Column – As an online entrepreneur or marketer you probably recognize it: a customer who asks you ‘why are we not doing anything with TikTok yet?’ Those 10 purchases in your AppSumo account that you don’t do anything with. The meeting in your agenda with a sales rep who will tell you all about the opportunities of chatbots. I also call them shiny beads and mirrors: distractions that look interesting at first glance, but usually don’t intrinsically benefit you.
And I must admit. I myself have also been a victim of the shiny beads syndrome. Because when you are continuously looking for ways to get a little better every day as an entrepreneur or professional, it seems that you are automatically drawn to these kinds of objects. New is fun. New gives energy. New gives you a dopamine shot.
New = work
But what we often forget is that everything that is new also requires a large part of your mental capacity or your own ‘working memory’. You have to learn how to use new software. Using a new channel creates additional workload and less focus. And you have to get to know a new girlfriend before you know how she really works.
We see it in the title of the average Frankwatching article:
- 6 reasons why you should start with chatbots
- 7 Instagram tips for more engagement
- Live streams like a pro
All understandable titles. Also understandable that articles are written around it. Because it is clicked by readers because the knowledge in the article is new to many readers.
The tool is not the target
The problem is that we are so often distracted from what we’re actually trying to achieve by chasing after such a shiny bead. We run campaigns via 3 different social media channels instead of first learning to optimally control 1 channel.
We embrace a new tool as a goal, instead of putting the tool in the service of the goal. We exhaust our ‘working memory’ with distractions, novelties and dopamine shots by constantly checking our social media channels and e-mail.
And that ensures that you progress less quickly. Makes less impact. Or in the worst case get a burnout.
Because those glass beads and mirrors pile up on your desk until your entire keyboard is covered and you’re no longer able to type decent texts and get your shit done.
National Bead Collection Day
That is why I advocate a National Bead Collection Day.
One day a year a friendly young man or lady will visit you with a beautiful blue cargo bike to take all your beads and mirrors and take them to the thrift store.
Without mercy you can dump the contents of your AppSumo account into the cargo bike. The apps on your smartphone that you haven’t used in weeks anyway. The unopened emails in your inbox. The social media accounts where you mainly lost a lot of money, but which ultimately yield nothing except an exhausted dopamine system. And yes, also your Clubhouse account.
You will see that you will feel a lot lighter.
You may get the inexplicable need to take a walk in the woods. Or to start a conversation in real life. Or to get started with things that really matter. Making that impact. Which bring you closer to the goals and dreams that you pursue as a person, entrepreneur or professional.
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