Happy Monday and first full week of November!!!! Sometimes you come across a moment in history that dovetails into a good blog post topic and today Nov. 5th, happens to be one of those days. Back in 1994, George Foreman became the oldest man to win the Heavy Weight Championship of the World at age 45. In a sport dominated by younger, quicker, more athletic boxers, Old George Foreman shocked the world and won the second title of his career.
For those not familiar with his career, Foreman won Olympic Gold in 1968 and fought professionally from 1969 to 1977. The first act of his career was highlighted by winning the title from Joe Frazier in 1973 and of course, losing to the great Muhammad Ali in the Rumble in the Jungle in 1974. The first act of his life was filled with success an Olympic Gold Medal, a title and being a participant in one of the most iconic and memorable fights of all-time.
In 1987, he returned to the ring and at the age of 45, became the oldest man to even win a title belt in 1994. And even those who are not familiar with boxing, know him from his post-boxing career – the George Foreman Grill and some great TV commercials.
Why am I yammering on about George Foreman? Well, it struck me that his story is inspirational to entrepreneurs and small business owners. In our youth, we are blessed with talent and stamina. Like Foreman, we sometimes taste success early – only to see it fade away just as quickly. The reason for our success is partly our hard work and also aided by nature and the advantages that being in our 20’s provide.
Yet, 10 years after he retired – Foreman came back and was again successful. Some would argue his success the second time around was even greater. He accomplished something no had ever done before – winning a title at 45 and then parlayed his success into commercial ventures. I still remember those George Foreman Grill infomercials and heck, my grandma had one (made a pretty good steak or chop if i recall).
As entrepreneurs, we are told to go for our dreams when we are young. We are often told if you haven’t succeeded by a certain age – that it’s all over for you. But, like George Foreman – we need to believe in ourselves and keep hustling towards our goals. Youth is a great advantage – but there is also a reason the idea of “young and dumb” exists. Youth lacks wisdom and experience. We only gain this experience by living life, working hard and making mistakes.
I firmly believe that age 40 is when business ideas are meant to take off. Most of us have done the 9 to 5 gig, worked in a chosen field for 20+ years and have the wisdom to know how to make an idea grow and flourish.
So, my friends, let’s all take some inspiration from George Foreman. It’s not often we get to see the two acts of life so clearly defined. It’s a lesson we all can learn from!!!!