Lifelong motorcycle riders and successful entrepreneurs have much in common.
They both crash but learn from their mistakes and get back to it, stronger than ever. They both hurt their egos—motorcyclists, typically by not riding to a top skill level, and entrepreneurs often by failing in both early and later business journeys.
Both lifestyles also parallel when it comes to various disciplines. Most riders strictly stick to one type of style, whether off-road, cruising, or riding 200+ horsepower sportbikes. Likewise, the majority of entrepreneurs adhere to one company or industry, whether CEO of a franchise restaurant or beginning a few publications across the world of fishing.
The similarities strengthen when the motorcycle riders are also entrepreneurs who don’t set their focus on just one or two styles of riding or business type.
For good or bad, I’m part of this crowd. I have a huge passion for riding within multiple disciplines, including big-bike ADV, where I spend most of the time off-road, spirited street riding via sportbikes, bumming around town on a naked, touring cross-country on some hefty sport-tourer, or track days on road-racing circuits.
Regarding entrepreneurism, the love and challenges of launching separate businesses have become similar to my love of different riding styles. My digital marketing agency journey is now joined by authorship, which requires a unique entrepreneurial mindset of its own, a productivity hacking company, and I’m in the due diligence phase of acquiring my first company—one that assesses entrepreneurism.
But the most significant parallel of all between riding and entrepreneurism is learning to slow down to speed up. I’d love to say “master” riding and entrepreneurism, but I’ve learned that truly mastering anything is impossible. There will always be someone faster or more successful, and always something more to learn.
It’s the journey towards mastering anything that truly marks wisdom within a rider or entrepreneur. Those are the riders who can ride decades with smiles and zero accidents, or run successful companies that are respected and carry their group of dedicated customers/clients.
Take, for example, riding fast. I can’t speak for every rider, but the group of sportbike and dirt riders I grew up with disregarded the thoughts of every going slow, and most of the scars on our bodies show this.
This was a reckless fast, and many who didn’t discipline themselves to slow and learn the art of riding, versus just the guts element, are either not riding today or no longer with us.
Those who were self-disciplined and focused on learning technique are some of the fastest riders I know today, from 50-year-olds who can destroy people on the street but never crash, to those competing at the IOM TT.
I first learned of this slowing down to speed up in the dozens of books I used to study on riding. Later in life, it came from the schools I attended and will continue to attend until I can no longer ride—most notably California Superbike School and Yamaha Champions Riding School.
Slowing down to speed up carried the momentum throughout my career, jaunts, and entrepreneurial journeys. Slowing down for me means genuinely taking a breather from the work at hand and totally walking away from it all periodically throughout the week.
Slowing down in business sounds so counterproductive to most because of the Silicon Valley method of working 16-hour days for success. But when you stop, you refresh, and you end up with the most positive element: doing more quality work in less time. This business practice allows extra time to screw around and do the things you truly love, such as riding motorcycles.
For me, one can’t possibly exist without the other. If I didn’t ride motorcycles, I’d fail at entrepreneurism. When I need to slow down my thoughts so I can focus on my business, I need to ride fast.
And if I wasn’t an entrepreneur, I wouldn’t fully respect how valuable motorcycles are to enjoying every second, or mile, in this short time on this planet.