words of wisdom from mike tyson

We all know Mike Tyson as a professional boxer, in fact, he holds the record for the youngest boxer to win a heavyweight title! Pretty impressive, but I’m not going to talk about his boxing.  What I want to talk about is an answer he gave to a reporter before one of his fights.

It was Tyson’s fight with Evander Holyfield and a reporter asked Tyson if he was worried about his opponent’s plan of attack. Tyson’s answer was classic, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” And this ladies and gentleman is the reason why you need other people to help you out when your plan gets the proverbial “punch in the mouth”.

Isn’t Tyson’s statement so very true? We all have a plan that we think is going to be perfect for the task at hand and then something goes wrong and everything we have been planning goes right out the window and all we can think about was how hard it felt to get punched! I can’t tell you how much I can relate to this.

I have found that every time this has happened to me, what has gotten me out of it was understanding that these things are going to happen and training for those times.  It has also helped to have advisors and coaches around to remind you of your plan so you don’t give up.

To make a long story short, Holyfield won the fight, even though Tyson had a huge advantage. Not only did Holyfield have a plan but he kept following through with his plan even when get got punched in the mouth. How do you adapt when plans don’t go your way?

Here are some ways to help you stay on plan even with that punch in the mouth:

  1. Don’t abort the whole plan, even if parts of it don’t turn out the way you wanted. Revise the plan you originally started with – do throw the baby out with the bathwater. You might be beat up and completely shell-shocked, but keep moving forward with the plan.
  2. Surround yourself with people who know the plan and those people will be yelling from the sideline encouraging you when all you hear is ringing and your eyesight is blurry. Have a personal coach or a friend that you will listen to when the bell rings and he or she is wiping the blood from your lip. They know the plan and they are there to help you make adjustments because they are seeing your fight from a different perspective.
  3. Sometimes the best thing you can do is go down, regroup and come back like Rocky. How many times have we watched Rocky fall down only to regain his composure and come out victorious? Sometimes human nature needs to get backed up against the ropes in order to come out swinging.

I am confident that no matter how much you have planned there will be something that comes up that will make you adjust your plans. It is just as important to plan for the unexpected as it is to plan for the perfect scenario.

As financial advisors, we put together plans for our clients knowing that things are not going to be perfect and we will be right there in their corner when they get punched in the mouth. It is at that point that our clients understand that we are going to be there for them through thick and thin, during the good times and the bad times – making them clients for life.