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Over the weekend, “The Notorious” Conor McGregor lost a fight *gasp*

If you’ve hopped on the UFC bandwagon recently, you might be confused into thinking this is new. Seasoned viewers will know it’s not the first fight he’s lost and there’s no reason to suggest it will be the last.

In fact, McGregor has lost twice before – the latest has his professional record standing at 19-3. That’s 19 wins and 3 losses (7-1 in the UFC).

Conor has legions of fans, but for every fan there’s an armchair critic. People accuse him of being:

“Crass”
“Rude”
“Brash”
“Disrespectful”
“A show off”
“All talk”

They revel in his defeat.

A man that came from absolutely nothing, but through hard work, discipline, obsession to his craft and unwavering belief finds himself selling the biggest gates in UFC history, standing toe to toe and trading blows with a guy two weight classes above the Featherweight Title that McGregor currently holds.

The guy is an incredible role model for business owners. Here’s why:

Hard Work

“There’s no talent here, this is hard work, this is an obsession. Talent does not exist. We are all equals as human beings. You could be anyone if you put in the time. You will reach the top, and that’s that. I am not talented, I am obsessed.” – Conor McGregor

The above quote is very interesting. A number of years ago while watching a football documentary I discovered Zidane and Ronaldo weren’t even the best players in their school! Two of the greatest players to have ever played the most popular sport in the world.

I always thought growing up that people were either born gifted or not. You had sportsmen, artists, quantum physicists in one corner and you had 9 to 5’ers in the other. This is absolutely, fundamentally incorrect. You can apply yourself, dedicate yourself to any discipline, sport or otherwise and achieve anything you want. Anything.

I mention this a lot during presentations – I am by no means a smart guy and was always average academically. Where I win is dedicating myself to my craft. If I’m not working I’m reading up on how to do it better. Always looking to improve and learn. It’s not a struggle because I enjoy it and see the rewards. Once you get those rewards it makes it easier and easier to find the willingness to learn. It’s not a chore or traditional ‘working hard’ – it’s enjoyable.

Need further proof? Michael Jordan was cut from the basketball team in sophomore year for simply not being good enough. MJ used the motivation to practice constantly until he looked like the most naturally gifted player in the history of the sport. Could you imagine what would have happened if he took the rejection like so many of us? What direction it would’ve taken his life?

He is the most decorated basketball player in history with a billion-dollar fortune.

Hustle

“I see fighters make funny videos about me and stick them on Facebook and get 20 likes. When I make a video, I sell it to Fox and make seven figures. That’s the difference.” – Conor McGregor

This is part of the hard work above. You’re a good fighter, you’re getting better, your winning fights – how do you get noticed? McGregor is the absolute master of this.

Marketing yourself is critical in any business. He is a great fighter but as anyone can see that’s not how he’s selling tickets and smashing pay per view records. He’s hustling.

He’s in everyone’s face, he masters his message and projects it perfectly, he says what he means and he backs it up with his ability. If he’s not stealing a title holders belt off the table at a press conference he’s driving his new Rolls Royce Phantom droptop around LA, blasting Mariah Carey from it’s sound system!

What can you do differently to attract your clients or customers and how hard are you hustling to make it happen? Don’t be afraid to be confident when you can back it up.

Confidence

“I’m not going to get somewhere and say, ‘OK, I’m done.’ Success is never final; I’ll just keep on going. The same way as failure never being fatal. Just keep going. I’m going to the stars and then past them.” – Conor McGregor

Speaking of confidence, Conor McGregor has incredible self belief. It’s one of the hardest learned behaviours in life, never mind sport.

He was so confident about his previous fight that he knew exactly what was going to happen and told the press about it before the fight even took place! What happened? He knocked the guy out in 13 seconds, with one punch, in the exact manner as he said it would happen! His opponent was the only Featherweight Champion in UFC history. Why? He held it for 10 years since it was introduced.

If you provide a good product or service – have the conviction to talk about it and have faith that what your doing is good. Even if you have a setback like McGregor’s loss at the weekend, don’t let it dent your confidence. Dust yourself off and get back in the ring!

Fearlessness

“I stormed in and put it all on the line. I took a shot and missed. I will never apologize for taking a shot. Shit happens. I’ll take this loss like a man. I will not shy away from it. I will not change who I am. If another champion goes up 2 weights, let me know.” – Conor McGregor

To put his latest fight in context, Conor McGregor is currently the UFC Featherweight Champion. He was supposed to fight the current Lightweight Champion (the weight class above him) Rafael Dos Anjos, with the chance to become the first fighter in UFC history to hold two titles at the same time. Rafael pulled out with less than two weeks notice and Nate Diaz was brought in, a guy two weight classes above Conor!

McGregor never flinched at the challenge and simply set about preparing for a different (and much heavier) opponent. As a result, despite hitting Nate with the kind of blows that would see someone his own weight class fold like a cheap suit, Diaz could do enough to shrug them off and power on to the win.

He gets in the ring most often as well. He fought three times in 2015 and this one in early 2016. Most fighters have one or two fights per year.

What’s Conors attitude to a bigger challenge on short notice or a bump in the road in the form of a rare defeat? Let’s go again!

Face your challenges head on, confront your fears and don’t be afraid to lose or appear stupid.

Self Discipline

“I always teach myself calm and visualisation stuff. It’s good to make your brain work more than your body.” – Conor McGregor

Conor works his backside off. His whole world is geared around either fighting, training for fighting or some some sort of self promotion. He’s steeped his life in it and gets the rewards.

Unpopular with many, McGregor was actually on benefits in order to dedicate himself 100% to becoming a professional fighter and then on to becoming the champion in his weight class.

I’m not saying you should go on benefits, but what can you do to dedicate yourself for what you want to achieve? Obsessed is a word the weak use to describe the dedicated.

Loyalty

“That’s what I do this for, to secure my family’s future. I don’t care about anything else. I’m able to spoil people, and that’s the best thing.” – Conor McGregor

Conor is famous for keeping those who were around from the start with him. He treats them well and reminds everyone regularly that his success is not just down to him, but a team effort thanks to all of them. He’s now particularly generous to his long suffering girlfriend who stood by him when he was doing low key fights, making sure his diet and training never wavered.

Last week I had a meeting with a potential client. It went extremely well as most of my meetings do. Having done my research before hand so not to waste anyone’s time and after listening to them tell me what they were looking for, I demonstrated why we would be a good fit and why I wanted them as a client. They were very keen but shocked me in a way that left me extremely impressed. The owner went on to explain how they’ve tried to use all the same suppliers since the business first started out many years ago. As a result, they wanted to speak to their existing internet marketing provider to make sure they were ok with a change of direction or would they propose something different, rather than just hand everything over to me to take things to the next level.

I have the luxury of being able to pick and choose clients these days so I’m able to say I was so impressed by the attitude of this company, who favored loyalty over blindly chasing the pound-sign potential of moving things over right away. Businesses could learn a thing or two with this type of loyalty and surrounding themselves with good people as Conor does.

Humble In Defeat

McGregor didn’t throw his toys out of the pram at the weekend. He congratulated his opponent and explained why they did a better job of approaching the fight than he did. He said:

“These things happen. I’ll learn, I’ll grow. I took a chance going up weight and it didn’t work out. It is what it is, I’ll face it like a man, like a champion and come back.” – Conor McGregor

We don’t necessarily have opponents in business but we do have setbacks, problems and obstacles to overcome. How we deal with them is extremely important, though. The quote above encapsulates perfectly how we choose to deal with setbacks and our willingness to dust ourselves off and try again.

Like I said, despite all of this, it’s easy to sit on the sidelines and berate the guy. To haters of any kind I remind them of my favourite quote of all time:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again,

because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause;

who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt

…and seriously, be like Conor McGregor.

Cheers!

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