I thought I was fit.
I was wrong.
Just 2 hour bike ride along Manly-one of the most beautiful beaches of the country, I was doomed and gasping for air.
Minus the out of breath bit, last Saturday was such a productive and fun day as I got to hang out with awesome friends, enjoyed the breath-taking view (literally) of Manly beach and figured out some business philosophies (please excuse my attempt to sound elegant and intelligent) which are applicable for my current businesses as well as the many future businesses ,that currently are ideas in our heads and plans on paper.
Remember sometimes we forget that some of the most simple things( bike riding for example) can be the ultimate source for success ( think: Newton and an apple that hit him on the head).
As I have learned that a picture worth a thousand words, for your own entertainment, this post will contain heaps of pictures to prove my point that Australia really is a beautiful country and being Asian means you take pictures anywhere, anytime)
This is a list of what I learned just by a day bike riding and I hope it will inform as well as entertain you about some awesome lessons in businesses and in life.
The bike riding journey has really reconfirmed some of the clichés’ I believe in as an entrepreneur. They are cliché’ for a reason because they are so true, no other belief or definition can replace them.
Let’s see what those are…
1/ Have a map and know how to read it.
I have to admit, I have a lousy sense of direction. Well, not as bad as not knowing that right is the opposite side of left. However, I get lost quite easily ( To save my dignity, I won’t go much into details of those embarrassing moments).
Anyway, before our ride, we each were given a map which attached to the front of our bike. “Great! We won’t get lost, we have a map.” WRONG! We were excitedly riding our bikes onto the designated route that we all agreed on. I, in fact, led the pack despite my lousy sense of direction as mentioned above. Things went smoothly at first until a friend called me on my cell and told me we were riding backward instead of forward to our destination. It turned out none of us knew how to read a map. This actually got me excited:
1/ because I’m not the only one who can’t read a map=)
and 2/ it is quite awesome how much we can apply this situation into building and running a successful business.
Let me explain: Having a map is like having a business plan, where you foresee all the paths and directions you can direct your business to. You can choose which directions to take by considering factors such as competitions, market, advantages, disadvantages of your business to plan out the steps ( initial capital, advertising strategies, cash flow etc). However, reading that business plans or in other words, executing it is a different story.
We as bike riders got the first step right, we had our map, chose the route that seemed most interesting. But we didn’t read the map right, which resulted in us going backward, not forward. So we wasted a good 20 mins of our journey getting lost just because we had a map but didn’t know how to follow it.
As entrepreneurs, it is important that we have a business plan for any start-up projects. Not only it will help make your vision appears clearer for you (we get brain clutter if there are so many thoughts happening at the same time) but also for your investors and your partners (if you have any) to see your visions.
we each were given a mini version of this big Manly map =)
Having said that, following your business plans is super important as well. You have to know how to read it( well, you should, since you are the one who writes it). Some tips I use to follow my business plans by
a/ write down things that need to be done first( talk to my partners, research, etc)
b/ give myself a deadline of when to complete them
c/ complete and tick off ( this activity is the most fun)
d/ move on to the next tasks. And start the steps again.
That way you don’t get stuck with so many incomplete tasks, which may result in you going backward on your way to success.
Lesson learned: Have a business plan and know how to follow it is super important
2/ surround yourself with good people
I’m extremely lucky as I’m helped and supported by so many awesomely amazing people.
One thing riding a bike in a group has definitely taught me was you need people’s support in order to achieve anything.
Back to my bike riding story. After 1 hour or so (which felt like 10 hours at the time), we had to ride uphill. I don’t think the hill was that high and sloppy but to me at the time, it felt like we were riding to Mount Everest (excuse the ridiculous comparison=). My legs didn’t belong to myself anymore and my heart beat so fast it wanted to jump out of my chest.
For a split second, I regretted MY stupid idea of going bike riding on a beautiful Saturday and I felt terrible for dragging my friends into doing this tiring trip (exercise) with me. Fortunately, my awesome friends kept shouting encouraging words saying we can do this; this is the most awesome exercise …blah blah… (this is to be confirmed as I’m not so sure if they said ‘awesome’ or ‘awful’, considering the tiring stage we were in=).
Anyways, this made me think ( surprise, surprise!) I thought to myself;” I can’t let them down, I can do thing sh!t”
( please excuse the swearing, you know how it is when you’re tired) and kept on going.
TEAM AWESOME: before…
TEAM AWESOME: after…
Lesson learned: In business, make sure you connect with like-minded people, those who can lift you up after you fail. The power of positive energy is extremely important in keeping yourself sane and productive. Remember words can lift you up as easy as they can put you down. So if someone says you can do anything, believe them! In addition, I can’t stress enough the importance of having mentors and supporters. Some of my indirect mentors are
- Pat Flynn
- Tim Ferris-author of The 4-Hour Workweek
- Corbet Barr
- Robert Kiyosaki- author of Rich Dad Poor Dad
- Michael Dunlop from incomediary.com
- Benny Hsu
As you can see, I mostly learn from books and blogs and I found it to be such an epic way of learning. I can learn what I want, and reject what I find boring. The choices are entirely mine. That’s super awesome. I feel like Steve Jobs dropping out of college and learned the only interesting subjects that he enjoyed. The only difference is I haven’t made millions yet =) Well, I am confident that I’m on the right path though.
PLUS, I get endless support from many awesome people who I can’t thank enough. As cliché as it may sounds, thank you, thank you so much for supporting me, you are awesome=) I won’t mention names to pay respect to their privacy but awesome friends-you know who you are <3 <3
3/ Keep riding after falling.
Well, I don’t think I fell off the bike. However I don’t remember (or don’t want to remember) how I got these bruises, but apparently, they do hurt.
right leg and left leg ( I have no intention to gross you out( or maybe I am?)=> just want to add some proof
Did these bruises stop me from riding again and completing my awesome journey? I think not.
Now everywhere I go, people can’t help but ask me what the hell happen to my legs.
I simply replied that they were marks of an awesome bike riding journey. This normally either
a/ get people really excited to join my next bike riding trip or
b/get them to quickly change the topic of our conversation because they are afraid I ‘ll beg them to go bike riding with me next time =)
Is it naïve to say that I feel special since no one else in Team Awesome got bruised, except for me=) ( Or maybe because no one was as bad as riding bicycles as me?) Whatever the reasons, I consider these bruises part of my great journey, where I have learned heaps of awesome lessons for life and for business.
Another lesson learned. From now on, I don’t think I fear failures anymore. I will just view them as bruises you get when riding bicycles. They may hurt at first and may look terrible too, but they will heal and you will forget about them and get on with the journey. Plus, they are there to remind you that at least you give something a shot( like riding bicycles when you are a noob rider), get bruised and enjoy the ride rather than do nothing and regret the opportunity ( in this case that regretting how you wasted a beautiful Saturday).
4/ Enjoy the ride.
It’s not about the destination, it’s the journey that matters.
Despite getting lost at first and pushing our strength overriding on a slope, I truly enjoyed the ride and I hope everyone in Team Awesome felt the same way. Here are some pictures of how much we enjoy our ride.
my boyfriend showing off his balancing trick ( why didn’t he get any bruises?=(
reaching our destination, at last, feeling on top of the world the beer…the view…A Happy team Awesome with food =) yum yum
I hope this has entertained you and somehow influence you to have fun on your journey to success. We only live once, make it counts!