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It’s almost like an “entrepreneurial curse.” Not in a bad way, but it’s that need to continually be in search of the “next sure thing to grow my business.” That desire isn’t inherently bad, but it can plague us so badly that it literally stops us from creating the very success we desire.

You may know what I’m talking about - bright shiny objects (BSOs). You know you‘re chasing after bright shiny objects when you are flying from one thing to another in the hopes that one of those “things” will be the magic bullet to instantly makes your business unbelievably successful. I’ve been there.

I’m all for new ideas - trust me, I’m coming up with new ideas all the time and if you‘re an entrepreneur you know the feeling. We tend to have more ideas than we know what to do with. And if that wasn’t enough, more ideas are coming at us daily. Just click “check mail” and stand back, here they come! Bright shiny objects for you to try and buy.

Here are 3 ideas you can implement right now to break free from the BSO frenzy and create lasting success in your business:

1) Embrace the "P" word: Entrepreneurs hate this word - plan. Ugh! But guess what folks, without a plan, it's hard to know what to listen to and what to NOT listen to as those bright shiny objects start coming at you. Even if your plan is on a napkin or post-it note, stop and write down what your goals are for your business this year. You will at least have something to check your decisions against.

2) Don't file it away: Now after you write down your plan, it's time to work the plan. The plan doesn't go into a file folder. What's the next action for each part of your plan? When you are focused on your next action each day, it's much harder for BSOs to distract you. Not only should you know what your next action is, but each day, I'd invite you to write down the top 3-5 actions you must get done. When those top 3-5 actions are staring you in the face, it's harder to allow bright shiny objects (BSOs) to distract you.

3) Choose according to your plan: When you know what your plan and goals are, you know what education and tools to invest in. As bright shiny objects come your way, you can make a more informed decision as to whether it fits into your plans and goals for the year. For example, if you want to create an information product, then you'd be open to tools and education that would make this possible. You can confidently choose the tools and education that help you accomplish your goals. But you can only do this if you are clear on your goals.

I cannot begin to tell you how many invitations I receive each week for one thing or another. People wanting to partner with me, wanting me to sell their products to my list, invitations to join or attend countless networking and other events, and the list goes on. But I have to choose. I stick with things that I deem beneficial and I check it against my plan and goals for the year. If I don't discriminate in my decisions, I dilute my efforts, I begin to spin my wheels and I become perpetually distracted.

STOP: I would invite you to pause right now and make the decision to stop chasing after bright shiny objects (BSOs). Take the next morning or afternoon off and dedicate that time to deciding what your business goals are for the year. Get them out of your head and write them down. And next to each goal, list the sequential actions that would make each goal possible. What resources do you need? Who will be your coach/mentor? What groups do you need to be in? What tools would help make this happen? When you become focused and determined to make those goals a reality, you are less likely to fall victim to bright shiny objects.

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Allison Babb is an author, speaker and Small Business Coach to solo entrepreneurs. Allison publishes the "Small Business Success" weekly Ezine on how to create a steady stream of clients for your small business at:


Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Kelly Robertson wrote Mar 24, 2009
    • Great Blog, Allison. The teachings of many greats, to include Napoleon Hill, talk about these exact things... perhaps a little differently, but it’s still the same thoughts for success.

      All dreams become ideas. The next thing to do is set your goals, then plan, then action.  The PLAN is what keeps me on track, a living document, yes! But, it’s important as you indicate.  I do exactly as you say: I plan my day and stick with it.  Of course, I don’t beat myself up if things don’t work out but at least my ship has a course and I definitely get more accomplished.

      Thanks for the great reminder!
      Hugs, kelly

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Jana Toohey wrote Mar 24, 2009
    • I agree wholeheartedly, and am so guilty myself of being distracted by BSO’s. I think a typical trait of the entrepreneer is somewhat like adult ADD, or as we labeled it with my mother a “short attention span“.  

      I’m working very hard to stay focused, so thanks for the reminder because I forget.

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