The Shiny Coin Syndrome and How to Combat It

Last Update: July 09, 2019

You're working on the next article for your website when you decide to listen to a podcast from one of your favorite entrepreneurs.

In this episode, the person being interviewed talks about how they started a website based around succulent plants and they make 80 grand a year from it.

You think to yourself, "Succulent plants? I know a good amount about those - I could easily do that!" and decide to abandon your current plan because you haven't seen any results from it and start a new website based around succulent plants.

After a few weeks or months of working on this new website, you hear another story about how someone started a business selling tactical gear on Amazon and they make 10 grand a month from it.

"Tactical gear? I love tactical gear! I'm gonna do that instead!"

You drop the succulent website for now and start working on your new tactical gear website.

...and the cycle continues.

This, my friends, is the shiny coin syndrome.

What is the Shiny Coin Syndrome?

The shiny coin syndrome (or shiny penny syndrome as it's sometimes called) is when business leaders or entrepreneurs get distracted by what they perceive to be the "next big thing" rather than focusing on the consistent (and sometimes seen as "boring") stuff that has a proven track record.

This is especially easily to fall into if you're someone like me who gets bored easily.

The end result is you have several half-finished projects and a frustrated, bruised ego.

So, how do you combat this productivity killer?

1. Ensure You Have a Plan in Place

It can sometimes be difficult, especially when working with SEO, to think your work is in vain because you can't see the big picture yet.

Having a plan that you can always come back to can help you realign when you're feeling distracted.

Write down your plan including the overall topic of your website, the articles you want to write, etc.

2. Celebrate Small Wins

Easily the best way to stay on task is to celebrate the small victories.

Did you finish your first article?

Reward yourself.

Did you complete your 10th article?

Reward yourself again!

Learning to celebrate these small wins will help motivate you as you'll know each time you complete a task that you'll be getting a reward (sometimes the actual completion of the task itself can be seen as the reward, too!)

3. Stop Listening to Success Stories

This one might sound counterintuitive.

Don't listen to stories that are supposed to motivate you?

Hear me out as this has helped me personally in a lot of ways.

I used to listen to popular entrepreneur podcasts and hear crazy stories of people making bank from simple businesses they created, such as the succulent website story I shared in the intorudction.

Rather than motivate me, it made me more and more aware of where I wasn't and actually discouraged me.

It also would sometimes distract me and make me jump ship on what I was doing and try something else which was a major waste of time on my part.

So, rather than focus on other people's success, I began to focus solely on my own which ended up helping me see the bigger picture and stay on task.

I'm not saying don't stop learning or taking advice from others, but once you get to a certain place where you know what you need to do, you have to shut everything out and just do the work.

4. Stay Consistent

It's all about being consistent.

If you noticed through the example I gave in the beginning, the person kept jumping from one thing to the next which culminated in several unfinished projects.

In order to build an actual, sustainable business you have to remain consistent and not half-ass anything.

You have to remain patient and keep chugging along no matter what life throws at you.

Keep your eye on the bigger picture, and keep pressing forward.

Eventually, you'll have your breakthrough.

Keep Taking Action!

While the shiny coin syndrome is a notorious productivity killer, it can be dealt with if you remain consistent with your business and stop allowing yourself to be distracted.

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akolipenouko Premium
Shiny objectssyndrome, humm! That's what made me search for a better place to create my online business and I landed on Wealthy Affiliate.

Now, I avoid them but once in a while one of them wins me over. But at least, I'm no longer spending lots of money on them.

Thanks for sharing.
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thomasadams Premium
It can definitely prove to be a good thing if you need to pivot out of a situation, but you can't constantly be jumping around without letting your roots down deep into a project. If you have roots in a project that you know is not going anywhere, then it's probably safe to pivot to something else. Check yourself, though, to make sure it's a rational decision based on data and not emotion.
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akolipenouko Premium
I agree entirely, Although sometimes it's difficult to stick to a firm decision made. Maybe, that's my unfortunate nature. Or is it human nature?
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thomasadams Premium
Might be something in all of us. The whole "grass is always greener" mentality that got us to explore our planet.
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Teodor7 Premium
Great post!
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Winn4 Premium
Powerful..thanks for sharing.
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Niagara1 Premium
Great piece of advice to follow
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Nadia27 Premium
I was victim of this syndrome and I completely understand what you are talking about. I hope people can read this and flee from it.
Thanks
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MalibuPure Premium
Great post!
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