You’ve been there.
I’ve been there.
Another awesome course is released. Another solution to fix all your problems.
Grow your tribe.
Make more money.
Get more clients.
Everyone you know is taking it, you see blog posts and affiliates and tweets and banner ads.
It could be just what you need.
But, it would be the 275th course you’ve purchased this month.
You may have Shiny Object Syndrome.
Here’s The Deal
I attribute a large part of my success to my willingness to invest in myself. The growth of online business & online learning is what makes this new internet world of ours so interesting and gives us the possibility to have this freelance lifestyle we adore (without having to spend 4 years and 100k in traditional education).
Taking online courses is important to me. I think it should be important to you too.
That said, sometimes we get out of control and too deep into S.O.S. and it’s time for a break.
I received an email this week from someone super interested in my course. She outlined her experience with courses lately and I recognized the S.O.S seeping through her words. So I told her – I think this course would be incredibly helpful for you but it sounds to me like you have a case of S.O.S, maybe now is not the best time to take my course. It’s not a done-for-you solution. You need to put in the work. And it’s hard to put in the work when you have S.O.S.
So today, I want to talk about Shiny Object Syndrome and more specifically…
How to decide whether or not to take a course if you suspect you have a case of SOS.
It’s a different subject than any course you’ve taken.
A lot of courses cover the same big topics. Yes, these are usually the biggest pain points of freelancers (marketing, copywriting, etc). But if you’ve already taken a few courses on those subjects, it’s likely you already have the knowledge you need. You just aren’t putting it into practice.
So before buying another course, think back to all the courses you’ve taken and whether or not any of them addressed the same topic. Did you do the work and you’re still yearnin’ for more learnin’?
The subject is your #1 pain point.
As freelancers, we often have several problems, and many things we want to improve upon. There are enticing courses out there for all of them. But when struck with a case of S.O.S., the best way to prevent yourself from buying all of them is to really determine the #1 problem you’d like to solve. Step back, think about all the things you’d like to improve on and choose just one.
If you’re going to buy a course on anything, make sure it will help that problem.
Then actually do the work in the course. Don’t buy another one until that #1 problem is solved or improved greatly.
It solves a problem you haven’t seen any other course address.
Sometimes courses come along, that teach you something you haven’t been able to find anywhere else. This may be your only opportunity right now to learn what you need to know on that topic.
But this is rare, so be cautious. Don’t do the course because just one bullet point is something new to you. Make sure it’s the overarching subject of the course you haven’t seen before.
You’re a true fan of the seller, you devour all the free content they put out and have purchased courses/products/services from them in the past with great results.
There are some people I buy everything from. Ash Ambridge is a good example. I loved her 97k in 2011 when I was first getting into online business, learned some great copywriting tips in Brandgasm and use Small Business Bodyguard with every project I start. So jumping into her Six Appeal Process was a no-brainer for me.
And last but certainly most important, you must put in the work.
If you have S.O.S and you want to take another course:
- Make sure one of the above applies.
- Commit to doing the work. Really commit. Block out time in your calendar. Do the work.
I can’t tell you whether to buy my course or any other course if you have a case of S.O.S.
Only you can know if you need a break from learning and more time for actually doing.
So ask yourself:
Are you spending more time gaining knowledge than you are actually implementing?
Do you fear that you don’t know enough to make your business work and are trying to learn more and more and more as a way of avoiding actually putting yourself out there?
If so, maybe it’s time to take a break.
If not, awesome, get your learning on!
P.S. I’d love to know about your experience with S.O.S. in the comments. How do you decide on whether or not you should take another course?
P.P.S. If you don’t have S.O.S. and want to get your freelance process in order once and for all, check out Stress Less & Impress. But again, no S.O.S sufferers allowed! (Unless it fits one of the exceptions above) 🙂