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Two Lessons About Failure Will Guide You to Success

As you may know, Tony Robbins recently debuted a new show on NBC titled Breakthrough, about individuals and their families overcoming challenges and obstacles with Tony’s help. Six one-hour episodes were ordered, but two weeks in, the show was cancelled due to poor ratings — and not just poor ratings, but among the worst-ever for debuts on NBC.

Needless to say, this is not the outcome that Tony envisioned, and here’s what I learned from that:

1. You’re never too big to fail.

Tony has directly impacted the lives of millions of people around the world with his best-selling products, speaking engagements, and live events — and notable individuals pay him six figures or more to serve as a personal coach of sorts. By now, he must have “success” figured out, right? With his name and know-how, everything he touches must be gold… right? Nope. He doesn’t have the magic formula any more than you or I do.

We’re all human. We all make mistakes. Not everything we do is going to work out the way we want it to. It doesn’t matter if you’re Tony Robbins or Michael Jordan or <insert your favorite success story here>. But…

2. You’re never too big to stop taking chances.

This show, Breakthrough, was a risk for Tony and a risk for NBC. Sure, reality shows are the rage right now, but never had a show exactly like this been done before. Maybe it would work and turn into the next big franchise, or maybe it would flop. (Now we know.) It was a chance they had to take, though. That’s what successful people do.

Never think “I’ve got it all figured out” and “I’m just going to sit back and enjoy the ride from here on in.” You’ve gotta keep taking chances. Don’t be afraid to fail.

Let me wrap this up with a couple of quotes that have resonated with me over the past week:

The first is from Dale Earnhardt, Jr., the NASCAR driver. Did you know that in the last six years, “Junior” has won just three races in the Sprint Cup series (the “major league” of NASCAR)? In his entire career, he’s won 18 out of 386 races (4.7%). Talk about not being afraid to fail — he loses over 95% of the time! How does he keep going?

“You just keep working hard and working hard and showing up each weekend, and hopefully it starts working,” Dale Jr. says.

The last quote is from the former heavyweight champion of the world (at least on the big screen), the “Italian Stallion,” Rocky Balboa. I stumbled across the latest of the Rocky movies — Rocky IV is my personal favorite, by the way — over the weekend, and in the grand finale fight, when he’s about to go down for good, Rocky reminds himself of his own words:

“It’s not how hard you hit, but how hard of a hit you can take and get back up.”

Does that sound a little like Dale Jr.’s philosophy?

Do you think Tony Robbins got back up from this latest hit?

Are you back up after getting hit by the economy’s uppercut over the past 18-24 months?

Keep getting up. Keep working hard. Keep showing up.