I Love the F-Word

04/23/2015 04:35 pm ET | Updated Jun 23, 2015

By F-word, I mean FAILURE.

Failure is not my friend.

I don't like failure.

I LOVE it.

And you should, too.

Here's why...

I first met and fell in love with failure in the early '90s, when I got into the real estate business. Back then, the market was tough. Really tough. And I was a 20-year-old kid with no experience, no clientele and no credibility while trying to make my mark.

Heck, I wasn't even old enough to drink. I needed guidance. So when I went to my first seminar, I asked the lecturer to lunch. I wanted to get his best tip for being successful in real estate.

His answer?

"Go fail."

Huh?" was my reply.

He elaborated, "Go fail -- a lot -- and fast."

I said, "Hey, man (language of a 20-year-old), I thought the whole idea of success was to avoid failure."

"Quite the opposite," he replied.

Then he recited a quote by Tom Watson of IBM: "The key to success is massive failure. Your goal is to out-fail your competition. Whoever can fail the most, the fastest and the biggest, wins."

"The key to success is massive FAILURE."

-- Thomas Watson, President IBM

So I failed.

I failed a lot and I failed fast.

And since then I've had the chance to add failed BIG.

And guess what?

Just as the lecturer and Watson promised, the increase in volume, speed and size of my failure also increased the volume, speed and size of my success.

That started my lifelong love affair with failure.

We are now inseparable.

If, for some reason, we're apart for too long a stretch, I do whatever I can to rush back into her arms. I am rewarded with expanded success and prosperity.

And I am not the only suitor to failure.

Seems most people you read about on the cover of SUCCESS love her just as much.

I've often asked rooms full of big-time CEOs to list the top five defining moments responsible for their great successes. Inevitably, great failures are on their lists -- often occupying more than one spot.

You see, many of the greatest achievers you admire thrive on failure.

They love it!

Because they are obsessed with improvement, they can experience growth only through failure. They want to continually find their boundaries so they can better understand their capabilities and find new ways of breaking through.


It's actually not that exhilarating or satisfying to them.

Failure is, for it offers them the greatest opportunity to tweak, iterate and improve.

Look at all those you admire: Branson, Trump, even Jobs produced some duds.

Google is constantly putting things out into the marketplace that flop.

It's how they find their winners and how they improve with great speed on those ideas they care about.

How about you? How much failure are you pushing yourself toward every day?

Do as Thomas Watson of IBM said: "If you want to speed up your success, double your rate of failure." Failure offers them a gateway to the next level, which is absolutely exhilarating, satisfying and thrilling.

That's what I want for you -- more thrills, exhilarations and satisfactions.

Thus, I want failure for you -- more of it, faster and bigger.

Keep this in mind... if you are not scared, not in pain and not failing you are NOT growing.

Be willing to run right at your fears. On the other side of your fears resides your power. Then your stretch will be your new normal.

"Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly."

-- John F. Kennedy

If you allow yourself to fall in love with failure, you too will find the experience exhilarating, satisfying and thrilling.

And, oh, you'll also be rewarded with fantastic success.

Now go F-word yourself to the top!