Updated: Nov 8, 2022
Who isn’t attracted to winners? We all want to know them, get closer to them and learn their secrets. Of course, this means different things to people. I don’t deny being a muscle head in my youth. One of the highlights from those glory days was meeting Mike Tyson in the fall of 1987. He was shopping at a boutique shoe store in the Crossgate Mall in Colonie New York. This was just a few months prior to him beating Larry Homes. Since I was training in the famed Catskill gym myself as an amateur (separate sessions from the pros and Mike) and also coworkers with Mike’s first mentor Bobby Stewart, I found the gumption to approach Iron Mike and we became acquaintances.
Whether it be boxing, wrestling, or Jiu-Jitsu, one thing any competitor learns early on is it’s better to be the bigger guy compared to your competitor. This is why we go through the rigors and pain of cutting weight to get to compete in the lightest class possible for an individual’s size. During the period just before weigh-in, it is common to drop ten or more pounds of mass, mostly water. After weighing in the fluids are quickly replenished and you just rest to regain your strength. The next day the fight is on. By the time you enter the arena, you are back up to weight and if your training was perfect, you are at absolute peak strength and endurance.
The same principles can be applied to business. Winners must begin knowing in their soul exactly what it is they need to achieve. Preparation means surrounding ourselves with winners in our respective fields. It also means becoming fluent in the principles and language of finance, operations, recruitment, management of staff, and marketing. Being “heavier” in this context equates to undertaking better preparation than the others in the same league. It isn’t just what we do that makes us winners, we must also learn to cut out everything that doesn’t support our objectives. That is as much art as science but a good foundation for it begins with the discipline of time management. Every detail matters. You had better believe that everyone else is looking for an edge too. Therefore, only the fullest measures in every task and every detail will make a viable contender for the best in your marketplace.
The heaviest in the league may as well forget about things like work-life balance and superfluous relationships. With a pure heart, those things should come later in life once your personal and financial objectives are met. Everything that is most worthwhile in life is also exceedingly difficult. Jesus in Matthew 5 climbed higher up the mountain and some followed. The best things in life require a climb. All those who try to cut corners are either ill-advised or else trying to go it on their own without effective counsel. Either way that approach can be summed up in one word, delusion.
West Michigan is full of contenders in almost every business category imaginable. Winners include, Master Tag, of Whitehall, Michigan, L3 Harris Technologies of Muskegon Michigan, Grand Haven Michigan, has Gentex. Ada, Michigan has Amway, Wyoming, Michigan has Steelcase, Grand Valley State University is an enormous winner right here in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Headquarters of Macatawa Bank Corporation rests in Holland Michigan. GE Aviation is in Rockford, Michigan. Forest Hills Foods is of course in Forest Hills, Michigan. In Kentwood, Michigan, Paramount Plastics is presently killing its competition.
In sum, getting to be the heaviest in any corporate arena entails really knowing your craft and understanding the nuances of the evolving market better than anyone else, it means trying new things to raise the bar for the rest. A value proposition can only be as good as its creative capacity, efficacy, and honed ability to exceed market demands upon its efficient delivery. This is why promotors usually put the heavy competitors right on the top of the card. If you are going to be in the game anyway, why not shoot for the moon and be the heaviest company in your space?