There probably won’t be a better time

Author Juho Toivola

Published 21.1.2022

Executive MBA

Daniel Pink’s book on the right timing is probably one of my favourite business and self-help books from the past years. The idea behind the book is that there is an optimal time for most activities. Studying for an Executive MBA (EMBA) is one of those things where timing seems to be a concern for most people: ”I want to do an EMBA one day, I just don’t know if it’s the right time, right now.”

It is true that EMBA studies are a time-consuming effort and you need to have a good command of your daily routines to offer the kind of flexibility you need to study actively on a weekly basis. Still, bearing in mind that the return on your EMBA investment will only happen in the future, the more life you have ”post-EMBA”, the more you will be able to reap benefits from it.

One of the great myths in life is that there will be a better time for something. It is easy to postpone things that appear stressful or laborious. Reserving time for something important and being apple to commit to that requires two things: prioritisation and focus. There is always an ”opportunity cost” with doing something. Doing something means NOT doing something else. That’s why it’s important to remain conscious of your decisions about how you spend your time.

The time required by EMBA studies varies from 10 to 15 hours on the ”easy weeks” to full day workshops on the intensive weeks. It’s very interesting to see where busy people take this time from. Some are particularly active on evenings and weekends, some reserve full weekdays to work on their studies. My strategy has been early mornings and half days on weekdays. For me, it’s easier to work a little bit each day as opposed to having longer, more intensive sessions more infrequently. It’s all about finding out what works for you.

For me, personally, another big ”leap of faith” was when I left my well-paying corporate job to become a full-time entrepreneur. In retrospect, I should have also done this earlier. I quickly found out that all my concerns and worries were greatly exaggerated: there were no considerable risks associated with becoming an entrepreneur with my background.

I think it’s the same thing with the EMBA: it’s easy to come up with risks and fears about how pursuing might ruin your life: maybe you will get divorced and alienated from your children because you spend so much time studying? Maybe the costs of the studies will bankrupt you? Yes, it’s theoretically possible but probably won’t happen.

As we get older, our intelligence becomes more of the crystallised type as opposed to the more flexible, fluid type of intelligence. You might guess which one is more important for studying and learning new things! You’re not getting any younger. So there’s also that.

Having talked with many EMBA holders, most of them only had one regret: ”I wish I had started earlier”. From this we can deduce that if you’re actively considering pursuing the studies, you should probably aim to start sooner than later. How about getting started by joining the next information session?

And here’s the book tip: When: The scientific secrets of perfect timing

If you would like to learn more about the Henley EMBA:


Juho Toivola

Juho Toivola is Henley's Executive MBA graduate and brand ambassador. He's an organisational psychologist leading two Finnish companies, Asselmointi and Digital Minds. As a proud father of three small children, Juho lives an active life in the happy town of Lempäälä, Finland. He has shared his MBA journey from 2021 to 2023. #JuhoGoesEMBA

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