Your ultimate business strategy (is your business screaming SOS?)
It took me over 2 years of running my business to realize that something does not work the way it should.
Okay, let me rephrase.
I *knew* something was not working, but it took me this long to admit it’s not the marketing strategy, my customer service or the current position of Venus.
Don’t get me wrong, I was doing alright with my business, but I felt stuck.
I kept asking myself “How is it possible that others are growing so fast?” That their follower number on Instagram grows daily the same number as for me annually?
>> And so I re-did my website. Five times in 3 months.
>> I changed my Instagram feed theme. Three times in 1 year.
>> I purchased courses. Haven’t seen half of the content I paid for and did not implement a single thing they were supposed to teach me.
Every single week I had a new project in mind, I got super excited about it and started working on it immediately. Because that one thing was supposed to change everything, right?
It’s a few months back when I finally admitted that the problem is something else. And it’s called Shiny-Object Syndrome.
Or as I call it…
Here’s a fact. Us entrepreneurs are especially vulnerable to shiny-object syndrome because we have a lot on our plates, we are constantly creating something new, and we’re brainstorming new ideas.
Plus we get inspired by new people or situations all the time.
And although there is nothing wrong with that, the problem is that sometimes we get too excited about some new idea we just had, that we can’t stop thinking about it. It is very similar to dating.
Being attracted to someone new can cause that you can’t sleep, you forget to eat and you can’t focus on anything else than your new crush.
Which makes you highly unproductive.
Simply put, CEOs and company leaders that suffer from Shiny-Object Syndrome will likely cost their company time and money.
Not only that, but leaders that constantly change their minds will cause their employees or contractors to go crazy as well.
So yes, SOS is a real problem. But don’t worry, there is a cure for this illness.
I can now present you 5 steps that I personally implemented a few months ago. All these small changes can bring you big results by making you more focused, interested and in the end…productive. It will also give you the confidence in the ideas that you choose to pursue.
Medley Tip #1
Schedule an “inspiration time”.
This is the very first change I implemented in my business and it really helped me to be more focused and less distracted by my own thoughts.
Because I tend to be inspired randomly every day, I keep my notebook close so every time some new idea pops up in my head, I write it down. And that’s it, I keep working on whatever I was doing after that.
Once a week, I come back to the notebook with a clean head and I go over all notes and select ideas that still feel attractive, realistic and doable. I take about an hour of just writing additional notes and brainstorm additional visions.
This process will also help you overcome the urge to start working on it immediately because of the fear that someone else may have the very same idea as you just had.
Well look, even if that’s the truth, nobody can build a house in a week anyway.
Medley Tip #2
Select ideas based on information, not emotions.
This sounds very simple, right? Like even obviously simple. Of course, you should choose something based on the actual facts.
Sure. Now let me tell you something.
Selecting a specific idea in your brain is very similar to purchasing some item in the store. You have many options and you need to make a decision. Preferably educated decision.
And now let’s be honest.
When you’re browsing the internet researching something totally business related, how often do you happen to buy new shoes, dresses…hell if I see a pretty ad for a toilet paper, I may buy it at the spot too! #guiltyascharged
A psychological study done by Sabine Kastner, a professor of psychology and the Princeton Neuroscience Institute (PNI) says, that “When we are overwhelmed, the limbic system in our brain drives us to do what feels right, but not necessarily what is right. This sways us to be more impulsive in embracing new ideas we haven’t fully vetted out.”
So instead of thinking, our brain starts feeling. Can you see the irony?
And let’s face it, making decisions based on our gut feeling when you are distracted and/or overwhelmed does not sound like a smart idea.
So what to do instead?
Pause. Breathe. Look behind the excitement and answer these questions first:
Is it aligned with the overall plan I have for my business?
Do my customers want/need this? Are they willing to pay for it?
Do I have the time, resources, and energy to put into this?
Is this more important than all the other project that I am currently working on?
Do I plan to commit to this and finish it?
Am I willing to let go something else in order to work on this instead?
Medley Tip #3
Bounce your ideas off someone skeptical.
Yes, this is one is the actual gold.
After you did step 1 and 2, and you ended up with a business idea you think might be a winner, go tell others about it and watch their reactions closely. Not only that though. Make sure at least one person is the skeptical one. Someone that is bold enough to tell you all possible disadvantages he/she sees. Someone you will have to explain everything into details for them to be sure the idea is valid.
For me, this is my husband 😄
He is the one that is not afraid to tell me what he really thinks. And no matter how I may dislike his comments, I sort out my thoughts and end up with only good ideas in the end.
If you don’t have anyone to talk to, don’t worry though. From my own experience, even talking to myself is very helpful.
Or better, did you hear of Teddy Bear technique?
Bear with me here, I swear this won’t be weird!
What happens is that you take some stuffed toys and place them in front of you as if they were actual people. Then, you tell them about your ideas like if you were explaining it to someone real. What happens for 9 out of 10 cases is that you’ll actually solve your problem.
So yes, it is the same as talking to yourself, but the thing that you’re talking to something else in the room will bring your brain closer to the feeling of actual conversation. (Seriously, google The Teddy Bear Problem Solving Method)
Medley Tip #4
Be comfortable with whatever you choose to do.
This one will be quick but no less important.
Don’t start working on something only because others do it. What works for others won’t necessarily work for you for several reasons. Pick only directions that you feel comfortable with because only that way you will be able to stick with them.
I don’t say you shouldn’t step outside of your comfort zone.
But if you do, you have to mean it. You have to be ready to face the struggles no matter what, or you’ll end up back in your shell while feeling totally incompetent.
And we don’t want that.
Medley Tip #5
Get organized. Select your strategies. Measure results.
This last tip is one I was fighting with the most. Well, I still kind of am.
Because I am a really disorganized person. In the way that I can’t find my keys 4 days out of 5. #thestruggleisreal
So it really hurt me to start using any actual planners, task management tools or even Google Calendar. Yes exactly, I used to be one of those that have all their meetings, project deadlines and even daily tasks in the head only. Which was slowing me down a lot!
Over the last months, I started to use several tools that are helping me on daily basis. All of them are tools of choice, some of them paid (*affiliates), some of them free.
MindMeister* – for visual mind maps. Instead of drawing it on paper and losing it in the next few days, I have all my thoughts online, safe in the cloud.
They have a free and paid versions, so I encourage you to try at least the free one!
It’s a paid service, but I have a 20% discount for you!
Preview.App – I love playing with my Instagram and this app helps me to keep my feed looking like a mosaic. It also has a great hashtag search function and it can store your hashtag groups so you can easily mix and match them with your posts.
Ok, and it’s FREE for unlimited uploads per month!
Tailwind* – amazing scheduler for Pinterest which is my website #1 traffic source. Tailwind is actually the main reason why I fell in love with Pinterest since it makes the whole process much easier. How? Well, it tells you the best times to pin based on your content. It also has Tribes, which are groups you can join and where Tribe members will happily re-share your content. That means quicker and larger reach of your content.
It has a trial and paid version, and I have $15 off for you as well!
Trello – this task management tool is my online TO-DO list. Or more like TA-DA list as I really enjoy the process of moving the tasks from “in progress” to “heck yeah, you did it” column
As for the marketing platforms, select one or two and stick with it for some time.
>> Be consistent and stop looking at what others are doing.
>> Learn strategies from the best and implement them.
>> And when you do, don’t stress about immediate results.
No marketing result is ever immediate. So be patient and start really testing what works and what doesn’t. There is no shame in changing your strategy if you really know it does not work, but you need to really know it based on real data first! #truthbomb
Whatever you do, stay faithful to your brand and customers.
Before you start implementing anything new, make sure it works with your overall business mission and values. Listen to your customers, poll them if necessary to think what they think about your ideas. After all, they are the reason why you do what you do. No matter how shiny your ideas may be, they need to be wanted and needed by your audience.
Because if you’re creating just for yourself and not for your customers, you don’t run a business but a hobby. #sorrynotsorry
So what do you think? Is your business screaming SOS?
Do you get distracted easily? Share your experience and let me know if these tips helped you focus on what actually matters <3