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I was infected this week with the Shiney Object Syndrome.  I bought a product that looked really good.  It was definitely something that I could use.  I had actually talked about creating something that this product did with ease.  I thought it was a no –brainer.

Then, I began to learn this software.  Each step seemed to take longer.  Then, I had to buy additional products to ‘get the most’ out of this software.  By the third additional software and an hour into learning, I thought about my 3-3-30 inoculation from the syndrome.  It would take more than 3 hours to learn and I would not see my return on investment within 30 days.

With this simple formula in my head, I immediately deleted the product from my system and sent an email to the seller for a refund.

Normally, I would continue to justify what I was doing.  I would think about if I made the right decision or not.  I would think about the ‘possibilities’ and get caught up in my dream and vision for what someone else’s product should be doing.

Instead, I was able to wipe out this decision with no regrets and get on with my business.

So why do we get caught up in the Shiney Object Syndrome:

It is human nature.  We want the easy, quick and fast way to success.

To MEN: We buy tools ‘in case’ we need them.  We don’t want to get caught without the right tool to fix something.  We want to be prepared and ready to save the day.  The Shiney Object Syndrome feeds on this internal desire.

TO WOMEN: We buy shoes so we have the right one when we feel like need it.  We want to look good and having the right shoe for the right task means we are ready for anything.  It is our security.  We want to be seen as capable and the Shiney Object Syndrome feeds on this internal desire.

The key is to not buy software, tools or training ‘in case’ I might need them.  Only purchase what you can immediately use in your business and what fits in line with the vision and goals of your business.

Watch the attached video for the formula to break the Shiney Object Syndrome.

Shiney Object Formula Inoculation (The Quick check)

Remember: 3 – 3- 30

  • 3 – Can you learn how to implement it in less than 3 hours? If not, no deal.
  • 3 – Can you get a 3X return on your investment? If not, not deal.
  • 30 – Can you get your increase within 30 days? If not, no deal.

This is a quick evaluation tool.  There are exceptions, of course and for the exceptions, you need to think deeper.  So, I have devised a second set of questions to help you avoid the shiney object syndrome for more complicated purchases.

For More complicated Shiney Objects Follow this Process:

  • What is the ‘actual’ price of the initial sale? (Realize that there are probably more additions)
  • What is it promising to do for your business? (One sentence, no more)
  • What WILL you do this week if you get this software/tool/training?
  • What will be the profit to your business on that one action?
    •  If your profit is less than the cost of the action, don’t do it.
    • If your profit is more than the action continue.
  • Do I actually need this product/service for my company or do I just like the idea of it? If Yes, continue.
  • You are basing your decision on their promises. Realistically, consider that you will probably get about 25% of the promised returns.  Considering this fact, is your profit still less than the cost of the item?

If yes, continue:

  • Will you use this item more than 10 times and continue to get desired results?
    • If yes, buy it. It sounds good.
    • If not, don’t worry. You can probably do the same thing yourself without adding to your collection of non-used tools.
  • Can you hire someone to do the job for you cheaper than the purchase?
    • If so, don’t bother.
    • If not, continue.
  • Is there an alternative to this product/service that is cheaper? (Pay special attention to upgrade costs and monthly subscriptions.)
    • If so, don’t bother.
    • If not, continue.
  • Can I afford it? It is easy to go into debt for something that you think will help.  Again, refer back to the 3-3-30 rule. If you borrow, can you get a enough return on your money in 30 days.  If not, wait till you have enough money and use that as an incentive.  If you can afford it and everything looks legit…I say go for it.  You have put in your due diligence so you can buy with confidence.


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