I love fighting.
I’ve loved it since the first time my brother wrapped my knuckles and slipped on my first pair of boxing gloves when I was 12 and set me up with the renown D.C. boxing trainer Fred Wright to make sure that I always knew how to hold my own.
Even after training sessions with Fred, I still wanted to fight; I simply couldn’t get enough. I would punch anything I could to perfect my form. My knuckles bled and my mom would scold me, often rushing me off to the hospital. For a couple of years, my knuckles were always black and blue, swollen to the size of oranges.
I’m not a masochist, at least not in traditional terms, I just love the feel of fighting; the adrenaline blocking out any physical pain. The desire to be the best drove me on. The empowerment of knowing how and when to fight is amazing.
As you can imagine, I’ve been fighting all my life, outside the ring. My boxing lessons remain The most potent guiding principles for my life, especially when it comes to business. It’s all about figuring out who your opponent is, and how to land a knockout punch.
“He hit me 18 times while I was in the act of falling.” -Max Baer
Take it up a Notch. Boxers use a “breaking away” technique to rush down on his opponent and unsettle them by delivering a flurry of combos. This is to prevent their opponent from finding their rhythm. The connection to business is obvious, although actually punching your boardroom opponent isn’t usually a good idea.
The point is it’s a risk, but often a worthwhile one. Be risky and launch a new marketing campaign or update your brand image, expand your offer, drastically develop talent, target new markets. Market saturation can mean strength and competitive and crowded industries can be a good thing, indicating strong customer demand and a viable market. There are many perils in complacency, you invite competition. Ensure that you’re able to differentiate your business in a meaningful way so that you can beat your competition. That’s when you look for that moment to land a knockout punch.
The Art of Deception. Boxers aren’t bulls in a china shop. They use distance, leverage and timing to deceive their opponents. Feinting is crucial, and masking your real plans can make the difference between winning and getting beat up yourself. This strategy takes a lot of preparation, but it’s worth it because not only can it confuse and distract any opponent, but in the end it takes less energy, which means you’ll be able to focus on how to deliver that last metaphorical roundhouse and walk away the champ.