Martial Arts Lessons for Business – Strive for Perfections

It takes years to achieve black belt status.  In a proper martial arts school, even stepping between belts takes an extremely long time.  You have to practice, practice, and practice punches, kicks, blocks, stances, etc…. over and over again to ensure you have the proper execution.  It must be engrained into your mind through diligent work to ensure proper use when needing it in what may be a self-defense situation.

This process is closely related to managing projects.  You go through the same steps in project management over and over again with different requirements and environments.   It seems like constant repetition on projects to ensure things run smoothly.

Just as in defending yourself in case of an attack, projects will be attacked from circumstances beyond your control.  Due to the striving for perfection from practice, you can remain calm and execute your tasks as close to perfection as you possibly can.

Along with classes, I have training DVD’s for karate.  For project management, I took classes in graduate school, done online courses, and have even test for project management certification.   Both take the same style of training.

So as I strive for perfection and hopefully an eventual black belt, I hope to gain the same expertise in my job in leading projects.

Martial Arts Lessons for Business – Focus

You got to be focused on what you are doing when you possibly could have a fist or foot coming at you.  We spar and do walkthroughs with partners which improve our techniques.  A co-worker does ju-jitsu which is a lot more contact than we have.  You have to be focused on your task and evaluate your openings to maximize your techniques when sparring.

In business, you do the exact same thing.  Focus on your project and watch for openings where you could drastically improve tasks.   When we get new business in, we may be working with people who have lost the work.  This puts a very high stress level on the working relationship including times when the people you are working with will be laid off due to the loss of the business.

From our side, we focus on the work and watch for any way to improve our work on our side based upon how they are willing to give us the data.  We must succeed and work in a way the client needs us too due to we will have a relationship with them for years to come.

Martial Arts Lessons for Business – Exercise

Karate is a great way to exercise.  To succeed in business for any length of time, I feel you have to work on your mind, body, and spirit.  Karate is an exercise that benefits your body, but it does help with the mind and spirit.

We go through a 90-minute class, and I am dripping sweat after the first 30 minutes which is just warming up.  On the other 5 nights a week, I do try to take roughly 30 minutes a night to walk through the techniques and forms which I currently know.

I start regularly working by 7 in the morning.  I work throughout the day with a minimal break for lunch.  Most days, it is not unusual to have pretty much sat there in front of a computer for 10+ hours.  Karate is a nice break after work to get the mind back in order.  Good exercise to free up the mind.

To me, I am a better programmer with doing karate to keep my mind from snapping when I sit in front of a monitor all day.

Martial Arts Lessons for Business – Why do it?

I am in my third go-around with martial arts by taking karate.  I am taking it with my youngest daughter now.  After college, I took Tai Kwan Do.  With my oldest, I took karate 10+ years ago then the youngest came along, and time was too tight to continue.  This week, I thought I would write about how karate helps me in the business world.

Why do I do karate?  First, I do it to bond with my youngest daughter.  What a perfect opportunity to have father daughter time together.  She wanted to do it, and I wanted to spend more quality time with her.  So the number one reason to do it would be her.

There are many other reasons I would do it, but with time constraints of a family, you have to look at stuff that would benefit the kids first.

Isn’t this just like business?  We have to set our priorities on what is important.  Spending time with my daughter on something that improves her is a great way to utilize my time.

Currently, our plate is full at work on business coming in.  I have to prioritize my time there.  What is important?  How can I carve out valuable time to get a project done?  In the case of karate, I have a standing date with my daughter twice a week that is important to our relationship.

Going unplugged

At times, I go unplugged.  I do not have a smart phone, so I cannot constantly check my e-mail, facebook, or the internet.  I do have tablets, laptops, and desktops to do my work, but I just need the unplugged time.  To keep myself enjoying what I do, I get away from it.

Darren Hardy of Success magazine talks about using your time wisely.  With the unplugged time, it keeps me focused on what is important in life.  Today, I worked at my regular job 12 hours.  I needed the time away from the gadgets, so I could do this blog.  In between the work and the blog though, I did stuff with my youngest.

I skipped a week of blogging to get the Winchester EMS website up and running, but it needs reviewed first.  Next week, I am hoping to talk about it here.

I know this week’s blogging was short, but after 12 hours, I am dead tired.

Doing what you love

America is still a land that a person at any level in life could rise to the top.  I must admit I feel like we are overregulated as a country which would spawn entrepreneurship if officials would lighten up.  Everybody deserves a chance to do something they love.

My father farmed until the day he died.  Cannot imagine him going out any other way, and I salute God for calling him home when he could still work.  I hope I can live a long life and continue to do what I love all the way through it.

I wonder if the rise in both physical and mental illness currently sweeping the nation is from people unable to do work they love.  Not having a job to go work at, enjoy, and feel like making a contribution to the world.  With insurance costs sky rocketing as well as everything else (food, shelter, gas), people are taking jobs they may not like just to make ends meet.

Even doing something they enjoy on the side is too much due to all the stress they are under.

My hope for this nation in the future is for the regulation would be lessened, economy would get better, and people would be able to follow their dreams.  Make a living at something they love to do.

14 Year Anniversary

I love to program.  Been being paid for doing it for 24 years.  Been at my current job for 14 years.  Today was one of those days though the pressure mounted, but at the end of the day, delivered what needed to be done.

I cannot complain about doing something I love to do which is programming.  Wish the benefits were better and the pay higher, but that is currently in every job.

At the end of the day, it is great to work out of the sun room, look out over the fields, and appreciate life doing something you love to do.

Rising to the next level

Going through college experiences now that I have kids that age, I find myself reminded of my own college days and the lessons I have learned since then.  One happened to be with one of my favorite professors.

I took calculus all three semesters, every morning at 8, every day.  The math professor was great who taught it.  It was a small class, because you do not get that many at 8 AM.

He had taken everything for his doctorate, but he did not finish his thesis.  He and the professor over his thesis disagreed.  He refused to change it due to believing the professor was wrong.  Honestly, I would bet my professor was correct.

Being 14 years in the large corporate world, I have learned to respect the chain of command, and at times, you plow forward like it is the charge of the light brigade.

Being in my 20’s, I would not have changed the thesis like my professor did.  Being in my 40’s, I would have just to gotten the doctorate after working so hard for it.   Sometimes, you got to suck it up, lose a battle, but attain the goal in the end.