During a recent interview, a reporter cited my multitude of careers.
"You publish novels. Write columns and musicals. Perform on stage. Produce storytelling shows. DJ weddings. Minister. And you teach elementary school! Plus I know there's more that I'm forgetting. How do you juggle so many balls at one time?"
I've been asked this question before. It always surprises me, because the answer seems so obvious.
I don't juggle anything.
Yes, it's true. I do lots of things. I have lots of balls in play. But I don't juggle them. I pick one up. Spend some time with it. Deal with it. But then I put that ball down and pick up another one. Deal with it. Put it down. I don't juggle. I handle one ball at a time.
Only a lunatic would try to write a novel while ministering a wedding and teaching long division to fifth graders.
This analogy has seemed to provide some clarity for people, and for others, maybe even a little hope. Someone who read that interview recently wrote to me and said. "It seems a lot easier to chase my side-hustle knowing I don't have to be thinking about both careers at the same time. It sounds ridiculous, but taking that juggling analogy off the table helps a lot."
I have always advised people to be working on your next career. Allocate a small percentage of your time and effort to your next job. Your dream scenario. The business you might someday launch. The creative endeavor that you've imagined since you were a child.
But don't juggle. Never juggle. Simply do one thing, and then stop and do the other thing.