It’s never easy being the champion or leader in your industry. You constantly are looking over your shoulder as challengers pop up trying to take what you worked so hard to build and attain. They may be leaner than you and they may be hungrier than you which can be a very dangerous combination. They may also have training, skills, and experience that you don’t have. Recently, UFC champion Ronda Rousey was believed to be unbeatable. However, last Saturday night she wasn’t just beaten she was destroyed by challenger Holly Holm getting knocked out in the second round of their fight. I believe that we can all learn some lessons from Ronda Rousey to apply to our businesses and professional lives.
- Don’t believe all of the hype. Your business may be all the rage with you getting amazing press coverage, large blogs, or even major National news on a regular basis. That’s all great, but the danger is in once you start believing all of that hype and start thinking that you are actually unbeatable (I think this was a major contributor to Ronda Rousey’s loss). There is an obvious advantage to being the incumbent but that hardly means you can’t be challenged. One thing is for sure, everyone and every business can be beaten.
- Stay sharp and constantly challenge yourself to learn more and get better. Ronda Rousey put together a good team of coaches but she didn’t get world class striking/kickboxing training (if she did she ignored it completely). Holly Holm is a heavily decorated boxer/kickboxer and knowing this Ronda really needed to spend time focused on her opponent’s strengths.
- Don’t run around chasing your opponent allowing them to control or manipulate your time. In the fight, Ronda was chasing after Holly Holm and completely allowing Holly to control the pace and style of the fight. If you allow your competition to dictate the pace plus how you fight your chances of beating them are not good. Try to focus on your strengths and get them to fight you on your terms.
- Don’t block punches with your face. As Ronda found out she actually was not indestructible. She repeatedly got punched/kicked in the face and eventually that led to her getting knocked out. If you allow your competitor to keep hitting you and knocking off your clients one at a time or beating you in one market at a time, eventually they will take you out. You need a proper defense to block their attacks as often as you possibly can.
- Talk is cheap and isn’t going to be enough. You can talk like the champ but that is simply not going to help you when you are in the heat of battle. You have to be able to back up the strong words and banter. Better yet, just let your actions do the talking for you. If you are the leader in your industry act like it but also stay as hungry as possible. You have to work hard to stay on top because you can be sure your competition is busting their butts.
There are a lot of other lessons that we can learn but in the end Ronda Rousey is fortunate because she will absolutely get a shot to get her title back. In business, rarely are we that lucky. If your competitor knocks you out you could be permanently down for the count. What are you doing today to make sure that doesn’t happen to you or your business?