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  • Michelle Mekky

How Boxing Made Me a Better Business Woman



Everyone roots for the underdog.


In the movies, they aren’t the most talented, or the richest, and they certainly aren’t the obvious winner. Upon first glance, it seems like there’s no chance they could ever succeed at what they’re trying to accomplish.


But the common thread between underdogs, and why they always end up winning in the movies, is that they work harder than anyone else. They have more grit. They have more passion. They want it more.


I’ve always considered myself an underdog. I haven’t exactly had a smooth road to success. For one, I’m smart, but I had to study six hours longer than any other kid to get A’s in school. Now, as a cancer survivor who wasn’t exactly the most talented one in the room to start out with, the cards have been somewhat stacked against me.


Maybe that’s why some of my favorite movies have always been about boxing. The story is always the same. There’s a prize for the winner of a prestigious competition that two boxers are fighting for, and one boxer is clearly superior. Their opponent has no chance in the world to win, but they are determined to try their best. Ultimately, their grit and desire win out, and they win because their competition got complacent.


These movies are more than inspirational, they reflect the reality of doing business today. Behemoth companies get beat out by small companies all the time, not due to lack of talent, but because the smaller companies have more to lose. So they push the boundaries, think outside the box, and are willing to work as hard as they need to in order to get the job done.


Boxing Meets Entrepreneurship


I’ve taken inspiration from these movies and applied it to my life. I did not think I could possibly go off on my own and start my own business, but I wanted success so badly, and I worked harder than I ever thought I could, and now, somehow I’m doing it.


It’s funny how much overlap I’ve found with boxing movies and my journey in entrepreneurship. Sometimes I think about these movies when I’ve having a particularly rough week at Mekky Media. We only see the happy ending in movies, where the underdog achieves their goal, but I think about their lives after the movie ends. I wonder if they ever stop feeling like an underdog.


My guess is no. “Underdog” is just another word for imposter syndrome. I don’t think I’ll ever stop completely feeling like an underdog, and in some ways, I hope I don’t, because being an underdog is about feeling like you have to work harder than anyone else to achieve the same things.


But being an underdog is also about hope.


You have to have a lot of optimism. You have to believe you have a chance, however small, in order to fight so hard. Otherwise, you wouldn’t fight at all


A part of me thought I wouldn’t succeed at building my own business, but a larger part thought I might. That’s the part that keeps me going. I have a fire burning in me.


Movies Meet Reality


Career aside, personally, I’ve always strived to be fitter. Of course I want to look and feel good, but as a cancer survivor with a bleak family medical history, I can’t be complacent about my health. And it hasn’t been easy. I’ve tried all the diets and fads and workouts, to no avail. I’ve just never felt comfortable in my own body.

Boxing is 100% Mind Over Matter

Discovering Three60Fit has helped me change my perspective on fitness. It’s allowed me to transform my anxious energy into something productive. I go into a class and feel strong afterwards. I bring everything I’ve learned from the boxing movies and my journey through entrepreneurship onto the mat. I punch and kick my stress away and leave feeling strong. It’s not that my desire to look good has gone away—it hasn’t. It’s just that I’ve discovered an outlet where I can focus on the goal at hand. As a result, I achieve things I never thought possible in these sessions. And working with an integrative medical practice like SHIFT has truly helped change my mindset as well.


What I’ve learned from the movies that has turned out to be true in life, is boxing is 100% mind over matter.


Be a Boxer


Boxers are tough. Underdogs are tough. You are tough.


That’s the biggest lesson these movies have taught me—we can overcome any obstacle that’s in front of us if we want it badly enough and we work hard enough. The mountain that’s in front of you won’t grow any bigger, but you can. So rise up to the challenge, don’t take no for an answer, and see where it lands you. Be a fighter.

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An Official Member of the Forbes 2020 Agency Council

2018 Stevie® Award Winner for Women in Business, Entrepreneur of the Year

2019 Golden Trumpet Award Winner for Media Relations and Advocacy 

2019 National Business Enterprise (WBENC) Certified 

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