George Foreman III: “Keep doing good and good will come to you”

Work hard. Work Smart. Be Kind. And remember that life itself is a miracle, and that although everyday is not “good”, there is something good in every day if you have the mindset to see it. As a part of our series about stars who are making an important social impact, I had the distinct pleasure […]

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Work hard. Work Smart. Be Kind. And remember that life itself is a miracle, and that although everyday is not “good”, there is something good in every day if you have the mindset to see it.

As a part of our series about stars who are making an important social impact, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing George Foreman III

George “Monk” Foreman III is an entrepreneur, boxing trainer/coach, and son of the legendary businessman and former two-time heavyweight champion George Foreman Sr. In addition to being his father’s business manager for seven years, George spent his entire youth working at the George Foreman Youth & Community Center where he not only developed the habit of giving back but his ability to use boxing a platform to to effect change in individuals from all walks of life. After earning a degree in kinesiology from Rice University, George went on to pursue his own professional boxing career in 2009 and finished with a perfect 16–0 record.

In 2013, George III founded a chain of luxury boxing fitness gyms called EverybodyFights, which now has locations in Boston, NYC, Philadelphia, Kentucky and Chicago. In 2018, the company started their national expansion with over 30 new locations planned to open by 2022. George’s mission is to fight for people who fight for others. In 2013 he published his first book “The Fighting Spirit” which includes his original 12 “Fight Laws” and his next title “The Mindful Fighter” will be released during the winter of 2019.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you share with us the “backstory” that led you to this career path?

I come from a fighting family. My father George Foreman Sr. became an olympic gold medalist in 1968, and then went on to become the Heavyweight Champion of the world and fought Muhammed Ali in the Rumble in the Jungle. He then regained his championship 20 years later at the age of 45 years old. I always had a passion for business and fitness, and while growing up under my father’s wing working for him in his boxing days, and then in his business career selling the George Foreman Grilling Machine, I studied business at Pepperdine University and Kinesiology at Rice University. After graduating and spending all of my time at work I gained 100 pounds. I had lived my whole life immersed in boxing but it wasn’t until my quest to lose weight that I truly embraced the sport in my personal life as a means to get healthy. 5 years later I was a 16–0 professional fighter who had discovered an unexpected passion for teaching the sport. In 2012 while visiting a friend in Boston where I went to boarding school as a teen, he urged me to start my own gym since there was a growing demand for traditional boxing training as a means to get in shape. We set off designing our dream gym — a place inspired by the grit of boxing with the amenities of a luxury fitness facility. A place that would allow me to train for my pro fights and be a haven for those in the Boston community ready to embrace the fighting spirit. Building the EverybodyFights community became my entire life, and the passion and fulfillment I found training others and building our business left me no time or energy to return to boxing professionally.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your career? What was the lesson or take away that you took out of that story?

When I was living in Boston in 2012 working on my business plan for the gym and searching for a location, I ran out of money. So I signed to fight in Cancun, Mexico at the WBF convention. When I arrived my name and face were all over the cabs and there were massive billboards promoting my fight everywhere. I was the “cool” kid that weekend, signing autographs and taking pictures. Then the promoter tried to stiff me and finally right before I left the dressing room to walk to the ring and fight (I refused to fight without being paid) the promoter paid me in cash (small bills). After the fight I returned to Boston. I gave some of the money to my now business partner to continue working on the business, I paid my rent for 3 months, and I had 200 dollars left. After a couple dinners & groceries I was down to counting change to get on the bus and get to the office (a desk I was allowed to use for free). I got on the bus one day and mis counted a nickel as a quarter. The bus driver who had no idea “who” I was to all those people in Cancun had mercy on me and helped me get to work. That could have been what some people call “rock bottom” but there was a compassionate person there to pick me up. I wish I could find him and say thank you.

What would you advise a young person who wants to emulate your success?

Work hard. Work Smart. Be Kind. And remember that life itself is a miracle, and that although everyday is not “good”, there is something good in every day if you have the mindset to see it.

Is there a person that made a profound impact on your life? Can you share a story?

Forrest Gump — Perspective is everything and you do not have to be a genius to be successful. You just need curiosity, passion, compassion, and a little bit of “luck”.

Bert Jacobs, Founder of Life is Good — Superpowers are real. They are internal. If you can apply your superpowers to win your internal battles, you perform superhuman physical feats via your leadership of others. I look up to him.

Fred Destin, Founder of Stride VC — Just one of those really smart and successful dudes that is still really cool and down to earth. And reminds me that intelligence and success does not give people the license to be jerks. He’s the real deal. He gets me. I get more done with him in a 10 minute conversation than I get in a month with most people.

Ross Kinney, Former Treasurer of Alaska — “Only people who actually do things make mistakes.” And “I could empty the ocean with a spoon if I could find a place to put the water” He taught me how to be a farmer and I have applied these lessons to business with great success.

How are you using your success to bring goodness to the world? Can you share with us the meaningful or exciting causes you are working on right now?

At EverybodyFights our team focuses on providing a platform for our community to support the causes near and dear to them. Currently the specific causes we make it a point to support are Horizons for Homeless Children and Playmakers.

Can you share with us the story behind why you chose to take up this particular cause?

Civilization is nothing without people, so the future of our civilization is our youth. It’s that simple for me. No child should have to endure this kind of hardship in a society with as much wealth and ingenuity as ours.

Can you share with us a story about a person who was impacted by your cause?

It’s hard to focus on just one. There are so many stories between the power of Playmakers to change the mindset of just one individual and change the trajectory of their life from prisoner to presidential potential, and Horizons’ ability to keep hundreds of families off the street. The value of saving 1 life is just so great, and they are impacting hundreds so it is really hard to reflect on just one story. The other side of supporting these amazing causes is the joy and meaning it brings to our Team. I am so proud to watch the Trainers and Members of EverybodyFights exhibiting leadership, passion and generosity, and to watch how it transforms all of us when we band together to help others.

Are there three things that individuals, society or the government can do to support you in this effort?

Give. These organizations are run by very smart people. Some of the brightest I have ever met and they are constantly working on how they can become better and more efficient. At the end of the day they provide support to people who cannot immediately pay back the favor so financial support is the most important thing to keep the great work going. And awareness is huge to inspire small micro donations from younger people who sometimes feel like they should wait until they can make a bigger donation. Every dollar helps.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or an example for each.

  • Keep doing good and good will come to you.
  • It’s all about people.
  • In all things start with WHY.
  • Inner peace, love, & nature are the secrets to happiness. Money is just about achieving the essentials.
  • Give more than you receive and you will always receive more than you need.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

For everyone to feed one person per day from outside their household. That’s it. Whether it’s in their neighborhood, or via giving on an app. Everyone is responsible for feeding someone else. I think this might put a dent in the problem of world hunger.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you explain how that was relevant in your life?

“Do it for you” — If you do things for others, or for how others will perceive your actions, you will NEVER be successful at anything including relationships with family and friends. If you do it for YOU, at least you know you can make one person happy! But in all seriousness you will find that you will make others in your life happy as well, and you won’t bear any resentment that comes from expecting others to notice or to appreciate your actions. When you find true happiness for yourself by helping others and making sacrifices, you have mastered it. Just don’t tell yourself that you’re doing it for someone else, tell yourself that you are doing it for you, because you owe it to yourself to be proud of your actions.

We are blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Politics, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

Bill Gates. He gets it, and knows how to communicate it in a way that people can understand. I also think he has a pretty good view of what the future looks like and I would love to hear what he thinks when the cameras are off.

Thank you so much for these amazing insights. This was so inspiring, and we wish you continued success!

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