Ooooooh a new social media app, no wait a new spreadsheet I can organize my budget, oh no wait a new date book, maybe I should upgrade to the newest software.

Does any of that sound familiar? Business owners are getting distracted too easily by the latest fad or the newest idea that just popped in their heading leading them in a million directions; never to complete anything. Many would say that it’s just ideas, but in reality it’s a distraction. What is this distraction called Shiny Object Syndrome! Shiny Object Syndrome (S.O.S) is an attraction to objects, ideas and theories that exhibit a glassy, polished, gleaming or otherwise shiny appearance. Over time, your attention to the object, idea or theory will fade as the shininess wears off.

This loss of focus is costing you dearly in lost productivity, hours, and dollars. New ideas capture your imagination and attention in such a way that you get distracted from the bigger picture and go off in tangents instead of remaining focused on the goal.

Anytime we hear of the next great gadget or a new analytic tool we can use, it’s off to the races with record breaking speed. The energy is there because it’s new and SHINY, but once the real work starts that energy fades and you are off to the next best thing.

It great to have ideas but to become so lost in them to the point that you have forgotten your purpose and your destiny is place your business in stagnant water. Believe it or not being an entrepreneur is a calling and it has purpose. You have a unique gift (your product and/or service) to give to the world in the way only you can give it.

I know it is very hard not to get excited about every new idea or techniques that comes across you inbox. However you are running a purpose driven business and you must stop and ask yourself:

  • Is this right for my business or my purpose?
  • Does this appeal to my high value market & are they willing to pay for it?
  • What open projects do I have on my plate?
  • Do I have the time, energy, and resources, to complete, implement and maintain this successfully?
  • Do I have the ability to finish this new project, plus implement and maintain it?
  • What will I have to give up to start something new?

Innovation is a beautiful thing and there is nothing with loving it. But make sure that you keep your eye on the larger picture and keep focused!

What has been a distraction to completing your goals?


  1. This was me many, many years ago when I was new to being on the internet as a business owner. People saying you need this and you need that for your business. Then it hit me one year!! When it became July, I stepped away from the internet and took a full accounting of how much money I was spending (not investing) each month on this program, subscription, etc and how much I was generating. That was the month and year the SOS no longer had any control!! Thanks for such a great post!! I am sure it will help many.

  2. I’m a type 7 on the Enneagram and one of the main challenges of this personality type is staying on track and not getting distracted by new ideas and opportunities. I’m very familiar with this challenge!

    I’ve learned to focus on what’s important to me, and to approach each day with intention. My vision board helps with this- when distractions arise I look at my vision board and ask myself, “does this new idea fit with my vision?” If not, then it’s probably just a distraction and I can let it go.


  3. I can definitely get distracted by documentaries of all things! I am a human addict I guess. I love to learn about human behavior and psychology and it is what feeds my writing; however, too much stimulus without enough creative output can just serve to be a distraction rather than creative inspiration. It’s truly an art to pare back and be selective in what we allow in the foreground of our lives. Great article!

  4. Ohhhh so love this! It’s so easy when you get your business started to get distracted. Especially with all of the great tools, workshops and books that get promoted daily. #myweakness. LOL.

    Yes! Let’s start with our mission and purpose first next year. And stay tightly focused on it so that we don’t get caught in the S.O.S.

  5. It’s hard not to jump with everyone else when a new item comes out HOT and everyone is talking about. This really helps to understand that it may not be as good as we think and to stay on track.

    Billie K
  6. I totally agree with this. My main distraction has been trying to keep up with people that been in the game longer then i have or listen to people talk about what work for them when it come to a certain situation. Everyone situation is different what works for you may not work for someone else.

  7. You just saved me so much money. I do have that “Oh-Wait-THAT IS IT…” kind of personality. I really try to stay up to speed on the trending stuff but I get worn out of it very fast. Trying to stick with the classic true to the test of time products is so hard. A great example of that, when selfie sticks came out. I went through 10, no exaggeration, maybe more. Only because they promised to do more things.

  8. Well said! I have to consciously avoid SOS. Especially working in digital marketing, I am always finding a new toy to play with, and I mean ALWAYS! Your list for entrepreneurs is spot on, we have to assess the value and effort or else we spend all day on shiny objects and miss out on revenue generating activities.

  9. I suffer from S.O.S. like a mug, so what I do is use a combination of Pocket and my (slightly organized) browser bookmarks. There are times when something I am working on may benefit from the shiny thing, so I’ll go and get it. Otherwise, when I do my quarterly digital cleanup, it goes into File 13. If it’s still in File 13 at the end of the year, out it goes.

    I don’t like to ignore shiny things totally because it’s really easy to fall into a false comfort zone and innovate, or even make a process more efficient. I try to make playing with new toys a part of my scheduling just so I am up to date with what’s going on around me.


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