Your Business Goes Where Your Eyes Go

I was in my early twenties and just bought a Lamborghini-orange Kawasaki Ninja 636. In my eyes, it was the coolest looking and sounding motorbike in the world. I always wanted a ‘crotch rocket,’ as they were dubbed back in the day. My dad and uncle both rode motorcycles, so the allure to two wheels had always been there. Purchasing it fulfilled a childhood dream. I also loved speed, which the bike had plenty of, a trait I hopefully do not pass on to my boys…

While learning to ride the crotch rocket, an experienced rider/friend of mine would take me down to the industrial park near where we lived, after dinner when the roads were clear and the workers had gone home for the day. It was the perfect place to ride because it consisted of dozens of long and looping turns, allowing us to really practice the fun part of motorbiking – which, in my opinion, is the turning. You can lean into bends while accelerating out of turns, enabling gravity to straighten up your bike and body naturally. It was a rush. Up and down, leaning into turns and accelerating out. We’d do this for hours…

 

Looking Beyond the Immediate

When turning on a motorbike, the most fundamental element is to look beyond what’s directly in front of you. The rider (especially ones which fancy speed) needs to look into the distance while they’re turning. Their eyes need to be firmly pressed onto where they want the bike to be AFTER the turn. If they do that, the bike will naturally end up where their eyes gaze. Where you look is where you end up… 

When first learning to ride, this concept seemed strange.  Entering a turn, you naturally want to look right in front of you as you meander the twist. But all that does is slow you down and cause you to veer wide on the turn, which can be dangerous.  However, when you enter a turn and look, say, 300 to 400 meters down the line, your bike stays tight to the corner, speed remains high, and you end up where your eyes were looking. It requires trusting physics – a leap of faith if you will.

 

Entrepreneurs Need to Be Careful What They Look At

I remember ‘dumping my bike’ for the first and only time. I was riding in a back alley, and it was graveled for about a 50-meter stretch. Never having ridden on gravel before, this made me anxious, so I ignored all the lessons. I started looking beneath my feet, which caused me to slow down to a dangerous speed. My bike ended up lying on its side in the gravel, with its beautiful paint job scratched to hell. 

There is an important parallel between riding a motorbike and being an entrepreneur

 

Your Business Will Go Where Your Eyes Go

There is an expression about starting your own business, which goes something like: If entrepreneurs knew, in advance, how much stress and challenges they’d have to overcome to create a successful business, they’d never start…

Entrepreneurs must stay focused on that destination far down the road, beyond the turn, to get to where they want to be. There are so many challenges and anxious moments when building a business that if you begin to focus on them individually (which is very easy to do), you will never make it to your destination… 

If you pay exclusive attention to the competitor directly in front of you, or you’re focused on how that client reneged on their commitment to pay, you will most certainly veer off course. Hyper-focusing on short-term hiccups or challenges can set your business back for a moment (or potentially long-term). 

The same is true with anxiety and worry. Easier said than done, especially for detail oriented entrepreneurs, but too much attention to what could go wrong (my mentor calls it ‘shoe to drop syndrome’), will eventually kneecap your business. It’s akin to my gravel story: slowing down so much that it becomes a danger…

There is a mental game involved with entrepreneurship that is so important to win, every day. Part of it is accepting that there will be many twists and turns along the journey. No matter what, you have to accept them as a cost of doing business, and not a detriment. They’re just turns. They’re going to be there, and more will come as you get closer to your final destination. As an entrepreneur, however, the most important thing you can do is stay laser-focused on that end destination… where you want to be.

Where you look is where you’ll end up.

Stay hungry,

 

 

 

Aaron

PS – I love building and growing things. From concept to commercialization, the whole process inspires me. Subscribe to my newsletter below. Only my best content will land in your inbox. 

About the author

Aaron Hoddinott

Like all of you entrepreneurs and investors out there, Aaron has been in the trenches. He is the founder of an influential online media and PR company. From oil wildcatters to mining prospectors, tech gurus to medical doctors, and even celebrities, Aaron has helped market and expand brand awareness for a diverse range of publicly traded companies ran by entrepreneurs from all walks of life.

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