Archives for April 2020

96 – Rhonda Britten – Turning The Worst Day Of Your Life Into Fearless Living And Success

Rhonda Britten shares her story of overcoming a child's worst nightmare, to practical strategies that you can use to live a fearless, unstoppable life.

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IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN: 

  • The exercises that founded Rhonda Britten’s fearless living today
  • Helpful tips to work through your anxiety and fears
  • Gratitude vs. acknowledgment
  • How your ‘wheel of fear’ and ‘wheel of freedom’ work together
  • And more

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Download the PDF transcription

TRANSCRIPTION

People that have a difficult time with gratitude blame the world. The world is at fault. They can't be grateful because they blame the world. People that have a difficult time with acknowledgment, blame themselves.

GEORGE: Hey, this is George Fourie and welcome to another episode of the Martial Arts Media business podcast. So today I'm joined with a special guest. Once again not chatting to a martial artist, but someone that can really, really help inspire this community. And I'm speaking today to Rhonda Britten. How are you today Rhonda?

RHONDA:  I'm very fine George and I'm so excited to be here.

GEORGE: Thank you so much for taking the time. So real quick, Rhonda is from fearlessliving.org. Rhonda has also been featured on Oprah I believe and had a TV show?

RHONDA: Yep, 600 episodes of television and I actually aired all over the world. I've done six hundred episodes of television, I've got an Emmy. Written four books, first life coach on TV, Oprah several times, Steve Harvey… And most importantly, just somebody who has devoted her life to helping people understand how fear really works. Not from a theoretical perspective, but really from a practical application perspective. So yeah, so I've been around the block. I've been master coaching for 25 years, I was one of the first original life coaches and now here I am with you George.

GEORGE: Awesome. So what brings us here today obviously is a different climate out there of global pandemic and so forth. And there is a lot of fear in the air. People are experiencing a lot of fear, but people are also being pushed in a position of leadership, which can be kind of a contradiction, right? Because if you’re feeling fear yourself but you're in this position to step up and lead… Where do you find the instincts to actually do that?

RHONDA: Well, what you're talking about right, is knowing the why behind your, you know, like Simon Sinek says right, like the big why, right? But what I know to be true is that, you know, times of crisis actually define us and actually tell us who we really are. Because right now I think, you know, most people don't say they're afraid. Like, what people don’t come to me and go “I'm afraid, I'm scared,” right? And when I meet people and I tell them I'm a fear expert, they're like “oh I don't have any fears, I'm not scared.” but right now with the global pandemic, you can't hide from your fear, right? It's all over the place.

And so right now, if you have a crack in your foundation, that crack is showing, right? That crack is showing. And as a leader, as somebody who has to, you know, stand up and lead, those cracks are opportunities for you to transform your tribe, transform your business, transform yourselves. So it's not about hiding the cracks; in fact right now, leaders need to be not only clear and focused, but they also need to be vulnerable.

So that's one of the things that I know to be true. So you have cracks in your foundation – OK, awesome. Now you get to look at your foundation with clear eyes, not pretend it's better than it has been and actually admit to yourself what isn't working for you and what is working for you. And not only, you know, fill in the cracks, but actually think about creating a whole new foundation, so that not only can you build from where you are right here and right now, but that you can build no matter what the environment is, no matter what happens in the world.

GEORGE: Awesome, so you just mentioned, you were saying that in a moment of crisis you really sort of define. Now, you've got quite a fascinating story and I think people need to hear it if people aren't familiar with you. I would love for you to just share your story, to really give context of how you got to this knowledge and what you’re really referring to here.

RHONDA: Yeah, thank you, I really appreciate you asking me that George. And what you're referring to of course is the worst day of my life. And I'll tell the short version of the story. I was 14 years old and my parents were in the midst of a divorce and it happened to be father's day. My father was coming to take us out to brunch and, you know, my father walked in and went, “Come on, come on”, because that's what dads do. And my mom's putting on her blue eyeshadow, fluffing up her beehive hairdo.

And my sisters are fighting it out in the bathroom and me and my mom start, you know, walking out towards my dad to get to the car, to go out to the fancy sunday brunch. My sister's still fighting it out and as me and my mom and dad walk out, my dad mentioned that he wanted to get his coat from the car. And as he lifted the boot as they say, lifted the trunk, I noticed he didn't grab a coat, but he in fact grabbed a gun and he started screaming at my mother “you made me do this! You made me do this!” – and he fires. Now I started screaming “Dad, what are you doing?! What are you doing dad?! Stop!” and he cocked the gun and he pointed it at me. And I absolutely 100% believed I was next.

And he looked at me, I looked at him. I blinked, he blinked. It seemed like eternity, but I'm sure it was only a few seconds. And then my mother, with already one bullet inside her, saw what's happening and screamed “No, don’t!” and so that bullet intended for me, my father took and shot my mother a second time. And that second bullet went through my mother's abdomen out her back and landed smack dab in the car horn. And the car horn just beeeeeeeeep. Hey, I mean over 20 years, if I heard a car horn, I was right back there in the moment. And then my father cocked the gun again and fell to his knees, put the gun to his head and fired. So in a matter of two minutes, I am the sole witness of my father murdering my mother and committing suicide in front of me.

Now, I don't know how other people would respond to it, but I know what I did. I blamed myself, right? Because I was the only one out there that could have changed it. I didn't jump in front of my mother, I did nothing heroic. I didn't grab the gun, I didn't kick my father in the shins, right? I did nothing heroic. I just… Dad's out there and I said, don't ,stop, don't. And the level of guilt and shame that I felt basically took happiness off the table for me. Like, you can't be happy and watch your mom die, sorry, not an option anymore for me.

So I basically split in two that day. The outside of me was fine. I'm fine, you know, I'm sure we've all played the fine game, right? Like, no, I'm fine, plenty of money in the bank, I'm good, yeah, fine. But inside, you're scared to bejeebers, right? And that's how I was. Like, outside I pretended I was fine. Kept going to school, got straight A's, I'm fine. But inside, I was deathly afraid that there was something seriously wrong with me. I mean, one, my father's blood ran through my veins and I became afraid of feeling that there was something, like really damaged about me, like, really wrong with me.

And so I went away to college, which I thought, yay, nobody knows my story, I can hide from it. When in fact, me hiding it and me stuffing it down even further, had me start drinking. I discovered alcohol, became an alcoholic, got three DUIs. Decided, you know what, this isn't worth living for. So I tried to kill myself three times. And it was that third suicide attempt George that I realized something. I realized I'm not good at killing myself. And yeah, I'm not dying George, I'm not dying. Because George, I got to tell you: that's what I wanted to do. I wanted to die. And here I am, very much alive after you try to kill yourself three times, they do put you in the psychiatric ward to evaluate you. And so I was there, I don’t know, three or four days. They evaluated me, I'm not crazy, and left me to go home by myself. And I remember sitting in my little studio apartment and going, uh okay, I'm not dying. Okay, I better figure this out, because how I'm living isn't working for me. Like, this is miserable, right?

And now I want to preface this George by saying, you know, during this whole time, during these years, I was reading books and going to therapy and doing workshops. I mean, I read my first self-help book when I was 12. So, you know, I have been devoted to personal growth and self-development ever since I can remember, it's what I'm passionate about. And so I was doing everything right that I thought I should do. And yet it wasn't relieving me of the burden of thinking there was something wrong with me. That there's something seriously like, wrong. And so it wasn't until that third suicide attempt when I'm sitting in my apartment all by myself and I say to myself, well, I guess I have to figure this out. 

And I started out of desperation making up exercises for myself – and shockingly, they started working. Still today, I'm still shocked that they work and every time they work for people, which is all the time, I still get shocked when people send me a, you know, note saying “oh my gosh, changed my life.” I'm always like, “really?”, you know, because it's just, you know, it's just still so amazing to me that the work that changed my life changes so many others.

And so I started doing exercises, they started working. Made more exercises up, those worked. And then eventually, you know, it took me many years to start something called fearless living of course. But it was the exercises I started with in that studio apartment all by myself in Los Angeles are really the foundation of fearless living today.

GEORGE: Wow. That's quite a story. Now, I really want to backtrack because you mentioned that you had the self-worth issues.

RHONDA: Yeah!

GEORGE: That you took the blame on yourself.

RHONDA: Sure, of course.

GEORGE: And I really want to get to the exercises, because that really, I think, you know, people in general. I know I’ve had, you know, the self-talk moments.

RHONDA: Yeah, self attack. Like, who do you think you are, what's your problem, why don't you get it together, right? Yeah.

GEORGE: How did you get pass that? Like, obviously you've got to make the decision and have the awareness that it's actually a problem that you need to change it. But let's say you’re at that point and, you know, alright, well as you were after your third suicide, you know, alright, well, something's got to change.

RHONDA: Something's got to change.

GEORGE: How do you go pass that?

RHONDA: Well, one of the very first exercises I created actually addresses this very thing. And I remember sitting in my apartment, like I said, I don't know what to do. And I actually said to myself George, I gotta go back to kindergarten. I actually said that. Like, I've got to go back to kindergarten. And I said to myself what do they do in kindergarten? Well, they give you gold stars. So I went out and bought a calendar and gold stars. And at this point you have to remember that I didn't feel worthy to be happy or worthy to be successful or worthy to be loved. Even though out in the world I was so good at faking, people that met me probably were like “Yeah, that Rhonda, she's great,” you know. But again, like, I didn't think that, I didn't agree with that one bit.

So, I got gold stars, got a calendar and I decided that for 30 days, I was going to keep track of anything that I did that was good. Because I felt so not worth living for and why did I exist that I wanted to find anything worth saving. Like, that’s what I was looking for. What we’re saving here? Am I worth saving? So, I kept track for 30 days and gave myself a gold star for anything good and George, these were things like, got angry and didn’t break anything. Ok? Like, oh, you know, felt rejected, but didn’t run away, right? Like, I'm talking basic things, but back then, that was like a life saver for me. Me getting angry and not destroying anything, or me feeling humiliated or upset and not walking away was a miracle, right? And so, after those 30 days, I had a calendar filled with gold stars. And that gave me hope that there is something worth saving.

Now, that exercise George has turned into what I call acknowledgments. And acknowledgments are something the high achievers are really bad at. And people that are attracted to fearless living and self help junkies, they’re also really bad at it, because they, you know, they kind of pride themselves on telling themselves the truth about how they’re screwing up so they can improve themselves. When in fact, acknowledgments are going to give you more bang for your buck and your acknowledgments are actually a way for you to have confidence, the way to actually create steady confidence.

So it’s something like this, you do it this way: today I acknowledge myself for and acknowledge yourself for any movement forward. And I'm talking about any movement forward. I have an exercise called “stretch, risk or die” that I teach my clients how like, their comfort zone is right in the middle and there's a structure on the “risk or die” zone and I say, even if you’re moving from your comfort zone to your stretch zone, you acknowledge yourself. So George, I want to caveat this: because it’s not acknowledging yourself for being perfect. It's not acknowledging yourself for getting it done. It's not acknowledging yourself for how well you did it – it is literally, I had a new thought: acknowledge yourself. Right? Oh, I made a phone call. Phone call went crappy, didn't go the way I wanted – doesn't matter, acknowledge yourself for making the phone call. So you're basically acknowledging without judging, without putting a oh good or bad on it. You're just acknowledging movement forward.

And when I started just simply giving myself credit for the movement I was making, not how well I did it, but just the movement, that changed everything. Because the confidence started to rise, self esteem started to rise. And when I work with clients and they’re like, I need more self confidence, I go, do this exercise and I guarantee in three days you'll feel better. I've had parents do this with their kids: within 24 hours, 48 hours, they feel better. I mean, it's a confidence booster big time. Because we, as high achievers, well, we don't give ourselves those acknowledgments, we only see the next thing we have to do and how we can do it better, right? And how we should have done it better. And how it could have been faster. And all of that actually erodes our self confidence and self esteem. So that star exercise turned into acknowledgments.

GEORGE: And I love this exercise. So it's almost like practicing gratitude, but at the micro level. Like if you're struggling with gratitude it's like, well, I've got nothing to be grateful for, or this really peels back the layers. Right?

RHONDA: Well, I like to think of it this way. In the world of fearless living, gratitude and acknowledgments are for different reasons. So gratitude is about the world out there, right? So I'm grateful that today Los Angeles is like, the number one clean air city in the world, which never happens, right? So I'm really grateful that I'm breathing clean air and that this global pandemic has created. I can see the stars and the moon better than I ever have before. I'm really grateful for this moment that I get to see the sky the way that I do, right? So gratitude is about out there. Acknowledgments are all about you. They're about you. So it's very different.

And usually George, people that have a difficult time with gratitude blame the world. The world is at fault. They can't be grateful because they blame the world. People that have a difficult time with acknowledgments, blame themselves. And as most high achievers, most people that are making it on their own, businesses, want to do better, they have a tendency to blame themselves. And so acknowledgments for most of my clients are the hardest work sometimes that they do. Because just to give themselves credit takes an enormous amount of surrender, an enormous amount of willingness, enormous amount of perfectionism has to go away, you know? All that fear stuff.

So acknowledgments are all about you taking responsibility and claiming the movement that you made, again, whether it worked or not, whether it was good or not, whether how it looked or not – irrelevant. Did you have a new thought? Did you make a movement? Did you do something? Right? And then when you do that, you're going to start giving yourself credit and this is the reason that acknowledgments are so powerful, is that they become a diary of our effort. I don't know about you George, but most of my life, if I made an effort and it didn't turn out the way I wanted, I forgot all about that effort. Right? I was like, well, that didn't work and I just threw it out the window, right? This becomes a diary and a reminder for you to go, oh wait, id o know how to do that. I did do that. Life is good, right? So it just changes.

GEORGE: Thanks so much for clarifying that, because that makes a lot of sense to me. Gratitude versus acknowledgments: gratitude out there, acknowledgments in here.

RHONDA: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

GEORGE: How can we tie this into the topic of fear and how things are holding us back?

RHONDA: Ah! Well, you know, fear is insidious. So let me just say a little bit about neuroscience and I know you probably know all this already, but I'll just say it, just in case, you know, so we have a firm foundation. You know, the way the brain and our neurobiology works is that the brain doesn't know the difference between a physical fear and an emotional fear. Ok? And I know the people who listen to you, physical fear is like their specialty, right? Like, they help people through their physical fears. But those physical fears and emotional fears again, we don't know the difference.

So a fear of rejection and a fear of height to the body and brain are the same thing. All right? The other thing about the way the brain works, the brain does not know the difference between something imagined and something real. So we walk into a room and we don't think we belong there and, you know, we're going to make up a story about it and we live out that story then. Because we actually are, we're hanging on to the imagined story we've made up. So the brain doesn't know the difference. The other thing about the brain is they’re doing research now and they’re starting to prove that some of our fears are actually handed down through our DNA.

So, you know, some of the things that you may have a fear of failure, or a fear of rejection or a fear of success, or a fear of loss or a fear of identity, or you know, etc. Etc. Fear of speaking in public, right? Any fear. Perfectionist, procrastination etc. All of those things are ways, I'll just put it this way: fear’s number one job is to keep us safe. And so, your fears are handed down through your DNA, you experience fear as you're growing up, you don't know it because it's just reality. You don't think of it as, I'm afraid of my mom or my dad or my fellow students unless they are hitting you. You just know that they're mean, or you know, you judge them and you put them aside.

So how fear works is that fear wants to keep you in a safe place. The challenge is George, safety means that it's the same. And they’ve been proving this in neuroscience now that the brain actually and the way we work, body and brain, is we’re energy machines. And in order to conserve energy, the brain automatically – it has a problem, it has a problem, global pandemic. Problem.And the brain automatically to save energy, looks in the past for the solution. So it's looking for a template in the past, going through your books that you already own and going, I've got to have a book here about global pandemic. I'm sure I've cured this before, I'm sure I did this before. And there is no template! Right? So then what happens? Our body and brain gets panicked, because now we don't know what to do, because again, the way that the body and brain find information is looking in the past. Well, the past template does not solve the current problem. And rarely does, right?

So we’re actually unconsciously, not knowing we’re doing it, looking in the past, super fast, auto responder, right? To solve a problem that we’re experiencing in the present, that past template, we’ve outgrown, it doesn't work for us anymore. Which then, we’re trying to use a past template in the present to create a new future and you and I both know that doesn't work. So I want you to imagine for a minute that you're trying to, you know, create a new business, or make more money or find some steady ground in this pandemic. In order to do that, automatically, your brain is going to look in the past – it's not there. So now you’re in the unknown. So I like to say that freedom, freedom equals your capacity to live in the unknown.  Freedom equals your capacity to live in the unknown. But our body and brain are completely petrified of the unknown, they don't wanna live there. They’re concerned about security and safety. And remember one of our number one core needs is safety. And when we don't feel safe, we retreat. And instead, we want to move forward, right? Does that make sense?

GEORGE: Yeah, terribly.

RHONDA: I feel like I'm missing a little piece there. I feel like I'm missing something, so I hope you're going to ask me about it, I just know there's something I didn't connect.

GEORGE: Well, let's take a step forward, right? How do we navigate then into the sphere of the unknown? How do we go there?

RHONDA: Yeah. So let me talk you through the “stretch, risk or die” exercise, because I think that's going to be the best illustration. So think of your comfort zone. I mean, we all know what a comfort zone is. Our comfort zone is what we do, you know, I like to tell people, think of your comfort zone as your life right now. So married, not married, kids, no kids, you know, worried about your bank account, not worried about your bank account. Whatever is happening today, in this moment, let's make it your comfort zone, even though it's not very comfortable.

So think about it as a bullseye, a bullseye on a dart board. The second ring around that comfort zone is called the stretch zone. And now, the stretch zone is the things George, that you now you can do, you just haven’t done. Like, think about all the things, I can think about a whole bunch of things that I know I can do and I haven’t done. You know, how much vegetables should I be eating? I know I should be going to sleep – oh, I know I should be making that extra thousand steps on my pedometer, right? I know these things; why aren't I doing it? This is the tricky part George because the stretch zone is the simplest zone, because you know you can do it. But in fact, it's where we beat ourselves up the most because we know we can do it and we’re not doing it! Ok?

GEORGE: Right.

RHONDA: So we’re ruthless with ourselves! We're so mean to ourselves! Now, the circle around the stretch zone is called the risk zone. And the risk zone is the things you don't know if you could succeed or not. You're not sure you could do it. The die zone is outside of that, the die zone is like, I don't know if I can do that, – I don't even know if I want to do it, right? So I think about when I trained for a marathon. A marathon was definitely a die for me, I haven't run since high school, right? So a stretch for me was, sure I would walk 5 miles, no problem. I should my comfort zone was walking 5 miles; a stretch would have been, you know, maybe walking 7 or 8 miles, right? Like I probably can do it, you know. A risk was running a mile, or running 3 miles – I didn't know if I could actually run a mile. I haven't run since high school. So I don't know, I don't know if I could succeed or not. And then like I said, the die was running the marathon. So I want you to imagine that in between the comfort zone, the stretch zone, the risk zone, the die zone, is a band of fear. And for you to move from your comfort zone to your stretch zone, you must move through what I call the wheel of fear. And in order to move from the stretch zone to the risk zone, you must move through that band of fear.

So we blow it, we go, “I have to add more vegetables” and then we don't add the vegetables and then we beat ourselves up for it. That actually has made our neural pathways stronger in the fact of beating ourselves up, putting ourselves down and proving that we are unworthy. Proving that you're lazy, proving that you're stupid, proving that you don't have it to be successful, right? So every time that we want to make a change in our life, we actually are rubbing up against the wheel of fear, what I call the wheel of fear. And most of us don't know how that works. Most of us don't have a relationship with our fear. And so they just blame themselves, put themselves down, think it's their fault. But it's actually not, it's how we're wired. And once you know how you're wired, you can make a different choice and move from that wheel of fear to the wheel of freedom.

GEORGE: I love that.

RHONDA: Does that make sense?

GEORGE: Yeah, totally. So I've got this visual picture of the wheels of how…

RHONDA: Yeah

GEORGE: …you know, the band of fear really sits. So it's really never a question of feeling comfortable at what, reaching a level of comfort in our comfort zone thinking, okay, I'm now comfortable where I'm at – it's time to take the next step. It's always taking that leap into that stretch of fear and knowing, well, hang on: I've gotta embrace the fear because fear means I'm going in the right direction.

RHONDA: Yeah, I mean it's like, think of it this way. You know, fear is really subtle, so let me just step back with this. Most people like you and I George don't say I'm afraid or I'm scared. I mean, I am shocked that I'm a fear expert because I never, even when I was going through with my parents and after, you know, those nightmares every night for 14 years of becoming an alcoholic, I never would have said I'm afraid or scared. I never would have said that. But what people don't see and what I didn't see is that fear doesn't show up as, you know, like a big giant monster.

Fear shows up in our behaviors and our problems. So how do we know that we have fear, that fear’s on patrol? If we procrastinate, there's a fear under that. If we get overwhelmed, there's a fear under that. If we're a perfectionist, there's a fear under that. If we get anxious, there's a fear under that. If we judge, there's a fear under that. If we're comparing, there's a fear under that. If we complain, there’s a fear under that, right? So all the things that we think, “God I wish I would quit people-pleasing. God, I wish I wouldn’t be a perfectionist. God, I've gotta quit procrastinating.” all those things we’re like, I wish I could quit doing. All of those are just fear responses. Those are not the fear itself; that is just the response that we're having to the fear that keeps us then stuck, stuck and small and convinces us, because we're not doing those things that we then don't have a right, or we don't have what it takes to actually go for the dream we want, or actually make the changes that we really want to make, right?

So in order to really see fear for what it is, we have to really start with our fear responses. And actually no, you're not a procrastinator because you're stupid or, you know, lazy: you’re a procrastinator because you're afraid of something underneath that. And that's where the wheel of fear comes in. Because I believe wholeheartedly, based on the work that I've done and the research I've done, is that the only way that you can truly change your life is by changing your filtering system. And the best way to change your filtering system is to have a mental model that really sets you free. So I created a mental model called the “wheel of fear.” And the wheel of fear basically explains to you, shows you how you operate when you get triggered, right? And so like, I have two pairs of glasses here wait, what – yep, I do have two pairs of glasses.

So let's just imagine that for a minute George, that these are my wheel of fear glasses that I have on right now. So I'm looking at the global pandemic through my wheel of fear glasses. What am I going to look at? There's not enough opportunity. The government isn't coming faster. How am I going to get toilet paper? Where's my water? Oh my god, I'm going to… right? Like, those are the fear glasses. If you put on what we call the “wheel of freedom” glasses, you actually change the complete filtering system. And you see something, just a different world.

And you see opportunity and possibility and hope and goodness and clean air, and you see something completely different. So that's what I'm dedicated to, is helping people understand how their wheel of fear works and what their wheel of fear is, so that they can choose every day to move from their wheel of fear to their wheel of freedom. So, you know, the wheel of fear has four parts and again, I could go into that but, you know, I believe that everybody has a core fear that they have that really runs them. And my core fear is, I don't want to be seen as a loser. Now, if you say to me oh Rhonda, I know my core fear: I don't want to be seen as lazy. It's like, trust me, you're wrong. You're wrong, you're dead wrong. I have only met two people in my 25 years that actually knew what their wheel of fear was, because you will think that your wheel of fear is your fear response. That’s not your core fear, right? So, all your procrastination, your perfectionism, your anxiety, you’re overwhelmed, you're beating yourself up, you're putting yourself down – all those are just fear responses and there's something else driving those behaviors.

And for me, on my wheel of fear, that for me is the fear of being seen as a loser. The fear of being thought of as a loser, that anybody could see it, think it, smell it around me, right? And I'm automatically, my automatic system will go into overdrive the minute I think even for a second that you're thinking that, right? And that's how we do, we're always operating unless for consciousness we're awake unless we're aware, we're operating to try to preserve ourselves, rather than to shed ourselves, right? To release ourselves. So that's, you know, that's our basic opportunity here, is who's going to win the wheel of fear or a wheel of freedom.

GEORGE: All right, so let's make this practical and let's choose someone out of the audience to be a guinea pig.

RHONDA: Oooooh, ok!

GEORGE: So I really relate to that, right? Again, I think I relate to that, but I could be wrong. Where you mention, all right well, you don't want to be a loser. So here's something I know that comes up for me: I know that when I get into creative mode, I need to create content. I have this war of art moment. I procrastinate, or I find things to do. I actually, I was talking to Kylie Ryan about this, I mentioned, you know, I was just about to create a new program for our Partners group. And before I knew it, I was down at the store buying a new monitor. It was important, right? And I’ve noticed, if I set aside a day and according to my Kolbe I should, you know, multitask and do things at the last minute, which is detrimental to me, but I do that. But either way if I know my day is set out that, this is my creation day and I've got to create things – I know that I'm going to find things to do throughout the day and put things, put obstacles in my way and I catch myself doing it. So let's, it's like that is an example.

RHONDA: Yeah, I love that. So that's basically the writer’s, you know, that's a writer's dilemma. As a writer, you know, every, every writer says they love to write, but they hate to sit down, right? Like the hardest thing is to sit down, right? Every writer would tell you their house was spotless before they'll ever sit down and write a word, right? And on one level, just to talk about it from an ethereal level, is that on one level your brain is switching modes, right? Like creative, incubating and creating is very different than executing, ok? So, you know, you probably are in execution mode most of the time and now you're switching to creative mode. Well, that's a different way to be.

And part of creating is actually dabbling, you know, kind of scat, like kind of just hanging out, cleaning the house, you know, like that actually helps your whole body and brain release. It's kind of like when you want a good idea, where do we all go? We go to the shower, right? We go to the shower, because we're not thinking anymore, we're just in the shower and all of a sudden, an idea pops. Well, it's that same theory when we're trying to create. Creativity is a, well there's a muse to creativity and you have to court the muse and so it's like, I think you're trying to… On one hand, I want you to be able to create from 9:00 to 5:00, or whatever you want. I mean when I'm on a deadline for a book, I can write 3 o'clock in the morning – 4 o'clock in the afternoon, because I've got a deadline, right? I'm on purpose. I have zero procrastination. But if I'm not clear about what I'm doing or if I've been in execution mode, there has to be a space for me to change my energy and to prepare the space for me to be creative. So that's one part of it.

The other thing is that there are costs and benefits for you to be creative. So let's just talk about those: what do you think are some costs of you being creative? You came up with this new program. What are some costs? Let's just make them up.

GEORGE: Yeah well, costs are, is it going to be good enough?

RHONDA: Yeah, going to be good enough, yeah. Is anybody going to like it? Are people going to quit? They’re going to be like, oh he's gone downhill I'm leaving, right? Right?

GEORGE: That's, that's a cost, yeah.

RHONDA: Yeah, yeah. So all these, these are costs. So the benefits, what would the benefits be?

GEORGE: Benefits would be that my members get value and they get something that they can action that's going to move them forward.

RHONDA: Right, right. So there's good benefits and you're devoted. So this is what I know about you George: I know that even though you procrastinate because the costs are very high actually, I know that you as a human being are so devoted to your tribe that you actually will create that course. It won't be when you say it is, it will be based on when it needs to be, because you’re a last-minute person – by the way, so am I. So, you know, I'm the person creating a course, like I'm teaching a class tomorrow and I haven't even thought about it yet.

Like, it's not even a thought in my head. Like, irrelevant to me, because it's tomorrow. After you and I get off the phone I'll be like, oh, tomorrow, yeah I need to think about that. And then I'll start and I'll jot down some notes. But I, just like you, work at the last minute. So if I'm trying to force myself to go out of my own system, that in itself doesn't work. But I want you to hear that you rationally know the right answer – oh, I'm going to sit down and do this program. But fear comes in and goes, but we don't know how. And we don't have a guaranteed result. And who do you think you are? Come on, you know, you've been doing this for a long time right now. Yeah, you say you know what you're doing, but what if they don't like it? You know, okay what if this loses your business? What if everybody knows you’re a fraud? What if, what if, what if, what if, right?

And again, you may not be thinking those thoughts. It may not be in your head, right? But they're inside of what I call the wheel of fear. They're the ways that the wheel of fear is, because you're saying to the wheel of fear, “Well I'm going to grow now. I'm going to change. I'm going to add, I'm going to create.” And the wheel of fear is like, “Ah not a good idea thank you very much! This is going to be bad.” And so it tries to get you to be distracted and get you to go by that monitor and have you, you know, stamped in the middle of the night and then start working at 2:00 in the morning, right?

GEORGE: Totally. Okay, so I catch myself doing this. And I acknowledge my fear. What's my next step?

RHONDA: Well I don't know: are you going to sit down and write or are you just acknowledging your fear?

GEORGE: Right.

RHONDA: So there's a couple things. So like I said, we have something called the wheel of fear and a wheel of freedom, but to bypass that right now, to give you a really quick, quick way to start dealing with this, is actually start having a dialogue with fear. So the first thing you do is you never fight with fear. Never. It always wins. 

Fear is as smart as you are, as educated as you are, as spiritual as you are, it knows everything you know, and it's way smarter than you. So we never argue with fear. So a fear says, this is going to be bad. This is what you'd say to fear: you're right, it's going to be bad and I'm going to do it anyway. Oh well, this is, you know, I know you think this is going to bring value and you're going to suck it up and get it done but, you know, what if George doesn't like it? What if Harry doesn't like it? Well, they might not like it, that's right, they may not like it and I'm going to do it anyway. Okay, well you're making a fatal mistake. I might be making a fatal mistake, thank you so much – I'm going to do it anyway. Okay, well don't come crying to me. Okay. Right?

So one of the ways that we bypass is not fighting and not arguing. This is one of the tools inside the wheel of freedom, what I call the wheel freedom. One of the things that I teach my clients is how do you talk to fear and how do you move beyond fear. And what do you focus on instead? And what we focus on on the wheel of fear and wheel of freedom is, there's something called the essential nature. Remember how I told you, like I don't want to be seen as a loser? Well, on my wheel of freedom what I focus on instead is being authentic. So if I'm afraid to be a loser or I think loser around my job is Rhonda Britten is – if I was being authentic right now, what would I do? Oh – I would say this, I would do this.

So you need to, you know, to have another shift of a mental model. It can't be just you and the project because it's bigger than the project. It's got to be like who you are and what really works for you. So whether it's, you know, being authentic, like, well if I was being authentic, would I be doing this project? Or it could be, if I was being compassionate with myself, or if I was being comfortable to myself, right? But there's another frame that you have to decide to step into and take action from that new frame. So me being authentic is, you know, if you're afraid to be a loser, you're afraid if you're authentic that you're going to be a loser. And I have to know that that's not true. Like right, that's not true. If I was being authentic, who would I be? Oh. I would sit down and I might tell my group that it's going to be done next week and not be done now, right? Or oh, I'm going to tell myself that maybe I don't know as much as I think I do and I have to do some research. Or maybe I do need somebody to help me be accountable to, right? Tell yourself the truth. But never, never, never, argue with fear/

GEORGE: I love that. Rhonda, so good. Before we wrap things up, I just want to bring it back to my audience. And looking at, you know, we’ve got martial arts school others that we work with, people are faced in various directions. You know, some people have had their income shot down 100%.

RHONDA: Yeah.

GEORGE: Many of them are Partners within our group of martial artists made the pivot online and are venturing in that new arena.

RHONDA: New world, yeah.

GEORGE: Yeah and I don't want to shift the topic too much and, you know, go down a whole new angle. But I just want to talk about the topic of money, because this has come up a lot of times where, I think especially in the martial arts space, there's been so much emphasis placed on the value that they deliver physically. And if they switch to the online, the detachment of what they deliver physically and they are doing online…

RHONDA: Yes

GEORGE: …They feel that it's just not right to charge money, or that they've got to do it for goodwill.

RHONDA: Yes.

GEORGE: what would be your take on that and the relationship of money and feeling comfortable making that shift?

RHONDA: So I'm going to say two things: one is, I have an exercise that we can do in just a minute, but um… The thing is that, you know, I have a client of mine who's a martial artist. He's a… what kind of trainer is that, you know, in the cage, the cage trainers, right? Um…

GEORGE: Mixed martial arts.

RHONDA: Yeah, and he's… Yeah, right, mixed martial arts. So he is, you know, he said the same thing to me. He's like, you know, but I have to touch them and I have to move them. I'm saying, yeah, but right now what do you think everybody needs that are your clients? I don't know about you, but I think they need a mindset. I think they need maybe critiques on… Like, you could put matches on line and you could critique them. You could help them understand their body better. Like, there are so many refinements, right? Like if you talk to a boxer, a martial artist: the work is not done in the ring, right? The work is done outside the ring, right? So using that attitude of like, okay, I'm not in the ring right now, I'm not with them physically: so what can I do? How can I support them? That's going to give them a competitive edge and even better when we get back in the ring? And I think that's the mindset that you have to think of that you're doing like the heavy lifting, the deep, rooted work, right? The deep rooted work, without the physical body being there.

So I think that mindset work, getting people to understand that they can use their body, taking care of themselves, making sure they're staying in shape etc etc, doing the fine muscles, etc etc – I mean, this is important and valuable work that people will pay for. They will be happy to pay because they want to belong somewhere. Because everybody, most people out there are feeling very, very alone, even though they have five people living in their house and they're stuck with them. They feel very alone and they want somebody that understands them, that knows them like this. That knows them in their power like this. They want to be seen, they want to be remembered, they want to be heard – and they want focus. And you're the one to give them that, because you're their trainer. You're there whether there's a gym owner, a trainer, you know, you're their master. So help them during this time, it's your responsibility. I don't know that's a…

GEORGE: Yes, that is spot-on and very in alignment with what I've been telling our clients iIs really think of the outcome. There's an outcome that people actually get from the martial arts and if you can provide that through a different medium, that's going to keep them together until, you know, the new normal.

RHONDA: That's right. But again, you and I both know martial arts is a lot of mindset stuff. So if your mind is caught in the cracks in your foundation as I said earlier, then you get to do your mindset work alongside your clients. And you get to lead them through that. And that's your opportunity and that is one of the greatest gifts you can give to them. And I promise you this they will remember you forever, leading them through this. They will remember you forever. You know, I mean I think about the people that I've been talking to and I will never forget them, because they're helping, they're supporting, they’re being with, you know, like we're doing this together, right? So you're not just becoming, you know, who they've trained with; you're really becoming their mentor at a whole new level. So I invite you to take it. Yeah. And do you want me to throw this last exercise out? Because I promised I would, but again, I don't need to. I mean, are you complete, what do you think?

GEORGE: If you have the time Rhonda, I would love it.

RHONDA: I’ll just throw it out, because I actually said I would share it, so I want to give it. Another exercise to actually take about, whether it’s abundance or mindset whatever it is, you know, we're focused on the things like, “oh I've got to give everything away.” and again, goodwill is nice but what can you give for goodwill and what will you charge for you? You have to really start to understand that like, I'm doing a lot of Facebook lives right now for goodwill. But I'm also charging my clients and I'm also charging for my courses, ok? I'm giving people a longer time to pay and some people I've been talking to are reducing fees 50% for one month or two months and then that's it so that their clients stay with them. But again, you don't have to do that to pay on what you provide, right?

So this exercise that I'm going to tell you and I'll end with this is control versus no control. So grab a piece of paper, put a line down the middle and on the left hand side write “control” and on the right hand side write “no control.” and I want you to write down all the things you are in control of and all the things you're not in control of. Now, I'm sure you've probably done something like this already with your folks George, is like what do they control, what don't they control. But this is the kicker, this is what I do is my clients. I take it to the next level is, all the things they can control, I want them to grade themselves. I want them to rate themselves from one to ten. Ten is, I'm not going to have a problem with my sleep, I'm the greatest sleeper in the whole world. Water? I'm a ninja! I'm a nine! Right? Or is it, I'm two with my sleep and I'm three with my vegetables and I'm four in connection, right? 

So write all the things you're in control of and give yourself a scorecard, rate yourself. Because what I know to be true is, when you're focused on the things you can't control, when you're getting worried about the things you can't control, I guarantee you you're not controlling the things you can. You're not taking care of business where you can. So I invite you to just do the control – no control. Have the control there, rate yourself, give yourself a scorecard. Focus there, because then when you do that, you'll get your power back. You feel empowered again and then the things you can’t control kind of recede in the background, right?

GEORGE: Simple. What a great…

RHONDA: Simple, but not easy to do, right?

GEORGE: Exactly, exactly. But that's gold and I'm going to do it right now.

RHONDA: It's an amazing exercise, I can't tell you how many clients I have worked with, I've been doing that exercise with clients for over 20 years and I cannot tell you how it changes their life. Because it's not just a list, oh I can do this, I can do this. But it's like, no – rate yourself. That rating gives you like, oh crap, I’ve  got to focus on this, it gives you a focus now.

GEORGE: Right.

RHONDA: Do you mind if I give a gift to your listeners?

GEORGE: Please do!

RHONDA: Ok, so I actually feel compelled to… I don't normally give two gifts, but I did talk about “stretch, risk or die”, so I do want to give them all the worksheets for that, so they can really understand it at a deeper level. So go to fearlessliving.org/risk, and yes, you're going to have to put your name and email in because it's inside a member center. If you don't want to get emails or whatever, of course you can just unsubscribe right away. But again, you're going to need to do that in order to become a member to get the course.

But the other thing that I realized I had just the other day which is so funny. I'd already talked to like six groups and forgot I had this: I actually have created a course called “How To Overcome Fear Of The Unknown”. Hellooo! Helloo! Duh! And when I realized that, I was like wait a minute I have a course called “How To Overcome Fear Of The Unknown”. So if you'd like that course as well, go ahead and grab that and that's at fearlessliving.org/gift. So fearlessliving.org/risk for stretch, risk or die and fearlessliving.org/gift for the gifts. And again, sign up, put your email in, you'll get access to the course. Unsubscribe if you don't want to hear from me ever again.

GEORGE: That's gold Rhonda, thank you so much for being so generous with your time. Thank you for the great gifts. I know I got, you know, my secret finish about doing this podcast is like I get to speak to awesome guests like you and  just learn. And I know everybody listening to this is going to get so much value. So Rhonda, thank you so much, really appreciate your time.

RHONDA: You’re welcome – be fearless.

GEORGE: Awesome. Thanks for listening. If you want to connect with other top and smart martial arts school owners, and have a chat about marketing, lead generation, what's working now, or just have a gentle rant about things that are happening in the industry, then I want to invite you to join our Facebook group

It's a private Facebook group and in there, I share a lot of extra videos and downloads and worksheets – the things that are working for us when we help school owners grow and share a couple of video interviews and a bunch of cool extra resources.

So it's called the Martial Arts Media Business Community and an easy way to access it is, if you just go to the domain named martialartsmedia.group, so martialaartsmedia.group, g-r-o-u-p, there's no .Com or anything, martialartsmedia.group. That will take you straight there. Request to join and I will accept your invitation.

Thanks – I'll speak to you on the next episode – cheers!

Here are 3 ways we can help scale your school right now.

1. Join the Martial Arts Media community.

It's our new Facebook community where martial arts school owners get to ask questions about online marketing and get access to training videos that we don't share elsewhere – Click Here.

2. Join the Martial Arts Media Academy and become a Case Study.

I'm working closely with a group of martial arts school owners this month. If you'd like to work with me to help you grow your martial arts school, message me with the word ‘Case Study'.

3. Work with me and my team privately.

If you would like to work with me and my team to scale your school to the next level, then message me with the word ‘private'… tell me a little about your business and what you would like to work on together and I'll get you all the details.

Enjoyed the show? Get more martial arts business tips when you subscribe on iTunes for iPhone or Stitcher Radio for Android devices.

***NEW*** Now available on Spotify!

Podcast Sponsored by Martial Arts Media Partners

The Martial Arts Business Pivot Gameplan

How to get your martial arts students to commit, show up, and fill your pipeline with new prospects in uncertain times.

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IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN: 

  • How to shift from being a fear consumer to a content creator 
  • The new 9 accelerators that you should focus on in the ‘new normal’ 
  • Getting back into growth mode
  • And more

*Need help growing your martial arts school? Learn More Here.

Download the PDF transcription

TRANSCRIPTION

Hey, George here. Hope you're well. I've just put together our new Martial Arts Pivot Game Plan. I want to go through just the big picture of the plan with you. Over the next couple of weeks, I'm going to be sharing probably a bit more in depth in regards to the certain topics that we're going to discuss here. Been having a lot of conversations with a lot of martial arts school owners over the past couple of weeks and really trying to refine what is going to happen from now, moving forward. So I'm going to map it out for you. I'm not the best at handwriting and drawing, but I think it will give you a good context of what the plan looks like and how to move forward.

First up, let's start with the now. Let's work it from the inside out, but let's work it where we are at. Right now, most martial arts school owners and maybe for you too is, we're consumed in a state of fear, fear from the media, the social media. Just there's not a lot of positivity out there, right? We're kind of consumed with a lot of fear, right? At this point, you're kind of sitting in a, well, we'll just call it a fear consumer stage.

Now, what makes us scared, if we look at the business side of it, is right now we're in a situation where students are canceling. With students canceling, that's going to obviously, as a… within the business, impact your cash flow. And then personally, wait from here. Like, how am I going to provide for my family if the cash disappears and people aren't paying? And it's going to have a bigger impact on your family.

Then on this side, number two. For number two, we've got no normal classes. The platform has changed, hasn't it? And depending on where you're at, I know for most school owners at this point in time still in lockdown, not able to run classes other than virtually. So we're sitting in a situation of no normal classes and that kind of makes the students feel a little uncertain. Like what's going on? What's going to happen? And for you, it's a fear of the future, for fear of the future for them as well. Like where does this go if we can't have our normal classes?

And then number three, which is important but hasn't been really the focus of anyone right now, is no new sign-ups. Impact on the business, if you're not bringing on new students in this type of climate, if you're stagnating, you're really declining because things aren't just the way they are, right? So if you're going to stay the same, then there's going to be a dramatic decline in the business.

By the way, if you're watching this live, just give me a thumbs up or leave me a comment below that says live. If you're watching the replay, just comment replay just so I know. All right, cool.

So here we are, right? Students are canceling, no normal classes, no new sign-ups. And we want to flip this fear consumer mindset. And instead of being on the fear, on the defense, we really want to dial into the offense. And we've got to flip things around and we've got to become the creator, right? Creator versus consumer. Okay. So let's flip these around.

Students are canceling. What do we want them to do? Well, first up, we want them to commit. This is where the video gets a bit better, right? You're not focusing on the problems. Let's look at the solutions, right? So first up, we want them to commit. No normal classes. Instead of them getting hung up about the normal classes, we want to change their perspective and make sure they show up, start showing up to the new medium, which we'll talk about in just a minute. And then we've got no new sign ups. Instead of having no new sign ups, we want to split this around and, once again, have a full pipeline, a full pipeline of new prospects that want to get started with martial arts. Not in the same way of course, but they want a get started. If this is resonating with you, let me know in the comment below. We'd love to know your feedback.

So let's map this out further and let's dive into what I'd like to refer to as our new nine accelerators that we need to focus on. If we've got to stop students canceling, get used to the norm of no normal classes and there's no new sign ups and we want to flip these around, we want to get them to commit, to show up and have a full pipeline, then here's how this looks.

First up on the commit side, we've got to over-communicate. Right now, coming in the position where we can't communicate enough, we have to constantly keep communicating. And taking into consideration that there's no physical location right now, so there's got to be a lot of communication online, back and forth, whether it's one-on-one, whether it's in the groups, you name it.

Number two. We want to engage our community. This is one important aspect where I think a lot of people are missing the point when it comes to creating online videos, is you've got to engage your community, now more so than ever because… I mean, all your students and yourself, you're used to going into the physical location. There's that physical connection. There's that ability to shake hands, how dare we, high fives, all those things, there's connection. We don't have that right now. So we really got to focus on how we engage our community in the time that we show.

And number three, we got to multiply the value. This could be a mindset shift as well, right? Because if we're really focused on that the only value we provide is physical martial arts, within the contact, then we might struggle with that. So we've got to find other ways to multiply the value. Over-deliver in other ways within the online hemisphere.

All right. Number two. No normal classes, we want them to show up. So how are we going to do that? Well, first up, we've got to really embrace online. Because here's a fact, and again, this could be done in 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, but as of right now, for most school owners, you're an online business and you're not a physical martial arts business. That's just where you're at right now. So it's important to embrace online. I think what's important to also look at is whatever you do now in this current climate is going to add so much value to your memberships down the line when things return back to normal or the new normal, right? So we've got to embrace online.

Number two, we want to dial in the discipline with our students. So we're going to make sure they still show up and we've got to build systems around the fact that we want to make sure that they are still arriving at the classes, the virtual classes, because if we're going to lose the discipline, then slowly but surely the commitment to martial arts is going to disintegrate. So dial in the discipline.

And number three, here, is present a plan. Present the new plan because as we were talking about earlier, uncertainty, there's uncertainty and not knowing where things are headed, then that creates doubt and it enhances the fear and then people are going to start canceling and so forth. So if we have a clear plan and we show them how this is going to work, how the classes work, where this is going, how your gradings are going to work in the future, now we've got something to hang onto, it gives us certainty in a time when most people need a lot of certainty, right?

That's been most of the focus for most school owners right now. But let's look at the growth side, because we got to keep this business going, we got to keep the economy going, we got to keep our business moving forward. So we want to turn no new sign ups into a full pipeline. How are we going to do that? Well, we've got to change a couple of things. First up, we need a new offer. The offer that we ran a couple of weeks ago before all the climate changed, where we got sent to our cocoons, where we got to stay indoors, before that happened, that used to work then, but this is now. Yep. And will we get back to the previous way we used to have our offers? Perhaps so. But right now, our offers need to change.

With that, we need a new message. Where our messaging was potentially focused on something aspirational, confidence and goals and a future, we're now looking at more of a survival of how we're going to get through this and support our messaging so that it's a message of how do we get through this versus how do we go for these big goals and so forth.

So for a new message. Then with that, we've got to embrace the new medium, the new delivery. Going back to our point up here, if you're running an online business, which right now you are, then running an online business is more than just streaming classes, right? It's more than just streaming classes. So you've got to embrace the medium and really look at it in a way of, “All right. Well, if we're going to bring new students in, then how does our on-boarding change from now? How are we going to onboard our students? How are we going to deliver the right content at the right time for them so that we are in effect selling the consumption of our content?”

I'm going to leave that. But just as a quick recap. On the mindset shift, this is really important. We want to move out of the fear consumer mindset, and that means maybe turning social media off just for a little bit if it's needed to be done, right? If you need to spend less time on social media, then maybe that's a good idea. Less consumption, less consuming the fear of the media and take the creator stance. Create more content, create more videos and be on the offense instead of playing the defense.

The problems that we're tackling head on, students canceling, no normal classes, no new sign ups, and we want to flip all those on their heads. Instead of students canceling, we want to make sure that they commit, we want to make sure they show up to the new classes and we want to get back to having a full pipeline of prospects we can speak to.

Then the nine accelerators that we're going to focus on. We've got to over-communicate. Over communicate right now. Make sure that we're engaging our community. Multiply the value over and above what we used to do in the past. Embrace the online space. Take note that you now have an online business versus a standard brick and mortar martial arts business. Dial in the discipline and make sure that your students are showing up. To do that, make sure that you've got a great plan in place that they're engaged. Then how are we going to scale or how are we going to start growing again? How are we going to get that curve happening? Well, we've got to have a new offer in place, a new message and a new medium.

So I'm going to leave that with you. I'm sharing a lot of this in our Facebook group. You can find that at martialartsmedia.com… Sorry, martialartsmedia.group. You can find us there or just comment the word group below, I'll get you the link. If you need more help in implementing this plan, then just type help below or send me a message and we can have a chat and I'll see if we can help you with a plan that we are rolling out in the next couple of weeks, expanding on this game plan right here. All right. Hope that was helpful. I'll see you in the next video. Speak soon.

Here are 3 ways we can help scale your school right now.

1. Join the Martial Arts Media community.

It's our new Facebook community where martial arts school owners get to ask questions about online marketing and get access to training videos that we don't share elsewhere – Click Here.

2. Join the Martial Arts Media Academy and become a Case Study.

I'm working closely with a group of martial arts school owners this month. If you'd like to work with me to help you grow your martial arts school, message me with the word ‘Case Study'.

3. Work with me and my team privately.

If you would like to work with me and my team to scale your school to the next level, then message me with the word ‘private'… tell me a little about your business and what you would like to work on together and I'll get you all the details.

Enjoyed the show? Get more martial arts business tips when you subscribe on iTunes for iPhone or Stitcher Radio for Android devices.

***NEW*** Now available on Spotify!

Podcast Sponsored by Martial Arts Media Partners

95 – Peter Graham – Applying The Winning Martial Arts Mindset In Uncertain Times

Peter Graham, top martial arts school owner, Bellator Champion and Multiple World Title Holder, shares how to apply the fighter’s winning mindset to daily life.

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IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN: 

  • How to stay motivated in a period of downturn
  • How to make decisions under uncertainty
  • Helpful tips for successful goal setting
  • How to think and perform like a ‘true’ martial arts fighter
  • And more

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TRANSCRIPTION

We're scared, we're worried. It's not just for ourselves, you know, we have families and the people we work with and train with, you know, we know them really well. But now is the time for us to dig deep and say, “I have this feeling – it's okay. But what can I do to fight another day?” And that's a real martial artist’s or a fighter's attitude.

GEORGE: Hey this is George Fourie and welcome to another Martial Arts Media business podcast. So I'm joined today with a special guest, Peter Graham. And Peter Graham, we were having a chat the other day, so just recently, we just started working together in our Partners group and we’ve been having a few calls and we had a few chats about… Obviously right now, depending on when you’re listening to this, but the current pandemic and the situation. And we were having real interesting conversations about us being martial artists. Now. Peter's experience or credentials go two miles further than mine do, but the real conversation got going about the martial arts mindset.

Now, Peter is a real successful martial arts school owner and I'm going to get in to share a bit of his credentials right now because I couldn't keep track of all of them. And we're going to chat about just dealing with the now, how our martial arts mindset could benefit us in this current situation and wherever this conversation goes. So welcome to the call, Peter.

PETER: Thanks George. Hey, you know, this is where they say who I am. I am a martial artist, so I come from a karate background, kyokushin background. I was an uchi-deshi, so I lived in Japan doing karate. And that moved on from one thing to another, to another. Basically the whole budo experience. You know, I just wanted to fight all the time and the best people I could fight. So not unlike a lot of karate or taekwondo guys and girls, you know, they always go to lots and lots of tournaments and, you know, if you keep winning, I guess you try to find ones that are even more up the pay scale so to speak.

So I also have a black belt in kenpo karate, BJJ experience for ten years or eleven. Last couple of years I haven't really been focused on it. I was pro MMA, so I made it to the finals of the Bellator. Lost to Cheick Kongo in the finals, but that's okay. He's a good guy, yeah, I can deal with losing to him.  Made the K1 Grand Prix, which is top-paid. Oceania champion. Six kickboxing world titles, Thai boxing world title, boxing world title. But really, that was just part of being a martial artist, part of me trying to be the best I could be. And it was the whole, I guess a word that people use all the time at the moment is mindset.

Martial Arts MindsetSo along my path to where I thought I wanted to go, or where I thought I needed to be, there were blocks depending on, you know, which, you know, which country rose in or what was happening in the political climate. The economic downturn in 2008, you know, really killed K1. And, you know, there's always something. But instead of throwing my hands up in the air and saying, ah – always look for something else to do. As a fighter, there's different organizations in different countries so I just always kept on looking for that next opportunity.

And I guess that really brings us to where we are now. I mean, with the current situation, you know, all schools are closed down and, you know, I see a lot of people really panicking and stressed out and I understand that, you know, the complete lack of finances is stressful. But in this time, you know, it will really show the people who take the mindset of a martial artist. Anyone who has a black belt, whether it took them two years or twenty years to get it, has that ability to see into the future knowing that the hard work they put in now can repay later on. 

The success of earning a black belt is a huge thing for a lot of people and of course young martial artists, you know, some of them, it's more than half their life as a young child. And sometimes people who have been a black belt for so long or been a champ for so long, or been successful so long, you know, we get a bit soft. We’re used to the good paychecks, we’re used to the high-fives and the successful meetings and the, you know, all the good things and tracking that come along with that. And then we forgot how difficult it was when we first started, you know, we got some really, really great… It's my five-year-old, showing me her cut out of a car.

Now, we've got some really, really great athletes and my gym. And I tell them, I say, hey guys: you see that that new person down there, the chubby guy down there who's turning purple in the face and his lips have gone all white and he's just about to roll his eyes? I said, he's the one who's working the hardest today. Don't forget that. You've got to outwork him every time if you want to get to be… If you want to be the champ. And at the moment, I think that is a massive point for successful people at the moment, you know, specifically in our line of martial arts and combat sports is that we have to say, “hey what was it like when I first opened the dojo? What was it like, you know, the first time you got that big rent bill and went, how am I going to pay for that?” Or, you know, you started to pay stuff or insurance or whatever it was and you went no, no. And, you know, fight that urge to run away or throw my hands up or lie or cheat or steal and do the right thing and stick to my personal principles and continue on.

I remember George, when I first opened my dojo. I was sitting on the steps inside the building. This class of boys come in and there's some steps right in the front. And I was sitting there with my wife, we’d been there a month. We had all of, it was 12 or 14 students. And I said, hey honey, do you think we could just kind of close the doors and run away and go to Brazil? I said, you know, we can hide out there, no one will know me there I'm sure. She looked at me and she said, you know that's not going to happen. That's not you.

But we all had those urges and it's a, you know, it's like Cus d'Amato said to Mike Tyson: ”the hero and the cow both feel the same. But it's what the hero does that makes him the hero and what the cow doesn't do that makes him the cow.” And I think in these situations there's a lot of us who feel similar feelings. You know, we're scared, we're worried. It's not just for ourselves, you know, we have families and the people we work with and train with, we know them really well. But now is the time for us to dig deep and say, “I have this feeling – it's okay. But what can I do to fight another day?” And that's a real martial artist’s or a fighter's attitude.

Because you hit the canvas in a boxing fight and anything after round six, let me tell you – after round six, life gets very different. You really start to get those goals, become very polarized. But you hit the canvas off to round six and you ask yourself, “Why in the hell am I doing this? Am I going to get up and fight another day? Do I need to?” Because if you're going home in a new Mercedes Benz to your silk sheets, you know, with your beautiful wife and fantastic kids, that motivation may have gone. But if you don’t get up to win the fight, your kids are going to miss a meal, or you're going to get kicked out of your, you know, shitty apartment somewhere. Let me tell you, your motivations are different. Different people obviously have different motivations, but that's the mindset that I take.

Now, things are good. My life is great. I'd like to continue that and, you know, all of us can jump up and down and complain and be grumpy at the current situation saying, well why did I do this or do that. And some of us may have prepared better than others, some of them, you know. We might have had our worst month ever, but you had your best month ever. But the fight’s on. And now we're really going to see the cream rise to the top. But there’s awesome things as well, you know, if this is, you know. If you're just starting out only a few months into it or even a few years, yeah, you could.. Because everything is…

GEORGE: Equal.

PETER: Yeah. Everyone's scrambling to open online dojos, everyone's trying all these things. What works, what doesn't work, should I use zoom, should I use Skype, you know, “Can I do it on Facebook, can I monetize it? How do I monetize it? You know, can I stop the payments? Should I keep them?” Okay, all these things we're all asking yourselves. And that's something that a real champion and a winner does. We all ask ourselves questions, right? You wake up in the morning, roll out of bed, “Should I drink the whiskey or should I have a cup of coffee?” Hopefully that's not the question you ask yourself, but just saying, if you wake up in the morning and say, “What am I going to do? Am I going to get down on it? Are we going to hustle? You know, push myself to the 10th degree, or am I going to go hmm. I'll watch TV or, you know, see what’s on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and, you know, cause a problem with someone because I don't like them or I'm bored, or not motivated.” 

But motivation is simple, right? It's very, very, very simple in my mind. There’s the horrible part and there's a good part. The horrible part is, if I stay where I am, it's going to be horrible. And the good part is, if I do what's needed to be done, this will be awesome. You know, you want a drink of water, you're walking through the desert. If I don't get a drink of water, I'm going to die. If I get a drink of water, I'll be fine. It's very polarizing, you know. But if you're doing well in a dojo and you’re doing well in your business, you're doing well in whatever and you say well, you know, if I keep on doing what I'm doing now, I'll do okay. And if I don't go too hard, I'll still be okay. There's nothing, you know, you're 50-50…. But now it's very polarizing. Everyone’s going, oh man, if this keeps going, I'm going to go under. So we start asking ourselves those questions, but then you ask yourself how important is it?

GEORGE: I've been having real interesting conversations about this and partly why I want to do… Speaking to you is kind of bringing it home. So when this pandemic happened, I decided to reach out to other coaches and just other business owners in general with different perspectives, facing different scenarios. First I spoke to Jason Everett, who is a high-performance salon coach. And the energy he brought to the podcast was amazing and he's… Well, there's no virtual haircuts happening. Look how lucky you guys are. You can just put it and run online. And then I spoke to Kylie Ryan. And Kylie Ryan was all about mindset.

So I wanted to talk about decision making and, you know, where should you be when you make the decisions. Because if you’ve got your head in the sand, versus you are striving and you’re leadership focused, there's going to be two different decisions that you make. And the language that you can express is going to be completely different. And so the thing that came up with Kylie was to really just find that place of, you know, just take a step back, breathe and make your decision from that point. Because if you’re consumed in this media here and your mind is there and you're trying to make the decision, it's not going to be the right decision.

So now listening to you and the way you've applied a lot of things with martial arts, which is really bringing it full circle for me in… Who knows where the next conversation is going to take. But this is really, I think this is great for all martial arts school owners listening here.

Now, taking this fighter’s mindset and really applying it and the conversation I guess I want to get to is, how do you trigger yourself into that “it's on.” like, what do you do as a martial artist to go, “all right. Well, here's a situation, it's difficult. I'm going to show up.” how am I going to show up, what do I do? What is the inner self talk that you have with yourself and you said, “all right, it's game on.”

PETER: You know, that's a really good question. You know what, I'll tell you exactly what I do is, I start to ask myself questions. How important is this to me? How important is it that I get up this morning and start chipping away at those things? And then I ask myself more questions. What do I need to do? How much money do I need? How much money have I got? How many bills were coming? How many people do I need? How many people need me? So the more questions I ask, then the more answers I'm going to get. But there's also another little trick to it I say is, you want to ask yourself the right questions. If I ask myself why coronavirus is destroying my business and life, I'll probably come up with an answer if I give it enough energy. Most smart people will. And then at the end of that question, the answer will be whatever it might be, but it'll be negative and I'll be in the same spot.

But then I ask myself a similar question structured in a different way: how can I make sure this coronavirus is a positive thing to my business, for my family? Probably going to come up with an answer if you put the same amount of energy into it, you’ll still come up with an answer. So asking yourself those questions is important that you're asking yourself the right questions. And what I mean by that if you didn't understand it from that first explanation George, is asking in a way that in the end you come up with an answer that's going to develop something and you're going to have forward momentum from it. 

So why is everything so bad? No no: how can I get something good out of this bad situation? You know, how come we've got no money? I’ve got no money because I've got all these bills and I've got no money coming in. Okay, that's correct you're going to answer the question, but it hasn't helped you any. How can I generate more income? Well, I heard that guy George, he's got this thing he's doing online and these people zoom. Well, what’s zoom? You find out what zoom is – ah! Man, would really work for me but how come it doesn't… You know, I've never been good with technology stuff. How come it always has to be technology stuff? Well, that's not going to work either, right? You place the right question: how can I learn more about zoom? I'll talk to my mate George, he will help. I'll talk to my mate Peter, I'll ask the guy down the road. 

Martial Arts Mindset

So I'm always asking myself the right questions, always trying to catch myself say, am I asking myself a question that is going to get me to go forward and have that forward momentum, or am I going to ask the wrong question that’s just going to keep me where I am. And the other thing is, I don't expect it to be easy. I don't expect anyone to do anything for me, I don't expect anything from anyone else and I'm not bitter about it. It's not like, you know, your whole bunch of bosses, I don't care. It is what it is. There's no self entitlement. No one owes me anything and I'm fine with that. However, these are lots of good people who all come out of the woodwork and help each other, which is great. And I see that, but knowing that it puts it on you, that emphasis on you and I guess from being a fighter for so long, you know, you can blame the coach or, you know, you have to fly economy halfway across the planet or, you know the airline was shitty or the hotel room was horrible or you only had a week’s notice – you're going to have all these things, and you'll still lose the fight. That's the reason why I lost. 

Well, you come up with the solution but you know, I'm just going to be super super careful in that fight, I'm going to make sure that I stretch it out beforehand. Like I'm a big guy, I'm six-three, so flying economy halfway across the world, it's a tough gig. But I want to win the fight. So that's the thing: I desperately want to win that fight. And there's a lot of other people who desperately want to win this fight. I know that I want to win it. So that way, by asking those questions, you come up with the solution that is what we need to do. And I say this all the time: to me, there's only two types of people. And people hear me say this again and again. But I mean there really are winners and losers. Winners make solutions. Full stop, period. Losers make excuses. There is a subcategory now, I call it smart losers – they make reasons.

GEORGE: Ah!

PETER: The reason this isn't happening yet – I can see your brain thinking now George, you’re thinking, I’ve met lots of people like that. Oh, but George the reason that happened was, I'm a smart guy. Here’s these reasons why I can't succeed. Well, congratulations: you're successful at being a loser. And if you want to do that, that's fine. Some people will fight tooth and nail. No, no, no, there’s a… Okay, stay where you are, it's okay. But the people who truly want to be successful and get through whatever it is, not just business: life, relationships, money, you know, they're the people who ask themselves the right questions and come up with the solution. 

And if the first solution doesn't work, they go for another one and then another one and then another one. And it goes back to what we were saying before: it depends how important that goal is. Or how important it is that you don't stay where you are. Sometimes – just getting, just out of it, is important to. Say you’re in jail and you want to break out. You’re not thinking, well, I don't want to be here. I want to be in a mansion in the Bahamas. You think, I just want out. We’ll reassess everything and as soon as they get out of these bars go away and I'm out of jail. It's a terrible analogy, sorry, but I think people will get what I'm saying, right?

GEORGE: Totally. I mean, and I really love that because I discovered this really, I mean really that it hit home for me was, a couple of years ago, I think it was my wife that asked me a question that I just wasn't contemplating. I was actually working part time, trying to build up this business. You know, I've never shared this story and it's a crazy thing. Because I was really embarrassed to actually talk about it, because it was embarrassing, right? I've been this sort of a, you know, business mind and computer programming guide for so long and then you know, I moved to Australia and I was working in the sales job, it was going well. 

And then I wanted to start this online business. And I wanted to do this online business but it was just… This pivot in school owner’s experience, right: you’ve got full-time income, you're trying to be a business owner – something's gotta give. Something’s got to tip and I couldn't make this tip. My next-door neighbor walks up to me and says, we just bought a lot of delivery business. I said, okay and so they asked me to be the driver and I was like, no way in hell will I do that. I won't do that and it's ego talking. Look,  just from context: there's nothing against, honestly doing that proper job. It was just… I just didn't feel that was where I should spend my time.

PETER: Absolutely

GEORGE: And so I got a few bills and it didn't look good and uh…

Peter: The delivery driver looked good.

GEORGE: And I think okay, so I just got to give up to sleep two nights a week and I'm going to get about an extra four-five hundred dollars a week and I'm not… That's really going to take the edge off. That's going to make me build this business. So I reluctantly said yes. And so I started doing this before long but then I got accustomed to it, no sleeping and operating that way. Before I knew it, bills got really bad and then I was working five nights a week, my life was deliver milk in buildings from 10pm to 6am, sleep for four hours, train martial arts, have a nap, get to work on the business, take my son to martial arts, have a nap – and this was my life for three-four years. 

Anyway, long story short, but I was really stuck. I couldn't move forward because of my mental capacity… I was a walking zombie. And it was until my wife just started throwing a question at me about what if… What if I did it this way, what if I did it that way. And I was so stuck in this rut for so many years and I went, huh.  And that wasn't the first time she threw a question at me that definitely made me think. And it's since then that I really just take a step back. Because sometimes, especially now, you know: schools are closed, it's terrible. But what if it's not? Okay, my business is closed. Okay, so where’s the opportunity here? Well, I could do something online. Okay, I don't want to do something online. Well, okay, I've got a choice. I could either be out of business, or an online business. Okay, so I'll be in an online business. So what's the opportunity here? Well, I can add this extra component to my school, which I never had time to do. I don't have time because I'm…

PETER: George, can you stop just there for one second. Exactly what you did is what needed to be done. You know, you weren't really thinking about becoming, you know, your dream job wasn't becoming a milk delivery guy. But the pain of staying where you were was too much, so you had to do something. And something came up, but then you should thank your wife. She started asking the right questions. Also thank yourself for asking yourself what can I do? Well hold on. And the reason, I'm going to guess, you came up with the right answer because the pain of not sleeping…

GEORGE: It sucks.

Peter: Yeah, it sucks. It's so annoying, you know, and it drove you to what you're doing now. So that's awesome. You know, you've got that and it's funny, you'll see very quickly which category people sit in when you just ask them a few questions. As you were, keep going.

GEORGE: No, perfect and I mean it's just to add context to this conversation, right? Because I think right now people are really being put to the test. And I kind of look at this industry, you know, what drew me to this industry was the first things I saw on the wall. Respect, integrity, confidence, resilience, all these things. And if there was ever a test to display what you've been teaching, this is it. Like, how are you showing up to this. You can either bury your head in the sand – then what have you been teaching? Or you can say, well hey.

PETER: Exactly.

GEORGE: This is the battle. This is the battle we’ve been training for. Are you with me or are you leaving?

PETER: Yeah, no, this is exactly true. You know, and it's really easy for me to achieve big goals. Because I find this is a big goal. Get to the end of this and open my doors and have everything go back on as per norm. But to begin with, I'm like, I have no idea. I don't know what to do. And that's exactly like a white belt. But now we're all white belts, we’re all sitting in that same place, all going, what do we do? And what happens? You either get a tip or you go for that first grading and you're scared and you're annoyed and it's frustrating. Or, you know, you don't know what to do because you didnt train hard enough. Or you get there and you do really well. And what happens, when do people drop out? They hit the first belt and they quit. So there's going to be a whole lot of quitters at that first grading. They're going to come into that first challenge, whatever that may be and they’re going to quit. We know that because we see it. 

Training is like the world you know into… it gives me all the answers I need. And then it's going to be a few more gradings and some will do really well. In the beginning, there's going to be some who are going to be really talented. We're going to go, ah, these people are awesome! Look at their online business. But some of them will quit and some will keep going. And some will be successful and some will be really successful and some will fade away. Some will get a black belt and realize that’s just the beginning. Others will give up before their first grading and lots of them will come up with excuses and reasons. And that's all it is. I mean, you know, people are looking for a big, complicated answer – it's not. The amount of effort that's required to get to where we're going, especially in these uncertain times. We’re not even sure where it is we're going, specifically. That effort might be a lot more, just like you and your milk job. You know, 10 o'clock to 7 o'clock in the morning or something, ridiculous.

GEORGE: Yeah, it was crazy, yeah.

PETER: Get the cows to give milk at milk at different times. But the pain of going home to your family and saying, sorry, we're just having lunch and dinner from now on. And we're moving into my mate's caravan. This is painful, I'd hate to have to tell that to my wife. I love my house, I love my home, I love my family. And that's, again, going back to those, you know, those principles. And principles of martial artists, you know is, stick to the program. You know, that intestinal fortitude, that inner strength. You know, should I go next door and rip off the guys lawnmower and then I can sell it. That goes against my principles. 

To some people that's fun. I know that, cuz I'm home all the time. I know when they're home and when they're not home, everybody goes steal the whipper snipper as well and I'll be like, if that's where your principles lay. People will do that, but that's, you know, it's not me, it's not you. It's not martial artists as a whole mostly. But we all have to keep on continuing to go back on what we know already as a martial artist and stick to the program. And realize that we're probably going to fail a few times. You're going to stumble a few times, there's a few times we're going to walk out of the dojo, we’ll walk out of a meeting going I just got my ass kicked. I was talking to, before we jumped online, that I just got a letter from my accountant saying, Pete, looks like you've missed one of those bass payments. It's a body punch. Zero income – hey, the tax department wants a really big check from you Pete. I have to pay for it or you know, lie down and go ahh. But I'll come up with a solution, because the idea of doing anything else, not because I'm particularly… 

What's the word, particularly fond of the Australian taxation department. It's, I'll pay the bill and I'll get it done, because I'm fond of where I'm at. And the other option is certainly not going to happen. And once you have that mindset that, I'll either win or I'll be dead, you'd be surprised what you can achieve. Most people don't want to have that commitment to anything, right? Most people are like, huh pretty good. You know, if I get this job, you know I put in the effort there and I'll do this and it'll be alright. They’re scared to take that risk – I understand that. Don’t want to mess up what they already have. Why do you think so many great fighters come from shitty areas and shitty homes and you know, not even, street kids. It's because you’ve got nothing to lose. No one’s saying to you, George if you fuck this up mate, you're going to end up with nothing, you know. 

So, well Pete I’ve got nothing already so, sky's the limit. But when you’ve already got a whole bunch of nice things, it can be harder. You know, you can be paralyzed with fear. Say, I don't wanna lose any of this. If I bet too much, I could lose. I don't want to lose, so I'm just going to keep on that small track. But now, we're all being forced to bet everything. You’re either all in or you’re all out.

GEORGE: So on that Peter, where does your drive come from? What made you a successful fighter? What was that thing that lit a fire under you that you really wanted that success. And still want a continuous, moving forward in business in life.

Martial Arts MindsetPETER: You know what, when I was a kid, I moved around a lot. I went to lots of different schools and I was a nobody to everybody. And I didn't like that. I wasn't good at making friends, because I was always the new kid. And I'm talkative and I get lots of energy and I get really excited. So when you’re the new kid who's really talkative and excited about things, you think, this guy's clearly crazy. You know, every three to four months since I was about 12 or 13, I had to move. I lived in the youth refugees. And then I used to lie all the time. Yeah I've got this and I've got that, my dad's this, my mom's that. Clearly my mom wasn't this and my dad wasn't that and I didn't have anything. Didn't have friends because that would mean you have to be somewhere for a long period of time. I didn't have family, certainly didn't have any money and I had no education at all. And for a while when I was young it was like, well you know, you just carry on. 

Then after a while, you get sick of it. Now unfortunately, most kids who grew up like refugees and street kids and you know, what they call harmless refugees and stuff, even in awesome places like Australia, they end up alcoholics, drug addicts, criminals and their lives are horrible. And that was all around me and I certainly didn't want that. I remember one day, this is a story that really shows where I just said, this has got to change. This particular time, I was living in a big stormwater train, a place called Eastful. A couple of suburbs outside of Sydney. The reason I was living there and not in the city where most street kids live or in the train yards and stuff like that is because I was scared. Because when I was a kid, a really young kid, I actually came from a nice area. 

And we won't go into the back story of how everything went horribly wrong, so I wasn't you know, everyone I ever met who was a street kid, you know, they’re all, my dad's are criminal and my mom is this. And you know everyone could fight me, everyone was tough and I wasn't that guy. And it was my little sister's birthday, so I said, you know, what I'm going to do is a big graffiti piece. Now, I was too scared to do it on a train or on a public walk, but inside this big stormwater train, if I could do it there, yeah, probably not going to get into a lot of trouble. To show you the type of kid I was, I saved up and bought the paint. No respect, I know. Anyway, so you know, I sprayed on the wall and it looked absolutely terrible. This is ridiculous and it was possibly one of the lowest points of my life. It's basically at that time. No friends, no family, I wasn't going to school, no money. I said, you know what, I am going to become a criminal. 

Now, down the road there was a big sports store with a big plate glass window. And I went, what if I go up there, because I've always been a pretty big kid, I'll pick up this big terracotta pot and I'll throw it through the window, take all the sports athletic gear and I'll walk around, I'll look real cool. So I went over there and stashed my stuff in my stormwater train, just outside there were a bunch of trees. So I put it under there, under bushes. And it was, you know, two o'clock in the morning, no one around. And I pick up this, you know, this big terracotta pot and I throw it in this place plate glass window and it bounces off, shatters into a million pieces, you know, and then all the alarms and bells and whistles, everything just went off. And I was like, what? And I run off  and I run back and I jump over the fence and then go down into where the big stormwater train is. And I remember sitting there, I was going, this is ridiculous. I can't even be a criminal. 

Now, what does everyone say, they say, you keep going like that George, you're going to end up a crim. I couldn't, I didn't even have the ability to end up as a criminal. I was shattered, it was like I am good at absolutely nothing and no one gives a shit. And I remember sitting there just contemplating my life and how crap it was. And I said, it's got to be something. Something's got to be there. And I said to the universe, I said, make me good at something. Anything, I'll take anything. At this point, I'll take anything. Now, if you're a religious person then you ask God or whatever and at that point then, absolutely nothing happened. I didn't have a moment of clarity, I didn't have some deep insight – absolutely nothing happened. Nothing happened at all whatsoever for another four years. But what did happen was, I started searching. I’ve got to be good at something, I’ve got to be good at something.

And for me, I could hear it ticking in my head. You're going to run out of time Pete, you’re going to run out of time. You're going to end up like everybody else. You'd better hurry up, you better find your thing. You know, I didn't have much self-confidence, you know, for a lot of reasons. Mostly because I kept failing everything. Because I’d go to school for a couple of months and then the next school would have the same thing or then they'd have something completely different. And then after a while, you just give up. And on top of that, I’ve got add, attention deficit disorder which means concentrating on anything for more than a split second it's normally kind of tough. 

Martial Arts Mindset

But what I do have and I had it in a bucket list, I had a desire. I said, wherever I am now is so shit. I didn't have any guidance, no one’s saying what you should do Pete, you should do this and see that person, or be that person. You could talk to  George – none of that. You know, I'd like to say that, you know, there was some great insight from other people along the road, but there wasn't. It was just that same shitty feeling of feeling like I was invisible. I’d go to school and it didn’t matter if I’d turn up or didn't turn up, you know. Whether I was lalateid or wasn't late – it didn't matter. And I wanted to matter. I wanted to be famous, I said, I want to be famous. I want to have something, anything. And that desire just kept burning into me.

And then the day happened. I had a fight with this guy, I was in a refuge at this time. And I'd made my lunch, it was the last of my food and I was walking back into the common room to watch the tv. I wasn’t allowed to watch the tv with my food, you know, there's no food in there. And this guy Brad said, as I was holding my plate of four sandwiches, he goes, you're not allowed to eat in the common room. I went boom! And all my food went everywhere and I just lost my mind. Yeah, let's just say Brad and I didn't stay friends for much longer and I got kicked out. I was so angry too, because I was like, it wasn't me, I didn't do it, it was this guy. And what was I doing? I was blaming. I was so mad and I didn't want to move, because I was living in this great house in North Sydney in Sydney, which is a great affluent area and thought it made people think that I had money. 

So it was really cool. They said no, you’ve got to go. And they took me and they said, we've got this other place, because I was about 17. They said, you can go there and it's kind of, you know, it's not a halfway house. It's like moving from being what they call young homeless to being young and unemployed. They really kind of set you up there. But anyway, but every day, they moved me there and it was great, this was cool. But I used to go down to the bottle-o. because you know, me and my friends would go get drunk and hang out. I still smoked cigarettes at that stage when I was a kid. I used to go past this karate dojo and I went, that's what I'll do. I'll do that.

I think I wanted to do taekwondo, because I thought the flag was better. Japanese flag, just the red dot. The Korean flag with cool little words and the yin yang, that was a bit cool. I said, this'll do. I walked into the dojo and there's a guy behind the counter called Johnny and I walk in, and I said, hey what do I need to do to be a karate champ? And he told me after, yes Pete, I just rolled my eyes when I went back and said, man there’s this crazy kid out here, you know, who’s so big. There’s this crazy big kid out here, he wants to become a karate champ, you know. They were kind of laughing at me. Just turn up at 6 o'clock. 

So I turned up at 6 o'clock and something happened. I started doing those punches and I thought this is it, this is pretty simple. All I've got to do is work harder than everyone else. And I got it. And I thought, ok all I need to do is turn up and at that time it started, I had a job so I had a bit of money and I had a stable place, because I was just about to turn 18. And once you turn 18, you know, you can stay in one place for a longer time, unless you're, you know, there's a few other rules and regulations and stuff. That your parents clear the papers and let you stay somewhere, but mine didn't. And that was it. I was 17 and I thought, if I don't do this now I'm going to miss the boat. I started karate and punched and kicked and screamed all the way to the K1 Grand Prix. And it was a desire to be better than what I was. And I would do anything, I’d go on every tournament, I would take anything. 

I used to go through the magazines, look for tournaments going to them. But it was that desire to be better than what I was. I find out now, she's my lovely wife, that what, you know, being famous is great, but having a family is a million times better. But it's exciting, because that same way, that drive and that, you know, that perseverance that was needed to get to where I was, happened for two reasons. One is, I really didn't want to be there, and two, I really wanted to get somewhere else. Turns out, the final goal was a little different, which was fun. But it set me up. And it's awesome, it's a wonderful feeling to know that I have that part of my life figured out completely, how to be a success in whatever it is I choose to do. And it works for everyone if they want to be honest to themselves. Some people don't.

GEORGE: First up, I mean, I love your story. That's inspiring stuff. How would you, what would you say to martial artists in general now? You've got, I mean, you've got really extensive knowledge experience in, you know, in the fighting arena. And I know a lot of martial artists do, but maybe some people have forgotten where they were at. Maybe they've gotten a bit complacent: what advice would you give to martial artists, martial arts school owners now in this climate and navigating through the obstacles?

PETER: Super simple: treat yourself as a white belt. You’ve just walked I,n first day on a mamat. What was that thing that said, this is for me? Learn, learn, learn, learn, learn and know that you're going to make mistakes. All the things that we tell a white belt, all the people who walk in that have never done anything before, you know. That open-mindedness that you tell them to have, we have to have now. Learn and beat despair. Don't be afraid to ask questions. It's okay, we're all in the same boat, ask questions. Hey, how did you do this, how did you do that? Can you help me with this? I'll help you, if I find out, I'll help you. 

So, you know, ask yourself the right questions, you’ll get the right answer. And nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing beats hard work. What's hard work? Just do it. Write down a list of things you could possibly do, a list of things, a list of people you could talk to. But things that are going to make things better. Ask yourself the right questions. That's it, hard work, discipline, sticking to the program. Although the final goal might change a little bit, you've got to start with something. You know, I want to be here at the end of this coronavirus. I want to have a dojo and I want to be able to open the doors the day that we're allowed to. That's my goal. And I'd like to have a little bit of money.

GEORGE: Love it.

PETER: If we get there and it says, I'm going to have a lot of money and a great online business and everyone rushes back into my dojo because they’re super pumped to come back, even better. Preparation meets opportunity. That's good luck. The lack of preparation, well, the opportunity comes, you’ll get popped. The fight, it's, you know, straight away. In business it can be, you know, a three month lag. So work hard now and in three months, you have a better chance of being there. I can’t guarantee it, no one guarantees your business is going to be here, nor mine or anyone else's. But you're going to give yourself a better chance if you train, or work as hard as you can.

GEORGE: Awesome. Hey, Peter thanks so much for taking the time to hang out. Look forward to having a few more cool conversations with you. If anybody wants to reach out to you and connect with you, what's the best way for them to do that?

PETER: Just jump on my Facebook, Peter Graham. There's a picture of me. By all means, shoot me through some messages and I'll try  to get back to as many people as possible. Thanks George, I really appreciate talking to you. And thank you for all the help you've given me as well, you're doing a great job.

GEORGE: You're welcome. Perfect, awesome.

Awesome. Thanks for listening. If you want to connect with other top and smart martial arts school owners, and have a chat about marketing, lead generation, what's working now, or just have a gentle rant about things that are happening in the industry, then I want to invite you to join our Facebook group

It's a private Facebook group and in there, I share a lot of extra videos and downloads and worksheets – the things that are working for us when we help school owners grow and share a couple of video interviews and a bunch of cool extra resources.

So it's called the Martial Arts Media Business Community and an easy way to access it is, if you just go to the domain named martialartsmedia.group, so martialaartsmedia.group, g-r-o-u-p, there's no .Com or anything, martialartsmedia.group. That will take you straight there. Request to join and I will accept your invitation.

Thanks – I'll speak to you on the next episode – cheers!

Here are 3 ways we can help scale your school right now.

1. Join the Martial Arts Media community.

It's our new Facebook community where martial arts school owners get to ask questions about online marketing and get access to training videos that we don't share elsewhere – Click Here.

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I'm working closely with a group of martial arts school owners this month. If you'd like to work with me to help you grow your martial arts school, message me with the word ‘Case Study'.

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94 – Kylie Ryan – How To Ditch Fear, Get Clear and Embrace Leadership In Uncertain Times

Kylie Ryan, a mindset and performance coach, shares techniques on how to clear our minds, get calm and make decisions from a place of ‘inner truth'.

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IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN: 

  • Mindfulness tips to reclaim your center and balance
  • How anxiety interferes with your decision-making process
  • How to establish certainty in uncertain times
  • The value difference between martial arts paid trials vs free trials
  • And more

*Need help growing your martial arts school? Learn More Here.

Download the PDF transcription

TRANSCRIPTION

Fear only exists when we're projecting our mind out into the future, right? It's like we're imagining some kind of negative future and going from this moment here, I'm imagining that I won't be able to pay my mortgage and my house is going to get foreclosed and what's going to happen? And then what if, what if, and you can go into this awful spiral of what is trying to chess play your way through every possible scenario. And that's a really dangerous habit.

GEORGE: Hey, this is George and welcome to another episode of the Martial Arts Media Business Podcast. Today I'm joined with a really special guest, not a martial artist, but someone who can really provide a lot of value with a lot of things that we deal with on a day to day basis within our mindset. And now more so more important than ever as we are all forced in this position of having to lead and having to make decisions, it's important that we make that decision from the right perspective and right mindset. I'm joined today with Kylie Ryan from mymindcoach.com.au, welcome to the call Kylie.

KYLIE: Hey, great to be here. Excited to share some conversations with you. Hopefully it's useful.

GEORGE: Love it. I'm ready. First up, if you could give us just a two minute intro, a bit of background on what it is you do and so forth.

Kylie Ryan mindset coachKYLIE: Yeah, sure. I'm a mindset and performance coach. I help people with their inner game. All of the mindset, belief, values, identities, emotions, the things that get us stuck and keep us sabotaging ourselves. There's plenty of things that we know that we need to do or that we should do, that we sometimes find ourselves struggling to actually do. I see myself as the bridge between what you know you should be doing or could be doing and what you're actually doing. And what we find is that a lot of the times things that seem like that external obstacles like the economy, or clients canceling, or this virus that's going on at the moment, a lot of the times when we find that even though those things are real, a lot of the times you find that people can handle them in very different ways. You can have two different people that face the same situation and respond very differently.

So what's the difference between those two people in their responses is their inner game, right? Is their mindset, their values, their beliefs, their attitudes, and their internal strategy that allows them to shift their external strategy and get different results in the world. So I help people tweak that in a game so that they get to do the things that they want and show up in the way that they want in the world and get the results.

GEORGE: All right, I love that down. Let's backtrack to two things that you mentioned. Stuck and sabotage. Where does this originate from? Where do people get stuck knowing that this is what they got to do, but then potentially put roadblocks in a way that they'll procrastinate or do different things? I caught myself doing this yesterday, actually. I'm preparing this training from our members right now for our Partners group on how to digitize the school. And I'm in this creation phase and procrastination takes over. This is just a personal thing within me. And before I knew it, I was out buying the new computer monitor that I needed. It was super essential, right? I needed that second screen. That's just something I like really taking a gut check look at me. But where does this originate? Where do people get stuck and why do we self sabotage?

KYLIE: Yeah, that's a great question. A lot of the… just like a little bit of a background information for… Your mindset, your beliefs, your values, all of the inner world of who you are, the personality that you show up to the world as, where does that come from? Right? You've got to think about if your mindset was a software program, where did that software get installed? And sometimes we might have… our original software is installed when we're first born and through that what we call the imprint period from zero, from being born to about seven years old. And then there's another period of the modeling period between seven and 14 but basically like up until about 21, you're learning and having these significant experiences from childhood, from your parents, from teachers, and you download and absorb beliefs, you download the idea of what's possible, you download your parents' attitudes and the way that they show up, you might look up to, or have a mentor and a teacher, or a martial arts instructor, or someone that you look up to and you might learn some things from them.

You might learn from people that do things maybe in a way that is not so useful or that is hurtful to you. But you learn that regardless, right? When we're really little we pick up and we just absorb all of these different things. And a lot of those beliefs are formed and then they drop down into the deep coding of your psychology, the inner hard drive of who you are. And a lot of those things, you're not aware of what programs are in there until a situation presents itself where that particular program becomes activated, right?

You might have that situation where you have to go and step into leadership and speak before your people and it triggered… and you might've never done that recently. And that wasn't an issue. But it could potentially just picking… plucking an example out of the air, it could potentially activate an unconscious memory from being a kid in kindergarten and having to show and tell and not having anything to say, or mumbling with your words, or kids laughing at you when you're a little tiny kid.

And then years and years and years and years later, you find that when you have to get up and speak in front of people, you have this idea that maybe it's going to be dangerous, or maybe you might get humiliated, or maybe you might get laughed at. And all of this happens at an unconscious level. It's not like you go, “Oh, people are going to laugh at me,” but you just find things to do so that you don't have to do the thing that might cause you pain or discomfort. A lot of times when we procrastinate or sabotage about something, then we have attached some kind of negative emotional state to the thing that we want to do. Does that make sense?

GEORGE: Yeah.

KYLIE: Yeah. So we want to go towards a goal and it's… unconsciously you're like, “I want to do this thing, I want to do this presentation.” But somewhere in your unconscious mind, beneath the surface of the water, if you think of the classic iceberg metaphor, your unconscious mind is like all of the bit that's underneath the water. Underneath the water then there might be some kind of belief or negative association with the thing that you want to do.

And it's like consciously you're trying to move forward but got the handbrake on, right? You're accelerating, but you've got the handbrake on. So there's this kind of weird like, “Oh, oh, oh, I feel stuck,” because consciously you want to move forward, but unconsciously your body is sending you signals that it's not safe. And so it's distracting you with all sorts of other things to do like buying a new monitor or procrastinate cleaning, all sorts of different things. “Oh, there's so many things to do in the house,” when I have something that I'm avoiding. That gives you a bit of a baseline understanding of why that happens. And it's usually, it can be traced back to some related experience that created a negative impact or a negative decision, right? Where you thought, “Hey, it's actually not safe to do this.” Or, “This creates a negative outcome for me in some way.”

And sometimes the relationships can be quite obscure, like maybe showing your parents a piece of art when you're a kid and they go, “Oh, I'm busy now.” And the kid could take that to mean that their work is not worthy, or that their stuff doesn't matter, or their voice isn't important. There's all sorts of different deep rabbit holes in our mind from various formative experiences and everybody goes through it, right? Everybody has these things. No one is immune to it. A lot of the times we don't realize that those things are in there until we try to do something and find ourselves getting stuck or spinning our wheels.

GEORGE: All right. There's a few things I'd like to ask from that. Obviously the first thing is, how do you develop the awareness of actually, right this is happening, but then exploring also that… you mentioned there is a negative emotion attached to it and then we'll explore how these things are coming up in today's climate with the situation we're facing right now. Just because it's a good example, I guess just to base our conversation on, in my case of yesterday where I was procrastinating. The outcome that I'm striving for I know is an outcome that creates impact and it's going to do a lot of good for a lot of people. When you say there's a negative emotion attached to it, is that maybe, yeah. Is that like maybe there's a fear attached there somewhere, a fear of how this is going to be perceived or is this going to be good enough or something…?

KYLIE: Yeah. It's like if you think of it like a balance. A balance of scales, right? You've got, there's the positive future that you want to make an impact, you want to do good in the world, you want to… it's going to have a positive effect on your clients and their clients and all of that. But it can also have, “Oh well, maybe someone might think that what I did wasn't very good. Or maybe someone might think I'm being salesy, or sleazy, or selling in this particular climate.” Right? And that's… there's a desire for impact, but it sounds like there might also be a fear of judgment that's playing out on the scales. Right? There's often positive and negative associations with anything that we want to do.

Like every… as martial artists, I would imagine that you guys are pretty familiar with the concept of Yin and Yang and push and pull and positive and negative that everything has that kind of synthesis or holism – there is positive and negative in everything. And even if you're trying to do something positive, there is also potentially a negative impact that happens with that. And so it depends on what you're focused on and what that triggers within you and your personal experience about how you relate to it.

GEORGE: All right, great. Before we get into how to deal with things in today's climate, I was having a conversation yesterday with one of our Partner members and we were talking about, this is the time for leadership. This is… everything that you've been taught in martial arts, resilience, discipline, if there was ever a battle that you're facing, this is the one. You got to show your leadership and be an example. But then how do you do that if you've got your own fears? It's almost like am I faking it? Where do we go to find that inner strength? And then I guess to tie it back into the conversation up to now is, how do we find that awareness of what is causing us to think in that way? Because yeah, what is causing us to look at the negative side and not really the positive and going… not leading?

Kylie Ryan mindset coachKYLIE: Yeah, exactly. Okay. When I think about leadership, right? Leaders get to go first. Leaders are leaders because they're the ones that go first, right? And you can lead… it doesn't necessarily mean that you're up the front as the flag bearer. You might be a leader that's going first from the back and going, “Come on guys, let's do this.” Right? But you're the… Leaders are the ones that go first. And of course every… I find that every time I step into a new level of leadership there is an initiation. Right? And just like going through the different belt levels in martial arts, there is a test that we must go through and move through in order to attain the sense of victory that allows you to lead others through that particular level. It's like, “Hey, I've been through this myself. Let's go. I can show you the path.”

And you get to show others the path because you have walked that path yourself and you have earned that victory. You have earned that right to then say, “Hey, I can help you through this. I have some wisdom, or skills, or ideas that can help you through.” To just ease everyone's mind that is feeling fear and uncertainty themselves, everyone is facing that right now across the globe, which is really unprecedented that there have been pandemics and epidemics before but we've never had the level of interconnectedness of communication to really know what our brothers and sisters are feeling on the other side of the planet. To have this rampant experience of media and potentially even fear mongering in the media that is putting all of this information in our heads.

The first initiation is for us as leaders to be able to find our center, try and make it as relatable as possible in terms of martial arts, if you have… and I'm not a martial arts expert, so please forgive me if I make mistakes with the metaphors, but if you have people coming from every angle, right, and you have attacks coming from every angle in terms of information, or loss of clients, or loss of income and relates as I've got blows coming at me from every side. I would imagine that, and you can correct me if I'm wrong, but I would imagine that the key part of being able to deal with all of those different attacks is to be able to find your own center, right? To be able to find your own center and start to expand your vision, expand your consciousness so that you can start to perceive things almost before they're happening.

So that you can perceive, “Oh, there's someone that's pulling back to throw a punch over there. I can start to perceive with a wider lens than just my internal state.” I don't know if that's right or not. So starting to go into that inner world and going, “Okay, if I find my center, my center of balance, my center of gravity, my internal state of going, okay, if I can find peace in here internally.” That's the first step to bring yourself into a state of calm, or peace, or if we want to think about it nervous system wise, from sympathetic to parasympathetic, like if we're in an overdriven chronic sympathetic state of going, “Oh,” these attacks on all sides, these chronic anxiety, then the first step is to start to bring our bodies back into calm.

And the simplest hack to do that, which has been taught by sages and mystics and teachers for many millennia, is to take control of the autonomic nervous system by taking control of the breath. Right? That's the one thing that you can take control of that doesn't require a mental shift, but it's almost like a bio hack to go in and go sympathetic in-breath, parasympathetic out-breath, right? And the more that we can just hack our nervous systems back into calm, then it's almost like telling your body, “It's okay. Right now you're safe, right now you're safe.”

And I think what's so disconcerting for people these days is the disconnect between like you walk outside… I walk outside just before and stand in my backyard and the sun is shining, the birds are singing, it looks like paradise, right? Everything seems like it's totally normal. And so there's this weird disconnect between the present moment that actually is, where to most of us things are okay. Or there's no creditors knocking at your door right this second and the sense of impending danger. There's this invisible sense of impending danger, right? There's no zombies knocking at your door and trying to pull your eyes out.

But there is this sense of an invisible danger, and the invisible danger is living in our minds. And it's… it is a real danger. It is a real threat. But it's almost like we're creating this chronic sense of anxiety that's putting our bodies into this state of stress. For me the first step with any… for any leader or anyone at all is to… right, to bring up bodies back into calm and every… all of the mindset training that I've done over many, many years, it's allowing ourselves to come back into the present moment because fear only exists when we're projecting our mind out into the future, right?

It's like we were imagining some kind of negative future and going, “From this moment here, I'm imagining that I wouldn't be able to pay my mortgage and my house is going to get foreclosed and what if… what's going to happen then? What if, what if, what if, what if, what it would?” And you can go into this awful spiral of what is trying to chess play your way through every possible scenario. And that's a really dangerous habit to fall into because so many of the variables are shifting every second, right?

And so it's impossible to know what all of the right steps are to do six months from now, three months from now. It's really about, I believe that this situation is an opportunity for us to be initiated as a global civilization to come back into a sense of center, to be reminded of our power that exists in the present moment and to come back into our hearts and take the next right step. In uncertain times where things are changing, the only thing you can do, and the only thing that you can really be certain of is, “Okay, I'm here at this moment. My feet are on the ground. I can feel my heartbeat, I can take a breath, my body's still working. I still have the capacity to think and move and communicate. Okay, from this moment, what is the next right step? From this moment.”

And I think it's a real opportunity for every one of us to return to the present moment because many of us have lived in… and live in this kind of perpetual state of future pacing. Like, “Oh, I must get this, I've got to do that. I've got my goals, I'm moving here. I'm going there. I've got to set like…” to-do lists and get charts and projections and what boards and simultaneously going, “Well, this is how it used to be,” or, “It's not as good as it used to be,” or, “I'm better than I used to be,” but very little, very few of us re really spend time in the present moment. And the present moment is where your flow lives, right? When you allow yourself to drop into that state of presence, you can start to tap into that intelligent field that allows you to flow with the present environment, right? And allows you to step into the state where you know the next right move because you've dropped all of the mental preconceptions and you're just in the moment.

GEORGE: All right. Perfect. I love that. So really looking at… This is a process before making decisions, right? Like really, let's ground ourselves. Let's just bring ourselves to calm. Take a couple of breaths-

KYLIE: Take a couple of breaths, get yourself into a calm state. No good decisions are made from a stressed state, because any decision you make in a stressed state is going to only ever be reactive, right? You're going to be reacting to the blow rather than going, “Okay, from my center, where do I want to head? What's the next right step?”

GEORGE: That's so good. Okay, cool. All right. I've got a few things I want to ask, but what do feel would be the next best topic to discuss from that point?

KYLIE: From that point? Okay, I think there's an opportunity to make this relevant in terms of what's happening right now, but I'm happy to like, you know your people and you know what… where they're at and what they need. So I trust your questions George.

GEORGE: Perfect. Okay. If I bring things back to current. Right now, what a lot of martial arts school owners are facing is number one, they'd had to just make a 100% pivot. For most, you're either online or you're not a business. And I've been saying this to my clients, “Well, as of today, you are actually an online business.”

KYLIE: Everyone's online. Yeah.

GEORGE: That's what you have now.

KYLIE: Yeah.

GEORGE: It's been a real interesting time because a lot of students that are paying club fees are really happy to continue paying club fees and doing that because they're grateful for what they have in the community and the environment of the martial arts school. The concern number one would be, “Yep, that's great. But then at what point does that… is that not great? How long would people do that if there were real consequences?” And look, we definitely don't focus on the worst outcome, but definitely be prepared.

KYLIE: You've got to be prepared for it, right? You've got to know, “Okay, what's my next… what's the greatest threat and what could I potentially do to mitigate that for sure?”

GEORGE: That's been… the big focus was right, let's retain. Now that we've pulled a lot of our clients, we've got the retain part in control now it's, “Okay, well, how are we going to develop this model from here on?” And I think this is where the money mindset really takes a cave. I can't say I'm 100% aligned with it, but there were a few top people in the industry that announced that they were cutting all their fees and they'll see them in a couple of months and I think it's great if you're able to do that.

What I was concerned about is that there was a long message saying I can't do that. That there's some sort of nobility and ethics involved by not charging and potentially going broke, which is catastrophic. I had a conversation yesterday with someone who was saying, “Well, I'm going to provide all this online stuff, but I'm going to do it as a sense of goodwill and I'm not going to charge.” And my concern was, “Well, is that really what people need?” Because I'm sure they're still going to go to Dan Murphy's maybe, or like, “Oh, are you really doing them the favor of not committing financially?” One of the cases I'm really getting to here is dealing with money mindset. How do you deal with being okay still actually asking for money during a time like this without feeling the, “I'm taking advantage of people.”

KYLIE: A hundred percent. But I would imagine that a lot of people that get into martial arts work have the sense of wanting to help the community, wanting to help… starting with maybe helping themselves and growing in strength and capabilities and then wanting to help others in the community. So there's a sense of giving, of helping, of caring. And I work a lot with healers and coaches, and there's a similar mindset of like, “I'm someone that helps people get better.” Right? The challenge with… I guess the obstacle with that is that we can easily… some can easily fall into the mindset or the archetype of the wounded healer or the rescuer. Right?

KYLIE: And this is where… This is a simple model that comes from transactional analysis, a guy called Stephen Karpman developed it and it's basically just a triangle. If you imagine a triangle with the point at the bottom. And the point at the bottom, so it's… looks like a V. Right? And the point at the bottom is the victim. And when there is a victim and in… and so there's the victim and then there is the aggressor on one side or the bully that's creating the havoc. And then there is the rescuer on the other side or the master. And when we are in situations like this where we're facing a collective drama, there is this aggressor that's happening in terms of the virus is one of the things that's being painted as the aggressor that's causing all of the economy to shut down. Some people are saying the government is one of the aggressors, or people that's forcing people to shut down, or maybe their direct debit company is aggressively shutting everything down. There are many different potential bullies or aggressors in this dynamic.

And then there's the victim, right? If that's happening, then we can fall into going, “Oh, I'm the victim here as the business owner because my business is shut down. Things that are outside of my control now.” And now when you're in that victim state, it feels like if the power lives outside of you, right? The power lives with the aggressor. And the aggressor being the virus, or the government, or the economy. And the power belongs outside of you. And when the power belongs outside of you, that's a dangerous place to be because you're at the mercy of whatever that outside aggressor is that you're seeing as the aggressor.

And that's not to say that those things aren't challenging. They absolutely are. And they absolutely exist. And a part of the initiations, right? The levels that one goes through from victim to victorious… to victory, is by passing through a challenge or an initiation. And the victim feels powerless and only gains power by moving through a particular trial and taking a level of responsibility, and taking a level of ownership, and taking a level of assertiveness, and going, “You know what? I'm going to do this anyway. I'm going to move forward.” And they gain a level of victory. That's how the victor starts to move forward and gain strength and capacity and power to start to move forward.

The other side of the scale is that if we have been a victim, then we often have a level of compassion and wanting to help people that we see as victims, right? And we might see people out in the community and go, “Oh my God, all of my students have… or some of my students, or the parents of my students have lost their jobs. They now don't have any money. Now they've got to look after their kids at home. Oh my God.” You maybe as the business owner might step into the feeling of the rescuer and wanting to rescue people out there in the community because you're seeing them as victims.

And that's because it's much easier. Out of those three archetypes, the victim, the aggressor and the rescuer, the one that feels the best to be in is the rescuer, right? Firefighters, police, rescuers, true rescuers are pinnacled and admired in our society and people can fall into this desire to be the rescuer, but the dark side of the rescuer is that when you're being a rescuer that's not in a dire life or death situation, obviously sometimes there are times when people genuinely need rescuing and this is not necessarily one of those times, although it may be in some cases. But overall when we see people as victims and we go, “Well, none of my students can pay and I'm going to give everything away for free,” then you're falling into the shadow side of the rescuer by going, “I am now seeing all of my students as victims because I don't believe that they have the capacity to pay me for my… in fair exchange for my value and my wisdom and my help.”

That's where it's like, “Hang on. You're not actually helping them by seeing them as victims here,” because people don't need to be seen as victims. They need to be given the opportunity and the strength and the support to rise up, and for them to become leaders of their own lives. And the only way for people to… or one of the best ways for people to move from being a victim into being a sovereign being, a leader of their own lives, is for someone to lead them and give them the support and the inspiration. You go, “No, you have what it takes. You have this within you. I see your greatness. I see your capacity.” That's from a symbolic perspective, but from a practical perspective that might look like, “Okay, I know that there are some people in our community that are experiencing extreme financial hardship. If that's you and you want to continue to be a part of our services, reach out and we can have a conversation.”

Kylie Ryan mindset coachFor everybody else who really wants to invest in moving forward. In this cocoon time, I've reframed quarantine to cocoon time. And I suggest you do the same, right? I think it's quite useful to go, “Okay, we're all cocooned in our homes now. This is an opportunity for us to transform. This is an opportunity for us to inform our minds with information that supports us to move forward, that supports us to get stronger.” So limiting your media, limiting your fear based panic news and starting to inform yourself with positive things or inform yourself with online classes, that is a really useful and productive use of your time. And I think there's an opportunity for martial arts schools and martial arts leaders and business owners to step up and say, “Hey, I am a community leader here. I'm going to run online group classes in place of where my live in person classes were,” and we're all going to be together on a screen. We're going to be doing it together. Maybe the class is priced slightly differently because maybe there's… it's a different situation.

But I think there is still an investment that is required because when people pay, they pay attention. When people pay, they pay attention. And there is going to be a flood and a plethora of free information out as there always is on the internet. And so there's this opportunity for people to pay and continue to be invested in their leader, in their mentor, a lot of people, they look up to their martial arts teacher as a mentor, as a leader in times of trouble, and so there's an opportunity for you to show up as a leader for your people and inspire them to greatness, inspire them to get through the challenges.

GEORGE: I like that. When people pay, they pay attention-

KYLIE: When people pay, they pay attention.

GEORGE: And I'm just going to bring into context to our industry, right? When we do marketing for martial arts schools, we… There's two sorts of this. We got what we call a free trial and a paid trial. Now, a free trial is typically a good thing when there's intent, people search on Google and they go and find you and they had some intent.

When we focus on Facebook marketing, for the most part, it's better to have a paid trial because it's interaction marketing and you can establish some value behind the paid thing, behind the paid trial. People are actually paying to participate, in a fraction. But in the bigger consensus, I think the majority of school owners would agree with me that that creates a better student. Now just to bring it back to this context exactly the same. Right? If people pay, they are paying attention. I don't think it's a wise thing to give away everything for free because if people aren't paying, it's going to be a lot easier to disconnect when there's a screen and I'm at home and I can switch it off and I can swap it to Netflix.

KYLIE: Yeah. Now more than ever we need engagement and we need investment. Yes, there's a sense of shock and there's a sense of panic and that happens obviously when radical changes occur, but that will settle after a period of time, one to two weeks and people will start to get over the shock and panic of it and they'll go, “Oh, okay, we're starting to settle into this new normal way we just live at home.” But… And then those goals that you had before and those needs and the community desires are all still there. All of those needs for community, and certainty, and growth, and leadership, and family, and connection are all still there.

And there's an opportunity for martial arts schools, for dance schools, for any kind of school where people used to go every day, or a couple of times a week, or once a week and they had this experience of a third place, whether that's their gym, or their martial arts school, homework, third place, whatever that third place is. And I see martial arts schools as one of these third places.

There is an opportunity for you as martial arts leaders and teachers to keep that third place open in an online space. They need that third place more than ever because we're all stuck in our own houses, so it's like we need that third place to inspire us, to connect us, to keep us moving for physical health and well-being, for mental health and well-being. There is going to be a massive mental health crisis that comes on the back of this. Once we get through this period of the corona virus situation, there is going to be a massive mental health crisis that comes off the back of it. I think there's an opportunity for all community leaders to step in and give their communities a really strong flag in the sand and go, “Hey guys, let's rally around this. Let's keep moving forward. Let's keep on in uncertain times. Here we go. In uncertain times, certainty matters. In uncertain times, certainty matters. Certainty is a life raft.”

And so there was certainty in your students coming to your classes. There was certainty in your students coming to your school, they got certainty out of it just as much as you got certainty out of it. And in this new situation, they need that certainty in that connection, in that community more than ever. More than ever. And if it means that you go, “Okay, we're going to do a community 6:00 AM, or 6:00 PM, or whatever time suits you and your people, we're going to do a community class and it's every single day now. And I'm going to show up and we're going to do our martial arts training together. And I'm going to give you pointers on the video.” Right?

I think there's an opportunity to be a lot of certainty and to be a lot of leadership. And that's required of us. And it's required of all leaders on the community level, as well as the global level. And a lot of times we're looking at our leaders and going, “They're not providing assurance, they're not providing certainty, they're not giving good plans.” And every time we look outside of ourselves and go, “They're not doing that.” Okay, that may be true, but how can we do that in our communities? How can we build a lot of leadership in our communities in our own way too? Like Gandhi said, to be the change we want to see in the world. If we want to see more certainty than we need to be more certain in the value that we deliver and that it is useful and valid and worthy of investment and fair exchange, there's a real opportunity to step up and also to ask for a fair exchange around that because it is valuable and it is important.

GEORGE: Kylie, thank you so much.

KYLIE: I'm an evangelist.

GEORGE: I love it. I love your message and like I said in the beginning, I just love to talk to interesting people and sometimes it's for my own insight and I'm sure anybody listening to this will get so much value out of that.

KYLIE: Thank you. Yeah.

GEORGE: And even if there was some doubt in things that you were thinking and reaffirming those thoughts and knowing that, “Hey, this is just your opportunity to lead and just really step in that space because people need you more than ever.”

KYLIE: Yeah. It's true. And it's like… it doesn't mean that those emotions aren't there. And it doesn't mean that those emotions have to be gone in order to step into leadership. But a part of the initiation is feeling those emotions, allowing yourself to feel them and then moving forward, anyway.

GEORGE: Like you said, leaders go first.

KYLIE: Leaders go first. Leaders go first. Yeah. What a pleasure George.

GEORGE: Kylie, thank you so much. Is there anything we could do for you? If anybody gets… who's listening, what can we do to just be thankful for what you've just shared with us?

KYLIE: Ah, thanks guys. Well, I have a lot of resources and mindset videos and trainings on my website mymindcoach.com.au and if there's anything that you liked from here and you'd like to hear more, then you can go ahead and find my Facebook page and stay tuned for updates or share one of the resources that you found useful. I've got videos on alleviating anxiety, I've got a free group that I linked to on my Facebook page that gives out more training and free meditations and things to help the community. And I also have mind coach training for those who want to go deeper into learning about this and how to step up as a leader in My Mind Coach Academy. If you're interested in that, reach out and we can have a chat and yeah, look forward to serving the community in deeper and deeper ways.

GEORGE: Thank you so much Kylie, and we'll have all those links in the show notes as well.

KYLIE: Awesome.

GEORGE: Thank you so much.

KYLIE: It's my pleasure George. Speak to you guys soon.

Awesome. Thanks for listening. If you want to connect with other top and smart martial arts school owners, and have a chat about marketing, lead generation, what's working now, or just have a gentle rant about things that are happening in the industry, then I want to invite you to join our Facebook group

It's a private Facebook group and in there, I share a lot of extra videos and downloads and worksheets – the things that are working for us when we help school owners grow and share a couple of video interviews and a bunch of cool extra resources.

So it's called the Martial Arts Media Business Community and an easy way to access it is, if you just go to the domain named martialartsmedia.group, so martialaartsmedia.group, g-r-o-u-p, there's no .Com or anything, martialartsmedia.group. That will take you straight there. Request to join and I will accept your invitation.

Thanks – I'll speak to you on the next episode – cheers!

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