It is easy to go really hard at something for a period of time, but the energy wanes. It reminds me of boxing. When those fighters start the first round, they come out hard! They throw hard punch after hard punch. They only win if they land that quick knockout.  More often than not, the bout is determined after quite a few rounds, and goes to the guy who landed the most punches over the most time.

The fighter that has greater stamina (can stick around for the entire twelve rounds, plus some), coupled with well-timed devastating punches wins. Muhammad Ali knew this and used his famous “rope a dope” strategy in his famed bout with George Foreman. Foreman, by most measures, was the superior fighter. Bigger, stronger and faster. Foreman was predicted to win, and in the beginning of the fight looked like the clear winner. In fact, some thought Ali would die that night as he took punch after devastating punch from Foreman.

But that was Ali’s strategy.  Ali had trained for that fight by having his sparring partners pummel him. During this practice Ali discovered that, if he positioned his body against the ropes, the majority of energy from each punch would go into the ropes, not his body. The more Foreman punched, the more Foreman grew tired. Then Ali went into action.

With a tired Foreman, Ali systematically delivered punch after punch on Foreman. Foreman was too tired to defend himself, he had “punched himself out.” Ali, with a reserve of energy, kept punching and punching, systematically.  Thus, he went on to win the bout.

Your business success is not so much about coming out swinging. It rarely is a successful strategy, since you are unlikely to deliver a knockout blow to your industry, and then will have exhausted all your resources to say in the long fight.  Instead, be a systematic, relentless fighter. Each day deliver one more punch. Don’t let yourself tire, it is going to be a long fight.  And the victor almost always is the one with the most stamina. Not the hardest punch. Just the most punches over the longest period of time.

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