I love this reference to the Disney/Pixar movie “Up”.
In the movie, the dogs have speaker boxes on their collars that allow them to speak. When Dug the dog sees a squirrel, he freezes and looks off mid-sentence. He is being distracted by a bright shiny object. In Dug’s case it’s a squirrel.
Click here to see a short clip. (Pixar has the rights and I’m not infringing!)
How do squirrels relate to entrepreneurs?
As entrepreneurs, there are things we need in our businesses and there are things that are nice to have and then there are things that don’t do much at all.
Our squirrels (or bright shiny objects) range from courses to tech and tools we don’t really understand and aren’t using, but apparently, we really needed.
Bright shiny objects are something that we focus our attention on because it is bright, shiny and usually new (at least to us).
Perils of Bright Shiny Objects
For us, being pulled off track by bright shiny objects has further reaching consequences than interrupting a sentence.
They can cost us in terms of time, energy, money and focus.
Those can be big costs.
They may or may not get us closer to our goals. The problem is that these shiny objects are distractions and when you are distracted you can lose sight of your goals. They might even lead us away from our goals or prevent us from ever achieving them.
What to do?
Before you buy or invest your time, ask yourself if you are being pulled off track by a bright shiny object like Dug’s squirrel.
If so, you may want to look more closely at this potential squirrel and ask at what cost are they to your bottom line not just in terms of dollars, but also in terms of the time, energy and focus you will have to spend on them to fit them into your business.
Evaluate these bright shiny objects carefully.
Technology – the biggest bright shiny objects
This is especially true of technology. Tech has a short life-span. You could buy something now, and by the time you use it the tech could be outdated or even obsolete.
Do you really need to spend money (and everything else that goes with it) on something you might never use?
If you know it is a squirrel and you want it anyway, that’s your choice. It’s always your choice.
If you believe it may bring you closer to your goals, fantastic, make sure it will do so within a set time period, like 3 months to maximum a year. Otherwise, you may be better off waiting until you can implement it.
Here’s to good decisions!
Do you evaluate the things you purchase to see if they are bright shiny objects – aka squirrels?