Who knew that spending five months on a bicycle with my two-year-old would bring success in my business?
Before this adventure, I was afraid and hesitant, and many people thought I was downright nuts to schlep my child around on a bicycle in a place where most roads don't have shoulders.
But despite the fear and judgments, I knew I had to go. I knew there was far more than just cycling around New Zealand in this adventure. I didn't know, however, that it would shape the way I do business.
Most days, we spent anywhere from two to six hours on the bike. If you've ever been on a long bicycle ride, you know that it's not easy to have a conversation with someone behind you as the wind is whistling past your ears. I had to find a way to entertain myself on those longer rides.
In the beginning, I was only focused on getting there. Rides became long and daunting. Something had to change. I began to develop an ability to pay attention to my surroundings, taking everything in.
Curiosity become a good friend; it kept me going on the bike for hours. Some days I was surprised at how quickly we got to our destination because of how much I was enjoying the ride. Pleasure became the focus, and this allowed me to let go of any worry, anticipation or focus on the end point.
Enjoy exactly where you are
Not only did I learn to be present on this adventure, I also learned to let go of control and go with the flow. I realized that the harder I held on to what I thought something should be, the easier it slipped away. The more I let go of control and stopped trying to figure out how much time it would take us to get to the next spot, the more fun the adventure became. I carried this lesson into my career.
If you want to have a large business, you must be willing and able to speak to new people. At the beginning of my cycling adventure, I would have considered myself shy and found it uncomfortable to do this. However, after pushing myself outside of my comfort zone, I became confident and comfortable talking with anybody who came along my path, which in turn helped to grow my business.
Business is about letting go and enjoying the adventure. It's so important to stay present while knowing where you are headed. Yes, there will be difficult times; you might find yourself exhausted, depleted, even discouraged. But if you can learn to embrace and enjoy those moments along with the celebratory ones, you will grow your life and business in incredible ways.
About the author: Maggie Schlarb is a business coach, entrepreneur and global Joy of Business facilitator. Maggie is a seasoned adventurer – she traveled Europe in a campervan and New Zealand on bicycle – and joyfully applies her sense of adventure to business. A yoga instructor and Nia Black Belt, she has created a range of body-centric businesses. Her latest enterprise assists SMBs through the process of launching products and services, and she helps entrepreneurs from around the world leap courageously into the adventure of business through Joy of Business, a special program by Access Consciousness.
Edited for brevity and clarity by Sammi Caramela.