The Undertaker – Loyal to the Vision
How do you stay at the top of your game for 30+ years?
If you want to WIN, you must BECOME your definition of success even before you’ve made it! When you’re building a business or climbing the corporate ladder, as the years go on, there is a physical and mental toll that you must learn how to deal with if you’re going to last!
Whether you’re a professional wrestler or entrepreneur, success is not just about what you do when everyone is watching. Success is about what you do, how you live, and what’s in your heart when you’re NOT in front of the fans. It’s built on routines, day-in and day-out dedication that defies feelings, and loyalty bigger than a check with seven or eight zeros It’s about getting knocked down and knowing how to get back up when your body hurts and your soul aches.
The best part of this success equation is that we all have everything we need to personally experience the highest level of success that we can imagine for ourselves. In today’s episode, Mark Calaway, aka The Undertaker, reveals the success secrets he used to top the charts at WWE for over 30 years and achieve the life he dreamed of.
Living your dream is by far the GREATEST feeling you will ever experience, and it’s an experience waiting for you if you apply the principles Mark shares.
Who are The Undertaker (aka Mark Calloway) and Michelle McCool?
He’s the world’s most well-known and longest-tenured WWE superstar in the history of the organization, with a streak of over 21 straight victories and a multiple-time headliner for Wrestle Mania. I know you’ve heard of this man: Mark Calaway, aka, The Undertaker. He is a seven-time WWE world heavyweight champion and one of the greatest superstars of all time.
Mark is a man with an unparalleled career in WWE, but what makes me most excited to share this interview with you is that he doesn’t just have the fancy title. He is extremely humble, he walks the talk, and isn’t afraid to share his success secrets with those who will listen.
Mark’s wife, Michelle McCool, also an acclaimed WWE superstar, makes a surprise appearance in this episode. You’ll get a glimpse of his romantic side and a taste of what made his 2018 comeback at WrestleMania 34 possible. The couple also shares how they have navigated loss through three miscarriages. But don’t let the feelings fool you, this interview gets DEEP, it gets EMOTIONAL and it will help you get the RESULTS you’re fighting for.
If you are on a journey to make a comeback after COVID-19, lead with confidence, and achieve your GOD-SIZED dreams, then this interview is for you!
Know Your Passion and Go All-in
Michelle said it best, “You can’t dabble at success.” If you want to be successful you have to go all in. But if you’re going to go all-in you need to know clearly what success means to YOU. Why? Because a huge part of going ALL-in is saying “no” to any and everything that’s not part of your definition of success so that you can say “yes” to everything that is part of it.
Mark Calaway made this success secret tangible by embodying the character of The Undertaker.
“I lived this thing, … The name [the whole idea] was all Vince’s brainchild. He gave it to me and said, ‘This is your opportunity.’ …When I started developing the character, I was like, There’s only one way that this is going to work. I can’t be [one thing] on TV and then be at the airport in a Hawaiian shirt slapping high fives. [That meant] there were a lot of opportunities that I was presented with early on that I passed on. People thought I was absolutely nuts, but this was my passion. Being a professional wrestler. Being with the WWE. That was me. That’s what my focus was. … [So] in my head [I was] like, Okay, this is my passion. Now, how am I going to go off and [take this opportunity] be a completely different character, and then come back and expect people to buy into [The Undertaker].” – Mark Calaway
Mark didn’t just sell out to his dream to be a professional wrestler with WWE — he made decisions, turned down opportunities, and treated people in a way that was consistent with that goal.
Having a clear definition of success means gives you a sort of compass to make decisions, but it also allows your significant other to join you in your journey. The involvement and support of a significant other is often a crucial element to success. Michelle and Mark knew this, and together they made a dynamic duo in The Undertaker’s comeback of 2018:
“We had to make the mental decision, like, Okay, if I’m going to do this, we got to GO. And [Michelle] was like, All right, if that’s what you want to do, then we’re going to do it. So on her end, she dropped everything to make sure that I had got meal prep and I all my appointments lined up for rehab, stretching, … she took all that worry off the table. So just the training aspect [was left].” – Mark Calaway
They knew what their goal was — what they were passionate about — and they went all in as individuals and as a couple. Even their wall hangings showed how ALL IN they were. It looked like a Rocky movie, with pictures of the competitors Mark would face as he re-entered the ring the wall as a way of fueling his drive and focus to train.
Success Secret #1: Get clear on what your definition of success is. Go all in. And get your significant other on board.
Don’t Ever Be Content
The question is: Is your will to win for sale? When you get knocked down or when you start to taste a little bit of success will that be enough for you? Or will you hold on to that clear definition of success you have for yourself and not be satisfied until you reach it?
That is exactly what attracted Mark to his wife, Michelle. While we laughed during the show about how he fell in love with her when he saw her throw a football, Mark shared that Michelle was already on his radar because of her commitment to be at the top of her game. Always learning and never settling sets you apart and keeps you growing.
It’s for the same reason that Mark watches the replay of his matches by himself, analyzes them alone, and asks himself, “What could I have done better?”. He chooses to be honest with himself, hold himself to a high standard, and not hear an excuse for an okay performance from anyone when he knows he could do better.
“I think a lot of [my success] was being fortunate, but a lot of it was not being content. And that’s one of the things I always tell these young guys when they’re coming up and they’re kind of starting to get a little bit of the taste, ‘Don’t ever be content in this business because once you become content, you’re satisfied and you cease to grow.’ That’s when they look at you like, ‘Oh well, I just got recognized at the waffle house and got a free cup of coffee’ and I’m like, ‘Is that your goal? Really! Then you’re in the wrong business, man, because it’s too hard a life to not want to be at the top.” – Mark Calaway
If you want to make it to the top you have to be willing to do what others won’t, hold yourself to a high standard, and continually fight to get better.
Success Secret #2: Don’t ever be content. Always be learning. Ask yourself, “What could I have done better?”
The Importance of Loyalty
Loyalty is a very undervalued commodity being a leader. If you want to be successful, loyalty needs to be something you cultivate in every area of your life. Be loyal to your definition of success. Be loyal to the path you mapped out to get to success, whether that’s sales calls or gym sessions. Be loyal to the people who are giving you an opportunity. And be loyal to your personal values.
Here’s the thing about loyalty: it doesn’t come easy. You don’t make your mark when the answers are obvious to everyone else. You make your mark and earn the trust of those around you when you make the hard choices to honor those who have fought for you and your personal values. Like the time Mark requested a raise from WCW after a decently successful season:
“WCW, […] looked me square in my eyes. And they said, ‘You’re a great athlete, but no one’s ever going to pay money to watch you wrestle.’ Seriously. That’s all I needed to hear. So I got a meeting with Vince. He eventually gives me the opportunity [of being The Undertaker]. That’s all he ever promised me, an opportunity. He didn’t ever tell me, ‘Hey, you’re going to be BIG, you’re going to be this guy here for 30 years and do all these things.’ He said, ‘I’m going to give you an opportunity.’ When I did become a commodity and WCW wanted me back — they wanted to pay me big bucks. It was like, ‘No, I can’t do that. [You’re] offering me a lot more money, but this is the man who made me. And, and that’s just the way it is.’” – Mark Calaway
Mark’s loyalty has paved the way for him to think of Vince McMahon, the CEO of WWE, more of a friend than a boss and has earned him respect in the locker room. He can hang with fellow wrestlers, call them out, and give them advice that they value as well as call up a CEO and chat about life and business. If you want to shift culture, top the charts in your industry, and achieve GOD-SIZED goals, Mark is proof that loyalty needs to be a guiding principle for your life.
Success Secret #3: Be loyal. Remember who helped you get to where you are today. Honor your personal values.
Don’t Fear Failure
So many people never reach success because they’re too afraid of failure. Let me tell you right now: Failure is part of success, and both Mark and Michelle clearly understand that.
‘…life and wrestling matches are so parallel, right? Like, you know what you want your ultimate finish to be, but you’re going to get knocked down. You’re going to get beat up. You’ll have like a little hope spot where there’s this ray of light like, ‘Oh, I can do this.’ Then, you’re going to get knocked back down again. Then you have this comeback and it could be a great comeback, and you can finish on top or it can be a not-great comeback where you get knocked back down. What do you do from there? It’s your choice.” – Michelle McCool
Are you gonna accept failure? Are you gonna take failure as the world’s way of saying you’re not enough, you don’t have what it takes, you’re not meant to succeed? Or are you gonna take it as a permission slip to learn how to get better, how to improve your game, and how NEVER to make that mistake again? The difference between you making it BIG and never making it is your ability to hate where you currently are so much that you no longer fear failure.
“You can’t fear failure. If you’re going to do it, go out there, learn from past mistakes. And train the best way possible for [your] body to get into the ring and then see what happens.” – Michelle McCool
If you’re gonna chase success you can’t fear failure. Period.
Success secret #4: Decide you’re the person who gets back up and grows through what you go through. Don’t fear failure. Don’t be satisfied with playing it safe, because you’ll never be fulfilled.
#MAXOUT with the Undertaker and Michelle McCool
As I said, Mark isn’t someone who flashes his accomplishments around. He gets on your level, shares the awe of what it’s like to walk into an arena packed with thousands of people, and then tells you what he did to get there so you can fulfill your dreams, too.
I’m so grateful for Mark and Michelle taking the time to share their real-life success story and what it took to get them to their inspiring moments. If you know someone who would benefit from this message, share it, and tag someone you love who you want to see get closer to their dreams. And don’t forget to use the #MAXOUT hashtag and tell me your biggest takeaways in the comments below! I read them every week and select winners who get all sorts of prizes, gear, and even coaching calls with me.
It’s time to stop fearing failure and start chasing success with all you’ve got!