If you smelllllllllllll what Louise is cooking…
Yes, that’s right, this article is all about what World Wrestling Entertainment can teach us about business.
Why? Because I’m a big wrestling fan and a huge business fan, and it’s my blog so I can write about whatever I want.
So without further ado, get ready for the ‘Excellence of Execution’, ‘Million Dollar’, ‘Stone Cold’ lessons on how to get the ‘Edge’ in your business…
1. ‘Excellence of Execution’: Your brand matters
Probably the most obvious lessons we can learn from wrestling are all around branding.
After all, WWF only became WWE because the World Wildlife Fund took legal action and Vince McMahon was forced to completely rebrand. Pandas won the title.
But although I could probably get an entire blog post out of how to choose your company name or the ins and outs of IP law, that’s not really my bag.
Instead, I’m going to talk about personal branding.
Because WWE wrestlers have got it nailed.
They are the gurus of personal branding. They know how to stand out and create fans.
They have their name, their costume, their storylines, their signature moves and their own goddamn entrance music!
And when that entrance music plays, the fans know exactly what to expect.
Your brand – your messaging, your content, your tone, your style – should be just like that: distinct, memorable and consistent. Are you fun, formal, casual, corporate, silly, serious or downright daft?
Whatever your style, build a brand that resonates with your audience – create ‘fans’. Get people excited when they hear your ‘entrance music’. Be someone they want to do business with – someone they’ll talk about to their friends.
Don’t fade into obscurity like Flash Funk, Salvatore Sincere or Adam Bomb (who?!). Stand out, get noticed and be known as one of the megastars in your industry like Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior or The Rock.
2. ‘Stone Cold’ Truths: Things go wrong
Spoiler alert: WWE is fake.
Hard to believe, I know. But all those amazingly dangerous moves are actually cleverly choreographed stunts – or if you want the technical term, it’s kayfabe (yes, that’s right, I’m down with the lingo).
Anyway, the point is, all the outcomes are pre-determined (unless you’re Bret Hart and you fall foul of the Montreal Screwjob).
But despite all the training, preparing and planning, things can go horribly wrong.
Like the 1998 Hell in a Cell match between Undertaker and Mankind that left Mankind with missing teeth, internal bleeding, concussion, and a dislocated shoulder and jaw.
And he’s considered lucky.
Numerous wrestlers have endured broken necks and backs – some suffering irreparable damage. And who can forget the tragic death of Owen Hart, whose fatal injuries were caused by an equipment malfunction?
The point is, no matter how well we plan and prepare, there’s always a risk that things can go tits up.
Luckily, when things go wrong in small businesses, it rarely ends up in broken bones, but that doesn’t mean it can’t still have a devastating effect.
If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that, no matter how well things are going, a big ol’ pandemic can come along at any time and shit all over everything.
So we have to be adaptable. We have to have the flexibility to diversify, learn from mistakes and keep improving our systems and processes.
And if you have the right support in place, it’s much easier to do that.
Which leads nicely to my next point.
3. ‘Million Dollar’ Advice: You don’t have to do everything alone
Wrestlers don’t work alone. They have trainers, nutritionists, costume designers, stunt coordinators, managers. They have a team of people helping them so they can get on with what they do best. And they collaborate.
“Stables in professional wrestling are quite well known for one thing: take a group of wrestlers with a common cause or who are buddies with one another and have them plough down their opposition for championships, personal rivalries and/or attempt to take over whatever wrestling organisation they happen to occupy.”
In business, we don’t join stables; we build networks. We collaborate with other businesses. We tap into each other’s skills and expertise.
The best thing you can do in business is build a support network – a network of people who can help you achieve your goals. Find people to help you with the stuff you can’t do or don’t want to do.
Get a good team around you, and you’ll perform better where it matters – in the ring.
Time to tag me in….
Everyone loves a good tag team, don’t they? D-Generation X, Legion of Doom, Hardy Boys, New Day, The Rockers…
Well, how about we start a new one – Lou and You.
Let’s face it, if you’ve made it this far, you definitely want me in your stable – who doesn’t want a VA who appreciates a good Smackdown every now and then?
And I’ve got an awesome signature move as well…
I call it The Power Hour.
My Power Hour gives you the space to talk through what’s preventing you from moving forward. We’ll take a look at where you are, where you want to be, and form an easy to manage battle plan.
Who needs a Tombstone Piledriver, Figure-Four Leglock or Stone Cold Stunner when you’ve got a signature move like that?
So come on.
What are you waiting for?
Let’s get ready to Royal Rumble…