3 Top Tips To Avoid "Shiny Object Syndrome" (Your Biz will Thank You for it!) | By Ruby McGuire

Staying motivated when you run your own business can be tough sometimes. You get to be your own boss - and there is nobody to be accountable to.

Sounds fantastic, doesn't it?

Well, yes and no. If you need to get things done and you're constantly getting distracted, then your business can feel like a noose around your neck. Your work and life can blend together, and days run away with you with little or not much getting done.

When you run your own business, you're always on the lookout for the next thing that's going to help you be more successful. It's natural. But all too often I see people distracting themselves and spending valuable time on things that don't lead them towards their business goals. Or people don't see things through, constantly jumping from one shiny object to the next.

In this article, I want to share with you 3 simple tips to help you focus, and stop chasing shiny objects!

1. Get Really Clear On Your Business Model and/or Plan

A business model is essentially your plan for how you'll bring in money to create a profitable business. It includes knowing your products and services, how you plan to market yourself, products and services etc.

Your business model helps you get clear on the direction your business is heading in, and therefore know what's good to say yes - and no - to. This makes it much easier to decide whether to follow those shiny objects attracting your attention.

For example, someone asks me to write a post on nutrition. While it's something I could do (and I might even find it interesting!), it doesn't fit with my business model. My focus is business coaching/mentoring, specifically around getting visible to generate income. Having this clarity allows me to say no to opportunities that will take up my time, and don't fit my business direction.

What to do to get clear on your business model:

  • Spend time getting really clear on who you work with, how you help, what your longer term plans are for your business in terms of generating income, and how you plan to market yourself.
  • Then, when an opportunity comes in, FIRST ask yourself if it fits with your business model! If it doesn't, then you can simply choose not to take it.

TIP: Have some wording on hand that you can use if someone asks you to support them in something that doesn't fit with your business model/plan, eg. "Thanks so much for thinking of me, unfortunately this doesn't fit in with my business model and the direction my business is heading in. I can introduce you to XXX who might be a good fit for you though. Wishing you every success."

There will be times when it a request or opportunity doesn't fit your business model, but the project excites you so much that you want to take it. That's okay. You can always choose to take on what I call a 'passion project' - as long as it doesn't distract you from your overall business model. But think carefully. If it doesn't fit your business model, make sure it doesn't also "cost you" time spent on revenue generation and growing your business.

2. Set a Timer

Do you find yourself going down the rabbit hole of one of these, or something similar, instead of working on your business?

  • Catching up on your friend's social media news feeds?
  • Catching the latest YouTube video on something related to life or business?
  • Checking your email inbox every two minutes?

If you do, then a timer can be your best friend! 

What to do to make using a Timer work for you:

  • Decide the length of time you want to spend on social media/email/YouTube or similar.
  • Set an intention. Define the actual things you want to achieve during that time (eg. I will comment on two posts, share one post of my own and clear my notifications).
  • Focus during that time. Keep reminding yourself (you might need to do this a lot!) that you have set clear intentions on what you want to achieve, and until you've done those things you are not allowed to get distracted.
  • The toughie. When the timer goes off, stop what you're doing and focus on your next task.

3. Invest In The Right Training and Help

There are always going to be people that tell you that the best way to grow your business is to do their 'thing'. They believe in their thing, are experts in their thing, and can teach you about their thing. And it may all be true...

BUT is their thing your thing?

In other words, just because it works for someone else, doesn't mean it matches your values, business model and who you are...

Let's think visibility here. There are so many ways you can be visible in your business, for example blogging, videos, Facebook "Lives", networking, connecting in social media groups to name just a few. And there will be courses from different people on each of these.

You could do any of them - but which light you up? Which of these ideas to boost your visibility fit your personality type and the dreamie clients that you want to attract? Use that as your basis for deciding which choice you make.

What to do (when deciding what to invest your time, energy and money in):

  • Decide what skills you're lacking in and choose to develop your skillset in those areas.
  • Find something interesting? Do a common sense check. What are you trying to achieve in your business? Does it help you in the right direction? TIP: Your business model will help you here.
  • Choose one training program that's going to help you focus on one key area, then take action and complete that training before moving onto the next training.

IMPORTANT: If you're trying out new things in your business, be sure to test them and check what actual results they've generated for you.

Investing isn't just about money either, it's about time - which equals money. So when investing your time, money and energy - work out just how useful this new addition to your business really is - and make sure you're not just getting distracted by shiny things!


Over to you. Which one of these areas could you try to help you avoid "Shiny Object Syndrome"?

  1. Get all grown up and creating a business model?
  2. Set a timer to create some focus?
  3. Do a common sense check to make sure you're investing in the right things?

Some of those "shiny things" could lead to amazing opportunities, so I'm not saying ditch them altogether. Instead, be discerning - and make informed decisions.

Let us know in the comments below what your bright, shiny objects tend to be. We'd love to know!

If you want to rock your visibility and have a life, check out her monthly programme, Rock Your Visibility (with a cherry on top) where she helps you create business growth through being visible, or check out her Visibility Quiz, where you can find out just how visible you really are!

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Contributing Author:

Ruby McGuire is a Business & Mindset Queen. She's an Accredited Master Coach & Master Mentor with the IAPC&M, Trainer, Inspirational Speaker and Author of multiple books. She loves helping her clients step up and become leaders (aka Queens) of their businesses. She helps her clients develop their leadership and business skills, create a success mindset and attract dreamy clients. She is a Brit on a mission to live a simpler life without marketing on social media so that she can spend more time in her beautiful Scottish surroundings. You can find her at her pretty online home, over on her podcast show, Rock Your Fabulous Biz, and here where she shares her Mini Guide to Marketing Without Social Media. When she’s not working you’ll find her surrounded by books, making hand-made cards, and enjoying life with her hubby, little dog and chickens (usually with a Whittard Vanilla cappuccino in her hand)!

Learn more about Ruby & see all their articles here >>

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