George Foreman Kicks Off Inc. GrowCo. Conference

Column by Janine Popick, "Girl Power Female CEO's"
March 15, 2010

I'm here at Inc.'s GrowCo. Conference where over 400 small business owners have convened to network with other business owners, listen to some great speakers and be in sunny Orlando! You'd not know we're in a tough economic time with the positive outlook that a lot of these businesses have.

What a great and inspirational start to the show with George Forman as the keynote. Talk about someone who has perseverance. From the streets in Houston, who would have known that George Foreman never wanted to be a fighter? He was actually driven by the need to help his mom and his give his brothers an education.

He talked about where he started as a fighter, making just $5,000 from one of his first fights then fighting his way to beat Joe Frazier and finally losing his heavyweight champion title to Mohammed Ali. And even though he lost, he walked away with $5 million.

Sadly, 10 years later he found himself with no money left and realized he had to go back to the only thing he knew; boxing. He started at the bottom again, getting offered just $2,500 a fight. At this point he was pretty old for a boxer. What inspired me is that he didn't turn it down. He had many fights along the way getting paid more with each match and finally lost to Evander Holyfield walking away $12.5 million!

So what does boxing have to do with business? George realized that boxing is what makes him, and he needed to use boxing as a way to sell "George Foreman." So for his third "chance" he used his name to sell his own products. The George Foreman grill is one of the best selling products on the market today because he's a great salesman. According to George, the greatest product he's ever sold is himself.

The takeaway from George? If you get knocked down, keep getting up and keep going. Be tenacious! The only thing that can stop anyone from achieving greatness is themselves. Great start to the conference.

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