This is a guest post by Jonathan Volk, a 20-something internet marketer who makes millions of dollars a year online.
When it comes to internet marketing and working at home in general, one of the most common problems is shiny ball syndrome. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that most people reading this post have this problem!
Don’t worry, it’s not an STD or some disease passed through the air… it’s actually much worse and it comes from our inherent nature to want to do something different.
So what is this shiny ball syndrome that I speak of? It’s seeing or thinking of that next new idea (the shiny ball) and abandoning your current projects to pour into a new project that you just KNOW is going to be a winner. Forgetting all the work you have poured into the last project, you pursue that next new idea never to return to the old project.
I have a friend for example who I have worked closely with on some projects. The other day he showed me a website he was designing in order to sell some amazon products and get the 4% referral commission.
This was less than a week ago.
This morning he was asking me questions; questions about a new market. “I want to go after this new market…”, he said. And while this is commendable that he has found a new idea to market to, the old Amazon store he had poured hours into was going to end up in a net gain of zero.
This is a classic case of shiny ball syndrome. You start working on a project, but before you can even finish, you move onto the next thing.
Heck, even to this day, I am guilty of doing that at times, but I’ve gotten a lot better by using a few easy techniques.
Solving Shiny Ball Syndrome
Solving shiny ball syndrome easier to say than do but with a little effort and persistence you can solve this issue.
- Write a to do list and prioritize. – Nearly every day, I write a to do list both for myself and my staff. I prioritize what is most important to get done and what is less important. I write an A1, A2, A3, etc next to top priority and B1, B2, B3 next to those that are of less importance.
- Email can be a time sucker. – What I do is I open my inbox and open all emails that are important. I read the first line and in my head rank if they are important or not. Important emails I respond to right away. Unimportant emails I keep open, minimized to my task bar for review during times when I am on a break or after I finish important tasks. This way I do not get distracted by new ideas and opportunities before I have finished the tasks I needed to complete.
- New Ideas – When you think of new ideas it’s important to remember that most good ideas will still be around tomorrow. If you never finish a project / website to the full extent you originally designed for it to be and yet move onto the next project, chances are, you probably won’t make much money like that online. Instead try to focus on what you have going. Heck, even if it only makes a little bit in comparison to your next project, at least it’s something. Compare that with the zero you probably would have if you did not complete it.
In reality, whether you’re an SEO, a PPC marketer, a social marketer, an ecommerce store or just try to make money online in any way possible, one of the most important things is focus. Focus on the projects you have going. Complete them and see them all the way through. If the idea truly turns out to be a dud, then stop work on it and move onto the next project / idea.
And remember, sometimes it’s less about trying to hit the lottery and make the next twitter or facebook as it is just building an income FIRST and through experience building something even greater.