that urge. First, make your current site/project/product/etc. profitable. And then you can move on to the next one. Very often, we get excited at the prospect of starting something new, but then we give up before we've made it a success. So we end up with a string of failures and conclude that we'll never succeed at anything, or this business stuff was just a pipe dream.
Have you experienced Shiny New Object Syndrome before? How did that affect your productivity and the success of your business? What did you do to minimize or overcome it?
Can you think of other tips that may help others?
Tell us about your experience and add your advice in the comments below. Thank you!
Lexi Rodrigo is a communication and marketing professional for multimillion-dollar businesses, co-author of Blog Post Ideas: 21 Proven Ways to Create Compelling Content and Kiss Writer's Block Goodbye, and host of "Marketing Insights LIVE!." Connect with Lexi on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.
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