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Created 2017-07-14
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Title darlington-nagbe-usa-jersey
Description What is <a title="" href=""></a> , How to & Tips | Small Business Owners – Keep the Faith! Inside Out

The date was February 1981 and I was 17 years old. I always had plenty to say for myself and I had been asked by the editor of the only Judo Magazine produced in the UK to write an article from the perspective of a fighter. I had been playing around with things to talk about but hadnt really settled on anything. I had travelled to Paris for the Tournoi De Paris (Paris Tournament) with the British Judo Team and was one of the youngest members of the squad and in fact one of the youngest fighters competing in the tournament. The Paris Tournament was and still is one of the best Judo Tournaments in the World as the French are fanatical about Judo (their top players are superstars) and are an incredibly knowledgable crowd.

The tournament used to be held in the Pierre Coubertin Stadium which is an oval shaped building holding about 16,000 spectators with two Judo mats in the centre and as always the stadium was packed with a largely partisan French Crowd. I had been fighting all morning and had managed to navigate my way to the quarter finals (which for someone of my age was no mean feat). The competition always breaks for about one hour for lunch before the business end of the tournament begins in the afternoon.

On this particular day I was first to fight after lunch and had made my entrance onto Mat 1, for whatever reason Mat 2 was late to start and so I found myself alone aged 17 in the middle of this magnificent stadium with 16,000 fanatical French spectators – my opponent happened to be a Frenchman and not just any Frenchman this was Serge Dyot, National Champion, European Champion <a title="" href=""></a> , World & Olympic medalist and a massive favorite with the crowd. The moment they called his name the place erupted to the point I really thought the roof would come off. As I stood and looked around at this amazing stadium and incredible crowd (even if they hated me at this point) my immediate thought was how lucky and privileged I was to be able to experience something like this, my next thought was I knew exactly what I was going to write about.

I decided to name the article Inside Out and it was going to be about a fighter and his thoughts and feelings as he watched the crowd rather than most articles which are written by someone in the crowd watching a fighter. Most articles talk about a particular fight or a particular technique or how someones strength or experience won the day but my article was going to focus on the hundreds of tiny things over the past six to eight months that could go wrong or right to effect the outcome of this particular fight. The article would look at how ten years of training and in particular six months of intense training for this specific tournament had all come down to the next five minutes (the length of an individual Judo Contest).

My opponent was older, vastly more experienced, incredibly talented and on home turf and so in reality should have beaten me and beaten me fairly comfortably I did however win the fight. It was at this point my article took on a slightly different slant.

One of the lines I wrote was There is a fine line between wanting to win and not wanting to lose and whilst I was vastly out gunned in most departments my desire to win and reach the top was stronger than my opponents desire to hang on to something he already had. I had nothing to lose where as he had everything to lose and so my complete lack of fear overcame the caution he showed throughout the contest.

The reason I have related this story is because I believe the very same thing happens within business and in fact I have seen it happen within my own business. In the early stage of growth I was fearless, and would react quickly to change, implement new ideas and try new techniques in my pursuit of my dream and vision. Once we reached a certain size and adversity hit (as it always does) my focus was on holding what we had rather than striving forward.

Having dealt with hundreds of small to medium sized businesses I all to often see the same thing happen where people forget all the things that got them the success they were enjoying and replaced it with caution and fear for the lose they might endure. As we are again moving into a deepening recession and even tougher trading environment I wonder how many businesses will die because they stop doing the things that brought them success and start doing things to try and hang onto success?

Paul Sheals spent most of his formative years as a successful international Sportsman. Paul competed for Great Britain at Judo for over 16 years and was lucky enough to win the Commonwealth Games <a title="" href=""></a> , World & European medals as well as numerous National & International titles. For the past twelve years Paul has built a second career and has created a very successful Online Marketing Company with well over 850 clients all of whom are Small Business Owners.
City Hefei
State Other
Gender Not Specified
Breed Not Specified
Country China