How to become an expert juggler

It happens to be my nephew's 17th birthday today and he is the best juggler I know. He can juggle anything, all at the same time, including fire torches – scaring us all to death. He used to help out at circus school events when he was younger and has amazing balance.

Well I could learn a thing or two from him because this "being your own boss" lark is gruelling.

  • You have tons of balls to juggle and they're all different shapes and sizes
  • You definitely don't want to drop any balls and let anyone down
  • The importance of putting on a good show is vital as there are many audiences for your juggling act
  • And you don't want to say no to any new juggling balls being thrown at you

So what do you do? Work long hours? Work faster? Make sure you keep a good log of your time? Sometimes say no? Yes – all of the above.

So the key to my nephew's success is he isn't afraid. He takes risks and lives with the consequences. The innocence of youth some may say?

The biggest risk I have taken is making the decision to set up on my own in the first place. I knew instinctively it was the right thing to do but the comfort blanket of having a full time job – incidentally something I've had for 30 years – was a difficult thing to discard. Family and friends were surprised, outwardly supportive, but probably a little worried for my livelihood. It's funny that no-one really knows what I do. It's not something you can put one word to, like doctor or builder.

So now I'm in month 4 and doing really well. And on reflection, the tips for being a good juggler are equally applicable to running your own business

  • Relax – well this one is difficult but it's vital to avoid burn out
  • Practice a lot – practice really does make perfect, learn from your mistakes 
  • Take your time – don't rush into things, take a high level view
  • Let the balls come to your hands – I like to think that good things come to those who wait
  • Watch the point where the balls peak – now here's a great analogy. Recognise when you have done a great job and celebrate – make the audience know it too.

So thank you to my nephew – you don't know it, but you've taught me a lot! Let's keep juggling!

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