After I survived cancer, I made a conscious decision to incorporate motorcycling into my business life. That spawned my book, The Biker's Guide to Business, a leadership manual to getting the most out of your business as well as your personal life, and today I often have successful business leaders walk up to me and say, "I want your life," and ask me how I pulled it off.
So here's my advice:
Successful entrepreneurs know that what isn't a priority doesn't happen, so the first step is to stop and consciously think about when and how biking--or anything you're passionate about--can fit into your lifestyle on a routine basis. This is easier than you think. Simply incorporate many of the same techniques and processes you use to fit in family time or, say, exercise.
Ride When You Travel
There are motorcycle rental companies in most cities so take an extra day when you travel for business and go for a ride. Also, reach out to your network on LinkedIn (or elsewhere) to find out who in the relevant area rides and ask those people if they're available. More often than not, you'll end up with a great guided tour and start--or strengthen--a friendship. I do it all the time, and I often have other riders contact me when they're in my area.
Form a Riding Peer Group
There are traditional business peer groups everywhere. Why not build one around entrepreneurs who bike? Heck, rider-entrepreneurs are easy enough to find; just ask your current riding buddies. There's a cool riding peer group in Cleveland called Entrepreneur MC that meets once a month to talk and visit an interesting company doing cool stuff.
Create A Charity Ride Within Your Existing Business or Civic Group
Surely you already belong to a civic organization, like a Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, or Kiwanis. Ask yours to hold a ride; it'll be much more fun and way cooler than the usual golf tournament. Reach out to your local dealership for support and you'll be surprised how easy it can be to pull off.
Ride at Conferences
There are always organized activities associated with major conferences. A couple of years ago Inc. began offering a guided motorcycle ride the day prior to events. Those who participate find it to be a much more effective way to network and create longer-lasting friendships than the usual 5K run. So contact the person organizing the next conference you're attending and ask him or her to put one together. Or attend the first-ever Inc. Riders Summit next month (shameless plug, I admit it). More details are below.
In November, Dwain M. DeVille will co-lead the first-ever Inc. Riders Summit, a three-day motorcycle road trip through the Nevada desert for entrepreneurs. For more information about the ride, the entrepreneur-led business sessions, or the networking, click here.