Shiny Objects: Opportunities or Distractions?

This week on my blog, I’m thrilled to welcome a new guest contributor, Linda Clay! Linda is a business and lifestyle strategist who’s had successful careers in the for profit and non-profit sectors. She uses the tools and framework she developed to support corporate women who are ready to find their purpose so they can create more time, more income, and more impact while living life on their terms—and I felt this couldn’t be more perfect for my readers (hey, that’s you!). Enjoy!

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A Plethora of Opportunities

Every day you’re bombarded by a million Shiny Objects:

“Buy This Cream! It’ll make you look 20 years younger!”

“Take this pill! You’ll lose weight 10 times faster!”

Everywhere you turn, someone is promising you the moon—for a price.

If you’re trying to build or grow a business, these distractions don’t just lighten your wallet, they take up valuable time you need to manage, learn and grow.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by how many things you don’t know. There’s no lack of people willing to tell you, provided you’re willing to pay them for the privilege.

Every Day You See the Offers:

“Earn 6 figures in 6 months simply by taking my course!”

“Join our 5-day challenge and have clients knocking on your door!”

They’ll dangle freebies in front of you, offering to help you attract more clients, charge more for your services, or a million other things you’d be crazy not to want, right? But if you’re spending all your time (not to mention boatloads of money) chasing every shiny object you see, who’s minding the store? Who’s actually growing that business you’re so passionate about?

In the beginning, you sign up for dozens of courses, click on every freebie, and marvel at the wealth of information and help that’s available to you, just by opting in or punching in your credit card. But it doesn’t take long before you’re overwhelmed and discouraged.

You can’t possibly give each course or offering your full attention, and your inbox is overflowing with more offers and promises than you can handle. The more distracted you become, the faster your investments go down the drain. You’re stuck in neutral, unable to move in any direction.

Cleaning up the Excess Glitter

The temptation is to go in the opposite direction, dumping all the courses and trainings, firing coaches, and opting out of all the mailing lists you’ve gotten yourself onto.

But wait!

Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Take a good, hard look at everything you’ve invested in. You’re bound to find some hidden gold; a course or two which is relevant to the business you’re building, and which will help you grow past the limitations of your own knowledge and abilities. There are at least one or two which feel good to you and make you want to continue learning what they offer.

You need to wade through all the hype that had you investing in the first place. Some may open up avenues you hadn’t considered while left to your own devices and limited resources. Your most valuable and limited resource is time and you need to maximize it NOW. How do you do that?

What works best for me is to make lists. Look at each course and ask yourself a few questions:

  • What are the advantages of continuing this program right now?
  • What are the disadvantages?
  • How will it enhance my business?
  • Am I ready to implement what it’s teaching me right now, or do I need to build on what I know first?

Next, look at the ones that didn’t make the cut and ask:

  • Will this program be useful to me at some point in the future?
  • Will I be able to implement its elements once I’ve built a stronger foundation or gained more knowledge?
  • Will implementation fit into my schedule for growing my business?
  • Is there a time limit on when I can use it?

This list will help you decide where to cut your losses. Face it. You get pulled in too often by people who promise you success, only to find the product isn’t what you signed up for.

Knowing When to Alter Your Course

There’s no shame in admitting you made a mistake. But continuing to follow a path that isn’t good for you just because you spent money on it will distract you from working towards your goals. Those incredible dreams you see in infinite detail and vivid color will move further and further out of reach.

That doesn’t mean you have to stay laser focused on a single goal; a single destination. Sometimes a side trip or two opens up opportunities you wouldn’t have seen if you stuck to the straight and narrow. A little adventure can be a good thing. But pay attention to what matters and make sure you’re giving it the attention it deserves.

The side trips serve a couple of purposes.

  • They keep you from falling into a rut where every day is the same, and your to-do list takes on the persona of your childhood monsters under the bed.
  • They’re like a vacation. You get to do something different for a little while and shake yourself out of any ruts you might have dug.
  • You get to learn something new that might help you see what you’re doing in a new light; the light of innovation.

Shiny objects are neither good nor bad. Like any opportunity, at best they offer a lot of value when used wisely, and at worst, they can destroy part of what you’ve worked so hard to build. Most of the time, they fall somewhere in between. It’s up to you to be discerning and choose the ones which expand your horizons, making you think outside your comfort zone. You can do that by looking past the glitz and glitter to what lies beneath the surface.

Ask questions. Do your research. Most of all, be wary of the ones that promise you the Sun, Moon, and stars. They’re the ones will drag you under long before they launch you into the stratosphere.

Need help cleaning out that box of shiny objects? CONTACT ME TODAY to schedule a no-pressure, no-commitment phone call to see if I can answer any questions you might have. Together, we can make sort through all those offers and opportunities and find the ones that are worth your time and commitment.

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A huge thank you to Linda for her inspiring, encouraging words! If you’re interested in contributing to my blog just like Linda has, fill out my form here. Have any questions for Linda? Leave a comment below!

Linda Clay

Linda is a business and lifestyle strategist who’s had successful careers in the for profit and non-profit sectors. She uses the tools and framework she developed to support corporate women who are ready to find their purpose so they can create more time, more income, and more impact while living life on their terms. Linda has a faithful community of over 42,000 followers, is a speaker and co-author of Out-of-Work to Making Money, 21 Comeback Stories Every Job Hunter Should Hear. She’s been a guest on numerous podcasts such as Living Fearlessly, The Erin Strayer Show, iHeart Radio, Annie Talks, and The Business Code. She is the Chairperson and a featured speaker at the 2019 Women of Impact Conference Series. She is available to comment on topics such as life transitions, mindset, female empowerment, work/life balance, facing challenges, and business. You can find her online at www.lindamclay.com or enjoying the streets of Seattle.

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