MEET LAWRENCE DUNNING
Husband, Father, Entrepreneur, 2nd Degree Jiu-Jitsu Blackbelt, Marathon Runner
It’s relatively easy to find an exceptional trader, MMA fighter or marathon runner, but it’s not often that you meet someone who has taken on numerous careers and endeavours excelling in each of them. Through deep humility, constant curiosity and a relentless work ethic, Lawrence Dunning has become one of these exceptional individuals.
Among other things, Lawrence has been a Golden Gloves Boxing Champion, Millionaire Option Trader, Pioneering Real Estate Investor, Professional MMA athlete and a competitive Jiu jitsu Black Belt. And he shows no signs of slowing down. Today, Lawrence lives with his wife and newborn son, in Chicago, where he continues his quest for excellence: sharing what he has learned and earned through the podcast, Enter the Lionheart.
Who is Lawrence Dunning
I was born and raised in London, England. My youth was spent training traditional martial arts (after first seeing JCVD in “Bloodsport”) earning several black belts along the way. After I got my MBA from University of Exeter, I joined a Derivatives Trading company and spent several years working in London, Amsterdam, and New York, before settling down in Chicago.
Falling in love with life in Chicago, I started training Jiujitsu under the Legendary Carlson Gracie Sr, and Boxing, winning the Chicago Golden Gloves in 2006. Pretty early on I realized my trading company were paying me only a tiny fraction of what I was making them. I left and set up my own trading company, trading Derivatives on US Bonds. We were very successful for the decade of my twenties. One day while struggling to sleep, I realized my net worth had grown to several millions of dollars in my trading account. I also simultaneously realised that I only had a small physical window to pursue my dream of fighting professional MMA, before I was too old. The next day I gave away my company to my best friend and most talented employee, and retired. I was 30 years old.
For five years I focused my life around MMA, to the detriment of my career and finances. I won a local amateur MMA title and had 9 professional fights. I trained at ‘Team Curran’, with MMA Pioneer, Jeff Curran with many other big names and well known UFC fighters. I also spent time training at ‘The Pit Elevated’ in Utah, took multiple trips to train in Thailand, and trained in the incredible art of Boxing in Russia and Cuba. I also earned my Brown Belt in Jiujitsu and trained and competed on 6 continents, winning British Championships and NoGi Worlds in 2016. It wasn’t until my penultimate fight that I finally felt that I fought to my MMA potential, so I had one more fight for good measure and retired.
After some soul searching and trying to figure out my next step, eventually I decided on Real Estate. I started working with a close friend Mo, who became my mentor, firstly in Real Estate as a Broker and then helped me start Rehab Developments. I have been a Top 1% Chicago Agent for the last 6 years, and am now focusing on growing a Team and expanding into Northern Indiana, where my family just moved out of the city and into a secluded house in the country.
The last few years I have chasing some additional goals. I am now a 2nd Degree Jiujitsu Black Belt under Jay Valko, and have won some jiujitsu competitions at Black Belt (as well as coming 3rd at Nogi PanAms in 2022). I also just returned from Antarctica, having now completed my goal of being the only Jiujitsu Blackbelt to have run marathons on all 7 continents!
Today I am realizing it’s time for a shift inward; this podcast is one of the things that I want to grow and prioritize. As well as embracing fatherhood with my 2 year old son. My favorite times of the day are those spent with my soulmate Jen, our young cub Victor, and our two beautiful dogs. Life is a daring adventure and I won’t stop living it too the full until I have sucked the marrow out of it. I want to ‘leave death nothing but a burnt-out candle’.
And I hope to give a little positive energy to everyone that I encounter on this sacred journey. This podcast is an attempt to do that to a larger circle outside my family and friends.
RECOMMENDED READING / LISTENING
A friend of mine often says, we are what we repeatedly do. That said, I am many things, but chief among them a student of life and I find inimitable value from books (and some great podcasts too).
Here is my growing list of recommendations (in no particular order):
“The best drivers focus only on the present. Never dwelling on the past, never committing to the future.”
Sure, this is about racing — but it is also about life. Focus on the present – not the past, and not the future. And it is about dogs. I love dogs, to live with and love a dog, is to begin to understand authenticity in practice. Dogs are authentic to a fault.
The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets, deals with the fallibility of human knowledge.
All matters close to my heart, and I love the core message of the writer:
– “Mild success can be explainable by skills and labor. Wild success is attributable to variance.”
– “We favor the visible, the embedded, the personal, the narrated, and the tangible; we scorn the abstract.”
– “When things go our way we reject the lack of certainty.”
Civilized to Death counters the idea that progress is inherently good, arguing that the “progress” defining our age is analogous to an advancing disease.
“When you’re going in the wrong direction, progress is the last thing you need.”