Pi Of Life : Wheels of Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurs need to focus, on their fitness as well. Most advice from those who’ve been there and done that to those just starting up often contains one crucial bit about not neglecting your body and building exercise into your schedule.

Image: Bumsonthesaddle.com

And one the easiest ways to build it into your schedule is cycling!

I myself ride around a fair bit, but decided to get serious advice from the pros – so spoke to Rohan Kini, an entrepreneur himself about the whys and hows of it. Rohan quit technology to start up BumsOnTheSaddle a while ago, and is actively involved in not just selling cycles, but selling the idea of cycling itself as well as building a community around it.

Rohan believes commuting is the best way to make cycling a part of your life.

It saves you time. Yes, most other commute options in the city are slower!

  • It saves you money! You’re bootstrapping, and of course know which way petrol (and diesel) prices are headed.
  • It takes you no extra time and even a 30-40 kms a week keep you much much fitter.

Cycling gives you a short burst of an endorphin-driven high that not just negates traffic stress, but lifts up your mood. And we all know that hope and positivity are an entrepreneur’s best allies.

In the very early days of your startup, you’re the product and the startup – and cycling adds a lot of “cool” to your image! There are good, savvy, upwardly mobile riding communities in most cities across the world now, and this is a terrific networking opportunity. Like a wise man once said – “Cycling is the new golf!”. You find early adopters, customers, vendors, great hires, advisors, mentors and perhaps even investors in those who’re keen to do that morning ride with you. Folks bond a lot over sports – and from whatever I’ve seen of fellow riders, they’re a candid, honest and outgoing lot who’ll help you if and when they can.

As you get more serious about rides, you start to push yourself. Like Rohan says, “Most people refuse to believe they can ride 10kms when they come in to pick a new bike, but surprise themselves doing a regular 15-20 kms commute within a month”. Its a great lesson as an entrepreneur – learning to push what you thought were your limits, and seeking more. Riding also gives you much needed alone time with your thoughts – where you can re-examine assumptions, relook at decisions and rethink strategy. This is stuff the rush of daily startup life seldom affords otherwise.

Cycling is also a very benign, forgiving activity – the risk of pushing too hard and injuring yourself for the long term is minimal. There’s a good community to get great advice from, a good range of bikes to select from and good support from dealers and vendors.

So go ahead and pick up a bike. Pick something decent – avoid a Bicycle Shaped Object! As an entrepreneur recognising the difference between being frugal and making a decent investment is a critical skill – and applies to this as well. A good bike, a few rides, and you’ll feel way more pumped up and prepared to take on the world!

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