You Either Have Time or Money, but Never Both at the Same Time

My mentor in grad school was an iron clad war torn veteran of the advertising business (and of the US army – but that’s a whole other story).  Admittedly, I had forgotten some of the things we talked about which at the time were deeply nuanced and passionately argued.  But one thing I carry with me to this day was his saying regarding time and money.  He always said that as my career would progress I would see that I either have time or money but never both at the same time.


I am fortunate to be at a place in my career where I build teams.  I build teams for creative work, for new business ventures, for pieces of collateral we don’t have in-house talent for and within these teams, I build structure.  In this case I have some resources (read: money) to throw at problems when they occur, acquire new talent or reposition veteran talent.  But sometimes I don’t have the big picture (read: time) to position them for maximum success.  I want to dig deeply into their vision, their needs and wants to grow and how we can tie these things together to make the company stronger.  But quite too often, I am out of time.


Earlier in my career I found that I had tons of time to think about things.  How to move this or that piece of copy, position this or that message and find the best talent for a particular role.  The thing is, often I was unable to move forward due to lack of funds for various reasons.  Client didn’t approve.  Couldn’t find an investor.  The list is endless.  But I knew that I had the time I needed to flush out the collateral and to make sure it was right.  It’s kind of like the tree in the forest analogy.  If it falls and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?  How much work have we created that never gets seen (time) but we have taken great pains with (money) to get it right?


What about you?  Do you find that you have time or money but never both at the same time?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Or tell me about great work you produced, sweated over and got just right -- that was never seen.


Nir Bashan is an executive creative director with over 16 years of advertising, entertainment and business development experience.  He writes on topics covering advertising, media, creative solutions and workforce management. |