“Life is too short for traffic.” – Dan Bellack
I got some great news today. The kind of news that makes you look back on all the years of hard work you’ve put into an idea and allows you a moment of clarity where everything comes together. You can let out a long exhale and smile.
This clarity came to me at a red light while I was riding my motorcycle home from work (my aerospace day job). Slight aside, but I’m a huge motorcycle fan. I’m not the kind that gushes over the new releases or follows all the races – I’m the kind that loves the feeling of riding – the air speeding around you, the tone of the exhaust in the power band, the thrill available at any moment via a twist of the wrist (cranking on the throttle for the non-motorcycle folks out there), the openness of the road and the ability to take advantage or not take advantage of any part of it at any time.
In this moment of clarity – I realized that this life long motorcycle passion has many similarities with another passion that makes me feel alive – entrepreneurship. Here are my observations on how they compare; why entrepreneurship is a lot like riding a motorcycle… in no particular order:
- There is something sexy about them both – an allure that many have but not all will act on.
- Most people will tell you that you are crazy, some people will support you, the rest are a little jealous
- Find the right support system and magic can happen
- There is a great amount of risk associated with both
- People will always give you their opinions on how to be better, but one size never fits all, there is no straight line to success
- There is no overnight success – if you want to get good, if you want to find success, you have to put in the miles
- There will be a ton of little failures along the way but each one is a learning experience and will only make you better/stronger in the future – if you are open to it
- If you handle situations unwisely you can fail in a most spectacular of ways that can leave serious bruises and even life long scars – if you were somewhat prepared for a major failure you can often recover a lot more quickly – simply stated – Everyone crashes. Some get back on. Some don’t. Some can’t.
- Never be afraid to slow down
- You are often the only one standing in the way of your progress
- If you get really good at it people will want your opinion and they will listen
- There will be many close calls and many moments where you will have to overcome fears if you want to grow
- Routine maintenance should never be neglected
- Doing counter-intuitive things is a big part of it all
- You are almost automatically a member of a club with everyone else doing something similar, unless you are in a gang which has rivals
- Having it all come together and just work right is very confidence inspiring
- Some people will want to ride along with you, but they won’t always like it
- With enough passion you can spread the bug – and once bitten it’s hard to turn away
- You will meet a lot of new and interesting people
- It never looks that far on the map…
- There is a great amount of reward associated with both, through learning to mastering
“Never trade the thrills of living for the security of existence.” – Unknown