What Pro Wrestling Has Taught Me: Friends or Money?

Pro Wrestling is one of the more fair professions out there, well, if you ignore all the shady promoters, and rip-off artists. However, it is very much a meritocracy. The fact is if you can draw a crowd and make the company money, you will get compensated for it. WWE also participates in profit-sharing with their merchandise, thus putting more incentive for their performers to go all out.

That being said, it can create some intense rivalries, and “back-stage politicking” as some wrestlers have alleged. I would put a link here but just go to YouTube and search “Wrestling Shoot Interview,” literally thousands of examples will come up. It also brings up a good question though: Why are you in the business?

I go back to an interview I heard with Scott Hall aka Razor Ramon. He spoke about a conversation he had with Chief Jay Strongbow, whose gimmick/character definitely would not fly today, but advice did. Chief Jay was working in a behind-the-scenes capacity at the time, and educating the younger guys on how to approach their jobs. The full quote is below, but the gist of it is “What are you here for, to make friends or money?”

quote-it-comes-back-to-what-chief-jay-strongbow-told-us-years-ago-in-this-business-you-can-scott-hall-54-84-93
The great Scott Hall quoting the great Chief Jay Strongbow, source: http://www.azquotes.com/quote/548493.

Now I’ve modified it a bit, because few things should be literally translated, especially something as abrupt at this. Although, the message is good for any business or office environment when it comes to staying on focus. Are you hear to get stuff done or are you here to make friends?

There’s nothing wrong with making friends at work. I have close friends I met at former employers, even part-time work I did while in school. Even in that cesspool Ohio (kidding! just trying to see how many of them read this). It’s great, and you definitely should be friendly, since you’re going to spend a majority of your week with these people. Like anything though, people can get carried away, and think that’s the focus.

Whether it’s missing project deadlines, focusing more on inconsequential/fun activities related to the business, or bringing in your friends regardless of talent, it happens in a few forms. I guess my modified version would read “Are you here to move forward, or is that a byproduct?” It’s a work in progress, but that covers the bulk of what I’m trying to say.

Probably my funnest work environment was when everyone was miserable. However, we found a way to band together, excel in our positions, and even have fun despite all the factors working against us. I always keep that in mind, whether it’s entering a new project, team, or company. It keeps me on focus, and on point, which is key for me, because a lot of time I feel like this.

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