The disciplined areas of prize fighting and business may, to some, seem worlds apart, but inside these two high-stakes arenas there are many more parallels than an individual may expect to find. As top entrepreneurs and business people will tell you, it is vitally important to hold a vision and operate with key goals in sight, in order to aid company progression. As much as this is the case in the business world, it also rings true in the ring. “Fail to prepare, prepare to fail” is the old adage, and any boxer that enters the ring without a plan of action, a strategy or some form of game plan will inevitably struggle. The business person who organises his/her financial figures or fine tunes a PowerPoint presentation in anticipation of a vital meeting will be in a much stronger position than those who do not. The boxer who studies footage of an opponent, spars in a manner befitting of an actual-fight situation and prepares mentally and physically for an opponent will be in a stronger space come fight night than those who leave it all to chance. Champions in boxing are tasked with making their strategy work and forcing their will on to their opponents, in order to achieve success. Concerned less with what their competition are doing, the boxer and the business person are astute, focused and tenacious - accepting challenges and adapting to unforeseen situations. Competing in championship boxing is a marathon not a sprint. Fighters train hard for 12 weeks-plus, sharpening the tools, with resolve and commitment to last the 12-round distance. The seasoned entrepreneur incorporates the same systems and values. The discipline of boxing and the discipline of business run parallel. When formulating a business strategy it is imperative to stay on course, keeping the end goals in mind, sticking to tried and tested formulas, while operating within the confines of a business plan. Business people need not be rigid in their approach. Flexibility is required to adapt to circumstances and situations, while repeating the methods that have brought success. The boxer matches these ideals. Using the skills built up over weeks of hard training and years of muscle memory. Jabbing to head and body, incorporating head movement and footwork to evade the heavy blows, flexible to adapt, staying with a game plan.
As Steve Jobs espoused, it is important to maintain focus and a clear mind in business. Some use mediation, yoga, breathing techniques, mantras or affirmations to do so. Boxing provides the ultimate mediational process. When an opponent’s intent is to defeat you, using physical force, it is imperative to zone in on one single task of defending yourself at all times. One single lapse of concentration could result in a knockout loss. Remain on your game, stay mentally alert. The successful business person and the boxer have a fighter’s mentality. Both are literally and metaphorically ready for battle. Working to prove others wrong; honing a positive mind-set. The values found within boxing and business run parallel. Boxers are aware of the threats posed by new opponents just as entrepreneurs assess new business opportunities, or potential business problems. Success in both areas requires tenacity and a willingness to tackle risk. In the ring or on the shop floor, trading stocks of trading blows, mentality is key to driving the individual boxer or business expert to victory.