To UFC fans, Conor McGregor is a recognizable name synonymous with fighting success. In years past, he was the Cage Warriors Featherweight and Lightweight champion. This made him the first professional Irish fighter to hold two world titles in two separate divisions.
Conor McGregor fought three times over the past 12 months, including headlining two of the three best-selling UFC fights ever on pay-per-view. He currently worths $18 million. But besides being an amazing fighter, he is also a very savvy businessman.
Here are 10 success lessons from Conor McGregor – “UFC Legend and Millionaire” for entrepreneurs,
1. Become obsessed
Conor attributes much of his success to hard work: “My confidence comes from my performance; from my work in the gym and my work ethic. They don’t work harder than me, and they don’t want it like I want it.”
He has gone further in saying: “I feel that to be at the pinnacle of any game, you’ve got to be a little gone to it. You’re not all there. You’re almost insane to your craft. I pay attention to nothing else.”
2. The power of visualisation
Conor has said many time, ‘I visualise everything’ and ‘I saw myself as champion from Day 1’. Through the repetition of a number of mantras — key words or phrases which signify his aims — ‘I can go all day’, ‘capitalise’, ‘unify’ — his visions become his reality.
This is a pragmatic way of developing grand strategy and mentally rehearing fights and training sessions. His adeptness in predicting how his fights will go has given him the nickname ‘Mystic Mac’ and allowed him to quip, ‘I don’t just knock them out; I pick the round’.
3. Be over the top
Yes, McGregor is an accomplished fighter who should be known for his ability in the ring. But many people feel he is more known for his over-the-top showmanship and trash-spewing talk than what he does during a fight. For instance, he recently said he would “dismantle” Floyd Mayweather on Conan O’Brien.
These sort of antics get people paying attention to McGregor and the sport. He’s bringing UFC and MMA to a more main stream crowd, with the upcoming event expected to be one of the biggest ever – tracking more than 1 million pay-per-view purchases.
Don’t be afraid to do something bold in your business. Branch out. Look for new ways to appeal to your customers. Don’t settle for where you are today.
4. Be confident
During fights, it isn’t abnormal for McGregor to taunt his opponent. He wags his finger at them and even goes so far as to boldly predict how much longer they will last in the fight.
The man is confident in his abilities and he isn’t afraid to put his skills to the test. Believe you are the best at what you do; you make the best product, you offer the best service. Don’t be afraid to showcase your confidence to your customers and/or peers.
5. Be unique
McGregor is also known by some as ‘the notorious’ and ‘the Celtic tiger,’ as he is respected by his peers and loved by his fans.
He has made a name for himself that took him from obscurity to where he is today, that being the most Googled athlete from the Emerald Isle. The lessons is to not be like everyone else in your field. Brands are always competing for consumers’ attention, so stand out. If you don’t, they’ll follow someone who is.
6. Options for decision-making
Conor doesn’t rush into things. He gives himself the space to create the best possible outcome for himself.
When journalists pressure him to make a call about who he would like to face in upcoming fights, he often repeats, ‘Options are a good thing’ — going to great lengths to throw as many names as possible into the mix to see who turns up best.
7. Stay humble
Though many would laugh at the idea of the Irish man’s humility, McGregor indulges in a kind of doublethink of being both champion and the underdog: “I am #1 at my craft, but I show up every day as a white belt — as a Day 1 beginner.”
After his first defeat in March, Conor cited his team’s mantra, “We win or we learn”.
8. Focus on yourself
Conor answers his critics (and opponents who obsess over his antics), “winners focus on winning, losers focus on winners”.
Remarkably, he doesn’t adapt his training for who he’s going to be facing, choosing to just prepare generally (which is why he has been able to adapt to last-minute opponents largely successfully).
9. Train smart
Train hard, win easy. In a multi-discipline sport like MMA, it is a time-honored tenant. There are no shortcuts. A champion must have accomplished sparring partners to push him during training camps. Great fighters need great training to stay at their peak.
With the million dollars McGregor received from Zuffa for UFC 196, he needs to bring in more jiu-jitsu black belts and more wrestlers in order to remain at the top of the 145-pound division.
10. Back it all up by being really good
Due to his success, McGregor can stand behind all this big talk and his flashy persona. He can back it up and does so again and again. Back up your promise and over deliver.