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Sitting down with the regional owner of a large franchise at the conclusion of a recent convention, I found myself in a discussion about how one person can do it all. During this discussion, I had one of those rare moments of clarity that came in the form of an exercise I demonstrated from the stage the next day.

As small business owners with growing pains, we were sharing ideas about how to scale and grow without letting either our customer service or our commitment to our employees and partners be diminished.

It was during this deep personal discussion that I saw clearly a man juggling a series of balls, each with a name or title on it. There were several other balls on the table in front of him with other names/titles. Here are some examples:

  • Buyer’s Agent
  • Listing Agent
  • Administrative Agent
  • Team Leader
  • Runner
  • Marketing Director
  • Managing Broker
  • Mom/Dad
  • Husband/Wife
  • Brother/Sister
  • Son/Daughter
  • Carpool Driver
  • Home Cook, Cleaner, Lawn Mower

The juggler in my vision was very good. He had four or five balls in the air at all times and did a great job keeping them in the air while moving his hands into position to catch and throw the next ball. But things got interesting when the juggler—with five balls in great rhythm—is asked to pick up another ball. The juggler, knowing that he couldn’t add one more ball, had to make a critical decision: which ball do I put down in order to pick up the next one?

Imagine you’re working with buyers and sellers, doing all your own admin work, and are a parent and spouse. In order to pick up marketing or training a new agent, or giving back to your board or association, you have to choose which ball to put down.

The juggler—looking perplexed—looked at the non-negotiable of father and husband, then looked at buyers/sellers and decided that he couldn’t put any of those down. The clarity came when the juggler said that he didn’t want to do real estate at the expense of his family.

At that moment, we decided that our families were non-negotiable and that we were going to create leverage in our business so that we could be present in our lives.

Leverage is simply using systems and humans to pick up the balls that must be juggled in order to provide great client experiences. It all starts with your first assistant and grows from there when a buyer’s agent is hired. Understanding that we all drop the ball at one point or another­—and that it’s usually the people we care about most that get let down with the excuse that we’re doing it all for our families­—we have to be willing to delegate and pass the ball to others so that we can give attention to what matters most in life.

As David O. McKay said, “No other success can compensate for failure in the home.”

Now’s the time—and this is the year—to create leverage in your business and your life.

Workman_Verl_2017_100x100Verl Workman is the founder and CEO of Workman Success Systems (385-282-7112), an international speaking, consulting and coaching company that specializes in performance coaching and building successful power agents and teams. Contact him at

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