During my first year of business, I couldn’t read about or hear about a program, a launch, a group course, a coaching offer, a class, a branding package or a certification without immediately thinking “I need that.”
I was even tempted to invest in enticing offers from brands that had NOTHING to do with me or my business needs. (My argument for buying? I reasoned that at least I’d learn something by watching an expert entrepreneur deliver their content – even if that content wasn’t relevant to me.)
It was that bad – and I’ve since learned that my problem had a name: shiny object syndrome.
Fortunately, I was wise enough to practice financial restraint so I didn’t go into debt buying all the things I encountered. But I did spend a lot of my time considering investment opportunities, and there was absolutely a price tag attached to that; every minute I spent browsing sales pages, watching webinars and doing the math behind possible investments was time I could have used to grow my brand.
That isn’t to say that all investments are bright shiny objects. Some of the programs, course and services I invested in that year turned out to be exactly what I needed to grow my business. The trick is in learning how to tell which investments will offer you value (and which ones won’t) well before you spend a ton of time or money on them.
That’s a pretty personal discussion but it’s one I want to start tackling with you today because there are things you can do to make sure you’re spending your time and money on the right investments.
First, you’re going to have to commit to practicing awareness so you can catch yourself in the act. (That means paying enough attention to your actions that you notice when you’re scrolling through sales pages or spending all your time crunching numbers around possible investments.)
Then when you do catch yourself going down the shiny object rabbit hole, you have to have the discipline to pause and ask:
Is this [program/service/product/course/coach] the right investment for me given my CURRENT business goals?
If you know your goals and are being honest with yourself, your answer should be pretty clear. For example, if you’re trying to grow your email list, a reputable list-building course would be an appropriate investment. But if you’re trying to learn to manage your money mindset this quarter and you catch yourself considering a course on growing your Instagram following, you need to stop right then and there.
Where (or when) do you struggle most with shiny object syndrome? In the comments below, tell me what shiny objects have caught your eye lately so we can chat about whether they’re in line with your business goals.