Top 3 Reasons to Have a Passion Outside of Work (as an Entrepreneur)

I think it’s really important to be great at something outside of the day-to-day routine. For me it’s bike tech. Honestly, I’m probably as smart in (mountain) bike technology as I am in automotive and consumer technology.

  1. Something you can brag about that doesn’t involve a paycheck: In the day-to-day operations as an entrepreneur, everything is related to money. Everything has costs, opportunity costs, potential revenue, etc. For me I love that bike tech allows me to show off my knowledge and it isn’t using any of my college or startup skills AND I can get just as passionate about the tech as I do with my company.
  2. Something that’s easy to start, but hard to master: Everyone rids a bike, which makes it easy for me to have icebreaker conversations with people about bikes. Just about everyone has a bike. It’s really hard for me to be in a variety of social situations as a VC backed entrepreneur. I am constantly doing the dance of sounding interesting without being over the top. It’s impossible to do this dance with tech most of the time because (right, wrong, or indifferent,) very people don’t do what I do; and that’s intimidating. Going to “let’s talk about bikes” in a fun way always works well. It’s also my immediate go-to when conversations go to business. I just get it right back to bikes and all’s good.
  3. Something you can study and get passionate about while getting your mind off of work: Biking and skiing are the only two things in life I do and don’t think about work. My mind always wonders back to work while running, working out, shopping, music festivals, and family meetups. When I’m on my bike, working on my bike, or talking shop (at the bike shop)… the last thing I’m thinking about is work. My wife hates that I hate vacations, because on vacation I can’t get away. A real vacation for me is hitting the trail (assuming I can keep the wheel side down)

All of my friends have told me at one point or another I should open up a bike shop when I retire. I would love to retire on a mountain and ski and bike. However my biggest fear is turning my non-work passion, into a job that I love. I’ve done that many times before and once you go professional with your passion, there’s no going back. Ever.