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THE VERY QUALITY that defines some of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs is the downfall of many. How’s that for irony?

The Harvard Business Review reports that most serial entrepreneurs display several common traits: persuasion, leadership, personal accountability, interpersonal skills and goal-orientation. Likewise, there are several vital skills, necessary for long-term success, that many entrepreneurs lack. One of the main missing skills is the ability to stick with a plan.

Entrepreneurs are practically defined by their desire to continuously improve, whether that means improving products, processes, sales strategies or a marketing approach. As serial innovators, most entrepreneurs thrive on change, even though the majority of the population is wired to avoid change. This desire to innovate and evolve strategies can certainly work to the entrepreneur’s benefit. But the desire for change, unchecked, can result in Shiny Object Syndrome if you’re not careful: the desire for change for the sake of change alone.

You might be suffering from Shiny Object Syndrome: If you’re itching to veer from the course only a month or two after implementing a carefully considered 12-month plan.

If you are always one of the first to invest time in the latest, trendiest social media channel even before there are enough participants for that effort to be worth your while.

If you will easily abandon proven strategies that generate a positive, measurable return in favor of new ideas that might have a chance to do better.

If you are known for executing one-time marketing strategies — a sponsorship here, an advertisement there — but not with enough frequency for the market to remember you.

If your staff feels like all of your directional changes keep them from completing projects.

If you’ve just diagnosed yourself with Shiny Object Syndrome, don’t despair. Awareness is the first step in the path to improvement.

Begin by surrounding yourself with a management team or advisors with planning skills and a sense of determination. You should remain an active participant in the development of your company’s sales and marketing plan, but trust your team to thoroughly evaluate the ideas you generate with your innate creativity. Make sure that you agree with your team about how to determine a specific, measurable definition of success.

However, once you’ve signed off on the plan they’ve crafted, step out of the way and allow your team to follow through unfettered. If your team is achieving goals, give everyone a pat on the back for sticking to the plan, and then allow them to continue without interference. By empowering and placing your trust in your team — and in the strategy you have worked together to create — you will see greater results.

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RedRover Sales & Marketing

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