Secrets of George Foreman's success

September 7, 2009 8:46:37 PM PDT
A well-known Houstonian known for his knockouts from the boxing ring to the business world is sharing his secrets of success with everyone.When you have the chance to have a one-on-one interview with popular boxer turned businessman George Foreman it's hard to know just where to begin. The man has not only had tremendous success in the boxing ring but in business, as a pastor and at life in general. But it didn't come easy.

Foreman was born in Marshall, Texas to a very poor family. When they moved to Houston he turned to a hard life on the streets. It was a job corps program for troubled kids that turned that toughness towards boxing.

Foreman said, "All I wanted was to get out there and get a Golden Glove tournament so I could take it back to Houston and show everybody, 'Look I'm the best street fighter alive.'"

He rapidly established an impressive record, winning a gold medal at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. Five years later he won his first world heavyweight championship.

"I decided to be heavyweight champion of the world so I could take care of my family," Foreman explained.

The tide would turn again when Foreman says a religious experience changed his life. He became an ordained minister and opened a youth center.

"Always a little prayer," he advised. "It doesn't matter what you achieve, don't forget about the power of prayer."

The champion would later go back to the ring to raise more money for the center, becoming the oldest fighter ever to win the heavyweight crown at 45. Some 15 years later, the crowds are still cheering. Foreman recently spoke at Rice University about his boxing career, his new book "Knockout Entrepreneur" and the grill that bears his name.

"I meet people all the time and their parents are trying to explain, this is George Foreman, he was an Olympic Gold Medalist, he was Heavyweight Champion of the World," Foreman said. "A little six-year-old kid will say, that's the cooking man."

He discovered he had a talent to sell. While there were hopes of selling 150,000 George Foreman grills, to date he's sold more than 100 million.

"Even in London it's the most successful electric appliance ever," he said.

The businessman is also quite the family man. Three of his ten children attended his Rice University speech, and so he took the opportunity to explain why all five of his sons are named George.

He said, "Mohammed Ali, Evander Holyfield, Michael Moore? You let those guys hit you on the head and see how many names you can come up with."

Foreman's daughter Freeda has thrown a few punches in the ring and George III recently started a boxing career too.

In his new book the former champ says there are many parallels between boxing, business and life, especially when you are the one on the ground.

Foreman said, "Understand that there is nothing wrong with being down, because sometimes the farther down you are you see nothing but stars and you can reach for those stars that you can see."

Foreman says he felt the timing to release this book was good and that many readers may feel knocked down during the economic recession.

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