It isn’t. Unless you live in a world of no substance.
- When you’re making a sales presentation, it’s important to call on prospects during the time they’re looking for what you’re selling! But if you have nothing valuable to sell, does it matter when you present it?
- You can’t expect an early wedding proposing to your best friend when she’s seven, but when she’s 18, you might have a chance!
- You had a great new product idea, but it didn’t do well in testing. Someone’s going to try to encourage you by saying, “Bad timing; timing is everything.” If it’s a good product, look for a better time to release it. But what good would it do to have perfect timing with no product and no idea?
- If you see a car you’d like to own, but don’t have the money, or your current car has years of life left it in, all right: the timing for buying that new car is bad. But timing would not be a factor without these other considerations. Timing is not and never will be everything!
It’s true in business that one “first to market” generally accrues a greater market share than those who come later with similar products. But not always. Those in front have to build demand and product recognition for those who come after. They work out the kinks. They spend the most in development. But whether you are the first or the 10th, how you do what you do largely affects your outcome.
If you’re running for office and lose, I guarantee someone will say, “Bad timing; better luck next time.” It could be true. You might win next time. If you do, it will be because people had more time to get acquainted with your name and what you stand for. But if you don’t stand for what the voters think they want, all the timing in the world won’t help you win!
So the next time you’re tempted to say timing isn’t everything, think about what is everything. It’s the everything-ness of it, the all-ness. It’s talent or quality or a good match or something else or all of these and possibly many other things – PLUS timing.
If you do not take a more realistic view of what comprises everything, you will not only not encourage your friends with this remark, you may also miss the boat yourself. And with boats leaving shore, timing counts!