Shiny Objects are a Silent Killer of Entrepreneurs. Here’s How to Avoid This Fate.

As entrepreneurs, staying on track can be absolutely brutal.

Most of us are both blessed and cursed with a constant stream of new ideas and opportunities. But when we veer off in new directions that distract from our core business it can have a massive negative impact on business performance and even KILL your business.

In my software business owner circles, we refer to this as Shiny Object Syndrome.

My own businesses have suffered from my Shiny Object Syndrome on more than one occasion and I have a chart to prove it.

This is a slide from a presentation that I gave back in 2014 and it really documents well what happens when you start chasing rabbits 🐰🐰.

In the spring of 2010, even though I was just getting traction and getting my feet under me I inexplicably wandered off the farm and started spending some time working on an affiliate site.

What was I thinking!?

The distraction impacted my business for more than six months, crippling my growth in both website traffic (my only sales channel) and revenue.

Insufficiently distracted I became interested in the opportunities around Twilio, an SMS and phone platform for building applications, in the fall of 2010. I went down that rabbit hole for nearly a year before pulling my head out of my you-know-what.

Then look what happened in the fall of 2011 when I shut out the distractions and focused on the business 📈. The business exploded and It doubled the next year and then nearly doubled again the following year.

The EOS addresses this business killer by having you put your Core Focus front and center on the VTO. I do the same in my own modified version (modification is sacrilege for true EOS believers but… what can I say?) in my Command Center.

My Core Focus statement lives at the top of my Command Center right next to my Core Values. I see it nearly every day and its a strong reminder of what I’m doing.

In the EOS your Core Focus spells out your purpose, cause, or passion as well as your niche. The idea here is that you do not pursue other business lines until you have exhausted what’s available within this focus. Here’s mine:

Core Focus

Passion: Optimizing SMBs and maximizing exits.

Niche: Bringing sophisticated service to SMB sellers and helping small business owners ($1-$25MM revenue) get everything they want out of their business at exit.

I am inundated with business opportunities and ideas, both my own and from my network. But as they come in, I can refer to my Core Focus and ask – Does this opportunity fit within my Core Focus?

Having this Core Focus front and center on a daily basis reminds me that this is all I’m working on and nothing more.

Don’t let your business be a victim of Shiny Object Syndrome. State your purpose and your focus and make it known in the organization and keep it in front of you constantly.

Focus relentlessly and watch your business bloom.