One of the reasons why I love and practice martial arts is because of its many parallels to the business world. In this blog, I want to share one such takeaway.
I heard this quote from Khabib Nurmagomedov, the former lightweight world champion. He said it to Islam Makhachev, a lightweight contender, during one of his UFC media days.
For context, fighters cut a lot of weight (mostly by not drinking water) right before their fights. So they're dehydrated and underfed. It's a terrible state to be in. And they train 2x a day to keep sharp.
During media day, it's all of this training + dieting along with back to back media interviews. It's hard on the fighters to do it all.
Makhachev casually complained to Khabib about how media day is pretty gruelling. And Khabib's response was stark. It really struck me. He replied, in his typical Russian accent...
"If you don't want interview, just stop winning. Nobody will call you.
You can just stop, nobody gonna come."
This hits close to home for me and I think other entrepreneurs should adopt the same mindset.
You can not complain when you're required to perform. Or else you should stop striving for the top. The reason why you have problems is because you're moving in the right direction. If you don't want the commitments and problems, you can just stop.
There have been times when I've had 5 hours of sleep, worked the whole day, trained hard at the gym, and my head is aching. I am desperate to get some sleep. But there's an important call at 11 pm which I committed to.
There's two ways to look at this. I can complain and say I'm tired, I have very legitimate reasons to slack off and sleep. I can rationalize it. OR...
I can stay up, drink a bit of coffee and do what needs to be done.
It is in these moments that I remember what is required of me. I'm chasing the world championship gold belt of entrepreneurship. I can not be an amateur if I want to compete at professional levels. Or else, I can just stop. Nobody gonna come.
Remember, the market doesn't care if you're trying your best. The market cares if you do what needs to be done.
Giving your best is not on the table if you want to win at the highest levels of the game. Doing what needs to be done is.