How I simplified business and found my focus

This week I’ve been talking about curing Shiny Object Syndrome: How to stop endlessly jumping from idea to idea.

Really, what we’re talking about is how to simplify and focus on the core things that grow a business from 5 to 6 figures and then 6 to 7 figures. Like I said yesterday, when you stick like glue to one business model and one traffic source, and you actually go deep enough into them, magic happens fast.

Deep focus can 2x, 10x or 100x a business quickly, especially for a normally scatterbrained solopreneur.

Of course, sticking to your decisions in the modern world is no easy feat. Which is why I’m trying to give you the strategies necessary to pull it off.

In this email I want to build off of yesterday’s email and take you step-by-step through how I simplified, focused and cured Shiny Object Syndrome in my business.

Let’s get to it:

First, I hired a coach that I believe in.

Like I said yesterday, Shiny Object Syndrome is almost always a symptom of a deeper issue: lack of belief in the methods you’re using.

I hired a coach who had started the exact type of business I want to run and had grown his business in the exact way I want to grow mine (which I’ll explain below). My coach has already been through it all, he’s done trial and error and he and knows the right path to take like the back of his hand.

I have years and years of experience. I’ve purchased hundreds of courses at this point – even after all that, I still have lingering doubts and limiting beliefs that I now run by a coach.

Hiring a coach has given me true belief. I now have someone in my corner who I trust whole heartedly. I fully believe that the business model we’re using works and that my one traffic source is the best for me personally (and I’m seeing them work every day).

Takeaway: Find a way to fully believe (deep in your bones) in your business model and your one traffic source. Belief comes with experience or through trust in the experience of a coach.

Second, I got extremely clear on my one business model of choice.

After belief, the next thing you need to do to cure Shiny Object Syndrome is get extremely clear on your business model.

Not long ago I was selling courses, doing group coaching and private one-on-one coaching. It’s kinda funny looking back because I’ll be honest, during that period I had Shiny Object Syndrome bad and didn’t even really realize it. I was like, "Hmm, maybe I could do a productized service offer and hire other copywriters underneath me."
(Even if you already have a business up and running, you probably have Shiny Object Syndrome related to your business model. You’ll think things like, "My friend or competitor is doing THAT and crushing it!? I want to try that!")

In order for me to grow (and grow easily without killing myself) I needed to focus on just one business model: digital courses.

It’s interesting: Shiny Object Syndrome has a tendency to muddy the waters and make you lose sight of your original goals. I’ve always wanted to just sell courses and affiliate courses from creators I like. When I quit freelancing in 2017, that was the business model I wanted and started building.

Along the way, I lost sight and got distracted.

But not anymore, I recommitted to my one business model of choice and the focus has worked wonders.

Before I go further I need to say: The least effort is always going to be sticking to the model you have right in this moment. Switching to a new model (vs removing a time intensive model) is not necessarily a great move.

I had a real estate agent tell me he was thinking about getting into SaaS. My next question would be: have you fully maxed out and made your business model as a efficient as possible? (We’ll go into "maxing out" below)

Takeaway: Get clear on the one business model you’d like to work towards. One model, don’t mix and match.

Note: Transitioning to a new model won’t be seamless. You might need to still deliver on promised sessions or materials from an old model. I still had coaching sessions I had to do for example, but you want to phase those out as quickly as possible.

Third, I narrowed to one traffic source.

Here’s a common thing I see with businesses that are trying to grow from 5 to 6 figures and 6 to 7 figures.
They think they need to setup shop on every single traffic source to be successful.

"After I send my newsletter I’ll turn it into X posts, LinkedIn posts and a YouTube video. I’ll chop that YouTube video up into a reel to put on Instagram and Tik Tok and then I’ll amplify all of those with paid ads."

If that sounds familiar – just know that I’m describing where my mind tries to go.

Instead of doing all that I got clear on the one traffic source that makes me the most money for the least amount of effort.

For me it’s affiliate traffic. That’s the one traffic source I’m focusing on right now. I have affiliates send me their best customers and my sales pages convert them into my customers. Then I send emails 5x a week to those people (you, you’re that person).

Because I’ve gotten so clear on this, it’s changed my content game basically entirely. I’m hyper focused on providing as much value as humanely possible in these emails and my courses. And I now spend all my time trying to figure out how I can help you, and then trying to interact with cool creators who have great products that you might want.

Takeaway: Pick one traffic source that makes most sense for you and your one business model, and go deep. Do NOT setup shop anywhere else.

Fourth, my focus has become "max out my one business model and my one traffic source".

Building on the third point, I told myself that I’m not going to be in the affiliate traffic game forever. That’s not a longterm strategy for growth and success I said… or is it!?

I don’t know because I haven’t maxed out my one traffic source.

This is exactly where people get caught up in their Shiny Object Syndrome. They don’t go deep (maximize) their business model and especially their one traffic source.

By maxing it out I mean learning everything you can about the business model and traffic source. And taking it to the point where you can’t really do much more with either.

Thus far, affiliate traffic is working great for me and I could be doing sooo much more. Not hard things – I’m literally talking about sending more emails to course creators and business owners and trying lots of new copywriting & business products.

Point is, I don’t know where affiliate traffic will lead and how far I can take it. There’s a not-so-small chance that the one traffic source I’m using right now will provide all the high quality customers and income I’ll need for the next 5 to 10 years.

That’s the power of going DEEP into one business model and one traffic source – and then making sure you max out your effort.

(As a quick aside: businesses trying to go from 7 to 8 or even 9 figures are often the ones who max out a traffic source, and then find a new traffic source, max that one out, and so forth. They might also add a new business model to their overall structure and max that out in the same way but only after the first business model is maxed).

Takeaway: I can basically guarantee you haven’t maxed out the potential of your business model and especially your one traffic source. Do you know your traffic source inside and out? Can you go viral on X and still attract the right customers? Can you get all the biggest affiliates to promote you? Is your YouTube channel doing all it can do?

The point of all of this is that you need to milk the things that you do best, for all their worth, and don’t even consider that there are other options (maybe even better ones) that you can take.

You will always do better by fully immersing and focusing in than by jumping between 6 different ideas.

Now, I’ve shared my journey but I’m assuming some of you might still be a little unclear on your best business model and your one traffic source.

Tomorrow I’ll do my best to take into account the most common business models I see amongst my subscribers, and show you how to work with them.

Then together we’ll figure out the 2 engines that drive your chosen business model forward.

When you have those in place, you’ll know exactly what to work on each day and for how long. You’ll even know exactly what courses to buy to gain deeper knowledge about your one business model and one traffic source.

Shiny Object Syndrome won’t stand a chance against your newfound clarity.

Talk tomorrow!

– Derek