Winning Through Failure

Posted on March 8, 2016 by Robert Ringer


Last week, I posted on Facebook some of my thoughts about Mitt Romney’s vile attack on Donald Trump. Had the impeccably manicured Mitt been half as harsh with Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential campaign, he probably would be preparing for a second term right now. But, unfortunately, he lacked either the principle or courage, or both, to do so.

It’s more than just a bit ironic that even though Romney had no difficulty brutally attacking Trump, he was a perfect gentleman to Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential race. He even went so far as to refer to him as “a nice guy.”

This, even though for four years Obama had repeatedly violated the Constitution, increased the national debt more than any other president in U.S. history, and lied repeatedly to the American people about everything from the cost of Obamacare to the cause of the Benghazi attacks.

Of course, everything in life has a price. And in Romney’s case, the price of his venomous tirade against Trump, whom he had gushingly praised just four years early when DT had endorsed his candidacy, is that he destroyed his squeaky clean, gentlemanly image.

It’s one thing to be thought of as a coward, as millions of GOP voters believed Romney to be in the last presidential election, but at least he was a coward whom everyone, including myself, thought was an authentically gracious coward. But after his Harry Reid-style attack on Trump last week, the mask is off and it is now clear that Romney is not authentic. Rather, to use his own words, he’s a first-class phony, a total fraud, and a colossal hypocrite to boot.

Without a slight tinge of embarrassment, Romney sounded like the increasingly unhinged Glenn Beck as he railed on and on about Donald Trump’s business failures. Once again, there’s an irony here, because throughout his 2012 campaign, Romney acted as though he was ashamed of his own success. It was a huge turnoff to millions of voters who believe fervently in the moral sanctity of capitalism.

Which brings me to Romney’s breathtaking remarks about Trump’s failures. Personally, I’ve always admired people who, after experiencing failure, have had the determination and confidence to get back up, brush themselves off, and keep moving forward.

In the case of Trump, he is purported to own more than 500 companies (including subsidiaries). That’s a remarkable number of enterprises for one person to bring into existence. And of that number, less than ten of them have “failed” (I use quote marks here because, financially speaking, there are many different kinds of failure) — among them Trump Airlines, Trump Vitamins, Trump Steaks, Trump University, Trump Vodka, Trump Mortgage, and, of course, a few casinos along the way.

That’s a success rate of about 98 percent! Which brings us back to MittMouth, whose company (Bain Capital), by his own admission, had only an 80 percent success rate. Further, it should be noted that Romney was in the venture capital business, where the typical business model calls for closing down unprofitable subsidiaries, laying off workers, and, in many cases, employing the option of voluntary bankruptcy.

Let me make it clear that I have no problem with Romney’s business model, because it’s capitalism in its purist form. True, his strategy generally involved loading his companies up with debt, then putting them into bankruptcy, which resulted in thousands of people being laid off and creditors losing millions of dollars. But, though there are those who believe there were questionable tactics involved in some of Romney’s deals, most of his deals were undoubtedly perfectly legal.

So, three cheers for Mitt Romney and his financial success. But three gigantic boos for his stunning hypocrisy in calling the pot black. That he would have the chutzpah, with a straight face, to say that Donald Trump has not been successful is not only absurd and hypocritical, it makes him look like a jealous fool.

On the subject of failure, Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad, put it best when he said, “Winners are not afraid of losing. But losers are. Failure is part of the process of success. People who avoid failure also avoid success.” It’s no wonder Kiyosaki said that his respect for Donald Trump grew immensely when he read his book, The Art of the Comeback. It impressed him more than The Art of the Deal.

I would go one step further than Kiyosaki and say that success is not even possible without failure. Charles Koch, the world’s fifth wealthiest individual and chairman of Koch Industries, opined on the subject of failure in his book, The Science of Success, by saying, “Progress, whether in business, an economy or science, comes through experimentation and failure. Given that a market economy is an experimental discovery process, business failures are inevitable and any attempt to eliminate them only insures overall failure.”

One last topic I want to mention is corporate bankruptcy, which is very much related to failure. To keep bankruptcy in proper perspective, one must first understand the purpose of a corporation. When someone incorporates a business, he is giving birth to a new, standalone entity.

It’s a transparent method for serving legal notice on the world that proclaims: “You are now dealing with a separate entity, so check it out carefully on its own merits, financial and otherwise.” In other words, caveat emptor.

Put simply, the main purpose of forming a corporation is to legally protect shareholders from personal liability. So, in a sense, bankruptcy is the legalization of failure. Sorry, Mitt, but failure is nothing to be ashamed of. On the contrary, it’s an integral part of business. The only people who never fail are those who never try to succeed.

The takeaway here is not that Mitt Romney undressed himself in public and, in the process, made himself look mean spirited and petty. Most people already had very little respect for Romney, though for different reasons.

The real takeaway is that failure is not something to be ashamed of, and that a true entrepreneur embraces failure and learns from it. In that respect, one might say that failure is the mother’s milk of success. That’s why many venture capitalists actually prefer to invest in hi-tech individuals who already have one or two failures under their belts, because they realize that their bad experiences increase their chances of succeeding in a new venture.

That said, if you’re an entrepreneur — or an aspiring entrepreneur — be sure to make it a point to never, ever be afraid of failure. And, just as important, keep your distance from those fools and knaves who look their noses down on those who have failed. Especially if they happen to be failed presidential candidates.

Robert Ringer

Robert Ringer is an American icon whose unique insights into life have helped millions of readers worldwide. He is also the author of two New York Times #1 bestselling books, both of which have been listed by The New York Times among the 15 best-selling motivational books of all time.

31 responses to “Winning Through Failure”

  1. Reality Seeker says:

    Regarding RINO Romney: I'd like to comment, but Judge Jeanine already said most of what I myself would say.

    I particularly like how JJ makes her implied point about how the Second Amendment might be necessary if the Washington elites continue to suppress the will of the people. I'm a little surprised that Fox News' elites allowed JJ to make such a Trump friendly statement.

    • Marte says:

      Judge Jeanine's narrative was wonderful – I enjoyed every minute of it.

    • Scott theczech says:

      Wow! All rise…

      Excellent monologue.

      • Phil says:

        Absolutely wonderful. I wrote her a personal note thanking her for her passion, insight, and commitment to our kids' futures.

    • Garrett Winchell says:

      Judge Jeanine was correct when she said that Romney awoke a sleeping giant. I suddenly had to ask myself why a fellow respected republican would prefer Hilary to win the white house over Trump. Nothing added up here. Then it struck me. Romney is neither Republican nor Democrat nor liberal nor conservative, He is completely big money. It takes a lot of money to run for political office. Every politician has a big money donor who pays to put him in office. So who is really the ruler, the politician or big money. Now I realize big money pays for both sides. Doesn't matter who you vote for you always get the same master, big money. Big money wants a poor working class to serve them so it doesn't matter who you elect you still get open borders, illegal immigration, outsourced jobs and global influence from foreign powers and endless money printing. Trump is the only politician in my lifetime that threatens the power of big money. He is the only person to run for president that doesn't need nor is beholding to big money. Wake up people, this is our only chance to get our freedom. Big money own all the media, all the major papers, all the major corporations, all the oil and all of the political leaders and congressmen. They will not let their grip over all the people in the world be threatened. Big money and all the politicians they support are in a state of panic and the American people awaken from their political slumber. Thank you Mitt for awakening me, I am sure you also awakened many others. Like Newt said, Trump is not part of the secret society. He has not gone thru the initiation and doesn't know the secret hand shake. I care less now about his policies because I know he is our only path to freedom.

  2. Robert Ringer RJR says:

    I agree totally. That was the greatest commentary I've ever heard on TV.

    I would vote for Judge Jeanine for president in a heartbeat. She makes my friend Judge Napolitano look timid by comparison. And if she were made Attorney General, virtually every Democrat would end up in jail.

    I'm actually concerned that Uncle Roger might give her the hook. What a woman!

    • ◄Dave► says:

      Agreed, and I would hope Trump would consider her for the AG position, unless Rudy already has dibs on it. Ailes ought not be so foolish as to try. He might end up castrated with a nail file. What a woman indeed! ◄Dave►

    • Steven F says:

      I think the pot is starting to boil (over?) at Faux News — you know, that place on television that’s become the #1 favorite spot for Trump bashing. Several commentators who I never expected to have come out publicly and shown support the Donald. People like stuffy ole Lou Dobbs, super neocon Dagen McDowell, Nixon letter writer Monica Crowley, and even ex-CNBC liberal Melissa Francis have boldly come out of the closet and showed some intellectual honesty for a change. How refreshing. But who would have thunk it?

    • Jana says:

      Or, put her on the Supreme Court. Common sense there would be refreshing.

      • Robert Ringer RJR says:

        Absolutely. That's also crossed my mind, But, realistically, she'd never get past the Dirty Dems and the neocons.

  3. Joe Lang says:

    It was not a wise decision for Romney to give that speech. The GOP establishment refuses to understand or accept that there is a majority of their voters who are fed up with the way that they have done business in spite of the promises that many of their candidates made in order to sound conservative. They do not really understand how fed up we are with empty rhetoric and sustenance of a broken system that is driving the nation into a nosedive from which there will be little chance of escape. The problem is not with Trump, whom I do not support, but with the very people who put Romney up to making that speech. If Ted Cruz gains the upper hand, there will be some other puppet to try to take him down, as I believe that they have more distaste for Cruz than they do for Trump.

    The aspect of Trump's business dealings that is abhorrent to me is the way that he used the system that involves buying favors through political donations. The whole system of crony capitalism is another manifestation of the over-involvement of government in the economy through tax policies and regulations. If one believes in free enterprise, the Ted Cruz is the only real alternative in this field. There is no indication that Trump is in any way in favor of undoing the system that has helped enable him to achieve any success that he has achieved. The only real commitment that Trump has is to Donald Trump. He has been on both sides of almost every issue, and is a master of empty rhetoric. To me there is no difference between Obama's "Hope and Change" and Trump's "Let's Make America Great Again." The are both grand sounding slogans that are devoid of any real substance.


    • ◄Dave► says:

      The rhetoric of Canadian Born Citizen Cruz, is as empty as the rest of the statists in this Kabuki dance. Voting for any of them, only legitimizes and perpetuates the oligarch's rule over the land of the once-free.

      Trump didn't invent Crony Capitalism, he just played the existing game by the established rules, with the hand he was dealt. He likely would have succeeded at least as well, had he not had to buy political favors from the corrupticrats. ◄Dave►

    • Robert Ringer RJR says:

      You might be right about everything you said, but I do believe DT would be like a wrecking ball in DC.

    • Linda says:

      I cannot dismiss the smell of rat and I cannot shake the feeling that Heidi Cruz is tightly in with the elites and that Cruz benefits from them. I feel more distrusting of him every time he speaks. He was soooooo nice in the beginning…until he got close enough to stab others in the back.

  4. MaxC says:

    I am so glad to know that one of my heroes, Robert Ringer, feels the same way on this as I do. Those are great words by Judge Jeanine. Lou Dobbs also had an excellent commentary on Romney's speech last week.

    Romney: "Trump is a con-man and not a good businessman."

    Multi-billionaire business titans who say Trump is a good businessman: Carl Icahn, Steve Wynn, Elie Hirschfeld, Charles, Kushner, Phil Ruffin, Tom Barrack, Andrew Beal, and NE Patriots owner Robert Kraft ("Trump is a financial genius."). NB: Icahn, Wynn, and Beal have known Trump for decades and have been in fierce business battles with him. Yet, they are now backing him for President. It speaks volumes.

  5. TheLookOut says:

    By putting Mitt out there to destroy Trump indicates how desperate
    the establishment really is. For Mitt to agree to be their stooge
    shows just how stupid, and pathetic he really is.
    These RINO's have got to go.

  6. Jack says:

    Romney is a loser! He had the chance to destroy the unconstitutional Obama and was a coward to conservative principles. Both McCain and Romney were pathetic. I'll take Trump's entrepreneurial ventures over anything that Mitt has done. Trump creates. I just received an RNC survey as to the usual stuff they purport but never do. It's like "The Imitation Game's" use of statistics to hide the fact they broke enigma. Do just enough to "look" republican, but give the dems everything they want to bankrupt this country. There really is no Republican party in the sense we believe…

  7. JOSEPH says:

    Great article, very well written. I loved how you said that when someone tries to avoid failure at the same time they are avoiding success. VERY TRUE!

  8. JSmyth says:

    My grandfather was a homicide detective from Jackson Heights, Queens. He became a patrolman with the Police Department of the City of New York (now NYPD) on 03/06/1922 (I have his certificate in my office). In the 1980's, when Donald Trump was in all of the gossip news, my mom used to tell us how my grandfather knew Fred Trump personally. My grandfather used to tell my mom that the Trump family was the most sterling family he had ever met and spoke frequently of their kindness and generosity, especially to cops, firemen, and families down on their luck.

    • Jean says:

      I believe that, JSmyth. Recently Keith Olbermann wrote a piece about how he was moving out of his apartment in one of Trump's buildings, just because DT was running as a Republican / conservative. He went on to praise the building's management, maintenance and the attitude of the staff. I asked myself, "How many people ever PRAISE their landlord?" His piece persuaded me more than anything that Donald had what it took to solve problems, attend to details and delight the market (or the voters). He obviously does it in his businesses.

  9. The "lets make America great again' addresses more than just the state of the economy. On foreign policy, America appears to be playing second fiddle to whats happening in the Middle East and in the South China Sea… with a resurgent Russia and the lurking super-power that is China, respectively. I think DT appears to be the one who can walk the talk with these two aspirants, because they will see in him someone who will take the hard decisions to get them to be respecters of international law.

    The 'Why' it should be DT as President, is because the people want to believe what he believes about America's resurgence…both, it's, economic, and pre-eminent position in world affairs. The 'How' and 'What' will sell themselves, because he excels in those areas.

    • Richard Lee Van DV says:

      Yes, good commentary. Seems that not enough attention is being paid to the National and International Security issue(s). Trump doesn't dwell on it, I assume, because it would not be good to be seen as a War Monger'. National defense must be put first and foremost, and DT is the more likely to do what it takes in that respect.

  10. Scott theczech says:

    I believe that our very core, our essence is still that of those brave Americans who settled this country. We will suffer that which is sufferable for a long time. But, when we have reached the limit of our patience…well, you fill in the blank.

  11. Richard Lee Van DV says:

    Yes, I ALWAYS wait to hear what Judge Jeannine has to say! She is the best, and most perceptive. And gives energy to what she speaks! I too hope someone in Good Government, if we ever have it, installs her in a "high place" as some brand of adviser WITH power. I would bet that JJ has read Ayn Rand!
    If "they" somehow screw DT out of the nomination, I'm afraid America will have a VERY long road back up, if ever. Being an old guy, I will "look down from Heaven" to see what's happenin'!" LOL

  12. GilG2u says:

    Robert Kiyosaki?! Cue John T Reed's lengthy critique of him and his series.

  13. Mary says:

    You lost me when you quoted Kiyosaki. He's been widely proven to be a fabricator of the truth. Do a little research next time.

  14. John Davise says:

    Mr Ringer,
    If you are interested I will send you a political report ion Romney that was prepared for an opponent in the last
    So-called elections wherein the dictator obama bribed his away into the presidency funded by his oligarchic supporters like George Soros. Romney is an absolute left wing communist with the same values and deceit kit as every one of the one-party political whores know as the establishment (democrats-controlling the republicans.

  15. Chirag says:

    I totally agree with you mate, this is pissing me off as well. Great stuff, love the information and enjoyed reading that, thanks for sharing.

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  16. Jack says:

    Government…like unions are monopolies. There is no competition. The Constitution as been discarded for decades. The taxpayers have no one representing their interests. At least right work is making some progress. Now, we need to figure out a way of defunding the federal government. Hildabest is a FELON!