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Do Shiny Objects Drive Online Entrepreneurs Crazy?

Shiny Objects Shiny objects can certainly drive online entrepreneurs crazy.  

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”.

Syndrome? 

Why 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:

  • fear
  • discomfort
  • anxiety
  • desperation

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.

Misdiagnosis, maybe?

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.

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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…

  • impatience
  • 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.  

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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.

Click Here for details of our upcoming “Facebook Page Mastery” event.

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.

David Merrill 101
I'm an Internet Marketer and Online Marketing Coach. My students learn no-nonsense, power strategies and techniques to build solid blogging and internet businesses. David Merrill+

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41 Responses to Do Shiny Objects Drive Online Entrepreneurs Crazy?

  1. Sarupa Shah July 28, 2014 at 8:31 am #

    This post has made me chuckle as I like so many have found myself caught up in – I want, I believe I need and impulsively buying something because others have etc…yet I take full responsibility as it is me not using any due diligence let alone intuition when I make a diff buying decision…everyone will tell you what they have is what you need and will solve every thing for you…the funniest one which I haven’t purchased is leadpages – it almost claims you will get better sign up rates, yet everyone who uses them is beginning to look like an online uniform – and unless you have the content and right approach to marketing to your ideal client, nothing can magically find you sign ups – funny what we believe – or think we believe… 🙂
    Sarupa Shah´s last blog post ..3 things that stop you being a Heart Centered Entrepreneur

    • David Merrill 101 July 28, 2014 at 12:14 pm #

      It’s interesting you make mention of everyone that buys into the big “must have” systems or plugins beginning to look like they’re wearing “an online uniform”.

      I think the fact that people all start using the same thing and looking the same as a result is amusing to other entrepreneurs. But from the consumer standpoint, I think they actually trust familiarity. That’s why, for instance, people flock to Twitter and Facebook… not because everyone there is different, but because they all look the same. Those platforms actually enforce uniformity for that reason.

      Think of ABC Burgers vs. McDonalds. If folks are traveling and want a burger, they’re far more likely to go to McD because it’s wearing the uniform they’ve come to trust.

      I agree with you that ABC Burgers may have far better burgers and a nicer environment. But nobody knows them, so they usually opt for the familiar.

      Food for thought (pardon the pun)… PS: I’m vegetarian so don’t know why I used the burger example, I suppose because of the incredible marketing expertise of McDonalds.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Best Blogging Business Model

  2. Nile July 28, 2014 at 8:54 pm #

    Too many people have this, but frankly, it comes down to the responsibility of the website owner. They control their success. Just because you put a pop up optin on your website, doesn’t mean it will definitely convert. You have to roll out campaigns, maybe redesign the optin, and even think about moving things and redesigning parts of your website for conversion optimization.
    Nile´s last blog post ..The Responsibility of a Website Owner

    • David Merrill 101 August 2, 2014 at 3:36 pm #

      You really do need to work more toward “campaigns” than “tactics”, Nile.

      A campaign is a well though out strategy that will move people along through your sale process and funnel. A tactic, like a pop-up optin, is just one tiny little piece of that bigger strategy.

      Unfortunately, too many people think a tactic is a strategy. That’s why they impulsively buy too many shiny objects, and are then surprised to get poor results from it.

      • Nile August 15, 2014 at 5:25 pm #

        I think you misunderstood David or are thinking way too much into what I said. This is what I specialize in and run a lot of A/B testing for the best strategy. Not all shiny objects will do the job right and sometimes can be more harm than good.
        Nile´s last blog post ..Podcast Presentation: Making Money With WordPress

  3. Mark July 29, 2014 at 4:14 pm #

    Yes Dr. Merrill, I too have fallen prey to it!LOL!

    Yes, I’ve found myself fallen victim to this syndrome, sadly more than a few times.

    But gradually (thank goodness) as I found truly qualified coaches/mentors as you & Donna, I’ve been able
    to get off that time wasting, resource draining activity.

    And now I can focus on a reliable and bankable DMO, to coin a phrase from one
    of my coaches!LOL!

    Your post really make the case and how! Thanks for sharing!

    • David Merrill 101 August 2, 2014 at 3:48 pm #

      Your DMO (daily method of operation), is an essential method to employ, to make sure you’re working your plan.

      I’m glad you mentioned it, Mark, because it’s about impossible to stay focused on your Big Strategy if you don’t have a daily action plan associated with it. Keyword here: DAILY.

      Once you get off your plan, you tend to reach out for some shiny objects that you hope will be shortcuts to the results you want. Keyword phrase here: There ain’t no shortcuts!
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..The Shortest Path To Online Success

  4. Dexter Roona July 30, 2014 at 2:52 am #

    Hi David im interested in what your offering with Facebook pages because they clearly have merit yet i struggle to see their true worth with the Facebook Algorithm really weakening their use by showing what you add to the page to very few of your followers, so i assume im missing a shiny golden key that unlocks some kind of method, im very advanced on Google Plus and have become so because of my frustration with my lack of success with Google Pages and profiles

    regards Dexter Roona
    Dexter Roona´s last blog post ..How To Create A Google Plus Shared Circle

    • David Merrill 101 August 2, 2014 at 3:57 pm #

      I know you’re great with Google+, Dexter.

      Truly, I believe if you’re mastering one approach, stick with it.

      No need to explore Facebook Fan Pages if you’re getting the results you want with Google+.

      On the other hand, if you are NOT getting the results you’d like, then by all means… explore something else.

      There are few things that can rival Facebook Pages at this time, in my opinion. Don’t get caught up in people complaining that it’s no longer free, because there are so many benefits to it’s new marketing genius. You just can’t find it anywhere else.

      In any case, both Google+ and Facebook Pages are all about getting traffic to your site, and eyeballs on your offers. Do what works best for you.

      Good luck with it, Dexter! I see you doing a great job out here. You’re definitely on the right track.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..The Shortest Path To Online Success

      • Dexter Roona September 27, 2014 at 2:20 am #

        Both have merits the main difference i see is that Facebook Fan Pages are a lot more hands on in that you constantly need to update and appeal to new likes to get seen within Facebook, they do show up on Google search that a plus point but those that do seem to have large like numbers.

        Google appeals really in a different way for publisher set up and that individual posts really rank much better. If you have lots of followers then you will be found on Google a lot more and also they do help our blogs a lot more that a fan page does or at least that’s my experience.

        Regards Dexter

  5. sherman smith July 31, 2014 at 7:29 pm #

    Hey David,

    It is definitely the fault of the online marketer!

    If you don’t have a plan or some type of strategy that’s going to carry you through, then why invest in that new product or “next big thing”.

    In my experience, that next big thing is something you leverage for convenience. It’s like this: What’s the point in having a car if you have no idea where you’re going. You can also use the bus, training, bicycle, or horse for that matter. But here’s the thing: The care would be more convenient than the these other types of transportation.

    That plan or strategy should be the main focus! Once you have that set in stone, then you can look around for a great service or product to leverage!

    Thanks for sharing this great topic! I hope you’re having a great week!
    sherman smith´s last blog post ..What To Look For When You Join Social Media Groups

    • David Merrill 101 August 3, 2014 at 3:23 pm #

      Hey, nice to see you Sherman.

      Thanks for your sharp insight, here.

      Focus on the strategy… you’re right, that’s the key.

      Some shiny objects may give you leverage in implementing that strategy, but it’s not about the shiny object… it’s about staying focused… laser focused on the daily implementation of your strategy.

      Every minute you take to investigate a new shiny object, gives you one less minute to walk your path, work your plan and move closer to achieving your goal.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..The Shortest Path To Online Success

  6. Erika Mohssen-Beyk July 31, 2014 at 11:48 pm #

    This shiny object syndrome is really something many
    have ,and start things and do not finish it and go from
    one to another. For me was one time enough, I think
    many are looking for a miracle that need not much work.
    If somebody really wants to succeed ,it needs time and work
    and I think it is less expensive and easier to find a good teacher
    or mentor.
    Erika Mohssen-Beyk´s last blog post ..A Afternoon At The Little Bluff Beach

    • David Merrill 101 August 2, 2014 at 4:01 pm #

      Well I totally agree with you here, Erika, and thanks for putting it on the table.

      It definitely is “less expensive and easier” to find a good mentor/coach that will help you streamline the process. People think coaching is expensive, but as you suggest, those same people probably spend far more money trying the hit and miss, hopscotch approach with a whole bunch of shiny objects.

      Thanks, Erika.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..The Shortest Path To Online Success

  7. Sue Bride August 3, 2014 at 11:43 am #

    I think there are two classes of marketers who fall for “shiny objects”.
    1. Newcomers, who know no better, believing in promises of easy riches. There ARE big bad predatory marketers who draw people in this way.
    2. Those who carry on falling for the same sort of things, expecting different results, but not doing anything different. They are victims of their own thinking. Maybe at this stage it could be called a syndrome. The temporary hope and boost in mood it gives is akin to shopping therapy.

    One type of shiny object I now resist are those affiliate “opportunities” that are marketed as ways to bring leads and sign ups to your current businesses when all they are good for are bringing more people into the opportunity itself. They just sidetrack you from your main purpose. If you need a particular tool, because you know it will help, then why not just buy it rather than paying extra so that you can earn from it too.

    I’ve known people to spend a lot on coaching programs who still fail. The key is, as you say David, finding a GOOD mentor/coach who cares about the results their clients achieve. I consider you and Donna in this category.
    Sue Bride´s last blog post ..Facebook Image Sizes Timeline Newsfeed

    • David Merrill 101 August 3, 2014 at 3:37 pm #

      I’m glad you made the distinction, Sue, between newbies and what I’ll call “wannabees”.

      You make a good point, that newbies often do fall prey to those nasty predatory marketers that absolutely do lurk in the shadows, waiting for them to skip by. So, yes, those are the bad guys and everybody, especially unsuspecting newbies had better beware the shiny objects they flash at us continually.

      Think… email inbox stuffers… Twitter and Facebook hyperlinks… I’ll bet you can think of more places where the bad guys congregate.

      Of course, there are good emails you DO want to see, along with Twitter and FB posts and notifications.

      The “wannabee” can’t seem to distinguish between the valuable stuff versus the clutter junk.

      That’s why they remain wannabees.

      The more skilled you get at knowing the difference, and only taking time from your busy day for truly valuable “objects”… the further you move along your path to success.

      And yea, good coaching can certainly facilitate that process. Thanks for your cheery words for what Donna and I do along those lines, Sue. It truly is “our pleasure”.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..The Shortest Path To Online Success

  8. Christi Johnson August 3, 2014 at 10:22 pm #

    David, great article. I definitely used to be guilty of having shiny object syndrome. I bought just about everything that I saw that I figured would either make me more money or would get me more traffic, and I failed to realize exactly what you wrote.

    In the end, a marketer needs a sound plan for reaching his or her goals. Without that, her or she is doomed to failure in their marketing endeavors. PERIOD.

    One, final note is that I completely agree with you that mastering Facebook Pages is crucial for success, right now. In fact, social marketing is probably the most important thing to master, now…and things are shifting so rapidly that, if people don’t get it now, while it’s relatively easy to learn, they will have to wait until the next, most awesome things arrives on the scene. I regret that I slowed around with video marketing. I didn’t do that with Facebook.

    Again…great article, friend!
    Christi Johnson´s last blog post ..Why I Left LiveFyre For the Disqus Commenting System

    • David Merrill 101 August 16, 2014 at 12:58 pm #

      Absolutely spot on, Christi… a marketer must have a sound business plan above all other things. That’s the Big Strategy.

      Shiny objects are great if they serve a tactical purpose to further that Big Strategy. But if they don’t… put on the blinders and stay on track.

      The problem is that so many people don’t have a Big Strategy or a Path to follow, so they swerve all over the highway, hoping they get somewhere good before they crash or roll over the cliff.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Everything Big Is Small Again

  9. Liz Delaney August 7, 2014 at 4:55 pm #

    Thanks for this David. I enjoyed reading it. When I first started online, I was a victim of shiny-object syndrome. I was caught out so many times. As I grew, I learned so much more. I still have a long way to go, but I now know how to filter out what lots are offering to make a quick buck. Knowing that the only way to success is sheer hard work, I focus on doing just that.
    Take care
    Liz
    Liz Delaney´s last blog post ..Friday Findings – 0to255.com

    • David Merrill 101 August 16, 2014 at 1:01 pm #

      You sound like you’re on the right track, Liz.

      Isn’t it nice to be on your own path, and not have to play victim to all those who would lure you away from it. It’s called empowerment, I suppose.

      That’s what happens when you survive the dreaded “syndrome” that accompanies all those shiny object lures.

      Keep up the good work. Exciting, isn’t it?
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Best Blogging Business Model

  10. Alan Jenkin August 9, 2014 at 10:14 am #

    Sometimes I find it hard to avoid shiny object syndrome, David, and when that happens it’s generally because I’ve lost sight of my plan. You’re absolutely right – it’s not the fault of the marketers, it’s my own fault for getting off track and losing my sense of direction. Sometimes, though, I find it difficult to decide whether a specific shiny object will help me on my present path (q “tweak”) or distract me.

    Thanks for reminding me to stay focused – difficult as that may be, sometimes!

    Alan
    Alan Jenkin´s last blog post ..Do You Like Contests?

    • David Merrill 101 August 16, 2014 at 1:08 pm #

      I may not be the best person in the world to respond to your comment, Alan, because when I find it difficult to decide… I usually buy the dang thing.

      Part of that reasoning, though, is that I like to keep up on the latest methods rolling around out there, even if I don’t use them directly. That helps me be a better advisor to my clients.

      Maybe it’s just because I like buying stuff, though… 🙂
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..What Does It Cost To Run An Online Business?

  11. Dawn Golden August 9, 2014 at 10:55 pm #

    Shiny objects get me all the time. I really think I might have some form of ADD because I can jump from one thing to another and forget where I was or my intent for the time. Having a plan and a daily TO DO list really helps me stay focused.
    Dawn Golden´s last blog post ..A Sense of Community… Online

    • David Merrill 101 August 16, 2014 at 1:11 pm #

      That TO DO list really is critical, Dawn.

      And it’s also a good idea to complete at least the TOP 3 (meaning the most important) things on your TO DO list before you allow yourself the luxury of hanging out on social sites, or checking your email inbox.

      I find that keeps you out of a lot of trouble!
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Everything Big Is Small Again

  12. Willena Flewelling August 10, 2014 at 12:43 am #

    I think it’s more a problem of too much available, and information overload — or at least, that’s my experience. There’s so much out there because there are so many facets to every situation and challenge. If one person or product doesn’t address the particular aspect that I need addressed, then I will go to another, and maybe more than one other. Sometimes it’s hard to find ONE and work with it till it works for me. But if I don’t do the work, it will never work for me. Which is exactly what you’re saying! 🙂
    Willena Flewelling´s last blog post ..A Helping Hand

    • David Merrill 101 August 16, 2014 at 1:17 pm #

      “If I don’t do the work, it will never work for me”.

      I like that, Willena… a perfect summary.

      And I agree, it’s tough to look past all the shiny objects when, in fact, as an online entrepreneur, you do actually need some of them to keep your business working smoothly.

      I think one of the “overwhelm” issues you raise is caused by perfectionism. We want “THE BEST” one available, so we spend so much time researching them all. Too much time away from running our business, I think.

      My rule of thumb is to just grab the one that everyone else is grabbing, especially if it’s been around a while.

      For instance, when I needed to set up sales funnel pages on my WordPress sites, I saw many options floating around. But I cut to the chase. I bought Optimize Press because all the big marketers had been using it for years.

      Does that mean it’s “the best”? Who knows? But I don’t have time to waste. It’s gotta be pretty darn good for all the big marketers I know to use it, so that’s good enough. It works great, and I can get back to running my business instead of window shopping.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..The Shortest Path To Online Success

  13. Monna Ellithorpe August 16, 2014 at 11:48 am #

    Hi David,

    Great post. I love your term “Online Entrepreneur Malpractice.” I don’t think anyone could have said it any better. I know in my case until recently, I wasn’t sure what I was meant to do online and I kept thinking I would miss an opportunity if I didn’t try; wrong thing to do.

    You have to find your calling first and then go with what will help you achieve that dream.

    Have a great day. Monna
    Monna Ellithorpe´s last blog post ..Will You Be The Next New Published Author?

  14. David Merrill 101 August 16, 2014 at 1:22 pm #

    What a great way to put it, Monna.

    Find you calling FIRST… then look for the shiny objects that will help you achieve it.

    Let’s face it, the “good” shiny objects (there are many) are shiny because they help. But you don’t need them all, and you don’t need to spend all your time and money shopping for and buying them just to find out if you need them.
    David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Everything Big Is Small Again

  15. Lillian De Jesus August 16, 2014 at 11:50 pm #

    Hi David,

    This is my first time commenting on your blog. I feel that many people just want that magic pill to get things done. They may see something that may be of benefit for their website but they want it to do all the work for them. People want instant gratification with little to no work. Install this or that and be done with it. It’s hard because there are so many tools that can help entrepreneurs but people seem to either choose the wrong ones for themselves. Just because one thing is working for one person doesn’t mean it will work for you. It’s all trial and error. How much effort do you want to put into it to make it work?! That’s the main question.

    Thanks for the post!

    Take care,
    Lillian
    Lillian De Jesus´s last blog post ..How to Use Networking & Social Sites to Get Your Blog Viral – Part 1

    • David Merrill 101 August 17, 2014 at 12:01 am #

      You’re right, Lillian.

      People really do need to use some of these shiny objects, but they have to remember they’re just tools. You need a hammer to build a house, but you can buy 100 hammers… the house won’t get built until you draw up a blueprint and then do the work… day by day, one nail at a time.

      Thanks for your first visit. Nice to have your input.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..The Shortest Path To Online Success

  16. Nathaniel Kidd August 18, 2014 at 12:31 am #

    Hi David,

    Yes I do think shiny objects are a big problem and I feel victim of this quite a few times in the past. The shiny object syndrome in my opinion will only lead to frustration and in many cases people all together quit before they give their business a chance.

    For me, joining you and Donna in WhirlWind Success has definitely taught me what works. Just the other night your phone call to me did wonders for my mindset and the direction I need to go. Thanks for sharing your views on the shiny object syndrome.
    Nathaniel Kidd´s last blog post ..Three Frugal Tips to Save on College Costs

    • David Merrill 101 August 25, 2014 at 12:15 am #

      Thanks for stopping by, Nathaniel. I appreciate your kind words, and am happy to hear that our coaching call helped you get moving in the right direction with your online business.

      As for the shiny objects, you are so right to point out that many people end up so frustrated to find out that they don’t solve all their problems, that they are likely to just quit.

      It’s important to realize that while a shiny object may help you perform a task… it’s just not designed to meet all the challenges you face when running your business.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..The Shortest Path To Online Success

  17. Don Purdum August 22, 2014 at 2:37 pm #

    Hi David,

    I think you’re right on the money! I find that the overwhelming majority of business owners have not thought through their business. It’s somewhat understandable since the overwhelming majority of us had no formal training or mentorship in owning a business.

    One day we just said for whatever reason; let’s do it.

    So we do it. For a while it’s okay, but at some point soon we have to:

    1. Know what business we are “really” in
    2. Know what problems we “really” solve
    3. Know who we solve them for?
    4. Know how our products and services are part of a solution

    Then, we have to go about the hard work of defining the purpose for our online marketing and attach to it:

    1. Strategies
    2. Goals that are measurable and specific
    3. Tasks that fulfill the goals

    I have learned that when we do this it keeps us from the shiny objects that look good but ultimately leave us right where we were when we bought, just with a little less money in our bank accounts.

    Great post David! It’s a challenge when you’re learning and sometimes chasing the shiny object is the lesson that leads us to success.

    I hope you have a great weekend!

    ~ Don
    Don Purdum´s last blog post ..Web Design Companies – Are Your Clients Struggling To Get You Content?

  18. David Merrill 101 August 25, 2014 at 12:21 am #

    Thanks for your well developed comment, Don.

    It’s so true that people so often only know they want to create an online business, with no real understanding what that means, why they even want to do it, who they’re in business for and what value they can furnish.

    So, they just start buying products that may be pieces to a puzzle… but they have no real sense of what the puzzle should look like. So they have no real concept of what pieces to buy, why or how to use them effectively.
    David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Everything Big Is Small Again

  19. Jacs Henderson September 14, 2014 at 11:09 am #

    David, firstly I must say that today I went to read your ‘about me’ page. Enthralling, inspirational, emotional and filled with warmth and belief in your fellow humans. It was a pleasure to read, you write beautifully and with care and deep meaning in your words.

    I love this post … you really hit the nail on the head, that Shiny Objects are Tools and Trainings, both of which require skills to use them to their best advantage.

    Usually the people developing and selling these have acquired more skills, therefore they see results and success from the Shiny Objects..

    … how I love your term Magical Thinking!!!

    It is important to plan for your tools and choose your training to focus on one area, with a person who cares and will help you see, not only how to use it, but how it will work in your business ie. what skills you may need to learn to get results.

    No one Tool or Training stands alone … and a coach like you can connect all the pieces 🙂

    Just love how you take a simple concept – like Shiny Object Syndrome – and pull it apart so all it’s facets are exposed … a fantastic skill David!

    Thank you!

    Jacs
    Jacs Henderson´s last blog post ..Imagine … Joining Noah’s Ark BEFORE The Rest Of The Kingdom

    • David Merrill 101 September 21, 2014 at 12:17 am #

      Thanks so much for all your kind words, Jacs.

      It really is important that you not only have the tools you need to build your business, but that you have the tools YOU need for YOUR business. Then, of course, you need to know how to use them in the context of a long range vision and strategy.

      Thanks again, Jacs for your comment. I really appreciate it.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..The Shortest Path To Online Success

  20. sean September 17, 2014 at 12:49 pm #

    Yeah I’ve been caught with “shiny object syndrome” on plenty of occasions…It’s really annoying aha!

    It all boils down to just staying focused and not be attracted by the new shiny fancy programs that come, stick to your own OLD shiny objects to focus on.
    sean´s last blog post ..Networking Superstars…What is it?

    • David Merrill 101 September 21, 2014 at 12:22 am #

      I like that, Sean… stick to your own OLD shiny objects. Focus on making them work for you before going on to new ones.

      This is really great advice because so many of us (yes, me included) have desktops cluttered with stuff we never even looked at… as we rush off to buy more stuff to add to the pile 🙂

      You need to be really disciplined to know what you need, and then to focus on using those things to their fullest capacity before moving forward. Otherwise, you’re not moving forward, your running in a circle.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Best Blogging Business Model

  21. Chery Schmidt November 14, 2014 at 12:22 am #

    Hello David, I am not even sure how I happened to come upon this post tonight, perhaps this is something I needed to hear. I am one of those people who think I need every new tool and training that comes along.

    I am not even sure as to why.. HUM?? For instance, I love video marketing and yet have not done a whole lot with it even though I have plenty of tools and did my share of training, yet here I was just a few days ago purchasing yet another tool. OH Yeh I Am going to use this one LOL

    I guess your “Online Entrepreneur Malpractice” hit me right between the eyes..Yeppers I AM GOING TO STOP Right here and now and start truly using the tools and training I have!

    Thank YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING!! I did need to read this.. Chery :))
    Chery Schmidt´s last blog post ..Change Your Mindset, Make These 10 Positive Affirmations Your Reality!

  22. David Merrill 101 November 18, 2014 at 11:36 pm #

    I’m as guilty as anyone, Chery.

    I love to buy online courses, trainings, sometimes software.

    I don’t always implement the trainings personally, but my coaching clients often benefit from what I pass on to them.

    Another reason I buy a lot of stuff is to track the sales funnels and sales processes that my product creator peers and associates are using. That’s a whole training in and of itself.

    So, if you’re buying needless stuff… stop it.

    But if you’re putting it to good use, it’s a business overhead.
    David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..8 Steps To Create Your Digital Information Product

  23. Leanne Chesser February 1, 2015 at 3:00 pm #

    I don’t view shiny object syndrome as having anything to do with predatory marketers or inferior products (necessarily). To me, it’s about any product or service that catches an entrepreneur’s attention. That’s the “shiny” part. The products and services catch the eye of the entrepreneur because the entrepreneur is searching for something that will give them a solution or answer to their struggle.

    All of the things we’re selling can be “shiny objects” to entrepreneurs who are looking and searching for that “something” to solve their problem or give them the info they think they need.

    Of course, there are some essential things we all need to learn as entrepreneurs.

    The problem comes when an entrepreneur keeps on purchasing thing after thing after thing. It results in overwhelm and inaction.

    The cause as I see it is not knowing their purpose . . . not knowing their clear, unique path. When you know your path and purpose, you can focus on that and you don’t need to search for “something” that you think is going to be the answer. Your eye isn’t caught by every thing out there. You know what you need and you move forward.

    So, I agree with your statement, “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.”
    Leanne Chesser´s last blog post ..7 Awesome Ways to Attract More of Your Perfect Clients

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