Reality Blog: A 6-Step Plan for Preventing Shiny Object Syndrome

Businessman walking around confusion and chaos on a straight easy path and journey to success as a business metaphor for leadership solution to financial challenges.

There’s a common ailment that affects many freelancers.

I had a pretty bad case of it when I was first starting out. And I still have to fight it off from time to time.

What is this affliction I’m referring to?

You may have heard of it… or suffered from it. It’s called Shiny Object Syndrome (SOS) and it attacks freelancers and entrepreneurs alike.

SOS rears its head in two ways.

The first is that irrepressible urge to stop what you’re doing and pursue some new thing that looks better. We chase the new object for a while, leaving our old project on a shelf to collect dust until something else catches our attention and we move on to the next new and exciting adventure. If left unmanaged, it can go on indefinitely, crushing all dreams of ever having a successful business.

The other way SOS attacks is by overwhelming us. It presents itself as something new on an almost daily basis. And all of the new possibilities seem to not only fit into our plans, but they become necessities. A sense of overwhelm sets in quickly, leading to freelancer paralysis.

This second form of SOS is actually the one that has hurt me the most. It’s that sense of having so much to do that you don’t know where to start. So you don’t. You just look at all the things you have to do over and over, failing to get anything at all done.

What Causes SOS?

Freelancers are by nature highly motivated people, driven by a passion and a desire to succeed and thrive. The thing that drives us toward success is sometimes the very thing that can make us spiral backward.

We look for the best and the fastest way to reach our goals. When we come across what looks like an opportunity to get there faster, if we’re not careful, we can veer off course.

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Tracy Clement Wilson

Tracy's a freelance B2B copywriter, web writer, blogger, science geek, tree hugger, and health food fanatic. When she's not busy with her family, she attempts organic gardening and hangs out with her chickens (the ladies who give her eggs), bearded dragon (her "only"...lizard), and dogs (her office mates).

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