Laser Focus, Goals & SOS

Do you suffer from ‘Shiny Object Syndrome'(SOS)?

The ‘Shiny Object Syndrome‘ (SOS) refers to the tendency to abandon current projects in favor of some hot new online opportunity, tool or program. Most of us who work online do get attacks of that syndrome from time to time.

For example, one day this new keyword research tool was advertized and I jumped on it, but later regretted it.   I love my keyword research tool and was not looking for another one. I’ve used several and never found one easier to use, so searching for a new tool for keyword research was nowhere remotely close to my goals. The price point was a little better, so I jumped on it and should have known better. Where’s the laser focus on goals in that? It’s probably not a bad tool, but like many others it was complicated to set up. Download this and upload that, and then join this site and that one and… geez! That’s why I love the one I have. Simple. Get it and start searching, no downloads and no BS.

Another attack of SOS was even worse… I’d noticed people in droves joining this newer MLM Company. Smart people & heavy hitters in the online marketing world were all just raving about this new network. I’ve done network marketing in the past and even had a decent level of success with it for awhile. However I swore mlm off years ago. It’s an interesting business model, and certainly not all bad. I gave it a fair shot for many years and developed income with two different companies, good ones that are still around today. In the end, I firmly decided that business model is not for me.

So what the hell was I doing investing so much valuable time into this?
==> That’s the ‘shiny object syndrome’ at work. Beware.

This new company really looked good at first. I had my red flags ready to wave, you know those elements to avoid like the plague. They even discussed many of those same issues up front and showed how they are different. So I spent many hours over two days time on that site, watching videos, learning & taking notes, etc. And along the way I began to feel queasy. Here came their version of hype and BS. I knew I couldn’t swallow it and sure as hell couldn’t recommend it.

Back to FOCUS and my own ways of doing business with integrity.   I suggest you do too.  Avoid wasting time on shiny objects you were never looking for in the first place.

Why do we lose focus and stray toward these ‘shiny objects’ we were never looking for?

Many do not have goals in the first place, or maybe they wrote some down once upon a time and filed them away. Without daily schedules and laser focus on goals, we become easy prey to jump at whatever random offer happens across our computer screens. With the huge avalanche of information overload online, those without a solid plan and ways to filter that outside noise have little chance of reaching their goals.

Building a successful online system can be tough, so it’s understandable to be drawn toward offers that make it sound so easy. There are ways to make the process much simpler, particularly aligning yourself with the right people, excellent coaches and networks who will keep you on track.

FOCUS = Follow ONE Course Until Successful!

Honestly I often have more than one online project going on at a time, since I avoid putting all of my eggs in just one basket. So I stoke multiple streams of online income regularly. The keys that make this work is that each has a place and level of priority within my goals. That’s very different from chasing off after shiny things randomly that never entered your goal list.

One way to manage the ‘shiny things’ is this:

Keep a file of them so you don’t feel like you are missing out. Label it ‘future possibilities’ or even ‘shiny objects’ or whatever makes sense to you.  List ideas, companies or tools you run across online that you’d like to look at more in the future. I add to mine regularly with links, names and/or quick descriptions. Then one day when you’ve knocked out your task list, go ahead and take a longer look at one or two of them. The keys are timing and priorities. You only look at extras once you’ve knocked out your ‘priorities & big rocks‘. Then once you’ve completed a project and freed up some time, only then might you add a new ‘shiny object’ to your goals. Make it part of a plan, never random.
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Where are YOUR goals right now? Are you reviewing them daily and keeping them in focus? Maybe you might even use tools like a vision board to fire them up in your mind?

How do you filter the information overload online? What helps you keep laser focus toward what YOU plan to accomplish each day?


Carolan Ross

CFO(Chief Fun Officer) at SoloSpark
Freelance writer, creative soul, solopreneur and former teacher who networks with rebels, visionaries, artists and other square pegs in round holes. I support solopreneurs with copywriting and juggling life and business to SHINE ONLINE!


  1. says

    FOCUS- big time! Lord knows that I’ve had my share of shiny objects! And I still get distracted from time to time. I found that if I will write must 3 goals and stay focused- it gets done.
    Thanks for a great post.

    • says

      Don’t we ALL get distracted? I think there’s a particular version of ADD that applies to those who work online everday…the avalanche of input is constant! Taming and filtering the input is absolutely crucial.

  2. says

    The shiny new object syndrome plagues us all; I’m sure. Though, I have to admit I love your solution to the problem and I’ve never considered “saving it for later” which would work wonderfully for everyone!

    Thanks for sharing this blog post. Not only did I recognize I wasn’t alone, but I now have a great solution to combat the problem!

    Thanks Carolan!

    • says

      Thanks, Bonnie. Yes I think saving my ‘shiny objects’ in a file helps me to not feel as though I’m missing out – at the same time it keeps me from veering off on unplanned side streets.

      • says

        I found you through Bonnie Gean’s website and I can relate too well with SOS. I have so many unfinished and unfocused projects going. Bonnie knows me. She can tell you that I bounce around like a rubber ball. I’m a little better than I used to be, so I guess that’s progress. 🙂

  3. says

    That’s great advice, Carolan. I am a total magpie when it comes to “shiny objects”. Taking the wait and check it out later approach would probably save me a lot of money and aggravation. I’m going to start doing that today with the tempting “hot item” everyone and their cousin is promoting.

    • says

      Dear Magpie (smiles),
      I can relate. I know better yet still chase shiny things now and then, then usually feel remorseful. Lost money AND time wasted. Laser FOCUS on priorities = the only way out.

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