Don't trip over shiny objects

One of the modules I teach in online training courses focuses on shiny objects, the distractions that seem to stop us from being able to achieve what we truly want.

They seem disproportionately large when we first set eyes on them.

A few months ago, my colleague, Andre, and I were in New York for business meetings and visited Times Square.

Times Square embraces a high-tech, old-fashioned concept. Fancy glaring screens shout loudly at you to “buy my product." The challenge would appear to be, we never went to Times Square to buy anything.

Smart marketers know they cannot get your attention easily until you have stated a desire to look for a product. Once they know your desire, they will then present you with messaging and offers in order to speak to your desire.

This is otherwise known as responsive marketing as opposed to interruptive marketing. All the advertisers are hoping you might impulsively purchase something. It is that same impulsiveness we succumb to to get us way off course.

In the same vein, business owners can struggle with shiny objects. More than a few business owners exhibit symptoms of mild ADHD and helping them stay on task can be a real challenge when there is a job to do.

Often, when we have had our heads down for a large amount of time on a project and have invested many hours and money moving it forward, we may lack results. 

It is at the point of no results where we subconsciously start questioning our ability and looking for a shiny object. An object that can distract our attention away from failure, can fill our time with busyness, helping us to feel productive. It is an adult distraction. 

The lost opportunity comes from the fact that at the point where we became distracted we were almost over the hurdle. We all know in some way life is not easy, it takes a tenacity which sometimes seems quite rare to start a new business.

Perhaps it is why not everyone is an entrepreneur. Developing a focus on what is critical is important to you in your life and in your business. 

Now, you might be hearing all this advice from the Shiny Object King — at least until almost a year ago.

Since the election, Donald Trump has shown himself to be the master of distraction. Instead of focusing on the job at hand, he takes to Twitter to start a war with anyone who dares to respond or stand up to his ego.

There is no doubt Trump, somewhere, has some skills that helped him succeed, but since election day, he has not exhibited what it takes to lead a country, focus on critical tasks and plan strategically for success. 

Perhaps he spends too much time in Times Square or on late night TV, or Twitter. Who knows?


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About the Author

Mark has been an entrepreneur for over forty years. His experience spans many commercial sectors and aspects of business. He was one of the youngest people to be appointed as a Fellow of the prestigious Institute of Sales and Marketing Management before he left the UK in 1988.

His column focuses on ways we can improve on success in our lives. Whether it is business, relationships, or health, Mark has a well-rounded perspective on how to stay focused for growth and development.

His influences come from the various travels he undertakes as an adventurer, philanthropist and keynote speaker. More information can be found on Mark at his website www.markjenningsbates.com

He is a Venture Partner with www.DutchOracle.com a global Alternative Investment company.

Mark Jennings-Bates:
[email protected]

Photo credit: www.SteveAustin.ca 

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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