If you aren’t a boxing fan, or have been living under a rock, you may not have heard that on June 1st, 2019, Andy Ruiz, a real life version of Rocky Balboa, and the first Mexican Boxing Heavyweight Champion in history, beat Olympic Gold Medalist and Adonis, Anthony Joshua and stripped him of his boxing titles about 6 months ago. The last time something like this happened was on February 11, 1990 when Buster Douglas knocked out Mike Tyson. Entrepreneurs can learn a lot from both fighters, although more can be learned from Anthony Joshua’s return to glory on December 7th, 2019.
I’m going to give you 3 things entrepreneurs can learn from Anthony Joshua.
1) NO ONE IS TOO BIG TO FAIL
At the time of their first fight, Anthony Joshua was undefeated and Andy Ruiz was an 11-1 underdog. Joshua, underestimated Ruiz and rightfully so. At first glance, Ruiz does not look like your prototypical boxer. Some, perhaps most, would argue that he is overweight. No one can blame Joshua for overlooking his competitor who ultimately defeated him and shocked the world. This was Anthony Joshua’s first mistake: assuming that he was too big to fail.
Netflix and Blockbuster. Amazon and Toys R Us. Uber/Lyft and Taxi Drivers. What do they all have in common? In each case, the original titan fell prey to an emerging competitor that they didn’t take serious enough.
You should embrace the statement, “No one is too big to fail.” as it represents both opportunity and motivation. You may not believe it, but you can most certainly take over a market, or an industry, even if there is a bigger player ahead of you. No one bats .1000 and if you just hang in there long enough, you’ll get your opportunity at bat. Now if your the big dog, this also means that you can’t sit on your laurels. Someone, somewhere is trying to take your spot. You can operate from a place of fear, or you can look at this as an opportunity to keep your edge. If you feel threatened by competition, entrepreneurship is most certainly not for you.
If you feel threatened by competition, entrepreneurship is most certainly not for you.
2) NOT ALL OF YOUR STRATEGIES WILL WORK
Just like Rocky Balboa, Andy Ruiz, a relatively unknown boxer, was a replacement fighter. He had six week to prepare for the biggest fight of his life where he had a -2500 odds of winning. What most people, including Anthony Joshua didn’t know, was that Andy Ruiz was a powerful puncher with a quick inside game. In other words, if you got too close he could stun you with explosive close range shots.
In their first fight, Anthony Joshua fell prey to Ruiz’s inside game. That is primarily why Joshua lost in one of the greatest upsets in boxing history. He, a much more technical fighter, should have known better. That strategy failed miserably.
Not all of your strategies or ideas are going to work. In fact, many of them are going to fail. Some in as a spectacular fashion as Anthony Joshua’s public fall from his pedestal. Others will be in complete isolation. Don’t fret. It happens to everyone. There’s a reason that companies like Amazon, Disney, Apple, Google, and Facebook spend millions of dollars on research and development on ideas that end up in the trash, and it’s because they want to stay ahead of the pack. I realize that your budget may not permit you to spend that kind of money testing and improving, but there are many inexpensive ways to make your product or service better. Be curious. Test ideas. You will fall. Get back up.
During their second bout, Anthony Joshua put on a boxing clinic. He learned from his mistake in the first fight, and jabbed & punched Andy Ruiz from a distance all twelve rounds. It wasn’t flashy, but it did the job. Joshua won in a unanimous decision.
3) GET BACK IN THE RING
Anthony Joshua did not have to activate his rematch clause. He could have retired and lived a very comfortable life, but within days of his loss to Ruiz, he asked for a rematch. It wasn’t for the glory nor the money, although I’m sure he had no problem depositing his $100M payout. He didn’t get back in the ring to prove his doubters wrong. He did it to prove himself right.
As an entrepreneur you will experience setbacks. You will experience failures. You will experience losses. There will be moments when you won’t want to get back in the ring. You will want to give up. You will say things like, “It’s not worth it.” or “I can’t take this…” I’ve said those exact same things to myself and even to my wife.
You are one idea away from becoming a millionaire.
You have to be willing to get back in the ring when you don’t want to, and even when you don’t need to. I hate going to the gym at 4:30 AM in the morning. It’s cold. I’m tired. My eyes are red. I dread my early morning workout days which are 3-4 times a week, but every time I walk out of the gym 2 hours later, I feel more accomplished and dare I say, victorious? I conquered the inner voice that said, “Don’t do it.” and I celebrate the first small victory of the day. When you get back in the ring after a lost sale, or a bad day, what you are doing sub-consciously is telling yourself that that one bad day did not define you. Anyone can quit when the going gets tough, but it’s the winners who stay in the game for however long it takes to win.
You are one idea away from becoming a millionaire. You are one recruit or sale away from earning the top position in your company. You are one presentation away from signing the biggest contract of your life. Get back in the ring and prove yourself right.