Mike Lee, a world-renowned boxer with an incredible track record shares with us his struggles in the early days of a boxing career, to make a stunning discovery on the power of visualization to putting up a business that’s very close to his heart. We had the opportunity to get Mike to spill out the technique that helped him win in boxing, and in life.
The Power of Visualization from Ring to Life
COACH JIMMY: Coach Jimmy here, with professional fighter Mike Lee. He’s undefeated in the ring and in business. He’s going to teach you how to do it yourself. So, as a professional fighter, how has visualization helped you?
MIKE LEE: It’s helped me immensely. I mean, right now I am 21-0. I’m already third in the world, so it’s crazy. I have had the chance to be around some of the best athletes — guys that I’ve trained with, NFL, fighters. I have had this front-row seat into what separates good from great.
And so, I started going. My agent actually sent me to a sports psychologist earlier in my career. I was thinking to myself, “Why am I going to this guy? I’m not crazy.”
COACH JIMMY: And how early in your career is this? You’re already having success obviously.
MIKE: I was already having success, but I was maybe 2-0, 3-0.
COACH JIMMY: And because you had already had success, did you feel like you needed that? Or did you just go in reluctantly?
MIKE: I went in reluctantly. That’s the best way to put it. I went in thinking “Do they think I’m crazy?” “Why am I going to see someone?” And he started to open my mind. And it was really from that, that I started to read more books and learn that your brain doesn’t know the difference between perception and reality.
And if you can trick it into that, you can lower cortisol levels, you can bring stress down, you can increase testosterone. And so that’s really when I started playing these mind games, and boxing. I am literally stepping into a ring in front of thousands of people and I am risking my life. So, your adrenaline, your cortisol, your heart rate is through the roof.
What makes Floyd Mayweather, Muhammad Ali, the greatest athletes who ever existed is their resting heart rate before is incredibly low. It’s funny, even, we always get blood pressure and heart rate tested. The doctors test us in the dressing room. They always say this to me, “Wow, your heart rate is really low.”
COACH JIMMY: Are they concerned?
MIKE: No, they’re excited. They know that I’m not nervous. I’m always a little nervous about performing, but it’s not that elevated heart rate.
No matter how much you fake it the heart rate doesn’t lie. So, I’ve learned all these little techniques on how to basically bring the heart rate down. Now I am just trying to apply it to other things in life, like when I’m speaking on stage.
COACH JIMMY: Both in the ring and out of the ring, how do you react when something unexpected happens? When stress comes up, do you find that your fight or flight mentality is different even in day to day life? Do you feel like you react differently, now after learning this training in just day to day life?
MIKE: I do. Whether it’s a four-seven-eight breathing technique that I do or visualization technique, these past few years in my life, I took that technique from boxing and applied it to life. It has really slowed things down for me. I used to be so scared of public speaking. I have spoken in front of ten thousand people, or fifty people. I started playing these games where I would close my eyes, and literally think of what the fight is going to look like, what it will smell like, what the blood in my mouth is going to taste like. I play a virtual reality game to get me there. It was crazy. I’d go from being so nervous and I’d step in the ring and be like, ‘I’ve already been here 300 times.’.
COACH JIMMY: There’s almost deja vu, and it feels like nothing surprises you. So, if you do take that shot, or you taste the blood, there is not that panic that rolls over you, right?
MIKE: The panic doesn’t roll over me because I feel like I have been there so many times. That’s what my last fight on CBS for a junior world title, that got me to number three in the world.
The second round, I broke my rib. I got hit with a rib shot so bad, and I couldn’t breathe. For 8 more rounds, I had to go through that pain. And I still won, and I guarantee it’s because mentally I went through so much preparation. I knew in my heart, “OK, do whatever you have to do to win these rounds.”
So, I was extremely calm even though I was so injured. I think most fighters, most people in general, just freak out, but I already knew in my head this is okay. We’re just gonna keep flowing. Let’s score points.
COACH JIMMY: For most people, panic takes over right there.
MIKE: Yeah, especially with a rib injury, you start breathing heavy. It only exacerbates the pain. And so you can see in the fight I was still round 7, round 8 and I’m smiling.
I’m faking it, and then Teddy Atlas got in the ring and he was interviewing me. I was in so much pain, I could barely talk.
COACH JIMMY: They always talk about adrenaline taking over, but this seems more like it was the reps you had done mentally.
MIKE: I think so. I think adrenaline is an incredible factor. But I have buddies that are playing in a league right now, that during that moment they are so in the zone. It’s not just adrenaline. They are so in the zone and dialed in that they can play through those types of things. Then you see them on Monday or Tuesday–
COACH JIMMY: And they can’t walk.
MIKE: They can’t walk, or they are like “dude, I can’t even feel my neck right now.”
Mike Lee’s Business Venture on Alternative Medicine
COACH JIMMY: So, let me ask. In business you and you’re sister Angie recently launched a new company, right?
MIKE: Yeah, so we launched Soul CBD. This came from the love of alternative medicine. As an athlete, it’s easy to get pain pills and written all that kind of stuff.
COACH JIMMY: You hear about it all the time. Not necessarily drugs and alcohol, like we think about it. But they’re addicted to pain medication, right?
MIKE: Exactly 100 percent. The opioid crisis is incredible. I knew after taking a lot of painkillers early in my career, that this wasn’t the way.
I started to learn about more things about diet, meditation, and then I learned about CBD. The testimonies are incredible, from people getting less anxiety and having less pain. We have a cream, a tincture, and we’ve just started. It’s been fun growing this business, but what has been so cool is getting these messages from people. Whether it’s a couple of buddies who play for the Lions, and they’re like “man, I love the cream,” or girls here at Angie’s event that are like, “I didn’t have anxiety when I got on a plane.”
The Importance of Visualization on Business
COACH JIMMY: That’s big, though that seems small to some people. That changes someone’s life — to be able to get on a plane or get to an event like this. I wanted to tie this in is. Starting a business can be challenging, right?
COACH JIMMY: There are lots of ups and downs. Where has this visualization and things you’ve learned in the ring on how to deal with stress served you in starting this business?
MIKE: Well, it’s helped me in, whether it’s meetings that I was nervous about, but most importantly in visualizing where I want the business to go. That’s been really important to me. Breaking it down with extreme clarity, and getting that feeling when I am selling or when I am pitching. Right now, when I am talking about the product, I feel like I have already done it so many times.
People can tell when you’re authentic and when it’s just coming out naturally. So, if anything for me it’s just about that muscle memory. In boxing, I know what it is like to get hit so hard you fall down. That’s what an entrepreneur deals with, non-stop. So, if I can deal with a broken rib in front of twenty-thousand people, then I can handle a few bad days as a business owner.
COACH JIMMY: That’s great. So, people are interested in learning more about you and your business. Let the audience know where can they find you?
MIKE: My name is Mike Lee. I am @officialmikelee on Instagram. My CBD company is Soul CBD, and I am just happy to be here at It Pays to Be Brave. My sister Angie Lee, has an incredible podcast, the Angie Lee Show. She brings amazing people together. This isn’t about me this weekend. I’m proud to be a part of this amazing weekend, and these amazing people.
COACH JIMMY: This is why Mike and I are friends now, because Angie started that.