When Your Time Has Come

Timing is key to success for executives and entrepreneurs. Yet most of us rarely chance upon the “perfect” time. We tend to think in business of two dimensions: “market readiness” for your product and service and “business readiness” for the increasing “market need”.  Yet we largely overlook the third dimension, “personal readiness” in the corporate world. When we do think about the latter, we tend to think in negative tones. We keep score and loudly chastise our self and our colleagues for our failures (“we weren’t ready”, “the timing was all wrong in hindsight”, “we should have seen the obstacles”). Overlooking largely those things that we omitted to do (failed to make a speedy decision, relied on a phone call rather than a personal visit with the prospect, spoke to the wrong people, applied ineffective due diligence and so on). For example, I was listening to a radio reporter berating Tiger Woods for returning too early on the PGA Tour from a chronic back injury last night, and stating that his urge to return too soon “stinks” for his fans and the general media, who want to see a genuine rivalry with Rory McIlroy. The inference being that his “ego” and his goal of chasing down Jack Nicklaus’s majors record was overriding common sense. Another reporter posed the question, when have you ever heard someone say they came back too late, in professional sports.The real answer, of course, is no one ever knows the right time, it is largely a matter of art and science. Not even the “after-timers” (commentators, pub bores and so on), who have never been successful themselves.  

The “art”, I am referring to, is the self-confidence in your talent and performance and the “science” is your consistent physical and mental ability to hit the required shot with the right level of precision.   The same applies in business, whether it is your “personal readiness” to accept the promotion, successfully compete for larger clients, to enter new markets or to attract smarter people to your business.  My observation is that what separates the “best” from the “ordinary” or the “lousy”, is largely those people who consistently show good judgement (balancing risk and reward) and the application of common sense (removing the emotion from the logical decision-making process). Unless the risks are catastrophic for you personally and for your business, if you are 80% sure or more that it is the right call, make the investment, accept the opportunity or enter the chosen market. Then run like mad. Racehorses after all are taught in pre-training to mentally ready themselves for race day, and when the starting gate flies open, they surge forward. Why cannot we teach ourselves in business to do the same, once we have committed to go ahead? After all, what ACTUALLY is the worse that can happen? You will be surprised by how little, not how large, the consequences are on your future personal and professional prospects in most cases. 

© James Berkeley 2014. All Reserved.


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