Similarly, the best time for my start-up law firm is also, in a more abstract sense, right now. To make another Seth Godin reference, the BEST time is always some other time … like when the kids are in school, when there’s more money in the bank, or when the husband gets the new job. However, the second best time is always right now.
That’s the attitude I’m taking going into this crazy idea of starting my own practice. I always mulled over the idea, and then shelved it because it wasn’t the BEST time. But seriously, when is it ever going to be the best time, or even a somewhat better time? Because it is never really a “better” time – but at the same time, it is never really worse, either. Your brain will always create reasons why now is not a good time to do it, and rationalize that some other, distant time period will somehow be better. And then you get to that future time, and up pops another reason why it’s still not a good time.
So far so good. First, I needed to overcome my urge to give in to the fear perpetuated, albeit with the best intentions, by those who would warn me that my solo practice is a bad idea. And now, I have managed to silence my other biggest critic: my own brain. As Michelle recently posted in her discussion of body image, we are not our bodies. Continuing with that theory, I would also add that we are not our thoughts, either. That is, when our brain creates reasons that we will fail, we have the power to recognize that those particular thoughts are not who we are. They are just that – thoughts – and they need not control our intentions or actions, unless we allow them to do so.
Speaking of time, the other reflection that spurred me to sit down and write at this moment was the realization that I am even busier, and seem to have even less “free” time (whatever that means) than when I was simply employed by someone else. As an employee, my mind would drift off to how great it would be to kiss the worker bee life goodbye and trade it for the start-up world of a mompreneur: setting my own hours, working when I wanted to, spending time with family and pursuing other activities when I needed to.
Ok, so I had no illusions that my business – although not truly a start-up in the traditional sense, but more of a lifestyle business – would be easy to get up and running while raising and supporting a young family. However, what strikes me about this new venture is how much happier I already am, despite being even busier being my own boss. Yes, the regular paycheck was nice, and in a way it made things easier. But at the same time, I owe it to my family to not just shuffle back and forth to the office five times a week for a paycheck, but to find work that I love and that also allows me the flexibility to provide them with emotional support and my actual physical presence. I say flexibility on purpose, because what I don’t have is more time—instead, I have the ability to shift my work and the rest of my life around as needed, to better accommodate all of those things within the timeframe I have. After all, you can’t create time, nor can you lose time or run out of time: time is just time, and when we say that we are managing our time, what we are really managing is ourselves.
Do your reasons for putting off starting your own business include thoughts that it’s not the best time, or that you don’t have the time? If so, consider the proposition that we need not let our thoughts control our reality, nor must we permit labels such as the “best” time or the “lack of” time to get in the way of realizing our dreams. Try changing the way you think about time, and you may be surprised to find that there has never been a better time (for anything) than right now.