Do You Have Shiny Object Syndrome?

By Susan | Business Planning

Jul 30
Shiny Object Syndrome

As a new business owner, it may be that you are afflicted with shiny object syndrome. The “official” definition of this is “having an attraction to objects that exhibit a glassy, polished, gleaming, or otherwise shiny appearance.” Because of this, even something as simple as a reflection in your peripheral vision could easily distract your attention away from what you are currently doing.

While you may not fit into the physical definition of shiny object syndrome, you could still fall into its “trap” as you move towards starting your new company. In this vein, the “shiny objects” that distract your attention may be chasing after different types of clients, but with no real focus on who your target customer really is. It could also manifest itself by taking one “how to” course after another, but without actually following through on any of the techniques that are taught. (This could, in turn, make you feel like you still aren’t really ready to move forward).

The Effects that Shiny Object Syndrome Can Cause

Unfortunately, if you do fall into the shiny object syndrome trap, it can have some negative effects on your progress – and ultimately on your business overall. These could include some or all of the following:

  • The Inability to Complete Projects – While you may be excited when you start a new project, because you basically “jump ship” the next time you become distracted, it can result in nothing actually getting done.
  • Confusing Potential Clients as Well as Employees (if applicable) – By moving from one thing to another, without any specific focus, you may also be confusing your potential clients (as well as employees, if you have any). This, in turn, can end up causing employee turnover, as they are unsure of what they are actually supposed to be working on. It can also confuse clients and potential clients, as they won’t know what your product or service offering really is.
  • Burning Up Funds – Shiny object syndrome can also be fairly expensive when it comes of the best use of your business funds. This is because most of the courses and / or platforms that you use will not typically be free. And, in addition to costing you financially, jumping from one thing to another can also be a negative use of your time.

How to Beat Shiny Object Syndrome

If you fit the parameters of having shiny object syndrome, there are ways that you may overcome it. First, force yourself to really consider any new idea before you move forward with it. In doing so, you may find that, while the idea seemed great initially, it won’t help you to progress with your company’s goals. It is also essential that you have clear cut goals for your business, and that you stick with them.

Any time that you are struggling, it can be helpful to talk with other new business owners. When doing this, you can often find that other people were once in the same boat. Learning about how they overcame such obstacles can be priceless.

Where can you find a group of new business owners to connect with? Right here on the Startup Forums. The <Startup Forums is free to join> – and as soon as you become a member, you can dive right into the conversation.


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