I remember years ago when I first started my business, I subscribed to dozens of newsletters. My intent was to learn everything I could about marketing and also what other people were doing in their business. I also wanted to see how they were using email marketing.
This was a good idea, but I did it for too long. This is embarrassing to admit, but I was caught in the viscous cycle of “shiny object syndrome” for too long. I was looking for that one thing that would unlock the secrets to building a successful business.
Now the dozens of newsletters I subscribe to have been whittled down to around two or three. My rule now for receiving anyone’s newsletter or weekly email is to ask the question, “How is this contributing to making money in my business?” If I can’t answer this question clearly, I unsubscribe.
Are you stuck in the shiny object syndrome loop where basically you have purchased products, jumped from one course to another, had a lot of ideas you want to pursue…but nothing got done…nothing got implemented?
I now know I don’t need another “tool” or “magic sales funnel” or strategy or more information. I believe everyone should commit to lifelong learning. But I see “learning” hindering progress in a lot of businesses. I’ve reached the point in my business where I feel I know what I need to know.
I’m not saying I know everything because I don’t. But I know enough to do what I need to do in my business to make money and grow. And I know implementation is the real moneymaker. Learn what you need to learn and then implement what you’ve learned as quickly as possible. Place extreme focus on the one thing, finish it, and move on to the next moneymaking thing you need to learn.
Years ago I met a very successful guy who had built a couple of very successful businesses. I told him I was a voracious reader and was so proud that I was reading 50 books a year. He told me that he was more a fan of finding four or five good books and reading them over and over.
Now I get it. I now have a small stack of books that I read every year, sometimes multiple times per year. There aren’t many new books that catch my attention. If I find one you will hear about it in one of my blog posts.
One thing that has helped me read books without wasting a lot of time is I’ve learned to speed read which allows me to read through a book faster than most people. It’s a skill I highly recommend you learn. It allows you to consume and comprehend large amounts of material quickly.
Food for thought…most of the people promoting reading a book a week or having a huge library are authors of books or publishers of books. Just giving you something to think about. (As a disclaimer, I had hundreds of books in my library I’ve read over the years, but I now have only around 10 books in my library. And as someone once recommended, I read them over and over.)
That’s my shiny object syndrome recovery story.
Why do so many people suffer from shiny object syndrome (and what can you do about it)?
The number one reason is they let some internet guru convince them if they buy their shiny object – expensive product, magic funnel builder, new tool that will change the way everyone does business, membership, or whatever BS they are selling this week – you will make $100K in the next 30-days.
And they have testimonials to prove it. Johnny H. implemented just one thing he learned in the magic training the guru is promoting and made $180,000 in the first 2 weeks. (this is a real testimonial I recently saw on someone’s page). Suzy Q. made $1,000,000 the first year and didn’t even have a product to sell.
I’m not saying these testimonials are false. But, as I have said many times before, there is always more to the story. There is no easy button or magic funnel.
The problem with the magic funnel is you still have to produce the content for the magic funnel. So once you purchase the magic funnel, you still have to produce content. And that is the sticking point for most people. And that’s why I recommend learning everything you can about copywriting or having a great copywriter close by.
The second reason they fall into the shiny object trap is they feel like what they are doing is not working or it’s taking too long. So they go searching for a better way. Then they get caught in this cycle of learning, buying programs, reading all the books they can find. In the meantime, their business is not growing, sales are not being made, and they are wasting time. Then they lose their focus.
Dan Kennedy’s Market Triangle is generally my reference point for what I need to be working on. This helps me stay focused on what I need to be doing. Send the right message to the right market using the right media. That sums up everything I need to be doing on a daily basis. There are many pieces among those three things I have to be doing – making phone calls, building landing pages, writing copy, etc. – but the core of everything I am doing revolves around one of those three things – message, marketing media.
So my focus is on communicating with my market on a regular basis. But it has to be the right market. And I have to be using the media they are using to communicate with them. These are all fairly simple things.
The third reason is they are looking at what other people are doing. They watch their competition and do what their competition is doing. Although you do want to watch your competition, you don’t want to follow their lead. Their competition, more than likely, is not building marketing assets in their business that can be used over and over again to produce results. They are not using strategies that really work. You can’t just mimic what your competition is doing. You have to show up differently. If they are sending direct mail, then maybe you could start sending lumpy mail or 3D mail.
The fourth reason is they have not clearly defined their why and are not clear on the exact business they want to build. Again, I have fallen into this trap. I would look at someone else’s business, see them making lots of money, and then try to build what they built. I’m not saying this will not work for some people, but for most it will not work. Build the business you want to build.
You’ve probably heard the phrase “model success”. And that is a true statement. You do want to model success. But the part you want to model most is their behavior and work ethic. Most of the successful people you see are very clear on what they want and why they want it.
This clarity keep them from chasing shiny objects. By being clear on the type business they want to build and why they are building it, they know exactly what they need to build and sustain a profitable business. They also know BS when they see it. If it’s not something that contributes to their bottom line and their vision for their business, they ignore it. Simple.
So get clear on what you want your business to look like, get clear on your why, and put in the work. Simple. Stay focused on using proven, tried, and tested marketing campaigns guaranteed to grow your business. This will help you avoid shiny object syndrome.
There is no genie that will grant your wish of having a successful, moneymaking business. It’s simply perseverance, persistence, and lots of hard work.
I hope this helps you think about what you are doing now in your business. Are you stuck in the “learning” phase loop or not implementing as quickly as you know you should.what you know you should be doing.
If you are suffering from shiny object syndrome and feel stuck in your business. If you are not clear on what you should be doing to grow your business, we need to talk. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s schedule a 30-minute phone call.
This is a free service I am offering for a limited time to help business owners and entrepreneurs get a grip on their business. Times are changing and the challenges are many. This will not be a sales pitch. The total focus will be on you and your business to find holes you can fill to start building the business you really want to build.
All the best,