Conor McGregor was born in Ireland and learned how to fight in the streets of Dublin. His parents knew he would be a fighter when he came out of his mother with his fists clinched.
McGregor began kickboxing at the age of 12. He went to the local boxing clubs where he would later find his niche. At age 16 he discovered mixed martial arts and started training extensively.
In the beginning McGregor’s parents supported his fighting as more of a hobby, but as he got older they feared he wouldn’t have a way to support himself. His father, Tony, got him a plumbing apprenticeship in an attempt to provide a stable future for his son. However, McGregor knew he wanted to be a professional MMA fighter so he quit plumbing after 18 months and, at 18 years old, he would start his professional MMA career.
Although McGregor had started his career in MMA, he struggled in the beginning and faced difficult challenges. He would only earn about $110 for each fight he participated in. He would get paid to either beat someone else or get beaten for the same amount of pay.
During the years 2008-2013, McGregor would only make a US equivalent of $1,700 per year. Most people can’t even survive a month on that amount of money, but he was able to survive for 5 years this way.
McGregor was on food stamps and the Dole, which is the Irish equivalent of welfare. It’s so inspiring to think this guy’s vision was so strong that he could live like this for 5 years. Talk about dedication!
As time went on, McGregor became really broke and frustrated. He started to reevaluate his future and thought maybe his father was right all along.
McGregor was 24 years old and boasted twelve wins and only two losses. Despite the wins, he was not making a lot of money and his outlook was dwindling. It also didn’t help that he just had a close friend retire from fighting due to injuries sustained fighting in MMA.
With the odds stacked against him, McGregor decided he would quit in two weeks, get a job, and be another normal person in society. I bet he probably thought his parents would be happy about this decision too. Even though he was quitting, his heart was still in fighting.
Those odds that were stacked against McGregor would soon drastically change. Dana White, the president of the UFC, was in Ireland on business and heard about Conor. For those who don’t know, UFC stands for “Ultimate Fighting Championship.”
Dana White heard so many good things about McGregor that he decided to fly him to Las Vegas for a meeting. In Las Vegas McGregor would sign his first multi-fight deal with the UFC that would change his life forever.
McGregor went on to become the biggest mixed martial arts fighter in the world. He was the first fighter to win titles in two different divisions simultaneously.
This was a guy living on food stamps and welfare for 5 years. McGregor went from making only $1,700 a year to being a world champion worth 22 million dollars. He did this just two years after signing that first multi-fight deal.
11 things we can learn from Conor McGregor
1. The Secret
McGregor’s sister, Erin, introduced him to a book called The Secret , which is said to have made him into the confident man we see today.
Erin read this book about using positivity to create life-changing events, happiness, health, and wealth and achieved great results in her own life.
She swore by the book and tried to push it on Conor. For a while, McGregor shunned the book, but about a year or so later, after having a bad day, he watched a DVD version of the book. That’s when things started to click.
The realization that putting your mind to things, concentrating and focusing on them would most likely lead to success, resonated with McGregor. His success is attributed to visualizing attainment of his goals. I have personally read “The Secret” and found most of the teachings valuable.
2. If a path doesn’t exist, create your own
McGregor only did the plumbing job because he was unsure about his future and was conforming to societal expectations. He eventually quit the job and things got extremely difficult for him financially.
He could not defend himself by telling his parents he would be successful just like ____, another Irish MMA champion. There were no Irish MMA champions to tell of.
He had to create his own path and footsteps to follow in!
YOU CAN DO THE SAME!
3. Push Forward
Even though McGregor is in an amazing position in his life, he still hustles like he is at the bottom. You have to keep the hunger to stay at the top. The person at the bottom of the mountain is far hungrier than the person at the top. If you are at the top, remember the person at the bottom is coming for you. Even if you’re already the champion, always work like you are trying to become the champion!
McGregor always believed in himself and his future. When asked, “if someone would have told you of your future success in the beginning, what would you say?” his reply was, “I believe you.”
In the beginning, few people believed in him so it was up to him to constantly remind himself that he would be a success.
5. Speak up
If you believe in something, have the courage to speak up. When people have great ideas they often keep them to themselves and never put them out there.
If you believe in something, put it out there and you will create the law of attraction. Practice putting your ideas out into the world!
6. Do what you love
Fighting is in McGregor ‘s head 24 hours a day and he can never stop thinking about it. Everything he does has to do with fighting and he never does anything else.
He says he doesn’t work for a living because he loves what he does. Loving what you do is so important to your success. How else could a man live on welfare and food stamps and earn only $1,700 per year? He was able to survive because he loved it!
7. Use laughter and doubt to motivate you
People have been laughing at McGregor his entire career. They laughed when he thought he could win the cage wars world title. They laughed at the thought of an Irish man ever winning a fight in the UFC. They laughed even more when McGregor said he could win a second world title.
Of course, he proved them all wrong when he signed a deal with the UFC and went on to win those two world titles.
McGregor says he uses that sound of laughter and doubt to motivate him to put in the work necessary to succeed. After all of that laughing, McGregor is in negotiations to fight Floyd Mayweather. This would be one of the biggest fights in history with a major payday.
8. Work hard
McGregor says hard work pays off and it’s literally the only way to get ahead in life. He has unshakable confidence because he knows that nobody works harder than he does.
9. Learn from experiences
Everything McGregor learned before the UFC prepared him for the success he is enjoying now. When he was 15 years old he experienced a big change. His family moved to a different town, uprooting him from his longtime friends and routine. Young McGregor was put into a new neighborhood filled with kids he didn’t know.
He had a lot of resentment toward his family and was upset for some time after the move. Things were awkward for him for a while, but in hindsight, the move was a blessing. It pushed him to isolate himself, train hard, work on his passions, and find his fighting niche.
Without the ability to turn hardships into learning experiences, he would have never turned out to be the person he is today.
10. Make it happen
When McGregor quit plumbing, he and his dad would get into fistfights almost every day. His father would go into his room in the morning and tell him it’s time to get up to go to work and, when he would refuse and tell his father he’s not going to work because he’s an MMA fighter, his dad replied by punching him in the head. McGregor was so passionate about his dreams and would not let anyone stop him, not even his dad or the people in his home town when they would call him a waster. If you are passionate don’t worry about people backing you up. You can achieve if you believe!
11. Prove them wrong
McGregor says when he first started people thought he was just fighting people inside of cages. Nobody even knew what he was doing. McGregor says that nobody needed to know what he was doing because it was only important that he knew. He went through a lot of stressful years, but in the end he proved himself right and proved everyone else wrong in the process.