Photo by Noel Nichols on Unsplash

Keep Throwing Those Balls

Ran this morning and listened to Seth Godin’s latest podcast episode — Juggling and Riding a Bike. Another iconic episode from his podcast, Akimbo. If you’re not yet subscribed, you’re missing a lot.

In that episode, he talks about jugglers and kids learning how to ride a bike.

When I was young, I loved roaming the streets of our subdivision using my mini bike. I remember receiving it with training wheels. Imagine my disbelief when I saw it with three wheels at the back — what would my friends think of me? That I can’t learn how to ride a bike properly? Madness. But my mom insists I used it for a few times.

And those training wheels never helped me learn how to ride a bike.

What it did was help me give the illusion of riding a bike. Because the critical thing about learning how to ride a bike doesn’t come from pushing the pedal or steering the wheel, it’s about learning how to balance.

It didn’t take long until I got my legitimate bike. That was the start of my education. I pushed a bit and tried to find my inner balance. In a few days, I was cruising around happily.

The training wheels gives us a false sense of authority and power. It makes us believe we’re achieving something, but it’s just empty inside.

Seth then discusses juggling.

People who learn how to juggle focus all their efforts in catching the ball. They would put all their energy into trying their best everything. They would move away from their center and would be off balance.

When in reality, juggling is all about throwing the ball. You throw it properly, so you don’t need to catch it. You throw hundreds of time until you get the hang of landing it automatically in your hands. You never think about catching a ball or failing.

Whether it’s riding a bike or juggling, we need to focus on the essential things rather than the illusions we portray to others.

I am a budding entrepreneur, and I am guilty of being afraid of looking like a failure. I am a juggler who’s sole mission is not to let any ball fall down. I keep catching everything, and I don’t focus on learning how to throw, in the first place.

Keep throwing balls in the air. And expect that they will not land in your palm. I can’t count how many failures I’ve endured in my journey, and I continue to pile them up. But those failures and lessons will only reveal themselves if I put myself out there. This is also a sign that I’m making decisions and I’m moving forward. It is impossible to learn how to juggle overnight, same goes for entrepreneurship.

So when you’re feeling frustrated about all the balls you can’t catch, remember that the lesson is about throwing the ball in the first place. Throw as much as you can until they start landing. It’s just a matter of time until it works.

Talk to you soon my friend.