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That’s Rich: Bad Intentions – Business lessons from the octogon

My hobby has given me some insight into how to deal with adversity.

July 3, 2019  By Rich Porayko

I like to punch people. There isn’t much else that gives me greater pleasure.

In 2008 my brother, Dr. Lorne Porayko, and accomplished restaurateur friend Ed Kumar inspired me to sign up for mixed martial arts to lose some weight before I got married. Since then, I’ve been training at Gibson MMA in Port Moody, B.C. The club is the real deal and is run by founder/UFC veteran Lance Gibson, his wife, Bellator feather weight champion Julia Budd, and Lance’s son, Bellator fighter Lance Gibson Jr. As with everything in life, the more I time I invest, the better I get.

Iron Mike Tyson once said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.” It’s how you react to adversity that defines you, not the adversity itself. Everyone needs a plan but when you-know-what hits the fan and the plan isn’t working, how quickly can you scramble to switch gears to plan B, C, or D? Combat sports are a classic SWOT analysis in real time: identifying strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats as they happen.

Leave outside distractions at the door. Much like business, if your head isn’t 100 per cent in the game, you’re going to get beaten up. I find this therapeutic. When my mind wanders, as it often does, I get an instant correction in the form of significant pain or flubbed combination and am forced back to living in the moment or face the consequences.


I’m not pretty to look at but I can take a punch and people have told me I have a hard right hand. My stance is orthodox and my style is my own. My arms are short so I like to get right in there, up close and personal. I like make my opponents and competitors uncomfortable. It’s my niche. Similar to the niche I’ve created as a freelance writer and marketing consultant in the fenestration industry.

It’s an honour to be partnered up with someone that is better than you. I was wrestling a super cop named Dirk and he had me up against the cage where I thought I could rest and catch my breath. Dirk dropped, picked me up by my knees, raked my face down the cage like a cheese grater and slammed my head on the mat. Good times. Afterwards, he told me exactly what I did wrong. I left my knees exposed. That lesson is hardwired for the rest of my days and I will never make that mistake again. Harsh consequences have a way of improving information retention.

Robert Frank, host of the Glorious House of Gainz podcast is a wild man but he makes a lot of good points. “With all the shit going on in the country right now, people need the gym in their life. That’s the answer. Where’s the one place where you walk into that glorious House of Gainz where everybody is one? We are all family once you cross those doors. You need a spot, I got your back.”

He’s not wrong. I’ve come to believe that exercise is the solution to almost everything; most importantly, stress. According to the American Psychological Association, chronic stress is linked to the six leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver and suicide. Exercise is proven to make you feel happier. It can help with weight loss. It is good for your muscles and bones. It can increase your energy levels. It can reduce your risk of chronic diseases. It helps your skin as well as your brain health and memory. It aids in achieving deep, lasting sleep. If that’s not enough to convince you to work out more often, exercise has been proven to boost sex drive.

I can recommend punching and getting punched as a way to get better in business, and life.

Rich Porayko is a professional writer and founding partner of Construction Creative, a marketing a communications company located in Vancouver, B.C. richp@constructioncreative.com

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