When cycling to the top of a big hill, it is tempting to coast down the other side. However, I have found that in business it is important to keep pedaling when you most feel like coasting. It is often those investments made in a calmer time or effort put toward long-term decisions when a decision is not urgent that make a difference. The National Holistic Institute is in a cyclical industry — so far we have been able to make investments that work in good times and bad and steadily improve our organization regardless of the external business climate. Business success comes from never coasting.
Cycling around Napa last weekend (not really any hills) and watching the professional cyclists in Boulder and Denver a few weekends ago reminded me of this. I first thought about this as I rode my bicycle across the country just after graduating from college in 1993 — the miles went by so much faster through a steady, sustained effort than through shorter sprints of effort.