Being able to generate innovative ideas is a crucial business skill. Companies that aren’t flexible and can’t adapt to changing markets are more likely to fail. However, there’s such a thing as being too creative. If you develop an overabundance of company initiatives, you run the risk of splitting your focus and resources too much to be able to execute your ideas properly.
Many business owners are afraid to put all of their eggs in one basket. They believe that juggling lots of different projects will spread out their risk and increase their chances of success. In theory, if you have lots of good ideas and test them all, at least one of them is bound to succeed.
But in practice, launching too many projects or businesses at the same time can burn you out and reduce the quality of your work. If you have a small team of employees, the heavier workload may cause them to resent you and increase turnover within your company. At the end of the day, it’s better to have five successful, well-executed initiatives than ten middling projects that weren’t implemented properly. This is something I’ve learned recently from trying to start too many businesses at once.
My Experience With Shiny Object Syndrome
Many entrepreneurs like me are excited by the idea generation phase of business development. We love creating business plans and developing product lines, brand guidelines, and marketing strategies. But we don’t approach the implementation phase with the same enthusiasm. After a few months of putting in the hard work required to launch a business, we may switch gears to work on a newer, more energizing project.
But splitting our focus between multiple fledgling companies hurts our business ventures. We don’t give each idea the time it needs to succeed to the fullest extent possible. Right now I’m juggling a freelance writing business, trying to get a woodworking and crafting business off the ground, and dabbling in food photography. I even went to the thrift store last month to buy trendy secondhand clothes to list on Poshmark. Because I don’t have the bandwidth for another side hustle, the vintage jeans I bought are sitting in a corner of my bedroom collecting dust.
Instead of spreading myself too thin, I’ve decided to focus mainly on my freelance writing business and give any leftover energy to my food photography side hustle. I’m hoping that dedicating myself fully to just two projects will enable me to scale faster and earn more revenue.
Tips To Avoid Shiny Object Syndrome
To avoid shiny object syndrome, you have to be honest with yourself. Do you really have the time to add another project or business venture to your plate? Write down a list of all of your current work and family commitments and how much time they take you each week. Tally up the number of hours that are already spoken for. Make sure you include time for self-care and adequate sleep too.
How many hours do you have left over to devote to a new business? Probably a lot less than you thought. Would you actually be able to launch a new company initiative or business venture in that amount of time? Outsourcing can help you expand and take on new projects without destroying your work-life balance.
But hiring employees or contractors adds to your business expenses and overhead, so it’s important to tread carefully. Only pursue projects that you believe will increase your company’s revenue and have been validated in some way. Performing market research and soliciting customer feedback early on will help you avoid sinking money into ideas that aren’t viable.
How do you avoid shiny object syndrome and fight the desire to implement too many new business initiatives at once? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Vicky Monroe is a freelance personal finance and lifestyle writer. When she’s not busy writing about her favorite money saving hacks or tinkering with her budget spreadsheets, she likes to travel, garden, and cook healthy vegetarian meals.