Movies are a great way to escape reality for a couple of hours. We can relax and enjoy a good story, and even become involved in what happens with the characters. But we can also learn from the stories and the characters, as well. A well-developed character can teach us lessons and can inspire us to do something. One movie character who can inspire us is Sylvester Stallone’s famous boxer character, Rocky Balboa. Rocky went through many hardships in his boxing career, but he somehow managed to overcome them and succeed. He is a character of great strength, both physical and personal, and we can learn from that strength and apply it not only to our personal lives but also in the business world.
One great quote from Rocky is “It ain’t about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” Rocky was well known for taking hits but continuing to fight. This inspiring quote is worth remembering for it tells us that what is really important is not our physical strength but our inner strength to take a hit but keep moving forward. In business, hits can come in a variety of forms, such as loss of customers, a drop in sales, etc., but the business must be strong enough to take the hit, recover from it, and keep moving on. That is how you win.
In Rocky’s fight with Apollo Creed, he was determined to “go the distance” and last all 15 rounds. He didn’t want a quick knock out, but to prove his strength and worth as a fighter. We need to prove our strength and our worth, and not look for “quick knock outs” but to “go the distance” and look at things in the long term. This is particularly true for businesses, who should not care so much about quick cash-ins but have the strength to “go the distance” and make business decisions based on long-term prospects and goals.
Rocky was a “southpaw”, a trait that served him well in Rocky II, as most of his opponents were right-handed, and their hardest blows would therefore come from the right. Eventually, everyone found out he was a southpaw and would expect his blows from the left, so he had to turn that weakness into a strength, and he did so by strengthening his right punch in order to through off Apollo Creed in their rematch. We must learn to turn our weaknesses into strengths, not only personally but in business, as well. If a business can do it and overcome obstacles in their path, it will through off their competition and force them to struggle to win.
Rocky once told a story to Adrian about how his father once told him that he “weren’t born with much brain so I better use my body”, which led him to becoming a boxer. We should do the same, even in business: find out what our strengths are, emphasize them, and use them.
One of Rocky’s greatest strengths was his determination, whether it was training for his fight with Apollo Creed or the later fights, he never gave up and fought to the end. He was determined to see them through, no matter what. We must have the same sense of determination in our own lives and in our businesses. If we can believe in ourselves, and businesses in their business plans, it’s worth fighting for victory, no matter the odds.
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