Shiny Object Syndrome vs FOCUS by @joamitchellphd

Shiny Object Syndrome vs FOCUS

by Joanne Mitchell, PhD

Have you ever noticed that as an entrepreneur you have shiny object syndrome? You know, you chase after the next great business idea, consume content from the latest marketing guru, have to try the new social media strategy, etc. etc. The list goes on. Everything is interesting, new, and might be the key to the breakthrough you need in your business, right?

We entrepreneurs are always looking for novelty. Let’s face it, most people who enjoy predictable routine don’t quit their day jobs to start a business. It takes someone who enjoys unpredictability to enjoy, and thrive in the entrepreneurial world. The flip side is that that mindset can sidetrack or derail your business. If you chase every new idea, like a kid chasing a butterfly from flower to flower, you run the risk of looking up and finding your business in a ditch. With so many conflicting ideas, so many experts and gurus, courses and recipes for success out there it’s easy to spend all your time and resource on learning, and not enough time implementing.

What is really important for your business is the exact opposite of shiny object syndrome. FOCUS. John Lee Dumas of Entrepreneur On Fire calls it Focus on One Course Until Success. In today’s ADD world, with information overload, you simply can’t do it all at the same time. If you want to be successful, you need to focus your time, energy and effort in one direction.

  • If you are adding new things to your daily agenda, what are you going to take away to make room?
  • What is the one, most important thing you MUST do to ensure success? Do that, and only that.
  • Who is the person that is teaching the one thing you need to learn right now? Follow them, and unsubscribe from the rest for now.
  • Block your time each day to focus on the one thing that MUST be accomplished that day to move your business forward.
  • Close your email, mute your phone, get rid of distraction and get it done!

You will be amazed at how fast you can complete a project and how much the quality of your thinking and results improves when you focus.

When I first started in business I was consulting, building a coaching and speaking business and starting an MLM business at the same time. As well as being a wife, mother of two small children and volunteering to run a financial education class at my church. As much as I tried to be super woman, none of it was working well. I started to focus by dropping the MLM and focusing on the consulting that brought in cash, and on building the coaching part of my business.

I was also spending a lot of time jumping on every free webinar I could find to learn from, and time and money on 2-3 different training programs. I cut it back to focus on just one program to help me improve my coaching and my business, and let the rest slide. I had to pick one approach to follow first, otherwise I would continue to be confused about what would work. I spent less time learning and more time implementing.

My business is still a work in progress with this approach, but I get more done, and I’m much less stressed this way.

I notice in working with my coaching clients that many people struggle with the same problem. When they first outline their goals and activities, there is no way they can possibly get it all done at the same time. We work on identifying the top priority and stripping away the rest for now.

Make FOCUS the foundation of your work week and you will be amazed at what you can accomplish and how much better you feel.


joanne mitchellDr. Joanne Mitchell is a career and business coach, speaker, and consultant in early stage technology commercialization. Joanne understands what it takes to be a high performer, how to take calculated risks to get what you want, how to navigate transitions, and position yourself to take advantage of opportunities. Joanne brings her experience, combined with studies of mindset, self-limiting beliefs, high performance skills and practices, communication and connection, into a powerful coaching relationship that will dramatically change your results and help you achieve your dreams. Joanne’s clients get results. Learn more at or connect on social media.

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