The following is Part 2 of my article, “What Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Can Teach You About Growing Your Business.”
Details Make All The Difference
Have you ever had someone who’s great at something show you how to do it? You think you understand them perfectly… until you try to do it on your own.
That’s exactly what happened to me when I started training BJJ. My instructor would demonstrate a technique a few times. Then, when it was time for us to partner up and drill it, my mind would just go blank.
People told me this was normal! It sure didn’t feel that way, though, not until I kept going and months later that cloud finally started to lift. I saw how complicated moves broke down into smaller basic sequences.
It’s recognizing those little details and paying attention to them that allows a black belt to pull off a technique so effortlessly, while a white belt struggles through every movement.
The same goes for business. If you’re doing okay right now, you probably have a decent grasp of the fundamentals. You can probably develop an attractive product or service, find customers, serve them, gather feedback, and improve.
Your path to growth might not lie in doing something radically different, but by paying more attention to the details.
Think about how much more potential your business would have if you just changed the way you approached your day. How could you spend more time focusing on what matters and delegating or eliminating the rest? How could you shave a spare thirty minutes from your schedule to study your niche?
Take some time to examine your processes now. Remember, you and a business “black belt” are doing the same techniques. It just might be time for you to tighten things up, to smooth it out, and achieve better results with less inefficiency.
Consistency Is Key
“The second you step onto the mat, you win.”
That’s what one of my instructors likes to say. I didn’t understand exactly what she meant by that early on, but after training for three and a half years now, I see where she’s coming from.
One thing has remained constant since I started training: a sea of new faces. A lot of people get excited about starting, but after a month or two you stop seeing them. The core of “regulars” is a lot smaller – probably only around 10% of the entire membership.
Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a lot of fun. But it’s also a heck of a commitment. Sometimes the motivation just isn’t there. After a long workday, the thought of driving to your gym, working out, and sparring with a group of trained killers seems less than appealing!
But it’s amazing what happens once I walk through that door. Once we start class, we get into it and the motivation comes later.
This happens in business too. It’s super easy to feel motivated when you’re just getting started –– when you have big dreams of becoming a massive success.
But what happens when reality sets in? Clients are reluctant to pay invoices. The market didn’t respond like you predicted. Your customers aren’t thrilled by your latest product.
It’s how you adapt in these situations that determines your potential as an entrepreneur. Going through tough times is stressful. But it’s an invaluable real-life education. You’re building skills to solve problems and build your endurance.
Stop waiting to feel motivated to develop that new product or launch that next marketing campaign. Focus on what you can do today to make progress on your longterm goals and move closer to success. You can’t control the results, but you can control your actions and your effort. Those are great places to start.
Just keep showing up, even if it’s tough right now, and be open to changing your strategies when the unexpected happens. Every day you’ll inch that much closer to the success you dream of and mastering the skill of being an entrepreneur.
Pushing Yourself And Overcoming Fear
Even after three years of training, I still get butterflies in my stomach just before class starts. Sounds crazy, but it’s true.
That’s actually one of the coolest things I’ve taken away from Brazilian jiu-jitsu: that feeling of consistently being out of my comfort zone, of pushing beyond it and challenging myself to grow.
Those butterflies may never go away completely, but they’re a lot better than they used to be. Most importantly, I’m more confident in my ability to respond in those pressure-packed situations. Where it’s natural for beginners to freak out during sparring, I can slow things down a bit and remember to breathe…sometimes.
If you’re looking to grow your business substantially, that means wading into the unknown. It means taking your products or services to the next level, or maybe even exploring a different business model you’ve never considered before.
Those things can be scary. But navigating them takes you this much closer to your vision of success. It’s easy to fall into your comfort zone once you’ve established a regular customer base, but that puts you at risk of getting beat by bolder competitors.
Even if you aren’t ready to take one of those big leaps in your business yet, you can start preparing yourself now. Eleanor Roosevelt’s advice “do one thing every day that scares you” is a good blueprint to follow.
Just the practice of facing your fears in one area builds confidence and translates into other areas of your life — including growing your business.
You can find inspiration to improve your business almost anywhere you look. For me, one of the best sources is Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Whether you’re a martial arts fan or not, you can appreciate some of the key strategies that make for good jiu-jitsu practitioners and apply them to grow your business.