Day two of the conference program started with an inspiring speaker—Georges St. Pierre. The mixed martial arts (MMA) world champion is more familiarly known to fans as “GSP.”
He sat down with long-time collaborator Justin Kingsley for an in-depth keynote interview—the first since his retirement from the UFC. GSP revealed insights and secrets on his approach to inventing an unique career. Outside the octagon, GSP has become an entertainment phenomenon, co-starring in Hollywood films and television series and building a truly global brand.
Here are some favorite GSP comments his one-hour interview with Kingsley:
o “I am retired now, but I left the sport, it did not leave me. I think many times the last person to know when to leave is the athlete themselves. I am sure if someone had asked Mohammed Ali about whether he should have fought those last couple of fights, he would have said no. I learned from his experience. Some experiences you need to live, some you need to learn from others.”
o “In fighting, you would think that you would want to pick the easiest guy for your next fight. That would be logical, but in MMA and as a competitive person, you want to face the best. That is scary but also exciting.”
o “I have fought and lost before. Everybody loses sometime. It is how you react that makes the difference. Losing can hurt your confidence or it can make you want to get better. If you analyze the mistakes, you can get better.”
o “Being in business and being a fighter are similar. If you have knowledge but no confidence, you have already lost. If you have confidence without knowledge, you may not win either. Of course, overconfidence can get you too. The lesson is don’t overestimate or underestimate your opponent.”
o “I got bullied as a kid. I found out I had to change on the inside out. A bully is a predatory animal who will pick on the weakest. Confidence is a choice. I put on a mask and I became confident. The greatest champions act like champions long before they became champions.”
o “In business you can adopt a challenger mindset. That makes you more creative and daring. Then the companies become number one and forget how to be what got them there.”
o “Brands need to know what they are fighting for.”
o “Crisis is the nexus of risk and opportunity.”
o “You don’t win a fight on the day of the fight. You win in the weeks and months before the fight.”
o “I always trained for the way the sport is going to be, not where the sport is. Even if you are on top, you need to continuously get better otherwise the person under you will catch up. I think that is true in life and business. Some say if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. I say if it ain’t broke, intentionally break it.”
After a brief period for audience Q&A, the panel ended with the audience giving a standing ovation to GSP.