Six years ago this past Friday I sold my very first item online for Compete Every Day. What a ride.
I’d almost forgotten our anniversary until Friday night when a Facebook memory showed up in my feed, reminding me of the importance of May 26.
I gave pause and began to reflect on the last six years. The highs, painful lows, amazing people met, and everything in between. I smiled, thanking God for the trip, and started typing a note on my phone about the biggest lessons I’ve learned in the six years. And I think entrepreneurship – just like life – all comes down to this. It comes down to:
Don’t let where you have to start stop you from where you are called to go.
This was taken at the Big D Marathon during my very first year building Compete Every Day. I had a backdrop and shirts folded on a table. If I’m being honest, I was embarrassed at how bare my setup was. I WANTED to be “big-time” – do you know that feeling? You don’t have the resources to do everything you want so you have to make do with what you can.
Neither is life. And that’s why I love them both.
I felt it fitting that today, Super Bowl Sunday, should be the today I break the news. The game of football isn’t fair.
Yes, the field is the same width and length for all players. The football is the same for both teams, and the time on the clock doesn’t sway one way or another. But the game is still not fair.
Certain players (ahem, first rounders) are given extra opportunities that seventh rounders (or free agents) aren’t. You know that guy who committed those off-the-field atrocities? Yea, he’s been signed again because his talent is too much to pass up, while that guy over there (the upstanding citizen) is cut to make room. Even on the field, the odds aren’t even. Some players are just flat-out better than others. They’re born with a rare talent – and even more so, they work hard to make the most of that talent. They have physical advantages that other players on the field will never know. And the best players? Use every ounce of those talents.
Football has been my favorite sport since I could walk. I still remember playing with my dad in our living room as a small child, and those Friday nights in east Texas? They’ll go down as some of the most fun times in my life. I live and die each season with my Horned Frogs & Panthers. The game of football was my first love.
We tune in every single week to watch the game and cheer for our teams. As a society, we love the game of football. Friday nights. Saturdays. Sundays. It’s our favorite time of year, and the TV ratings, ticket & merchandise sales, and water cooler talk all verify this. And I’ve never seen a sport better embody the game of life.
So why, do we complain and moan that life isn’t fair?
“Take the leap of faith.”
Phil Randazzo is on one heck of a mission. The founder of American Dream U & Text Safe Teens, LLC is out to change the world one life at a time. His primary focus, ADU, develops veteran business leaders by pairing US veterans with successful entrepreneurs & equipping them to succeed in life with the leadership talents they’ve honed in the military. Even more, Phil self-funded this nonprofit because he believes in the mission and serving those who fought & served for us.
This interview has been one of my favorites as we talk the creation of ADU, Phil’s passion behind it, and what tips, tricks, & ideas he’s implemented to help him succeed in work & building multiple ventures. Here’s a hint – letting fear stop him isn’t one of the tips.
This is a reprint of my original post, which appeared on Medium.
It was four years ago this week that the very first Compete Every Dayshirt was sold & shipped. Here’s what the journey has taught me.
It’s still overwhelming how wild this roller-coaster ride has been the past four years. I’ve first-hand witnessed victories & failures, all while trying to make some type of positive dent in this world. I’ve cried while feeling like I’ve failed with no way to come back, and I’ve danced like a fool when our team has come together to surpass my wildest expectations. It’s been an adventure like no other.
I started Compete with nothing more than this idea of Competing for your life, two boxes of t-shirts in the back of my car, and the crazy idea that together with enough people, this message could change the world. Over the last four years, I’ve had the amazing opportunity to work with great teammates, meet incredible people, and see many inspiring people whose stories uplift. I can truly say I never could have imagined how quickly we’ve grown, or more importantly, how many people have enthusiastically joined the community because they embraced the message & live the Compete lifestyle. Just that very idea overwhelms me, and truly I am at a loss for the words to put into perspective how much it has meant to me.
It’s been a great four years, but we are by no means done yet. As I look back on what’s been done by our current & former teammates, and look ahead to what we are striving for, I’ve learned these eight things that I truly believe apply to business, sport, & life.