What Jiu-Jitsu’s Teaching Me About Business and Life, Lesson #3: Go In The Smart Direction


One of the techniques that we were focusing on in my Jiu-Jitsu class tonight was breaking an opponent’s grip when they grab the lapel of your gi while you are in a standup position.

The method seemed straightforward – by using both hands, one on top controlling the wrist, and the other gripping the inside of my opponent’s sleeve you are able to effectively break their grip.

When I started to drill the technique I noticed right away that it was taking way more muscle than I thought it would.  A couple attempts and I was really having to work hard to break the grip of my training partner.  Every time I find myself having to use muscle in a technique, I know that I must be doing something wrong.  In this case my suspicions were correct.

The solution, as my Professor pointed out to me, was in the direction that I was attempting to move my opponent’s hand.  I was going in his strong direction, and in the direction that I was weak.  By slightly adjusting my body, and pushing his wrist in the “smart” direction (the direction he is weak and I am strong), the grip became easy to break.

I believe that this principle – going in the “smart” direction – has tremendous application to getting a business off the ground, and it is often the case that you don’t know the smart direction until you get yourself educated (by someone who knows more than you).

When we first started our direct sales business I was really, really driven to succeed online.  So I did what any ambitious person would do  – I got to work.  I worked, and worked, and worked. I put in long hard hours.  I set up a website, I tried to market it.  I tried the best that I could, but despite my best efforts, despite my “muscling the technique” I didn’t get any results.  I worked consistently every single day, for almost a year, with no visible results.

So instead of giving up I decided to educate myself.  We hired a web consultant who quickly showed us some fundamental errors in the setup and coding of our website.  Then I bought several books and started to follow a number of blogs where I learned proper “technique” on online marketing.   In time, I got the results that I wanted.

I realized that hard work alone is not enough.  I also have to do “smart” work.  This means going in the proper direction, with the proper technique.

So wherever you are in your business right now, if you are going somewhere, watch your technique.  Make sure you are going in the “smart direction”.  If you don’t know the “smart” direction, get educated.  Someone out there knows the correct path.  Someone out there has been there before.  Find the knowledge that you need and you will get the results that you want.

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