Here’s one of cinema’s great speeches, from Rocky Balboa (2006) Dir: Sylvester Stallone (MGM), available from Amazon.
As a business owner, I don’t normally dabble in film reviews, but in honor of the 10th anniversary of the guts of the Global Financial Crisis in Australia, I think it contains a really important lesson for anyone who’s running a business.
“It’s not how hard you can hit, it’s how hard you can GET hit, and keep movin’ forward… That’s how winnin’ is done!”
My version of this is whenever me or my business has been knocked back or knocked down, I make it a habit to get up and hit back at least twice as hard. This approach has served me pretty well to date, and to be honest, I’m not sure how you could approach it any other way.
Once you’ve been in business for any reasonable period of time, there are just too many hits that you take, minor and major, that you just have to accept them no differently to the boxer that steps into the ring. If it’s not this or that downturn, it’s not winning that job you really needed, or not having the money for some great new opportunity you want to take advantage of, or having to sort things out when a new hire has let you down. There’s always going to be something.
As a result, you’ve simply always got to find a solution. There IS no choice, or any question that you have to just get it done. As Marie says to Rocky, “Fighters fight.”
But beyond the immediate benefits of fighting back, these sort of habits end up creating forward momentum when you’re not getting hit. That’s the “moving forward” part. This isn’t just some bro-preneur speak, either. Harvard Business Review has done studies that show that a combo of knuckling down while coming out punching is the magic formula for entrepreneurial success. Making sure that you are running nice and lean wherever possible, and use those savings on the right marketing, among other things such as R&D.
In other words, use the fight to take new ground where your competitors are still on the ropes, or when you yourself are feeling like you’ve taken a hit, and come out victorious. There’s no better feeling.
But you probably already knew that, right? After all, if you didn’t have the “Eye of the Tiger”, you wouldn’t be a fighter / business owner in the first place.