My thoughts after wrestling at this weekend’s tournament, and how I hope this will unlock something cool for you.
Pursuing business or our passions or anything. As you're moving forward, trying to accomplish or achieve or create, there's this wake. And when I say wake, like a boat, right? When you're in a boat going forward, there's this wake that is caused behind you. That wake for you is contribution. There's this wake of contribution that'll go behind you as you are pursuing your dreams. That'll change other people's lives, inspire them, get them excited and give them permission to live their dreams.
Hey, what's up everybody? This is Russell Brunson. Welcome back to The Marketing Secrets podcast. But today we're not talking about marketing, we are talking about wrestling. I know for some of you guys, you're like "Russell, We don't care about wrestling. We're here for marketing advice. Why you're talking about wrestling?" And I'm going to tell you there's a reason. There's an actual reason I think is useful for all of you guys, otherwise I wouldn't share it. As some of you know, if you follow me on the 'Gram or Facebook, or any of the other places, you know that this last week I went out and I competed in a wrestling tournament. And it's fun, because this is actually my third old man... I put that in parenthesis, "old man"... third "old man" wrestling tournament I've been to.
And it's interesting... A lot of you guys know my background. I wrestled in high school, I was a state champ, I took second place in the country. I was All American in high school. Then wrestled a year at BYU until they dropped the wrestling program, and then I transferred to Boise State and wrestled my last four years there. I was ranked in the top 10 in the country, but I never placed at the NCAA, which is one of those... it's the goal I never achieved.
I feel like everything else I've tried in life to achieve so far, I've had a chance to, not that I've had a chance, but I've actually achieved most of my other goals. That was one I fell short of. But it's actually funny looking back now, I think it was also essential that I fell short of that, because it caused me and forced me to continue to be driven in a different aspect, different direction.
So anyway, it's all part of God's divine plan that I didn't, but it was the one that I missed. Then I transitioned my life into business, and here we are now 20 years later. A couple of years ago I was like, man, I miss competing. I miss wrestling. As fulfilling as business is, still to this day, the best feeling I've ever felt in my life, on this planet so far, is the feeling of getting my hand raised after a hard fought match. I don't know what it is. There's something about that, it trumps all the other things and I've done a lot of my life and I miss it.
And it's funny, because in business, I think again, there's a lot of ups and downs in business, but the closest I've ever gotten in business to feeling, that feeling my hand getting raised is, when you do a table rush, you speak on stage, you see people run at the back. That's the closest I've ever gotten to that feeling, that high, but it's not as good. Part of me is just like, I want to wrestle. I'm going to wrestle again. And you guys know when I bought my dream house, seven years ago now, we built the wrestling room into it, and all my old buddies come over and we have a chance to wrestle. And it's just a thing that I love that makes me happy.
But then three years, well probably COVID doesn't count as a year right? So three really years ago, maybe four years ago now one of my friends went to a tournament and actually wrestled. Then he came back and told him about it. I was like, dude, I didn't know that we could wrestle in tournaments. I want to go to a tournament. And he said, well, every year there's this tournament called the US Open and they have obviously all high school kids, it's their big national tournament, plus there's the college guys. And then there's the senior guys, which are the people competing for the world's Olympics. Cause when you get older, I think 35 years old, it opens a division called the Masters. And then inside the Masters, B, C, D... Different divisions, right. All the way up to veterans. And so there's people competing all the way to in their seventies and eighties and stuff. And so I got so excited.
So three years ago I went to my very first one. And it's funny, like a week before the tournament, we should probably practice and remember how to wrestle. So we did our first practice and within 15 minutes of a starting practice, I tore my neck out and I wasn't able to practice the rest of the week. And I went to the tournament and I didn't cut any weight. So I was at heavier weight class, kilograms. I think it was 80-something kilos... Anyways, it was 194 pounds basically. And so I had to lose a couple pounds, but I was about 200 pounds back then. So I lost a little bit of weight, went in the tournament.
And that weight class guys are bigger, and the weight class isn't huge. There's probably 8-10 guys. And I took second place in Greco and third in freestyle, which I was like, this was awesome. It was fun. I got my hand raised, won some matches, lost a couple matches, but it was just, so much fun.
And one of the big pivotal things that happened to me was as I was warming up for one of my matches, this old guy came up to me. And I mean by old he's probably, he's probably close to 80. And he walked up and he's like, "Hey, do you want to wrestle?" I was like, okay. And so we're about to start drilling. He said "I've had both my hips and both my knees replaced, so please don't shoot on me." I was like, this is wrestling. That's literally the definition of what we do.
So anyway, we wrestled a little bit and practiced in some. And then during that day he went out there and he won two matches that I saw. I was like, is this dude in his almost eighties, maybe eighties, with both hips, and both knees replaced is still competing? I was like, this is something I can do till the day I die. And so I made it a point right then I'm going to put this on my calendar once a year for the rest of my life, till I die, I will compete in the US Open. It's a thing now. It's never not going to be a thing. The rest of my calendar will revolve around it. And it's like Christmas. Only for me, more important at this point.
So, we signed up for it and the next year we're going to do it and then COVID hit. And then last year there wasn't that one, there was another version of it that Spartan put on. And so we went into the Spartan nationals last year and I took second and freestyle and second in Greco that same weight class, which was awesome. And met the dude who started Spartan. He had me on his podcast, which was kind of cool. But anyway, I digress. That was my second year. And then this year was year number three.
Now this year, a lot of you guys have probably noticed if you watched my ads or see me at Funnel Hacking Live, I've lost a lot of weight. I'm down about 15 pounds. And so I was below the weight class. The next weight class down was.. Huge gap. Usually the gap's pretty small, but in the master's division, it's like 194 pounds. The next one down's 171, which is crazy. So I was weighing 185. So I had to cut weight down to 171. And then the 171 pound bracket, there's twice as many people, we had 20 people in our freestyle weight. And then I think we had 10 or so in Greco. So I had to cut weight, which the first time I've done that for 20-something years, I forgot how horrible it is. But I was tiny. If you saw a picture, I was 171 pounds last week, which is crazy. Hadn't been that light since college. So that was kind of fun. And then we went into wrestling.
Wrestled Greco, and I did shockingly better at Greco. And I think a big part of it was my old freestyle Greco coach was there at the tournament. He's the head coach now at Utah valley university. And so he was there coaching his guys. And so he came over and coached me. And it was cool because I couldn't remember how to wrestle Greco. We literally spent about 15 minutes practicing Greco before the tournament. And so he was reminding me and coaching me through it. And as I was doing things wrong, he was coaching me and I was adjusting and it was cool. Ended up taking third place in Greco at that at 171 pound weight class, which is probably the most competitive weight class for the Master's division. That's kind of where it's tough. And so I was really excited about that.
And the next day it was freestyle. In my first match, the second match, I was winning seven to two and I slit my eye open. If you saw a picture on Instagram, I was bleeding, I was supposed to get a bunch of stitches, but I ended up gluing it together.
And for some reason after I split my eye, I switched from... This is like what I'm geeking out on right now. The conscious mind vs subconscious mind and stuff like that. To be good at anything, like when you're working on your subconscious mind, that's when you have the most success, right? That's like when you're wrestling, if you're not consciously thinking, you're just doing it from subconscious memories and stuff like that? That's when you compete the best. That's why people always if you're losing it's like, it's because you're in your head, you get out of your head. When you're in your head is when you're consciously thinking through things.
So after my eye split open, I came back to mat and I was consciously, it was weird. It kicked me out of competing this conscious thing where I was thinking, oh, I should sprawl him. I started thinking and I ended up losing to this guy who I was destroying, and that kind of threw me off. And then I went to my next match. And then I lost my fourth match. So I went 2-2 and freestyle and did not place, which was hard. Especially because two of my friends did place. You know how that is. So, burned a little bit, but at the same time, it was so much fun. I popped a rib out, which still hurts a week later, I'm still barely able to breathe and move, but it was so worth it. I would do it again. My body's healing and it was so much fun.
So why did I share this with you guys, what does this have to do with you and business or anything? And the reality is this has everything to do with it. It's interesting throughout our lives, we have different dreams and different things we chase. And then for some reason, we forget about the things that meant the most to us. Things that brought us happiness and joy. And sometimes we wake up 20 years later and we're not happy. We can't figure it out. We're trying to chase these other things we think will bring us happiness. Sometimes we stop and go, what made me happy? Like when I was a kid, I was happy when I was younger, I was happy. What were the things that made me the most happy? And why don't we reinvest in some of those things?
You could easily say, well, wrestling, you've grown out of wrestling. There's not wrestling tournaments. I can't compete, but I can bring that joy back once a year and have camaraderie and be with my friends and wrestle and have those things and bring it back. That's a big deal, right? It can bring a level of happiness back to you.
This year, as I was getting close to tournament, I started posting I'm going to go into this tournament. And a bunch of my buddies messaged me. One of my old friends from high school saw me do it. So he decided to come out, he showed up and he was two weight classes above me. And he won it and he was like, I saw your thing and you were doing it. So I wanted to do it. And then one of my other friends who I had known for a long time, I never actually met him in person, saw I was doing it. So he came and he went and did it. And it was just cool. And all they kept saying, man, I see you doing it and inspired me to want to do it. And by me pursuing an old passion, it got these other people to do their old thing. And they had this moment of fun and it was just such a cool thing.
So I want to encourage you guys. Cause right now, if you're listening to me, you're probably building business and you're chasing after the almighty dollar or impact or influence. Whatever it is you're looking for. You're trying to change the world in your own little way, which I love and I respect, and I'm grateful that you are doing that. I recommend looking back, what were the things you did when you were younger, that you were loved? Were you a basketball player, did you golf? Did you play piano? Did you read, did you go to movies? Did you go out to eat? What was your thing that you used to do that you don't anymore?
And I would recommend to try to figure out how to bring that part back into your life. Not full time. Wrestling's not my full time thing anymore, but if I know, once a year for the rest of my life, I'm going to compete and I'm going to wrestle, then I don't lose that part of me. That part of my essence, that part of who I am, part of my identity. If you ask me to this day, like my identities... Maybe we'll do an exercise here on the podcast someday. But I have many identities that I associate with. And one of the strongest identities that is still ingrained in me is that I'm a wrestler. And the fact that I don't wrestle anymore is weird. But now the fact that I'm wrestling, I wrestle once a year, I'm a wrestler. I still am that identity that I associated with. It brings back those parts of me and my identity and my belief system that made me who I was.
I did a podcast a while ago about writing books. And, and I think I mentioned something like, I can't remember exactly what I said, but it's some of the most powerful, exciting things you can say to somebody. And someone's like, "Hey, what are you doing?" You're like, "Oh, I don't know. Not much." But if you transition, like "I'm writing a book." And maybe the book takes you two decades to write. But you're writing a book, you're an author, it's not done yet, but you're in the process. And maybe it's really, really slow. That's okay. But you're writing a book. It has this little edge of excitement and something to talk about something to dream about, you know what I mean?
And so for me, again, I know I'm not going to be the best wrestler in the world anymore. That ship has sailed. That's not my goal. But man, the fact is that I'm a wrestler and I wrestle and I compete and I go to tournaments every year. And I took third in the country in Greco last week? It gives you something that you miss when you get older. As a kid, that's all we pursue. That's all we went after. And then as adults, we shut those things down and we focus on our careers and those other kind of things, which are good. But I just want to encourage you guys to look back and see, what are the things that made you the most happy when you were a kid, and how can you weave those things back into your life? Again, it doesn't have to be, all consuming or overwhelming or pull you off of your mission. But I promise you that it'll fuel your mission in a different way that you weren't expecting that you weren't thinking it was going to happen, because you're you bringing those things back.
That's what I wanted give to you guys today. It was fun experience for me. It was fun for the people I went with. It was fun for the people who came because they saw me doing it. I inspired them. And same to you, when you start doing these things, you're inspiring people. When I decide I'm going to write a book, I'm going to be an author. That's an identity I want. I'm going to be an author. I'm going to write a book. And I started writing my book. Other people wrote books because I wrote a book. Someone who is listening now wrote a book because Russell wrote a book, like there's a lot of you. And it's like, I inspire other people to do it along the journey. And like the wake of you going after these things, the wake of contribution it creates is huge.
I think that's one of the reasons why we should do any of the things we do. Pursuing business or our passions or anything. As you're moving forward, trying to accomplish or achieve or create, there's this wake. And when I say wake, like a boat, right? When you're in a boat going forward, there's this wake that is caused behind you. That wake for you is contribution. There's this wake of contribution that'll go behind you as you are pursuing your dreams. That'll change other people's lives, inspire them, get them excited and give them permission to live their dreams.
This year two of my, actually three, Tom Bill as well, I had three of my friends who came to the wrestling tournament because they saw me go to wrestling tournament. There's a wake that all of a sudden their lives got affected and changed. And they were excited. And because of me going after that thing for myself. So anyway, I'm putting it out there. What's your thing. What's the thing you used to love the most. What is it you miss? How can you go out there and do it?
Thanks you guys for listening. I hope that this helps inspire at least one of you, hopefully a lot of you guys will find the things that made you the most happy when you were younger and weave that back into your life in some little way. I promise you it's worth it. I'm sitting here now with broken ribs, cut up eye, body sore, finger sore, back sore, knee, everything's sore. Everything hurts. I'm sitting here like, I miss this. I miss that feeling. And everyone's like, you're crazy. Why do that? You're so old. I'm like, I know, but this feeling of... Feeling I got hit by a dump truck, but knowing I did it in a worthy cause, it was fun for me? It's the best.
So I want you guys to experience that as well in your line of whatever you do. So find it, pursue it and let me know how it goes afterwards. Thanks so much everybody. And I'll talk to you soon.