Saturday, October 24, 2009

"Knockout Entrepreneur" by George Foreman (with Ken Abraham)

One of the most vivid and inspiring sports memories I have is when I watched the then 45-year-old George Foreman knock out Michael Moorer to regain his title as Boxing Heavy Weight Champion of the World. Since that day, the “Punching Preacher” as they called him has always held a special place in my heart. So when given the opportunity to review his new book “Knockout Entrepreneur” I was happy to do so.

What I found was not far from what I expected. “Knockout Entrepreneur” covers entrepreneurship in the same manner that the QVC commercials covered the George Foreman grill: a bit shallow, a bit campy but for the most part genuine.

Foreman, with the help of celebrity book collaborator Ken Abraham, hits on all the usual topics which every entrepreneurship book seems to rely; the value of honesty, integrity, hard work, perseverance mixed with the obligatory rags to riches stories of real entrepreneurs that we know we’ll have heard of once their name has been revealed at the end. The only real noticeable difference between this book and other entrepreneurship books I’ve read is that Foreman filters all his advice through boxing parallels. No surprise here.

What I did really enjoy about this book were some of the insights into his own life that Foreman gives. The fact that he rose to success with nothing more than a Jr. High education, the fact that he once took on his pet lion as it was trying to attack his brother (and won!) and the fact that he once carried a full grown cow on his shoulders). I will admit, some of his stories that were meant to inspire seemed a bit like justifications for things that have gone publically wrong in his boxing career (he had the opportunity to knock out Holyfield in his moment of weakness but had dreamed the night before that he killed him so he didn’t take the opportunity, or that he could have gotten up when Ali knocked him out in the Rumble in the Jungle, but that he was waiting for his corner man to tell him to get up and didn’t hear the count.)

If you’ve ever thought about being your own boss, this might be a good book to start with. It’s definitely not a complete and infallible resource, but it is fun, and that’s what I expected from George. In all truthfulness, what I really took from this book is that George Foreman is still a guy that I can look up to and would enjoy reading more about (I’m going to look and see if they have “By George” or “God in My Corner” at the local library as soon as I finish writing this up.)

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