hustletalktv, alan belcher, mma, business, gary vee

#21: Alan Belcher From Top Ranked UFC Fighter to Martial Arts Entrepreneur

Alan ‘The Talent’ Belcher, a retired UFC middleweight, and successful entrepreneur, is realizing the dream he started with at just 14 years old!  Getting his start at wiping down sweat in a gym, he has built a successful business, moved through the ranks of the UFC, and his star just keeps rising!  Alan chats with Luc today about developing a resilience mindset from sports that he uses in his business, why he doesn’t burn out despite running multiple businesses, and why his daily routine starts with a focus on spending time with his children. 

Alan’s Journey

  • Alan started off in martial arts and was introduced to weightlifting at 14 years old.
  • He was intrigued by it and it quickly became a huge part of his life.
  • He took an after-school job for 6 months wiping down lifting gym facilities.  That introduced him early to the business side of gyms.
  • As a teen, he designed his first gym that combined weight training and a martial arts area, long before the day of MMA-type focused training areas.
  • He knew from that point forward that he wanted to teach martial arts and own a gym.
  • At 21, he still hadn’t been accepted into UFC.  He knew he had to ‘grow up’ and start paying the bills.
  • That drive started his first business-teaching children martial arts.
  • Within 6 months of starting the business, he was accepted into UFC and the business paid for him to be able to focus on training.
  • Because it made sense for him to keep the business, he started learning quickly how to hire employees and trainers while he moved through the UFC ranks.
  • Recently, he needed to make the decision of whether to keep growing the business or retire from UFC. 
  • He chose the business. When you work at your passion is when you excel. 

Developing Mindset

  • In the MMA world, failures are ordinary.   You have to learn from your mistakes and come back stronger.
  • If you let small things hold you back, you will never build any forward momentum.
  • During his last couple of years, Alan discovered more patience and consistency. 
  • He didn’t get to use either one much in his fights, but those attributes will help him ‘shine’ in the business world.
  • You can’t quit.  You have to keep going.  If you stop after 6 months-1 year, you never even really started.
  • You have to accept that there will be hard days, ups and downs ahead. 
  • Not being afraid to face that struggle and take those risks  makes you an extraordinary entrepreneur.

Business as a Sport

  • So many athletes have all of the necessary traits and skills to succeed in business but few of them do.
  • Alan believes the missing ingredient is competitiveness, looking at business as a game instead of a paycheck.
  • He views business successes, such as leverage, as scoring points.
  • He puts out content and free value to expand his reach and build his brand-it’s a game to him to be ‘everywhere’.

About ‘Combat Con’

  • Alan launched this conference in 2014 for MMA and BJJ business owners.
  • The first year, he brought in a lot of his personal mentors to speak-it was a huge success.
  • In year two, they doubled in size to 200 gym owners and he expanded his speakers.
  • He wanted to show business owners how to go ‘outside’ their industry to learn strategies.
  • If you only stay inside your own industry, no one does anything innovative. 
  • He uses the event to help people as well as increase his own leverage and authority.

Balancing and Avoiding Burnout

  • Alan believes being able to balance boils down to one thing: he is a good leader.
  • As a youth, he had a very introverted personality.  It’s something that he had to work hard at because he knew the value of communicating and connecting with people.
  • Along the way of developing communication, he learned leadership skills. 
  • He admits he’s very unorganized.  He doesn’t mind admitting it, hoping it will inspire others.
  • But, being disorganized has a price-your payroll goes up because you have to hire more people who can make up for that weakness!   
  • He treats his team really well and they can see his passion and energy.  That makes people want to work for him and share his goals.
  • He likes the team environment.  Having a good relationship with them means he can trust the work will get done. 

Systemization

  • He divides everything into ‘acquiring new customers’ and ‘service’.
  • One side feeds the other.  You have to figure out how to keep clients happy to keep them but that also generates word of mouth to get you new customers.
  • He thinks in terms of processes. Whether it’s online or offline business, the steps are almost the same.
  • The steps are: Initial Engagement, ‘Freebie’, Register for a webinar/Schedule Consultation, Build a Face to Face Relationship, Conversion.

His Daily Routine

  • Alan finds that the people that are successful generally can keep going.  He actually finds it difficult to ‘turn it off’.
  • He likes being an entrepreneur because-he’s driven by his energy, passion and competiveness.
  • He doesn’t have a ‘strict routine’ but it is essential that he wakes up a minimum of 1 hour before his children do.
  • He uses that quiet time to prioritize his day.  If he does not, he knows he will spend time on things that aren’t efficient. 
  • His rule is to wake up a minimum of 1 hour before they do. So a minimum of 6 am.
  • He also uses the time to watch motivational videos, such as ‘Ask Gary Vee’.
  • He spends the rest of the time with his wife and children getting ready for school.
  • Being around family in the morning just reminds you of why you’re doing something.
  • The power of completion-when you have consistency, you build confidence and momentum.
  • Momentum is the most important thing in anything you’re trying to accomplish.

What Lies Ahead for Alan

  • Alan wants to take his MMA and BJJ Mastermind to the next level.
  • He has plans to branch out into coaching people with video content and social media and his goal is to from ‘zero to 100’ on the scene. 
  • He is constantly networking.  If you’re not doing that in your business, you will find yourself fighting an uphill battle. 

Where to Find Alan

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Luc Sisombath
Luc is the Founder and host of the Hustle to Greatness Podcast whose goal is to inspire 100 million people to call the shots in their own life, and live life on their own terms. Luc is also a marketing consultant for Solopreneurs and is the author of marketing related courses.