The life of an entrepreneur thrives on ideas. It’s the habit of smart businesspeople to always look out for promising opportunities and follow through them. However, this admirable habit may be too much of a good thing at times.
Many entrepreneurs suffer from shiny object syndrome. It’s the tendency to go explore a new idea, a hot trend they saw on social media or heard from a colleague, while abandoning the very thing they were originally concentrating on.
The result? They keep starting and starting again, without accomplishing anything and without earning industry leadership. The good news is there are ways to break this cycle of distraction. Here are some tips to avoid the shiny object syndrome:
Keep in mind that newer isn’t always better
Hot trends are the weakness of many entrepreneurs. Of course, who wouldn’t want to get their hands on what’s popular? However, here’s the reality: Newer isn’t always better. People may all be raving about that healthy snack business that promises to be more nutritious than vegan, vegetarian, and keto diets, but it has yet to prove its staying power in the market.
Learn to get past the hype and excitement. Focus on opportunities that have already been proven, like those pizza chains and hot dog franchise opportunities. These aren’t new to the industry and your locale, but they surely withstood the test of time (and the taste of the market).
Find a devil’s advocate
Entrepreneurs who are idea-generating machines need idea-killing machines. You need someone who will keep you in check, to bring you back to reality when you’re already high up on the cloud nine of ideas.
A mentor can do that for you. They’ll be able to call you out for spending more time dreaming than actually doing something. At the same time, they could scrutinize your business ideas, find loopholes and limitations in it, and ask you tough questions. This will help in ditching ideas that aren’t worth pursuing, leaving only the promising opportunities. If an idea is able to pass through your mentor’s scrutiny unscathed, then that’s when you think about it further.
Set time limits to ideation and distractions
If you can’t help yourself from diving deep into your ideas, then go indulge — but only for a limited time. Block off an hour or two for ideation each week. If you get a Eureka moment outside your ideation, just jot them down in a notebook.
Don’t marinate on them yet. Do that only on your ideation session. Set time limits as well when you use your smartphone since these are hotbeds for distractions. There are apps you can download that would monitor and alert you if you’re using your phone too much already. Use these apps and consider turning off your social media notifications. Whatever you do, cut down the time spent on ideation and distractions.
It’s good to stay updated on trends and keep ideas floating, but do note that it can also consume you and keep you from actually accomplishing your goals. Before you knew it, you’re already burnt out and unwilling to start your business or take it up for growth or expansion. Don’t fall into trap of shiny objects. Break the cycle today.
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