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  • Writer's pictureNikki Arensman

How To Avoid Shiny Object Syndrome & Stay Focused

What is shiny object syndrome? Shiny object syndrome is like “squirrel brain”. You’re busy doing something and all of the sudden something shiny catches your attention and now you’re off of your path and jumping from thing to thing. People who suffer from shiny object syndrome, aren’t clear enough about what it is that they are trying to achieve or what their goal is in their small business.

1. Set A Measurable Goal

If we don’t have a measurable goal - something that we can objectively see if it has or has not been reached - it’s hard to stay focused. If you don’t know what you’re trying to reach, you don’t have any way of knowing when you’ve completed the goal!

For example: If I set out to have 5 people join my program, I can easily track that. If I have two people signed up, I know that I need to get out there and get three more. Then it becomes a game of “getting three more people” and that becomes the focus. It’s hard to get distracted with such a concrete goal.

If you’re wavering and you aren’t able to stay focused on your measurable goal, the goal is most likely the issue. Maybe you feel like it’s unreachable or unattainable or maybe the outcome isn’t in alignment with your big picture vision.

2. Learn What Your Motivators Are

The reality is, we require money in order to facilitate our big dreams. I am money motivated. I’m also motivated by impact. I love giving women the tools and resources to be able to do things on their own. Independence is also a massive motivator to me. Even though I’m married and I have a partner in this life, I love my independence. So much so that it was in my vows!

My motivators are a part of my personal life and a part of my business. It’s present in all of my offers and programs because it’s at the core of everything that I create. My motivators tend to fluctuate from time to time, but right now money is my main motivator because it allows me to create more impact in business and in my life.

3. Learn Where Your Money Wants To Go

When we can get clear on where our money is wanting to go, it’s a lot easier to make decisions around that money since it has a place to go. It’s easier to stay focused on the things that generate money for me when I know where it’s going.

It’s so important to know what you're creating and where your money is going because then you can ask those important questions: Is this supporting my dream? Is this generating money for my big picture vision?

I’ve noticed that when I’m struggling to make decisions, it’s usually a test from the universe. I’m being tested to see how committed I am to my vision. Then when I commit and make decisions that are in direct alignment with my vision, I am rewarded in uplevel. I’m rewarded in things getting easier or a next hire coming to me or the next big ticket client or the next big idea. It comes to me so much easier when I make the right decisions that are based off of the vision that I’m creating for my business and for my life.

For example: the other day, I grabbed lunch with a friend. My friend is an idea-er. She always has big, grand ideas! I love her for this because I always have expansive conversations with her. Almost every time, we’ve come up with the next million dollar idea. Where I’m at in my life, I’m all about family growth and family time and scaling my business while running things as best as I can.

In the middle of this conversation with my friend, I had an out of body experience. It’s like I was watching an up level happen for myself in the moment, from above. We were talking about shiny objects and how there are a ton of things that could take my focus off of my goals right now. All of those would take me off of the path that I am on, and that path is scaling what’s working and making the most that I can out of what is working right now.

These distractors can look like: “Do I want to create a new program” or “Do I need to use Kajabi or can I run this like it is?” or “Do I need to migrate my entire mail system over to ActiveCampaign or can I stick with Flodesk right now?” Instead of focusing on clients or your current goals, you’re now focused on restructuring your whole business!

I now know that the shiny object or diversion or changing of business platforms is fear. It’s the fear that you can’t get those next three clients and instead you use all of your energy to move your platform to a new system. This is a fear trigger and it keeps us safe and keeps us in the backend of our business...migrating systems. So that we don’t show up on social media, have forward-facing conversations with people about how we can help them!

When these things come up, do a self-inquiry. Ask yourself, “Why is this coming up for me right now? Is it because I’m afraid I’m not going to reach the goal in the time that I want?” If the answer is yes, can the goal be restructured in a way that it can be more achievable and attainable? Maybe it’s a fully radical goal and you realize that and maybe you need to make the goal more real for yourself. Or is it actually an attainable goal and fear is showing up real big because you’re due to up level?! The only person who can answer these questions is you!

When you’re clear on where you’re going, what you’re creating, what your goals are, and where your money is going to go - and then a distractor comes up, you will be able to notice that it is a distractor and your vision and goals will become louder than that distractor.

It’s not easy or black and white but we have to know our goals and where our money wants to go and what our motivators are in order to have a conversation with ourselves about if this thing is a distractor or not. If it is a distractor, carry on, watch the up level happen and watch that distraction conversation and decision making get a lot easier. And if it isn’t a distractor and it is something you want to explore, then you’re doing it from a really empowered place because you chose to explore that opportunity.

That’s my condensed version of how I stay hyper-focused on what I’m doing and I don’t allow other things to steal my energy. I take control and decide whether it’s a distractor or not, I decide whether I want to explore it or not and then I make the decision on how I want to move forward. It takes a little bit of time, especially when you’re starting out, but it gets easier as you do it more and more - there’s a lot of distractions that will pop up! You start to see how many things are trying to pull your energy in different directions and how often you can get distracted. Then you get really good at making the decisions. All of this contributes to next level entrepreneurship, next level in your business, next level in life, parenting, relationships, motherhood...All of it.


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