The build-up of the Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather fight went on for months. A trash-talking media frenzy for two men that I would not, frankly, consider to be role models to anyone. However, as much as you might love (or love to hate) these guys, you can be sure that there is a lot to be learned from this fight. From Conor McGregor in particular; a man with a vision.
The vision is the most exciting part. I meet so many people in the social sector with large exciting visions, but with no way or know-how to actually make them a reality. And this is exactly what Ron Gibori talks about in his article “The difference between bull-shitters and do-shitters”. The honesty made me chuckle. You can’t be the person who creates the next big winning idea without being a ‘do-er’ (or do-shitter as he bluntly puts it – don’t be offended!). McGregor is a do-shitter. The 29 year-old has always backed up his talk as he rose from rookie to two-weight UFC world champ.
As a worker in a number of organisations within the social sector, I am passionate about what I call ‘-Trepreneurship’. Entepreneurs or ‘intrapreneurs’ (where people within organisations – usually not managers, although google seems to disagree – promote innovative solutions internally, like business processes, and/or externally, to progress their aims and objectives). It’s a bit of poncy jargon that we at Tigris all adore (not) but without giving someone buzzworthy title for their efforts, it hardly features as innovative or progressive. AMIRITE?
The point is that ‘-trepreneurs’ find new ways to solve problems. Whether they actively look for them, whether they stumble across them or whether they have known them all along. That’s the difference between doing something for the sake of doing it or doing it to make a change. You could argue the McGregor has won 2 UFC belts because he wants the money. Which he does. He makes no secret of stating “you’re damn right I’m in it to make money – this is prize fighting.” However, he is also in it to prove a point. By proving that no challenge will stand in his way to achieving his goal or overcoming adversity, he has inspired a whole generation of young people to engage in MMA. For many, a healthy diversionary activity from a life of boredom, ill-health and even crime.
I love the tangible examples that Gibori uses in his article. These should be applied to anybody wanting to be successful a -Trepreneur:
- Be accountable. Always follow up on what you say you’re going to do. Talk about it after you’ve done it, rather than pontificating on social media about ‘watching this space’ or how what you’re going to do next will ‘change the world’. McGregor did both because he knew what he could accomplish and he knew he wouldn’t back out. He says himself: “Trash talk? Smack talk? This is an American term that makes me laugh. I simply speak the truth because I am an Irish man”.
- -Trepreneurs take action. “Wantrepreneurs” read a lot of books on how to do it. McGregor took action, he didn’t just watch a bunch of Mayweather youtube videos.
- -Trepreneurs sacrifice. They don’t just envisage being ‘there’. McGregor, for all his arrogance, always puts in the hard work, realising that nothing comes easy.
- -Trepreneurs are focused on building, not just trying to find ‘the next big thing’. McGregor adopts the latest techniques and employs the best coaches to equip him with tools, styles, combinations that others have not adopted or even thought of. Once he took on a ‘movement coach’ to build on and enhance his current skill set, the rest of the MMA world would follow. “Timings beats speed, precision beats power”. One of my favourite Conor quotes.
- -Trepreneurs don’t fear failure. If you’re going to start-up or innovate, you’re bound to fail at some point. I have no doubt McGregor knew in his heart of hearts that he would receive a beatdown from Mayweather, but he challenged the boxing legend nonetheless and gave him a good run for his money too!
- – Trepreneurs leverage failure. They learn from failure and take the punches. The important thing is what is done following failure. Mayweather let seem like McGregor was getting the better of him in the first three rounds; he hardly threw a punch, but took plenty. He was biding his time and then he unleashed the fury. Sometimes it pays to roll with the punches – to suss out the problem and then act accordingly.
Gibori states that if you’re going to talk the talk, then you need to walk the walk – nobody does this better than McGregor. Have your vision to make a positive difference to society, to create the next winning solution, but stay away from the bull-shitting – rather be a do-shitter.
McGregor summarises it perfectly: “I am cocky in prediction, confident in preparation, but I am always humble in victory or defeat”. –Treprenuers, step into the ring…
By Kirsten Naude
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