There are countless secrets to success. Some involve talent. Some involve experience. Some involve luck.
And sometimes that secret is as simple as organizing and living your life on your own terms, defining success in your own way and then working tirelessly, in spite of critics or naysayers, to make that vision become a reality.
I've written about UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor before, and how he tries to view everything he does through the prism of one question: "Does this help my fighting?"
If it will, it becomes a priority... and if it won't, it doesn't.
And now he's taken that premise a step farther.
On Tuesday UFC president Dana White announced that McGregor had been pulled from the card of UFC 200 because he refused to come to Las Vegas to promote the fight. (A press conference, filming a commercial, and other marketing events had been scheduled.)
McGregor wouldn't be the first athlete to retire young and still in his prime. Football players like Calvin Johnson, Jarod Mayo, and B.J. Raji won't play this year even though all are arguably in the prime of their careers. (As more research is known about the impact of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) on players' long-term health, expect even more to retire "early.")
But he's not retired.
Here's what he posted on Facebook today (note it's unsafe to read aloud at work):
"I am just trying to do my job and fight here.
I am paid to fight. I am not yet paid to promote.
I have become lost in the game of promotion and forgot about the art of fighting.
There comes a time when you need to stop handing out flyers and get back to the damn shop.
50 world tours, 200 press conferences, 1 million interviews, 2 million photo shoots, and at the end of it all I'm left looking down the barrel of a lens, staring defeat in the face, thinking of nothing but my incorrect fight preparation. And the many distractions that led to this.
Nothing else was going through my mind.
It is time to go back and live the life that got me this life.
Sitting in a car on the way to some dump in Connecticut or somewhere, to speak to Tim and Suzie on the nobody gives a fuck morning show did not get me this life.
Talking to some lady that deep down doesn't give a fuck about what I'm doing, but just wants some sound bites so she can maybe get her little tight ass a nice raise, and I'm cool with that too, I've been giving you all raises. But I need to focus on me now.
I'm coming for my revenge here.
I flew an entire team to Portugal and to Iceland to make my adjustments in preparation and fix my errors I made with the weight and the cardio prep.
With the right adjustments and the right focus, I will finish what I started in that last fight.
I will not do this if I am back on the road handing out flyers again.
I will always play the game and play it better than anybody, but just for this one, where I am coming off a loss, I asked for some leeway where I can just train and focus.
I did not shut down all media requests. I simply wanted a slight adjustment.
But it was denied.
There had been 10 million dollars allocated for the promotion of this event is what they told me.
So as a gesture of good will, I went and not only saved that 10 million dollars in promotion money, I then went and tripled it for them.
And all with one tweet.
Keep that 10 mill to promote the other bums that need it. My shows are good.
I must isolate myself now.
I am facing a taller, longer and heavier man. I need to prepare correctly this time.
I can not dance for you this time.
It is time for the other monkeys to dance. I've danced us all the way here.
Nate's little mush head looks good up on that stage these days. Stuff him in front of the camera for it.
He came in with no shit to do that last one. I'd already done press conferences, interviews and shot the ads before RDA pulled out.
Maybe I'll hit Cabo this time and skull some shots pre-fight with no obligation.
I'm doing what I need for me now.
It is time to be selfish with my training again. It is the only way.
I feel the $400 million I have generated for the company in my last three events, all inside 8 months, is enough to get me this slight leeway.
I am still ready to go for UFC 200.
I will offer, like I already did, to fly to New York for the big press conference that was scheduled, and then I will go back into training. With no distractions.
If this is not enough or they feel I have not deserved to sit this promotion run out this one time, well then I don't know what to say.
For the record also -
For USADA and for the UFC and my contract stipulations - I AM NOT RETIRED."
So there you go. Love him, hate him... Conor McGregor clearly seeks to live his personal and professional life the way he wants. He clearly seeks to define success -- and what he's willing to do to achieve it -- on his terms.
Doesn't that sound like every successful entrepreneur you know?
Doesn't that sound like you?
(And if it doesn't... shouldn't it?)