Now is Expensive

The Future is Now - Ornate Clock

I started writing this blog a week ago. I saw this phrase in a commercial, and unfortunately, I don’t remember which one. Regardless, the statement “Now is expensive” really stuck with me. I’ve been simmering on this statement ever since, and I think I finally have a small grasp on this concept.

Today marks the one year anniversary of my mother’s untimely death. She had a beautiful spirit and was full of wise words beyond her time, but when is death timely? And more than that, although time is universal, it has a price tag. Time has many forms, and it can be friendly or evil. Cheap or costly. Or even, life or death. And time is interchangeable with money, as money can take on these forms also. The past has already happened, but it’s penniless. You can’t buy anything in the past. You can’t go back. The future hasn’t happened yet, and we can calculate future values of money.

Yes, I just mentioned that dreaded term. Are you having any flashbacks of your Six Sigma or supply chain management classes? Financial accounting? I am. I’d like to move on quickly from this point.

Calculation of future dollars is possible, but the numbers are intangible. We can’t feel them in the future; therefore, the future truly has no price in perspective.

The only time that costs me money today is now. And, now is very expensive. What does that mean?

Every minute is precious. The past cannot be changed, and the future cannot be guaranteed or touched. The only thing that we can suppose is that today, and now, is the most prized possession of the highest value. Now is expensive.

So what do we do with that?

In business, we want that sale now. We want our fifteen minutes of fame now. The profit must come in the door now. The bottom line needs to be black now. And how do we get those things? Paying off debt from past investment, paving the way to now. Taking on more debt to pay off in the investments toward the future. Those two worlds collide now, and for that we pay more than a pretty penny.

The same illustration can be applied to our daily lives. Today, I’m paying for the debts of my undergraduate degree, while taking on more debt to fund my MBA. Today, I’m taking inventory of my memories with my mom from the past, while trying to imagine my graduation with my MBA, my wedding and my first child without her. Now is emotionally expensive, too.

I’ve taken the last few weeks to reflect on the memories I keep alive in my heart about my mom, good and bad. As emotionally expensed as I feel today, the now of this is what keeps me alive.

Does the expensive now in business keep the wheels moving?