Love him or hate him, Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Jr. is the champ. With a perfect record of 47-0, he’s poised to go down in history books as one of the greatest fighters of all time. Equally prolific is his Filipino counterpart, Manny Pacquiao. Followers of professional boxing can rejoice – these two will finally meet in the ring this may after years of false-starts. This fight is predicted to shatter all financial records, with total revenue projected at $300-500 million. Any way you slice it, this fight is about to be a game changer, driven by the relentless and compelling Floyd “Money” Mayweather.
Mayweather is brash, cocky, and trash talking. While he has less humility than the Kardashians, he is undeniably remarkable. His fights draw millions of pay-per-view buys, and his performance is consistently near perfect. When you look past the megalomania, there is inspirational grit and determination and many lessons we can apply to our own companies and careers:
1. Singularity of Purpose – Floyd hasn’t cut a rap album, pursued politics, or launched a dot-com startup. He puts every waking moment into being the best boxer in history. He plays to his strengths and chases his purpose with laser beam focus. Instead of spreading himself thin, he places every egg in one basket. The result? Greatness.
2. Unwavering Belief – Like most of us, Floyd’s had his share of detractors. Along the road to winning eight world titles in five weight classes, many people (including his own father) told him he’d never make it. But Floyd believed in himself even when in the face of adversity. Irrespective of your chosen field, you must never let the nay-sayers hold you back from reaching your full potential.
3. Discipline and Commitment – Floyd’s a big talker, but he backs it up with substance. His training regimen is grueling, yet he shows up fully to each session. He has a chant with his team that reinforces his philosophy: Floyd shouts out “commitment” and his team chants back “determination.” This mantra has helped Mayweather reach the highest levels, and the same grit can propel you there as well. His work ethic and drive have earned him the right to be a champion, has yours?
4. Preparation – As the legendary boxing quote proclaims, “Champions don’t become champions in the ring. They are merely recognized there.” The same holds true for your pursuits. Floyd prepares physically, but he also is a master strategist. He thinks through every permutation of each fight before entering the arena. How are you preparing for your own challenges? Winging it can yield unfavorable results, but carefully planning your attack will help you snag the order, crush the competition, or secure that next round of funding.
5. Masterful Storytelling – Floyd’s incredible boxing skills are only part of his draw. He is a master promoter, and his story simply cannot be ignored. He’s authentic, unique, and compelling. Some adore him and others despise him, but we can all agree he is a “category of one.” When you tell your own story – for your company or career – make sure you’re standing out from the pack. In today’s competitive landscape, you must be highly differentiated in order to win. Memorable. Remarkable. Noteworthy. Even if you lose the order, make sure your message can’t be forgotten.
Floyd is making history in real time and so can you. He grew up in a disadvantaged home in Grand Rapids, Michigan but has gone on to become the king of his sport. The distance you’ll travel on your own journey is up to you. Keep throwing power punches, and never stop swinging until the closing bell.
“Money” Mayweather will be proud.
Josh Linkner is author of two New York Times Bestsellers, “Disciplined Dreaming” and “The Road to Reinvention.”