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Does anyone else do BJJ? How do you explain black eyes?

I've been doing B2B sales for 8 years now and I've always competed in "combat" sports along the way. I coach wrestling, and while I normally don't get a black eye from that, the occasional shiner happens from time to time. I've typically still went about my duties meeting with clients and honestly it served as nothing more than a conversation piece when it was brought up or asked about. Now that I only compete in BJJ, I'll leave a tournament with a shiner or a black eye regularly (random knee or elbow etc. from a scramble etc.), and I'm finally starting to get some flack about it from leadership.


I stepped into a front line sales leader role a couple years ago and that's when I first got the "talk" from my previous manager who's position I was filling, telling me that it's time in my career where I can't show up like that anymore. In his eyes it would tarnish my "brand".


Well I completely disregarded his advice intentionally on principle. If senior leadership never cared about the occasional shiner while securing millions in contracts with clients, why would they care just because of an internal job title change.


Thoughts?

๐Ÿฑ Off-Topic
๐ŸŽˆ Mentorship
๐Ÿงข Sales Management
7
Justatitle
Politicker
+8
Senior AE
In a way it shows that you take your licks and keep on ticking. Provided youโ€™re open about the backstory as you are and arenโ€™t running an underground fight club(only above ground). Itโ€™s a great metaphor for sales, lose some win some take your hits but you still show up with a vengeance.ย 
Ho
Hoss
Contributor
+1
Channel Sales Executive
Truth.ย 

"True wisdom is being able to relate anything back to a sales metaphor" - Confucius (Circa 2021)ย 
Justatitle
Politicker
+8
Senior AE
โ€œWayne Gretzkyโ€- Michael Scott
GDO
Politicker
+7
BDM
To me itยดs part of your personality and I would have respect for you straight away. Just tell your clients. I cant imagine any of them taking offense.ย 
Ho
Hoss
Contributor
+1
Channel Sales Executive
I appreciate that, I have some friends I roll with in Medical device sales and he has the same feedback, it's more conversational than anything.ย 
GDO
Politicker
+7
BDM
We have a lawyer here in our region that used to fight competitively in the past. Now he is a trainer. But all his clients respect him because of it.

He also organizes a boxing match every year for a good cause.
Beans
Politicker
+5
Account Executive
I used to box, just be honest about it.ย 
CaneWolf
Politicker
+12
Call me what you want, just sign the damn contract
"I do Brazilian Jujitsu" is the only explanation you need to provide. I think it could even be part of your charm. Just tell clients the deal and that you may end up looking like you got rocked everyone once in a while.
ExtremeVibeChecker44
Praised Answer
+2
Inside Sales
I do BJJ and I think a lot of people don't know what it is ( "is that karate?"). I also train MMA, but I don't usually tell people since I don't want them to think I'm some Tapout-wearing nutcase. Just tell them you were playing basketball with some friends.
CaneWolf
Politicker
+12
Call me what you want, just sign the damn contract
Or Slamball given the level of injuries...
poweredbycaffeine
Politicker
+7
Bean Juice Drinker | Sales Savant
Can't say I've dealt with the black eyes bit, but that seems like a manager I'd disregard as well. I've shown up to meetings with bandaged hands from ripping off calluses after a hard training session, which has lead to more interesting conversations than shame. Keep rolling!
Lambda
Politicker
+6
Sales Consultant
Appologize upfront but make a story out of it, or get better at jits ;) Brown belt at the moment
ExtremeVibeChecker44
Praised Answer
+2
Inside Sales
One time my girlfriend thought a gi burn was a hickey. Tough to explain that one.
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+67
EdTechSales , ย  willyR , ย  uncorpse ย  and 67 people voted
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