Why spinning 10 plates at a time is a bad idea

by | Mar 17, 2023 | Blog

I just finished an interesting book made up of magazine, radio and television interviews of the late ex-Beatle George Harrison, called “Harrison on Harrison”.

In one of those interviews, by Elaine Dutka in 1987, Harrison discussed his branching out into the film world with his movie company “Handmade Films”.

It was a busy time for Harrison, and she asked about the increase in movie projects he had on the go at the time and whether it would continue. He responded:

“I hope not. I don’t like to have too much going at the same time … Do you remember those cabaret acts in which people kept all these plates spinning on sticks? They’d start up a couple, add a few more, then have to run back and give the first one a twist. They’d get another couple going, run back to the second and third ones, until they had ten plates spinning at the same time. The problem is, if you don’t watch out, they all go crashing on the floor. I want to be careful not to get too carried away …”

And what does Harrison’s thoughts here have to do with coaches?

Well I see lots of them (figuratively) spinning too many plates at once, trying to do too many things in too many places instead of focusing their attention on a few profitable areas.

This makes it difficult to build any momentum – if you’re doing 10 things and splitting your energy up evenly, that’s only 10% that you can give to each one.

For my business, I’m not spinning 10 plates … I focus most of my efforts on just three “plates”: podcasting (my show Natural Born Coaches and guesting on others), community-building (with my Facebook group), and daily emails to my list.

That approach has worked well for me over the years, and I don’t have any desire to impersonate those plate spinners that Harrison talk about.

If you’d like to learn about my approach by working directly with me (1:1, not in a group setting), then check this out:


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