When Boxing & Business Merge
Andrey Dashin is the founder of,ForexTime Ltd (FXTM), Chairman of the Supervisory Board and shareholder of the Alpari brand. Drawing from his experience as both a businessman and an avid boxer, he shares his thoughts with Phileleptheros and reveals how boxing and business have far more in common than meets the eye.
When you carefully consider the prerequisites for an effective boxing strategy and those for a successful business, the two worlds come together to form one and the same set of fundamental features for success. Both requiring immense integrity and foresight, the two spheres of boxing and business form uncanny parallels which reveal that no matter which of the two you are part of, you will develop the same skills and learn the same lessons from both.
In boxing, one needs to have a sharp mind, move with accuracy and make calculated decisions. There are those who think that an excellent boxer relies on pure strength and muscles, but more than anything he relies on tactics, inner strength, skill and willpower. If one boxer in a fight is physically superior to another, but the latter knows how to make smarter moves, it is the latter who will be the victor of the fight, not the one stronger in muscles. As boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. once said, “He can have heart, he can hit harder and he can be stronger, but there’s no fighter smarter than me”. When boxing, it takes incredible patience to wait for the right strike, to cope with pain and defeat and to recognize when your time is to rise. Very often the window of opportunity for a boxer to make his move is a split moment in time and it takes wisdom and endurance to capture that exact moment. Now think of a business environment and a person in a key managerial position; the complexity of running a business stems from having to master the qualities of wisdom, endurance and tactics. To run a business means to be able to make the right decisions in stressful situations, to grab opportunities when they arise, to be fully aware of the competition around and to be able to cope with failure as much as success. If you draw a parallel between a boxer and a business owner, it becomes quite evident that they have to master the very same set of qualities to progress.
When a boxer finds himself in the ring, one of the most difficult challenges to combat is taming aggression and calming the thirst for glory. Without achieving this, it becomes almost impossible to form a strategy and stick to it because it is too tempting to act on impulse when the unexpected strikes. A boxer must first acknowledge his weaknesses and focus on developing his strengths; this is what will help form the basis of his plan. Self-knowledge is key and you will find that in all areas of life, the greatest challenge we are faced with is our own character. The nature of running a business is not dissimilar at all; when running a business one must set realistic goals, be aware of the flaws and strengths of the company and base their mission on the areas where they can be the most lucrative and successful. In the corporate world, the unexpected can strike at any given moment, whether it is due to economic factors, the actions of competitors or internal problems. Knowing how to cope, pick up the pieces and be patient until the time is right to thrive again is absolutely mandatory.
Though seeming worlds apart when juxtaposed, boxing and business, at a deeper glance, are mirror reflections of each other; complex in nature, challenging, thrilling, and requiring the same fundamentals for success. I share a deep love for both of these worlds and in all my years of experience as a boxer and a businessman I have found that both have equally shaped my character in the most similar of ways.
Note: The content in this article comprises personal opinions and ideas and should not be taken or misunderstood as investment advice.