By Okello Okello
It is time to fight! Your gloves are on, the ring is open, adrenaline rising, fear and panic can be felt, sweat drizzling. That is what it normally feels like in every fight. Now imagine you are in a boxing ring with an undefeated heavy weight, you are feather weight, it is your first time to fight, you do not know your opponent skills, techniques but you know that he has won ever since he started fighting. What do you do? That is what business is like.
Every boxer whether experienced or not feels the same way when they are about to fight however to win a battle, you must be armed with four fundamental things; fortitude, persistence, stratagems and endurance. Business should also be taken as a sport. The more you train, the more you familiarize with the game. In boxing, it is always advisable to hit when you are least expected to and as the rule of duo-contemplation suggests, if a style does not work but an opportunity arises to adopt another acceptable style to win the game, then just apply it. This rule also keep you prepared for the outcome and the results will never be shocking to you.
As an entrepreneur, you are the leader. Face your fears and knock them out before you knock your opponent out. Remember one famous quote, draw your friends close but your enemies closer? Get to know your fears very well and how to handle them. Be courageous when doing everything from responding to media questions, explaining your ideas, pitching your ideas. Some people get convinced by your courage and how composed you are as you tell them about your product or service. Relax and be composed and drive the fear away.
Every boxer knows the risks of fighting and the damages it causes to peoples’ health but that does not stop them from fighting. Courage makes them believe in themselves and however many punches they get before they land a victory punch, they stay positive knowing that they can do it. In business, you will face them, challenges after challenges and some times even close your business but that should not make you quit. Go back to the drawing board and give it a second come back.
09/11/1996 was a big day in the world of heavy weight boxing. Evander Holyfield fought the greatest Mike Tyson in a game that saw Evander declared the winner. No one had ever thrown Mike Tyson or taken him to more than six rounds and it was one unbelievable fight for Mike Tyson to be taken to the eighth round when he lost in a technical knockout.
The two were real fighters, experienced and held the fight till the very last minute. After rounds and rounds exchanging blows, both were tired, but kept hope alive knowing that they could still make it. In a boxing game if you do not win by score cards, you still have a hope of winning through technical knockout which at this point was the best option for either of them. Even though Evander was ahead on the score card, you never know Mike’s strategies as most of his fights were done in clean knockouts.
Once you pick a business fight, fight it till the very last minute. Fight until you bring a trophy home. It is you who has to first believe in your product or service before anybody does, therefore if you quit, nobody is going to help you run the fight. Give your business your best shot, push it till the end. If you do not win on score cards, you can still win at the very last minute. Have faith, build it on hope and throw your punches until the very end.
In every game, speed is very important but in boxing it means a life. How quick do you react involuntarily to a punch thrown at you? To what direction do you have to move? Which hand are you going to connect a jab with? And how fast can you throw a punch before your opponent blocks it? In business you have to act on your feet. When you see an opportunity that can work, go for it. It is all about timing. Make winning look easy but deep down your heart know that it took some good amount of work.
Evanders strategy of winning the match was by keeping Mike backing up. He was forcefully pushing his way to Mike Tyson and and attacking when Mike least expected it. Fighting with a heavy weight like Tyson also needs a lot of patience. You do not want to take him down in the first round simply because there are chances that he will be so tired by the time it gets to the eighth, ninth rounds. Since he is used to knocking people out early, you want to keep him tired and then pull your best at last. That does not mean that you give him opportunity to land easy punches on you. Every punch counts.
In business, strategy is the name of the game. Win through strategy, plan your moves and always create an exit plan when one fails. Have a business plan, and plan every stage of your projects. With a plan you have a GPS to success.
Go past your limits
The only reason why boxers and other sports hire coaches is to push the players past their limits. That is what coaching is all about. When boxers are training, they lift weights, do push-ups, and all hard exercises you can think of. They run, they punch punching bags, throw kicks and anything that can make them harder. They say whatever does not kill you always makes you stronger. Go past your limits.
Business is the same. What you put in is what you get back therefore invest in your business, give it time and focus. Never be satisfied with the little, always go for better but avoid being greedy. It can descend you from top to bottom quickly. Above all, enjoy what you are doing. Take business as a sport and have fun with it. The rewards are better if you succeed.
So pick those gloves and get ready for the fight. Go!