Shiny Object Syndrome — What it is and how to avoid it

Let’s talk about shiny object in your business or shiny object as a business owner, a new entrepreneur. This is something we’re seeing a lot of, especially in the last couple of years, as more and more people are starting businesses or starting side hustles. They’re leaving their full time jobs and trying to really build a business and an income from home that is going to allow them to work from wherever they want and to have freedom and flexibility.

I see from a lot of new and existing business owners is they’re looking for ways to add revenue into their business, or they’re looking for ways to set up multiple streams of income. It’s something they’re really struggling with because they’re seeing all of the different ideas that are out there through articles, podcasts, or Pinterest. They’re seeing the Top 10, Top 50 side hustles or other sources telling them about the best 100 side hustles they can start right now.

They find themselves stuck in that research phase and instead of moving forward on one, or two projects — while also making money from these projects — they’re stuck on a hamster wheel. They’re not moving forward, growing their business, or scaling to the point where they’re able to leave their full-time job because they’re making THAT much money hustling for themselves.

A couple of things that I want to talk about is what you need to do to figure out what is going to be the most fruitful for you. What is going to be worth it for you? What is going to be worth dedicating your time and attention to? The first thing you really want to pay attention to is: is this revenue stream or this business going to support the life that I am trying to build?

The reason you really want to start off there is to ask yourself what exactly you’re trying to build. Do you only want to work five hours a week? Realistically, a business or a project is going to need 20 to 50 hours of your time and attention every week for multiple years as you get it up and running. Typically what’s going to happen is you’re going to feel burnt out, you’re not going to feel fulfilled by that thing, and you’re much more likely to push away and feel you’ve wasted time.

It might be a great idea and it might be amazing where you think, ‘yeah I can make good money off of this’, but if it is not in alignment with the life that you want for yourself or the life that you’re building for yourself, it’s, there’s no point. Drop it, move on. That’s huge. A lot of people lack self awareness to really be able to sit and say you know what, this is a great opportunity but it’s more work than I’m willing to put in right now. It requires more time than I have to give. Self awareness is so, so key as a business owner so that you can really identify opportunities that are or are not a good fit for you or for your business. It’s really the first thing on your list of side hustle ideas you need to do: look through them and immediately pick off the things that are not going to be a good fit for you.

And if you don’t, if you haven’t already come up with a list of side hustle ideas. I really suggest you start there, right, if you have all these different ideas floating around in your mind, get them all on a list, get them all on a piece of paper, whatever, so that you are able to do this exercise of just running through them all and thinking about how much time is this going to take how much attention is this going to take, do I want that, right, is that a good fit for you. The next thing that you should really look at is what is the timeline to get it up and running, right, how much time how much attention. Is it going to take for you to be able to start making revenue or making money from that thing, right, whether it’s a revenue stream in your current business, or it’s a new business idea, it’s a side hustle idea, how much time and attention is it going to require from you to get up and running. Okay, so for example, if you already work in marketing if you’re a graphic designer by trade at your day job. The easiest way to start making a side hustle is to use those skills freelancing and start getting some clients right that is going to be the fastest thing that’s going to be able to get you up and running because you can just get a couple of clients you already have the skill sets there, and you can start getting paid immediately, right, if you have no experience launching an E commerce brand that’s going to take a little bit more time. Sure you might be able to scale that larger than doing freelance client work on the side, but it is going to be a slower slope to get you up and running and making that money. Okay, so thinking about what do you want from this money, what do you want from this revenue stream for your life for your business, and decide, do I want the faster money coming in, do I want that low hanging fruit that I can slowly grow and optimized and systematize and improve upon. That’s how I got started, right, or is this something that I’m willing to put in the time and the attention to get it set up to build it out before I start seeing some of that money right and those are the types of projects that I’m now able to focus more on because I started with the low hanging fruit, and I built a business that really was bringing in, you know, multiple six figures pretty quickly and pretty easily. So now I have the ability to focus on some of those longer term projects right and revenue streams. So that’s really the next thing that I would look at when you’re looking at your list is, do I need money right now, do I want money right now as fast as possible, that’s a consideration, right, and people want to think us to think about oh, in a perfect world, what do you want to be doing, follow up but for a lot of you, it’s money, right you want money and that’s okay, there’s nothing wrong with that, you want to do something that is again going to support the life that you want to build for yourself. You don’t want to do something that you hate that you’re gonna get burned out on. But if money is an important part of that puzzle don’t discount it just because everybody online is, you know, making you feel like, oh it’s spirituality, you should feel in touch with it you should feel lit up by your business every day. Sometimes seeing that money deposit into your account. That is what makes you feel lit up, and that’s okay there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Once you’ve narrowed down your list to maybe five options or ten max, you want to start to think about okay what of these is going to take an investment in money for me to get started on and am I willing and able to do that. Again, starting with freelance client work that’s very low amount of money investment for you to get started there, right, if you are wanting to create and sell a product, right, not a print on demand, but an actual product that’s going to not only be a lot of your time and a lot of your attention to get up and running, but that’s also going to cost you some seed money to get started.

Is that possible for you? Is that doable for you? Can you do that and are you willing to do that? That’s the next question. So we’re kind of knocking off items on this list just by asking some of these questions right, and then once you get down to three to five of those ideas maybe even less. What I would start to do is look at okay what are some of the steps that I would actually take the initial steps I would take to get started on this sketch that out, right, and walk into, what are some of those things, because something you thought initially, oh this is going to be so easy to get up and running for me. Once you actually are outlining the steps that you’re going to need to complete to do those things and you’re estimating how much time it’s going to take me. Do I need to invest in any coaching or, you know, something of course to learn how to do this or you know to get that product developed right, once you actually sketch out these things, this is where that self awareness comes in again, you might realize, oh this isn’t as easy as I thought it was gonna be. So maybe I’ll put this one on the backburner for later. Maybe I’ll focus on this one or this other one that are going to be a lot easier, easier for me and I’ll know I’ve earmarked that want to come back to later. If and when I want to write and that’s what I was saying, I’ve done a lot of that were we focused on the easy revenue streams building those up first, so that then we had more time and we had more flexibility to focus on some of those longer run projects that we knew were going to take a little bit more time.

If you go through all of these things if you ask yourself all these questions you should land on one or two of those revenue stream ideas, those income stream ideas those side hustle projects and from there you can really decide. This one makes me more excited right I’m more interested in this one right now. And the next thing that you want to do is start, take action right set up concrete goals around starting that thing, each of those initial action items that you listed out, put a deadline around each of those, because that’s the next biggest thing that you see people talking about starting businesses, people talking about starting side hustles are adding revenue streams on to their business, but they never do because they don’t put that deadline on themselves to start executing right so they’re stuck in that ideation phase, and they never get to that execution phase and the way that you do that is holding yourself accountable by setting deadlines, talk about it to other people. So you get some of that external motivation, join a mastermind, join Facebook groups, anything like that to get that extra motivation and just get started so that you can start celebrating those little wins, you got your first client, or you reached out to five people to offer you know your services to them, or created if you’re doing print on demand you created your first five designs whatever so you can start counting those wins, celebrating those wins and building that momentum to really go and run and get started.

This is how you harness, shiny object syndrome to make it work for you. It’s okay if you have a ton of ideas. That’s not a bad thing. You just need to realistically run through this list of questions and ask yourself these questions so that you are able to move forward on something that is going to be impactful for you, for your business, and for your life. You’re going to be able to start to see those results versus just running aroundfrom one thing to the other and getting stuck in that ideation phase.

I hope this was really really helpful, and I will see you next time on no fluff, small business simplified. And guys, just one quick thing. Please, if you have been enjoying no fluff Small Business simplified, make sure you go and leave a review every single month, reviewers are entered for a chance to win a free coaching call with me. And, guys, this is the easiest, most cost effective way to get my eyes on your business. If you are stuck in this ideation phase and you’re wondering, which of these things should I start, which of these revenue streams, should I build on to my business or which side hustle, should I start a coaching session, is going to be so impactful for you. We can talk through these things and I can really challenge you to take a look at these things in a more specific way and help you to be a little bit more aware of yourself and of your tendencies, so if you haven’t already, please please please go leave a review so you can get entered to win a free coaching session for me, and I am always on Instagram at Sam dot Deena cola. If you have any questions, I would love to connect to you guys on Instagram and I will see you next time on No Fluff, Small Business Simplified.