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3 Lessons Cycling Has Taught Me About Being An Entrepreneur

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3 Lessons Cycling Has Taught Me About Being An Entrepreneur

I’ve been an athlete for just about as long as I can remember. While I spent most of my youth competing in one sport or another and my early adulthood staying fit in the gym, I never expected these disciplines to inform the career and business I would build later in life.

That all changed when a hunger for competition drove me to take part in a triathlon, which involves swimming, cycling, and running.

As my passion grew, particularly for cycling, I realized that the traits needed to be a successful cyclist are beneficial for entrepreneurs, too.

Biking Toward Better Entrepreneurship

Studies have shown that exercise can play a huge role in clearing your mind and helping you function better in general.

Stepping away from work to focus on a hobby can give you a new vantage point from which to find perspective, allowing the opportunity for innovation.

It also gives you the chance to meet new people. After all, you never know where you might encounter your next client, partner, or connection.

In addition to these more tangible benefits, a hobby such as cycling can teach you valuable lessons and have a direct influence on your performance in business.

 

1. Consistency is key

When I became a triathlete, I wanted to be the best right away, but I quickly discovered that it doesn’t happen overnight.

Achieving greatness takes years of consistent training, and you can only attain sufficient performance gains by maintaining focus over the long term.

This is equally true in business.

Everyone has a million-dollar idea, but the difference between those who succeed and those who fail boils down to who has the drive to put in consistent effort.

When you learn to celebrate the small victories and enjoy the journey, success is just a matter of patience.

“It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It’s what we do consistently.” – Anthony Robbins

2. Be willing to struggle

After a few years of consistent training for triathlons, I reached a fairly competitive level, and a friend of mine whose performance was lacking decided to ask me for some training advice.

I sat down with him to review what he was doing.

Much to my surprise, I found out that he did a lot of low-intensity workouts.

When I asked him about his more challenging interval workouts, which are essential for effective training, he told me that he didn’t like doing them because they were “too hard.”

It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why he was getting nowhere.

Most new entrepreneurs have no idea what they’re getting into, and they jump in thinking about the end goal, achieving success.

What they don’t expect are all of the challenges they’ll have to overcome.

Just because you’re struggling, it doesn’t mean you’re failing. In fact, the willingness to face a challenge head-on will determine whether you fail or succeed.

Like training on a bike, the biggest gains come when you’re willing to embrace the struggle.

 

3. Starting is half the battle

Over the years, I’ve tried a variety of triathlon training plans in an attempt to find the best one.

I’ve spent hours upon hours reading books, consulting with coaches, and even contacting some of the sport’s top professionals.

But after all of that research and effort, I’ve learned that nothing happens unless you just get on your bike and go.

Sometimes, athletes obsess over training plans so much that they never get to the actual training.

cycle A22s
 

Early in my career, my brother and I got so caught up in the process of learning how to build a successful business that we ended up getting stuck.

Eventually, I went to an entrepreneur friend of mine for advice, and his words snapped me out of my lull.

He told me that at any point in time, you have a certain amount of information. If you want to be successful, you have to take what you know and take a step forward.

You might not have all the information you need, but you must take what you have and start.

You might not have the perfect plan, but you’ll move toward your goal faster by starting now rather than sitting still.

In the end, my point is simple:

A hobby like cycling gives you the chance to learn new lessons and can deliver surprising benefits to your business.

So take the time to get out of the office and go for a ride, swim, or do whatever else inspires you.

Chris Thornham is a co-founder of FLO Cycling, which engineers aerodynamic cycling wheels. The company uses computational fluid dynamics software to develop its wheels and verifies its results in a wind tunnel. Less than three years after launching, the company has sold 10,000 wheels to customers in 51 countries. Chris enjoys learning, triathlon training, skiing, hiking with his dog, and spending time with family.

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Knowing Your Message vs Delivering Your Message

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Have you ever sent a text message only to have it misinterpreted by the person reading it? Happens all the time. Have you ever given a presentation that you were totally prepared for only to have it fall flat? Happens all the time. Have you ever had someone ask you something like, “Why are you mad?” when you were not at all mad? Happens all the time. (more…)

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The 3 Most Important Things I Learned About Personal Growth

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When you look back on your life, what do you want to think about? Do you plan to reminisce on all of the good things that have happened and how they shaped who you are today? Or would you rather remember all of the bad decisions, challenging experiences, and mistakes made that hurt or wasted a portion of your life?

In my opinion, I think it is important to reflect on both. While it’s important to remember the hardships we’ve been through in our lives – without them we wouldn’t be where we are now. There are 3 very specific areas that I feel have helped me grow in a personal sense more than anything else in my life so far. 

These aren’t simple lessons in a book or a lecture that you can just absorb and apply to your life. These are things that I’ve learned through experience and reflection, and I’m still learning and growing today.

1. We determine how much we’re worth by what we think about ourselves, others, and life in general.

This might seem like a pretty obvious lesson in life but it’s actually one of the most important because we can determine our own worth by how we think about ourselves and the world around us. If you’re looking for success in any kind of business or social setting (dating), then I’ll tell you right now that it doesn’t matter if you have 10 billion dollars or not – people are still going to judge you based on your thoughts and beliefs alone.

What determines our value isn’t necessarily what we do with our lives (which is often based on luck) but whether or not we believe that ‘our work’ is worthy or not in some sort of grand scheme or universe. We may not always be able to control what happens in our lives, but we can always control how we value ourselves and others.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” – Maya Angelou

2. You don’t have to change your habits or personality just because someone else doesn’t like it – their opinions are THEIRS alone.

This is another one of those lessons that people tend to pick up on a little bit late in life, but if anything that makes its importance even worse! Basically, there’s going to come a time when you’re going to meet someone who has certain expectations of you as a person…but these expectations might not be realistic due to their motivations and personal beliefs. For example, sometimes parents might expect you to be a lawyer or doctor because that’s what they believe is best for their child.

However, this isn’t the case for everyone and so maybe your passion lies in music or writing novels. In this example, if you were also pressured into becoming a doctor – then there would obviously be some kind of conflict going on within yourself as a person. You should never have to give up something that you want to do just because someone else doesn’t like it! The reason why we’re put onto this Earth is to make our own choices and go after our OWN dreams instead of letting others determine what we can and cannot do with our lives .

3. You can’t change your life until you accept that you need to make a change.

When I was younger, I thought that this lesson would be pretty obvious – but as I got older, it really made me appreciate the fact that there are always different ways of perceiving our lives. For example, if someone wants to become rich and famous one day – their mind might simply overshadow any other possibility in their head because they feel like this is what they NEED to do right now.

However, this isn’t always true within our own lives because we think about things too literally instead of having an open mind. If you want to achieve success in any kind of business or social setting (dating) then you should be willing to try out different things instead of staying in your comfort zone. If you want something, then it’s up to YOU to actually go after it – nobody else is going to give it to you!

The three lessons above are some of the main things I want to pass on to everyone because they’ve come at an important time in my life where I need to start thinking about others instead of only myself. It’s great if we can learn to love ourselves first before anything else, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect everyone around you even though they might be your friends and family members!

If you enjoyed this article on the 3 most important things I learned about personal growth, then please share it with your friends and family! Also, check out my other articles on success & motivation as well as life lessons that could help people who are struggling with their life right now on lifengoal.com. Thanks for reading!

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Building a business is about more than sales, marketing, and flexing on social media. While those things tend to draw attention, they attract the wrong type of clients and are not how you build a sustainable and freedom-focused business. (more…)

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Practicing Self-Devotion: 3 Ways Towards a More Mindful and Compassionate You

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I can still hear the voices of my older relatives and my elementary school teachers telling me “be disciplined”, “keep at it”, to give time and energy towards what we want. As a young, impressionable child, I believed all those things because well, they made sense. They worked. And honestly, I felt like it’s the only way to flourish. (more…)

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