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Timing is Everything


Today’s my last full day staying here at the beach house in Huntington Beach. To say it’s been restful and amazing doesn’t do my time here justice.

Timing is Everything in Surfing

It turns out that early on Thursday mornings the surfers come out to Sunset Beach to catch some waves. I don’t know about you but I took some surfing lessons as a kid in Hawaii. My instructor was Fred. I remember because he had a red cap on that said “Fred” on it.

On the first day we went to surf lessons, everything was easy. So on the second day, we decided we didn’t need lessons. That day was a miserable failure – we couldn’t catch a single wave.

So the third day, we went looking for Fred. That’s when I learned the lesson that inspired today’s title: Timing is everything. If you don’t catch the wave at the right moment, knowing all about the mechanics of standing on the board will be wasted.

Here’s proof that I did get back up on the third day.


I know what you’re thinking (especially if you were at WordCamp Orange County’s wpMBA track on Sunday): while he was surfing, Syed was starting his second business!

In Business, Timing is Everything Too

I once heard Guy Kawasaki say that startup founders need more women advisors. He said when guys tell each other their startup idea, even when they face competition, the man’s deep desire to rush & crush dominates their opinions. Women, on the other hand, ask the question “why?”

Do you have enough people asking you that question? You can’t wait to start something. You’re ready to make the announcement. You’re rushing to the front door.

And sometimes you just need someone to pause and ask you, “Why are you rushing?” Maybe a better question is, “what could you put in place now, in the next 30 days, that would improve your odds of success?”

Sometimes a little delay can drive your odds of success thru the roof. In those cases, it’s well worth doing.

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve stepped in to work with a startup only to realize that a few months of prep work, additional foundation setting, some scaffolding to help them enter the market more successfully, would have done wonders.

Sometimes you need a “Fred” in your life to help you know when to start paddling for the next wave.

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