Richness not always measured in wealth

For cycling enthusiast, benefits of owning a bike shop go far beyond the income potential

Wealth is an abundance of money, but being rich can come in so many ways.

I have often heard the best way to make a million dollars is to start with two million and open a bike shop. In reality its not like that at all, but you’re definitely not going to become the next Bill Gates owning a bike shop. If you don’t have a passion for it you’re in the wrong gig. So the wealthy part is out, but the rich part is definitely achievable.

Sure, we work super hard and spend way too many hours at the shop, but the benefits and lifestyle that come with it are off the charts.

I have worked every Monday and Thursday night for almost six years. I have to show up, organize a ride loop, hang out with a bunch of mountain bikers, ride about 30K of awesome single track, and then most nights I am forced to have an after ride beer well we all make up stories about how fast we are or how awesome our bikes are. Yeah I know, pretty rough isn’t it!

I also have a young family and as much as I am not be able to spend my summers vacationing in the hot spots of the world, I get to hang out with my daughter every day and she loves being at the shop and riding bikes. At four years old she is probably better with our customers than I am. Its great for me and a pretty good place for her to grow up too.

Our vacations are even work related. We usually head out of town for some kind of industry bike show or race event, load up the camper and invite a few good friends along for the trip. Again its work, but always a great adventure.

I often ask myself: If I was retired and rich, what would I do with my time? My answer is always the same: Ride bikes, hang out with my family and friends and go to cool bike events around the world.

Hmm, at this rate, maybe I don’t ever need to retire?

So no, I won’t become the wealthiest man alive any time soon, but I already feel like I am one of the richest. I wish I knew at 18 what I know now; I would have started Swicked way earlier.

I’m James Durand and I’m Goin’ to Work!