Your body can do anything your brain will allow….

A few weeks ago I came to this realization. Even at 55, my body can achieve a level of fitness that I could not have imagined even a few months ago.  The problem was, my brain would not let me get there.

It got me thinking about the parallels between boxing and entrepreneurship.

In 1995 I did my first true startup. I was 33 years old, didn’t really have any money, had 3-year-old twin daughters, had never run a company and had never raised capital. What I did have was an idea for software that would help marketing professionals make smarter and more effective decisions.

Basically it was an enormous risk based simply on an idea, but I didn’t really know any better, so my brain didn’t get in the way. I just did it.

I was lucky… it worked. We launched our product in mid 1996. Within a couple of months, we had added ten Fortune 500 companies to our client list and were off to the races!  After raising venture money, we scaled the business, hit our numbers every quarter (25 in a row) and went public in 1998.

Today, with 20 years of industry experience under my belt, I don’t know if my brain would allow me do something so risky again.

Which brings us back to boxing. When I started getting into it, I didn’t really know anything about it.  I was in what I thought was decent shape, but I was so wrong!

As I continue training for my Haymakers for Hope fight on May 17th, the biggest barrier I have is in my mind. It keeps telling me that I can’t get to the next level. But with every training session, it becomes more clear to me that if I just push forward and believe, I will get there.

That said there are a few practical parallels that can impact the likelihood of success.

  1. Have great people around you. When I started my company I was self-aware enough to know that there where many things I didn’t know. I hired a great COO and CTO, found great investors and had an amazing team of employees. In the boxing ring it’s the same thing. I wouldn’t be anywhere without my trainers Kevin Cobbs and Chris DaVega. They are constantly working on my mind and body. Additionally, there is an amazing community of people at my gym “Everybody Fights” who are always available with advice and encouragement.
  2. Know your goal and have a plan to meet it. Similar to building a business, in boxing there are no short cuts. There are days when it’s going to be very hard. If you just jump to a new plan after a bad day, you will surely fail.
  3. Learn from your failures. When something doesn’t work, make sure you step back with your team and understand why it didn’t work. Do this often and be brutally honest.
  4. Celebrate your successes. This seems obvious, but I believe it is not done enough throughout a long and arduous process when the end goal seems so far down the road. I don’t know if I will be successful in my fight on May 17th, just like I didn’t know 20 years ago if my software idea would ever come to fruition.  But I feel good about the progress I am marking.  I try, as best as I can, to celebrate each milestone that I reach.


Training Update:

This is a picture of  the Everybody Fights crew (with trainers) who are fighting in Haymakers for Hope after we passed an insane 2+ hour fitness test.  Down 31 pounds need to lose at least 4 more.  Please consider a donation at

Everybody has a plan… until they get punched in the face.

My trainers, Chris and Kevin, say this all the time about developing a strategy for a fight.  Based on my experience sparring over the last couple of months, I agree completely. To be clear, getting punched hard in the face is not a lot of fun, but it is part boxing.  To be successful, once you get punched you need to keep your composure and stick to your plan.  If you just react, the only thing that happens is you get punched in the face again.


This realization got me thinking, once again, about the parallels between boxing and business. We have all had the equivalent of getting punched in the face in business; a missed quarter, delayed project deliverables, lost deals, lost clients, pissed off board members…


In each of these cases, I have sometimes done the “quick to react thing”.


  • Miss a quarter – fire the VP of sales
  • Miss a tech deliverable – blow the project up and go back to old technology
  • Lose a client – blame the client lead.
  • Etc. etc. etc.

Sometimes these actions are necessary, but when taken outside the context of a well-developed strategy, they often create even more damage than the event itself.

Like in boxing, business strategies need to evolve and adapt based on the competition and the circumstances; however, that evolution needs to be based on your team, experience, process and data. It cannot be simply the reaction to a bad event.

I have had 30 plus years of both good and bad business experiences through which I have learned how to adapt, change and respond.  I like to think I am pretty good at it.

To date, I have only had 4 months of training to learn how to do this in the boxing ring.  We shall see how this goes, but the experience is amazing.

Training Update:

I am just about half way thru my training. I have lost about 25 pounds, continue to work on my skills (particularly not getting punched in the face), and discover with each training session that my body can do almost anything my mind will allow it to.

Please consider supporting me by making a donation through  I am directing all funds raised on my behalf to help Dana Faber expand their geographic reach.



#KOcancer #haymakers4hope #ebf #fitnessafterfifty

Haymakers for Hope….How did I get here?

About 15 months ago, I left Epsilon and decided that after 30+ years of growing companies, it was time to take some time off.  (The fact that I had a non-compete didn’t leave me with much of a choice!).  Finding myself in this circumstance I handled it like most people my age would… I came up with a list of “non-work” things to focus on.

My list included spending a month skiing in Utah (great experience), improving my golf game (some progress but continues to be a lifelong challenge), learning to code again (logic came back pretty fast, syntax not so much, I am not sure if that’s an age thing or that the documentation is all online)

Of course, getting healthier was also prominent on my list.  I had religiously worked out over the prior 15 years, but after turning 50 I seemed to be getting slower and weaker every year.

Juli and I had recently moved into Boston from the suburbs and I joined Everybody Fights (EBF), ‪  George Forman’s gym in Southie. @everybodyfights

I had no interest or experience in boxing (apart from the occasional fraternity fight in college) but it was a cool gym and a great environment.  With the luxury of more time to  focus, I learned that improved fitness after 50 IS possible.  I lost weight and got stronger and faster. My awesome trainer, Lisa Healy, introduced me to some of the boxing trainers and boxers and they encouraged me to give it a try.

I thought it would be an interesting way to train and mix up my workouts.  I was right.  Boxing is the best way to get really fit. The combination of physical exertion and concentration required to get in the ring and fight is remarkable.

I work with Kevin Cobbs, (“The Bully”) a professional fighter who is now not only my trainer but also a friend. He and others from the EBF boxing community (Edwin Daniel FriasChris DaVeiga, Jess Cobbs and many others) have provided me with great insight and advice on boxing and fitness.

What I didn’t expect to find in this community of boxers, is that they are some of the most humble, thoughtful and purposeful people I have ever met. Developing friendships with them has been an unexpected benefit and great addition to my life.

Their perspective on life, how to set and commit to goals became influential as I refined my plans to renter the workforce last fall.

After being CEO of Epsilon, one of the largest marketing and advertising companies in the world, I had lots of interesting opportunities; however, I resisted the temptation to jump at the first high profile job that came along. Instead, I decided to think through what was truly best for me and my family at this point in my career and my life.  I still love data and marketing and have found a combination of roles (led by the great opportunity at Cybba) that allow me to do things I really enjoy.

Which brings us back to boxing and Haymakers for Hope

I felt that to fully experience the boxing culture, I actually had to fight in a real fight. The team at EBF introduced me to the Haymakers team.  Haymakers run amateur USA Boxing events in Boston, NYC and Denver to raise money to fight cancer (over $8,000,000 to date). I was lucky enough (I think) to be selected to fight in Boston on May 17th at the House of Blues.  Based on all of the Haymakers alumni I have met, the next four months promise to be an amazing experience.

Follow me on my blog, Twitter @AndyFrawleyCEO,  or Facebook, Andy Frawley where I will be updating my training progress.  Most importantly check out the fight page at to donate.  I hope to raise a bunch of money to #KOcancer so donate big to support the cause and also come to the fight on May 17th.

Thank you in advance for your support.


`#KOcancer #EBF #haymaker4hope