#147: The Cure for Shiny Object Syndrome

Office Operations

This month’s theme is Work from Home Power Hacks & Habits. I’ve got lots of tips on everything from automation tools to building better work habits!

Shiny Object Syndrome is defined as a “continual state of distraction brought on by an ongoing belief that there is something new worth pursuing” and it often comes at the expense of what’s already planned or underway.

There is nothing wrong with keeping your eye open for opportunities, new ways to engage with your clients, or new ideas – it’s because of those qualities that make us unique. We tend to be highly motivated and crave new technology and new developments. And we aren’t afraid to start new projects and create new things.

Don’t get me wrong, these are great characteristics, but when Shiny Object Syndrome sets in, it forces you to chase project after project, and change after change, never settling with one option. This can be with business objectives, clients, business ventures, or even marketing strategies.

Shiny object syndrome in the business world really means that the person is getting distracted by something that looks new (shiny), and then they are putting off their real work to pursue the new things. This is a recipe for disaster in business.

In today’s episode, I go over How to Cure Shiny Object Syndrome in 5 Steps.

Welcome to a new Systems Sunday. This month’s theme is Work From Home Power Hacks & Habits.

I’m Lisa Wells, your Virtual Assistant Trainer.

We’re all very busy. We’re running around doing different things to keep up with our agenda, our business, our personal life, schedules, and responsibilities.

Today, information is more accessible than ever. You can be and do anything you want – true. But with all this information, there are a lot of distractions. And I see this play out time and again, especially in people just starting out in their freelance or virtual business, as shiny object syndrome.

Today’s topic is “Stop Chasing Shiny Objects: Curing Shiny Object Syndrome in 5 Steps.”

Shiny Object Syndrome is defined as a “continual state of distraction brought on by an ongoing belief that there is something new worth pursuing” and it often comes at the expense of what’s already planned or underway.

There is nothing wrong with keeping your eye open for opportunities, new ways to engage with your clients, or new ideas – it’s because of those qualities that make us unique. We tend to be highly motivated and crave new technology and new developments. And we aren’t afraid to start new projects and create new things.

Don’t get me wrong, these are great characteristics, but when SOS sets in, it forces you to chase project after project, and change after change, never settling with one option. This can be with business objectives, clients, business ventures, or even marketing strategies.

Shiny object syndrome in the business world really means that the person is getting distracted by something that looks new (shiny), and then they are putting off their real work to pursue the new things. This is a recipe for disaster in business.

Some warning signs are having FOMO (fear of missing out), inability to finish projects, poorly planned projects, not knowing where the money is going, and being confused.

I want to get you back on track, focusing on what’s important, and give you permission to not chase every interesting or fun opportunity that presents itself.

1. Create a guide. This can be a one-page business plan, a simple marketing plan, or even a list of goals. This will at least provide you with a guide to follow that helps you know which opportunities you want to take advantage of that match your business needs. This may also force you to sit on ideas before launching them.

2. Decide on your Different Streams of Income in Advance. I’m a big proponent of multiple streams of income in which you have a combination of earned and passive streams. That way, you can use those criteria to help you assess the new opportunity. I have four streams of income: 1:1 client work, affiliate marketing, digital products in my shop, and training programs. If a new opportunity doesn’t fit in those categories, I don’t pursue it.

3. Here’s a big one – Determine what type of lifestyle you want to live. When you also know what type of lifestyle you want to live, it’s easier to look at an opportunity and pass on it immediately if it goes outside of the life you want to live. For example, many freelancers and VAs are bombarded with offers and opportunities that are multi-level marketing situations. If you have decided in advance that you don’t want to do that, it makes it easier to say no to it.

4. Abandon projects only when necessary. Once your long-term goals are in place, don’t abandon the project until you get there. The only exceptions would be if your project starts costing you far more money than anticipated, or the landscape has changed significantly enough to undermine the project’s effectiveness entirely. One thing I see a lot is that many VAs change things up instead of sticking to things. Use data to help guide your choices. Don’t just stop doing something because you want to; know why. For example, if you have decided to use a new lead magnet to attract new clients, don’t give it only a month and give up. Give it a real plan and watch your data for answers.

5. Keep an Idea File or Idea Parking Lot. It’s okay to have a million ideas. This is part of what’s fun for a lot of us entrepreneurial types. However, you want to just save these ideas until you really do have some time to pursue them, and consider them when you’re done with the first thing. In my idea parking lot, I have my ideas for new products, names of training programs, new services to offer… the main thing is that it’s in a text file or a notepad and not in my head.

If you really want to stop chasing shiny objects, it’s imperative that you set up a plan asap. Know what you want from your business and your life, and then you will be in a better position to know whether something is really a distraction or if it’s something you should go after.

If you enjoyed this episode and want more work-from-home hacks, check out my new Work Management Hacks Project Plan and Template Kit. The project plan includes a Step-by-Step Marketing Plan, task tracking calendar, checklists, and lots of templates so that you don’t have to recreate the wheel. Most of the documents come in .doc format so that you can customize them to your business needs. But here’s the beautiful part, not only can you use these ready-made templates and plans in your OWN business, but you can also use with your CLIENTS as well!
Here’s how:

  • Use the project plan as your guide while you strategize with your client as you discuss each marketing plan step in depth
  • Walk through the questions with your client, writing out the answers on the pages
  • Wrap up the call with a plan of action for how to proceed and assist your client in their business

You’ll come across as a total pro as you take initiative and have all the bases covered. Create a new service offering with every project plan!

You can find the product below or head over to my VA Business Builder Boutique by clicking on Shop in the menu bar.

Join me next week as we go over How to Clear the Way for New and Better Business Habits. Until then, have a great week.

 

Did you enjoy this episode and want to put it into action? Check out this project plan and template kit!

Work Management Hacks Project Plan & Template Kit

$35.00

Work Management Hacks Project Plan

You’re an incredibly talented and creative entrepreneur and people love your work.

But you have to admit, your business feels messy and chaotic and you know that it’s negatively affecting how you show up for your clients.

  • You have trouble managing your time
  • You tend to take on too many clients at once
  • You don’t have an efficient system for doing consult calls and onboarding your clients
  • You don’t have a time limit on your calls, so you always end up spending way too much time talking with clients on Skype about their projects instead of working on them
  • You frequently drop the ball on client communications because your schedule is so overburdened (and your clients wonder where you went)
  • You sometimes make promises to your clients that you can’t keep
  • You allow your clients to control your time and you don’t really have any boundaries in place
  • You have a tendency to hop from client project to client project… doing just enough on each one to keep your clients from complaining about the lack of progress

And secretly, you sometimes get sick of your own drama.

The Work Management Hacks Project Plan & Template Kit includes a Step-by-Step Marketing Plan + Templates + Checklists + More!

Tackle your marketing to-do list and put systems in place using my done-for-you marketing plan and templates!

Here’s what you get:

  • Step-by-Step Marketing Plan (.doc format)
    • Getting Started
      • Marketing Strategy Overview
      • Timeline & Budget
    • Section One: Business & Lifestyle Goals
    • Section Two: Get Clear On What You Do and Who You Work With
    • Section Three: High-Level Planning & Milestones
    • Section Four: Daily Organization & Time Management
  • Templates + Worksheets + Swipe Files + And More! (.doc format)
    • Business and Life Goals Template
    • Ideal Project Worksheet
    • Ideal Client Worksheet
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    • Ideal Client Avatar Template
    • Non-Billable Tasks Template
    • Life and work Goals Contract
    • 3 Client Response Email Series Templates
    • Daily Calendar
    • Weekly Calendar
    • Monthly Calendar
    • Annual Calendar
  • Task Tracking Calendar (.doc format)
    • This calendar is such a simple but powerful tool with task reminders to help you stay on schedule and meet deadlines.
  • Checklists (.doc format)
    • Client Criteria Checklist
    • Maintenance Essentials Checklist
      • Set-up
      • Maintain
  • Monthly Results Report (.pdf format)
    • A fill-in-the-blank report that your assistant can fill in at the end of every month or the completion of your project. It will give you a snapshot of your business after the new marketing plan has been implemented, what your assistant worked on, what else she can do to help you clear your plate, share feedback, unexpected hurdles, etc.

Your project plan can be used in your own business or you can use with your clients!

These DFY project plans are chock full of automation techniques, time-saving systems, and step-by-step guides to show you exactly what you need to do and when. Most of the documents come in .doc format so that you can customize them to your business needs. But here’s the beautiful part, not only can you use these ready-made templates and plans in your OWN business, but you can also use with your CLIENTS as well!

Here’s how:

  1. Use the project plan as your guide while you strategize with your client as you discuss each marketing plan step in depth
  2. Walk through the questions with your client, writing out the answers on the pages
  3. Wrap up the call with a plan of action for how to proceed and assist your client in their business

You’ll come across as a total pro as you take initiative and have all the bases covered. Create a new service offering with every project plan!

#147:  The Cure for Shiny Object Syndrome
#147:  The Cure for Shiny Object Syndrome

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