What a ride

How entrepreneurship is NOT like biking: There is no concrete goal to reach

The very first chapter already starts with the complete antithesis of the whole thing: There are aspects in entrepreneurship which are absolutely not like a bike trip. The bike trip has a concrete goal, and you will know when you reached it. The very second you arrive at that waterfall, city or other place you dreamed of approaching, you will know you made it. This is not the case in entrepreneurship

In entrepreneurship, you are going forward, backward and sideways every day and if all stars are aligned you are actually progressing towards that "goal" you set yourself: Once I have a million euros in the bank, 10 million users and every one on the planet knows my name I made it. Don't lie to yourself, you are exactly the same as me here: You set this big beautiful goals which will prove that you as an entrepreneur are actually worth it. But these goals are trash

This is the hardest thing to understand about entrepreneurship: Your goal is always moving, most of the time to your advantage and sometimes not. And as the goal is moving all the time, you will one thing never have: The certainty that you reached it. You will figure out years later that you actually already "made it" or - as sad as that is - lie on your deathbed with still so many things undone. There is never a point where this journey is "over".

Okay, that could be it for this chapter but actually, during writing this I figured that a bike tripe and entrepreneurship are indeed quite similar even in this aspect, but you have to look at it not only as a single trip but combine all the ones you do throughout your entire life.

Throughout your journey as entrepreneur there are shorter trips you take all the time and during every trip you actually reach a goal. Sure, it will be a lot smaller than your big beautiful goal you are striving for (but might never reach). The big difficulty is to figure out for yourself that this trips actually exist and that they might be a lot shorter than you actually think. With the focus on your big goal, it is easy to miss all the amazing things you accomplish along the way.

It is better if you see your entrepreneurship journey as a combination of hundreds or, even better, thousands of shorter rides with concrete goals you can reach. Think about things you want to achieve this year, this month, or even today.

Don't mistake me: I don't say to get easy to achieve goals, but to give yourself the permission to reach a goal now and also to celebrate it. I bet you already come quite far and finished a lot of things without ever appreciating that. But all of this short trips are tremendously important as each trip prepares you for the next one.

Don't fully forget the big goal, but focus on the next small trip you're going to ride. With this focus, I promise you will steadily progress forward, sideways or whatever, but you keep moving and that is what counts.

Weekly thought-provoking ideas about entrepreneurship learned from biking

During a multiday bike trip, my mind began to wander, and I had a lot of thoughts about how biking and entrepreneurship are similar. In the evenings I sat and wrote down my ideas and here we are, the What a ride newsletter was born.

Every week you will get a new thought-provoking idea that hopefully gives joy and brings you a tiny step forward in your ride. Because this is one of the things, biking and entrepreneurship are similar: The tiny progress you achieve each and every day is the thing that counts the most...but more in the following weeks.

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There is no free lunch, so I will be clear: If this newsletter is a success, I will form a book out of it and would be super happy if you buy it then. Apart from that, I have no plans for monetization and there will be no ads spamming your in inbox.

If you are still unsure what you are getting yourself into, you can read the first week's chapter How entrepreneurship is NOT like biking: There is no concrete goal to reach here and below are all the chapter titles.


This is all work in progress, so order and titles will for sure change

  1. How entrepreneurship is NOT like biking: There is no concrete goal to reach
  2. Entrepreneurship is like a multiday bike ride
  3. It counts what muscle you train: Endurance vs. sprinting
  4. No one is waiting in the end to cheer for you. (Maybe your ride partners, but they will be too exhausted themselves)
  5. It's about you if you make it. Not even your partners can ride for you, you got to do it for yourself.
  6. Your partners will drag you along one time, the other time you have to drag them
  7. The start of every new day is the hardest
  8. Your ass hurts, all the time, get used to it.
  9. It looks easy on paper ("Sure I will do 200 km today")
  10. Planing is easier than doing it
  11. The first day is easy, what is hard is to keep on going after the first sprint
  12. Basics count: Sleep, Food, Hydration
  13. If you can't breathe, you can't ride
  14. No one except you actually cares. That is a positive thing
  15. You can ride at your limit, but not faster
  16. Go at the highest speed you can, but not faster
  17. There are non-negotiable safety mechanisms (Helmet/Social care/pension)
  18. Only because it gets harder, doesn't mean it will ever be easier again
  19. Usually it gets easier after it was hard
  20. You might never end up at your destination at all
  21. Shortcuts can help, but might only be 1% faster. They are no silver bullet
  22. If you ride where everyone is (highway) it is easier, but also you compete with cars
  23. The path everyone goes might be fastest, but less fun. This makes you quite too early
  24. Even if someone (e.g. a car) overtakes you, it does not mean they will be at your goal faster. They might go somewhere completely else
  25. If you and the car have the same destination, don't compete. You can't win
  26. Gear indeed makes things easier. If you don't have it, you will grind more, but you can definitely still make it
  27. Don't overdo it. You might permanently injure yourself and can't go at all anymore
  28. You can map out your path, but life will have different plans
  29. Off-tours will cost you time towards your goal. Try to avoid them
  30. Off-tours might be fun and worth taking them, just for the experience. You decide
  31. Every day, you grow muscles. It gets easier every consecutive day
  32. If you pause for a day, that might actually help you to grow muscles faster. Rest is important
  33. If you pause too often, you will never grow the muscles you need
  34. You need to rest. Going hard every day will exhaust you, and you might break completely
  35. Take small breaks regularly: If you can't go any more stop, get some nuts and water, and then you can go on again
  36. If it is downhill, you can decide: Use the momentum and grind even harder to go faster, or rest.
  37. Pushing hard downhill only helps you so much, use the moment to rest. It will benefit you in the long run
  38. It is a lot harder to build up speed than to keep it. Don't break too often
  39. Going fast is risky. You decide how fast you want to go. Going slower is no shame, you need to keep control. This also stands for going downhill
  40. Choose your discipline: A bike sucks on a hiking trail, and you will be slower than cars on the highway. Find your own way
  41. Your No.1 goal is not to fall and injure yourself. Everything is better than permanently injuring yourself.
  42. Being faster at your goal depends not on sprinting now and then, but to be a little faster every day
  43. You have a gear for a reason. Use it! Sometimes going in the lowest gear is the only way up the mountain.
  44. The signs are a lot clearer where not many people are. Too many people around you take your focus and will confuse you.
  45. It counts where you start
  46. Work smart not hard: 1 day detour gets you nowhere
  47. You have to enjoy the ride to not quit
  48. Have your emergency toolkit at hand
  49. Muscles from other sports help (maybe a lot), but in the end only cycling really grows the muscles you want
  50. You have to focus to not fall
  51. Without a long therm destination you will go into an arbitrary, quite likely wrong direction
  52. What kills you are the 2 m ahead of you
  53. It's easier when the sun shines
  54. Weather matters, but not as much as your drive
  55. Go one meter at a time
  56. The ride is lonely
  57. The stories are better if you fucked up a lot
  58. The path is no straight line from a to b
  59. If it rains, don't ride. It is not worth it
  60. Ride with light luggage. Everything will be easier
  61. The landscape changes very slowly around you. The days will look the same. Continue grinding
  62. There is no glory in looking weak and exhausted when you pass others. Smile to them to motivate

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