Bright Shiny Objects vs Opportunities

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Bright shiny object or opportunityAs a small business owner, everywhere you turn there’s something else to do. Whether on your own or with a team, there’s still so many hats to wear.

When something “pops up”, how do you know if it’s an opportunity to take advantage of or yet another “bright shiny object” intent on distracting you from your revenue-producing projects?

The easiest way I’ve found is to look at each situation and ask these questions:

  1. Will pursuing the opportunity provide more revenue, profits, or exposure? How quickly?
  2. How much time will it take me personally?
  3. Is it a one-time investment (of time/m.on.ey/resources) or more? If more, can I delegate and will it still be profitable?
  4. How long will it take to recoup my investment (time and m.on.ey)?
  5. Does it make sense overall in my business? Why or how?
  6. What will I not do in order to make room for this?

Once running through these questions, I generally know whether it makes sense.

A quick example:

Kathleen Gage ( recently offered a Kindle training that looked enticing. Running through the above questions, here were my answers:

  1. Absolutely and as quickly as it takes to go through the course. My blog has been on Kindle for months and this is a great opportunity to add ebooks, articles, etc.
  2. I like to go through the training first so I understand what my team will be doing and I can do it if I wish so, length of training.
  3. Yes, a one-time investment for the course and yes, I can delegate and potentially earn revenue, definitely gain exposure.
  4. If I offer as an added service to Team Sandy clients in addition to using for my business, can recoup investment in less than a month.
  5. Absolutely – publishing on Kindle had been on my calendar for later this spring so it would just be moving it up some.
  6. I chose to move a group training from January to March.

So I took the training and, within less than a week, added my first special report and now my team handles for me.

Rather than a bright shiny object, this class allowed me to move up a 2012 goal and see almost immediate results.

Another quick example. . .I’ve had “be more active on Google+” on my list for a while now and when Google® changed their algorithms again a few weeks ago, I knew it was time.

As luck would have it, Shelley Webb from had just released a $10 Google+ ebook with checklist and has an extremely reasonable offer to set up a Google+ business page.

It took all of a few seconds and one email with Shelley to know the answers to all the above questions, with the best being that nothing else on my calendar had to move.

One of the many blessings of owning your our businesses is that we can adapt to changing situations much quicker than a larger company – there are no committees, no boards, no layers of staff to muddle through and if an opportunity appears, we can take advantage or it. . .or not, depending on what else is going on.

My Request to You. . .

Create a list of questions for your business so that the next time a bright shiny object appears, you can assess whether it’s truly a bright shiny object or an opportunity and act accordingly.

What opportunities are you taking advantage of this week?  I’d love to hear below.