At 3 years old, my dad strapped me to his 1978 Honda VT750. Apparently the combination of sound, vibrations, and blowing wind made me fall asleep. Luckily my parents had a scarf! I was hooked forever…
On my 16th birthday, they gave me $3,000 for my first car, so I bought a sportbike. Iâ€™m not sure this was exactly what my mom had in mind, but I loved it. I rode my new found freedom everywhere I could, and it became the first of 10 bikes Iâ€™ve owned.
After thousands of dollars in speeding tickets, getting married, and having kids, it was time for the natural progression in riding: I bought a cruiser. My â€œHarley Eaterâ€ Honda VTX1800 is my daily ride, and I love it for the city streets and highway riding.
Once a year my business partner and I go racing, so we can ride without legal restraints. The thrill of dragging a knee while reaching 295 km/hr has been imprinted in my mind forever.
Superbikes, like the new Honda CBR 1000RR, pack a similar power-to-weight ratio as a Formula 1 racecar. So, I sought out expert superbike instructor Keith Code who started the California Superbike School.
I was surprised to find superbike skills are not only transferable to riding my cruiser, but theyâ€™re also applicable to business.
Itâ€™s 6:00 a.m. as I pull into the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. My heart starts pounding. After a quick brief, I suit up, approach my bike, and pull up to the starting line. No biggie, because Iâ€™ve been riding for 15 yrs. I got this. I launch onto the track, lean hard into corner one, and hit the gas, but corner two is a little wide.
My heart rate soars. I roll on the throttle. Iâ€™m screaming in my helmet, my hands are tightly gripped, my teeth are clenched, and my arms are flexed. My thoughts are a mix of euphoria and terror. The speed is intoxicating.
WHERE YOU LOOK, YOU GO.
Itâ€™s a simple concept of perspective. When Iâ€™m driving a car, the trees beside me are whipping by, but if I look out to the horizon, it feels like Iâ€™m driving slow. As a racer, if Iâ€™m looking at the road right in front of me, it feels incredibly fast. But, if I lift my head up and use my peripheral vision, it feels like Iâ€™m going slower. So I go faster, much faster.
Business also operates at incredible speed. Did you know Instagram attracted 50 million users in 18 months? To put that in perspective, it took 38 years for 50 million people to gain access to radio.
Our digital world is advancing at an incredible pace. If I keep my head up and watch out for whatâ€™s coming, Iâ€™ll get a better perspective than if Iâ€™m head-down in the tasks. But, thereâ€™s a balance. As a racer, if Iâ€™m too focused on whatâ€™s going on around the corner, I might miss the corner altogether. In business, if Iâ€™m watching too far in the future, Iâ€™ll miss the decisions I need to make right now and could end up off track.
In racing, the faster I can get through the corners, the faster my lap times will be. It actually has less to do with horsepower and top speed. A skilled racer with a smaller bike could get a faster lap time than an amateur with a faster bike. In the same respect, success in business comes as a result of how skillfully I can get through transitions in business.
My enemy on the track is target fixation. If I see a hairpin corner coming up and I freeze my eyes on the outside of the corner, Iâ€™ll end up off the track, because I go where I look. So, I find reference points throughout the track that help me know when to slow down, when to lean in, and when to speed up.
In business, the details of a situation have the power to freeze my decision-making. If I get fixated on a problem, Iâ€™ll lose the ability to find a solution quickly and get back on track. Reference points allow me to break down the issue into smaller and more manageable pieces so I can get through a situation step-by-step.
By the end of day two, I had learned to relax. My lap times have drastically increased, yet my arms are loose, Iâ€™m lighter on the brakes, and Iâ€™m gentle on the throttle. Iâ€™m maintaining speed around the track, and Iâ€™m calm, humming â€œSweet Carolineâ€ by Neil Diamond as I reach 300km/hr.
Instead of trying to control the bike with force, I have learned to cooperate with it and allow it to do what itâ€™s been engineered to do. My job is to lead, find the line, recognize the corners, and use my skill to know when to slow down and lean in and when to speed up.
If I keep my head up and watch out for whatâ€™s coming,
Iâ€™ll get a better perspective than if Iâ€™m head-down in the tasks.
With experience, I learn to negotiate corners with confidence. In my business life, Iâ€™m resisting the urge to fixate on the details of any situation, slow down at precisely the right time, and allow the team around me do what theyâ€™re trained to do rather than control them.
I hold my angle until Iâ€™m through the tightest part, I keep my head up, and I roll the throttle gently instead of cracking it and spinning out. And the businessÂ runs a lot faster when Iâ€™m aware of the present and future, marking my reference points, and focusing on maintaining rhythm.
Business is much easier when my teeth arenâ€™t clenched.
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Clearmotive Marketing Group Employs 25 marketingÂ professionals focusing on driving business growth. With loyal customers such as Honda, Lafarge and Strike Energy, Clearmotive is experienced in utilizing social, digital andÂ traditional marketing methods to grow your business.Â