Growing up in my family I was never taught the importance of showing up on time. My mom is the type of person that is probably going to be late to her own funeral. My dad was always on time whenever he was going somewhere by himself, but he had an incredible amount of patience with my mom and the rest of his five kids. A good family friend of mine is known for repeating the saying:

“To be early is to be on time, to be on time is to be late, to be late is unacceptable.”

I remember hearing this phrase often, and I definitely understood what it was trying to say. However, I never really “got it.” In fact, it was not until starting my own business that I started really appreciating the importance of being on time. I just had a great conversation with this person last night, and he explained this saying in a way that I have never thought about before.

It comes down to two simple words: ownership, and respect.


People that are able to consistently show up on time to things have most certainly mastered this characteristic. There are so many things in the world that you can’t control. It is very easy to point fingers at things in the world that prevented you from achieving this, or falling short on that, or being late for the other thing. However, people that show up on time to things have refused to blame external circumstances for their results. This is a powerful thing to consider, and it spreads across to many other aspects of our lives. We all want satisfaction, fulfillment, and joy in our lives. However, these things don’t just happen to us, we make these things happen. We do that by taking ownership.


We have all been in the waiting room at the doctor’s office for 40 minutes. Then admitted to the exam room to wait another 20 minutes. It is so tangible in these moments how frustrating it is, and how insignificant we feel compared to whatever else the doctor is doing. Time is the one thing in life that you can never get back. Which is why it can be so frustrating when people make you wait. When someone takes even 30 seconds from you there is nothing you can do to get that time back. Showing up on time is important because when you do show up on time, you are respecting everyone else’s time.

How this translates to business

There is a long list of things required for a business to be successful. I will pass on trying to outline them in this post, but I will list two things that are widely accepted. If you do not have an office of coworkers that take ownership of the work they do, and respect one another you will not amount to anything. Having your employees really understand this concept can really be a game-changing mind shift that helps fuel the morale and energy in the office.