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The Upside of Down: Why Failing Well is the Key to Success

It’s fine to celebrate success, but more important are the lessons of failure.

Most businesses fail. Most products fail. Most relationships fail. Derek Jeter, one of the greatest baseball players of his generation, failed to get a hit 68.8 percent of the time. 

How is it that humans have been such a successful species if our endeavors are so defined by failure?

Luckily for us, we are incredibly resilient. 

To stick with the baseball analogy, everybody strikes out. The key is to maintain your composure, step back up to the plate the next time at bat and hit a home run. As Bill Gates, unquestionably one of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs has said, “it’s fine to celebrate success, but more important are the lessons of failure.” In the startup world, entrepreneurs are taught to fail quickly, learn and move on. We all get advice, but it’s life experience and usually failure that teaches us the bigger lessons.

In this week’s Specific Gravity interview, former Atlantic and now Bloomberg journalist Megan McArdle explains in The Up Side of Down: Why Failing Well Is the Key to Successthat if you want to succeed in the business of life, you have to learn how to harness the power of failure.

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