Ed Stern, Vice President of Canary Labs, gives some insight on his past experiences and how they have affected his work ethic and productivity. While travelling across the United States on bike, Ed learned some tremendous, yet simple, lessons that would play into his future career.
I had just graduated from College with a degree in business administration and decided that I wanted to see the country up close before starting my business career. I joined a group called "Wandering Wheels" and signed up for a coast to coast trip on a bicycle... yes, a bicycle! The trip would take 6 weeks.
The trip started in the Pacific Ocean, by dipping the back tire of the bike in the water. There were 5 or 6 people in about 10 groups that traveled together at a group pace. We tried to average about 100 miles per day, except for Sundays which was a light day, typically 50-75 miles. I chose the 2nd fastest group to travel with. The support team checked between the teams and provided two meals a day and found places for us to stay at night. We slept in community centers, gyms, churches, and in the open west, camping in several large tents. We were responsible for one meal a day.
I remember riding through and stopping at several great landmarks in downtown Washington, DC. Our group of 50 bikers would draw a crowd when we stopped and many people would inquire about what we were doing. It was always a great opportunity to interact with the people of America, being an encouragement while finding that we were encouraged at the same time.
What I learned from this trip was something that I would use for the rest of my life. The encouraging fact that big things and hard tasks can be accomplished. It took consistency to climb on the bike seat every morning, but soon it became routine. Likewise in business when you keep doing the right things, are consistent and disciplined, you will soon reach your goals. It was a reminder to not be overwhelmed by the weight of large tasks, but to divide them up into smaller tasks.
I have also learned that the important thing in life is the journey and experience. Enjoy the moments and hard work that life demands instead of wishing life away to get to the end goal. Success is the journey, not the destination. It's nice looking back on the overall accomplishment for a little bit, but then it’s time to move on to your next goal!
- Ed Stern