The Martial Art of Fighting for your Business
You’ve heard the idiom, “Your body is a temple.” I’m sure of it.
From the days of your youth, when parents thought that the metaphorical expression of your body as a place of worship, would unlock the dusty cavern of your brain that desires to indulge in the eating of broccoli.
Or more recently, when you started that online fitness course, heard that phrase and immediately regretted spending the 6.99 monthly fees.
But in martial arts, I think the metaphor of one’s body as being a temple is central to understanding how to be successful in any given discipline, even growing a business.
To become a master, you must devote time, pain and an almost self-indulgent level of commitment to transform your body from a lowly shack, to a temple, held up by these pillars of martial arts (a cliche I know) we’ve identified:
- Hard work
Now, despite the title of this article, we’re not suggesting that you venture into the depths of your nearest alley under the cover of night and start a fight-club in order to save your business (though I’m sure many of you were looking forward to offering the local ‘Brad Pitt’ a scrap).
However, we think that the ‘pillars of martial arts’ identified above are central concepts to cultivating a successful company.
You’ve heard it a million times in every ‘business guru’ autobiography you’ve dragged yourself through that hard work and perseverance, is the key to success and earning a billion dollars.
And that you must work hard every waking moment, even as you eat your breakfast cereal and read (listen to) your five books a day while driving to work.
Bruce Lee would condemn all of this self-serving meaningless work, an opinion gathered from one of his famous sayings; “I do not fear the man who has practised 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practised one kick 10,000 times.”
Like Bruce Lee, who prized a mastery and refinement of the basics over learning every new technique, the businessperson must strive to understand and work hard on what is essential to their business.
Not becoming suckered in by every ‘new untested technique that will ensure life-long success in three months’, as a blessing from the heavens.
This feeds into the next 3 pillars; conditioning, flexibility, and reflection, which are all intrinsically linked.
They’re more of a process, following one another, than separate things you can do to grow and improve your business.
Conditioning, in terms of sport, is the process of training to become physically fit.
However, in business, we’d suggest it’s being able to achieve the maximum efficiency in your business by streamlining processing to improve your overall service.
Conditioning can be achieved through general exercise; running, cycling, swimming etc, but it can also be a method of practice and preparation for a martial artist, who uses this time to practice a kick 10,000 times, religiously working at a technique to the point where the body can do no more.
In this respect, conditioning breaks down the temple of the body, for it to be re-built stronger and more efficiently, but this takes both reflection and flexibility to achieve.
Flexibility and Reflection
Reflection isn’t just looking at how you can improve your business from your own ideas, it takes flexibility to be reflective, as one must consider new ideas from your team, partners and elsewhere.
Like a martial artist who is flexible in their ability to use different techniques in different situations, who improve those techniques by getting the opinions of training partners and other Sensi’s.
You must take a flexible approach to the conditioning of your business and avoid the tunnel vision that comes from a fear of other people reflecting on the faults in your systems.
Finally comes balance, a concept that is traditionally pivotal to the heart of martial arts.
In lieu of the desire to work at chiselling the temple of the body with every waking hour, one must find the strength to step away and let the stones of the temple settle before starting the carvings of the next day.
The body of the martial artist needs to rest, and there needs to be an effective balance of physical health and mental health, which allows you to fight with logic and skill.
In a similar vein, the temple of your business (for it is a temple to you and can be almost a fanatical focus of worship for some) should not coincide with the temple of your person.
It takes separation and a balance of correct physical and mental health to properly understand your business, to reap the benefits that you will eventually gain from it.
You must find time to step away and let the temple improve itself in your absence. Once you have become a good enough martial artist and business leader…
… you will have those who follow and seek to preserve the temple in your wake.
Darren Turner’s imaging business success story began in 2003 when he opened a retail store in the UK selling printer supplies to home users & small organisations. Since then he has moved into a business unit, grown his team and continued to adapt to match his customers’ changing needs. He has developed a ‘fit for purpose’ office products and solutions business model that provides certainty of cost and service for small business, charities and schools—thus providing them complete peace of mind.
He has become a trusted advisor for small organisations across the world. Turner invites you to chat with him about your business, reaching out to him on LinkedIn, email or on the phone +44-7887-548523
Read his other posts and logs:
- The Martial Art of Fighting for your Business
- Walking the Plank with Pirates
- Resilience is Knowing When Not to Quit
- My View on the Future of the Print Technology Industry
- Planes Trains and Automobiles (and bicycles)
- Why Procrastinate Today When You Can Put it off Until Tomorrow
- Planting Trees as an Office Solution
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