I have always maintained that boxing is a great allegory for both life and business. Maybe because I fought a bit when I was younger, but the older I get, the more parallels I discover between the two. At whatever level you’re at – whether it’s running a business, or managing a team, or just being a worker bee – you need to train, hone your skills and become proficient. You need to expect to take your lumps, and know that there will be times when you get knocked down. The trick, according to everyone from Rocky Balboa to Vince Lombardy to Donald Trump, is that you get back up, you learn from your mistakes, and you keep on punching.
You’re wondering, perhaps, what this has to do with Ronda Rousey’s KO at the hands of crowned UFC Bantamweight champion Holly Holm nearly a year ago? Well, like I said, you can learn a lot about life from being in the ring, and even if you never lace up a pair of gloves in your life, Ronda Rousey gave us a great template in which to learn.
Everyone said Ronda Rousey had a hard time remaining focused leading up to the big fight. That may be true. She had to get acclimated to the time change in Australia, continue to train and also accommodate the media.
In the world of business, it’s the same thing. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the gym or the board room. If you lose your focus – you know, you’re reason for being there – your life can unravel pretty quickly.
Stick with the fundamentals
Roussey’s trainer Edmond Tarverdyan tried to prepare her for every eventuality in the ring. Holly Holm after all, was a former boxer and a former champion. The game plan called for patience.
Said Tarvardyan, “What happened to patience, patience, patience? That’s all I kept telling her in camp. Wait for your moment. Don’t chase down a counterpuncher. Move your head.”
Instead, Rousey went for the quick punch and got tagged just 30 seconds into the match. From there it was all downhill. The business world is similar. Some things never change: integrity, a solid work ethic and customer service never go out of style.
Follow the game plan
This has a lot to do with sticking with the fundamentals. We’re not really sure what Rousey’s game plan in Australia actually was, due to the fact that typically she has won most of her bouts in a minute or less. Based on what Rousey’s trainer said, I think the plan was for Rousey to pick and move. When you are operating with a business, you also follow the game plan. Achieve your benchmarks, hit your quotas.
Take care of the little things and the big things will follow.
Don’t swing wildly
Rousey has a tendency to lead with her face. She’s a headhunter.
You can maybe get away with that when you are fighting a lesser opponent, but when you’re in the cage with someone who’s been there, you don’t just pull the trigger without pointing the weapon first. In business, you must know your opponent and plan accordingly.
Or you get taken down.
Live to fight another day
Whether you’re in business or fighting with your fists, it’s been said that champions have to find a way to win on their worst days. Business calls for consistency. If you go down, you get back up. You don’t close a sale, you go on to make the next call.
Rumors are still circulating on when she will return to the octagon so we can how she’ll spring back from her loss. But for right now, you can bet she is preparing for success.