Shiny Object Syndrome

Why it keeps so many would-be business owners stuck

Martin Williams
3 min readNov 30, 2022


Do you have a habit you didn’t realize you had until someone else pointed it out? When you become aware of that thing you do, you become more self-conscious and at least try to correct it. I had a few that I didn’t know were so prevalent until I saw myself on video or in a picture, and all I wanted to do was hide.

One thing I noticed about myself regarding starting a side business was Shiny Object Syndrome; for the uninitiated, Shiny Object Syndrome, is described as chasing after something new after spending a short time on the last thing. That person jumps from thing to thing with no actual results or commitment.

This is me. I am Shiny Object Syndrome.

The truth is I am in recovery

How do you fix Shiny Object Syndrome? Can you fix it?

If you know you suffer from SOS, you need fewer options, not more.

I learned this concept from two different events in life. The first was when I worked a temporary position grading test assessments. The job was painfully boring but easy, so I had a lot of down time. One problem, though, was that I could not have any music, phone or anything entertaining.

This was before iPhones.

I did have an iPod (google it if you need to), but there was no listening to that. The only things they allowed were notebooks and writing instruments. As a result, I wrote a lot.

I wrote stories, articles, and poetry. Because there was nothing else, if I didn’t write, I would have just sat there for hours.

The lesson here was this: the fewer options, the more productivity.

The second lesson I was not directly involved in had to do with Tyler Perry’s deal with TBS. Perry was successful with several movies, which earned high box office numbers against relatively low production budgets. Television networks often pull the plug quickly on shows that don’t show immediate rating success. Most networks order a pilot before committing to an entire season. Perry, to his credit, negotiated a 100-episode commitment from TBS. TBS had to stick it out with Perry’s show, which ultimately benefited both parties.



Martin Williams

Mindset Coach. Building multiple things to help people be the best version of themselves. Sports lover.