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
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.