How do you deal with failure? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answer by Auren Hoffman, former LiveRamp CEO, current Chairman of Siftery, on Quora:

If you want to accomplish great things, you need to have a relatively high failure rate. Having about a 50% rate of failure is likely good. That means 50% of the things you try end up not being successful (and, with the glass-half-full lens on, you are successful at half of the things you try).

If you expect to fail regularly, it is much easier to deal with failure. If you rarely fail, you are certainly not going after big goals.

Even the most successful political leaders (like President Obama) fail to get more than 50% of the things they want accomplished. Most people might think President Obama has been very successful, but he has an extremely high rate of failure. In fact, part of the reason he has been so successful is that he has been willing to try things out that fail. Many politicians are so worried about failure that they rarely do anything bold and therefore never accomplish much. Part of the reason Bill Clinton became president in 1992 is that some of the more establish Democratic politicians like Dick Gephardt and Mario Cuomo chose not to run (presumably because they were much more scared of of failure).

Of course, sports stars fail dozens of time every game ... and in front of millions of people. Which is why I think sports is really good for children to play. It teaches them about failure really early. You still need to go for it to win and you need to be willing to fail. As Wayne Gretzky said: "you miss 100% of the shots you don't take."

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Published on: Apr 26, 2016