Timing: A Big Factor In Success

Today I spoke separately with an investor and a founder who both mentioned how timing beyond their control had an big impact on them.

The investor has been at it for many years. When he started raising his first fund, it was tough because his thesis didn’t resonate with many people. Today that same thesis is popular and has allowed him to raise his latest fund quickly.

The founder has been solving a painful problem for years. When he began, his target customers weren’t open to a digital solution (yes, industries like this still exist). The pandemic has forced them to adapt, and they’re readily using his digital solution.

These two people haven’t changed what they’re doing. They’ve stuck to the same script. The difference is that the timing is right—the market now values what they’re doing.

Make no mistake. Timing is a big factor in success. It may not determine success, but it heavily influences it. Unfortunately, people are usually at its mercy. Everything can be right except the timing, and there’s not much you can do about it. We can’t control timing, but we can be aware of it and act accordingly. I’ve seen founders know they were on to something big but also aware enough to know the timing wasn’t right. Some of them chose to spend their time and energy on something else. Others worked on perfecting their solution until the timing was right. I’ve seen both approaches lead to success. The key was awareness, which allowed them to make proactive decisions that factored in timing.

The next time you’re trying to do something, ask yourself, “Is the timing right?”