How is Learning to Ride a Bike Like Working from Home?

Sitting in North Boulder Park, I watched a dad teach his son, Joey, how to ride a 2-wheeler. Dad started guiding Joey down the hill, let go when it appeared Joey was balanced, and off Joey went for about 10 feet before he toppled over. “You did it,” hollered dad. “Soon you’ll be riding around the whole park,” big sister Kate encouraged him.

I overheard dad giving Joey a pep talk about balance. Then, Joey gave it a few more tries before he felt deflated and decided he was ready to call it quits for the day. Little did he know, he wasn’t done with his lesson yet.

He ran around the park playing tag with his sister and before too long I heard dad say, “Come on Joe, let’s show Kate what you can do on that bike. Ride a little bit more and then we’ll go to Wreck-It Ralph.”

It was at that moment, I thought “A-HA – business is like learning to ride a bike, especially when you’re working from home. Sometimes, I start a project, make some strides, but after a couple of hours I start to fade. Do you know what I mean?

I used to beat myself up and say “come on, you’ve got to get this done, don’t stop.” However, I discovered that doesn’t inspire me – it stresses me. I need to walk away from the computer, take a break, re-energize and then, “get back on the bike” like Joey.

And, like dad did with Joey, it’s also a good idea to reward myself. “When you get XYZ done today, you can go Wreck-It Ralph, later” (I love movies, but I’d probably pick something other than Wreck-It Ralph).

I watched Joey with a smile as the memory of my dad teaching me how to ride my gold & white 2-wheeler popped into my mind. I started with “training wheels” (remember those?), but I think it was harder learning with those than without them.

As I’m reminiscing, I hear “OMG! Joey,” as sister Kate yells out with glee. Joey has had a rather long, successful stretch riding on his own accord. “The goal is to keep the bike balanced,” says dad again. “I was balanced,” said Joey. “Yeah & you did so well,” dad confirms.

Joey did it and three people watching him, myself included, cheer and applaud him. Sister Kate runs up and gives him a big bear hug. Not only will he get the reward of Wreck-It Ralph, he got the positive feedback from his dad, sister and the joyful spectators in the park. I suspect next time I’m in the park, I’ll see Joey riding around all on his own.

It’s a beautiful moment when you achieve your goals. If you’re working from home and have a burnout moment – working too long on one project – give yourself a break. Re-energize and reward yourself for the steps you have taken. Then, “get back on the bike.”

What works for you when you’re working at home? Do you set a timer? Reward yourself? Please share your thoughts. I’d love to hear your ideas. Thanks.

Debra Jason

Marketing & writing with heart, not hype at at The Write Direction
A recipient of the “Creative Person of the Year” award, Debra educates and empowers creative solopreneurs and enthusiastic business owners to create a lifestyle business that provides them with the flexibility, fun and freedom to do what they love. She also inspires you to communicate your marketing message in a way that captivates and converts your prospects into loyal, raving fans - even if you have been struggling with how to transform your ideas into words in the past.

Comments

  1. Hi Debra,

    It’s true – working from home is exactly like riding a bike (or as my dad would say, exactly like riding a horse). when the horse bucks you – you have to show him who’s boss and climb right back up there.

    Dad is gone now, but I could hear his voice as I typed to you. 🙂

    There are some valuable lessons in life… and as your story telling shows, many of them are learned early on and carried through the years.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Bonnie Gean recently posted…Schmoozing Builds CommunityMy Profile

    • You’re welcome @Bonnie. When I was writing this blog post I told a friend about it and his comment was that it’s just not working from home that’s a lot like learning to ride a bike.
      He said learning to ride a bike, is a lot like life. Dealing with chronic back pain, he explained that some days he gets really down, gives himself permission to do so, and then he “gets back on the bike called life.”
      Thanks for sharing your (and your dad’s) perspective. ~Debra

  2. I like your post. I also have a hard time working on a single project for hours. I get restless and find myself wandering around the house, opening cabinets looking for food! Uh-oh. Instead, I’ll take my dogs out for a walk, or even go in another room and say prayers for a while or do some other reading. When I’ll feel refreshed (if I don’t all asleep!) and return to my work. The only problem is rewarding yourself is not quite the same as getting “atta-boys” from someone else. I used to have a little “applause” sound machine. Don’t know where it is; perhaps I should ask for a new one for Christmas. 🙂

    • @Cindy, I love the idea of an applause machine. Yes, put it on your wish list for the holidays.

      While “atta-boys” from others does work wonders, it’s important to give yourself that same “atta-girl” acknowledgement and feel good from within for accomplishing what you set out to do.

      One suggestion you might consider is to find an accountability partner – someone you can speak with, tell them your goal for the day (or week, month, etc.) and then touch base. When you achieve what you set out to do, in addition to patting yourself on the back, your accountability partner can give you an “atta-girl” too!
      Hope that helps. Happy holidays to you & yours. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here. ~Debra

  3. I LOVE this anaology Debra! It is all about finding our own “balance” and positive reinforcement! I like to just choose one task I will complete on any given day, and if I do more HOORAH! I also block of at least an hour for my husband to watch my baby so I can be completely alone. I’m a newbie entrepreneur, though, so I’m still wobbling a bit on my proverbial business bike, but I’ll find my stride yet! Thanks for a super duper article!! 🙂
    eyenie recently posted…Rockin’ Interview with Lisa Selow, Best-Selling Author & Rebel Chick Mystic !!My Profile

    • Whether one is a newbie or not @Eyenie, I think there will always be days when we topple over or wobble on that bike. As you said, everyone finds their stride. And, I think we also find our pride to get back up, realize we’re only human, wipe ourelves off and start all over again.
      Merci for sharing your thoughts. Glad you loved the post! ~Debra

  4. So, so true. We all need balance and rewards at the end of the day. I don’t have a Dad to cheer me on and have learned to do that for myself or with friends. Thanks for the reminder.
    Linda Luke recently posted…The One Minute Business AssessmentMy Profile

    • It’s a good idea to cheer yourself on @Linda, but having a good support network in place is extremely valuable. Your friends and colleagues can be some of your biggest fans and remind you of the great job you’re doing when you lose sight of it. Thanks. ~Debra

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