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5 Things I Learned From John Cena

Do You Know What Your Company Does?

We just finished and wrapped up the INBOUND conference here in Boston.

I’ve just come out of the keynote session with John Cena.

I don’t know 10, 15,000 people there, something like that.

For those of you who don’t know John Cena, like me before coming in, although Jamie reminded me he’s like a WWE wrestling superstar.

The reason why I wanted to jump on this Facebook Live to share the sort of experiences is, he sort of posed five questions in his keynote session.

I thought they were really pertinent and valuable, so I think I wanted to share them with you.

The first question that he asks or posed to the audience was, do you actually know what your company does?

Now, before you all jump on there and say hey, Mike, of course I do.

We build widgets or we service widgets, or we do whatever.

He went on a lot deeper than that, and I’d actively encourage you to search the John Cena keynote on YouTube.

I’m sure somebody’s got it up there.

But do you actually know what your company does?

Does everybody from the janitor up to the CEO know exactly what they’re doing?

Can they consistently, and this is the key, can they consistently relay that back?

So, if somebody comes into your building or place of work, and the first person they meet and say, hey what do you do here?

Can you consistently tell them that all the way through?

So, number one is, do you know what your company does in that consistent and detailed basis?

Do You Know What You Do?

Number two, do you know what you do?

Do you know what your job role is?

Yeah, you might work in accounts or sales or marketing or any other thing, but do you actually know what your job is?

Do you know what your demands are to make sure that your company drives forward?

John Cena spent quite a bit of time going through this and gave some examples.

He gave an example where WWE is not in China.

They’re not in there because a lot of the WWE is play acting, and it’s a lot of verbal, and of course, they speak Chinese or variants of Chinese.

Hey, Lee Jones, how are you, buddy?

Hope you’re well.

Thanks for joining us today.

What he was talking about was they weren’t in China because of the language barriers and things like that.

So what he actually did is, it took him six years, but every year he goes by to China off his own back, and he learnt Mandarin.

He’d just done a full session upstairs, and you can see this big, bulky wrestler, fitness guy with the superstars at WWE.

But actually what he’s done is he took the time to learn and develop himself because he, as a major player in the WWE, he took that responsibility to fill that gap.

He goes back, and whilst they haven’t got the full session out there, he promotes WWE by speaking Mandarin and communicates in Shanghai.

So the second question is, do you know what you do, and do what role you play in your business?

Do You Know Your Audience?

So, the third question is, do you know your audience?

I still think that we talk massively about at Mike Midgley Executive, do you know your audience?

You think of that from the WWE point of view, it’s a specific type of family entertainment, PG-rated, they know exactly who they want to pull through those doors.

In business, do you know exactly who you want to pull through your door?

How are you positioning yourself from a marketing point of view, from a sales point of view, from a customer service point of view from the way that you act?

And again, the detail that John Cena went down here was, he was talking about it’s PG audience, and whilst there are wrestlers that want to go out there and say hey, I’m going to kick your butt and all that sort of stuff, because it’s a PG audience, they have to sort of tone it back and be careful about the language because they don’t want to misrepresent it.

They don’t want to turn that audience away.

So the WWE, I think it’s Steve McMahon or something or Steve Manu who owns that.

It’s worth like two billion, and he built that business, and he knows it, and he’s built it from there.

John Cena at his height made over $8 million a year as a wrestler.

So you’ve got to look at what’s at risk.

If the WWE, John Cena, or any of the stars start to be offensive, using bad language, it’s going to turn that audience off.

That’s a big revenue loss for your business.

So, number three, do you know your audience?

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Questions

Number four, don’t be afraid to ask questions.

It doesn’t matter how good you are or how good you think you are.

When you’re at work, whether you’re working with your team, your customers, your providers, your vendors, your suppliers, your marketing or sales team, ask questions.

If you don’t know the answer, there’s no right or wrong here, but it’s your intention to know it.

John Cena’s talked about something that’s really close to my heart and over my sort of 27 or 28 years in business.

One of the things that I’ve always done is I’ve tried to take a few things away from each department.

John Cena made reference to it.

  • He knows about the TV promotions.
  • He knows about the production deals.
  • He knows about television rights.
  • He knows about the PR.
  • He knows about the travel arrangements.

So, he literally knows WWE as a company from top to bottom.

Now, he admits it himself, he doesn’t know everything about everything.

He doesn’t know how to produce a TV show better than the TV producers.

He doesn’t know to merchandise as good as the merchandise directors, but he knows about it, and he’s made his business to do that, and he’s done that by asking questions.

I made a reference to my own career, and I want to share more about John Cena as a keynote.

But in my career, I started as a 25 pound-a-week Maggie’s YTS in the ’80s as a motor mechanic.

Then as I got into white collar, I started studying finance and became fluent in finance.

I’m not the finest director, but I can do a very high-level job in finance and same in operations, customer service, sales, marketing, corporate governance.

It’s been my passion to make sure I’m fluent in that.

Today, I make a good living being a high executive, high growth business strategist and business coach.

The reason why I can do that is that I’m fluent in finance. I’m fluent in marketing.

I’m fluent in business growth, and as I say, there will always be a better finance director than me.

There’ll always be a better sales director than me or a better marketing director or a better guy in CEO or corporate governance than me, but I’ve got the rounded skill sets, and in business that is so, so, so important for you to make sure that you’ve got those rounded skills.

John Cena’s point about asking questions, making it your business to know is an absolutely awesome piece of advice.

Do You Love What You Do?

The final thing that he mentioned, and one of the last questions, the fifth one, was, do you love what you do?

Now, for me, I’ll share this one quickly because I want to get back onto John Cena.

But for me, I absolutely love what I do.

I’ve travelled the world.

I’ve worked with some amazing people.

I get the chance to get to work with them really early on in the business and grow them up and get two, three, 400% growth returns for them in the businesses.

5 Things I Learned From John Cena – Do You Love What You Do?

The final thing that he mentioned, and one of the last questions, the fifth one, was, do you love what you do?

Now, for me, I’ll share this one quickly because I want to get back onto John Cena.

But for me, I absolutely love what I do.

I’ve travelled the world.

I’ve worked with some amazing people.

I get the chance to get to work with them really early on in the business and grow them up and get two, three, 400% growth returns for them in the businesses.

I really love to see that transitional journey from wherever we started with them, the small, medium, or large business to hopefully a lot bigger businesses.

So I love what I do.

I’m passionate about what I do.

John Cena was talking about does he love wrestling, does a little film acting, currently filming in LA for the film Transformers.

He’s flown over here.

He’s got a fitness company. He’s got an entertainment company.

The guy’s absolutely passionate.

You can see it come through.

You can see it in the way he delivers his speeches and things like that, and it’s a natural and it’s enough.

While WWE is fake, there’s no fake when it comes to John Cena and the way he actually sort of delivers that.

So from my perspective, do I love what I do?


Does John Cena love what he does?


So, the fifth question really is, do you love what you do?

If you don’t, get out of it and do something that you do love because your customers are going to feel it.

Your suppliers are going to feel it.

Your staff members are going to feel it.

They’re all going to feel that type of thing.

Ultimately you’ve committed, especially if you’re charging somebody for something, there’s a great statement that John Cena said in there.

He didn’t want anybody to lose one second of the paid experience that were having, and to me, that was an awesome saying because I knew he was an entertainer.

I know he’s on the sort of fake WWE, but people pay hard-earned bucks and dollars to go and watch these guys five nights a week, 52 weeks a year wrestling and the WWE show.

They pay hard earned money over the counter to experience that.

He didn’t want them to lose one second of the paid experience from there.


So, think about it, the five questions courtesy of John Cena for you to look at yourself and your business out as follows.

  1. Do you know what your business does, and I mean really does?
  2. Do you know what you do, what your job role is here?
  3. Do you know your audience? Are you absolutely on top of that?
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to make sure you become rounded and become such, knowledgeable to serve and progress and drive your company forward.
  5. Do you actually love what you do?

So, there are five challenges.

I know it’s Thursday night late in the UK. See how you go from there, but take that forward.

Sit down with your buddies at work tomorrow.

Sit down with your team tomorrow and just say hey, there are five questions that Mike shared from John Cena’s keynote.

These are what they are.

Let’s take a reality check.

Let’s drop the ego.

Let’s check that in.

Let’s not ask for any change out of that.

Let’s just get rid of the ego, and it doesn’t matter what his friends think or the sycophantic stuff that you’ve got to put up with from the people who aren’t strong enough to talk to you about it.

If you think this video was great, drop me a comment.

If you think I suck, let me know.

I’ll work harder to get you a better value.

I’ve got no issue with that.

But challenge yourself and be honest with yourself, and ultimately then, you’re going to be able to position yourself better, and you’re also then, you’re going to be able to drive your company forward better.

So, it’s Mike wrapping up at INBOUND, that’s the three-day conference over here, or four days, we had a partner day on Monday here in Boston.

We learnt some awesome stuff.

We’ll be writing a tonne of blog posts and a tonne of thought-leader stuff over the next few days.

Check us out.

We’re doing a little bit of our own rest and relaxation in Boston tomorrow.

I’m going to go down to the JFK Library and things like that.

So, thanks for joining us today.

Mike Midgley

Mike Midgley is the Strategy Director at 6teen30 Digital and a dynamic digital entrepreneur, nxd, strategist, public speaker and host of TheOpenMike Podcast show & Co-Host at The Inbound Podcast. Mike has achieved successful six and seven-figure exits over a 25-year career, raised in excess of £1.6m [$2.5m] in Venture Capital and highly experienced with franchising.