After over 15 years of not riding a bicycle, I was amazed at how quickly I picked up balance (even at very slow speeds waiting for traffic lights), speed, agility, and the ability to spot drivers not paying attention. I made the decision to ride my bike more frequently in an effort to be both more physically and environmentally active. While I am enjoying a slimmer physique, and a more robust wallet; I have also become a more conscientious driver, and never anticipated the business lessons I would learn on two wheels.
On a bicycle, the rider provides 100% of the power; just like a solo-preneur. Every bit of energy I put into the system (business or bicycle) must result in speed or revenue. After a ride the other day, I hung my bike on the rack in my garage and gave the rear wheel a gentle spin. I noticed a consistent pattern of it slowing down and was surprised at how quickly it came to a complete stop. Though I cannot precisely quantify the amount of drag caused by the friction between the warp and the brakes; it was clear that the issue needed to be fixed – quickly and permanently. In just twenty minutes , I had adjusted the balance of the brakes and crudely tweaked the trueness of the wheel. The impact was incredible on the rack and on the road as well.
After the bike repair, I noticed similar inefficiencies in my own business and marketing. Many of these I had been meaning to address, but never actually made the time to do it. A couple tweaks to my profiles helped wheels spin more true; stepping out of some groups gave me more time to develop worthwhile relationships; and finally nailing down 3 meetings is leading to some unique collaborations. The efficiencies are making my business more effective, and more fun!
The lesson here is to schedule time to stop and look around – to observe what is working and what is not. Invest a little TLC into every aspect of your business to make sure you remove the biggest energy drains.
Is your marketing true to your operations?
Do you have the right people in the right positions, doing the right work?
Are some people or systems creating friction or drag on your operations?
Repairing or removing the largest drain in your system will likely reveal ten others in its shadow. Just take it in stride and don’t expect immediate perfection. Enjoy the boost from changes made today and reinvest profits/energy into the next project.
While some things are easy for the DIY mindset, it often helps to hire a professional. I took my bike to a shop where several more tweaks were made to keep my bike as efficient as possible.