1 September 2015

Muhammad Ali once said “The fight is won or lost far away from the witnesses, behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road; long before I dance under those lights”.

muhammad ali

A snippet of this quote adorns one of the walls on the ‘Business’ floor of our HQ and has done for many years in offices before UKFast Campus.

Whilst the quote highlights the need for the behind the scenes preparation to go into any project – be that a big fight or a business goal – it, more importantly, clarifies that the outcome of that goal or fight is determined during this preparation not during the fight itself.

An exam is passed or failed during the revision for it. A sporting match is won or lost in the training (or lack of) in the run up.

Harking back to the old adage, failure to prepare is preparing to fail, Ali sums up the essence of having the right foundations in place. This is especially relevant for us right now as we prepare to launch a key product in coming weeks.

This product, adding significant fire power to our portfolio, has been years in the making. It has been in development with our astonishing technical engineers for more than a year and in testing for more than a year on top of that – running far along the road, before it reaches the launch lights. It is this huge amount of innovation, development and testing that gives me the confidence to launch the product.

It could be said that Ali was right about the mentality behind sport but how does that apply to business? I believe that the links between the two are undeniable and have commented on that many times. In sport, you learn discipline, persistence, team work and invariably respect for your opponents.

Back to foundations, I have spoken with numerous budding entrepreneurs over the past few weeks and many are keen to jump straight in. Though I am all for setting great goals, you should never underestimate the power of keeping things simple. Set out what you want to achieve but also set out the steps toward that and don’t run before you can walk!

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