Friday, May 28, 2010

You, Inc.

by Brian Dolan, Progressive Business Development

Starting a business is just like riding a bicycle, when you’ve done it once, you can come back to it in years and find that all necessary skills are retained. Only those engaged in business ownership can realise the full import of the above sentence.

Any parent watching their firstborn meet their new bike with tears of joy and infectious enthusiasm will smile encouragingly, while calculating the travel time to the local hospital. Blood will be spilled today! And yet the bike is not confiscated and the child re-swaddled in the discarded cotton wool. How can this be? Schadenfreudian parents? A sports car brochure with no travelling room for Junior? Say its not so!

It’s not so! The parent are wiser far, and will bear the pain of watching the crashes and ineptitudes of the clumsy learner over an extended period, so as to provide the child with the knowledge, skills and experience to easily pick up a bicycle, hop on, and pedal safely to any chosen destination. Goal, struggle, victory!

It is well worth the effort and pain on the part of the new cyclist. This complex skill of remaining upright on two impossible knifepoints confers freedom on those who master it. And the doting parents allow the carnage to continue until success has been achieved.

Freedom arrived so suddenly, being held upright by a sweating grumpy father to speeding down an incline and leaning into a curve is only the turn of a crank and chain. And now we get to do it again, and again, and again. The feeling is addictive. Speed, danger, and tenuous control, a heady mix, fire each synapse with intensity like never before.

Yesterday we were bound to our house, straining on a short leash; today the world awaits our every inspection. Our friends can be easily visited, Messages can be delivered for our mothers, and the sun is brighter and warmer on our backs than ever before. Fields with frogs and trees are within our grasp now, and still we can get home in time for lunch. Life is good.

And so, when we complete our formal education, and begin the practical exercise, our friends and family once more grit their teeth against the inevitable pain to come. They know, and at this stage we know, what lies ahead.

Fear of the unknown, fear of failure, wondering can we really have any measure of success at this. Expending effort to barely stay upright and thinking that walking seems so very attractive at this moment. God could make wheels if he so chose; aftermarket attachments must surely void the warranty on this complex bipedal bio-processor.

Speed kills! Slow down boys! A rich camel can’t enter Heavens gate! The rich have our money, if they had less we’d have more! Take what information you need out of context, but stop the hurt. This can’t go on. Get a job!

I refer to the choice that we all make as we begin the practical assessment after school called life. Not making a decision is a decision. Abdication of personal responsibility is a decision. It’s all a decision, whether conscious or unconscious, forced or freely made. Choose a job or choose to work for yourself. We make this decision once, and then we make it again daily for the rest of our lives.

Starting a business is just like riding a bicycle. You will get hurt. Blood will be spilled today. Calculate the travel time to your local lending institution before you start, finances are about to become cripplingly painful, and a cash injection may be required to ease your pain. Pray you never need a complete transfusion!

Your friends and neighbours now have a new rich source of entertainment, and tickets are free. It’s a public performance, hope you learned your lines. Of course you didn’t, the script isn’t available, its improv at its rawest, and it’s generally ugly. WHY am I doing this?

At this point, if you don’t know the answer to this question, the bike wins. Park it petulantly over the hedge, and proceed to the job centre. Walking never looked so good. Speed kills, slow down boys, we like out of context if it supports our decisions. Hang the relevancy, the lads are in the pub every night, why aren’t I down there with them? Why not indeed? Why not?

It’s about the warmer sun; it’s not about the blood. It’s about leaning into the curve with the pedals scraping the road. It’s about being terrified and exhilarated at the same time. It’s about winning at the game of life.

Protection keeps us alive from birth to early childhood. Education keeps us alive from early childhood to early adulthood. At early adulthood most of us die, but continue our daily grind until burial after our seventh or eight decade. Protection at early adulthood has the opposite affect than after birth; it kills off our entrepreneurial spirit, and forces us into a prebuilt box, commonly referred to as a job.

Not to worry, these boxes are no longer being manufactured to the same standards as experienced by our parents. Boxes made today rarely last more than twelve months, and some are much flimsier than this. Even the best-built boxes are deteriorating, and our children will only know them by stories and legend.

Remaining upright on an impossible knifepoint is not about balance, so don’t expect it. It’s about being always a little out of balance, first one way, and then the other, but constantly gaining momentum.

Of course it is scary, but the speed gained more than compensates for any inconvenience. There is a choice to be made. No decision is a decision, and its being made for you right now.

The game is on, pay attention.
The ascent is perilous, but the view is magnificent! B.Dolan
Contact Brian Dolan at 071-96 45752 e-mail 087-2374695 Linkedin:


  1. Might be an idea to have the names of the people in the pictures above.

  2. Thanks Jason. The Names and contact details are at the end of the Blog but it might be better also at the top.