There is a tide in the affairs of men.
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.
Brutus – Julius Caesar Act 4, scene 3
If you’ve run a business, you’ve probably likened your company to a ship and thrown out eye-roll inducing sailing analogies from time to time. Sometimes it feels like you’re out in the middle of the ocean steering without a compass. At other times, you’re riding high with the wind at your back.
This quote from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar offers a valuable lesson and aptly sums up those rare points in time where your business gains incredible momentum and the wins keep building upon themselves. For example, you’re raising capital and the more interest you generate in your round seems to lead to even more interest from investors. Or, you launch a new product and each new customer seems to lead to five others.
Keep an eye out for these moments and as Shakespeare suggests ‘take the current when it serves’ and double down because these moments are extremely rare and magical. They can mean the difference between greatness and mediocrity or between plodding along and rapid growth.