A Funny Thing About Time

By nature, I like to connect with people in person and also ask for lots of advice. I’m (too) curious by nature (which is why I ask so many questions on Twitter, or Quora, etc.), and it generally stems from the fact that there are simply so many ridiculously smart and wise people in the technology community and Silicon Valley that I want to give myself every chance to learn. In doing so, I was late to realize, I was asking for others’ people time. For the most part, they were all extremely generous with their time, even when I couldn’t articulate what it is I was looking for, or wanted to discuss. I must admit that I did not truly respect their time. I can say that now as I reflect a little bit. Sure, I was courteous about asking to meet, was always on time, followed-up, listened. As a result of other peoples’ generosity with their time, I was able to learn from them. Now, today, lately because of some work and personal matters, and commuting a bit more, I have less time, all of a sudden. And, instinctually, I try to protect it. And, then on days like today, when I can breathe for a minute, I realize the lack of respect I showed for others’ time, and I can’t fix that. I can only now be generous with my time with others, and pay it forward. That means getting up at 5:30am every day, returning every email I get (within reason), asking how I can help others and then following up on those requests, and being extremely honest and uncomfortably direct either when someone asks for my time or I ask for their time. I am now paranoid about infringing upon anyone else’s time. It’s funny how quickly this all happened, and I’m even more grateful for those who made time for me.

Haystack is written by Semil Shah, and is published under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license. Copyright © 2016 Semil Shah.

“I write this not for the many, but for you; each of us is enough of an audience for the other.”— Epicurus