Overwhelm is a real thing in online businesses. There is always more that could be done. More products to create, more blogs to write, more opt-in pages to build, more clients to connect with, more, more, more.
And the biggest contributors?
- Shiny object syndrome
- Wanting to do everything yourself
- Juggling too many balls
Shiny Object Syndrome
Every time you’re tempted to buy that new, must-have tool, or to test out a new marketing method, or even to switch business models entirely, you’re falling victim to this business killer.
Here’s the problem with shiny object syndrome. It prevents you from achieving success by shifting your focus away just when you’re about to hit your sweet spot. It’s true. I’ve seen it happen time and time again. A promising startup just begins to make sales and gain a following, and then out of the blue, the owner does a pivot into a completely unrelated niche or business.
All that work… just gone.
Don’t let this happen to you.
Set Clear Goals
The first step toward the clarity and focus you need to avoid shiny object syndrome is simply to know your goals. Where exactly are you going? Do you want to build a six-figure coaching program? Earn a living from your blog? Design websites for offline businesses?
Regardless of your business model, if you don’t know your goal, you will always struggle with focus, and every new strategy and tool will pull you further away from your dreams.
Commit to a Plan
Before you implement a new marketing strategy, change business plans, or even purchase a new tool, ask yourself if you’re truly willing to give it a fair shot at success. Marketing strategies take time to grow legs. Business models can require years to show a profit. And that shiny new tool won’t earn back its cost if you toss it aside next week for something different.
Be realistic with yourself, and make a plan to give your idea the best shot at success. Make a commitment to yourself and your business.
Put on Your Blinders
If all else fails, simply stop paying attention. Get off the mailing lists that endlessly promote the latest and greatest idea. Stop reading blogs and visiting Facebook groups. Don’t click on ads.
Focus on what you know works, keep your goals in mind, and recommit to making your business as good as it can possibly be.
Wanting to do everything yourself
Is it possible to find other people who work as you do? Have the same standards? Know how to write as you do, or organize as you do, the list goes on. How many times have you said, “if I could just clone myself”? Well, guess what – you can….kinda!
Impart your knowledge
As you set up tasks and processes in your business, learn to create SOP’s that detail the exact process you use to do things. These SOP’s should be regularly updated as you refine your processes. SOP’s can make up the bulk of an employee handbook or you can share them when you delegate a specific task, which brings me to my next point:
Learn to Delegate
It’s only painful the first couple of times! As long as your instructions are clear and concise, most people should be able to follow them. If there is a disconnect in the desired versus actual outcome, go back and think about how you assigned the task. Most of the time delegation doesn’t work because the information given wasn’t clear enough.
The key to changing behaviour is to provide feedback and review often. If your employee or subcontractor is doing something in a way that doesn’t work for you, staying silent only allows the concern to continue. If your SOP’s are clear as are your instructions and you are still not getting things done the way you want it, providing feedback and explaining your expectations is the only way to fix the issue.
Juggling too many balls
Even with avoiding shiny object syndrome and delegating some of your tasks, you can still be in overwhelm if there is just too many tasks to get completed. Some people set themselves up for failure simply by overloading their plates. Just because you want to get all these things done, doesn’t mean they have to be done now.
Follow one course until success. Of all your brilliant money-making, business growth ideas that have you making to-do lists longer than the yellow brick road, pick ONE. Yes, ONE. Then put the others in a file and put that away in a drawer. Do not let them distract you! Pick the idea you are most excited about, and then work it. Once you have achieved success then move on to the next idea.
Bringing automation into your business can clear many of your repetitive tasks. From E-mail Marketing Campaigns to Bookkeeping automation, there are many ways to work smarter rather than harder.
Learn to let go
Are there items on your to-do list that really aren’t necessary? If you find that writing weekly blogs, for instance, is contributing to your feeling of overwhelm and you don’t want to delegate them, then think about doing them less frequently and be ok with that decision. There are no “rules” when it comes to running your own business. It’s about what you can be comfortable with.
All of these strategies are designed to stop you feeling overwhelmed, however it takes discipline and practice to make them all happen consistently and you may still find overwhelm creeping in as your try to implement them.
Overwhelm is totally manageable, the key is recognizing when it’s creeping up. I find that acknowledging that I am getting into overwhelm, counting to 10 and dumping four or five items down on paper goes a long way to moving me through the fog.