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Shiny Object Syndrome: How to Stay Focused on Top Priorities
Episode 4017th December 2018 • Women Conquer Business • Jen McFarland
00:00:00 01:01:41

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00:00:26Welcome to the third pedal, podcast recorded at the Vandal Lounge. In beautiful Southeast Portland, Oregon, why the third title because even the most badass entrepreneurs gets stuck up and Business Management. Consultant, Jennifer McFarland is your third paddle, helping you get unstuck.

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00:01:05Is that you? That's me. Liz is here already. I could out. So before we dive into the episode list started talking about something that I have to admit. I don't know a lot about what's that? The Oregon Trail game, so no stop it. You don't know about the Oregon Trail game about how we need to like work. The plan and have resources and it was all great until you started mentioning the Oregon Trail game.

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00:01:36I told Jen that I always drowned in the river that I was needing to Ford fording the river. It's like nine times out of ten where people died in that game. But you had to have played the game like in maybe the late 80s, early 90s mid-90s, even so like after the Commodore 64 but before like a real full fledged, we're having a fire over here. It's you know, it's number is it contained fire? But it just made a loud popping sound. So Oregon Trail game. It's what makes you sure you have the resources to actually cross. Yeah. We're basically. I mean it was just it was his whole game on the computer and you had to load up your wagon and do the things that you needed in order to make it from Missouri to Oregon. And I bet that's dying along the way and there was it's kind of like a digital version of the game. Was that life game.

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00:03:09Okay, that makes sense to me. Yeah, I mean, I think it's a really good analogy because what we're talking about today is working your plan and making sure that you have all of the resources. So that you don't drown. When you're saving your horse only, it's not a horse and there's no river, right? It's about setting up things like Sandra had talked about. So all of your Revenue goals for the year the week, the month, the court, or however, you set them up. And one of the ways that you ensure that your cheese that is, by having the proper tools in place to help you get there. And one of the things that we talked about a lot, his shiny object syndrome. What are you still here? Shiny object syndrome, which is when you are, I like to think of it, as when you get really tired and you're really trying to make something work.

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00:04:38So what we want to talk about today is one way of avoiding that very situation and that is when you sit down and you write you out your plan, for what you want to do your goals, and your priorities need to have another column over there for resources because if there's one thing that I can tell you, for sure running a business isn't free. And I guess the other thing that comes along with it is buying things the last minute without doing a little bit of research and putting thought into it is the quickest way to overspend and not get what you want. I have no idea if this analogy is going to be any use whatsoever. But I like in that too when you're, you know, you have to put like dinner together or something like a dinner party together and you forgot the wine. And so you go to

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00:05:50Is that like I don't know if that's a good analogy, but I like it because then you're left over with this wine that. Like you're not using nobody important to me because that usually wine is for the list. It's not an after that but yes, it's like that. So one of the first things that I think people need to do when you're going through and planning and think about your priorities.

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00:06:52So if you have an accountant or QuickBooks, a good place to start, is to look for things that are itemized as software apps or tools. I just get a printout of that. Nice, nice. And then, you can go through it. And I can almost guarantee you that when you go through, it would be, like, I don't, what's that? I don't know what that is. Yeah, or I remember, I bought that but I didn't know. I was being charged 10 or 20 bucks a month for it for the last six months for the last six months. And so the first step is to look at all of the things like that. Put them in the yes, no definitely no category. And then think about if you have two or three different things that maybe do the same thing or do mostly the same thing and then look at those two and compare them, and if you're not really technical or somebody helped you put that together, reach out to them and make sure that you understand what they are.

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00:08:12And if you're not doing the quarterly than half-yearly would be good. But definitely yearly and I think that before you start really working your goals for them, for a q12, to wherever you're at on your business planning trajectory. Whatever you're going to be working on over the next few months. The first thing that you can do is go through and limit eliminate some of your expenses races. This is just like smart budgeting, you know, let's the sounds like really my budget like kind of, like, I canceled a couple of subscriptions that I forgot. I was still being charged for Anna's, but I like don't use them, right? So why am I paying for them? Yeah. I mean I'm using it in the context of like tools and apps, but it really would be things like if you have a subscription for like, I don't know Fast Company or something. It doesn't even have to be technical. It can be anything that you're using. That is just charging your card month after month. You know, I mean, I got rid of cable.

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00:09:47Take a list. Look at the list of your goals. Right? What is it that you're going to do? And how much money are you planning to make?

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00:10:23Then it's, what resources is it going to take for that to happen, right? Alongside. When is it? What's the deadline or what's was the goal or went? Right? Yeah, and so,

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00:10:40I feel like, can I get an example? So so so an example would be. So let's say someone is a business coach and they've been doing a lot of public speaking and a lot of networking and they have a lot of clients. And now they're like, oh, well, I I kind of know what's working, right?

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00:12:10I did the register digital place and have to be able to pay for it right now. Going to give it away. So you see where I'm going with that, make the list of all of those things and then think about what it's going to take for that to happen. Right? And if you have it or not, like if you're going to take online payments, make sure that that's how you take payments for the course, Sam, you know, if you know and then people think I just I'm just going to do what all my friends do for the course, but maybe your course is different than their that's see. And that's the part where it's good to look at what you already paying for. What do you know? What do you have in your toolbox in your tool belt? Because sometimes that can be where you get inspiration for how you're going to get to your goals. You know, like if your goal is an online course, sometimes you think? Well, my friend over here, did it but I don't know. I don't quite want to do it the way she did it. So I'm going to actually

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00:13:57Look, like for example, of course that I'm building kind of goes through with some of these different tools would be and why you would choose what you would choose. So my point is that, if you do this stuff up front and you really think about it.

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00:15:02If you plan it out, then you're less likely to do that cuz you have it written down in you like okay. It's like a grocery store list. If you were gone to the grocery store hungry. Yes. About a list, ohmygod. I come home with like mac and cheese. Hot Dogs, potato chips, guacamole.

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00:15:49Then there's red curry. Paste hanging out in my fridge still hungry. So you go back to the store and you buy a ton of other crap, more, hot dogs, more mac and cheese and you come back me. Like I still can't make my pictures and now you're in the life of Jim Farley. Except I don't buy red, curry paste, I buy cinnamon bears but it's it's but it's the same principle each have our thing. It's the same principle of if you go into a grocery store hungry without a list you're going to come out with not exactly a planned out a meal or meals for the rest of the week. You're going to come away with a bunch of hodgepodge that doesn't actually work together, which is exactly what happens. If you don't think through your plans, you're going to the grocery store hungry and that's just the recipe for disaster or hot dogs and mac and cheese. I mean the kind of go together.

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00:16:48Maybe only for like camping.

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00:16:57So getting back to what we were talking about. Yes.

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00:17:36put a dollars a dollar amount or maybe like a percentage of

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00:17:51I think you can do it either way. Okay, I mean a lot of it depends on on your budget methodology right later. I think the point is you don't want to spend more than you make.

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00:18:33When you spend out of it, then there's consequences for that and it's very easy. Totally guilty of this raising. My hand, its toe is very easy to relocate went over by 10 bucks, but that's okay. Because then I have this thing that does this thing and then my life's easier and great. But but, but you forget about it that that mode of thinking, you forget about it a month, three months, 6 months from that point when you overspent and suddenly there's an automated subscription or something else kicks in and suddenly you're spending more 6 months from now also? Or are you go to look at the percentage that something is costing out of your revenues and it's higher than projected way higher than projected to be spending 30% of any Revenue when really you want to be spending 10 or whatever? Like right after your numbers. Are you have to. A bigger than the other thing is to not get over sold on something.

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00:19:34And I and I've done research for people who want to have online courses, that's kind of why it like popped into my head. Right? And because the different platforms do different things, right? Based on whether you want him or classroom approach. You want a game of circassian, which means that as people go through their incentive eyes to continue because they're seeing something that's rewarding, right? Doesn't even have to be at like free prize or anything. It's just like it makes it like a game. So if you want to continue right there, so many different dimensions to it, but they're also all these different monthly subscriptions that are attached to that. And that's why it's important to have a budget right off the bat. It's also important to have a budget because then when all your friends tell you that they use a particular platform, you can be like, that's okay. I've got my budget is for this much and an example of this would be and I used it on the last show is kajabi. Yeah, a hundred, maybe 200 plus dollars a month.

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00:21:07Are there all of your friends are right and and you're wrong or that you're right and all of your friends are wrong. It means when you look at your business holistically. Yeah, and really think about where the course is in relation to all of the other products that you're offering your overall budget, your overall revenues, when you look at the course within that broader concept of that broader framework, then it becomes clearer. You know, how much you want a budget for one specific element.

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00:22:36It just means they're recommending that and getting some money. So you have to be aware of the full context, because there are people out there who are only making recommendations, because they're making money off of it and not because they actually use or not because the use of product. Because they're an expert, not for any other reason totally besides that. And so being aware of people's different perspectives and how marketing comes into play. Even when it seems like, it shouldn't be, or when it seems like it couldn't possibly be understanding, that is really important because it helps you stay on point.

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00:23:48To margin of error. Oh goodness margin of error. Okay, because it's a wag which means wild-ass guess. Okay. That's what a way. I guess. We're both dog lovers. So, I was sort of like, oh, we're like it wigs and it Wags. I don't know. I know it's a wild-ass guess, because you may need to hire somebody to help you with implementing different things. If this is a tech project, if it's not a tech project, you may need somebody else to help you. Maybe have a VA right now. I have to hire extra hours, or maybe it's going to take longer than you anticipate. So it's not really going to make it. The first quarter of the second quarter. It's going to bleed into some other time. There's so many factors. So any project management. And if you think about this in another context, right you've ever had your kitchen redone.

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00:25:36Full frame around it. I'mma put it in a drawer. Know this means that like, you're actually tracking this stuff so that, you know, if you're like, racking some stuff up and you've gotten to $750.

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00:26:26Then you get all of the goodies.

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00:26:49For every project that you say is $500 that goes up into 750 or $2,000 from all of the goals that you set up for yourself.

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00:27:03Got it. I just mean, like, with a budget, you can do it. I know. And it's not really my favorite thing. But, you know, that might as well aside from people who like, budgets are there Jam. Would you like accountants and bookkeepers have been lately? Play that people who live in a blue live numbers of putting them into a raise and swallows Excel spreadsheet. Has a table. The table that is not what most of us are no myself included, but we do need to get into the numbers enough that we know when we're getting off track. Yes. Yes. Getting off track is not what you need. It's not the mindset that you want to have in your business.

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00:27:50At all, I don't know if we've how much we've gotten off track today. I mean, because at the end of the day, there are still hot dogs and mac and cheese totally their attendance in your life. You're going to have days. There's going to be tangents. They're going to be things that are related to, you know, business adjacent decisions that you're going to have to make and things that come up in life. I like that, you say, like budgets are a living breathing thing. Plans are living breathing document. That's, that's the real key here because I think we get into our heads. A lot of us like things to be perfect or just. So and you know, we set goals, we set budgets. We set these things, like expectations, that have to be met at all costs. Okay, let's a human this now. Shall we know? That's what the contingency does and

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00:29:46Researching, when you get really tired and you're likely to spend more money. Yep. Just put the phone down, girl. Just put it down.

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00:30:03So you are awesome. Thank you for listening to this week's third title podcast. Be sure to tune in next week when Liz interviews me. Oh, yeah, that's happening along with a lot of other behind-the-scenes outtakes and fun in goofiness as we wrap up, 2018, and get ready for the new year. Please Tune-in talk to you next week. Thank you for listening to the third pedal podcast. Be sure to catch every episode by subscribing on iTunes, to learn more. Check out our website at www.ge.com. The third pedal podcast is sponsored by Foster growth. LLC online at ww.w., Foster growth.