Episode 4: Shiny Object Syndrome, FOMO, and How to Cripple-Proof Your Business

In this episode, I try to wrangle the VERY common problem of “Shiny Object Syndrome” – How the ‘Fear of Missing Out’ (FOMO) plays a role in crippling your business, and what you can do to cure distractions and rabbit trails forever.

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Full Transcript:

I want to talk about FOMO. For those of you who don’t know what that stands for, FOMO stands for fear of missing out. If you follow me anywhere else besides this podcast, you know that I often feel FOMO. I work with ClickFunnels and with Russell Brunson, they’re all located out in Boise, which means regularly, probably once or twice a day, I missing some super cool meeting, some super cool events, some Aha moment that Russell’s had and I’m thousands of miles away, so I feel FOMO. You guys may understand FOMO in terms of marketing, right? Marketers are taught to use FOMO. In fact, I’m going to in future episodes, teach you exactly how to use FOMO, but what I want to do first is I want to safe guard all of you who have taken the blue pill, right matrix, I don’t know if it was the blue pill or the red pill, but you know, once you understand what’s at work in the marketing, you’re a little bit less subject to it.

So I want to like kind of open your eyes to how FOMO is being used in marketing and how it then directly affects your ability to grow an online business. Okay? So that’s kind of the backdrop. So fear of missing out is a very, very powerful tool in marketing and, but we call it in marketing something different than FOMO. We call it scarcity and urgency. Scarcity is a limited number of items. You know, scarcity. There’s five loaves of bread, there’s 500 people that are super hungry. That scarcity, the demand for that bread is going to be very high. Urgency is a slightly different urgency maybe is… There are 500 loaves of bread, there are 500 people, but the bread is going to be taken away in one minute and it takes 10 minutes to walk there, right? That’s urgency. That’s like run as fast as you can to get the bread.

So the best marketers use both scarcity and urgency in combination. The idea is that it triggers psychologically in you this sense that you will miss out if you don’t take action. Okay? So that’s the marketers FOMO. Everything that you see online uses FOMO. On the ads, with the timers in the funnels. Everywhere you see it, and that’s okay. That’s what we do. That’s what I do. Everybody does it. The thing is, when you’re trying to grow an online business, this FOMO effect that you feel everywhere actually can completely and entirely cripple your ability to grow. And here’s what I mean. Let’s say that you decide that you’re going to create a course and that’s the way you want to start to grow passive income. So you, let’s say you get Marie Forleo’s B-School course, right? And that’s kind of like an online business startup course and you start working in it and you realize there’s a lot of missing pieces of like the how-to that you don’t know how to do, and so you go off onto good old google and you start googling.

Maybe you find my program, right? And you realize, Oh wow, Julie’s going to teach me copywriting. She’s gonna. Teach me facebook ads. Just gonna teach me funnels. She’s going to teach me all kinds of stuff. And you’re like, sweet. So then you go and you buy that because now you need that skill. Okay, fair enough. So you’re, you know, humming along and all of a sudden in your newsfeed you see an advertisement for a membership course, like, Hey, start your next membership immediately FOMO hits because you’ve been on this path of I’m going to create a course and now all of a sudden you see this ad for how membership in recurring revenue is everything right? And you get super excited as you click on the ad. And then, of course, there’s FOMO, there are scarcity and urgency and Stu Mclaren is closing his tribe at any minute, which is, by the way, is an amazing course, right?

And so you’re like, Oh crap, you know? And so then you buy it right now you’ve left the what you were doing right? And now you’re kind of falling down the rabbit hole of a membership and you’re humming along, you’re doing that. But then there’s something that’s not quite clicking there. So you go looking for more and you go looking for more and eventually, you’re like, well, you know what? Maybe it’s not low ticket recurring. Maybe it’s a high ticket. Right? And then pretty soon you’re in restaurant clients on demand program at 10k, and then you realize, well, in order to actually get those clients at 10k, I’ve got to get them a low-cost offer. So maybe I really need to, maybe I need like a trip wire. So then you go over to Russell Brunson and then you buy his stuff and then pretty soon you have bought everything because FOMO is pushing you to act everywhere and you’ve gotten nothing done.

Raise your hand if that is you, and I’m even though I can’t see all of you, I am sure that many of you are raising your hand saying, Oh my God, that is me. I just don’t want to miss something. And there’s this underlying fear that we are missing some piece of the puzzle. That the reason success hasn’t happened yet is because there’s just something we don’t know. And the minute we know it, life will change. Okay? But that is you falling prey to the FOMO effect in marketing because that’s what we are all designed to do and you’re going to do it to people do. But now that you know, now that you know, this is what I recommend you do to cure yourself of that, because a lot of people have great ideas and they never get launched and then they are not sure why.

And oftentimes they beat themselves up. They’re like, oh, I’m a procrastinator. I’m lazy, I’m an imposter. You know, they start to like self-inflict all of the reasons why they haven’t launched. And there’s definitely part of that that’s probably going on. But you also may just be getting like excess FOMO effects at every turn. Alright? So this is my cure for you. The first thing I want you to do is identify a goal. All right? Again, James P. Friel is an amazing human, and if you don’t follow him, you should. And I learned a lot of this stuff from him. So I want you to identify a goal right now for your business. Now, maybe it’s to start your business, maybe it’s to grow your business. Maybe it’s to launch a course or a product or start up your coaching program whenever it happens to be set a goal.

All right, once you’ve got that goal in front of you, and I’m not going to dive into the what good goals and bad goals look like, just make one like imperfect action. The next thing I want you to do is think about what the problem is like and most of us, the problem is we can’t get to the goal, right? It’s pretty simple. It’s like, I want to launch a course. I don’t know how. I want to grow an online business. I don’t know how. Okay, that’s like the big problem, but we know that problems are made up of little tiny things inside of it, right? Maybe it’s I don’t have time or I don’t have the skills or I don’t know where to look, or my husband isn’t onboard with it or I don’t have any capital, right? We have all these like little obstacles that make up the, I don’t know how I’m not doing what I want to do.

Okay? So your job is to look at what all those little obstacles are and only get things that solve those particular obstacles. So first you have to know what those obstacles are. So in, in my world, I like to pick one specific mentor that kind of mimics the goal I want. So if my goal is to launch a course right now, I’m going to pick, let’s say Russell Brunson as my mentor, right? Because I know he’s launched courses. If you guys are launching courses, starting freelance businesses agencies or during coaching programs, I can be your mentor. You can pick me as your mentor. Once you have a mentor, think of that as the plumb line. Okay? That is the person who you generally take advice from. But of course, no guru, no expert is actually an expert at everything. So at some point on the path following whatever program or coaching or coach that you have, they’re gonna tell you to do something that they themselves maybe don’t have an expertise in.

Like for example, if I say, hey, go start a podcast, I am not an expert and podcast. This is episode four. So you need to find somebody else who’s an expert in podcasts. But the thing is, if you go down the path and you hit a wall in your business growth, following that mentors advice at that point, that problem, you identify what that problem is, whether you don’t know it, you don’t have money, whatever that is, and you go find the solution to that problem. Your job is to go, maybe you go buy a podcasting course from John Lee Dumas or something, right? You buy it, you learn it, and then what happens? You keep going on the plumb line, on the original plan. Where everybody gets lost is when they go off to find that first thing. They need that extra thing, that little course or podcast or whatever it is. Instead of grabbing it, extracting whatever they need from it, and then continuing on their journey straight, they oftentimes get distracted by whatever they learned in there and that ignites FOMO and it takes them on another rabbit trail.

And if you know when you see something in your newsfeed and you’re like, oh my gosh, FOMO, Volvo, Volvo, and you feel like, what if I miss out? You’re not missing out. The only thing that you’re missing out on by following down a rabbit trail that you don’t actually need right now because you’re on a path and that isn’t your real problem. The only thing you’re missing out on is your own growth. Is your own progress. If there is no such thing as truly missing out because I guarantee you if that cart closes or that offer goes away, there will be other opportunities down the road and sometimes I just use, you know, my faith and I think, you know what, this isn’t the right time for me. I don’t know when we were buying a house last year, we got approved for a mortgage. Actually, it was two years ago.

We got, we didn’t get approved for a mortgage because you know, entrepreneurs, banks hate us and I remember looking at houses even though I wasn’t approved and I found this house that I fell in love with you guys and I was like, oh my gosh, we’re going to not get it. You know, it’s just all that FOMO feeling. And I remember each month like driving by and just trying to get a mortgage. Getting rejected, getting rejected, getting rejected and watching that house and like one day knock, knock, knock, the sold sign showed up and I just felt so like I missed it. I wasn’t ready, I wasn’t ready, but you know what? At the end of the day, like I believe that God has timing for things and that wasn’t the right house for us and it’s so hard to be okay with that because you can’t see what you don’t know has happened yet.

Right? So I didn’t realize it would be a whole nother year before I would stumble on this yellow farm house with this beautiful front porch. If you guys follow me on Instagram, I’m always on my front porch, with little hanging baskets of flowers, beautiful little furniture like my life, like this houses my dream. Right? And that I couldn’t see. All I could see was what I was missing out on. And that happens to us in marketing all the time. Oh shoot, this closed. It’s, it’s full, it’s over. And so part of me feels like, well, shoot, if I start telling you all the FOMO effect, then you’re going to, you’re going to be resistant to it. Even knowing it, you probably will have a hard time resisting it. I know that when Russell launches of funnel for swag or something that FOMO, I know exactly what he’s doing and I’m, I’m in a thousand percent. So it’s not a total cure, but pick one mentor, pick a plumb line, pick someone that you’re going to follow because they have done what you want to do, and as you go along those that path, when you get stuck or if there’s something that that mentor doesn’t know how to do, go find a different person course, podcast, whatever you need to get the answer, but the goal at that moment is to not fall down the rabbit trail, but to come back to the plumb line and keep walking and that will ensure that you’re always getting the information you need to take action instead of being the consumer of learning and never taking action at all.

I appreciate you guys. Thanks, and I’ll talk to you again soon.

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