I was watching this video this morning, and it struck me that starting and running a business is like learning to ride a bike.
At the start, it all seems so damned daunting – even with training wheels on and someone running alongside. You’re expected to balance, steer and brake all at the same time…
“That’s insane!” you think. “How can I possibly manage all that?
Then one day someone takes the trainers off, and the insanity reaches a whole new level. “I’m not ready for this!” you want to scream. But you see other people doing it, and they seem to be managing all right. So with a push and a prayer, you wobble off down the street. You’re on your way, and on your own.
It doesn’t take long though for you to start pushing the boundaries, braking later, daring yourself to go harder and faster and deeper through corners.
You experience exhilaration, and the consequences of exceeding your talent.
A valuable lesson is learned however – so long as you get back on the bike, you’re not beaten; you’ve just found another way that doesn’t work.
So you cop the bruises and cuts, because you know there’s a price to be paid for knowledge. You want to be the best, and you want the world to recognise it. And yes, you want the rewards. You trademark your tricks, and build a brand around your story.
You gather a support crew about you, and learn the value of a little insurance. You discover that sharing freely what you had to learn the hard way isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it makes you even better in many people’s eyes; your fan base grows.
Of course it’s not as easy as it looks – nothing worth having ever is. It takes dedication, and belief in your ability to stick that landing. You don’t dare waiver in the face of fear, so you push to let your dream be the reality; not the nightmare that wakes you at 2 in the morning.
“You begin to go where others fear to treadly.”
You come to accept that there’s always new obstacles to overcome. There’s someone always trying to take your crown too, someone happy to copy your moves. Competition is good however, it keeps you at the top of your game.
Finally, appreciate the ride for what it is. Just being in the position to do that thing you love every day, making a difference in some small way to other people’s lives, is good reason to get up in the morning. There’s reward in that too.
(And if that video didn’t get you pumped up for the day, try this one featuring Rudimental, based on the true life experience of BMXer Kurt Yeager! Gets me every time.)