Right now is the most exciting time in history to be alive. We have more opportunity available to us than ever before, yet with all of this life carte blanche-style, comes a tricky dis-ease called Shiny Object Syndrome. How many of you resonate with me that in our entrepreneurial zest for living a life of complete freedom from the tyranny of having a J-O-B, we often succumb to the overwhelm of chasing too many possibilities at the same time. In our exhaustion we may feel ineffective and unaccomplished from too many irons in the fire and too many projects left undone. In our new state of freedom to choose how we spend our time, with whom and on what, we must learn how to make choices and stick to them with the diligence we, (and others), deserve.
Overcommitting = Loose Ends x Serial Disappointment
The problem most of us have with making decisions is that we have so many options to choose from. The biggest challenge we all face when making a choice is that when we say “yes” to one direction, we are saying “no” to the opposite direction. How many of us prefer to remain non-committal to keep our options open? Only trouble is, as a leader, an entrepreneur, and a business owner, we must make decisions and stick to a single direction if we wish to see something grow. Hopping around from one cool thing to another only serves to keep us from experiencing the success we seek.
One reason I see so much of this “Shiny Objects Syndrome” is that I coach a lot of people who are considering leaving their corporate positions to pursue “freelance” positions. It’s a HUGE adjustment and many people don’t make the transition very smoothly. They leap before they look. The idea of not having a regular job in the workforce often sounded blissful until their first day at-home as a self-employed person, then a bit of reality sets in. It’s not as easy to freelance as the sexy vision of freelancing might have seemed. Planning a transition from employed to self-employed is something that takes committment, clarity of vision, dedication and focus.
For those of us on the entrepreneurial path, it is time to step into our mastery as leaders. To attain a great degree of success, we must make wise decisions with our time, energy, and resource expenditures. We must use discernment knowing there are a lot of great ideas which will come to us and our innovative, brilliant buddies, but we don’t have to chase them all. It is critical we pick something and commit to focus and discipline.
I was on a mastermind call last week and one of the gentlemen said that he did not feel that society was increasingly showing signs of cultural ADD or experiencing a decrease in attention span. He called B.S. on the stats showing a steep decline in attention spans because he said binge watching has increased. Only trouble is, binge watching a show is not an indicator of attention span. Binge watching is induced by the hypnotic state of watching television. Watching T.V., and movies puts you in a semi-hypnotic state, and attention isn’t what this measures at all. You can suffer attention deficit and binge watch with the best of them. Attention is much different. Attention is what you do on-the-job during the mundane of every day. Can you pay attention, attend to the details of what must be accomplished? This is attention. Attention is focus on what you must do. Can you focus and get your “to do” list done?
Last week I gave a 30 minute talk to entrepreneurs on the issues and struggles I’ve just written about, as well as solutions and inspiration we can choose as members of the self-employed. If you’d like to watch the video, click here.
So how do you step-off the merry-go-round of never quite reaching what we want? Focus and create strategies in your daily routine to support you in your diligence to stay the course enroute to your goals. I’m not suggesting you become rigid, but I do believe that there’s a time to be fluid and a time to buckle down and get necessary tasks done.
I am surrounded by people at my speaking events who want what some famous or highly successful entrepreneur has accomplished. But do they know what they are asking for? Every incredibly successful entrepreneur I’ve ever known has put in an extraordinary amount of time, energy, and resources, into their dream. It’s not an overnight occurrence, but rather a long-term commitment to do what most people are unwilling to do. The work.
Successful entrepreneurs devote themselves fully, jumping off into the uncomfortable unknown, and facing fear and boredom head-on without distraction. To achieve great things it takes more than dreaming and setting intentions. It takes action. It’s not what we say but what we do on a consistent, daily basis that nets what we gain.
Let me ask you a few important questions to consider:
What did you set out to do last year that didn’t get finished? What did get completed? Do you chase shiny objects and/or become distracted by all possibility? (If so, you do need to watch the video!)
What did you accomplish last year that you’re proud of? What do you intend to accomplish this year? What steps have you taken or decisions have you made which will support you on staying the course and remaining committed to your goals and vision?
Here’s to a focused, abundant, new year full of clarity of vision and focus for you to maintain your mission while feeling confident, creative, innovative, fresh, and consistently moving ahead in your own leadership and mastery!