I’m not sure when it happened but I live with it now. It’s a problem. A disease really…the “Shiny Object Syndrome.” You’ve heard of it. Maybe you didn’t know that’s what the “technical” term was, but you most likely have run across someone who has it or maybe it’s you?
My problem is that I’m an entrepreneur. As many other entrepreneurs, we have the world at our fingertips. If my fingertip movement could be tracked on an iWatch, I’d have 10,000 “finger-steps” in about an hour. Entrepreneurs need resources, obviously–we are running our own business, being our own boss, figuring out the answers to our own questions and finding solutions to our problems. Google is our best friend. But is it possible that it could also be our worst enemy?
We are constantly having new technology and tools thrown at us everyday, whether we’re on Google or scrolling through social media. The algorithms are showing us that we NEED this new gadget, service, tool…etc., even though we already have a perfectly good and productive CRM that we purchased just last month or productivity app that iTunes just hit our account for. But wait! This looks so much better and would make me way more money in less time. THIS IS MY ANSWER TO ALL MY PROBLEMS.
But is it, really?
I have a tendency to be a bit, what’s the word…SQUIRREL! All the entrepreneurs reading this say a unanimous, AMEN!
Buy a new CRM one day, super pumped, going 100 mph trying to do everything I can that this CRM has to offer for a few days, then I get bored and feel demotivated to continue to put in the work, be consistent and focused until I see results from this CRM. So naturally, I purchase a brand new productivity tool that has one more extra function that my current CRM lacks, so this new one must be better. Plus I saw someone recommend it in a Facebook group… so it must be pretty good, right? I have no way of measuring how one could be better than the other because I never followed through with the first one. I am now in a constant cycle of hindering my production, possibly wasting my money and not hitting my goals that I’ve set for the year.
Does this sound familiar?
I’m the last person to say that new tools are not the answer because I love them. Online tools and apps are extremely effective, can help business owners increase their productivity and automate things to free up time and money. But in order for them to be those things, one must get passed the inclination to constantly be distracted by the newest shiny object! I have to resist the temptation to feel the excitement of a new online tool, and instead, I have to dive into the mundane, monotonous and boring tasks of doing all the right things with the tools I already have in my wheelhouse and watching the results, whether they are good or bad.
Three questions to ask before buying into a new tool:
- How much of this could be solved with the tools I already have and being committed to using them?
- If I approach this tool with the same amount of commitment I have to my current tools, will it actually affect my bottom line? Or will I just be wasting time jumping into a new tool?
- Not counting the cost of the new tool/service will it’s implementation positively affect my bottom line? If yes, how long will it be before I see an ROI? And how long am I willing to “test” this tool in order to see an effect on my ROI?
Sometimes we have to take a good hard look in the mirror and admit that most of the tools out there are indeed effective, it’s just, unfortunately, user-error that is making them not effective…AKA, Shiny Object Syndrome.
In the meantime, if you’d like to feel some new Shiny Object Syndrome for yourself, check out my blog about my 5 favorite Tech Tools here.
Victory Harbin is one of the owners of The Social Brand and is a content strategist. She helps people be smart about using content to get the best results to grow their business.