I wrote this article on March 17, 2014 as I started my new business. I’m happy to say that I am still in business and currently in the throws of a boot strap start up! For everyone who’s waiting on that perfect time to begin, here’s my perspective on it.
I quit my job last week to start my own personal training studio and truly follow my passion, helping people live better lives through health and fitness. I have 3 beautiful kids, an amazing wife, 4 months left on our rental house, and a mortgage from our previous home. My daughters 4th birthday is in a week and we are heading to Disney World for the first time in 2 weeks. Currently, I have no facility for my clients to go to, so in between I’m meeting at their house or mine to train.
I’ve already been asked once: “What are you thinking? Couldn’t you have picked a better time?”
Is there really a better time? Is there anything such as perfect timing?
Seizing that right moment and knowing when the perfect opportunity presents itself is every man’s dream. Business pay big money for consultants to pick the perfect time to launch a product. General’s find glory in perfectly timed attacks that catch the enemy off guard and score a decisive victory. Even something as simple as asking that pretty girl on a date requires perfect timing.
Unfortunately, perfect timing only happens in hindsight. When we wait for the perfect time, the right time, or even God’s timing most of us will continue waiting and never act.
The right time is only found when we act. At the time of our action many will think our move is ill timed, the wrong moment, or stupid. You might have a moment of pause and say, “is this really the right thing to do? What happens if this whole thing fails?” Taking decisive action always involves some very calculated, and more often some very big risks.
I remembered Brett McKay’s article from his website Art of Manliness on Dwight D. Eisenhower and his decision, and his decision alone, to send 160,000 troops into the English Channel to take the beaches at Omaha. The weather was horrible leading up to the attack and there was lengthy discussion on the right time to call the invasion. I would encourage you to read the whole article and the process of making that decision.
We can look back now and see the perfect timing of the invasion. Everything in Eisenhower’s life had led to that moment, when he acted and changed the world. But Eisenhower had no idea it was perfect timing. The first thing he did after he gave the order to move was to sit down and write a letter shouldering all of the blame for the failed invasion. He knew at that moment, that perfect moment, that he might be remembered as inept as Zhang Han at the Battle of Julu.
If we take action and move forward with our risk and fail, those people who bet against us will cheerfully step forward and exalt their wisdom and your failure. Your friends will be more loving in their critique. Bad timing, poor market, and just not the right time will be the excuses they offer.
The Book of Acts in the Bible is another great example of perfect timing because of action. The leader of this tiny movement, Jesus of Nazareth, had left this group of working class fishermen and peasants. One of the members had just recently betrayed their leader and sent him to die. The 11 primary members of the group had left their jobs and families to follow Jesus for 3 years and now he was no longer with them. Some were being hunted by the Roman and Jewish authorities. When asked if Jesus would make everything right before he left, Jesus replied: “You don’t get to know the time. Timing is the Father’s business.” Acts 1:7 (The Message)
Ultimately, the timing of our act is less important than the planning and preparation done in advance. All of our hard work leading up to our moment of action helps give us conviction and a determined heart. When we act, that is the time when all of our preparation comes together.
If our action succeeds, and we score a victory in our endeavor, it will be called perfect timing. Perfect timing is only found when we stop and look back.
Today, we must act.