In today’s episode, we are talking about entrepreneurial shiny object syndrome.
Shiny object syndrome is that feeling that there’s always something new that you need to learn about, there’s always something new that you need to buy, and there’s always something else between you and your business growth goals.
Here for the links referenced in the show notes?
Episode 253: Mapping your unique client attraction process – tashcorbin.com/253
Ask a Question – tashcorbin.com/question
In this episode, we’re going to talk all about how to make sure that you’re making your investment decisions from the right place, and how to discern if it’s shiny object syndrome or not.
Let’s dive in!
There’s a big joke and lots of memes in the Heart-Centred community about shiny object syndrome. It is funny sometimes to just laugh at ourselves because we’re excited about new projects before we’ve finished the last, or we haven’t even completed the six courses we signed up for but we’re already looking for another one to do to help us achieve another goal.
Shiny object syndrome is that sense that there’s always something new and shiny to play with, purchase, invest in or do… and that can cost us.
Even though it is funny and we all experience shiny object syndrome, there are things that it can cost us.
Cost 1: Momentum
It costs us momentum because we haven’t seen something through and we’re switching from idea to idea.
Similarly, if you’re doing a course – whether it’s something you’re consuming, something you’re creating, or something you’re promoting – if you’re jumping from thing to thing, that can cost you momentum.
We want to make sure that we’re minimising that lost momentum and lost time.
I talk about this quite a lot when it comes to niching.
A lot of people have three little sub-niches, so they’ll talk to one for a month, then another for a month, and then another for a month. But actually, whilst you are switching from niche to niche to niche, you’re actually costing yourself momentum, progress and return on investment, because you stop just as you may be about to hit that tipping point.
Shiny object syndrome can cost us momentum.
Cost 2: Growth
If we are switching from thing to thing, and we’ve lost that momentum (especially in terms of presence, audience growth, and people seeing us as a subject matter expert in one particular area) then that can actually cost us growth and results in our business.
Cost 3: Time
The lost time that comes from thinking there must be another answer can mean that we spend more time looking for answers than we do just implementing and moving forward.
Especially in consumption mode, if we look at shiny object syndrome as jumping from course to course or mentor to mentor, that can also cost us because we always feel like we’re a beginner.
We always feel like there’s something new to learn and it can be quite overwhelming to always feel like you’re in beginner mode for everything that you’re doing in your business.
I love taking a learning mindset and a beginner’s mindset to this idea of business. But for each individual thing that I’m learning, I want to make sure I get to the intermediate and advanced levels.
For example, you buy a course on how to run five-day challenges, you run one fairly poorly because it was your first time around, and then you decide that maybe challenges aren’t your thing. So then you learn how to run webinars. You buy a course on how to run webinars, you run one or two webinars, and decide it’s not your thing so you do 30-day challenges instead.
And the cycle continues.
You end up jumping from thing to thing to thing, but you’re consistently a beginner in all of those things.
If you had just stuck with the first thing (five-day challenges), learned how to refine and scale that thing, and got to the intermediate and advanced levels of running five-day challenges, you would have seen far more results than if you just kept jumping from thing to thing.
Cost 4: Money
It can cost us money from an income perspective because we’re not sticking with our zone of genius. We’re not sticking with getting something to work and really refining, reviewing and scaling it up.
But it can also cost us money in terms of expenses.
We’re constantly thinking that someone else must have a magical answer, or there must be one magical course that you need to buy. This means we’re consistently spending money on what we perceive as that new shiny solution, but it’s not actually the thing that’s going to fix the problem that you have.
You don’t need another strategy – you just need to really nail the foundations underneath that strategy and stick with it for a while so that you can do those refinements and get those improvements happening.
Where does shiny object syndrome come from? And how do we move ahead?
Before we dive into the four layers of how we move on from shiny object syndrome, I want us to really understand where that comes from and what’s underneath it, because that can help us to identify:
1. Is this actually something I need? Or is this shiny object syndrome?
2. If it’s shiny object syndrome, why am I getting drawn in?
At the core of all shiny object syndrome is fear.
There’s a fear of missing out.
It might be a fear of missing out on money, because you did a launch about topic X and a couple of people asked about topic Y, so you feel like you have to create something new because otherwise you’re leaving money on the table.
You don’t have to be all things to all people.
This was something that I did quite terribly when I ran my Take Off program for the first time around.
I created the Take Off program to help people really nail their foundations and get clients coming in fairly consistently.
The Take Off program was a phenomenal success in terms of what I delivered that first time around.
But then some of the students in Take Off were asking what’s next. Rather than relaunch the Take Off program and be really known for being in that space, I decided that that meant I needed to create the next-level program. So I went in and created the next level program.
But I had created all this momentum with the first launch of the Take Off program, and I didn’t actually rinse and repeat that launch. I didn’t scale that launch up.
The number of sales I made for my second program was less than half of my first launch of the Take Off program. On top of that, many people assumed that I wasn’t working with people in the early stages of business anymore because my second program was more advanced.
I wish that I could go back and tell past Tash to just work with people as VIPs if they want to work with me in the next phase, and to relaunch the Take Off program over and over again.
But I had this fear of missing out on being those people’s mentor from here because I didn’t have another self-study program or another group mentoring program.
I was worried I was going to miss out on those sales.
In reality, if I had just focused on relaunching the Take Off program, I would have made far more money. I would have been able to create that snowball of momentum with the niche that I was focused on for the Take Off program and I wouldn’t have wound up ten months later thinking that maybe it was time to relaunch the Take Off program again… but having lost all of my momentum with the right niche for that program.
That fear of missing out on the sale or that fear of missing out on a special offer can often lead us to engage with the shiny object because we’re worried that we’re going to miss out on something. We think there’s some kind of magical thing that’s going to happen and we won’t be able to be part of it.
That’s one of the big fears.
There are other fears that can also drive shiny object syndrome.
Fears like believing that what you’re doing is not going to work, so you create a backup plan of something else to try.
I constantly see people in the midst of launching, where they start to fear that their launch lead magnet (webinars) isn’t going to work and that the launch isn’t going to work, so they then go off and look for other things they can add to that launch. What else could they incorporate as part of that launch process? Do they need to do low-ticket and do an upsell as part of their launch?
That fear that what you’re currently doing won’t work drives you to go and look out for new solutions… even though you don’t yet actually know whether it’s going to work or not.
Often, it’s just that we’re asking the wrong question. Stop asking whether the launch will work or not. Instead, start asking “How do I make this launch work?”
Instead of looking for new things to make that launch work, look at ways that you can really nail the strategy you’ve chosen.
For most businesses and for most people that I work with, we can make any strategy work. We can make any platform work.
We can make this work!
The question is: What is missing from this? And how do we scale up what it is that you want to do?
It’s not that five-day challenges are better than webinars. They each have pros and cons. They each work to different skill sets and strengths. And they each work for different niches.
Rather than worrying and having that fear that what you’ve committed to won’t work, instead, get tenacious about making what you’ve committed to work.
Another big fear can be the fear that you’re not enough.
I’m not enough, so I need that extra qualification.
I’m not enough, so I need to have a mentor who gives me permission to do the next thing.
I am not enough so I need to have 16 different offers instead of just having one signature offer.
Another big fear that has struck me many times is the fear that it should be harder than this.
Things start to feel quite easy, and subconsciously, that feels uncomfortable, so we get all caught up in shiny object syndrome because we’re looking for more work. We’re looking to add workload because there’s a subconscious or conscious guilt/belief that this is too easy.
We go looking for new things.
Then the big one when it comes to shiny objects syndrome is that fear that someone else has nailed it because they know some secret that you don’t.
The reason why we have shiny object syndrome driven by that fear is because that’s the exact messaging a lot of marketing specialists and gurus use to make you feel that way so that you buy their products, courses and mentoring.
They’ve discovered the “secret” to:
- Going viral on Instagram
- Super high conversion email marketing
- Making five-day challenges work as a paid lead magnet
- Having low ticket offers create six-figure-a-year income
We are consistently bombarded by messaging that tells us there is a secret answer. It tells us there is this one tiny pivot that we can make to create a massive income leap.
There’s this one magical process that is between you and your big goals and dreams and all it’s going to take is you buying this thing and learning the “secret”.
But in 99.9% of cases, it’s not that you don’t know something… it’s that you haven’t worked out how to make that something work for your business and your niche.
And that comes back to your foundations.
Now onto the juicy part…
How do we create that sense of resilience against shiny object syndrome, and ensure that we’re not falling victim to shiny object syndrome consistently in our businesses?
It comes down to the four layers of confidence…
Layer 1: Confidence in your foundations
If you know you’ve got the right niche, your messaging is resonant, you’ve got a clear value proposition, you know your offer is really good and you have confidence in that offer, you will be less susceptible to shiny object syndrome.
Getting that proof of concept and confidence in your foundations will help you be more immune to shiny object syndrome.
If that’s something you don’t think you have nailed, or you feel like you have some wobbles with your foundations, then focus your time, energy and attention there.
You don’t get that security of foundations by hiring yet another strategist to teach you how to do webinars, or hiring a copywriter to write all of your sales pages and emails for you.
(Side note: there is no person who would be able to do all of the writing that needs to be done in your business for you. There is lots of writing and copy that needs to be created. And great copywriters ask you questions about your foundations. If you still can’t answer those questions, the copy they’re going to be able to produce for you is going to be less than ideal.)
We prove our foundations and create confidence in our foundations by making sales in a high connection way.
The fastest way to prove your niche is to go out there, share content and offers with your niche, and have them engage.
The fastest way to prove your offer is something that your audience really wants from you is to get a bunch of leads into sales conversations through some very simple high-connection strategies and pitch your offer. Qualify, do the sales conversation, and pitch your offer.
If you have ten sales conversations and you don’t make a single sale, you’ve got an issue.
No shiny object is going to fix that.
No challenge strategy or special reach strategy is going to solve the fact that you don’t have an offer people want to buy and you don’t know how to express the value proposition of that offer in a way that has people excited to invest.
Make sure you’ve got that deep confidence in your foundations.
If you don’t have that confidence, then be tenacious about getting that sorted first and foremost.
Layer 2: Confidence in your strategy to attract and convert clients
I present that as the client attraction process.
If you haven’t read my podcast episode mapping your unique client attraction process, I highly recommend you check that out here: CLICK ME
It is critical and foundational.
Having confidence in your client attraction process is a vital part in avoiding shiny object syndrome.
It gives you so much confidence when you know that your primary:
- Social media platform is Facebook
- Reach strategy is being in other people’s groups and running low-cost ads
- Nurture strategy is your weekly podcast and email marketing
- Lead generation strategy is running webinars and engaging in high-conversion one-to-one outreach
- Conversion strategy is having sales conversations and running special offers every eight weeks
If you have confidence in the strategy that you’re using and know that all you’re doing is refining and scaling up that strategy so that it’s bringing in the right level of reach to have the number of leads that you need to make the number of sales that you need, then you’ll be far more capable of resisting that shiny object syndrome.
Building your confidence in your client attraction process also allows you to refine the messaging that you’re taking in.
For example, I know that my primary social media platform is Facebook. It’s not Instagram. I play with Instagram, I still have a presence on Instagram, but I’m not recording a reel every single day or using stories consistently.
Instagram is a play space for me.
That means that I don’t need to follow content creators who teach Instagram strategy. All it will do is bring up a bunch of shiny object syndrome for me, so why would I create that sense in myself?
I recently went through and unfollowed a bunch of people on Instagram and Facebook, because the core social media platform that they teach is Instagram, and I really don’t need it.
That being said, I do help other people with their Instagram, so I have two really amazing Instagram strategists that I follow to ensure that I am still up to speed with what works on Instagram and what the core strategies are that people use.
Those two Instagram strategists keep me abreast of everything that’s happening on Instagram.
I do not need to have dozens of Instagram creators and Instagram specialists popping up in my newsfeed talking about their clients’ successes, because it will create that sense of FOMO for me.
Layer 3: Confidence in your existing mentors
This is related to the previous layer.
It’s far easier to avoid shiny object syndrome and to avoid following that new shiny mentor when you have confidence in your existing mentors. When you know who the five mentors are that you really align with and you like the strategies they teach, the way that they show up, and the values that they demonstrate in their business.
Ask yourself: To what extent am I confident in the existing mentors that I’m working with? To what extent am I confident that they will be able to provide me with the appropriate level of support for where I’m at with my strategy and foundations?
If you’ve got that nailed, you can become so much more resilient to that shiny object syndrome.
That might mean that you need to make a strategic decision to choose a mentor.
A lot of people know that they want to work with a mentor, but they’re still dilly-dallying.
They’ve been following a bunch of different people for months (if not years) and they still have never really invested in that high-touch support, one-to-one mentorship, or having a dedicated mentor that they are working with on an ongoing basis.
They’re still trying to glean as much as they can from the free or low-ticket stuff. When actually, all they need is someone that they can have a conversation with regularly.
If they had made that investment decision, they would be able to block out a bunch of that fear-based messaging that’s popping up from all the different people that they’re following.
Layer 4: Confidence in yourself
If you are still feeling really unconfident about whether you’re cut out for business and you don’t know if you’re ready to be visible, then that takes commitment. If all of that confidence in yourself is still not there, then that takes a choice.
That often also takes mentorship to really see why you’re discrediting yourself, or why you’re lacking confidence in yourself.
One of the fastest ways that you can grow your confidence is through taking action consistently.
You don’t learn how to ride a bike by theorising and mentally preparing alone. You need to actually go out there and make a few mistakes. Go out there and have a practice.
For a lot of people, that confidence in yourself as an online business owner simply comes through the practice of being an online business owner, sharing things and going out and talking to potential clients.
There are lots of ways that we can be susceptible to shiny object syndrome. There are also lots of ways that we can create resilience against shiny object syndrome.
Looking at those four layers (foundations, strategy (your client attraction process), your existing mentors, and yourself), where do you lack confidence the most? Where can you be sure to create that sense of confidence and work on it, so that you are creating more and more resilience to shiny object syndrome moving forward?
That will improve your momentum. That will improve your results and the income that you’re making. It will mean that you can feel that sense of confidence that you’re moving from beginner to intermediate and advanced levels on things, because you stick with them.
Hopefully, you found this episode of the podcast really helpful.
If YOU have a question or if you’ve got something you’d like me to talk about on the podcast, I would love it if you would share it with me.
All you need to do is go to tashcorbin.com/question and let me know: What is it that you’re struggling with? What do you have questions about?
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Thank you so much for joining me for this episode of the Heart-Centred Business Podcast.
Until next time, I cannot WAIT to see you SHINE.