Get All Access for $5/mo

10 Valuable Lessons I Learned in 2015 Life is short, and there is more within you right now than you can ever begin to imagine.

By Matt Mayberry Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


This is one of my absolute favorite weeks of the year, because I not only take the time to plan the entire upcoming year, but I take a really close look at some of the valuable lessons that I learned along the way in the previous year.

Here are 10 valuable business and life lessons that I learned in 2015.

Related: The 10 Best Life and Business Lessons I've Learned So Far

1. Serve over everything.

If you want to grow your business, find ways you can serve more people while also looking for more efficient ways to serve your existing customers. When I started to direct my focus away from all that I could potentially gain to serving more people, my business, impact and life changed drastically.

2. The power of a strong, clear and massive vision is incredible.

If you need a breakthrough, you must first start to fully believe that the future is going to be bigger than the past. I had a lot of short-term disappointments in 2015, and the only way I was able to keep moving forward despite the setbacks was because of the vision that I created.

3. Persistence always pays off.

It may not always be when we want it to happen, but if we stay persistent day in and day out, we eventually will get to where we want to go. Staying persistent for most people is extremely difficult, because most people seek instant gratification and praise.

4. Never settle for average.

Throughout all of my travels in 2015, the one constant negative trait that continued to pop up was all of the men and women who have reached a settlement with mediocrity. They have stopped expanding, growing, and working to become world-class at what they do. You may never rise to be the absolute best at what it is you do for a living, but never settle for average or just doing enough to get by. I have seen plenty of people as both an athlete and in the business arena with very minimal talent go on to become a peak performer, simply because they were hungry enough to not be average.

5. There is more within you right now than you can ever begin to imagine.

This is a truth that I learned midway through 2015 when I wanted more out of my life and business. I started to challenge myself and set the bar even higher than what I thought was ever possible. I have always been a big dreamer, but once I realized that as long as we are still breathing, there is more inside each and everyone of us to be, do, and achieve -- and I was never the same again. Every morning that you are given the gift of life, there is more waiting for you. Go out and get it.

Related: How Your Daily Discipline Drives Success

6. Nothing will reward your life and business more than personal development.

2015 was a year that I set out to grow in every way possible. I have always been focused on growing myself, but in 2015 I picked it up a notch. My business grew to the next level, my relationships became more powerful, and my entire life took on a whole new meaning. If you want to make more money in 2016, grow a more successful business or even achieve a huge personal goal of yours, look to grow yourself before you set out to do anything else.

7. Love yourself more of the time.

So many of us, including myself, look to help and love others way before we even start to pay attention to our own well-being and happiness. This doesn't mean to boast about yourself -- but to pay more attention to yourself. When we love ourselves more of the time, we have that much more to give to the world, our business and other people.

8. If you want to be great, you must have great habits.

I firmly believe that those who don't tap into their full potential and achieve some of their biggest dreams in life don't necessarily lack in talent or skill but in phenomenal habits. The best of the best know that what they do daily determines their level of success and quality of life. I encourage you to do an exercise that I did in 2015 that greatly benefited my growth and success which is to come up with five to six world-class habits. These are things that you must do on a daily basis to further advance you to where you want to be. If you have bad habits, you will get bad results. There is no way around it.

9. Even in a technology-driven era, people still matter most.

With all of the new gadgets and technology that promise to automate everything and help you save time, don't fall into the trap of thinking that people and real human interaction isn't important anymore. Business is and will forever always be about people, and the more you can understand and put this truth into practice for yourself, the better off you will be.

10. Life is extremely short.

For some this may seem just like a cliché saying, but one death in the family or tragic event that someone you know is apart of and you will know exactly what I am talking about. I don't think we fully understand how short life is until death directly affects us someway, somehow. In the blink of an eye life can start to pass us by if we don't get serious about living our life to the absolute fullest and pursuing a life of extreme meaning. I always heard the saying of how life is so short, but in 2015 I discovered just how true that is.

Taking a look at what you have learned in the previous year is just as important as planning for the year ahead. Take the time to give some thought towards some of the lessons that you learned in 2015 that can benefit your life heading into the New Year. There were plenty of valuable lessons that I learned in 2015, but I hope the above ten lessons that I shared add value to your life.

Related: 5 Harsh Lessons Learned in Prison That Made Me a Better Entrepreneur

Matt Mayberry

Speaker and Maximum Performance Strategist. CEO of Matt Mayberry Enterprises

A former NFL linebacker for the Chicago Bears, Matt Mayberry is currently a keynote speaker, peak-performance strategist and writer. As the CEO of Matt Mayberry Enterprises, a training and consulting company, he specializes in maximizing the performance of individuals and organizations all over the world. He published his first book, Winning Plays, in 2016. You can contact him and learn more at

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Making a Change

Invest in a Lifetime of Learning for $100

Skill Success features a wide variety of e-learning courses on business, finance, and more.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.


This Car Dash Display Is Only $90 Through June 26

Compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, this display is designed to make your commute safer.

Side Hustle

Top Secrets to Starting a 6-Figure Etsy Side Hustle That Earns Passive Income, According to 3 People Who Did It

Etsy remains a popular ecommerce platfrom for sellers — and can be incredibly lucrative for those who know how to use it.

Thought Leaders

10 Simple, Productive Activities You Can Do When You Aren't Motivated to Work

Quick note: This article is birthed out of the urge to do something productive when I am not in a working mood. It can also inspire you on simple yet productive things to do when you're not motivated to work.

Business News

Amazon Is Thinking About Charging Extra for AI Alexa

"Hey Alexa, how much are you going to cost?"