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Small busi­ness is of­ten re­ferred to as ‘the en­gine of the econ­omy’. The trick for small busi­ness, how­ever, is com­pet­ing in the eco­nomic ring with heavy­weight play­ers that have more of ev­ery­thing – re­sources, peo­ple, cash flow. of­fers a few ways to avoid

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ike a box­ing match, this book con­sists of 12 rounds. Be­cause be­ing in busi­ness can be a bit like be­ing in the ring with Mike Tyson, the path to cre­at­ing suc­cess is also sim­i­lar to a box­ing match.

By now you’ve iden­ti­fied where your busi­ness and in­dus­try are in their life cy­cles, so now is the time to learn and ap­ply the Un­fair Fight.

I’ve di­vided this into three parts. In busi­ness, like in a fight, there is the set-up, where you pre­pare and ready your­self to do bat­tle; there is the ac­tual fight, where you roll up your sleeves and get into your work, lit­er­ally fight­ing for your life; and there is the op­por­tu­nity to go for the knock­out, the killer blow that no one can de­fend them­selves against.

Get these three parts right and you will have cre­ated an in­cred­i­bly suc­cess­ful, and prof­itable, busi­ness.

PART 1: THE SET-UP

First, there’s the set-up. The fight starts with you. If you’re not in a pow­er­ful state, the fight will be over be­fore it has be­gun. The first four rounds are your train­ing, what you need to do to be the strong­est when you get into the ring. Round 1 – De­cide Round 2 – Love Round 3 – Mind Bul­lets Round 4 – Lead­er­ship

PART 2: THE FIGHT

Once you are the best you can be, it’s time to step into the ring and get into the guts of the fight. Here, you have to do the right things at the right times, know­ing what com­bi­na­tion to throw, when to at­tack and when to de­fend. How to do this is cov­ered in the next six rounds. Round 5 – Dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion Round 6 – Re­sults Mar­ket­ing Round 7 – New Sales Round 8 – Cul­ture and Team Round 9 – Plan­ning and Re­sults Round 10 – Ex­e­cu­tion

PART 3: THE KNOCK­OUT

And, fi­nally, you are the best you can be, you can do the work, but to win glo­ri­ously, you have to de­liver the knock­out punch. While you might be sur­prised by what this book re­veals as the knock­out blow, it will be­come your se­cret weapon in cre­at­ing in­cred­i­ble busi­ness suc­cess. Round 11 – Stack­ing Your Cor­ner Round 12 – The Power of Ques­tions When you put it all to­gether by be­ing the best you can be, then do­ing the right things at the right time, then de­liv­er­ing the knock­out blow, you will cre­ate a busi­ness that doesn’t just sur­vive, but thrives. Let’s start this jour­ney to­gether, now.

ROUND 2: LOVE

When I ask most busi­ness own­ers, or as­pir­ing busi­ness own­ers, why they want to be in busi­ness, there are a range of an­swers. Most are along the lines of: ‘I don’t want to work for some­one else and I want to cre­ate a great lifestyle for my­self.’

Most of these peo­ple are des­tined to be knocked out in an early round, or at best cre­ate a very medi­ocre busi­ness, which is much harder than just work­ing for some­one else.

These peo­ple are in busi­ness for the money and the lifestyle that it will pro­vide. While you want to keep money in your head, you don’t want money in your heart. Iron­i­cally, if money is in your heart as your pri­mary driver, you are most likely des­tined to strug­gle fi­nan­cially, while if it’s in your head, you are more likely to be fi­nan­cially suc­cess­ful.

This trips up a lot of busi­ness own­ers. Is it trip­ping you up now?

If you are get­ting in the ring, it’s im­por­tant that you want to be in the ring, that you love be­ing in the ring.

There’s ab­so­lutely noth­ing wrong with want­ing au­ton­omy and fi­nan­cial free­dom, and all that gives you. I cer­tainly do. But those can’t be your only rea­sons for be­ing in busi­ness – they have lit­tle power, be­cause no­body cares what you want.

It might seem strange that the sec­ond most im­por­tant round of the Un­fair Fight is love, but the re­al­ity is that with­out love, you are likely to fail, as do most peo­ple.

The phys­i­cal ex­pres­sion of love is pas­sion, and pas­sion is fun­da­men­tal to busi­ness suc­cess be­cause busi­ness can be so hard. In busi­ness, you have to per­form over a sus­tained pe­riod of time – there is no ‘overnight suc­cess’. One truth I’ve learnt is that it takes a long time to be­come an overnight suc­cess.

Suc­cess­ful peo­ple love their busi­ness on a num­ber of lev­els, and this at­ti­tude is crit­i­cal to per­se­ver­ing with the chal­lenges that are a daily part of be­ing in busi­ness. The busi­ness own­ers who don’t love it will quit. Who could put up with so much hard work and con­stant worry over such a long pe­riod of time if you didn’t love it? You can’t. It’s just not pos­si­ble for sane peo­ple – un­less they’re in love.

I liken this pas­sion to hav­ing a child. Who would put up with the sleep­less nights, the con­stant at­ten­tion, the worry, if they didn’t love that lit­tle ras­cal more than life it­self?

You can love the busi­ness, the prod­uct or ser­vice, and the peo­ple. Prefer­ably, you love all three, start­ing with the peo­ple.

ROUND 3: MIND BUL­LETS

As I shared at the start of the book, in 2002 I sus­tained a life-threat­en­ing head in­jury that was a di­rect re­sult of my own reck­less be­hav­iour. I was in a coma for a cou­ple of days and the doc­tors didn’t ex­pect me to make a full re­cov­ery. They thought I wouldn’t re­gain full brain func­tion. Their prog­no­sis was that I would be un­likely to re­turn to med­i­cal school and I would never ski again.

Af­ter that ter­ri­ble prog­no­sis, I re­alised that I needed to raise my stan­dards in life. I had to raise the bar just to get back to nor­mal, and the lessons I learnt do­ing that taught me that I could raise the bar and keep rais­ing it. I was forced to grow.

I be­lieve that the pur­pose of set­ting goals is not just to achieve those goals; it is to be­come the per­son you need to be to achieve those goals. To be­come the per­son you need to be, you first have to de­velop a pow­er­ful psy­chol­ogy, a way to di­rect your mind, with sniper­like ac­cu­racy, at ex­cel­lence in your life. I call this strat­egy Mind Bul­lets. When you ef­fec­tively think like this, then no mat­ter what hap­pens in life, you can find a way to suc­ceed.

Re­mem­ber, busi­ness suc­cess hap­pens at the in­ter­sec­tion of mind-set and ac­tion.

When you want to change your life, it’s rarely a ques­tion of your ca­pa­bil­ity; it’s al­most al­ways a ques­tion of your mo­ti­va­tion – how much you re­ally want it.

And when your mo­ti­va­tion is high, it then be­comes a ques­tion of your ef­fec­tive­ness.

So the ques­tion for you is: Who do you need to be­come to achieve the suc­cess you want and de­serve in busi­ness, and in life? And how badly do you want it? Al­most ev­ery­one gets this wrong be­cause they spend too much time fo­cus­ing on ‘What do I need to do?’, so they miss the ‘Who do I need to be?’

It’s like plan­ning a jour­ney by only fo­cus­ing on the map and ne­glect­ing the fact that you need a car to drive there.

The Un­fair Fight is about be­com­ing the per­son you need to be and de­vel­op­ing your psy­cho­log­i­cal ‘mind bul­lets’, so fail­ure is not an op­tion.

Know­ing who you need to be is truly pow­er­ful.

Be­com­ing that per­son is not as com­pli­cated as many of the self-help books make it out to be. Don’t buy into the com­mon think­ing that this process needs to be dif­fi­cult. If you master some core strate­gies, you will be at a mas­sive ad­van­tage.

You will then move well be­yond com­pet­ing with the big cor­po­rates, be­cause no one in those com­pa­nies will care as much as you do; no one will turn up with the same in­ten­sity as you. Turn up to their knife fight with the men­tal equiv­a­lent of an AK-47.

You will be liv­ing the Un­fair Fight.

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