What Wing Chun Taught Me About Business
Having practiced martial arts since for 31 years – Wing Chun Kung Fu being 23 of those years – it’s no wonder that martial arts creeps into every area of my life. It had me thinking; what lessons has Wing Chun taught me about business & real estate?
– In martial arts, risk management is the actual assessment of the situation (eg taking note of your surroundings, being aware of other potential problems as well as the attacker/s), and actually implementing one’s martial arts (eg physically defending yourself & taking out the threats). This teaches in business to look at your options, often when things have hit the fan. However, the better option is to practice risk avoidance.
– Risk avoidance is being aware of potential dangers and avoiding them in the first place (eg NOT walking blindly down a dark alley where you can see people skulking in the shadows). In my opinion, avoiding a confrontation is the before form of self defence – and the best fighters are the ones that don’t need to fight. In business, this is planning ahead, forecasting, putting money away for when things aren’t going as well etc.
– Relaxation. Fluidity. Continuity. 3 simple terms, tips, aims. Any one of these in Wing Chun are a massive bonus, however put them together and they work like magic. Take this out of martial arts, and insert into your life. How many times have you heard that stress is a killer? Stress kills 120,000 people / year in America alone as a direct result of work-related stress. Stress causes disease (or dis-ease), can weaken the immune system and cause high blood pressure, fatigue, depression, anxiety and even heart disease.
What’s the opposite of stress? Relaxation.
Rigidity doesn’t move, break, or change. When an external force is applied, it retains its shape. In other words, it stays the same. Ever heard of the book by Spencer Johnson called “Who Moved My Cheese?” Change is the only constant, and we must adapt – what happened to United Video? They were offered to join up with Netflix however didn’t think anyone would want to watch tv on their computers. Fluidity is the ability to move & flow. A car engine without fluidity becomes rigid (ie doesn’t go!).
Continuity is just that – continuous. Never ending. What’s the opposite of this? Stopped, broken, unsteady, intermittent, interrupted, wobbly, discontinuous – ending.
Lessons from martial arts ALWAYS apply to life – it just takes time to see HOW.
– Hopefully this is easy to see how it can work in business: stress = bad. Relax, find the path of least resistance (eg out source what you’re worst at so you can concentrate on what you’re best at)
– In martial arts and in business, often your biggest competition is yourself. Is your mindset your enemy, or your asset? Self discipline will help you in all areas of your life.
– There’s a saying which is very relevant: growth is outside of your comfort zone. Applies to Wing Chun just as much as it does business.
There’s plenty more; maybe you’ve got some ideas yourself!