Zen and the Art of Marketing Maintenance
July 7, 2015 | By David Shephard
How online marketing campaigns are just like riding a bike…
Why do you ride a motorcycle? Its hours of fiddling to get the timing just right, checking and changing the oil and bruising your shin trying to kick-start the damn thing. Bugs in your teeth, rain down your back and motorists who don’t see you or don’t care to.
But then, on those special days, you can feel the very fabric of the world. One twist of the throttle, the rumble and power, the surge felt coursing through your veins that leaves the world far, far behind. Four wheels may move your body, but two can move your soul.
Getting to the point of thrill isn’t easy. It takes time and dedication. You have to start by learning the rules of the game. Whatever you thought you knew about driving isn’t relevant now. Now it’s all about the machine. You have to do things differently because this is an incomparable beast.
So do your research; there are so many wonderful resources online where you can learn how your engine works, how the various elements are connected and how you can drive so you are most visible to your fellow commuters.
One thing to remember; this really is all about soul. There’s a huge learning curve and if you are going to fall back on your old, tired ways, you’re never getting anywhere. No, these bikes won’t brook laziness. You have to use imagination, you have to learn to put your heart into it and you have to be present. Putting yourself into the very center of things is the only real way to work in harmony with your bike so you both go places you never dreamed you could.
Perseverance. It’s that 99% perspiration Edison was going on about and, while you may stumble onto something brilliant once in a while, it really is the cornerstone of genius. Fine tuning the carburetor, retarding or advancing the timing ever so slightly, adjusting valve clearances, changing air and oil filters or inspecting the engine case bolts; it’s a constant business of testing and tweaking to find the harmony that works… for now. When you finally do think you have it right, always (always) take it out for a test drive. You don’t want to head out on a long trip only to find you fudged something really obvious.
Patience is key and the knowledge that there is no failure, only ticking off another thing that doesn’t work so you are one step closer to finding the thing that does. This isn’t a quick joy ride; it’s a lifelong road trip. So buckle up buttercup, you’ve got a long haul ahead and plenty of time to get this right.
The one thing that all motorcycle enthusiasts must have as an essential part of their toolkit is optimism. Knowing that your bike will finally start, that you will make it home and that while you feel the fear, you’re going to do it anyway. This means that you must assume a reasonable risk. Don’t deny your fear, embrace it and find ways to navigate it that show you have faith in the future, but are not blind to its challenges.
When it all comes together, you’re more than a motorcycle owner, you’re a rider. It raises the bar and destroys all those superlatives you thought you had mastered. Nothing is bigger, better, faster or sexier. For the first time you are really HERE. The visceral connection to the bike and the world through which you are moving, to movement itself; it changes you. Einstein had it right- if you want to keep your balance, you just have to keep moving.