‘Raising The Bar’ by Gary Erickson is one of my favorite books that I find very inspiring. It’s the account of how Gary created Clif Bar and his challenge to keep his unique vision in a massive growing corporate food industry. I stumbled across this gem in one of my usual trips to my safe haven, the public library. As I flipped through the pages I saw Gary was not only an entrepreneur but also a cyclist, I snatched the book up immediately and couldn’t put it down.
Gary writes about the parallel of life in business and life on the bike. I agreed with his philosophies even before I had read them, it was my view on life and I found it heartening that someone of his caliber would share my eyes. But there was one philosophy I hadn’t realized and it has stuck with me since, the Red Road, White Road. In biking you have a choice to take the direct path of the red road that is mapped out, fast, predictable, safe and you know exactly where you are headed. The red road is only about a destination. The white road on the other hand is less traveled, may be dangerous, not mapped out, length unknown but there’s the possibility for adventure and a sense of accomplishment. The white road is about the journey. Gary uses the same comparison in business. Clif Bar is a white road style of company. I knew I was the white road kind of girl on the bike but in business I wasn’t sure. My gut said white but society said red. After reading Gary’s words I found it easier to go with my gut. It was as if I found someone to ride with on the lonely, undiscovered road.
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