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Graham Silver: Making the most of the time I’ve been given

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Posted: March 4, 2010 10:55 p.m.
Updated: March 5, 2010 4:55 a.m.
Two weeks ago, I fell down the stairs and broke my back as I tried to stop my 2-year-old daughter from tumbling down head-first toward our tile floor.

I was able to break her fall and she is perfectly fine. However, I have been constrained to a back brace for the next three months. I am a very lucky man, as I did not need surgery and have full use of all my faculties.

For the next three months of my life I cannot drive, I cannot stand for more than 20 minutes without some discomfort and I cannot sit for more than 45 minutes without some pain.

My injury has given me a new perspective on my life, my goals and my career. I have been a mobile DJ for more than 16 years and was always afraid to take the risk of growing my company - not because I didn't know how (I could always research that), but out of fear I might not succeed and that I just didn't have the time.

The accident has given me something more than just time to think and believe me, I have a lot of time. Just because I am unable to leave the house for three months, I am starting to realize that, being self-employed, I worked out of my house anyway. So what's the difference?
Why do I now find more time to be productive just because I have an excuse? Is it because I don't have a choice, or does that mean I just chose not to when I had the freedom to do it before? Is my excuse "poor me?"

For the last two weeks I have done more for my business than I have in years. I have even taken the time to learn about the traditions and myths of a wedding. I realized this is my profession and I know nothing about the history of an industry of which I choose to be a part.

How great to be able to tell a bride where the term "honeymoon" came from and its true meaning. I have done plenty of honeymoon dances.

Why not take the opportunity to inform the guests of that knowledge and add some flavor to what can sometimes become so mundane.

I am only two weeks into my recovery, with 2 1/2 months left. What am I going to do? Last night I spent more than two hours on looking at show openings, from the Oscars to the Emmys to talk shows, to see what it is these particular individuals have as far as stage presence, and it occurred to me that they have what I have.

A voice to talk with, legs to stand on in front of a crowd, hands to make gestures and a script. They have mastered their skills over time and that's exactly what I have a lot of right now - time. That word seems so misused. What does one mean when they say they don't have enough time?

Is there a clock with a ticker counting down somewhere that I am not aware of?

Five seconds - that's all it took to change my world.

Five minutes, the amount of time it took for the ambulance to arrive and take me to the hospital.

Thirty seconds, the time it takes for me to heat up a hot dog for my child.

Fifteen seconds to pick up my phone when it rings and introduce my company to a prospect.

I have lost count of the times I let my phone go to voicemail because I didn't have the time to talk. How many clients have I lost because it wasn't a good time to talk?

It's time to stop making excuses that I don't have enough time to grow my business to take it to the next level; to understand why it is I choose to leave my family on a Saturday night and spend it with someone else.

As a DJ I enjoyed music. I didn't realize I had to be a salesman, a motivator, a speaker, an accountant, a traveler, a technician, a roadie and more. I just wanted to play music and have fun.

But if I'm going to be more than just a DJ, you had better believe that I am going to take the time to be the best I can be.

John Lennon once said. "Life is what happens to you when you're too busy making other plans." I say, "time is what we have plenty of to keep us moving forward. It's the time we choose not to do anything with at all that keeps us standing still."

Graham Silver is a Castaic resident. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.


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