As an entrepreneur, I have been struggling with the “Shiny Object Syndrome” for years.
Whenever an exciting opportunity surfaces, I feel “oooh, this is it. I want it. I’m going to go and get it.” Each “shiny object” takes a lot of my time, energy and effort to pursue, and ultimately causes a lot of trouble and chaos in my life overall.
My symptoms include:
- Coming up with the idea of a new product, program or offering at least once a week
- Looking at other businesses and coming up with taglines, logos, marketing ideas in my head – just for fun
- Constantly researching and booking domain names “just in case” – but most of them end up expiring
- Calling my friends, coaches, business associates and pitching them my latest half-baked idea
- Exhaustion from all that excitement
I’m guessing most of us have caught the Shiny Object Syndrome at one point or another.
I know for me, whenever I’m bored or have something I really need to do, I procrastinate and that’s usually when my SOS comes roaring back. As an entrepreneur-at-heart, my mind is trained to look for new opportunities…and of course I often find them.
I’ve had to gain clarity about my values in order to get some relief. In its simplest expression, a fulfilling life is one in which important values are honored each and every day. Values serve as guideposts on a journey to discover what you want and challenging decisions become clearer when you can answer questions such as:
Will this decision honor my values?
What values will my “future self” support in this situation?
By aligning choices with my values, I can still pick up each shiny object that comes my way, look at it from different perspectives, and, either try it on or put it back down. I no longer keep each shiny object that comes down my path. I pick it up to see what I can learn from it and sometimes what I learn is that I don’t need it at all. Maybe it was meant for someone else down the path and I can pass it along.
If you’re in a similar position, how do you deal with the shiny objects that keep coming into your life?
Elena is founder of a technology PR agency that works with startups to billion-dollar companies. She is passionate about helping marketers and small business owners with practical publicity strategies.
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