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Career Advice

Career advice from Inside the Boxing Ring

By Joseph Cueto on April 4, 2015

Boxing is a career many men and women aspire to but, getting punched in the face isn't necessarily for all of us. So what could you learn from an athlete whose realm is inside the boxing ring?

A lot, if you ask Underground Elephant CEO Jason Kulpa. In this article from Kulpa, he cites former world champion boxer Paul “The Ultimate” Vaden as his trainer, life coach, and business consultant all rolled into one. Under the guidance of Vaden, Kulpa has learned valuable business and leadership lessons that have benefitted not only his company but also himself:

1. Open up about your personal struggles

Any journey, whether it would be professional or personal, is guaranteed to be an adventure. The road can be filled with ups and downs, a wide rainbow of emotions and doubts. Vaden is an open book about the personal struggles that have colored his illustrious boxing career. Why? A person must be open and transparent about one’s “inner stuff” – struggles, fears, uncertainties – to a mentor or his/her team. The sooner you can shed light about these aspects, the sooner you can focus on the things that really matter.

2. Be wary of quick fixes

Sports and business offer an interesting and insightful parallel. Both show that nothing meaningful and long-lasting is accomplished by taking quick fixes. There are no shortcuts to success. Like a boxer who has big dreams in mind, an aspiring individual or organization must be willing to put in the hard work and dedication on a consistent basis, as well as striving to keep the line moving in spite of pains and setbacks.

3. Make connections outside of business

Kulpa says it's important to have a life outside of your work or business. Having a mentor such as Vaden has offered Kulpa and his company a new perspective that helps them see the status quo and challenge it daily. Their relationship with Vaden has given them a  “championship mindset” and a “friend-to-all” mentality, which they consider a competitive advantage.

4. Life isn’t about existing; it’s about excelling

Vaden preaches to Kulpa and the team about the art of being exceptional. We all have dreams we may see as elusive but 'elusive' is in the mind. Don't overlook your dreams by focusing on the mundane day-to-day tasks. Vaden adds, "Life should have that ‘Thriller’ sound, that Disney feel, that Ali determination."

5. Answer the bell

Answering the bell, according to Vaden, means meeting the challenges head on that life presents, and by doing so, achieving your goals. Vaden credits hard work and determination as big factors to his success. The same ingredients can be used to triumph over adversity.

Don’t let your work life get knocked down for the count. Time to apply a lightning-quick round of enlightening advice from a boxing icon that can knock some power-packed oomph into your job and career.

*Image courtesy of Shutterstock