While the younger generation may mainly remember him for his role in the movie The Hangover, “Iron Mike” Tyson is known by the rest of us for being the greatest heavyweight boxer of time. At RYNOx 2022, Mike joined as our headline speaker to have a candid conversation with To The Point host and RYNO Strategic Solutions CEO Chris Yano about life, business, and what it means to be great.
You’ve certainly heard of Mike Tyson, if not for boxing, for one of his many hundreds of other ventures, celebrity appearances, and other media presence. Also known as “Kid Dynamite” and eventually The Baddest Man on the Planet, Tyson holds multiple records in his Hall of Fame boxing career. He has also been in several movies, hosted his own podcast, had his own cartoon, and even made an appearance on a Madonna song.
There’s plenty of incredible stories and facts about Mike Tyson’s life even if you don’t include his record-filled boxing career. What you may not know is that Mike is also a father, a deep-thinker, and a successful businessman. In many eyes, he is one of the most talented and hard-hitting boxers in the entire history of the sport. Now, Mike has his eyes set on being great in business and with his loved ones.
Right now, Mike is deep into making his cannabis company, Tyson 2.0, the best it can be. Of course, learning how to run a business is quite different than the ins and outs of boxing. What isn’t different? What it takes to be great. Mike may not be that ferocious physical fighter he was 20 years ago, but that fighting spirit is still very much an integral part of his identity. He considers himself the face of cannabis, and plays the part by not just promoting and working on his business, but being an avid supporter and enjoyer of the product. He understands what it takes to be the greatest, and isn’t willing to settle for anything less.
Chris asked Mike straight up, “what does it take to truly be the best?” Mike’s answer is simple, yet rings true. To be the best, it requires total sacrifice. Mike expands a bit, however. He thinks back to his days of boxing, and says that whatever you love to do and whatever makes you happy, you have to stop it. It’s focusing on your goal of being the best, and nothing else. It’s your entire life; your entire existence. He says being the greatest means loving your goals so much that you risk your happiness for it. Now, that may sound extreme because it is. But it’s quite the insight to what it took Mike Tyson to become one of the greatest athletes the world has ever seen.
In order to achieve your goals, Mike continues, it takes a great deal of discipline. Discipline according to Mike means doing what you hate to do, but doing it like you love it. He remembers years of getting up a 5 AM to run 5 miles, coming back to the gym and doing countless push-ups and sit-ups, then sparring, and then doing it all over again. It’s about having the discipline and willingness to sacrifice it all to get what you want, even on the days you don’t want to. In fact, Mike says those days are the ones you push yourself the hardest. Consistency, Mike states, kicks determination’s ass.
Mike is someone who started, as he says, “from the gutter”, and worked his up to greatness. He understands not just how to be the best in the world at something, but how to take a punch and keep going…literally and figuratively. That brings us to his legacy. Mike Tyson as a name and brand is still relevant today. Everyone knows who he is. But when asked what he wants his legacy to be, Mike gave an interesting answer.
Mike Tyson isn’t worried about his legacy. He’s focused on today; the now. He feels that being overly concerned about legacy is the source of ego, and doesn’t know why we put so much importance on some grand legacy. He ponders, why can’t it just be that he was a good father to his children, and that his children were successful? He is aware that his legacy is not just about being a legend in the ring, but also includes his mistakes, his trials, his family, and so much more. He doesn’t want to be remembered as some big conqueror, but rather someone who came from the gutter and never gave up. Now, Mike is focused on simply being the best dad he can be, and growing his business. Down the line, he hopes to start a business with his 7 children.
Mike Tyson’s parting words are something worth remembering: “I don’t care who you are or what you do, you only lose when you give up. Other than that, you still have a chance to win.”