Bright Shiny Object Syndrome – and How to Counter It! (ep. 3)

EPISODE 3: Bright Shiny Object Syndrome – and How to Counter It!

There are so many ways to build and grow a service-based transformational business; it’s hard NOT to get distracted. Pamela has helped thousands of coaches and healers know what to do at what time in their business growth, and more specifically, what NOT to do. Knowing what you can safely ignore helps to reduce the overwhelm!

In this episode, you’ll discover:

  • The three levels of transformational business and their corresponding to-dos.
  • How to determine if an activity is useful or if it’s a growth-delaying distraction.
  • The #1 way to reduce daily overwhelm.

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Timecode Guide:

03:30: Learn all about Pamela’s proven ‘Transformation Roadmap’ framework, the three different Business Stages, the offer type that works best in the transformational field (hint: a High-Ticket Signature System), and what a Branded Strategy Session really is.
09:50: Discover what Hunting and Gardening have to do with Sales and Marketing, and why it should matter to you.
18:47: Get the step-by-step Checklist for the busy solopreneur or new business owner who’s wearing multiple hats to run a business while also transforming lives.

Resources Mentioned

Want to know more about how to attract your ideal clients online? We’d Love To Chat! Grab a Breakthrough Session with one of my coaches to learn how to create real impact and income online.

Podcast Transcription

Episode 3: Bright Shiny Object Syndrome – and How to Counter It!

Intro (00:00):
You’re listening to ‘A Profitable Impact.’

Pamela (00:02):
I’ve heard that overwhelm is now replacing ignorance as the number one problem for the small business owner, which means we need to look at, “What is our number one way to reduce overwhelm on a daily basis?”

Gene (00:15):
Welcome to ‘A Profitable Impact,’ where every single week, we help coaches and healers expand their reach, increase their impact in the world, and be well-paid for their extraordinary skills and talents.

My name is Gene Monterastelli; I am the Lead Coach and Pamela Bruner’s Impact Accelerator coaching program. And please welcome my friend, my colleague, and the CEO of Attract Clients Online, Pamela Bruner.

How are you doing today, Pamela?

Pamela (00:40):
I’m doing great, Gene, thank you.

Gene (00:42):
I’m really, really excited today because we’re talking about Bright Shiny Object Syndrome.
As a person, for any of you out there who know anything about the Enneagram, I am a Seven. This means that I am an ‘Enthusiast,’ which means that one of the most significant challenges I’ve always had in my business is too many ideas and chasing bright shiny objects. So, I’m really looking forward to our conversation today.

Pamela (01:09):
It is one of the biggest challenges reported to me by the people we work with, the readers and the listeners. People tell me all the time, “I feel so overwhelmed, and I don’t know what to do next.” I heard another coach say it this way, and I thought it was brilliant: “Overwhelm has replaced ignorance as the number one problem of the small business owner.”

Gene (01:35):
Wow. I like that.

Pamela (01:36):
Yeah. When you think about it, you know, information is no longer hard to come by. We can Google just about any phrase you can think of and get 1 million answers to that question.

The thing is, it’s not curated information, so we don’t know what to focus on.

And because it’s become so much easier for people to create online courses, free material, and all of that, it’s become much harder for business owners. In particular, I think this is true for transformational entrepreneurs who are not always as familiar with marketing, to distinguish “What should I be looking at now?” or “What should I be focusing on?”

So in this episode, we’re going to cover some really exciting things:
The three levels of transformational business and corresponding to-dos so you know what you can safely ignore.
And then Gene, I know you’re going to share this brilliant paradigm that you’ve got for what you should focus on in a given month.
And we’ll discuss how to determine if an activity is useful or whether it’s distracting.
And we’ve got a Question Checklist that you can use.
And then a very simple technique to help you reduce overwhelm on a daily basis.
So lots and lots of good stuff today,

Gene (02:44):
As we are having this conversation today, as you listen to the conversation and you recognize the fact that you’re having a hard time figuring out where your priorities are and how you should be investing your time in the business so you can really create the impact that you want, we would love to give you the opportunity to talk to one of our coaches, absolutely free, to help you figure out those priorities.
If you go to BookMyBreakthroughCall.com, that’s BookMyBreakthroughCall.com, you get the opportunity to sign up for a conversation with one of our coaches. Because we know (and as you’re going to hear over the course of this conversation) how important it is for you to have the right tasks in front of you that you’re doing in the right order, so that you can be successful in the work that you’re doing. So with that being said, Pamela, let’s just jump in and talk about the Roadmap you just laid out for us.

Transformation Roadmap: The Three Stages

Pamela (03:30):
Yeah, there’s a framework that I’ve created called the Transformation Roadmap, and it’s got three different stages for a transformational business (specifically, a coaching, healing, or other expert type of business).
Stage One is all about cash and creation. So, in Stage One of the Transformation Roadmap – this is the zero to $75,000ish arena of work – you may be creating your offerings.
For example, creating a High-Ticket Signature System, which I think is one of the best first things you offer to clients as you’re getting started in the transformational field. You’re usually setting up your website. You may be setting up your Branded Strategy Session (the conversation that you have in order to book new clients). So, there’s a great deal of infrastructure setup in Transformation Roadmap: Stage One. And there’s some networking, some sales, some of the outreach, but a lot of that zero to $75K and is “just let me get my feet under me and let me start generating revenue.”
Then when we go into Transformation Roadmap: Stage Two – that’s the $75K to $250,000 range. And if you’ve heard some of our other episodes, you’ve heard me talk about the $200K to $250,000 level as the Empowered Practitioner Level.
It’s when you get into Stage Two that things really get exciting because at this point you’ve probably got a little bit of automation going. You may have an email list, or you’ve got a social audience that you’re working with from whom your clients are coming in and an audience that is giving you your clients, and you’ve probably taken on a little help – maybe you’ve got a Virtual
Assistant or a part-time employee helping you grow at this stage. Stage Two is all about expansion. It is: “How do I expand my reach? How do I start building platforms so that I can see a scale later?”
And then, there’s Transformation Roadmap: Stage Three – around $250,000 and up from there – is where we’re getting into the Empowered Business Owner phase. We are looking at: “I’m bringing on more team members. I’m setting up automations. I am creating leverage in my business so that I’m not doing one-on-one or I’m doing far less one-on-one at that level,” and that is where a business can really take off.

Gene (05:55):
I think one of the things that’s really key in what you’re laying out here is recognizing the fact that there are appropriate tasks for us to be doing based on the stage our business is in.
I’ve been podcasting since 2007. Obviously, I love podcasting dearly. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made my business, and regularly our clients will come to me and say, “Gene, I want to start a podcast,” and I’m like, “Great. Let’s have this conversation a year and a half from now.” Not because I don’t think the tactic is a good tactic; I think it’s a great tactic, for the moment you are in your business. And so it’s really easy to see a million different tactics and strategies and things that I could be doing, that for someone might be really useful, but if we’re not applying the right one at the right time, then we’re not going to get the leverage out of that particular tactic and we could be wasting a great deal of time not doing the things that are important for us.
So, looking through this lens of not, “What is the right thing for me to be doing?” but, “What is the right thing for me to be doing at this stage in my business?” is a really important question; one that I think a lot of people, particularly folks who are just wanting to be out there creating transformation in the world, miss as they’re trying to build and grow their business.

Pamela (07:09):
Exactly. Often when I’ll talk to a new client and they’ll say, “Hey, I’m working on a webinar,” or “I’d like to create a webinar,” and I say, “You don’t even have a Signature System yet. What are you going to sell with a webinar?” “Well, I may just trying to get clients.”
But creating a webinar is an enormous marketing task. If you’ve not tried marketing through simple messaging on social media or through emails, or you don’t know that you can sell something high-ticket effectively, when you get a potential client on the phone with you or on a video call with you, putting your effort into something as complex as say, a webinar, is not a good use of your time.
I’ve seen people try to create webinars when they have few or no clients, and they end up sinking in a bunch of time and sometimes a bunch of money, and they’re very frustrated in their results.

Pamela (07:57):
So, I always tell people the biggest cash usually comes with the most manual effort. It comes with direct reach-outs. It comes with asking people to be your referral partners. And it’s a very manual effort, but in Transformation Roadmap Stage One, that’s exactly what you want to be focused on. Because you can take weeks or months to create some kind of automated system, but if you haven’t yet vetted your marketing, it’s like building a car and then putting diesel in it instead of gas, it’s just going to break everything. Not a great idea.

Gene (08:30):
The other is a conversation I have a lot with our clients as we’re navigating this, is people wanting to start a group program way too soon.

Pamela (08:38):

Gene (08:38):
Like, it is amazing when we can be in a circumstance where we can leverage our time and work with lots of people at the exact same time, so they’re getting transformation, we’re being well-paid for that, and group programs typically cost less than one-on-one work – that makes a lot of sense.
But if you don’t have a large audience, yet you spend all this time building a group program, you’re able to get two people to sign up for that group program who are paying the group rate. You’re now basically providing one-on-one coaching to them. And you’re in a circumstance where you’re spending all of this time and effort, and you’re not being compensated in the right way, because you started to do a group program before you had an audience that was large enough to do a group program. So, it’s a great tactic if you’re in the right spot in your business to execute that tactic.

Pamela (09:22):
Right. And this is just a preliminary look at the Transformation Roadmap because there’s so many details in it. But hopefully this has given a few great suggestions for people on what to focus on and what, as I said, you can safely ignore. Because knowing what you can safely ignore (and not let your business fall to pieces) is a very valuable thing.
And that, to me, takes us into this distinction of Hunting and Gardening. So, do you want to talk about that Gene? Because this is such a great distinction.

Hunting and Gardening vs. Sales and Marketing

Gene (09:50):
Absolutely. So, what I’m talking about when I talk about Hunting and Gardening is: I’m talking about where and how I invest my time in Marketing.
And so, a Hunting Activity is an activity that is about putting food on the table right now. Like a Hunter would go out, they would take an animal, they bring it home, and they’d be able to eat it.
So, any of our Marketing activities that are about us being able to make Sales right now is a Hunting Activity. Me making an offer to my list; me reaching out to people to try and get them into a strategy session; me speaking from a stage or being a guest on a podcast, where I’m inviting people into a Strategy Session where I can sell them into my High-Ticket Offer – all of those are Hunting Activities because they are about getting revenue right now.

Marketing or Gardening Activities are the activities that are about nurturing our audience for a harvest in the future – doing a Facebook Live, posting content on social media, putting a video on YouTube, creating a podcast, writing a blog, sending newsletters out to your group.
As you do all of that, what you’re doing is you’re putting yourself in a position where you’re building your relationship with your audience and you’re demonstrating your competency in these little bite-size ways so that in the future you can Harvest.
And oftentimes as business owners, particularly starting business owners, we gravitate towards the Gardening Activities first because the Gardening Activities are the ones that feel the safest.
I can create a video and put it on YouTube, and maybe someone will watch it, and maybe they won’t. Or, I’ll write an article, I’ll send it to my audience, and maybe they’ll read it, and maybe they won’t. But I never actually have to hear someone say “No.”
When I’m doing a Hunting Activity, I’m making a direct ask for someone to do something. But, if I need to eat today, I shouldn’t be out there planting a garden. Planting a garden is a great thing for three to six months from now; it’s not a great thing for today.
So, when I am looking at my business and I’m looking at the folks that I’m coaching, I’m looking at, “How much business do I currently have booked?” And when I say booked, I mean I have a contract signed, I have them in a payment processor, and I have a credit card number; not a, “Oh yes, I’m going to sign up,” that’s not booked – actual booked work. And if I have a couple of months of income of revenue booked, then I’m going to be spending a little time Gardening and a lot of time Hunting.

But, as I continue to book out my calendar, as I continue to have consistent revenue, then the amount of time that I spend Hunting is going to go down, and the amount of time I spend Gardening is going to go up, so that I am doing the right tactic for the place in my business.
So, if you’re in a circumstance where you have an income goal for this month of something like $7,000. If you don’t have $14,000 booked contracted for reoccurring payments or someone who’s paying right now, then you probably need to be spending 80% of your time Hunting and only 20% of your time Gardening to ensure that you’re making the right choices that are going to support your business where you are at this moment.


Pamela (13:19):
Yes, and I love what you said right at the beginning of that section; when you said that people spend too much time Gardening because it feels safer. The Gardening Activity is the Creation Activity.
So, for people that we lovingly refer to as Compulsive Creatives – they love creating audios, videos, articles, and things like that – those activities often feel very, very safe.
I love that distinction, and I love the percentage of 80% for your time spent Hunting. Because I remember my very first coach saying, “If you don’t have the money that you want in your bank, you should be spending three hours a day marketing.” And at that time – because I wasn’t a natural marketer; I didn’t know how to do it – I said, “What do you even do for three hours a day?” And you’ve just named some of those in that description, but I love that distinction.

Prioritization 101: Is This Useful or Distracting?

Pamela (14:09):
So, let’s talk about how to determine if a particular activity is useful or if it’s just a growth delaying distraction.
One of the distinctions I believe that we need at the beginning is to distinguish infrastructure build from marketing or marketing and sales.
Because, especially when you’re starting off with your business, there are a lot of infrastructures to build – you may need to create an offer for your clients like a High-Ticket Signature System; you may need to do some branding work; you may need to create your website – and that’s all infrastructure build.
And often it’s done once, or it’s just done once every few months or a year or something like that, whereas the marketing or the sales activities are done frequently, perhaps every day or every week.
So, as you’re looking at, “Is this an important thing to do?” often people will get confused saying, “Oh, but I’ve got to build this and I’ve got to go out and market.” Yes, you do.
But don’t spend all your time on infrastructure build and none of it in marketing. Because again, then you’re in the totally happy, safe zone of “I’m just creating and who knows if anyone will ever buy it.” It’s important to have a balance and to know that you’re spending time in marketing.

The next thing to look at in terms of “Is something useful or is it a growth delaying distraction?” is, if there is a training that you were considering taking – and Gene, you taught me this – “Will I use it in the next 90 days?” Because if I won’t, it is not the time to take that training.

Gene (15:38):
Yea, because we’re in a circumstance where there are all of these great offers show up in front of us. We always feel like, “I have to do this right now” – the old FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) – “I need to learn this right now.” And the reality is when the time comes for you to need to learn the resource, the tool or the information, it’s still going to be available for you. It would be great for me to be able to do all of these things at some point in the future, but I don’t want to waste my time right now, learning it if I’m not using it right now.

Pamela (16:04):
And I love that. Because that, to me, hints at a bigger idea, which is this idea that both the challenges and the exciting things about being an entrepreneur or a business owner, especially a transformational entrepreneur, is that you are always balancing, learning new things, and expanding and growing with, “I’ve got to keep the boat afloat,” and “I’ve got to keep bringing in enough cash to sustain my life.”
Now, for some people who are living off savings for six months while they build their business, that may look like a very fortunate thing. I’ve often found that people who are a little bit more concerned with cashflow, like, “Hmm, I don’t want to go through my savings. I want to try to generate enough revenue for my life. You know, within 60 days or 90 days of starting my business,” that those people take a lot more action in marketing than the people who sometimes feel a little safer with revenue.

Gene (17:01):
I think, the way I like to think about it is: I do a really good job of taking action with a sense of urgency. I don’t want a sense of desperation. I don’t want fear, I don’t want overwhelm, but for me, if there’s a sense of urgency, because there’s a goal I need to accomplish much sooner, that becomes a really great motivating factor, like you’re saying, for us to take action.

Pamela (17:20):
Great, and that’s really the tail end of this idea of this Checklist, “Is an activity useful or growth delaying distraction?”
Is it in alignment with my needs right now? And if your needs are generated by urgency, not desperation, then a lot of the Hunting activities will be in alignment.
The other question to ask yourself is, “What are the one or two tactics I’m focusing on right now?”
And I love this question because instead of, “Well, here are the 10 things that I’m doing or the 10 things I need to be doing,” it is, “You know what, what I’m doing right now is I’m spending two hours a day, creating content or free content or the bonuses for my Signature System or something useful in my infrastructure, and I’m spending the other six hours a day on marketing activities on marketing, like writing marketing copy, putting it out there, things like that.” So really knowing what you’re focused on and being able to name it and not create this enormous laundry list is super useful.

Gene (18:19):
And I think it becomes also really useful for us in helping us to have a sense of purpose as we move throughout our day. That quote that you started at the top of the show with, this idea that overwhelm has replaced ignorance, it’s almost like we’re in a circumstance where there’s this overabundance of information, and by being super hyper-focused on the tactic that is most useful for us, it’s just so much easier to just relax and do what’s in front of us over the course.

Activity: The Ultimate Checklist to Organize Your To-Do List

Grab your pen and notebook and follow along to get the most out of this activity.

Pamela (18:47):
Yes. You know, one of the ways that I talk about that is distinguishing between Boss Days and Employee Days. And because you are the business owner, especially if you don’t have a team yet, you get to wear both hats.
So, the Boss Day is the day where you make all the decisions, “Hey, I’m going to be working on this. Here is my calendar. I’ve mapped it out. I’m going to spend this much time doing this, and not much time doing that.”
And then the next day and the subsequent days that week, you are in Employee-mode, you’re saying, “My boss told me to do this. I’m not going to second. Guess it, I’m not going to walk away from it. I’m not going to be a “bad employee” (quote, unquote – you are your own employee), but you’ve distinguished between your decision-making capabilities and your implementation abilities.

Pamela (19:29):
So I’m going to run through that list again as a checklist for determining if an activity is useful.
Determine your infrastructure from your marketing. And you may have to do infrastructure, but make sure that doesn’t obscure marketing.
Training. “Will I use it in the next 90 days?”
“Is this thing I’m considering in alignment with my needs right now?” and
“If I only had to pick one or two tactics, what are those one or two tactics I’m doing?

And that brings us to the last, and I think perhaps most immediately useful thing that someone can implement right now: the number one way to reduce overwhelm on a daily basis, which is to make a list. I know when I, I know when we got on the phone, Gene and I say, “Hmm, I am feeling overwhelmed. I’m feeling stressed out.” And one of your first questions is, “Have you made a list?”
And so I’ll go into a little bit of brain science on this. Our brains can only hold a certain amount of information on a stage, sort of on the stage of our minds at one time, and there’s some disagreement about whether that’s five things or seven things. But if you’ve got 10 things or 20 things that you’re trying to keep in mind, what happens is that you’re focusing on three, four, or five of them, and then something else will come in and another one will get knocked out and your mind starts stressing about, “What am I forgetting?”
Just creating a list – even with no prioritization, no scheduling – will get everything out of your head and onto a piece of paper, and it’s much easier to evaluate and prioritize when it’s on a piece of paper. And then I’ll let you talk about once you’ve made the list, there is a bonus thing you can do to reduce your overwhelm.

Gene (21:08):
Absolutely, and I love how you’re talking about lists there. I always refer to my list as my external hard drive – I’m actually taking the information out of the processor and I’m putting it on the external hard drive so the processor can work on what it needs to and I can reference that.
And then for me, once I have a list, I love tapping on my to-do list. I do this every single morning.
For those of you who are not familiar, tapping is a toolset that we have found that does an amazing job in reducing cortisol levels inside of the body (the stress hormone goes away). There’s also some really amazing research that shows that it makes it easy for us to transform the beliefs inside of our subconscious mind.
For me, what I do, is I look at every single task that is on my to-do list and I imagine myself doing those tasks one at a time. I look at the first list, and I imagine myself doing it, and if there is no resistance, then I just move on to the next list.
So, for example, I needed to email someone some flight information today and that was on my to-do list – no resistance, that’s easy to do.
Then, when I get to something that there might be some resistance, like asking someone for a Strategy Session, asking someone to joint venture, following up with someone who said they wanted to work with me but they still haven’t returned that contract or credit card information yet.
I pay attention to any of the resistance that’s in my body – and I use tapping, you can use any tool that you want – and I clear and reduce that resistance, putting myself in an emotionally neutral space that makes it easy to take that task.
And then I work my way through the entire list, making sure that I’m emotionally clear about every single task, because we are always going to do the highest-value task that is emotionally safe for us to do.
And so, if I don’t clear the emotion, then I’m going to pick a lot of things in the middle of my to-do list; I’m not going to do the most valuable because the most valuable is scary so there’s a little resistance.
By going through this process and by clearing the resistance around each one of the tasks, naturally, I just gravitate towards the tasks that are most valuable for my business. And so it makes it easy for me: 1. to not to be overwhelmed and 2. to make sure I’m doing the right action first to grow my business.

Pamela (23:18):
Absolutely love that. So, first make a list and then use your favorite mindset technique. While Gene and I are both skilled at tapping, so that’s our favorite modality, use your favorite modality to reduce your overwhelm or reduce your resistance to taking the action that you need to take to grow your business.

Let’s Wrap It Up

Gene (23:38):
As we have had this conversation today, if you have recognized the fact that you are in a situation where you’re exactly sure what are the most useful tactics and steps for you to be taking right now for the place that your business is in, or if you’re in a circumstance where you’re not even exactly sure which stage your business is in, we would love for you to have an opportunity to talk to one of our coaches, absolutely free.
All you need to do is go to BookMyBreakthroughCall.com, that’s BookMyBreakthroughCall.com, and you’ll have an opportunity to have a conversation with one of our coaches to ensure that you’re heading in the right direction.
As you’ve listened to this conversation today, if you know someone in your life who would appreciate this conversation to help them in their business so they can move forward, it would mean the world to us if you would pass it along. Don’t spam your inbox, but you might know one or two people who could really use this. Just pass this along so that they can be as successful in their business as well.
If you haven’t done so, please Subscribe to the show!
In podcasting, ‘Subscribe’ is always free, so just search for ‘A Profitable Impact.’ You can do that in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Pandora, Spotify, Amazon Music, basically everywhere you get audio. Just search for ‘A Profitable Impact,’ and you’ll find our entire back catalog, as well as being able to Subscribe so you get notifications every single time a new episode comes out.
If you have a question, if you have a comment, if you have a topic that you’d like to hear Pamela’s feedback on so that you can continue to grow your business and grow your impact, drop us a note! Just go to attractclientsonline.com, that’s attractclientsonline.com, click that Contact link and drop us a note. We would love to hear from you. So, in the future on the show we can help you to continue to grow your business.

From Pamela Bruner, and I am Gene Monterastelli, and I hope you have an impactful week.



Pamela Bruner - Attract Clients Online Blueprint

Building a business as a coach or expert is challenging, especially if you’re trying to find your clients online.

Join business coach and online marketing expert Pamela Bruner as she uncovers the secrets of successful transformational businesses. If you want to make a difference in people’s lives, expand your reach, and attract high-paying clients, you’ll love this show!