Success In Entrepreneurship Is About Timing

It’s not the timing of the opportunity, it’s the timing of the knowledge to capitalize on it

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Sometimes an entrepreneur is at the right place at the right time and doesn’t realize it.

But the thing is, this scenario doesn’t happen a lot with opportunity. Conventional wisdom will tell you that all those sad “coulda-been” stories that come out of startup are about opportunities that were almost within reach but then slipped away. The reasons are usually pinned to fate — too early, too late, just not the right place or the right time.

Those stories are garbage. I intend to fix that.

There are two critical questions an entrepreneur faces with every opportunity that materializes in front of them (i.e. “fate”).

  1. Do I want this bad enough?
  2. Do I know the right way to respond?

That first question gets answered almost subconsciously, and for most of us, it’s a hard NO. Otherwise we’d spend all our time chasing rainbows. But for entrepreneurs, we tend to put “maybe” on that first question more often than other folks.

It’s that second question that leads to missed opportunity.

The answer to the second question goes one of two ways. We either tell ourselves we have no idea how to respond to the opportunity and we let it pass, or we tell ourselves we have no idea how to respond to the opportunity but we grab it with both hands anyway only to get shaken off a while later because we had no idea what we were doing.

My own favorite “coulda-been” story was when three of us were pulling technology out of a failed digital video startup and were basically sitting on YouTube a couple years before YouTube happened. We had the tech, we had the talent, we had the investment connections, but the investment never happened because we didn’t know how to respond to this potential billion-dollar opportunity.

If I knew then what I know now.

This still happens to me regularly, when I’m faced a new challenge running my startup and I remember one of my smarter, more experienced acquaintances talking about how he got past that challenge. I couldn’t remember what he said, because I hadn’t been listening closely enough, because I wasn’t going through it myself, so I couldn’t appreciate it.

By the time I eventually was faced with that same challenge, I really could have used that advice. By the time I figured it all out, the opportunity, to which the challenge was attached, had passed.

I’m building the Teaching Startup database of entrepreneur-related questions and answers so this doesn’t happen to you. The focus of Teaching Startup is a newsletter, where entrepreneurs ask questions and get answers from experienced entrepreneurs.

I’ve answered enough questions now to where I’m building a member app for reference, and that app should be done in a few weeks. For now, all the questions and answers are indexed in the newsletter itself.

Teaching Startup works, and it’s affordable. It’s $10 a month, and it’s for any entrepreneur, from first-timer to multiple-exit veteran. Because we all have questions and we all need answers. And it’s so much less expensive than a full time advisor or consultant. And it’s just as valuable when those challenges pop up for you.

Try Teaching Startup for free for 30 days and use invite code CHALLENGE to get your first month for $5. Read the newsletter, browse the questions, and see if it’s something that could help you down the road.

If not, that’s fine too, just cancel it. You may have all the answers already. Just keep an eye out for those opportunities and jump on the ones you want.

Written by

I’m a multi-exit, multi-failure entrepreneur. Building Precision Fermentation & Teaching Startup. Sold Automated Insights & ExitEvent. More at

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