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72 - Thoughts On Russell's Jujitsu Match


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Structuring your business so you can do what you really love.

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For all of you out there who have a passion, for me, if I could go back, if I could give away my business and start wresting as a freshman in college, I would do it in a heartbeat, no questions asked. I would walk away in a heartbeat. I think all of you have something like that; a passion, something you love or you miss that you did in your prior life, right? I would try to look at your business as something that can facilitate that. All of us get into business for a purpose.


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Hey, everyone. This is Russell Brunson. Welcome to another exciting episode of Marketing in Your Car. Hey, guys. Today it is kind of raining and I am heading to the office. I am actually excited because this weekend I have a Jiu Jitsu tournament.

I am fired up! I have not competed in about 18 months or even more than that. Here is my Jiu Jitsu journey. As most of you know, I was a wrestler through high school. I was a high school state champ and I took second place in the country. I was an All American in high school.

I wrestled with BYU for a year and they cut the wrestling team, so I went to Boise State for the last four years. My senior year I ended up being ranked 14th when it all ended, I think. I did not quite meet my goals, but I did have a lot of fun. Still, my favorite thing in the world is wrestling, by far.

In my senior year, for all the UFC guys out there, I wrestled Johny Hendricks my senior year and I lost to him by one point. That little punk, I was actually turning him in a power half, I had the leg right and I was turning him, and he started screaming like a little girl.

The ref stopped the mat and did not give me any points. If the ref stops something when you are in a turning position, you should get at least two, if not three, points. I did not get the points and he ended up winning by one point. For all you guys who are Johny Hendricks fans, he cried when I tried to turn him. There you go. Back to this, I got done wrestling, I got into business, and I got fat.

I had a lot of fun and a few years later I decided I wanted to start wrestling again. We built an entire wrestling team out here. I did a podcast about it in the past, so I am not going to talk through the whole story. It went for a little while and then we had business issues and everything went crazy, so we had to shut it down. I did not doing anything for a couple of years.

Then one day I was flying home from Vegas and one of my buddies who wrestled at Boise State was on the flight. We sat next to each other and we were talking. He said, “Yeah, I am doing Jiu Jitsu now,” and he was really good. I said, “Wow,” and he said, “Jiu Jitsu is kind of like wrestling for old, fat people. You do not have to be in good shape to be really good.”

I said, “That’s awesome! I might actually be good at that. My only thing is I could not take a punch. If I got punched, I would be pretty embarrassed. I would start crying or something.” He said, “No, there is no punching in Jiu Jitsu. It is like wrestling, except you can tap somebody or choke them out or whatever.” I said, “All right. That would be kind of fun. I might try that.”

I got home and I was talking to one of my buddies who did Jiu Jitsu and he said, “There is a tournament this weekend. You should go to it.” I said, “All right. I have nothing else to do, so I might as well show up.” I literally went to one practice the night before the tournament and I had somebody show me the basics of Jiu Jitsu.

I did not know much other than that and I said, “I’m ready to go.” I went to the tournament the next day and my very first match I did gi. I had to borrow some guy’s gi because I did not know what that was at the time. I put this gi on and I went out there. I was going against the first guy and I was beating him like a little girl and I thought, “This is the easiest sport in the world!”

I was picking him up and slamming him down. I found out if you put your knee on their belly you get four points. I thought, “Sweet!” and I just kept doing knee on belly over and over. I beat this guy 16 to nothing and just thrashed him. All of a sudden he reached up and grabbed my collar on my gi and he did some weird, funky thing. Everything started getting dark. I thought, “Oh, no! What do I do?”

He was choking me out. My eyes started getting hazy and he started getting darker and darker. I thought, “I don’t want to tap out. This is embarrassing! I was killing this guy. I don’t want to tap out!” Eventually I was almost gone and I tapped. It was the worst feeling in the world. Getting pinned in wrestling is bad, but at least you can tell a story in your mind about how it did not really happen.

When you tap, you have to tap and it is pretty embarrassing. After that in the next three or four matches in gi I won. I had to take second or third in the tournament. They had no gi afterwards which, by the way, I found out I loved much more. I did no gi and in the very first match I was beating a guy and then I got caught in a triangle lock. I had never seen this before and I had to tap out.

In the next match it was the same thing. I got caught in a triangle lock and got tapped out. I thought, “Man, this is frustrating.” I was beating the guys on our feet every single time, but on the mat they triangle locked me. I remember walking out that day and a guy grabbed me. He was an old wrestler and he said, “Hey, just so you know, triangle is like kryptonite for wrestlers.

All you wrestlers, when you take some guy and you cover—which is the setup for a triangle—if you just learn some basic Jiu Jitsu, you will be able to stop that from every happening.” I thought, “All right, man. I am going to learn this thing.” I went back to the drawing board and started practicing. I had some buddies that were doing it; it was not formal practicing.

We did it once or twice a week for the next six months or so. It was just the basics of learning not to get triangle. That was the core concept. I participated in another tournament and I won both styles which is cool. Six months later there was another tournament and I won in both styles there. It was pretty fun, but then life happened and I kind of forgot about it for a while.

I missed the next tournament, but I thought, “I want to keep doing it.” About eight months ago or so, I decided that I wanted to get good at Jiu Jitsu. I did not have anything else going on. I was just doing business and family and everything. There was a lot happening, but I thought I could carve out a couple of hours a week just to do this and it would be fun. It is close to wrestling and it would be fun to do.

I hired a guy named Jason Flynn. He is a stud; he is a black belt dude. He had classes, but I thought, “I don’t want to do classes. I just want to do private one-on-ones with you twice a week.” I started paying him for that and for the last eight months I have been twice a week one-on-ones with this dude who is one of the toughest people I have ever met. It has been very, very good.

I finally learned the art of Jiu Jitsu which is fun. The tournament this weekend will be the first time I have competed in Jiu Jitsu where I actually know how to do Jiu Jitsu, so it will be fun. I am excited. I have to practice today and I have to cut weight tomorrow because I am a little heavy. I have to lose five pounds tomorrow. In about 45 minutes to an hour I should be able to lose that and have weigh-ins.

The party starts on Saturday. That is what is happening. I know it has nothing to do with marketing, but it has a lot to do with what I am passionate about. For all of you out there who have a passion, for me, if I could go back, if I could give away my business and start wresting as a freshman in college, I would do it in a heartbeat, no questions asked. I would walk away in a heartbeat.

I think all of you have something like that; a passion, something you love or you miss that you did in your prior life, right? I would try to look at your business as something that can facilitate that. All of us get into business for a purpose. You got in because you wanted freedom or time or whatever it is.

After a while you get so addicted to the game that all the other stuff falls away and I think that is a shame. For me, it was almost seven or eight years where I completely forgot about the stuff I loved. Make it a priority that your business is created in a way to fuel your real passions. Your business can be a passion, but do not let it be the core driver.

Otherwise, I think you will get burned out and you will not love it long term. There is my advice for today. For all of you guys out there, go get a workout in; go do some Jiu Jitsu; go do whatever it is you love to do and then get back to work and let’s make some money. Thanks, everybody. We’ll talk to you soon.


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