In fact, chasing shiny objects around is often thought of as some sort of sickness. That’s why observers often call it “shiny object syndrome”.
Probably because a syndrome consists of a group of symptoms that associated with a single disease.
So if chasing shiny objects is the disease, what are the symptoms that generally accompany it?
Well, let’s try some of these:
How Do You Catch The Disease?
It’s generally thought that “shiny object syndrome” is caused by predatory marketers who prey on online entrepreneurs.
They recklessly dangle shiny objects before your eyes. The end-goal, of course, is to stimulate enough of these symptoms to flare up, that you simply must take remedial action.
What’s The Remedy?
So what’s the remedy the “afflicted” online entrepreneur reaches for?
Well, there’s only one apparent choice.
Purchase the shiny object in the form of the promoter’s product or service. Then the symptoms will go away.
That makes you, the online entrepreneur, a sorry victim of some big, bad predatory marketer.
I have a problem with the diagnosis of “shiny object syndrome,” though.
My problem is that I don’t think online entrepreneurs are unwitting victims when they purchase shiny objects that they later decide didn’t live up to their expectations.
I think they know exactly WHAT they’re buying, but they don’t understand WHY.
That doesn’t make them victims of marketers.
It usually makes them entrepreneurs who have not clearly defined their strategy for building an online business.
Minding Your Business
Here’s an example.
A blogger wants to build a list of their readers.
She buys a WordPress plugin to create pop-up opt-in boxes when people are on her blog.
She installs the plugin, and a pop-up now appears on her blog inviting people to “please sign up for my free newsletter”.
After a few months, very few people have opted in to this blogger’s list, so she decides that the plugin was over-rated and the marketer made promises that were misleading.
The problem with this marketer’s inability to build a list with the plugin is probably far less related to promotional hype than it is to her own failure to make a sufficiently compelling offer.
Rather than being victims of “shiny object syndrome,” entrepreneurs are more likely to suffer from their own failures, stemming from their own…
- insufficient implementation
- irresponsible thinking
- hopeful thinking
- magical thinking
If someone is buying far too many products and services that don’t improve their online business, it may be due to their failure to develop a sound business plan and clear strategy for success.
Maybe It Should Be Called “Magical Thinking Syndrome”
Trainings, plugins, and software don’t replace carefully designing a business strategy, and then implementing it on a daily basis.
If our dissatisfied blogger is not up for the challenge and rigors required of an online entrepreneur…
and if she expects landslide success to happen overnight, at the push of a button and with minimal effort…
then she probably doesn’t suffer from “shiny object syndrome” as much as she does from magical thinking.
All this doesn’t mean that there are no unscrupulous marketers selling junk products. But I’ve rarely found that to be the problem in the majority of cases where clients have bemoaned things they’ve purchased that “don’t work.”
I typically find that the products these individuals complain about are fine products, but they require effort and implementation that the person is simply not prepared to commit to.
Maybe It Should Be Called “Online Entrepreneur Malpractice”
Another common reason for misplaced complaints is a simple failure to fully understand… and practice… what one’s business really requires.
To return to the example of the disgruntled blogger, she probably doesn’t need a slick opt-in plugin as much as a good lead magnet offer. That’s where her effort should be directed. No $47 plugin can substitute for that.
I work with online entrepreneurs all the time.
I try to help them steer clear of the dreaded “shiny object syndrome.”
I help them to focus on the things they should be doing to make their online business profitable, rather than jumping from one dream to another without any clear overall strategy.
Jumping all over the place aimlessly is not a business strategy, it’s just a form of online entrepreneur malpractice.
So, What’s An Online Entrepreneur To Do?
One tool I find increasingly essential for online entrepreneurs, is Facebook Pages.
Facebook has become a key platform for just about all serious online entrepreneurs.
It is far from being an obscure “shiny object,” and may be just the right place to turn to get your business turned in the right direction.
Most top tier online entrepreneurs agree that Facebook has become essential.
And if anything single aspect of Facebook is critical to master at this time, it is Facebook Pages.
If you’re interested in learning how to use Facebook Pages to level-up your current online business or blog, Donna and I will be hosting a special event on the topic in the very near future.
I’d love to see you there.
In any case, it is imperative that you learn to master Facebook Pages.
There’s probably no other single thing an online entrepreneur can do to impact heir business in a bigger and more meaningful way.
Facebook Pages is not a fly-by-night shiny object. It has proven itself to be a rock solid platform for improving your blog and online business, whether you’re trying to increase traffic, build a list, or start creating a profit base for your operations.
I strongly suggest you take the time to really take advantage of the unparalleled leveraging power of Facebook Pages.
In the meanwhile, please don’t be a person who makes knee-jerk complaints about shiny objects.
Shiny objects are rarely an online entrepreneur’s real problem.
Failure to understand what you are really trying to accomplish, or reluctance to put in the time and effort required are usually bigger issues.
Do you think shiny objects are a big problem for online entrepreneurs?
If so, do you think it’s usually the fault of a predatory marketer or of the online entrepreneur?
Please leave your comments below, and as always… I greatly appreciate your social shares.