The 2015 Rugby World Cup kicked off last Friday (18th September) to a win on home soil for the hosts, England.

But it wasn’t the opening match against Fiji that’s been gaining column inches.

Japan, who haven’t won a World Cup match for over 24 years, pulled off the biggest shock in Rugby World Cup history by beating 2007 champions, South Africa. The 34-32 score-line shows just how close – and tantalizing – this match was. Read the report here

If you haven’t seen it, I urge you to watch it. Even if you’re not a rugby fan

But not just for the game (even though it was certainly one to remember). You should watch it, for the business lessons you can learn from the Japanese team. And trust me, there’s definitely a lot you can learn from them.

Even though they were the underdogs, Japan headed into Saturday’s game fully prepared.

They’d worked hard in training, studied their competition, and headed out on to the pitch with their heads held high. No-one expected them to win. The pressure was off. As a team, they had nothing to lose.

Yet they managed to go out there and give South Africa a run for their money. They upped their game, and proved that with the right planning, preparation and mentality; they were able to stand shoulder to shoulder with their competition.

Do you ever look at the “big boys” in your industry and feel like their success is unattainable?

It would have been easy for Japan to admit defeat before the match, and go in with a totally different mind-set. And if they had? Well, let’s just say I wouldn’t be writing about them today.

But because they got their heads in the right place and truly believed that they could win, they did.

They made Rugby World Cup History and won their first game at the tournament for a quarter of a century.

What can you do this week, this month or this year that will see you get your head right and totally change the pace of play for your business?

You don’t have to win a rugby match, and you don’t have to break any records. You just have to do SOMETHING.

The “big boys” in your industry were once where you are now. Get your head in the game, and go out there and play the match of your life.


Have a great week