Are you juggling or spinning out of control?

Watch anyone who knows how to juggle three balls or more, and they make it look so easy. We are in awe of them and think how great it would be to have that kind of control and ease in what we do. We are entertained by them and enjoy the fact that they quite clearly find what they are doing entertaining and fun as well. 


What makes a juggler so impressive is that he or she is in total control of the elements being juggled without having his or her hands on them every single minute. Now think to another scenario … a person spinning plates in a vaudeville act. They are racing here and racing there to keep these plates spinning in perfect equilibrium. That thin wire holding that plate has a lot of power. It puts the plates out of the person’s hands for a while, but then they must race back to keep the plate on top spinning. That thin wire also keeps the plate spinning in circles versus rising to a higher level. There is an illusion of control because the plates cannot spin without the person who is spinning them, but the reality is the person is out of control and just doesn’t know it.


Which would you rather be? Spinning out of control or rising to the top. What aspects of your business are on thin wire? What aspects of  your business feel as though they are spinning out of control or just going in circles? Perhaps it is time to stop spinning and start juggling. 


When juggling, the balls are always in your control. They are empowered by you to be placed where you want them to be placed. If one doesn’t quite fall back into the exact right place, it bounces versus crashing to a thousand pieces, so it can be easily brought back into the flow of things without too much chaos. The ball can also be tossed to someone else and then they can toss it back when it is ready to be returned. Some balls can be tossed away indefinitely so someone else can juggle them for you. Wouldn’t you rather have everyone in your company juggling balls versus spinning your plates as well? 


For many business owners, you can be your own worst contributor to your state of chaos. Chances are, you know exactly what I am talking about all too well. Are you actually getting in your own way when it comes to creating your ultimate business operations?  


How could you start juggling and stop spinning? It’s time to take a hard look at what you can delegate or eliminate. 


1. Someone else could do better: Is there anything you are doing that someone else could honestly be doing better, more efficiently, or effectively? Then hand it off to them. Hire them. Subcontract them. 


2. You don't like doing: Is there anything that you wish someone else were doing because you do not really like doing it? Be honest. Even if you are actually quite good at it. If you don't like doing it guess, what? There is probably someone even better at it and who likes doing it. 


3. Would like to be doing: Is there anything that you would like to be or should be spending more time and focus on? When you are doing everything, then it also means you are not doing things that could be building value in your business. If you cannot find the time to focus on your business and what will help it grow in value and worth, then everything you are doing in your business will reach a point of stagnation. Think about that for a minute. Hand off some things so you can take on some more important things. 


4. Could be eliminated: Is there anything you or someone else is doing to support you that could be eliminated entirely and would not affect or deter the end result?  Chances are there is something. This isn't about cutting corners. It is about being efficient and effective. Is it time to reassess they way you are doing things for a more efficient and effective way of doing it?


5. Always done this way: Is there something you are doing just because it has always been done that way and yet you cannot actually justify it being the best or most efficient way? Take a look at anything you have been doing in the same way for a while and I guarantee there is a better way to do it now. You just need to be open to how that can be. Or perhaps you have always thought it could be better, but never spent the time to see how it could be better. Another perfect project to hand off to someone else internally or externally for some fresh perspective. 


We desire to no longer have things spinning around us, but we have a very hard time letting go of some of the things that someone else could easily do or even do better. It is uncomfortable to think of changing course after the plates are in motion. We have so much riding on each of these plates that to stop them and regroup seems like time that simply cannot be spent in a transition. However, as many who have successfully made the transition will attest, it is time well spent on your business. So take a step back and juggle your way to success. 


Sherré DeMao is author of the nationally acclaimed books, 50 Marketing Secrets of Growth Companies in Down Economic Times,, Me, Myself & Inc.,, and Dream Wide Awake. Her column seeks to help business owners build and grow sustainable enterprises and businesses with economic value and preference in the marketplace.