It doesn’t seem like that long ago Dr. Brengle and I packed up our lives in a moving truck and moved down to Nashville, TN. We knew no one and for the first few months our friends consisted of a 13 lb. white pomeranian, the TV show “Lost”, and McDougal’s Chicken.

At the time I played guitar for a band, but while not on the road I had a lot of free time on my hands. I was standing on my balcony one afternoon and I saw a guy walking from his truck with a bass strapped to his back, so I called down to him and invited him up. That is how I met my first and longest Nashville friend: Frank.

Frank had moved to Nashville the previous year to pursue music and we spent a lot of time living and breathing the industry. I watched Frank play gigs of every shape and size around Nashville, and even diverted my bachelor party to catch a Jimmy Hendrix Cover-band gig of his at a dive bar, an event my father still reminisces about to this day.

All of that time and effort spent amounted to a monumental event this past weekend. Dr. Brengle and I traveled back home for the Cincinnati stop of the Brad Paisley Tour to see Frank play bass with Sony artist Leah Turner. The same venue that had started my musical journey had brought me back to watch my friend play one of the biggest tours of his career thus far. On the drive up, I began thinking about all of the things I had learned from Frank’s journey about success and achievement. Five things came to mind that everyone can apply to their lives today for better outcomes:

1. Always Have A Goal.

Goals come in many forms and don’t always have to be huge accomplishments. Even a little goal is better than having no goal at all. Goals act as a north star, guiding us to where we want to go and more importantly preventing us from getting bogged down in things that really don’t matter.

2. Show Up.

There are going to be good days and bad. The only way to keep moving forward and continue your journey is to show up, even when you don’t want to. At the very least, you did your part in being present.

3. Make Small Tasks Matter

They may seen like nothing special but it is these very tasks that lay the foundation for you to achieve at higher levels. Small opportunities lead to bigger ones, so never let the size of the task dictate the amount of effort put forth. I’ve watched Frank play shows for 17 people and now 17,000 and the only difference between them was the amount of security I had to get through to see him after the set.

4. Find the Good in Failure

On your way to achieving your goals life won’t always go to plan. Opportunities you thought would work won’t, and others will only get you part way to where you want to go. Take those “failures”, extract the positives out of the experience, and keep moving forward. The negatives don’t matter and will be forgotten, but the positives will keep propelling you closer to your goals. Even in the darkest of moments, there is always something positive to be learned.

5. Use Your Vantage Point to Your Advantage

Part of the joy in achieving success is that you are no longer in the same spot that you once stood. Through all of that work, thought, and preparation we gain a different vantage point on every aspect of our lives. Sometimes this view results in us changing our mind, other times it encourages us to dream even bigger goals. You’ve got a new perspective and outlook, now go use it! There is a reason success leads to more success.

Looking back, I never would have been able to say in the moment my time spent with Frank would have taught me so much, but they are lessons I think about every day. Don’t be afraid to venture into the unknown in pursuit of your happiness and goals. Besides you never know, one day you may find yourself onstage for the encore of a huge summer tour in front of 17,000 people sharing a drink with your friend.

Cheers Frank, to a job well done!