Continuing from Part 1, let's start this off with three words, remain "fucking" unbreakable. The most important thing I learned from being bullied and abused, you can't show your true emotions, you simply cannot break. Now don't get me wrong, everyone breaks even a little bit, breaks are what allow us to become stronger and to prevent it further. Although, the last thing you want to do is show that asshole what they are achieving by tormenting you, and as much as it sucks and you probably want to flip the hell out, calm yourself, breathe and move forward.
At 16 I began to understand more about controlling my emotions, the more self-aware I was, the more confident and resilient I became. There were a few adults who were parents apart of the team I played for, they loved to give me subtle jabs, to scream at me, and to make excuses as to why it was necessary to discipline me. I put up with it for a long time, but at 16 I was maturing and decided to put an end to it.
It started with one day, a parent/team manager yelling at me, and I remember he just kept yelling, screaming in my ear during a game. Out of all the other players, he singled me out, trying to get in my head. I remember slowly turning around near the side and got face to face with him, and I just simply said: "go fuck yourself". His eyes went wide, and because he was a little weasel, he had nothing to say in response to that. Of course, I received some backlash but I didn't give a shit.
Assholes will be assholes, and the best thing any parent can teach their child not only in athletics but for life, is remain unbreakable and never show your emotions. By showing your emotions, I mean in displaying your frustration in front of the people that want to see you fail. There are points where you have to hold your ground, and giving it back is logical. In spite of that, I can't tell you how many people wanted to see me fail, to see me crack and breakdown, but never once did I show it. That was the one thing I prided myself in, I never let my emotions get the best of me.
Yet this is the one thing I see still in adults and kids through sports and life, people constantly let assholes get in their heads, and you may not think your visibly showing it, but it is obvious as fuck. If they want to be an asshole to you, fuck them, let them know what you are about and obviously don't take their shit, but... do not let them get the better of you, it is not worth your precious time and energy. Now if they hurt or do something to torment someone you love or care about, different story, break them.
When I turned 17, after boxing for so many years, I made the decision to pursue Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I was tired of the bullshit in team sports and I wanted a humble athletic environment and a complete challenge. There is nothing quite like a grown-ass adult with cauliflower ears crushing the shit out of a 17-year-old, making you tap so much you could've been playing the bongos. Jiu-Jitsu was the hardest thing I had done, physically and mentally it pushes you to breaking points you never thought existed, for example, being stacked so hard that your neck feels like it wants to snap, and all your oxygen has simply left your body. If you want to start jiu-jitsu, it is amazing, but get comfortable with being uncomfortable. I dedicated years to the sport, training twice a day, almost every day for the first 2 years, then continued to train for longer periods but only once a day as I entered University. I had competed at the World Jiu-Jitsu Championships, I competed in a few super fights, as well as many competitions.
Jiu-Jitsu gave me a stronger sense of self-confidence, it gave me a perspective on humility and reassured that what you look like, means fuck all, to be good at jiu-jitsu you have to do more jiu-jitsu. I worked my ass off to get good at the sport in such a condensed period of time, I was incredibly passionate about it. Unfortunately, I was still in school and was not entirely sure I wanted to be a broke 18-year-old athlete. I still train daily and compete every so often, but jiu-jitsu is not the be all and end all of my life.
Being extremely hard-headed in the sense that if you told me I could not do something, I have always felt that I would do everything in my ability to shut you the hell up. I had a lot of anger built up in me from over the years, which I learned to channel into positive energy, which is why grappling was such a good environment for myself.
In my second year of University, it was clear I did not fit in whatsoever, for starters I was getting a degree because it would keep my mother quiet for a little bit till I figured my life out. I took the most random degree possible, and when I did attend lectures, I fell asleep in them.
I was hovering right above academic probation, I hated every second of school and I had no passion for my program. There was one thing I knew, I wanted to be my own boss and I wanted to create something others would resonate with. The more time I spent around University students, the more I felt as though I did not belong in this trapped environment.
Once Prim8te had become an idea, I worked on it 24/7. In lectures when I was supposed to be taking notes I was planning out the business. When I was home, instead of studying I was designing the logos and a website. Prim8te was all I wanted to do, that and jiu jitsu, and I knew to make it work, school would have to come second.
What I found ironic is I worked jobs completely irrelevant to business just to make the money I needed to survive and start my dream. The amount of mind numbingly boring and exhausting labour jobs I took to make money was incredible, one of them being literally shovelling shit for pay a little above minimum wage.
I ended up reading books on business, digital marketing, taking courses online for free, learning anything and everything about how to grow a brand. I thought about switching to a business program, but didn't have the marks for it. So I just kept reaching out to business people with questions, teaching myself and learning through trial by error.
It was hilarious to walk the university atrium and see all the business students in their fancy suits with their slicked hair. So many of them had such an arrogance about themselves, like they were going to be the next Jordan Belfort. Fuck that, I didn't want to wear suits, sell bullshit to full of shit people, I wanted to change the industry of apparel and establish my brands mentality. I knew exactly how I wanted to build Prim8te and I knew I was for sure as hell not going to be doing it in a suit.
My last year or so of university after Prim8te had got off the ground, I was 21 years old and I pretty much stopped showing up for lectures. Prim8te was growing fast, and it was because I was not just another full of shit brand owner with a fake past. I have always said things the way they are, and this will never change. People started to resonate with the mentality, with my past, with the resilient attitude, it was a surreal feeling. I may not have been a business student, but I understand people, and people are tired of the same old regurgitated bullshit apparel brands selling you motivation and alpha male mentalities, fuck those assholes.
There are so many wannabe brand owners, entrepreneurs and CEO's out there, yet they forget the most important thing. The community that surrounds and molds your business, the Prim8te following is fucking incredible and I cannot be more thankful for the support over the past years. I love hearing your stories, or getting random messages about how you resonate with the Prim8te mentality. The mentality connects us all, but the savages that carry the name are the ones who helped build this community.
I pretty much threw myself into the business world, contacting suppliers, gym owners, sponsoring athletes who I thought would represent the brand properly. There was no such thing as a comfort zone, no limits, no time to waste, everyday I layout an agenda and it has to be completed. If something goes wrong, do not feel sorry for yourself, find a solution, move forward. If you are a young business owner especially, nobody gives a fuck about you, nor does anyone think you'll succeed.
So to finish this blog post off, the last piece of advice, and one crucial thing I have learned so far from business, jiu jitsu and school, block out the noise. There will forever be some excuse, some fucker in your ear telling you that your dream is not feasible, explaining how the idea will fail, and how you are far better off working a 9-5 job you hate just to collect a pension. Use that as fuel, but brush it aside cause it never ends, and if you don't have the stomach to deal with the stress of risk or bewilderment, maybe the pension is more your route. But if you want to do something you love every single day and be one of the few who can actually say, "I achieved this", ya better start working your ass off.
Remain "Fucking" Unbreakable