I shot a photograph of a juggler a couple years ago when I was wandering the streets of New York City while there to work on a client’s case. My eye was drawn to the colorful balls flying in the air so I walked toward the area behind the main NYC library. Turns out, several people were juggling balls, bowling pins, etc. It was a club or class of people practicing their juggling skills. It was fascinating to watch. I’ve never had the skill to juggle anything. But, it occurs to me that juggling is a great metaphor for being an entrepreneur and getting through life. The balls are a little different. Think “employees,” “bank issues,” “marketing challenges,” “the house needs a roof,” “government bureaucracy,” “a pandemic,” “insurance company games re roof,” “client issues,” “a death in the family”… Those are but a few that I’m juggling this week. Actually, there are more, but this is more than enough to make the point. I’m trying to keep these balls in the air, not dropping any, and just hoping that I can reduce the number of them. I know we all have different “balls in the air,” but when running a business, the pressures of keeping them flying can be tremendous. I don’t have an answer to the conundrum, so I keep at it – and wonder who is watching.
Most people have a difficult time “walking in someone else’s shoes.” We live our daily lives, caught up in dealing with our personal issues, rarely giving much thought to what other people are going through. David and I have a dear friend who, for as long as we have known her, has been battling a cruel, crippling, terminal illness. On days like yesterday, when David and I found it tough to get through the day due to numerous problems, both business and personal, my friend sent me a text message to ask how David was coping with his mother’s recent passing. I said, “Not well,” then I gave her a brief account of yesterday’s events: in addition to David’s grief over his mom’s death, the insurance company sent a letter, denying our claim regarding the costly damage to our roof; we are unable to find a new insurance company to underwrite the homeowner’s policy due to the condition of the roof; someone committed fraud on one of our business bank accounts; our cats’ veterinarian of 30 years closed his practice and now our cat has no vet in case of an emergency; and my car needs to go to the repair shop. And that was just what was going on in one day, yesterday. My friend sympathized with David’s and my situation, describing it as “overwhelming,” then gave me an account of her equally bad day, but in vastly different ways, which involved undergoing several horrendous medical procedures that were necessary to relieve the pain she experiences from her terminal condition. David and I are juggling many things, but fortunately, none of them involve a life threatening medical condition. Will everything work out to our advantage? I doubt it. But I am certain we will keep juggling, keep on trucking, and keep on keeping on. Here’s to perseverance.