Time is a figment of our imagination.
It’s not real.

Growth is real. Trees grow and die.
We grow and die.

Time is measured by revolutions.
We use those revolutions of daylight and night sky to place context for our lives.

It’s time to get up.
Time to go to bed.
Time to go to work.
Time to get married.

The false pretenses give order. It makes time manageable. So we think.
As long as we think time is real and manageable, we can plan for it.

But time isn’t manageable. You can’t stop the Earth from rolling over.
You get more done when you set your mind to it.
You can promise yourself not to leave the office until the work is done.

That’s not time management. That’s task management.
If time was truly manageable, you could fire it. You could ask it to leave.
Heck, you could replace it.

But let’s just say time is real. I know for sure you are not in charge of it.
Instead of getting deeper into who or what is in charge of time, let’s go in a different direction.

Time is not the problem.

Some of you are trying to achieve a goal. That goal has an aspect of time.

To double the sales volume by 2025…
To buy our biggest competitor by the end of year…
To sell to a multinational investment group by the end of next year…
To build the business so Junior can take over by his 25th birthday…

“I want to retire at 65” is something I’ve heard from my friends. Retire? Retire from what? Life?
The word “retire” comes from the French word “retirer,” which means to “pull back.” Loosely, we call it “slowing down.”

I’ve slowed down twice. The first time was 2013, when we sold our first set of restaurants. The second time was in 2020, when the world slowed down.

I don’t like it when I slow down. My body aches. My toes move to a new area code. My brain looks for things to do while doing much of nothing. And I forget what day it is.

Time sneaks up on me like a little trickster.

I’ve said that marketing for your business takes time.

What I should have said is the growth of a new idea will not bear fruit in the first month of fertilization.

A baby needs to grow for about 40 weeks before she takes her first breath.
A new advertising campaign needs the same amount of time.
If you plant the right seed and care for it like a mother, you will see your baby take its first breath.
Just like a baby, the 40-week mark is not the end of the advertising struggle. It’s the beginning. The message grows and changes and walks. Then runs. Like a baby, when you have it figured out, things change.
Nurture the message. Hold it tight, and don’t let harm come to it.
The world is tough on messages.
One day, the message will take care of itself.
It will provide you nurturing, caring, and understanding you gave it, when time is no longer on your side.

My friend Dan told me I’d know when it’s time to slow down.

The only thing I know for sure is my body can’t hold up forever. Like the trees, it has grown, been reshaped, and one day it will fall.

Maybe then, the time will come that someone will tell me all about time.

Latest posts by Rick Nicholson (see all)