Follow the Tae Kwon Do Philosophy to Improve Your Business

February 22, 2012 by  Filed under: Marketing 

I am constantly on the look-out for ways to take ideas in other businesses, incorporate them into my consulting practice and more importantly use them in my life. This cross-pollination of ideas from one industry to another is a very powerful business development tool. Recently, I had the opportunity to do just that when I took my 12 year old daughter, Angela, to a trial Tae Kwon Do lesson.

I didn’t know much about Tae Kwon Do other than it was a form of self-defense. Actually, I didn’t even know how to spell Tae Kwon Do. I grew up in a time when Karate (much easier to spell) was the form of martial arts that was the most familiar and popular.

But, in 30 minutes I learned a great deal about Tae Kwon Do. Tae Kwon Do is the Korean art of self-defense. Literally translated, TAE means kick or to strike with the foot, KWON means fist or to strike with the hand, DO means discipline or art.

More importantly, I learned that it is much more than only the physical aspects that make Tae Kwon Do very valuable to a persons life. It is an action philosophy defining simple principles about how to be successful at anything we do in life. The system taught by Master Pina, the owner of Boston Tae Kwon Do in Abington, Massachusetts, includes mental discipline which includes a way to conduct one’s life that transcends the physical benefits achieved by attending classes.

Master Pina explained to Angela (and me) that there are three fundamental principles or habits that all members who attend Boston Tae Kwon Do are expected to practice and use in their daily activities:

  1. Focus
  2. Respect
  3. Discipline

Focus refers to understanding the things you need to do to be successful at Tae Kwon Do and at other aspects of life. It refers to ‘being present’, staying in the moment. I translate this to what I refer to as managing your mind. There is nothing more important to becoming successful at anything you do in life than to develop this focus or this ‘fire in the belly’ or the ‘eye of the tiger’ attitude to reach the goals you set for yourself. Your attitude always determines your altitude.

Respect not only refers to giving respect to others but also respect for yourself. In my world respect is the ability to practice the Golden Rule everyday in every situation. The Golden Rule is the practice of behaving towards others in business and life as you would have others behave to you. This has also been called the code of reciprocity.

Discipline according to Master Pina is the ability to do the actions necessary to be a ‘master’ at something; whether that is excelling at Tae Kwon Do, sports or school studies. Most people do only what they find pleasurable rather than doing the necessary things to become successful at a particular activity. I translate this word to mean commitment.

Being committed to doing whatever it takes to be successful and persisting when the going gets rough. There are identifiable ‘success habits’ for everything we do in life. One of the keys is to identify these specific success habits and consistently apply them over a long period of time.

On our ride home, Angela said she didn’t want to join the Tae Kwon Do program.

Fortunately, my response was a bit more controlled than my initial reaction to her comment. I explained to Angela, that whether or not she decided to commit to joining the Tae Kwon Do wasn’t the important thing. What was important in my mind, was that she follow the principles outlined by Master Pina in anything she did decide to do, relationships, school, work, etc.

Angela responded, “I think everybody should think and act this way”.

Simple. Isn’t it?

Think differently and achieve amazing results.


Joe Costantino is a business development consultant, coach and trainer who helps committed coaches, consultants and independent professionals grow and improve their practices. He does this by helping them create and install marketing, sales and business development systems into their practices.

You can download your free 34 page e-book, Powering Up Your Practice, visit This e-book helps coaches, consultants and independent professionals identify the 7 steps to turning their professional expertise into money, magnificence and meaning.

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