Giving Up Versus Trading Up: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Applied To Business

We live in a “never give up” culture. When we feel like quitting something because the going gets tough, we are always told to never give up.

But is this always a good thing?

No, not at all. In fact, in a bitter twist or irony, it can actually cause us to give up.

Here’s an example: let’s say you’re a white belt and you’re trying an armbar, but your opponent — who is significantly bigger and stronger than you — is defending her right arm. What might you do?

Keep trying, right? After all, that’s what you’ve been told all of your life: never give up.

Unfortunately, you’ll expend so much energy that you’ll ironically have no choice but to give up.

Now, let’s say you’re a black belt. Again, your much bigger, stronger opponent is defending her right arm. What do you do?

Unlike the white belt you realize that pulling on her right arm won’t get you anywhere…but pulling on her left arm will. After all, she’s defending her right arm with her left arm, meaning her left arm is completely undefended. You therefore switch to her left arm and get the tap.

What the black belt did was called “trading off.” It involves giving up on the means to accomplish an end, but not giving up on the end itself.

White belts give up because they put themselves in a position where they have no choice. Black belts trade up for better options.

This same mentality can be applied to business.

Let’s say you’re trying to convince a client to buy a new car. You can keep pestering with the same tactics and ironically make is so she never wants to speak to you again, or you can switch to a new tactic.

Bruce Lee’s famous statement about being “like water” holds true here. As a businessperson and a martial artist, you have to be able to adapt to the challenges any situation throws at you.

In the video below, Rener Gracie, one half of the Gracie University founders, and his student, undefeated UFC Featherweight Brian Ortega, help explain how their philosophy of trading up versus giving up can help you not only on the mats, but in the dog-eat-dog world of business.

Check out the video below:

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Applied to Business

When "Never Give Up" = Terrible Advice! Rener Gracie and Brian Ortega discuss the difference between white belts and black belts when it comes to jiu-jitsu AND business. Watch the full Entrepreneur Jiu-Jitsu presentation here:

Posted by Gracie Breakdown on Wednesday, April 4, 2018


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