There is one problem that affects many online marketers and it can single-handedly wipe out their finances and leave them in debt if it’s not controlled.
This problem is none other than ‘Shiny Object Syndrome’.
It affects marketers of all levels and when mixed with ‘lifestyle creep’, it can really put a cramp on your finances. If you don’t understand these terms, don’t worry. By the end of this article, you will.
Shiny object syndrome refers to a situation where marketers are very quick to jump on every new and trending product/course/etc. that comes their way. They’re lured by the hype and empty promises of quick, easy money.
For example, a beginner may decide to set up a niche blog and make money with affiliate marketing. After setting up the blog and making about 4 posts, he receives an email about a course showing how an ecommerce guru is making $3,232.45 a day just by drop shipping.
Wow! Now that’s a shiny object!
The beginner drops whatever he’s doing and rushes off to buy the ecommerce course which may be anywhere from $27-$1,997. Many marketers go into debt by charging these expensive courses to their credit cards.
What they don’t realize is that it will take a lot longer to make money with the method the guru is espousing, than it will take for the credit card bill to come – which will probably be about 3 weeks to a month.
The marketer will then pay the minimum on the card and end up paying interest for a long time on the bill. Even if the product is affordable, more often than not, it will be an unnecessary purchase.
Because before the marketer can make money with the ecommerce course, he has rushed off to buy a new course on publishing profits with Kindle or Etsy Millions with arbitrage or some other new course that hits the market.
It never ends because the shiny products keep coming… and the marketers keep spending without realizing one fundamental rule – you ONLY make money when you sell.
You should focus on selling, whether it’s your own products or other people’s products – you must sell. You must produce MORE than you consume. Then and only then will you profit.
You’ll also avoid ending up in debt and won’t be jaded and led to believe that all online marketing is a scam.
You must take your project to completion. Ditching your business halfway to start on a new one repeatedly will only leave you broke and with a bunch of half-finished projects. This is what leads to financial problems.
Now let’s talk about ‘lifestyle creep’…
Lifestyle creep is a situation where your expenses increase to match your income. For example, when your income increases, you get a better car, start eating at more expensive restaurants and so on.
As your expenses increase, so will your bills and you’ll find that your financial situation doesn’t really improve because you’re still not holding on to much money. You may still be in debt and living from paycheck to paycheck – even if you’re earning more!
Lifestyle creep can set into your online business too. For example, while you may have been using a cheaper page builder with a one-time fee before, now you may suddenly want a new page builder that’s charging you $97-$197 a month.
Do you really need this new expense?
No… but everyone else is using it and raving about it, so you want it too. And you get it.
Now your costs have increased. When you mix lifestyle creep with shiny object syndrome, it becomes very costly.
Marketers who earn 4-5 figures a month constantly think that they need to improve their skills and end up spending more and more on high ticket courses… or they think that they need multiple streams of income.
If you can afford the extra training, that’s well and good. But if you go into debt to purchase the courses based on the expectation of increasing your bottom-line in future – you must be ready for the interest rates that the banks will levy on you, if you fail to pay your bills in full.
Again this is what leads to financial problems.
Always remember, no matter how successful a marketer you are, the banks are always bigger than you – and if you default on your bills, you can rest assured they’ll come for you and make your life a financial hell.
Allocate no more than 20% to 30% of your income to improving yourself. Make sure all your debts are paid off first. Avoid unnecessary costs in your business. More expensive solutions aren’t always better. Sometimes you’re just paying for the brand name.
Focus on one method until you’re successful… and it’s always better to save up for a course so that you can pay for it in full rather than buying on credit.
If you err on the side of caution, you’ll make money online and not run into debt and financial stress. That’s the best way to go about it.
“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci