What Would You Do?
What would you do if you won a million dollars? To preface this, Lance fought professionally… he earned and fought his way over years and years. What’s interesting is that we do the same thing in business, right? We put in all this work and accumulate all this money over years and years.
For Lance Palmer, that very thing happened. Lance made one million dollars in one day.
Fighting in the PFL
Lance was fighting in the Professional Fighters League on New Years Eve 2018, going into 2019. He won the finals of PFL – Season One. This basically means that you fight your way through a tournament, and if you win the tournament, you get a million-dollar check, the title belt, and Champion title.
He wins the tournament, gets drug tested that night, then has to wait about two weeks for the drug test results to come back. Once they showed he passed, they wired the million.
Lance is sitting at the bank in his truck thinking to himself, “I need to record myself right now.” He was going nuts at the fact that a million bucks was hitting his bank account.
Some guy – he can’t remember who – had told him about this song called “Smile Bitch.” So, Lance starts recording on Instagram with this song playing… with the biggest smile on his face. Seeing someone win a million dollars is one thing, but actually seeing it hit your account is something else entirely. All the hard work he had put in up to that point paid off in a gigantic way. All at 32 years old.
We’re Not Entitled to Anything
For Lance, he unquestionably feels like his effort and work ethic is worth more than a million dollars. But proving it and making it is a whole different thing. It’s not being entitled to a certain amount of money. You may feel valuable, and you may feel like you’re putting in the work, but you’re not entitled to a time.
That’s why you must focus on what you can control – staying committed to the process, putting the work in every day, and then seizing the opportunity when it comes along. All that’s left to do is for you to step up and show up when the opportunity comes. It’s like when I had the opportunity to do business with Arnold Schwarzenegger. There was no way I was coming out of that business meeting without becoming his business partner.
Sure, we all wish things would happen faster, but we have zero control of the timeline.
What happened after? His work ethic didn’t change at all. If anything, it drove him more. He came back and put on even better performances in his fights. He had even more of that killer instinct of “This is mine, I’m going to take it now.” He’s already done it once, so all he had to do was prove it to himself. It’s the same as winning four state titles… it was once a pipe dream until he won as a freshman. Once that happened the first time, a whole new frontier of possibilities was exposed.
Coming back for season two was "Now I've already done it once. I need to prove that it wasn't a fluke." Lance already knew he was good back in 2011 when he started fighting. He needed to prove to everybody else that he could do it with a whole different roster of tougher guys. And that’s just what he did.
The second time the million dollars hit his account was while working out on vacation in Hawaii. He got the notification from Chase that it went through right then and there. He still had quite a bit of dough left over from the first time, so that amount grew significantly.
Appreciating the Item
After winning season two, Lance treated himself a bit and bought a Rolex watch. Another thing that had been on his radar his entire life was a Lambo. After the second season, he talked to his wife, and she's like, "Well, sell one of the cars and then I don't care."
Now, what’s Lance’s daily vehicle? A blue-collar work truck. He’s not buying the Lambo for the pictures or to show off. Most people don’t even know unless he’s out driving it. It’s not about the material item. It doesn’t matter that it’s a Lamborghini. What matters is that he worked his ass off to get to that point. He’s earned everything he has, and that’s why he truly appreciates the Lambo.
He appreciated the Nissan Altima he had back in college too because it was the first car that he could pay for by himself. He was doing private lessons to pay bills in college. Whatever you have, you should appreciate it like it's a million dollars. It doesn’t matter how much it costs, or what it took you to get there. You need to appreciate the stuff you have because everything isn’t forever. It's only part-time.
Stay the Path
Staying on the path. Staying focused. These are the key. It’s especially difficult at the beginning because the mountain in front of you seems so big. The road seems so long. You don’t even know what’s truly possible at that point.
That’s why it’s so hard to keep people on the path. That’s why so many people quit. That’s why it’s the road least traveled.
But if you can focus on the small things that you have control of on a day-to-day basis, then it becomes a matter of time. The small wins stack up, they compound, and your confidence snowballs. Only if you stay the path.
Are you willing to put in 10, 12, or 15 years for an opportunity that’s not even guaranteed?
In 2011 when Lance first started fighting, he moved out to California with $700 and his clothes in black trash bags. He went all in. That was his mentality. He didn’t have a choice. He was completely committed.
He was doing great in the fighting world in 2014-2016, but didn’t have enough wins to get the calls from the big organizations yet. He didn't have enough fights also because it's hard to get somebody to fight a four-time all American wrestler when they're trying to build their record too. That means that Lance was fighting guys that had 20-30 fights on their resume, while he had just five.
He was living in an apartment in downtown Sacramento, taking any of the fights he could get, and making enough money to get by. Comfortable enough to pay the bills, but not living the lifestyle that he dreamed about.
There's always going to be naysayers. The people, or negative thoughts in your head that say, “Man, you could get a job anywhere. You could coach wrestling, make a hundred thousand a year. You could go get a job, you know so many people. You could sell medical equipment. You could do this. You could do that.”
Yeah, he could do “this or that,” OR he could go win a motherfucking million or two dollars. Or he could go bust his ass. Or he could go see just how much money he could make, rather than putting a ceiling on himself.
It’s Only On You
It’s all on you. There’s no one else to blame. It’s having the mentality of “I’m going to succeed, no matter what.” This is much harder to maintain in the long-term, especially when you hear all the naysayers chirping. Sometimes even your own family members.
The work doesn’t stop. It didn’t stop at a million dollars, and it’s not stopping now.