A lesson on two wheels

...and there I was riding and I didn’t know how to fall off anymore.

Sometimes when I am riding my bike in the summer I get the strangest thoughts running through my mind. For example, one day it occurred to me that I can’t purposely fall off my bike. Sure I can crash myself into a fence or drive over a cliff but to just fall off seemed nearly impossible to do. There I was riding my bike, trying to fall off and I just didn’t know how to do it.

Now my point is, at one time way back in my childhood I was convinced I couldn’t possibly stay on my bike and I had many scrapes, bumps and bruises to prove it. Then something happened, just like a flip of a switch, and there I was riding and I didn’t know how to fall off anymore.

I tell you this because I know how hard it is to learn new things. I know there is a frustrating period of trial and error and I know that error can often equate to pain. I remember telling my son how much biking would be a part of his life, but he just couldn’t see it. To him, walking was all he ever needed (or his parents to drive him). Then one day his own bike riding switch flipped and his life changed in that very instant. Friends that were once too far away were now an easy bike ride to get to. Walks that took him thirty minutes were now down to a seven minute bike ride. Activities that he could have never considered were now easily within his grasp. Learning to ride a bike changed his life.

I am going to bet that in your business today (like right this minute) there are new things you should be learning to do. It might be a new technology, a new sales approach or a new way to manage your people. But like many business executives you talk yourself out of it because learning something new can cause you great pain. I know that feeling because I have been there too.

But learning to ride a bike taught us some valuable lessons didn’t it? It taught us to just do it because we really don’t have any idea how life changing it really can be. It taught us to get right back on the minute we fall off. It taught us it’s often easier to do it when you have others who support you. It taught us that one day, often without warning, our lives would be different and our hard work would all pay off.

This month I want you to think about some of the things you need to be changing and I want you to challenge yourself to take whatever action is needed. I know it will feel awkward and it may be somewhat painful but I guarantee you that if you stick to it your own performance switch will go off and you will never again understand how it is to fall off again.

Curt Skene