I’m sure you’ve heard the term bright shiny object before. What is it exactly and the and what can be done to avoid getting taken in by it?
There have been countless articles devoted to this “syndrome” because so many people fall prey to it. The “Bright Shiny Object Syndrome “(BSOS) is that thing that happens when you see or hear a new idea for your business, work or life that takes you totally off track of what you are doing and sends you in a tailspin jumping to make this new idea happen because it looks, feels or sounds so good that your are sure it’s that thing that will take you to the next level.
Earlier this year, I had BSOB when a colleague sold me on an idea to work together. I jumped at the thought of the opportunity that would take all the up hill stuff I’ve been facing in my business and wipe it away. Finally it was going to get easier and finally I had someone that was going to solve that dilemma I had of accelerating my business forward! Oh I was excited at the possibilities. The problem was that I didn’t take any time to look closer at the situation before jumping. There lies the problem.
What I quickly found out is that our lifestyles and values were completely different. I invested funds I didn’t have to do a test run and put myself into a corner that left me feeling uncomfortable and tense. I knew I blew it and leaped before I looked. I quickly put a stop to moving forward in that situation and worked hard not to kick myself for being so impetuous.
I have things put in place for this, so why did that take me in? Looking back I think it was that I didn’t have a solid plan for evaluating new opportunities put in place and the fact that I have been working so hard to make my business go to that next level that I was looking for a break and thought this might be it.
How can we avoid the BSOS? Here are 5 Steps that you can use to evaluate any BSOS that comes your way.
This is the first strategy to keep in mind when evaluating a new offer or idea. Don’t make a hasty decision to jump into something you know nothing about or make an impulse buy. That means making an agreement with yourself to do some evaluating before making the decision or going somewhere that there might be things you would buy without thinking.
Most of the time hasty decisions are emotional ones and when the emotion fades, there can be buyers remorse that follows and then you have to take time to return the item or cancel the service. Sales people work on getting your emotions, getting you to feel like you really need what they are offering. There are millions of dollars in marketing devoted to making you feel a certain way so you will buy, you have to have a plan to counteract that.
This also happens at many seminars. If you attend seminars, it is best to make an agreement with yourself before you go. The same goes for shopping at the mall, buying a car, a house, investing in a deal of any sort or even accepting a job or opportunity. Take the time to sit with it before making that decision so you won’t be sorry later. If it requires you to have an accountability buddy to keep you honest, do it. Many people in the U.S. are in serious debt from making hasty decisions and impulse buys. Avoid being part of that group by having a plan to stop the hasty decisions.
I need to think about it
While this can sometimes be seen as an excuse to not make a decision in some situations, this is a good strategy to use so you can take some time to evaluate the situation and make a solid decision based on facts rather than feeling. Don’t let someone push you into a hasty decision. Push back and let them know you are not going to make a decision without further evaluation. This will protect you from leaping before you look. I will be direct and tell someone up front I’ll look at it but most likely won’t be interested. This is primarily my answer for any MLM or any opportunity that is going to take time and effort away from my speaking business to work. I get approached by a lot of people about being part of an MLM (see recent blog post about the problem with MLM’s). If it is something I am considering, I will say I need to think about it and will give an answer at an agreed upon time. If they say they need an answer now, the answer will be no because I won’t be pushed into a yes decision.
Verify the Facts
Take some time to verify the information, the person or both. You want to make sure if you are aligning with someone whose values and beliefs align with yours. An example of this would be getting married with assumptions that you both want kids when you haven’t talked about it then later find out that one of you doesn’t. Another example would be when one person drinks alcohol regularly when on business and the other person does not. Value alignment is very important in the overall performance of the business. If you are attending an event where you know they are going to be selling something, take some time to look at who is speaking and know their programs. Too often we think the next speaker is going to be the solution we are looking for to be successful. That’s what happens with “seminar junkies.” I once saw a guy sign up for every speakers offer at a 3 day event many years ago. He could have invested that money in one or two good coaches and the rest in his business. People don’t want to work and think the seminar is going to be the solution but really it’s the work that is the solution, there is no quick fix. This goes for anything else like weight loss, exercise, health, finances, relationships, promotions. It’s not going to happen by taking a pill or getting that “instant solution” that is being offered. It’s important to make a decision in advance how much you are able to invest in whatever you are doing. If you have to, leave credit cards at home so you don’t get sold if you don’t have the finances to make the investment.
Consult with experts/higher authority
Do you have a coach or mentor? Consult with them before you make a serious move on your business or employment. Do you have a counselor? Discuss your situation with them before you make a move in your life that could have serious ramifications. Consult an attorney for legal matters, consult a specific expert for whatever you are contemplating before making a decision. As a negotiation and contracts expert, I often review contracts for clients or make recommendations for things to make sure they include. If there are terms in the agreement you don’t fully understand, make sure you consult with an expert in that area. What is the refund policy? Is there a refund policy? Make sure you fully understand it if there is one. If there is a no refund policy, you should have the legal 3 days to cancel. What about medical care? Get more than one opinion. If you are looking at applying for a promotion and have a mentor, discuss it with them. Consulting with experts is a way to ensure you are protected and finding the best course of action for your situation.
Be willing to walk away
The final strategy to consider is to be willing to walk away. In negotiation, being willing to walk away is the strategy that you always want to go into any situation with. It’s the thing to always have in your back pocket as an option. That means deciding in advance that you don’t have to have whatever is being offered.
Just because you are presented with an opportunity does not mean you have to take it. You are always free to walk away even if you already started to get involved in whatever it is. If that is the case and you don’t want to lose the money or time you invested, think about the fact that it’s better to have a small loss instead of a bigger loss in the end. Do you have money rules? If not, you might want to establish some for what you will and won’t invest in and keep your commitment with yourself. Too often we get pulled into things and make emotional decisions. Recently I had to make some adjustments due to loss of income and late payments from organizations and vendors that were paying me for services. It came to thousands in speaker fee’s and sales. I had to make an agreement with myself to adjust my spending plan while I worked on clearing up the situation. I had to be willing to walk away from things I normally purchased as extra’s in order to make it work. It’s simple but not easy when you are used to operating a certain way and then have to make a drastic change. In the end, walking away is a form of owning your power and honoring your commitment.
These are some strategies you can put into action right now. You want to make sure you have a plan so as not to get caught up in the BSOS and make decisions that you regret later. Being aware of BSOS and executing these strategies to ensure you don’t get sucked into the trap of the BSOS will alleviate the bumps in the road it can cause and keep you from derailing your path to success.