As we smash into the new year and leave 2017 behind, many people my age look down on it and have their humor. Despite the same hiccups as everyone, I did have a very stressful and a rollercoaster of a year.

But didn’t everyone?

The clear difference here is I look at 2017 as my most challenging year of my life, or as I call it, the best year of my life. I had my stress, my car breaking down or having employees quit unexpectedly. At any other time in my life, I’d look at 2017 as the worst year of my life. Ironically, that’s the interesting part. Despite every time I fell down, it was still the best year of my life.

I have had a love for business for years but never knew how to start. Small experiences over summers and watching my Dad in sales has always interested me. It wasn’t until the beginning of 2017 where I was subject to an entirely new task and challenge.

Now as friends and family know, this was a student painting company. I had my first taste of entrepreneurship. I was able to run my first business at only 19 and over the summer participated in sales, marketing, hiring, management, and you guessed it…

A lot of painting.

I could write an entire book on my experience from February to August. It felt like every day I was knocked down, with no chance of survival. But, every day I got back up, finished my work and went to bed

Only to wake up and do it all over again.

I had painters quit constantly, customers not satisfied with my employees work, and my car towed then broken down the following week. No matter how hard I tried, I could not catch a break. I only kept customer jobs because they saw I could commit quality work and worked every bone in my body to satisfy them. I truly learned the value of an excellent team to execute a job though!

Did I mention any personal positives?

That’s the best part, every experience resulted in a positive for me. I learned my love for sales and business, and a hundred others about myself.

In 2017 I understood myself, I found my passions and career goals.

It wasn’t overnight, I took a risk with that painting business but it changed every bit of me. I grew confidence that I had never known before.

I’m not talking about simple body image or anything. I mean confidence in myself to stay motivated and perform. I became heavily involved in a Business and Innovation group (Adventure to Venture) at UVic, and I’m not looking back. The connections and understandings I’ve gained are invaluable for my short and long-term professional future. I use the platforms of LinkedIn and Twitter to express the change I have made. From connection to connection (Real Life), I value meeting others in the business world more than ever. I refuse to let opportunities pass me by, I use to watch them and sit on the sidelines.

To conclude, in 2017 I found myself.

My passions now drive me and I can’t look at 2017 as a negative. Some may never understand that but I am connecting with individuals that would never have happened before. I found a love for future tech involvement, ie. Blockchain and Crypto, and the role of social media for my professional future.

Therefore, I cannot be more excited for 2018 because I’m going to kick some ass.

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