Sweat Equity: Discipline Lessons From Inside The Ring To Use Outside The Box

“If you’re doing jujitsu and you’re getting chocked and strangled every day, there’s not really room for ego,” insurance agent/mixed martial arts fighter Michael Casill tells us. We believe him–and you should, too!

Editor’s Note: This video is featured on our list of the most valuable, blunt, and slightly unconventional business lessons of 2013. Click here to see the full list.


Meet Michael Casill, insurance agent by day, and mixed martial arts fighter by night.

Two totally unrelated skill sets, right? Maybe not.

Casill, who fights for Victory Combat Sports Events, finds that his long hours in the gym, keeping his body in tip-top shape and mentally preparing for his next venture into the ring, absolutely complement his role in the workplace. How? An insatiable drive for success and disciplined routine, even against all odds.

“I’ve always been willing to be the hardest worker,” he says. “That applies to business, also. You’ve got to set your priorities, and you’ve got to set a goal, no matter what it takes. The payoff isn’t immediate. It takes a lot of focus. Consistency is everything.”

Before he started training, Casill says he was never the strongest or biggest guy, something that might deter others from entering the sport. However, he was determined to give it his best shot. Now his commitment to crafting himself into a fighting machine has been rewarded.

“What you put into something is exactly what you’re going to get out of it,” Casill tells us. “The fact is, if you set a goal and you have a dream, obstacles don’t mean anything–you can’t let that get in your way.”


He also says that training for MMA has not only dealt a blow to his ego (in a good, character-building way), but made him understand the importance of working toward something greater.

“People that train regularly tend to have less ego,” he says. “If you’re doing jujitsu and you’re getting chocked and strangled every day, there’s not really room for ego.”


About the author

Former Editorial Assistant Miles Kohrman helped run Fast Company's homepage and completed miscellaneous tasks around the newsroom. He is a 2013 graduate of The New School.