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:

1. Staying positive through thick and thin
It. Will. Be. Hard. You never actually know how difficult the road will be until you get there, but believing it will be easy isn’t realistic. Then again, without challenges, how does one grow? “Pressure creates diamonds, fire refines gold.” Maintain the reason you started, know in your heart your why, and write it somewhere that you’ll see daily. Keep a positive mindset, even through the toughest of times.

It won’t be easy, but then again, winning isn’t for everyone. You’ll find the right attitude necessary for the road.

2. How quickly you can adapt to changing landscapes
Industries change. Failure happens. Learning to adapt is the number one key to succeeding in the pursuit of goals and in life. Adjust the course but never the end goal.

3. How many punches you can take – and keep getting back to your feet
You will be knocked down. I mentioned earlier that it would be hard, but difficulty also includes failure. I’ve failed at least 4 times this year trying new things, but it hasn’t stopped me. I’ve learned that the more times I’m knocked down, the more resolute (my stubborn self) becomes. It’s almost a challenge to my pride that life gives me – “I’ll knock you down, but what are you going to do about it?” Instead of looking at my failures as ME being a failure, I consider them opportunities to dig myself out and recover.

Besides, at the end of the day, years from now, people will learn more and be inspired by what I overcame to win than any easy road I could have taken.

4. Enjoying the journey – and embracing the grind.
Soak up every single moment. Enjoy the long road trips. The sleepless nights. The failures. Soak up every experience to learn from and enjoy. Embrace the hard work you’ll put in, the long hours, the early mornings – those are the things you can teach others. Those are the memories you’ll look back on and smile, toast a cocktail to, and remember fondly as the building blocks that got you to the victory you now enjoy.

Six years. Those lessons apply to me today as much as they did when I started. And they’ll apply to you – in whatever goal you’re currently pursuing and whatever ideal life you’re working to create.

Enjoy the journey. Embrace the grind. Compete every day for your one and only life. If I can do it, so can you.

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