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Shiny Object Syndrome

In the entrepreneurial world, a common pitfall awaits eager coaches and small business owners alike, known as Shiny Object Syndrome (SOS). It’s the business equivalent of a fish’s attraction to glittering objects, except that instead of lures, entrepreneurs are fooled by the latest tools and gadgets that promise to be the panacea for all business challenges. For coaches, particularly those new to the business, this allure can be even more potent. But here’s the stark truth: not only does the magical, do-it-all tool not exist, but the pursuit of it can also be detrimental to your business.

The Lure of the New and Promising

Shiny Object Syndrome occurs when your attention shifts from your current operations and strategies to the newest trend or tool on the market that promises to revolutionize their business overnight. For coaches, the psychological tug is understandable. They’re usually solo entrepreneurs, hungry for growth, and often working in isolation. They yearn for simplicity and efficiency, and thus, the newest app, platform, or method that pledges to streamline their practice seems irresistible. I should know my AppSumo purchased product list is a little embarrassing, whose with me? It’s fascinating how in the fast-paced digital era, the allure of instant solutions can lead even the most seasoned professionals astray. Yet, amidst the constant influx of innovations, the core principles of dedication and perseverance remain timeless. Therefore, while embracing innovation is pivotal, grounding oneself in the fundamentals is equally essential for sustained success. 

The Cost of Distraction

The problem with SOS is multifaceted. First, it preys on the fear that you’re not doing enough to keep up with your competitors. The anxiety that you might miss out on the ‘next big thing’ can lead to knee-jerk investments in products that may not align with your business needs. This distraction erodes your focus and dilutes your efforts, diverting valuable resources from what truly matters: building relationships, honing your coaching skills, and developing your courses. Over the last 4 years I have read 130+ books on business development and the biggest takeaway from all of them was to take the straightest path to the money. That CRM tool, social media posting, invoice creating, time tracking app is not going to solve your problems, it will only create more.

"I'd have a longer attention span if there weren't so many shiny things."

Darynda Jones

The Myth of the One-Stop Solution

Another peril is the misconception that a single tool can manage all aspects of a coaching business. Entrepreneurs often look for software or platforms that promise to handle everything from email marketing and course delivery to customer relationship management (CRM) and payment processing. However, it is crucial to understand that no unified tool can effectively fulfill all these diverse requirements. This is because each aspect necessitates specific functionalities and a tailored approach. Moreover, a common fallacy is the belief that free solutions are the most advantageous option. It is essential to remember that quality often comes with a price, and opting for complimentary services may not always yield the desired outcomes.

Streamlining Your Business the Smart Way

While the allure of a universal solution is strong, the prudent course of action is to strategically select tools that complement each other and suit your particular business needs. Streamlining isn’t about finding the one tool to rule them all; it’s about creating an ecosystem of tools that work together efficiently, without redundancy. Here’s how you can do that:

By carefully considering the unique requirements of your business and integrating tools that harmonize seamlessly, you can establish a cohesive framework that optimizes productivity and fosters growth. Embracing a diverse array of tools tailored to your specific objectives is key to achieving operational excellence and staying ahead in today’s dynamic marketplace.

1 Assess Your Needs

Before falling for the next shiny object, take a step back. Evaluate the specific needs of your coaching business. What tasks take up the most time? Where are the bottlenecks? What aspects of your business could truly benefit from automation or better management?

2 Prioritize Compatibility

Choose tools that integrate well with one another. Avoid the trap of collecting disparate systems that don’t communicate. This can lead to more complications, not less. Compatibility is key in building a seamless operational flow. As much as I love AppSumo I have definitely bought products that don’t work with the tools I already use. The more obscure the tool, the less likely it is to work properly inside your systems.

3 Focus on Specialization

Instead of a jack-of-all-trades tool, look for solutions that specialize in what you need most. Need better payment processing? There’s a tool for that. Want to improve your course delivery? Hire us to build you a Wordress site to host your own courses. That CRM tool that Kajabi boondoggled you for won’t even be of use to you if you are a coach, how many clients do you think you need anyway? I mean, really. 

4 Avoid Redundancy

Carefully examine the capabilities of each tool you utilize to ensure there’s no overlap in services. Redundancy not only wastes money but also complicates your processes. Streamlining means each tool has a clear, unique purpose. I love love love love me some Zapier. Creating automations for your business is typically more effective than trying to get AI to do it. 

5 Embrace Incremental Changes

Revolutionizing your business doesn’t happen overnight. Implement new tools slowly and methodically, ensuring each one integrates into your workflow effectively before moving on to the next. Focus on getting clients and making money, you might need to handcrank some engines for a while in the beginning but that’s just par for the course in business ownership. Nobody said it was going to be easy, and if they did, they lied. 


Succumbing to Shiny Object Syndrome can be a business killer, especially for coaches. While it’s crucial to stay current and use technology to leverage your business, it’s equally important to remain critical and selective. Be methodical in how you upgrade and streamline your operations. Remember, the goal is to create a well-oiled machine, not to have the latest gadgetry.

The right tools will make you feel like you have a team.

It’s a nice thought isn’t it?

You got this.


PS I plan on using a lot of really bad stock photos, so if that’s not your jam you can get off on the next stop. 

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