Do you have a lot of ideas?
If you’re like me you have a new idea every 30 seconds and this can be great in some cases because I almost never run out of ideas for things I can do to earn an extra income or things I can do to improve what I already have.
However it can also hold you back. To many good ideas can also cause you to get overwhelmed and not take any action or worse bounce from one thing to the next only to end up in maze of failed business ideas.
If this sounds like you then you have what many people call shiny object syndrome.
So what is Shiny Object Syndrome you might be asking. Below is my definition of what it is.
Shiny Object Syndrome – Is something that distracts your from your current work or priorities that often looks more interesting and exciting.
In other words shiny object syndrome causes you to get distracted.
For example, let’s say your on Facebook trying to set up some ads and you see an awesome video your friend just posted. You think this will only take a second and before you know it you’ve spent 3 hours on Facebook and accomplished nothing.
That’s just one form of shiny object syndrome. Another example is where you’re working on your current side hustle when all of a sudden another idea for a great side business pops in your head.
The next thing you know you’ve registered a domain name, set up a website, all to find out that this business idea wasn’t going to work after all.
Raise your hand if this has ever happened to you? (You can’t see it but my hand is up)
When it comes down to it shiny object syndrome can cause all sorts of problems when it comes to your side business and if this sounds like your situation keep reading.
The Problem with Shiny Object Syndrome
To start I want to point out some of the problems this can have on your side business that I’ve noticed and hopefully when you’re working you’ll be able to spot them so they don’t take you to far down the rabbit hole.
It Breaks Your Focus
The first thing I usually notice when I feel a shiny object syndrome attack coming on is that it starts to break my focus and concentration from my current work.
Instead of diving deep into my work I start to get off balance with things in a way and find it hard to concentrate on the things I need to get done.
It’s at this point something has caught my attention and isn’t letting go.
Makes Us Think the Grass is Greener
The second thing I started to notice is how things look greener on the other side of the fence. A good example of this is when the whole Amazon private label stuff started to take off.
At that time I was still writing for one of my other blogs and thought to myself that that business looks so much easier and just like that I stopped working on my blog to pursue something totally different.
However after a bunch of research and listening to several podcast about it I learned that it just wasn’t the type of business I wanted to really start.
What I learned is that things really aren’t greener on the other side of the fence but rather it’s just a mirage tricking you into thinking things are easier than they really appear.
Makes Us Think More is Better
Another problem with Shiny Object Syndrome is that it makes us feel as if the more stuff we’re doing the more money we’ll make.
I can remember back in the early days of my business when I was building Adsense websites and I use to think that if I had a 100 websites making me $1 a day each, I would have it made.
The truth is it takes a lot to build 100 websites, post content on them, and even manage them.
That line of thinking will only cause you to get overwhelmed with work and cause even bigger problems for your side business.
Stops You From Growing
Finally, the last problem with shiny object syndrome is that it never allows you to actually grow your business. If you’re constantly changing form one on business to another you’ll never be able to grow it to a reasonable level.
It’s kind of like growing a plant. If you plant a seed one day and then a day later realize nothing has happened yet it doesn’t mean it’s not working but rather that you just need more time. However when you switch from one thing to the next you’ll never get anything to grow.
I’ve done a lot of various side businesses over the years and if I would have focused on just one over those years instead of a bunch of different ones I’d be much further along.
How to Deal with Shiny Object Syndrome
So now that we know a few of the big problems shiny object syndrome can cause I want to share a few ways you can go about combating this plaguing problem in the last part of this article.
#1 Do a Comparison Chart
One of the first things you can do is put a comparison chart together by listing all the positive points and the negative points.
Often times I do this and the decision is overwhelming simple to make.
For example when I was looking into selling private label products on Amazon I realized that I would need a decent amount of money upfront to get started, and a large portion of my earnings would go reinvesting and buying more product.
On top of that I also realized that this kind of business can be a much bigger risk financially and that’s just not something I could handle at that time.
#2 Focus On One Thing
Second when it comes to running a side hustle start with just one and do just that one until it’s earning you an income and you can hire people to manage things.
I can remember times in the not so distant past when I would be working on one side hustle and the next week I would be working on something totally different.
The problem with this as I mentioned earlier is that it didn’t allow enough time for anything to grow. So draw a line in the sand and stick with whatever you decide to go with.
#3 Use Just In Time Learning
One of the reasons we fall into the shiny object syndrome trap is because we consume the wrong information that leads us down the wrong path.
As an example I use to listen to almost 15 to 20 podcast a week. At first it was great because I learned about online business but over time I started to bring in to much information which caused me to see all of these opportunities that would steer me in the wrong direction.
To avoid this I follow a very simple rule that Jeremy and Jason over at Internet Business Mastery have taught me and that is to use just in time learning.
What this means is that I only consume information that I need right now. For example, I’m currently learning more about how to build an email list and email funnels so anything on those topics are what I am learning about right now.
Everything else will just have to wait, because if I do any more than just that it will throw me off course.
#4 Set Time Aside
Next another way to deal with this plaguing issue is to just set time aside to explore these other opportunities in a more constructive way.
The worst time to explore new ideas is when you’re suppose to be working on your side hustle.
However if you set time aside once a month to just dig into these other ideas and see what else possible it gives you a way to still feed that desire you have to see what else is out there but not let it control you or your business.
In fact I recently did this last week when I was looking into ridesharing, and I even wrote an article comparing Uber vs Lyft.
This helped me get an inside look at what this kind of business would be like but in the end I realized it’s not something I will likely pursue.
#5 Take a Break
Finally, the last thing you can do is take a little bit of a break. If you’re mind is wondering around looking at other ideas it’s likely because you are overwhelmed and tired.
The best thing you can do is just take a break and get some rest. Sometimes this is all you need to do to keep yourself sharp and not fall prey to shiny object syndrome.
If you find yourself relentlessly thinking about this idea write it down or put it in your Evernote file for later. The key here is to just get it out in the open so you can move forward with your current work.
I know for me personally I don’t like to go more than a few hours working on something because of this very reason. On top of that it can also cause burnout and other issues.
Are You Dealing With Shiny Object
Hopefully the next time you’re looking to jump to a different project or look at a different side hustle because the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence remember that in most cases it’s not.
Take the time to follow the tips I’ve shared and stay strong when it comes to the path you’re on you’ll eventually find success.
Do you deal with shiny object syndrome when it comes to your side hustle? What are you doing to overcome it and succeed in your business? Share your thoughts and comments below.