Sitting in Las Vegas thinking about how I got here. When I stepped foot onto my 1st dojo floor over 30 years ago, I would not have been able to predict where I am right now. I am writing this as I wait for our driver to take Karl Roberson and myself to the UFC Performance Center to be filmed doing work for a project I am not supposed to talk specifically about. So cryptically, Karl is getting a shot at something we have been working towards for an organization based in Vegas that is known by 3 letters.
Here is the lesson of it all, it is hard to make predictions and the work is where all the success is created. Born with talent helps but skills acquired by paying attention, and hard work are the thing. I do my job. As a coach I am limited by my audience. I can coach all day but the people I coach have to do the work. I can’t win or lose for anyone, I can just help them along the way. I have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work with really great people that have done extraordinary things.
Karl is the one guy I have worked with where timing, talent, and work have come together just right. We are not where we want just yet, but we are on the path and have a clear direction to take it all to the next level. If Karl didn’t do the work, we would not be in Vegas. If I didn’t figure out how to communicate effectively, our relationship would have been. We are both doing our job at the right time in history to which brings opportunity like no other time in combat sports for guys like us.
I don’t care if you are a fighter or a business person. You can’t look at the people on top and just think emulation is enough. You need people that subscribe to the same things as you, people with the talent and skill you don’t have, and you have to do the work. I see really young and inexperienced people come thru the gym door and have aspirations to be the next big thing before they have done anything real or even started to understand the road they say they want to go down. I see “entrepreneurs” who think some start up funds and an idea is enough to live the good life. The good life only comes after giving up everything because you need to do the work and learn your craft. The good life comes after sacrifice that isn’t even really sacrifice if you love what you do. Early mornings, late nights, and lots of time deflecting negativity from people that don’t understand what it is you are trying to achieve.
You can take the courses, read the books, buy the fancy things… none of it will replace the work. Karl Roberson is not in Vegas for any other reason than he did the work the others won’t and he won the fights that others would not fight. It is not about running your mouth, success comes from doing work, getting results, and grabbing attention with substance. You have to win and you can’t do that consistently without an obsessive dedication to the path.
I look at everything like a fight. You battle others but you are always battling yourself. You have to overcome so many things to stay on point and get the work in. Stop running your mouth and go get dirty. Let your success speak for you. Win some battles before you profess your greatness. Ali told the world he was the greatest and acted like the champ before he won the belt. BUT, he was an Olympic Gold Medalist. He was already great, he was on the path to be the greatest.
Be good before you start talking great, and be great before you have the audacity to attempt to be the greatest.