Gloves are off for unusual success tip

  • Sharing advice: Jared Kleinert, left, and Matt Thomas are co-founders of the first Bermuda Entrepreneurship Summit. The event in November is expected to attract about 200 attendees from the island and overseas (Photograph submitted)

    Sharing advice: Jared Kleinert, left, and Matt Thomas are co-founders of the first Bermuda Entrepreneurship Summit. The event in November is expected to attract about 200 attendees from the island and overseas (Photograph submitted)


Learning how to transition in 60 seconds from boxing to playing a game of chess could be one of the more unusual skill sets for life and business success.

However, it has served Matt Thomas well, and as co-founder of the first Bermuda Entrepreneurship Summit he is keen to pass on the potential benefits of the technique to others.

The all-day event on November 21 will also explore entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship. An intrapreneur is someone who has an entrepreneurship mindset within a larger company.

Successful Bermuda entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs, overseas speakers and guests will be at the summit, as will co-founder Jared Kleinert, an award-wining author, TED speaker. He has been named “most connected millennial” by USA Today.

The mash-up between boxing and chess is called chess boxing. It involves players taking part in a round of boxing, having a minute to transition and then playing chess for three minutes, before transitioning back to another round of boxing, and so on.

Mr Thomas will explain to summit attendees the technique that he uses to readjust between the chess and boxing disciplines.

He is a weight division chess boxing world champion and captain of Team USA ChessBoxing. Explaining the technique and why it can be beneficial, he said: “There is this transition between two extremes, and I see that same pattern in other walks of life. It has helped in a lot of other things in my life.

“An example, and one of the things I will share at the summit is the role that breath work and meditation play in chess boxing.”

He and a team-mate, who both won at the world championships, placed a special focus on the one-minute transition between the chess and boxing. They created two breath work techniques and Mr Thomas intends to share these at the summit.

“They are basically two tools that people can use whenever they want to psyche themselves up, bring their heartrate up and bring more oxygen to the brain — or when they want to calm themselves down, get their heart rate down, their adrenalin down, maybe when they are feeling stress or anxiety,” he said.

“It’s something we want to show everyone, so that no matter how they are feeling they can equalise themselves.”

The entrepreneurship summit will feature Bermuda-based Michael Branco, of Fireminds, Suzanne Khan, of Naked Zero; Kidist “Pinky” Emery, of Salon Pink; and Erica Smith, executive director of the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation. International speakers will include Elyse Archer, a personal brand strategist and video confidence creator; and Tim Francis, founder of ProfitFactory.com.

The summit will cover aspects of entrepreneurship, and also intrapreneurship — something that can be beneficial to individuals and to the companies who employ them. Mr Kleinert hopes intrapreneurs and their companies: will be among attendees. He said companies need to look for and build up intrapreneurial team members.

Mr Thomas said: “An intrapreneur is someone who has an entrepreneurship mindset within a larger company. This could be moving into new markets, new offerings. It could be anything — even around finding more efficient or effective ways of doing existing processes.”

He said it was about “not just to be a cog in a wheel and carrying out a certain system that is in place, but empowering them to think outside the box and make suggestions, working on things outside their normal realm of responsibility.”

When asked how the intrapreneurial concept could benefit a company, he explained a manager might say, “Hey, by making this investment into my team this can help the bottom line, because if people are better time managers, better at thinking outside the box, better at coping with stress then all these things are done better for our company — in addition to this person being a part of my team that I care about.”

Mr Kleinert said Bermuda-born Gaynete Jones, another of the event speakers, is a good example of an intrapreneur who had gone on to create an independent career as a bestselling author, motivational speaker and founder of GAME Changing Industries.

She worked at a bank and created a side business that led to her independent success.

When asked if companies should fear losing talented intrapreneurs who end up branching out on their own, Mr Kleinert said: “Organisations should not fear losing team members as a result of them starting a side-hustle. That should be a showcase to how well they have trained them to go out into the world and succeed.

“When Gaynete’s friends go looking for employment, who is she going to recommend? She will recommend the employer that sparked her career and allowed her the space to succeed internally, but also create her side-hustle.”

Mr Kleinert said: “Companies that are really investing in intrapreneurship can benefit in multiple ways, and one of the ways is increased production and effectiveness of their employees.

“Another would be keeping talented team members working at those companies for a longer period of time,

“And a third benefit would be, if and when talented team members do leave an organisation, there are still opportunities to create a partnership with a new entrepreneur, or continue to stay in touch with that team member who may refer new talent back to the organisation.”

He added: “We want to encourage more intrapreneurs to be at this summit, and for companies to make that investment in their staff.”

There will be “business in Bermuda” panels giving a sense of what is going on in terms of how to do business in Bermuda.

Attendees will be able to ask questions and get feedback from some successful entrepreneurs on the island, and international attendees and speakers.

The summit’s sponsors and partners include the Bermuda Business Development Agency, the Hamilton Princess Hotel & Beach Club, Ptix.bm and the BEDC.

Tickets and further information is available at the event website www.BermudaEntrepreneurshipSummit.com. For questions, sponsorship opportunities, or to purchase a bulk ticket package e-mail to contact@BermudaEntrepreneurshipSummit.com

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Published Aug 7, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated Aug 6, 2019 at 7:39 pm)

Gloves are off for unusual success tip

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