When I was ten, all my friends wanted to play for the New York Yankees. Not me. I wanted to be a Hells Angel.
Fast forward ten years and I was a member of a motorcycle club poised to become the next chapter of the Hells Angels. I learned uncountable life lessons during that time, but two I want to share here apply to everyone’s life. The first lesson is that the law of attraction works. The second insight is that you can always change your path.
The premise of the 'law of attraction states that what you think about comes about. Now, don’t get me wrong. I didn’t get into a gang by just thinking and dreaming about it - I had to act. Here’s a to-do list in case you’re considering getting into this subculture lifestyle:
- Acquire a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
- Purchase a leather motorcycle jacket with as many zippers as possible.
- Buy a three-pack of black tee shirts at Walmart.
- Frequent biker bars to meet other motorcycle enthusiasts and possibly Hells Angels.
- Purchase a wallet with a chain so it can be attached to your jeans.
- Give up shaving, haircuts, and laundry detergent.
After going through the initiation process and becoming a notorious outlaw motorcycle club member, I realized it wasn’t the lifestyle I had expected. It wasn’t about long rides through the countryside and drinking beer. It was much darker and more illegal than my young, impressionable mind made it out to be. I quickly and painfully discovered that I was in way over my head. I had to get out of this situation.
Now, if you’re thinking, wait a second, everyone knows that a gang member can’t just retire from an outlaw motorcycle gang. You’re correct. An initiated member knows too much. The club doesn’t have an HR manager with whom you can give your two-week notice. You don’t get to sit down and have a heart-to-heart conversation with the gang’s leadership, Bill the Butcher, Joe the Joker, or Jimmy the Skull. They don’t want to hear it.
There is no safe place to share that you’re tired of the crime, violence, and debauchery. There’s no outlet to explain that you’ve secured a condo in Florida and you’re trading in your hog for a golf cart. No, that is not the way it works.
If you want to find out how I got out of the gang, you’ll have to wait to read about it in my upcoming book.
Getting involved with an outlaw motorcycle club was not the most intelligent decision I have ever made. Thank goodness my experience proved that there are no wrong life decisions, just different journeys. As Robert Plant from the classic rock band Led Zeppelin sang in their hit song, Stairway to Heaven: ‘There are two paths you can go by, but in the long run, you can always change the road you’re on.’ Thank God for that.
After many years in business, I realized that franchise businesses and Motorcycle gangs are very similar from a business perspective. There are five main characteristics that you will find in both entities that I call BRAGS = Brand, Recruitment, Attitude, Growth, and Strategy.
For an explanation of BRAGS, please click here to read an Entrepreneur Magazine Article that I wrote on this topic: https://www.entrepreneur.com/growing-a-business/5-business-lessons-i-learned-from-being-a-member-of-a/270297
If you are considering a major life decision, know there are no wrong choices. Also, remember that the option that seems the riskiest is probably the best path to follow. That is where you will get the most significant return on your life. If it turns out your choice is not the best route for you, you can always change the road you’re on.
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