Podcast 39: Shiny Objects

Shiny Object Syndrome: Why Some People Are So Vulnerable

Shiny object syndrome…why are some so vulnerable to it, while others seem bulletproof? Aspiring entrepreneurs have a horrible habit of chasing from one business venture to another. One year, they’re promoting an MLM business. The next year, they’re working as some kind of coach or consultant. The next year, they’re selling “how to make money online” products. The next year, it’s on to eCommerce, affiliate marketing, or trading cryptocurrencies.

Years of this behavior will inevitably lead you on a tiresome road right back to where you started: still broke, still unfulfilled, still worried about whether you’ll ever get to live your dream of being a self-made entrepreneur. Yet, other entrepreneurs find one thing and stick with it until they become super successful. It might take them ten years or more to get there. But when they finally do succeed big, scores of shiny-object-addicted people try their hand in the same business, thinking that will finally be their big break.

What’s the difference between people who stay the course and succeed big and people who spend years, or decades even, chasing one business opportunity after another? In my experience, there are two reasons. The first is laziness. People seduced by shiny objects typically don’t want to do the work involved in starting a business. They don’t want to take personal financial risks or make sacrifices in their relationships. They don’t want to face the inevitable rejection that comes from marketing their product to strangers.

The other reason, which is much more common is something I’ve talked about many times in past podcasts: perfectionism. People who chase shiny objects are often obsessed with finding the perfect business model. The perfect product to sell. The “recession-proof” widget that they can simply put up for sale on a website, and watch flocks of eager customers buy the product. If you’ve been this person, you can escape the tiresome purgatory of chasing shiny objects simply by accepting that this perfect business opportunity does not exist and that you have to work hard to succeed.

You have to create it. This requires you to do what self-help author Wallace Wattles calls “the hardest work in the world.” That work is sustained and consecutive thought — thought which is not influenced by anything in your surroundings (positive or negative) but which is purely creative and designed to come up with a unique business idea, OR a unique way of positioning an existing product or service type.

Sure, some people get lucky and happen to catch an exploding trend at the right time. I’d put people like Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg in that category. Even now, if you listen to either of these dudes talk, it’s clear they have no real entrepreneurial instincts. Hell, they’re not even smart if you ask me. But, they did happen to catch a wave on its crest, and while that doesn’t always require disciplined creative thinking, it does require you to pick one thing and stick with it until it succeeds.

Study of the greatest entrepreneurs in history and you’ll find that they have one thing in common. They all applied their creative imagination to come up with an idea no one had come up with before. Today, this does not have to mean a brand new invention like the light bulb. It can simply be a unique way of positioning an existing product or service type. But, my experience has told me that very few aspiring entrepreneurs are willing to put in the MENTAL WORK to accomplish this.

Instead, they prefer to continue their futile search for that perfect business formula that SOMEONE ELSE already came up with. Bottom line, if someone else’s diligent and persistant mental and creative efforts produced the idea, it’s going to serve them better than it serves you. Worse yet, someone is likely to prey on your obsession with perfection by selling you some stupid “how to get rich” product. Stop being lazy, drop the obsession with perfection, and start putting your mind to work. Not only will this cure you of shiny object syndrome, it could make you one of those enviably successful entrepreneurs who leaves their unique mark in the world.

Goals and Progress

Professional

Health

  • Pure Vegan Diet: Day 52.
  • Strength Training: Day 1.
  • Body Weight: 237lbs (Goal 185).

Spiritual

  • Memorized: Torah, Genesis, Chapters 1-2.
  • Memorized: The Kybalion, Chapters 1-2.
  • Memorized: The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Book One.
  • Memorized: The Tao Te Ching, Book One.
  • Memorized: The Dhammapada, Book One.
  • Memorized: The Bhagavad-Gita, Book One.
  • Memorized: The Isha Upanishad.
  • Memorized: The Science of Getting Rich, Chapter One.
-Best