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Business is like riding a bike

by Matt Adams

I’m an avid mountain biker, road biker, and cyclist. I ride my bike to the office every day, to church on a regular basis, and anywhere I can. I have been riding a lot for the better part of 7 years. Even spent most of my childhood on a bike. Riding for recreation, exercise, fun, friendship, even racing, I love it all.

Over the years I have been riding with some new riders, and giving a lot of tutorials, tips, tricks, and explaining concepts to better help them as riders on the road or on the trails.

In thinking about these conversations, the ideas and concepts can really be applied to almost anything — Business, ministry, life, and maybe even marriage.

The hills.

Hills are coming. Maybe you dont see them yet, but they are coming. Big ones too. They may pose a lot of challenges, but they offer great rewards. Plan ahead. Dont go all out too hard when the land is flat, or on the small hills. Save some energy for the big ones. Also, prepare for the big hill mentally. How are you going to attack it? Whats your plan to recover a bit mid way through, while maintianing momentem? Do you have a bail out plan? Who will you stay close to for encouragement, both for you to encourage, and to be encouraged as you tackle the climb?

Funny thing about the hills. They are really hard, but if you make it up a few of them, they get easier. There will always be a bigger hill, or a longer climb, but with some expereince, comrodery, and planning, they will be possible to tackle just the same.

Cornering.

Speed in the corners has its pros and cons. Not enough speed, you are spending energy pedaling in awkward postions. Too much speed, you may not be making it out of a tight corner. Look ahead, past the corner to the other side. Scrub off speed before the corner, hitting the brakes mid bend will not generally yield the best results. You may skid out, go over the bars, or loose too much momentum and not make it out of the bend.

The right speed in the corners will leave you with a smile,  a change of direction, maintained momentum, and a little fun in the process.

When the going gets rough.

You have to get off your butt. Seriously. If you sit through the rough stuff, you will loose speed, get beaten up, and maybe bucked right off. Bend at the knees and elbows. Stay fluid, let your bike float under you. Absorb the bumps as best you can. Dont try and power through them, float.

Commit.

Riding the slick rock of Moab Utah will teach you this quick. Trust that your tires will stick to the rock, and commit. There is not stopping or putting a foot down. If you can commit, you will be able to climb or accend up seemingly impossible angles.

Do your homework.

Know where you are riding. What is the terrain like, who is going with you? Whats the planned timeline? Also, do your homework in planning.

So this trail has some bigger hills? Have you been training? Riding harder when you know you dont need to for training? Do have the right gear?

Also, is your bike in tip top shape? Cleaned, lubed, and ready to roll? Tires aired up, shifting smooth, and is the fit and adjustments all to your liking for optimal comfort and performance?

Zooming back to business…

I see a lot of my tips working on so many levels. Preparing for a new season, having your staff ready to rally, creative teams getting homework done for that event launch, and having core customers ready for that curve and change in direction. The analogies are almost endless.

I believe we can prepare for anything. Stay nimble, train when we can, climb the big hills so we can be better because of it.

Look ahead and come out of the corners with good momentum.