More info will help us get your problem sorted out,
To answer the question, YES, the hard starting can be caused by the wrong setting.
Distributors are held with a clamp. Loosening the bolt holding the clamp allows you to turn the distributor. We sometimes call it a dizzy for brevity.
Turning the dizzy affects the exact timing of when the spark plugs fire.
Setting the timing is very easy. It requires a distributor wrench, and a timing light, you can get both from Harbor Freight for $30.
The exact procedure depends on what you have, but there is the other option.
Try-it-and-see. Basically, loosen the clamp, turn the dizzy a hair clockwise, snug the clamp, then try to start the engine. If it's worse, try it 2 hairs the other direction.
Once it is started, shut it off and mark where you started. White-out or a sharpie can work. Then re-start it, and you can wear an insulated leather glove, and turn the dizzy to the highest idle speed. Snug the clamp there, shut it off, make a second mark, then try to re-start. If it is again difficult, then at least you know the ideal range is somewhere between your marks.