Lessons from the Jiu Jitsu mats

Last week I shared the humbling and funny story of how I was taken down to the mats, thrown around every which way, and then tapped out (basically I cried “uncle” and gave up) by a 15 year old that was 60 pounds smaller than me when I first stepped on to the Jiu Jitsu mats in 2007. If you have not read that blog post yet, read it here to get a good laugh. Since then I have been practicing the art of Gracie Jiu Jitsu. There are many examples of how the sport works that I am excited to share and how they resonate with life and being an entrepreneur.

In Jiu Jitsu, as well as Judo, there is an idea about pushing and pulling. If somebody pushes against you and you push back, then the stronger person will win. If somebody pulls you and you pull back, the same thing happens (think tug of war). If somebody pushes against you, and you pull them as they push, you expend their energy and get them to go where you want. There are times to push and times to pull. When I went up to grapple that 15 year old, I came pushing at him hard, he knew I was stronger, so he just pulled me, redirected my energy, and threw me to the mats. In entrepreneurship, there are times to push, and times to pull. There are also times to stand still and wait to see what happens next. For many years, I went charging into business, and I was able to steamroll situations effectively. However, when I approach situations where my pushing will allow me to be pulled possibly to the mats, I sit back, am patient and wait for the time to move. The same is true when I feel like I am pulling too hard. Leaders do not need to pull, an impactful entrepreneur does not need to pull, they leverage the energy, creativity and passion of others while guiding their energy towards the goal, climbing the mountain and winning! A leader will effectively use the team’s momentum to propel them forward. Leaders are also aware to not let their own energy to be used against them. There are times they must stop, wait, evaluate to see what to do next and then act.

Are you pushing or pulling in your business and entrepreneur journey? Are you pulling or pushing too hard? Are you pulling and pushing at the right time? Are you leading correctly? How are you using momentum and energy in business?

I hope you enjoyed this week’s blog. Next week I will share a few more lessons learned from the mats. Until then, be impactful in everything you do.