The idea of a “champion” is often linked to sports, but for me there are other types of champions: entrepreneurs who make their companies grow.
To me, they are the real champions.
They are the new heroes. The entrepreneurs of small and medium-sized companies who never stop fighting even when bureaucracy and red tape make everything harder, when the market is in recession, and when faced with ruthless competition. While everyone else complains about the global economic situation, these are the people investing, innovating, promoting, marketing, and bringing home concrete results.
And they do it with enthusiasm, sometimes grief, but also with aggression.

There is a close relationship between success and aggression. Aggressiveness is a very important component for success. You must be prepared to fight and have a desire to win. Aggressiveness is more than just determination. Aggression is a willingness to be “dangerous” to others. “Dangerous” is a good thing in this case. It means you can go to your customer and make them place an order worth 100,000 euros. You are “dangerous” because you are about to make your client pay 100,000 euros. Assuming, of course, that your product or service is needed to improve your customer’s situation.
The energy created by aggression, if directed in the right way, results in victory and success. The most aggressive individual, the one who puts the most competitive fury into their efforts, is the one who wins. However, aggression can have another face. If used in the wrong way, it leads to failure. It is counterproductive.


This duality of aggression comes from a paradox. It is the paradox in which “agonistic” malice generates positive reactions in others. Once, for example, I met an extraordinary salesperson who went against all the rules taught in sales manuals. He was determined, direct and never listened to the customer’s needs, yet he still sold a lot.


Instead of doing the usual sales approach (breaking the ice, problem investigation, offer of a solution, and then closing), he started straight away with closing. As soon as he arrived in a company he went up to the potential customer and immediately said: “Pull out your checkbook”. He was so convinced about the utility of his service, and he was so determined, that he managed to infuse absolute trust in the relationship. Despite the fact that his sales system presented numerous flaws, his strong determination led him to be almost infallible at negotiation.


Another basic prerequisite is that an individual or a business only earns the money they think they need. If tomorrow you need to pay a $ 10,000 debt, and you don’t have anything in the bank right now, then you will probably find a way to earn a lot of money today. You might start by calling up all the companies that still owe you money.


You could call your client database asking for a down payment on the order. In short, you would find a way. The problem is that you don’t need to pay $10,000 by tomorrow, and so you are here reading this article and probably haven’t been as productive as you could have been today. You might have made a lot of effort, ok … but did you really push yourself to the limits of your potential?
This is why I try to keep as little liquid money as possible on the accounts. I put them all in investment, new activities, and projects. If I had too much money in my bank account, I would be tempted to relax. Unconsciously I would know that I’m “safe” and always have some security (this does not mean that I don’t have backup stashes, I’m not completely inexperienced!). Instead, this way, I know I have to stay on the ball, stay focused on whatever deal is going on at the moment. I can’t let anything slip!


The problem is that you usually do not feel that urgent sense of need, and so you adapt and only earn as much as you need. However, when you raise your level of necessity, you trigger a mental state that pushes you to win and get what you want.


– If you cannot solve a problem… make it twice as big. I’m opening office locations all around the world. Managing everything takes great commitment, and requires daily travel from one end of the globe to the other. I need to study and adapt to other, completely different, markets. Above all, it means being able to build a team on the spot that you can trust and that can be autonomous. I could give up on the Brazil and US headquarters and say, “OK, going across the Atlantic is too hard. I’ll just stick to Europe.” But in doing so I would start being inefficient even in Europe, and then I would end up saying, “Okay, I’ll just stick to Italy.” And in the end, I would have the same problems in Italy. You must increase your problems, not reduce them. The more you increase your problems, the more you put yourself in a psychological condition that pushes you to solve everything.


– The psychological well-being of an individual depends on how dangerous they feel to others.


The mental state of the champion is the firm certainty that the thing you want will definitely appear. If they want the gold medal, the winner already knows that medal will be theirs, no doubt about it. If they want their company to reach $ 10m, the winner already knows that it will happen without a doubt.


Certainty does not mean you are superficial or take things too lightly, it is the grit and determination that transforms into the energy you need to give your all and achieve the predetermined result.


So … Are you aggressive? Are you dangerous? Are you willing to go all-in?


Paolo Ruggeri