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From Gloves to Grills: How George Foreman Built His Empire

Photo: Courtesy of the Walking Company

In 1994, at the age of 45, Foreman became boxing’s oldest heavyweight champion after defeating 26-year-old Michael Moorer. He argued that his success was due to healthy eating, which made him a perfect fit for Salton, Inc., who was looking for a spokesperson for its fat-reducing grill.

Following advice

Foreman recalls acting as a sponge his first few years in business, absorbing as much information from his peers as possible. “At first I was afraid to ask questions, so I just listened. I listened to everything that I could,” he recalls. “I learned everything I know just by paying attention to people around me.”

To date, more than 100 million George Foreman Lean Mean Grilling Machines have been sold worldwide — transforming what was once a small business into a global empire.

“Small business is what moves this country,” Foreman states. He’s right — according to a recent survey by the U.S. Small Business Administration, there are 28.8 million small businesses in the United States, which account for 99.7 percent of all business in the country. “If you learn to sell, you will never starve.”

Fight for success

Recently, Foreman capitalized on his entrepreneurial success by endorsing InventHelp, the company responsible for INPEX (Invention and New Product Exposition), America’s largest invention trade show. His advice for new entrepreneurs struggling to absorb the punches of starting a new business? Lace your gloves and put up a fight.

“In boxing, you might make the first round, you might get knocked down, or you might get booed, but it doesn’t mean that you give away the fight,” he explains. “That’s the way it is in business. You knock on a hundred doors — maybe the door will slam in your face, but if you keep knocking, one will eventually open up.”

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