Stop Waiting for the Perfect Time


Many “wantrepreneurs” miss out on success because they let opportunities pass them by. They are waiting for the “perfect time.” My idea isn’t quite ready, they say. Or, the time just isn’t right. Maybe, I need to wait for something else to happen first.

I don’t have any idea what a perfect time is to do something, except to do it right now.

When you boil it down, the reason people wait and put off opportunities is because they are afraid of failure. They are afraid that if they try something right now it might not work—but if they just waited a little longer, kept working on the idea for some more time, it will be guaranteed to succeed! They want to go out and knock it out of the park on the first try, launch the idea and be 100 percent perfect from the first day.

If that sounds like you, I have some good news and some bad news for you. First, the bad news: it doesn’t matter how long you work on something to get it ready, it will never be perfect.

But the good news is that it’s ok for things not to be perfect when you get started—you can learn and improve. Failures happen—they are unavoidable in business—and when they do, that’s when you feel that urgency to look at what you’re doing, and where things might be wrong. In the end, all of your planning doesn’t determine whether you succeed—you need to find customers who perceive value in the products and services you are offering them. If you think something is great, but customers don’t agree, then you need to change.

That’s why you have to get started now: you won’t know what customers think until you actually get your idea in front of customers! You need feedback and data that you can study to help guide your decisions. It might turn out that you need to make some subtle tweaks—or you might have to rethink a central part of the whole concept. Maybe your pricing is wrong, or part of your offering doesn’t fit with the rest. Either way, you won’t know what the issues are until you’ve put it out there.

Not everything will work the first time around. In fact, some of the things you were most confident in might well be the biggest problems, and things you weren’t sure about could turn out to be very successful. You won’t know until you put your hands in the soil and do it now. If you keep waiting for the “perfect time,” then you’ll just wait forever and never get anything done.

The perfect time is now.

Fran Tarkenton

Fran Tarkenton is an entrepreneur and NFL Hall of Famer, and the founder of and Tarkenton Companies. With a passion for small business, he’s started more than 20 businesses during and after his NFL career. Fran is a small business coach for entrepreneurs and business owners, providing advice and guidance through sites such as,, and more. He has written about business issues in the Wall Street Journal, U.S. New and World Report, and USA Today, along with regular appearances on CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC. You can follow Fran on Twitter @Fran_Tarkenton.