I love the Tom Hanks movie, Castaway. The one about a FedEx plane crash out in the middle of the Pacific. Hanks washes up on an uninhabited island and has to live off what he finds clinging to the shore or on the barren island. Hanks does a great job of playing the part.
When he paints a happy face on a volleyball, names him Wilson, and makes him his silent friend; we sort of chuckle internally at the ridiculousness of it.
Later, in a wild card attempt for rescue, our heart-breaks right with Hanks’ when his friend Wilson gets knocked off the raft and blown out to sea.
Not to worry, he won’t drown; he’s a volleyball for crying out loud.
Anyway, it’s not an action movie, so if you’re in to those you might not appreciate it, but I love the psychology of it.
As you might guess, stranded on the island he finds a way to get a huge S-O-S out on the beach just in case a plane should happen to fly by.
Well, fat lot of good it did for him, and you know what? Fat lot of good an S-O-S will do you in business too.
Maybe I better explain. In a distress situation, S-O-S means save our souls. While we could find ourselves in distressful situations in business and in need of saving, the S-O-S I’m talking about has a different meaning.
The S-O-S I’m talking about stands for shiny object syndrome.
What the blazes is that?
Let me explain it this way. Let’s say you are a person interested in getting into the adaptive equipment field.
Great, so you decide, “Dog-gone-it, I’m going for it! I’m going to be my own boss and control my own future!”
So, you make a business plan, figure out what equipment you are going to handle, put together some marketing ideas, and basically you are very close to launching.
You think, wouldn’t it be cool if on my website I had a podcast giving some tutorials of the products I’ll carry? Yeah baby! So cool!
So, you start to work on that.
Hey now, wouldn’t it be great if I had a shopping cart instead of these old school PayPal buttons for payment? After all, that would help make sales easier for customers, and you know the rule… more than three-clicks and you lose people’s attention. I need that for dang sure.
Hold it now!
What if, yeah this one is really good, what if I were to hold a live webinar and offer a discount or package deal for attendees? Now we’re talking modern marketing methods here!
Hey, now here’s something what if…
Okay, enough is enough. Do you see my point?
Are you starting to feel like you’re listening to a commercial with an announcer screaming…?
“But that’s not all, for only three-easy payments of just $19.99 you’ll not only receive our mini-widget Wacker unit, we’ll include our handy widget polish absolutely free. And not just one bottle of our incredible polish, but two bottles of our “never before released” space-age polish. Think that’s all? Guess again, we’ll also include a widget alignment device, again, absolutely free!”
Shiny object syndrome is that incredible shiny business idea, trinket, or brainstorm which always seems to catch your attention. In reality, it keeps you from putting soles of shoes to concrete and getting your business launched or moving.
Look, there are many, great, legitimate ideas and tools out there to help businesses, but as much as each might lead you to believe you can’t do without them, sooner or later you’ve just got to start where you are and get down to commerce.
Nothing will chew away at your confidence ever so slowly and silently than having those elusive trinkets and tools and ideas just out of arm’s reach for you to focus on, rather than picking up the phone and making those calls, writing those e-mails, setting up those appointments; or whatever it is you are really supposed to do to get your business moving towards success.
One day you’ll look at the console of shiny objects surrounding you, reflect on the calendar of when you started the business, and feel a failure because you have all this stuff and all this time invested, and a zero bank balance to show for it.
Please, don’t do that!
Don’t fall for S-O-S. Start where you are, you have enough to start, so just go for it.
Envision a happy customer thanking you for the extra attention you gave them, and while they’re walking away with their new adaptive technology piece, you are filling out a deposit slip for the bank.
You’ll eventually have some time to work on those trinkets, or maybe you’ll decide to farm it out while you do what you do best, educate and help others with their adaptive technology device needs.
Until next time…
Live like you’ll never get hurt, dream like nobody is watching, and above all… try-try-try until you succeed!