As most of you know if you follow me here or on social media, I’m passionate about metal fabrication, Arc-Zone.com, and about my family. And I’m also passionate about mountain biking. I started out with a Schwinn Stingray bicycle that I tricked out, like a chopper then by the time I’d turned 11 I’d stepped up to racing dirt bikes– building and tweaking my bike with my Dad’s help. From there I went on to racing motorcycles as an amateur, then moved on to build and wrench Sprint Cars… but my first love was always bicycles.
Through the years I’ve continued cycling, including the occasional weekend mountain bike run with my buddies, but last year I decided to get back into serious shape and took on a coach to improve my technical skills. Next thing I knew I was racing again!
Since I’m still at the helm of Arc-Zone, a lot of my training now happens at five in the morning. It’s not easy, but if you want to compete you gotta train! And the funny thing is that as I train, I am reminded how the lessons I’ve learned in racing apply to business and how mountain biking has helped me grow the business.
On Being in Good Condition
In business to be successful you need to maintain good financial health, keep your people skills honed, and you need to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in your industry. As a business owner a lot of people depend on you. For mountain bike racing, it’s pretty obvious why being in good physical condition is important, but imagine how happy I was to get a discount on my life insurance because I’m in physical good shape!
Being a business owner brings all kinds of stress from financial obligations, family needs and employee challenges. If you don’t have a mechanism to work through that stress you can’t be the best leader you can be. For me, that mechanism has been mountain biking.
To be competitive you need to make a commitment, know your competitors and understand their strengths and weaknesses, and most of all focus on being the best YOU can be.
On the Mechanics
In mountain bike racing it’s a combination of art and science that leads to success. You need to understand the landscape and your bike and take into account individual style. Then you need to make the proper adjustments to your front and rear suspension and your tire pressure.
In business you need to understand your industry and know what resources are available to you. Then you make adjustments to your business plan and make decisions based on your expertise, the market demands, and your individual style.
For 2015 I joined Team Ninja a mountain bike focused cycling team based in SoCal. With the help of my coach, I’ll be working on new techniques and making adjustments to my ride to improve my game on the mountains of Southern California.
It’s this continual improvement to process that attracts me to business and to sports like mountain bike racing. At Arc-Zone I’ve worked hard to create a culture focused on continuous improvement whether it’s to our policies and procedures or to the products we offer our customers.
At Arc-Zone this year we’ll continue with process improvement, including a big project to review and update our policies and procedures. We’re also bringing some innovative new products to market and we want to ensure the highest level customer service and technical expertise for our customer.
A Final Note
Be persistent, be confident, and set your course but be willing to adapt as needed. Look back only after the race is done to remind yourself where you came from and to assess areas for improvement. Remember, you can’t win on the track or in the market while looking behind you.