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4 Lessons I learned as an Entrepreneur from Rocky Balboa

“Yo’ Adrian, I did it! Rocky Balboa I grew up watching Rocky films on TV in Telemundo. I would always get mesmerized and excited with the training sequences, the jabbing, the fights, and overcoming the opponents. Rocky IV was the most watched in my household. I loved this movie because, to me, it has the […]

Written By Mikel Martinez

On January 24, 2019
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“Yo’ Adrian, I did it!

Rocky Balboa

I grew up watching Rocky films on TV in Telemundo. I would always get mesmerized and excited with the training sequences, the jabbing, the fights, and overcoming the opponents.

Rocky IV was the most watched in my household. I loved this movie because, to me, it has the best soundtrack, even thought it doesn’t haven Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger.” But it does have “No Easy Way Out.” Which in my opinion has a deeper meaning and hits home every time I hear it.

Entrepreneurs need to deal with many things throughout their plans, projects, tasks, habits and such. Accounting, legal, human behavior, marketing, sales, technology, public speaking, time management, relationship building, public relations, customer relations, interpersonal skills, fitness, diets, etc. But the one thing that we all need to continuously work and fight with is thyself.

The Shadow of Doubt

Many entrepreneurs battle with depression, impostor syndrome or struggle with other things. I am not an expert of those subjects and I have had my share of struggles with some of them. I have learned to recognized and pivot from the train of thought that they can lead or take you on. I have decided to stay healthy as much as possible and part of that start with mindsets and habits. But, it is not easy for everyone and it does take effort and commitment.

The main thing is whether we decided to stay in the shadow of doubt, which is the coined term I have given for comfort zone, or we move towards the light, the discomfort zone.

Moving towards the goals, the light at the end of the tunnel is exciting and more than often challenging. Takes a toll on us and it certainly does drains energies if we surely don’t have the proper training or the right mentality.

Rocky Mindset

Rocky always had a way of just being the optimistic and charming guy who wanted to stay with his wife, family and fight. His life was led by his passion and his passion was the physical representation of what entrepreneurs endure.

“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”

Rocky Balboa

While the quote above may sound harsh, it is quite real. Life is hard, only if we decided to allow things to get out of control and not face the things, challenges, opportunities, and possibilities that present ourselves to make us better, to help us.

New projects, goals, habits, business ventures create tension, friction and definitely a pressure upon ourselves that no matter how hard we try, we have to face it. It is only by facing this hard discomfort, these fears, that we are able to learn and grow. They serve as catalysts, helping us go up the ladder to a new level so we can grow as individuals, professionals and as that role we are executing whether it is as a business owner, team leader, parent, brother, minister, community manager, project manager, entrepreneur, marketer.

The Rounds

“Going in one more round when you don’t think you can. That’s what makes all the difference in your life.” 

Rocky Balboa

There are 12 rounds in boxing. There are 12 weeks in a quarter. There are 12 grades from elementary, junior high, and high school. Each Round, week, and grade get tougher but every round prepares you for the next.

You have your winter, summer, and perhaps depending on where you live, other types of breaks to enjoy life somehow. But, when you go out to the world where you are building your career, facing the bosses, the clients, the pressure sometimes it can definitely feel like you are taking the biggest beating and can only catch a break when the bell rings. But that round took everything out of you.

Sometimes we are about to throw the towel, and just admit we can’t pull it off. We are not made for this. We decide to just stay put and not do anything else. In all seriousness, sometimes we get ourselves into fights/projects that are tough, complicated, and will take strong wills, commitment and most importantly, the correct mindset and the most solid self-esteem. These are the key elements into making sure an entrepreneur can carry on with their mission, their vision, task, project, and make it happen.

Ali was a fierce fighter. Both physically but even deadlier when it came to psychology. He would disrupt his opponent’s focus by shaking his very core, beliefs, and mindset. Anyone can fight. But being able to maintain the calm, control the emotions, and still be able to focus on delivering while being in the heat of the moment – Cue Asia’s song – facing your opponent and as cliché, as it may sound, seeing the eye of the tiger, if you’re able to control yourself you can go round after round and finish the fight.

Winning

I’ve learn that winning is all about mentality. You can either let other things define your success, or you can just define yours. When you read Seth Godin’s amazing blog, you stumble on gold-nuggets such as Don’t Steal Metrics where he expresses:

It’s worth finding your metrics.

Seth Godin

In the end what we do and how we do it, is up to us. Listen to advice. Learn from the best. Face your opponents and challenges head on. But mainly, look in the mirror and tell yourself you are out to get it. Motivate the motivator. Turn the engine on and keep that passion alive.

Mikel

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