On risk, Joe Lauzon, and fear of failure

Joe Lauzon is my favorite MMA fighter.

He should be yours too.  Here’s why.

He is ambitious and audacious. He always fights to win by a knockout or a submission. Decisively and dramatically. It’s thrilling to watch and why he’s considered the most exciting fighter in the UFC. He fights like it matters.

He is the polar opposite of a fighter like Jon “The Blanket” Fitch who wrestles his opponent into a hold and then just lies there on top of him, doing nothing, as he waits for the clock to run out. This wretched technique is called “lay and pray,” which tells you exactly how much respect it earns him. He doesn’t fight to win. He fights not to lose.

Me, Dana White, and millions of voracious MMA fans HATE that kind of fighter. And LOVE fighters like Joe Lauzon.

Because he is constantly trying to be great. And he is.

The other guys are just trying to stay on the payroll. NO ONE wants to see that.

Joe Lauzon dares greatly, and, in that daring, shows us who he is. And who we could be if we were brave enough to keep risking ourselves.

Because here’s the thing. His strategy for winning is based on perilous moves and intrepid attempts. And it often works out for him.

But every single time, he risks that it won’t.

Sometimes he loses.

And when that happens, he doesn’t start playing it safe. He doesn’t let failure deter him from trying to be great. He doesn’t let defeat threaten his ambition.

He gets right back out there, undiminished by the loss, and fights in the same ballsy, exhilarating way.

Every time he does that, losing surrenders a bit more of its power over him. And reinforces just how powerful he is.

Joe Lauzon shows us how little losing can matter, when you are daring greatness all of the time.

The other guys are showing us nothing more than their own insecurity, their self-doubt, and their absolute belief that if they risk themselves, they will fail. And that they will not recover from losing. Failure will end them.

Winning isn’t teaching them courage.

And losing isn’t teaching Joe Lauzon fear. 

It’s teaching him how strong he actually is.

You know what else Joe Lauzon earns? Post-fight cash bonuses from the UFC each time he does it in his own impressive, undaunted way. Thirteen of them so far, the most in UFC history, at $50,000 and up a pop. So much extra filthy lucre, in fact, that #JoeLauzonMoney has become a thing. Seriously.

Imagine that: wildly successful, respected, wealthy, confident, and reveling in his own power.

That could be you.

Have you been knocked down? Did it convince you not to risk yourself anymore?

Or maybe, you actually haven’t gotten knocked down in so very, very long that the prospect terrifies you. And dissuades you from daring at all, because the peril is so great.

So you have become timid. Safe. Unremarkable.

Definitely NOT the most exciting player in your industry.

You know it’s time for a change.

Because if you don’t go all out for fear of failure? You’ve already lost.

When you never risk yourself,

When you only attempt to be moderately and mundanely successful,

When you live your life afraid of failure,

That fear just gets bigger and stronger and more powerful.

But, when you risk yourself enough to fall down and get back up over and over again,

The only thing getting bigger and stronger and more powerful? Is YOU.

So are you going to give fear of failure that power? Or are you going to take it for yourself?

Ready to dare greatly? To handle failure like a champ? I can help. Ask me how.
Photo:  Mark Sebastian


  1. Laura García-Courrau

    Truth: This is MY FAVORITE BLOG POST OF ALL TIME, including my own. Talk about my worlds colliding! You are absolutely right, and while Joe might not be a champ, he has the reputation of putting it all out on the line and giving the fight his all. That SO correlates to business and what we do on a daily basis and I love how you’ve illustrated that with MMA. He might not win them all, but as a fan, I’m willing to pay to watch him fight because I know he’ll deliver on his promise. Awesome awesome post, Wendy. Now I know who I can talk MMA with! And yes, Fitch is SO BORING to watch! (Fitch the Blanket made me LOL!)

    • wendy tells all

      LOVE IT! That is so amazing! Look at you with Dana White! My husband and I were watching Joe’s most recent fight a week ago and this post just came to me. I’ve been wanting to write about the fear of failure for awhile-so it just seemed perfect. I’m so glad it spoke to you. Also, Joe immediately replied to me on twitter, and posted it on his social media page, so that was very cool! Are you watching the current TUF?


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