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Friday, Aug 01, 2014
The Sun

Watch out for bling this holiday season


Published:

I admit, I’m the Queen of Bling. If it’s shiny, I’m drawn to it like a redneck to a monster truck rally.

It doesn’t have to be expensive – cheap silver earrings are my favorite – but it has to sparkle. So obviously, this is my favorite time of year. Bling is everywhere during the holidays. Twinkling lights, sequins, ornaments and big harvest moons!

But for you business people, bling can appear in your business this time of year. Shiny things that distract you from your real goals, things that may be difficult to recognize because they appear in many forms.

What about that tempting problem that you could solve yourself, but that someone else should really handle?

Or that new technology that seems cool, but may not be something you really need for your business.

Or the phone call you receive from someone inviting you to take on a role that you could do, but the commitment would zap too much of your time.

Here are some things to know about bling: Not all of it’s bad; some of it can really advance your business; and some can make you more effective, more profitable or more creative.

But other bling can distract you, causing you to lose sight of what’s important. Before you know it, you’re doing something just because that’s what everyone else seems to be doing. You’re overwhelmed. You’ve taken on too much, and you’re wasting time on issues that aren’t leading you to the results you want.

How can you tell if you’re being blinded by bling? You might want to ask yourself a couple of questions.

How does the bling fit with your business plan? If you’re not sure, explore the idea a little but be ready to refocus quickly. Stick to your strategy, or modify it if needed. Your vision should be your guide, not the bling.

What’s the upside if you were to spend more time pursuing the bling? And what are the risks?

Is the bling something that could create a small dent in your business or something more dangerous that could make a big gash? All kinds of problems can occur when you mistake the bling for something important.

I call this Bling Syndrome, and it can strike at any time. If you feel any of these symptoms, call your chamber immediately:

• You’ve forgotten where you were headed and why you wanted to get there.

• You’ve become wa-a-a-y too busy. I know, we’re all too busy. But I mean busy to the point of getting sick and/or burned out. Slow down and take a chill pill. Over time, you’ll move from busy and blurry to calm and clear.

• You want to please everybody. I know. When someone brings you bling, it’s hard to say, “No.” You don’t want to rain on their parade. But you can’t do it all.

So enjoy the tinsel on the tree and shimmy in that sparkling holiday dress. But think twice before you get distracted by the business bling this holiday season. If you do, you’ll start the new year off on a better foot.

Dana Dittmar is the executive director of the Sun City Center Area Chamber of Commerce.

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