What is Shiny Object Syndrome?
Shiny Object Syndrome (SOS) is when you bounce from project to project to project always believing that something else will be better, faster and/or more lucrative than what you’re currently pursuing.
An example is starting one niche site only to stop working on that to start yet another niche site in a different niche believing that it’ll be better.
Another example is starting a blog that starts to gain a little momentum, only to stop and shift gears entirely by launching an ecommerce store believing it to be better.
Essentially, Shiny Object Syndrome affliction is never following through and instead quitting projects that haven’t matured and starting something new.
This affliction is particularly acute with online businesses such as blogs, niche sites, ecommerce stores, email marketing and like because it’s so easy to start something new. There are pretty much no barriers to entry and the cost is ridiculously low. Compare this to investing in and starting a brick and mortar business which is costly and in some cases is subject to regulations and/or professional qualifications. One is much less likely to quit practicing law than bail on a blogging project because there’s far more time and money investment in becoming a lawyer and setting up a law firm than there is to start a blog.
While sometimes it makes sense to stop a project because it was a bad idea from inception, in many cases, Shiny Object Syndrome, especially when recurring, is a reason some people never make any real progress with an online business because they are forever in startup mode.
I’ve been afflicted with this syndrome on many occassions. It’s easy to fall prey to because it takes a long time to see results when starting an online business. As time goes on without results, doubt creeps in. Then one day you read about how easy and fast it is to make money doing XYZ. Before you know it, you’ve bought a course, registered a domain, spent hundreds or thousands on new software all geared toward yet another endeavor leaving something with promise to whither and die.
How do you avoid Shiny Object Syndrome?
Actually, this is an involved topic which I cover in-depth here.
In my experience, getting micro-results from setting micro-goals is the first step. When you see results, it motivates you to keep going. Too many people expect too much too quickly when starting an online business. While there are no barriers to entry, it is still a slow, long road to riches (or at the very least a living).
Jon runs the place around here. He pontificates about launching and growing online publishing businesses, aka blogs that make a few bucks. His pride and joy is the email newsletter he publishes that’s “the best blogging email newsletter around.”
Hyperbole? Maybe, but go check it out to see what some readers say.
In all seriousness, Jon is the founder and owner of a digital media company that publishes a variety of web properties visited and beloved by millions of readers monthly. Fatstacks is where he shares a glimpse into his digital publishing business.