Michael Jordan, the first billionaire basketball player, failed to make his high school varsity basketball team in his sophomore year and was sent down to his junior varsity team instead.
J.K. Rowling failed 12 times to get her book Harry Potter published. Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hanson (Chicken Soup of the Soul authors), Stephen King (Carrie) and myself, were repeatedly turned down by publishers.
Legend has it that Colonel Sanders heard 1,009 “no”s to use his chicken recipe (Kentucky Fried Chicken) before he heard his first “yes”.
Failure is perceived by most in western society as a bad thing, something to be avoided. Yet failure is a prerequisite for success. In my Rich Habits study, 36% of the self-made millionaires in my study failed at least once in business. But the reason they became self-made millionaires has everything to do with what happened after they failed – they figured out what went wrong, adjusted their goals and activities and tried again.
Failure is instructive. It teaches us what to do and what not to do. It prepares us for success by helping us figure out how to overcome mistakes, pitfalls, setbacks and obstacles that stand in the way of success. Persisting through failure enables us to eventually succeed. And most of the time that success is represented by the little things that go right during our journey towards success. Only in failure can we appreciate success. Those who do not quit after failing, and keep trying, eventually realize little successes along the way. Then they cookie cut, or duplicate what went right over and over again. Failure is nothing more than a learning experience that acts more like a dress rehearsal for future success. So go out and fail. Your success depends on it!