Laila Ali Let’s Work Ethic, Not Legacy, Dictate Her Success (Exclusive) - Black Enterprise

Laila Ali Let’s Work Ethic, Not Legacy, Dictate Her Success (Exclusive)

Laila Ali
Image: Laila Ali

We’ve seen Laila Ali’s incredible success as a world champion female boxer, but do we know how she actually got there? A lot of us would attribute it to her father but she begs to differ. Ali recently sat down with Impact Theory host Tom Bilyeu to chat about how her work ethic played a massive role in her success with both boxing and her other endeavors. 

“I have a work ethic where I have really high expectations of myself and I work hard. There’s something that I’m going to eventually get good at if I’m going to keep doing it,” said Ali. “Even with my fights; I didn’t judge my fight after I knocked somebody out. I didn’t go, ‘Oh, look how great I did.‘ I’m watching the tape like, let me see what I can do better next time.”

Laila Ali and Tom Bilyeu
(Image: Laila Ali and Tom Bilyeu)

A lot of times people see her success and assume because of her roots, she was blessed with golden hands and yes, some of that may be true, but she still had to put in the work. 

“Obviously growing up Muhammad Ali’s daughter, I’ve been inspired by my father in a lot of ways to give back and that’s what ultimately helped me make the decision to box. I had to not be selfish because my reasons for not wanting to be public where kind of selfish, like you know, I don’t want to be bothered and I don’t want to be that Hollywood-type person,” said Ali. “But I think when you can be authentic and you can be unguarded, you have a story to tell. You kind of do it over and over again, [and] you just get better at it.”

Rules to live by. Watch the clip below and stay tuned for the full episode, here.


Sequoia BlodgettSequoia Blodgett is the Technology Editor for Black Enterprise, Silicon Valley. She is also the founder of 7AM, a lifestyle, media platform, focused on personal development, guided by informed pop culture.