No Time Like the Present

One of my favorite comedians of all-time is Mike Birbiglia. He has an incredible story-telling style that captures an audience and seems to make each person there feel like they are the only one in the room. In one of his most recent Netflix specials he talked about being from a family of people who showed up late “both of my parents were ‘late-ies'” He then goes on to say being on time is easy. All you have to do is look at the time you are supposed to be there, plan for 15 minutes before that and then show up at that time. I’m paraphrasing here but the concept itself is not overtly obscure. 

I, however, came from a house divided when it comes to being on-time. My father traveled a lot for work, often arriving at the airport 2 hours early and was a part of a social club where everyone showed up 15 minutes early… for social events! My mother on the other hand, seemed to always have one more thing she thought she could squeeze-in before leaving the house. All well-intentioned things (One more load of laundry, one more meal prepped for later in the week, one more mess cleaned-up.) It also didn’t help that I was regularly not prepared to leave on-time for things either so she would scramble to help me find something at the last second. 

This translated to an inflated sense of confidence that I could cut things down to the last second as well. I remember being late to a job interview to work as a DJ on the weekends for weddings, parties, and the like. I left later than I meant to, and couldn’t find the place where the interview was being conducted. I was so flustered when I walked into the interview. I know my answers weren’t well thought out that day. I left feeling defeated. It sounded like a sweet gig to get me through college. I can’t even tell you what I was doing before that made me late but in the DJ world (much like many occupations) time is money.

In my first job after college, my boss used to tell us “To be early is to be on time, to be on time is to be late, and to be late is to be forgotten.” There are always things that can come up, like faulty transportation, unforeseen acts of God, medical emergencies, and many more. If you plan to be early all the time many of these little things can be avoided. Many of the excuses why people are late is nothing more than that. An excuse. My high school coach had a quote about excuses, the punchline is “… we all have them, and they all stink.” You can guess the beginning of the quote. 

My point is, being late is a matter of effort. Our pastor at church this past Sunday was preaching in a series called “Where Mercy Meets Us” and he is going through the seven deadly sins. I’m much more concerned with being early as an entrepreneur than I was as a high school or college student but after hearing about how easy it is to be a “sloth” it gave me even more motivation for this week. It is the easiest way to be recognized and often gives you one-on-one time with someone you might not have gotten otherwise. Opportunity is all around us if we just make time for it. 

Until next week,

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