William G. Cummings, President, Cummings Financial Organization, Inc.


I recently had the distinct pleasure to listen to a great speaker at a conference.  I thought it would be the same, blah, blah, economic or business update.  Boy, was I surprised.  The speaker’s name was Anthony Robles and he was a wrestler at Mesa High School with a 96-0 record, a 2-time Arizona State Champion and a high school National Champion. After high school, he walked onto the Arizona State University wrestling team to prove to them, and to the world, that anything was possible. Through trials and hardships, both on and off the wrestling mat, he finished as a 3-time All-American and the 2011 NCAA National Champion in his weight class. Sounds impressive, doesn’t it?  What you don’t know was that he was only born with one leg.  Do you think he had some challenges in his life?  He wrote about his experiences in his book titled “UNSTOPPABLE.”  I took notes from his speech as I tried to relate it to my business and personal life. 

On a personal level, he had far greater challenges than I did to overcome, but I had my share as well.   As a former CFO of a large company, and now the owner of my own boutique financial services firm, I come across many business challenges.  From increasing sales, to dealing with employees, to owner burnout.  Nevertheless, I started to see a parallel in the advice he was giving about what it took to win with what I think it takes to be a successful business owner.  Here a few of my takeaways:

  • You have to make a commitment to do the right things.
  • You have to practice the fundamentals over and over.
  • It is a long term commitment.
  • You have to surround yourself with people  who have your best interests in mind
  • You have to have a coach who will help you when times are good and bad, and be able to tell you the truth.
  • Never quit.
  • There are no quick fixes.
  • Set high goals.
  • Believe in your goals.
  • There are always fierce competitors, so you better practice at being excellent.

I could go on and on the similarities.  I did ask him if he thought he would have won the NCAA Championship if he had two legs; his answer, “I don’t deal in what ifs or things I can’t change.”  Great words to live by.

Part of the joy of being a business owner is that you have control over your own success.  The principles above apply to you, whether you’re a business owner or busy executive, and have proven true for sports, business and politics for centuries. So, make a commitment to follow these principles and see how much you grow.

About the Author

William (Bill) is President and Owner of Cummings Financial Organization. He has been in the financial services business for over 24 years, helping his clients make sound financial decisions. For more information, visit http://www.williamcummingscfo.com