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Is Shiny Object Syndrome Causing Your Overwhelm?

ask janine business janine wirth lifestyle the workroom Jun 06, 2023
Is Shiny Object Syndrome Causing Your Overwhelm? By Janine Wirth

The first half of the new year is an exciting and energising time, but it can also be overwhelming and exhausting. With endless to-do lists, it's easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle and end up feeling overwhelmed and burnt out.

I spoke to one of my clients recently and helped her identify a major cause of overwhelm in her business: Shiny Object Syndrome.

Shiny Object Syndrome (SOS) is a problem that many entrepreneurs face. It can be defined as the tendency to jump from project to project, constantly trying to find the newest and most innovative solution without fully committing to any one idea. This can lead to a lack of focus and wasted resources, as well as a lack of tangible results.

So how can you recognise if your business is suffering from SOS? Here are a few tell-tale signs:

  •  You're constantly on the lookout for the latest trend or technology.
  •  You're investing in short-term fixes rather than long-term strategies.
  •  You're always trying to find the 'silver bullet' or 'one-size-fits-all' solution.
  •  You're jumping from project to project without any real progress.
  •  You're unable to measure the results of your efforts.

My client quickly recognised a pattern playing out in her business, creating considerable stress and, unfortunately, not wielding much success. Whenever she started creating momentum in her business, her eye would catch the new trend she saw mentors, colleagues or friends jumping into.

Soon she would recognise the familiar feelings of FOMO (fear of missing out) and would wonder if she was losing out on the "new best thing" that would catapult her business to the success she desired. Being distracted by new ideas, products, services, or strategies led to a lack of focus and progress, as she constantly had to learn how to use all the different software and platforms.

Shiny object syndrome is a common problem for businesses, especially in the age of digital marketing. It can be challenging to stay focused on the most critical aspects of your business when new tools and platforms are constantly popping up, and jumping on the latest trends can be tempting.

However, it's essential to recognise the signs of shiny object syndrome to ensure you save time and resources chasing trends that won't give you any meaningful results.

I remember when Clubhouse was all the rage and how quickly it fizzled out. TikTok is the current trend, but if you don't enjoy being on camera or creating consistent short-form video content, you already know it's probably not your best platform.

Does this mean that you can't enjoy new platforms? No. Leverage your zone of genius and outsource support for the parts that don't light you up. For example, If you enjoy creating the video content but hate editing it, getting a VA to take over the editing will help you stay focused and omit the overwhelm caused by editing- which might not be your strong suit and could very easily make you feel overwhelmed long-term.

One of the most common signs of shiny object syndrome is jumping on new trends without doing any research. Before investing your time or money into a new tool or platform, it's essential to do your research and ensure it's the right fit for your business. Make sure to look at reviews and case studies and speak to people who have already tried the tool or platform to get an idea of what results they have seen.

Another sign of shiny object syndrome is focusing on short-term gains instead of long-term results. It can be tempting to go after quick wins, but it's essential to consider the longer-term impact of any investments you make. Make sure you have a plan for how you will use the tool or platform over the long term and how you will measure the success of your investment.

Ask yourself if you even enjoy this platform and if you will be able to use it consistently. If you're doing it because you should, instead of enjoying it, there's a good chance that it will be a stressful, unenjoyable experience in the long run.

Finally, ensuring you're focused on your core business objectives is essential. If you find yourself spending too much time chasing new trends, take a step back and ensure you're still focused on the goals and objectives of your business. Next, create a process for reviewing new ideas, services, or strategies that come your way. Make sure to evaluate them objectively and look for ways to implement them if they benefit your business. But also be sure to consider if they're just a distraction or a quick fix that will yield a different result. 

My process looks something like this:

- Do I enjoy creating content in this way?

- Can I outsource parts of this process to make it more enjoyable?

- Do I feel drawn to this because it lights me up? OR Am I just feeling temporary FOMO, which will pass?

If you've been experimenting with different platforms for a while now, I invite you to take stock and ask yourself what you enjoy and want to focus on this year. What have you been doing half-heartedly from a sense of obligation that you can release to create more space for fun in your business?

Remember that your business gets to be as light and fun as you allow it to be.


 Janine Wirth is the proud founder of Path to Healing Therapy and Coaching. Her mission is to help female entrepreneurs heal their emotional baggage, heal unresolved emotional trauma and PTSD without spending years in therapy and create spectacular business success for themselves. You may have read her story in The Spotlight and if so you’ll know why she’s so passionate about her work so when she got the opportunity to work alongside The Female CEO and provide a monthly question and answer she was thrilled! 

You can read all about Janine and her work here or catch up socially on Facebook or LinkedIn

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