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“Center of The Universe“ Syndrome?

by Jannice Almansur -

center of the universe

“Center of The Universe“ Syndrome?

The diagnosis: Center of the Universe syndrome, an overwhelming sense that all responsibilities revolve around you and land on your shoulders. Symptoms include an all-the-time feeling of being bogged down with so many “must dos” that there’s no time for “want-to-dos.” The malady eats away at energy like a low-grade fever or a dull, achy pain.

The cure: Delegate, delegate, delegate! Just because you are feeling overwhelmed and are beginning to shutdown, will not make the root causes of the issues disappear. As a business owner or professional you need to know when it is time to delegate.

Steve Chalke offers a check list of things to consider for delegation:

  • Delegate things you are good at
  • Delegate things you are bad at
  • Delegate work which will provide experience
  • Seek opportunities to reinforce talents
  • Delegate routine decisions Take 10 minutes to think of 5 things you could delegate tomorrow using these categories.

– The Teal Trust,

Some leaders find it very difficult to relinquish control especially if it is something that directly affects customer relations or the bottom line. If you find though that you consistently work longer hours than your support staff and can’t keep on top of your prime responsibilities it is time to look at how much (or how little) you are delegating. The small business owners and independent contractors find that the need to relinquish tasks to a support person becomes critical to the health of both their businesses and their work-life balance (personal lives). No one wants to take the out–of-whack universe syndrome home with them each night. Outsourcing your business operations work to a business support service makes it very easy to get just the amount of support you need without the expense of costly in-house staff. A strong office or business support service will have systematic processes and offerings, and are in a position to more truly serve client needs and expectations. When researching who to make your office support partner, use these guidelines:

  • What is their standard turnaround time? Because some projects may require more or less time, make sure that they are flexible enough to allow for unforeseen obstacles.
  • Do they offer complementary consultations? This allows you to get to know them better as well for them to learn your expectations. Here is a list of suggested questions for you to ask during a consultation:
  • What was your background prior to providing these services?
  • What positions have you held?
  • How many years of corporate office level experience do you have?
  • How would you rate your skill level (you might ask this in reference to certain skills or software competencies relative to the services you need)?
  • What is their communication policy? How and how often will they communicate with you? Will they email you project status reports? Basically, you want to make sure that they are flexible enough to allow you to feel comfortable knowing that your project is receiving the level of attention that, if you had the time, you would provide yourself.
  • Most of these services require some sort of monthly retainer contract. You need to make sure that you understand what you will be getting each month for this service. Make sure that they clearly explain how they bill for hours; what tasks are performed; and what happens if the task exceeds the contracted time. Will they inform you that your billing is exceeding your monthly invoice prior to completing the service?

You’re the captain of your dream, you have the power to sail it to success or capsize it with fear. The fear of handing over the details of your vision to someone else can be palpable, but in the end, the tendency to overload undermines progress and leads to anger and resentment, and self doubt, then ultimately failure. “True, balanced people learn to prioritize,” says Alan Loy McGinnis in his book, ‘The Balanced Life: Achieving Success in Work and Love’. Realign where you are spending your time and renew your commitment to growing your business. Making a sales call or completing a service for one of your clients is what you love, so why are you spending most of your time updating websites, creating print media, setting up HR files or making the countless calls it takes to produce an effective meeting or event.

About the Author: Jannice Boyd Almansur is CEO and Managing Director of Redberry Support Services, LLC. To learn more about RBSS and the full portfolio of business support services that they provide or to download FREE business tools and articles, as well as to join the RBSS mailing list, visit the Redberry Support Services, LLC website at or You may print this article for personal use or republish it online only if it is left unaltered and in its entirety, including bylines, links and author information. Contact the author for all other permissions.

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