I have been on a road bike for over four years. I recently started getting into mountain biking. Mountain biking is pretty different than road cycling. You have rocks, logs, streams, and mud. With that, you have to learn how to maneuver your body and bike to fit the terrain. I got a few cuts and bruises, but I still want to do it again. I realized just now that mountain biking is pretty similar to being in business.
Practice Makes Perfect
The first time that I went on a trail with my mountain bike, I sucked. However, the second time went by much more smoothly. It’s something that I always say to my kids. The first few times that you do something, you are not going to be good at it. However, you have to continue doing it so you can master it. I know that by continuing to mountain bike, I will continuously get better.
Don’t Let Obstacles Stop You From Moving Forward
On my road bike, I don’t have to worry about any surprises. I just keep pedaling on a paved road and keep going forward. On a mountain bike, you have all types of obstacles that you have to get over. Don’t brake because it will break your momentum. Just keep going to go over those obstacles. It’s the same way when you are in business. Yes, you will face problems along the way. There will be times that you will feel like giving up. You know what? Don’t. Learn how to maneuver yourself around them, and keep moving forward.
You Will Fall
While sitting with my mountain biking group, they were all joking around how everyone falls. Guess what? They were all still riding. When I fell during a race, I was freaked for a long time. I still am afraid to go downhill. Nevertheless, I am getting over that fear. This is very similar to obstacles. The difference is that you will be a bit traumatized when you hurt yourself. We all have dark moments, but we can’t let that never get back on our quest again. It’s been proven that entrepreneurs, freelancers, consultants who have failed in business the first time usually succeed the second time around. Fall and get back up.
Get a Crew Together
Even if it’s just you in your business, you should join a group, whether it be an association, meetup, online community, etc., that you can discuss problems and ideas with. When I’m biking with my mountain biking group, we help one another out. They give me great pointers so I can excel in my efforts to be a good mountain biker. Even though I love biking alone, it’s great to have a group that I feel we are in this together. We are social creatures, and group thinking can produce some great ideas.
Never Stop Learning
I’ve been reading and watching videos on biking. I learned some new techniques that have helped me ride corners, go downhill, and pop a wheelie (still trying to master this). You never want to stop learning because this is the only way to get better in anything that you do. I plan on attending biking clinics and technique classes that will help me perfect mountain biking. In business, I am reading the BABOK and Shipley processes because I want to learn more about business analysis and proposal writing. Once you stop learning, you fall short in business.
When Going Downhill Too Fast, Push Back
Going downhill can be pretty scary, especially when there are tons of rock. Don’t brake and push your body back to slow down. If you feel you are going too fast, then learn to slow down a bit. You never want to feel as though you are not in control because that is when you can run into problems. Don’t stop believing yourself, take a step back, assess the situation, and make the right decision.
In the end, have fun. When you add a bit excitement in anything you do, it doesn’t become so tedious and stressful. Learn how to smile even when you feel you can’t keep going. In the end, you will.