What Muhammad Ali taught us about business



The greatest boxer in history made no apologies for his approach inside or outside the ring. He attacked more aggressively in the media than in the ring where he used his signature “rope a dope” technique to defeat foes.


What can we learn from the Great One when it comes to running our business? Here are six lessons we can learn from Ali.


  1. "The man who has no imagination has no wings." You can never take flight if you don’t imagine where you want to go. Picture where you want to be professionally. Now, get there.

  2. "It isn't the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it's the pebble in your shoe." When you start working toward that goal, you will encounter obstacles. Most of the problems you’ll encounter are in your control. What can you change in your attitude, your approach, your mentality to get over that next hurdle?

  3. "I don't have to be what you want me to be." Along the way, you may think you have to settle for the place you’ve landed. You can always expand your line, offer new ideas, and deliver results with your own personal touch. Don’t think that because you are here now, you must stay here.

  4. "Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even." Things didn’t work out when you tried to expand. That’s just a small defeat. Every defeat gives you another opportunity to grow within yourself. Harness the strength from each failure to grow your resilience even more.

  5. "He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life." You must continue to take risks, especially when they seem hard. We could examine every successful entrepreneur in history and the one thing they would all have in common is the element of risk. You can’t risk everything, but you must risk something.

  6. "I figured that if I said it enough, I would convince the world that I really was the greatest." It was true for Muhammad Ali, why can’t it be true for you? Develop that belief in yourself. You must believe that you are the best in order to make everyone else see it.


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