If you find yourself constantly chasing the next best thing or the newest recommendation on the block – all to keep up with the Jones-es of business – then, today’s episode is just what the doctor ordered. We’re chatting all about how to know whether shiny object syndrome is preventing your business growth AND what to do if it is. So, without further ado, let’s jump right in.
Links for This Episode
Podcast Episode Recommendations
- #48: Have 5 Minutes? 7 Ways to Use Small Pockets of Time to Grow Your Business
- #46: Streamline Your Online Business: 3 Templates To Create ASAP for Business Growth
- #26: 7 Online Marketing Tools I Use as a Busy Mom + One I Don’t
- #3: Eliminate Overwhelm and Choose the Right Tech for Your Business
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Is Shiny Object Syndrome Preventing Your Business Growth? 3 Ways to Know
Well hey there and welcome to another episode of the Mama Business podcast. I’m your host Sarah Brumley and I’m so excited that you’re here with me today.
And today’s discussion comes right out of something I’ve dealt with for many years in my business and no matter how good I think I am with it, still struggle with it. And that’s this idea of shiny object syndrome – which now that I’m saying it isn’t really an idea but an actual mindset that a lot of us find ourselves in. It’s the desire to have something new or something that someone else has, even if we didn’t know we needed or wanted it beforehand. Or maybe we knew we didn’t want it and yet, someone made it look like the thing to have. So…then we have to have it.
You know what I’m talking about, right?
Hehe…so something you might not know about me is that I’m the oldest of four kids. My mom had us all within a period of almost five years so you can imagine that we were thick as thieves growing up. Well, some of our home videos clearly share the fact that my younger sister who is 18 months younger than me, always had more fun with things than I did. I’d play with a toy and it was just a toy, but when I watched her play with that very same toy, she made it seem magical. And then I wanted it too so that I could be magical with it.
…and, honestly…once I got it back into my own hands…it still didn’t have that magical appeal.
And, for a lot of us, this is the way things play out as we grow our online businesses. Because, there’s always something new. There’s always someone else recommending the next best thing. And they make it sound so enticing that it can be hard to refrain from pulling the credit card out of the wallet and buying it on the spot.
Trust me…I’m guilty of it myself.
But the problem with this mentality is that it’s easy to spend a lot of money, time and effort on things that DON’T actually help OUR businesses. And by doing so, we reduce our profit margins because we are spending money we could be saving for that family vacation, and we keep ourselves from doing the things that actually move the needle toward growth and increasing our revenue.
Today I want to shine a light on three things to consider when you find yourself wanting that new “shiny” program or platform or strategy that someone is recommending to you. Because…how does the saying go? Not all that glitters is gold? We could probably change it to “not all that glitters is meant for me…no matter how pretty it might be…”?
Consideration #1: Need
Knowing that, the first thing to consider is whether that “shiny object” someone is recommending to you is something you actually need and, taking it a step further – whether it’s something you’ve been considering implementing.
For example, just this last week I had someone I really respect in the business industry tell me about a new task management system that made a huge difference in her business. And while she wasn’t talking directly to me, she said that anyone who wanted to successfully scale a business should use it as well.
Of course, that had me thinking, “well then…I better check that out.” And I did take a brief look at it, because I love to do that kind of thing and report back to you about what really works and what doesn’t.
But here’s the deal. I don’t need a new task management system. I really don’t. You know why? Because I’ve perfected my own over the years and it works so well for me that I don’t even have to think about it when I’m using it. It’s just something I use as, like, an offshoot of myself.
…and that’s really how it should be.
So…in this case, that “shiny object” that looked like so much fun and promised such amazing results…just isn’t something I need. But you know what, I had to know that in order to say no. I also had to know that I wasn’t in the market to make a switch or have a new program added to my existing tech stack. So, question 1 is “is this something you need?”. And if the answer is no, then let it go. Trust me, you’ll be happy you did.
So, the first thing you absolutely have to do is know whether you NEED the type of program or strategy offered.
Consideration #2: Money
And that brings us to the second thing I want you to consider, because what if you ARE in the market for a task management system? In that case, you have to make the decision whether you can afford the program or strategy that you’ve been offered.
And I’m not talking about whether you have the money in your bank account today to pay for the initial month of this platform that offers you the shiny world of greatness. NO. I’m talking, do you actually have enough revenue coming in to make it feasible to have this program or platform for years to come? Because, $10, $20, even $77 per month might not seem like a lot to you right now, but what happens if you have an off month and you bring in less revenue than normal? Or you have an extra expense that isn’t optional? Or you start realizing that all of the money that you are making is going back into programs and platforms that you didn’t actually need – so you really can’t afford to take that vacation with your family that was the whole reason you got into business anyway?
Now…don’t get me wrong. Spending money on the right tech, platforms, and strategies isn’t a bad thing. Not at all. In fact, I highly recommend it. But, use this as a caution to actually do your research and make sure what you choose IS the one for you – and, that its financially feasible.
And…if it is for you, but it’s not financially feasible, then it might be time to save up some money until it is.
Consideration #3: Time
So, once you know that you need it and can afford it, that brings us to the final thing to consider which is your time. And, we all know that – as mamas – our time is super limited. Which means we have to use it wisely.
And if you are considering implementing a new tool or strategy within your business, then you have to ask yourself whether you have the time to actually do so. Sure, you want it, need it, and possibly can afford it, plus it promises to be just the thing you need going forward, but do you have the time to make it work for you?
Because, if you don’t – then it’s just probably not worth the investment or the frustration that will likely ensue.
Once again, let’s use the example of that task management system. If you need it and can afford it, but don’t have time to actually implement it in your business OR you know that it will take you away from something more important – like taking care of your current clients or getting new ones – then it’s probably not a good time for you to purchase it. Instead, put it on your list for the future and come back to it when you have the bandwidth to implement it in a way that actually works for you – and your business – in the long-term.
Say No to Shiny Object Syndrome Preventing Business Growth
So, let’s do a quick recap. The three things to consider when a shiny object crosses your path are the following:
- Is it something you need?
- Can you afford the cost?
- Do you have time to implement it effectively into your business?
And that brings us to the action part of this episode. And we know that action is where the dreams turn into the reality.
ACTION: There will always be new programs, tools, and strategies to consider as you grow and scale your business. Today I’d like to encourage you to write down these three questions and use them every time you come across something that peaks your interest. Because, if you do, you’ll save yourself the frustration of purchasing things you don’t want, can’t afford, or simply don’t have the time to implement AND you’ll be really clear on which things are the exact right fit for you.
I know from personal experience that I am more likely to accomplish what I set out to do if I am accountable to someone. So jump into the Mama Business Community at sarahbrumley.com/community and let us know your experience with shiny object syndrome. AND…if you have a tool, program or strategy you’re considering for your business – let us know there as well so that we can help you make the best decision for your business.
And no matter what, mama, just know that I’m cheering you on. Have an amazing day and I’ll chat with you again soon.