Don’t Choke Your Business Muse

Performance Tip of the Week

As a business owner, you are well aware of the onslaught of distractions that can lure you from your purpose at every turn. Some are valid paths, projects, and trainings to be considered, but the majority of the “clutter and noise” are things you should ignore.

But what do you do when you stumble across a glimpse of brilliance, with no time to investigate it further?

Start a Bright Shiny Object file.

Save It for a Rainy Day

The main purpose of your BSO file is to house any information you might deem important to examine in detail at a later date. Why not just take the time now? Because you already have wheels in motion, directing you down revenue generating paths. In order to make money and grow your business, you need to stay in the moment.

Having the luxury of a BSO file (and it will feel luxurious to tuck these distractions away for a time), you can maintain laser focus on the things that matter now, and set aside dedicated time to peruse your file to your heart’s content when it comfortably fits into your schedule.

Discovering the Muse Amidst the Sirens

Viable Bright Shiny Objects are like having a Muse in your business. But beware the BSO Sirens that could lure you onto the rocks. When you set aside specific, focused time to discern the difference, and make wise choices about your business future you will filter the find your Muse — it just requires a plan.

  • Getting Started - Organize your BSO file in a way that works for you. Create a scrapbook of ideas or post things on your vision board. If you like everything online, then create an online “notebook” of ideas, scanned photos, saved emails and announcements — anything that catches your eye as something that might be worthy of investigating further. A great tool to contain and organize your BSO’s is Evernote (they even have a free version). Think of it as your extra memory bank where you can literally dump any information that you want to save.
  • Finding the Time – The entire purpose of the BSO file is keep you from getting pulled away from your revenue generating activities. Maintaining a laser focus in the moment allows you to be more productive with your time and effective in your delivery. It’s important to carve out specific time to work on the future of your business, and that’s when you will work through your BSO file. Just like any other important task, eliminate distractions in order to concentrate on your file content. By doing so, you will be able to make smart choices about what, where, when, how and whether to pursue new directions in your business.
  • Sifting for Success – Most of what you place in your BSO file will be sifted into the trash bin in order to uncover the Muse that can take your business to the next level. You decide, so choose wisely. Some items in your file will cost money to pursue, so it’s even more important to determine the direct ROI (return on investment) of every option. There may be some no-cost options too — but just because it’s free, doesn’t make it the right choice. Remember to avoid the call of the Sirens. Whether a training course, conference, joint venture partnership, product idea or marketing tactic, be clear on specifically how and when investing in this direction will bring direct value to you and your business. If you can’t clearly answer the question, then it probably is not the Muse you seek.

I can attest to the challenge of keeping my finger on the pulse of everything going on around me and running my business at the same time. It’s really tough, but still doable with the right structure in place. Just because you are a company of one doesn’t mean you can’t stay on the cutting edge. Tuck inspirational nuggets into your BSO file every week, and set aside specific time to address them. By doing so you contain a potential Muse without choking her.

What strategies are you using to stay on the cutting edge in your business?


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2 Comments

  1. Posted September 23, 2011 at 10:52 am | Permalink | Reply

    Excellent article Shannon! I use Evernote for my BSOs. It helps keep the ideas structured and easily accessible, but out of my line of sight so I can focus.

    Another consideration for BSOs is to put a strategy in place for the number of “gurus” you follow. When I first started my business, I was very hungry for marketing and PR information. I must have signed up for at least 50 different newsletters. Of course, that means that I had slews and slews of email hitting my inbox with offers and ideas/BSOs. Some were good and others were not where I should spend my time. Over time, I evaluated the experts and picked ONE that I wanted to follow for that time period. All of the others were put to a BSO file for later consideration. This method has been really beneficial for me. Sometimes, when you are getting information from too many sources, you can get off track. Sometimes those sources could conflict in what they are encouraging you to do and you can get paralyzed. By sticking with one expert you have a better chance of taking action on what they are suggesting. Then, you can move onto another.
    To your success!
    Stephanie

    • Posted September 23, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Stephanie, Thanks for your added wonderful tip! I have a tendency myself to sign up for too many newsletters, because women entrepreneurs are sharing some amazing information. But I don’t have time to read them all. To use the BSO file to capture a list of savvy women for future consideration is a great idea! Just like anything else, it’s better to focus on one thing at a time. :) Shannon

6 Trackbacks

  1. By How to Enter Entrepreneurship | Business Small Business on September 17, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    [...] Beware distraction from your dreams. In a similar vein to the link above, here’s another take on staying true to your entrepreneurial vision. It can be hard in a world filled with distraction, but be aware that letting yourself be pulled off course can lead to real problems and delay or prevent the success you seek. Dr. Shannon Reece [...]

  2. By How to Enter Entrepreneurship | Free Web Design Tucson on September 17, 2011 at 1:36 am

    [...] Beware distraction from your dreams. In a similar vein to the link above, here’s another take on staying true to your entrepreneurial vision. It can be hard in a world filled with distraction, but be aware that letting yourself be pulled off course can lead to real problems and delay or prevent the success you seek. Dr. Shannon Reece [...]

  3. By How to Enter Entrepreneurship | Entrepreneurship on September 16, 2011 at 5:01 am

    [...] Beware distraction from your dreams. In a similar vein to the link above, here’s another take on staying true to your entrepreneurial vision. It can be hard in a world filled with distraction, but be aware that letting yourself be pulled off course can lead to real problems and delay or prevent the success you seek. Dr. Shannon Reece [...]

  4. By How to Enter Entrepreneurship | Business Zone on September 16, 2011 at 4:51 am

    [...] Beware distraction from your dreams. In a similar vein to the link above, here’s another take on staying true to your entrepreneurial vision. It can be hard in a world filled with distraction, but be aware that letting yourself be pulled off course can lead to real problems and delay or prevent the success you seek. Dr. Shannon Reece [...]

  5. [...] Beware distraction from your dreams. In a similar vein to the link above, here’s another take on staying true to your entrepreneurial vision. It can be hard in a world filled with distraction, but be aware that letting yourself be pulled off course can lead to real problems and delay or prevent the success you seek. Dr. Shannon Reece [...]

  6. By How to Enter Entrepreneurship on September 16, 2011 at 4:31 am

    [...] Beware distraction from your dreams. In a similar vein to the link above, here’s another take on staying true to your entrepreneurial vision. It can be hard in a world filled with distraction, but be aware that letting yourself be pulled off course can lead to real problems and delay or prevent the success you seek. Dr. Shannon Reece [...]

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