Failure Teaches More Than Success


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If you are a student of success, you’ve likely noticed that most of the “experts” out there focus almost exclusively on wealthy, successful people. They write books, articles, do seminars, podcasts, and media interviews sharing the secrets of wealthy, successful people. Few, if any, focus on the secrets of failure.

Why? Because most of those “experts’ have not done their homework and really have no idea why people fail or what mistakes they made that caused their failure.

What a shame. It’s a shame because they are actually setting people up to fail.


Studying successful people, or studying what to do, only gets you halfway down the field. What gets you the rest of the way is knowing what not to do.

If you really want to succeed, knowing what to do will never get you there. What will get you there is knowing what to do and knowing what not to do. You need to also be well-informed about why people fail. You need to understand the mistakes they made. You need to know what went wrong.

In fact, I believe that understanding failure is more important than understanding success. Failure teaches lessons that success masks.

This is why, in my Rich Habits Study, I not only focused on the habits of the rich. I also spend an equal amount of time explaining those habits, those mistakes, that result in failure. Knowing both sets you up for success. It opens your eyes, allowing you to see or anticipate potential mistakes that can lead to failure.

Most new businesses fail because they run out of money. They run out of money because they make too many mistakes. These mistakes are almost always the result of incorrect assumptions. These incorrect assumptions force entrepreneurs to learn what not to do through trial and error.

If you have enough money, you can survive this trial and error process, figure out what works and what doesn’t, and then create processes around what to do and what not to do.

If you don’t have enough money, however, making too many mistakes can mean the end of your business (your Dream), leaving you wondering what might have been. All because no one ever told you what not to do.

My job, as I see it, is to be that one unique resource who covers the entire playing field of success (what to do and what not to do), helping to take you from the fifty yard line, all the way down the rest of the field and into the end zone.

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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley is a bestselling author, speaker, and media contributor for Business Insider, CNBC and a few other national media outlets.

His Rich Habits research has been read, viewed or heard by over 50 million people in 25 countries around the world.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, holds a master’s degree in taxation and is President of Cerefice and Company, a CPA firm in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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  1. I believe that most businesses fail because the owner doesn’t have a good basic, comprehensive and practical education about running a business.
    I would also suggest that people should be informed about the serious consequences of failure. That includes such things as a significant loss of money, bankruptcy, strained family relationships, suicide, etc.

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