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Watch out for Magpie Syndrome – stay focused on your plan


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If you’d rather read the transcript it’s here below.


‘Magpie Syndrome’ – have you got it?

Now Magpie Syndrome, (there’s a magpie, look) is a very dangerous temptation to see something new and shiny and kind of go and chase after it instead of sticking to what you do.

It’s dangerous because much of our success in business comes from exactly the opposite. It comes from sticking to something and following through and not getting distracted by new shiny things like that Magpie.

I’ve drawn you some little pictures to explain what I mean. Often, in business we imagine success. It goes like this:

Someone starts here and they get to there and it’s kind of a straight journey along the way that is a fantasy and is not real. With a Magpie Syndrome, you don’t even get there. If you’re not careful, you can end up going nowhere or right back where you started. And that’s no good. A more true picture is probably something like this, where you kind of make your way, winding towards your ultimate goal because you keep dragging yourself back to that plan you made and being disciplined about it.

Now I’m Jon of course, I’m from Small Fish. I’m a business coach. I work with tradies who want to grow and scale their business, and I run that program called the Tradies Toolbox Coaching Program. And part of scaling your business is doing exactly what I’ve just been talking about, it’s about making a plan and sticking to it and that’s important but sticking to it is the really important bit.

Most success in business comes from having that stamina and sticking on the path, sticking to it, staying with the program and keep doing the stuff. Most of the stuff we do takes time.

RELATED CONTENT: Slow Progress is Still Progress – don’t give up too soon

We don’t really call a website and get rich suddenly. We don’t really hire a person and suddenly they’re efficient and effective and we can go and sit on our yacht. I think Gary Vaynerchuk is one of those internet millionaires who said, “Most overnight success stories, had 10 years of hard work beforehand.” So, the sticking to it part is really important.

So if you’re constantly changing direction, you can end up going nowhere like Mr. Magpie and of course the problem for us is that we’re constantly being shown shiny things that we might like to go and investigate and play with right?

We’re constantly being bombarded with stuff, we really ought to be doing.

  • We should be doing SEO, we should be doing AdWords, we should be doing Facebook marketing.
  • You should be advertising in Yellow Pages, HiPages, all those other pages.
  • You should be doing Facebook advertising, should be on Instagram, you should be doing email marketing, you should get an app.
  • You should buy this software, or you should buy that software.
  • You should advertise here or advertise there

There’s so many things you should be doing but that was really only marketing I was talking about there.

Some of them are good things and some of those strategies are good strategies. In fact, many of them have validity in our market and we can’t do them all. If you continually change your mind and go off and try something new, and then give it up and try something new, you’re going to fail and you’re going to end up back where you started.

Most of those strategies are good strategies, if you do them properly, if we kind of commit to them, and see them through to the end.

All right, hands up if you’ve got a website that you’ve built that doesn’t really bring you many leads. Or if you’ve got a Facebook page that (ditto) doesn’t really bring you much stuff because you know and you’re honest with yourself, you’re a bit half-ass with it. It’s quite common and you shouldn’t feel too bad, you should guard against Magpie Syndrome.

So what to do?

It’s very simple isn’t it…

You make a plan you, write it down (that’s important) you stick to it and you keep on sticking to it for long enough.

Keep away from those Magpies. You ignore all that noise, saying, “Try me. Do this.”

Now guess what I do. I’m a business coach and I help people make a plan, write it down, and stick to it. And part of what I do is say to people, “No don’t do that, we’ve made a plan. Stop fiddling about with the shiny things. Stick to your plan.” It’s important, that part is important.

I’ve spent a lot of my energy reminding people that we’ve got a plan and we need to stick to it.

And I’ve also done lots of work to make sure that the planner I helped you write, is the right stuff.

And I’ve tried to show you some of that in these videos.

So, here’s my question for you:

Do you have a strategy? Have you written it down?

Go on. If you have, write me a comment, and say:

“Yes, Jon, I’ve been clever. I have a strategy. I’ve written it down and I’m sticking to it.”

And if you haven’t got one of those, maybe you should get in touch.

See you later.

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About the Author

Jon Dale

Jon likes helping business owners and especially owners of trades businesses. Life can be a bit frustrating when you run a business and a trade business can be even more so. Jon reckons this stuff is fixable and that you can fix it by making some fairly simple changes to the way you do things. In fact, he runs a free monthly webinar to help explain the process further of moving your business from manual to scalable.

You can connect with Jon Dale on:

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