Now is the Acceptable Time

So many times, we forget to do things; other times, there are circumstances that just get in the way of our ability to do things, such as when your computer crashes and you get it working a week later.

But there are just SO many things happening today, and today, faith-based and private school administrators and staff are asked to wear more and more hats – and that’s in addition to exploring things they REALLY don’t want to do, such as preparing for a common core curriculum. As I speak to schools in the northeast, I hear, “Now just isn’t a good time.” But, as Scripture tells us, “Now is the acceptable time.”

We all know there’s never a good time for any type of change, extra work, different strategy, etc.  But there’s an African proverb that states, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago; the second best time is now.”

I believe one of the problems is that we don’t plan for change.  We know it’s inevitable, but we listen to time management experts who say that everything is possible if it’s scheduled, and therefore we pack our calendars as if we win a prize if we can fill them just like we did when we played Tetris.  There was a television in the mid-70’s called Tales of the Unexpected.  Actor John Houseman delivered the opening line of every show: “A wise man believes only in lies, trusts only in the absurd, and learns to expect the unexpected.”  I’m not too sure about the first part of the phrase, the second phrase has merit, but the third phrase can mean the difference between life and death.  If you’re packing your calendar, take about 20% of that time and reserve it for the unexpected.

Remember the phrase, “If you want something done, give it to a busy person?”   If you think that there’s never a good time for anything, then all time is equivalent, and the task or change we’re considering is irrelevant. Since all time is equivalent, then there’s never a bad time either, so that now is just as good a time as any. Scripture supports this thinking in 2 Corinthians 6:2 – “Now is the acceptable time.”

If we can pray and discern (finding out as much information as we can), then the next step is deciding what to do and doing it.  We can indeed do everything, for with God, all things are possible, but everything needs to be done in moderation.  Indeed, all these phrases and verses fit together to work as a system.

So how does this relate to marketing? I’ve heard so many people say that they’re waiting for the mid-year break, or for Catholic schools, Catholic Schools Week, to start their marketing for the next year.

And that would be not just an incorrect, but a completely wrong strategy.  NOW is the acceptable time!

But you might be saying, “Oh, but we’re so busy with an annual appeal around thanksgiving, and then Christmas comes, and then we’ll get ready for the next school year when we come back from Christmas break.” That’s a problem. We do things when it “fits” our schedule…and not when it’s the right time to do it.

If you’re not securing your enrollment for next year NOW, then January might be too late. After all, high school seniors (most of them, anyway), know what college they’re going to by the time the Christmas break rolls around. They’re not just applying at that time. Today’s parents know that, after having gone through the college process themselves, and have usually decided where their children as going to school next year based on what’s happening this year. That said, the best possible time this year to plant marketing seeds for the upcoming school year was two months ago – the next best time is now.

© Michael V. Ziemski, SchoolAdvancement, 2008-2013 (Original Publication Date: 20081117)