Finishing Strong

I recently completed a 200 mile bike ride called “Pedal the Plains”. The ride was over a 3 day period. During the course of the ride, I was struck by the similarities of participating in this event, and that of running an online business.

The first day was easy – not unlike starting a new website. Getting a website up and running is the easy part, but then you have to start working at making the website perform. This involves marketing, getting people to your site, and making sales. All of this requires considerable effort. The second day was windy and uphill, and as a result, many of the 1000+ riders dropped out.

The third day of the ride was set to be the most challenging – riding a century (100 miles) after having already been in the saddle for 2 days. There was an option to do a shorter route, which most of the riders took – only about 60 of us completed the century. The first third of the century ride was a repeat from day 2 – windy and uphill. Again, many riders, even those on the shorter route, ended up dropping out.

The same thing happens with many businesses – when it becomes difficult, many businesses simply drop out, allowing the remaining companies to win. But here was the great thing: after mile 33, the course changed direction and the wind was at our back! I was riding with a team, and we each stopped to help each other when we would have a flat tire. I was riding a demo bike provided by BH bicycles – this was a sweet ride that allowed me to shave and entire hour off my previous best century. Again, the similarities to running a business are stunning: it takes teamwork to win, and you shouldn’t be afraid to accept the help of others. If you are running a website, you should rely on your webmaster to help you fix the flat tires. And you should attend free trainings and workshops such as those provided by WebStores Ltd to help you along the way.

Team Farm Bureau with congressman Cory Gardner. that’s me on the left with the incredible BH Prisma bike!

I met several celebrities and made a number of new friends over the course of the ride. I’d like to thank those friends who made up my team as well as BH Bicycles for the use of the “Prisma”. I’d also like to thank everyone who opened up their homes for us to stay in each night. Remember to thank your business associates as well.

By the time I was approaching the finish line, my average speed was 16.2 miles per hour for the entire 100 miles. I felt stronger at the end of the ride than I did when I started and crossed the finish line doing about 25 mph. Just like in business, if you stick with it, you can finish strong.