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Business Ideas – 3 Lessons from George Foreman by Evan Carmichael
Today we’re going to look at how a high school dropout who was constantly in trouble with the law turned his life around and started to believe him himself. He would go on to become two-time former World Heavyweight Boxing Champion and multimillionaire entrepreneur. This is the story of boxing great George Foreman and the top 3 lessons that you can learn from his success.
“Learn to sell and you’ll never starve.”- George Foreman
George “Big George” Foreman (born January 10, 1949) is an Olympic gold medalist, two-time former World Heavyweight Boxing Champion, and entrepreneur. A high school dropout, as a teenager, Foreman didn’t know how to read or write. He took to the streets and got into trouble by picking pockets and mugging people. His sister told him “You’ll never be anything.”
After finding himself on the run from the police one night and digging himself in a pile of mud to avoid their dogs finding him, Foreman decided he had to change his life. He enrolled in a job skills training program for youth and began learning how to read and write. He later also learned how to box and entered into amateur competitions so he could send $50 home to his mother every month. After a year and a half of learning to box he entered into the Olympic Games and won the gold medal. He went on to win the World Heavyweight Boxing Championship twice.
After twice retiring from professional boxing, Foreman became an entrepreneur and toured the world selling George Foreman Grills. In 2002 alone, the company earned $922 million from selling the grills. Foreman would go on to earn 3 times more money from the grills than throughout his entire career as a boxer. He has also moved on to selling TV shows, clothing, books, and Indy Car racing teams.
Action Item #1: Learn How to Sell
Action Item #2: Get People to Like You
Action Item #3: Keep Trying Until it Works
It’s rare that entrepreneurs make it big off their first idea. And even if they do, the idea has changed many times from what they thought they were going to create. Failing is a part of business. The key is to get started. Too many people don’t start because they’re afraid of failing. You will know failure – keep going. Fail smarter the next time and eventually success will be yours.
Foreman isn’t afraid of failing in business. He’s done everything from specialty shoes made for diabetics to a health-food restaurant chain to a reality television series. He’s willing to try almost anything if he thinks it might be a good opportunity and it’s something he believes in. As long as the business is something he can feel proud of and won’t damage his integrity, Foreman is willing to stretch his brand to almost anything. You never know until you try!
According to Foreman: “You’ve got to start out early in the morning and look at hundreds, literally hundreds of things. And it may take a year, it may take three or four years, but you’re going to hit something so you have something to put on the table for your family… You know you put out a lot of buckshot, you’re going to strike one.”
With a criminal record and a reputation for being a troublemaker, few gave Foreman a chance. When he joined the U.S. Job Corps looking for a way to get off the streets, he caused so many problems that he was almost expelled from the program. His supervisor advised him to find a different outlet for his anger and suggested he take up boxing. When Foreman first started to box, he was so scared that he just closed his eyes and swung his massive fists to win the fights. It was only until he started going up against better boxers that he had to learn to fight with his eyes open.
“The greatest asset, even in this country, is not oil and gas. It’s integrity. Everyone is searching for it, asking, ‘Who can I do business with that I can trust?’”
“You must preserve the quality of your name, your integrity. You don’t want to lie about anything. And it’s something that people will be happy about once they get to know you. Because people count on you.”
“Make a decision you’ll be able to sleep with, wake up the next day, look in the mirror and feel good about yourself.”
Sue Austin: Deep sea diving … in a wheelchair
When Sue Austin got a power chair 16 years ago, she felt a tremendous sense of freedom — yet others looked at her as though she had lost something. In her art, she aims to convey the spirit of wonder she feels wheeling through the world. Includes thrilling footage of an underwater wheelchair that lets her explore ocean beds, drifting through schools of fish, floating free in 360 degrees. (Filmed at TEDxWomen.)
In repurposing her wheelchair to create fantastical art, Sue Austin reshapes how we think about disability.
WHY YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO HER?
Multimedia, performance and installation artist Sue Austin keeps a fascinating mission at the center her work: to challenge the idea of disabled as “other” and represent her experience as a wheelchair user in a brighter light. She does this by creating quirky, unexpected juxtapositions — bringing a sense of whimsy and empowerment to the discussion of disability.
Austin is the founder and artistic director of Freewheeling, an initiative aiming to further the genre of Disability Arts. In 2012, she was asked to be a part of the Cultural Olympiad in Britain, a celebration of the arts leading up to the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The work she created for the event, called “Creating the Spectacle!,” is a groundbreaking series of live art and video works of an underwater wheelchair.
“Like the athletes at the Paralympics, disabled artist Sue Austin is working to redefine the popular notion of disability. This week, she has been amazing spectators with a specially equipped wheelchair that lets her fly underwater.” PRI’s The World