Is Shiny Object Syndrome Killing Your Business?

As a successful entrepreneur with nearly 20 years of experience in the online marketing and business space, I can tell you that staying focused and always being driven towards your end goal can be tough. With so many distractions and opportunities getting exposure every day, it’s easy to lose focus, try something new and then start losing interest in what you already were having success with in the first place.

This is commonly referred to as “shiny object syndrome” — which is the process of getting distracted by all of the shiny objects that may blind you from what you are currently focused on.

How Shiny Object Syndrome Works

Here’s a perfect example. Years ago I wrote about how one of my sites went on to generate over $800,000 profit in just a few months time. While this specific business model and target audience for this old case study is still relevant, it simply wouldn’t work as effective today. However, many people have read the article and I’m sure many have chased the dream of making money with the same concept as well. More than anything else, posts like these are meant to be an inspiration and to show what is possible through affiliate marketing. Nonetheless, it’s been read by thousands of people and has probably been considered a “shiny object” to many over the years.

Zac Yahoo Check

I also created a super simple guide to starting your first pay per click marketing guide (which I will soon be updating). This super easy to follow guide actually resulted in over $3 million worth of new business and referrals to Neverblue’s ad network. I showed people how easy it was to select an offer and create their first ad campaign. Site readers followed my advice, walked through the process and the rest is history.

Now here’s where shiny object syndrome might come in. Let’s say you found my PPC marketing guide and started to make some money with your campaign and were super focused on your end goal of making $100 per day… however, you are only currently making $10 per day.

While working on your ad campaigns, you decided to start browsing other online marketing blogs to see what’s going on in the industry. Then you came across John Chow’s blog and saw he was making $100,000 a month by pushing some new program. You instantly get inspired, start following him and try to replicate his own success. Soon enough, your successful PPC marketing guides start to die out — not only are they no longer profitable, they are now costing you money!

John Chow MOBE Check

So after a few weeks of trying to replicate John Chow’s success with whatever you were trying to promote that got you inspired on his site, once again you realize your earnings progress isn’t fast enough. Once again, you start browsing sites again to find some new ways to make money.

Next thing you know, you end up on and see John Lee Dumas is making several hundreds of thousands of dollars per month with his podcast, blog and online course and you decide you must do the same.


Starting a podcast and online course of your own is quite time to consume and challenging… so let’s say we jump forward a year later to when you have a blog and podcast in place, but you are still only making a few dollars per day and still trying to figure out where everything went wrong.

The answer is simple… you are suffering from “Shiny Object Syndrome“!


And don’t get more wrong… this post is in no way bashing John Chow or John Lee Dumas, it’s actually doing the complete opposite. When both of these players were told their ideas wouldn’t work and you could never make money that way — guess what, they did!

Why? Because they didn’t let shiny object syndrome deter them from their goals!

The Cure for Shiny Object Syndrome

To make it in the world of online marketing, entrepreneurship and business, you need to stick with whatever it is you are going to be awesome at, and simply be the best at it. No one wants to work with the Jack of All Trades, they want the Master of One. The same holds true for making money online, as your competition is hundreds of millions of other sites.

There are thousands of ways to legitimately make money online, but if you keep jumping from idea to idea, you are never going to get ahead. Stick with one idea and have a goal in place to make it work. You will also need to have a cutoff point where you decide to kill an idea or keep pushing forward. You don’t want to waste time beating a dead horse.

This is something I did with one of my social network resource sites. After the site generated a million dollars in profit, I knew the industry was changing, the competition was on the rise and it was time to move on. Things move quickly on the internet, and you need to adjust to it.

Take a look at everything you have on your plate right now. Remove the distractions and side projects that are wasting your time, resources and keeping you away from your end goals and best projects.

The internet is a battlefield on your mind, ego, and focus. Re-evaluate where you are focusing your time and effort on a weekly basis and don’t let the shiny objects distract you along the way.

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  1. Great advice Zac

    I still find myself doing the shiny object syndrome at times but not as much as I did when I first stated. Great article, some very good advice on what your goals should be and how to focus on what you are good at and what you enjoy doing as well.

    Thanks Robert

  2. hi zac; this is an excellent post and warning for new and newby online business owners. i have never experienced this problem for two reasons. One, I have yet to reach the point where I have enough income to try every new thing that comes along or even one of them. I choose investments carefully out of necessity. and as a blind computer user a lot of products software suites money making systems online courses etc may not be accessible with a screen reader. so i tend to only invest in free or low cost or products sold by people I have known for a long time. i have been working at my second website the blind blogger for over a year now and it has yet to show much real income. however, getting established as a life goals coach and speaker isn’t an easy thing to do. there are a lot of people out there offering similar services. I don’t have their credentials but I do have some great life experiences to draw on. and as several radio show hosts have told me recently if they were going to hire a coach they would want to hire someone who has been through the wars like i have. glad we connected through my email list and am looking forward to learning a lot from you. thanks and take care, max

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