Timing is everything in entrepreneurship: when to start a business, when to raise money, when to release a product, when to pitch prospective clients, when to grow, when to go public, and when to exit are fundamental examples of situations where timing is critical. Massive success, failure, or mediocrity depend on timing.
To get timing right requires you to utilize intuition and stillness as your most important tools. There are times when timing is clearly working for or against you, such as with economic cycles and whether or not you are beating your competition to market. But other times it is not so obvious.
We see people get timing wrong all the time. As we described in the earlier section on balance and stillness, people’s minds are usually too cluttered: they have ideas of when to do things that are not grounded in a sense of timing and energy flow, which is a part of intuition and healthy common sense.
To some extent, this can be overcome by taking preliminary evaluation steps before making a full commitment. For example, many companies try to opportunistically sell into a certain market first, before determining that their product is a good fit for that particular market (known as “product-market fit”). Once they get “traction” in that market, meaning they’ve gotten a few wins, they then do a formal launch into that market, spending on marketing and being systematic in selling to as many qualified prospects in that market as possible. This is a tried and true approach, but it can be very slow and resource intensive. Your company could get it wrong many times before getting it right. This is unavoidable. But it would be better to follow a hunch that a market would be a good fit, that the timing is good to enter it, and to very quickly move through the feasibility/evaluation stage before jumping into a full push. You may still get several wrong, but you greatly increase your chances of success the more refined your hunch is.
The other aspect to notice is the energy flow you feel when you test the waters of a particular direction you’d like to go. For example, following the product-market fit example a little further, let’s say you had a hunch about a particular market and succeeded in meeting with potential prospects in that market. Pay attention to the energy in the room when you meet with them. As your perceptions improve, you will notice how much your topic resonates or not with the prospect. See how you feel both during the meeting and after.
We have a lot more to us than our thoughts, emotions, and sense perceptions. There’s something about having to be right, when things are on the line, that strengthens our ability to feel into the essence of a situation. That’s what timing is about.