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Want to Be a Successful Entrepreneur? Maybe It’s Time to Buy a Motorcycle


Read before you roll your eyes at Dwain M. DeVille’s recent Inc article, “5 Reasons You Should Own a Motorcycle.” Even non-bike enthusiasts can learn a few things from his unique perspective on entrepreneurship.


(Photo Credit: Boudewijn Berends)

“I believe that owning a motorcycle is as American as entrepreneurship — and vital to a founder’s long-term business success,” DeVille writes. “I learned many years ago that the skills and techniques necessary to be a successful biker directly transfer to my daily business life.”

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Sound like a stretch? Consider the following:

1. The economy looks a lot like a bumpy road lately.

Successful bikers and businessmen both have to chart a course and prepare for the unexpected, DeVille says. He also compares competitors to “crazy cagers” — a.k.a. the other vehicles on the road that try to knock you off course.

2. Both are risky — but it can be a reasonable risk.

If you’re prepared for the unexpected and not foolhardy in your choices, you stand a better chance of success. DeVille also points out that both pursuits require you to sift through background noise to identify the crucial information underneath.

3. It’s not for everyone.

This isn’t one of DeVille’s points, but it’s worth mentioning. As Ben Mangan wrote in a LinkedIn post earlier this year, entrepreneurship isn’t necessarily the best choice for every worker. Mangan is a lecturer at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, as well as an entrepreneur himself, so he’s familiar with the tendency of Silicon Valley types to think everyone would be better off working for his- or herself.

“I think this is a dangerous idea,” he writes. “I believe we need to be much more incisive and strategic about leveraging the power of entrepreneurship.”

Mangan’s post underlines the face that being a successful entrepreneur, among other things, requires financial security (or the ability to deal with financial insecurity), risk tolerance, and know-how.

In other words, if you can barely ride a regular bike and you’re a terrible driver, motorcycling probably isn’t for you, and if you don’t have a well-thought-out business plan and a personality that can tolerate risk and insecurity, being an entrepreneur might not be your road to success.

Tell Us What You Think

Do you agree or disagree with DeVille? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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