A week or two ago, I wrote a post titled "What can real estate agents learn from mixed martial arts?" In the post, I highlighted a lesson about success as displayed by the Gracie family.  I also included a YouTube video and teased a little bit about a second "hidden" lesson in the video. If you missed this post, I would recommend that you go watch the first video presented in my post because I’m going to write about the "hidden" lesson today.

The video highlighted the story of the Gracie family and their transition from Brazil to the States. The Gracie family’s business was Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. They started with one training school in Brazil and branched out to several schools throughout Brazil. In fact, they were able to fill their schools with new students very quickly by using this "hidden" business strategy.

The strategy they used was to create unbelievable challenges to attract attention. In Brazil, Carlos and Helio Gracie would offer $50,000 to anyone who could beat them in a fight. These challenges attracted media attention. The media attention attracted fighters willing to fight them for the opportunity to win $50,000. The fights attracted spectators who watched the Gracies win challenge after challenge.

What do you think happened next?

You got it… The spectators wanted to learn how to fight like the Gracie brothers. They quickly signed up for Jiu-Jitsu lessons at the Gracie training academy. When one school hit full occupancy, they opened another school. The family branched out into different locations throughout Brazil.

Now, let’s stop and look at this "challenge" strategy. How much did it cost the Gracie family in marketing to attract these new students to their school? Almost nothing because of the free publicity obtained by offering the challenge. What would your business’s profits be like without having any marketing expenses? I would have to imagine that your profits would increase by 20 to 30%. Depending on your sales volume, this could represent a substantial increase in your net income.

In the YouTube video, they profiled the Gracie families transition into the States with their Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The Gracies started training students in their garage. They would offer these little fight challenges and slowly but surely more and more students were attracted to their school. Then they decided to kick it up a few notches and held the very first Ultimate Fighting Championship. This event was held on Pay Preview and featured a small number of the worlds toughest fighters.

One of the fighters was a Royce Gracie.

Guess who won?  Royce Gracie.

Guess what happened to their training schools in the States? They flooded with new students, just like they did in Brazil. The Gracies did have to invest a great deal of money and effort into the first Ultimate Fighting Championship, but it paid back many times over. They simply copied their successful "hidden" business strategy from Brazil on a much larger scale in the States.

Today, the Gracie family is involved in hundreds of training schools throughout the world, teach seminars, have a clothing line, sell books and videos, plus a great deal more. Their challenges have actually turned into a new form of fighting called Mixed Martial Arts – all from this "hidden" business strategy.

There are other entrepreneurs who have used this "hidden" business strategy to build their businesses.

Have you heard of Bill Phillips?

He used to own EAS, a company providing supplements to athletes and body builders. He started a body building challenge called "Body for Life." He offered his Lamborghini as the grand prize. When the Body for Life competition was first started, they expected around 5,000 entries into the challenge and were shocked to receive well over 50,000 entries. Bill decided to select winners in different categories based upon gender, age, and weight. Bill and his team flew to each winner’s home town and made a big deal about their win. These winners were featured on their local news stations, and became little celebrities. All of which led to more demand for EAS’s supplements. Bill Phillip’s Body for Life Challenge attracted media attention which led to a dramatic increase in his companies sales. When the company hit it’s peak, he sold it and walked away a multi-millionaire.

Now, I’m not the smartest guy in the world, but this might be something for you to pay attention to with your real estate business. What challenge can you create that would attract attention to you and your business? Do you remember Robert Allen’s challenge from years ago? I don’t remember it exactly, but it was something like:

Take my wallet and drop me in any city and in 72 hours, I’ll purchase some investment real estate.

He made a bold challenge, attracted media attention and then accomplished his challenge. What happened? His seminar company sold millions of dollars of seminar, books, tapes and coaching.

So, I’ll ask one more time… How can you use this "hidden" business strategy in your real estate business?

Rob Minton

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