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Seeds of Success

February 10, 20242 min read

Just a few months after graduating from West Point, I had one of the greatest failures of my life. 

I was medically discharged from Ranger School. It was a huge blow to my pride and career. But it taught me a valuable lesson that has carried on to my business life.

Hidden inside every failure is a small seed of greater success, but you must find it.

Failing a school with an attrition rate of nearly 60% might not seem like a big deal, but for me, it was devastating. I was an infantry officer, and succeeding at Ranger School is like passing the bar exam- it is expected of every lawyer.

Heading to my first unit, I had to explain why I had failed to everyone in my chain of command. They did not want to accept me into the unit. It was humiliating, and I started to internalize the idea that I was somehow not fully qualified to be in the unit.

However, the experience had one positive aspect. It motivated me to try 10x harder at every single duty. I decided to give 100% of my time and energy to delivering excellence. The effort paid off. Three and a half years later, I went back to Ranger School and graduated as the commander of troops.

If you are in business long enough, you will face frequent failure:

  • Customers will fire you

  • Great employees will quit

  • Marketing campaigns will fail

  • Your bank will freeze your accounts for no reason

I have had all of these happen to me.

And each time, there was a seed of something greater hidden in the failure:

  • We signed a nicer, more profitable client

  • We realized we could eliminate the old employee's position

  • The first campaign taught us what didn’t work and what our audience wanted

  • We diversified our banking so that we were never again at the mercy of a single bank.

The real secret is not to accept failure at face value. Underneath the surface is the seed of something better.

You just have to look closely for it.

Until next week!

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successentrepreneurship

Anthony Butler

Back to Blog
blog image

Seeds of Success

February 10, 20242 min read

Just a few months after graduating from West Point, I had one of the greatest failures of my life. 

I was medically discharged from Ranger School. It was a huge blow to my pride and career. But it taught me a valuable lesson that has carried on to my business life.

Hidden inside every failure is a small seed of greater success, but you must find it.

Failing a school with an attrition rate of nearly 60% might not seem like a big deal, but for me, it was devastating. I was an infantry officer, and succeeding at Ranger School is like passing the bar exam- it is expected of every lawyer.

Heading to my first unit, I had to explain why I had failed to everyone in my chain of command. They did not want to accept me into the unit. It was humiliating, and I started to internalize the idea that I was somehow not fully qualified to be in the unit.

However, the experience had one positive aspect. It motivated me to try 10x harder at every single duty. I decided to give 100% of my time and energy to delivering excellence. The effort paid off. Three and a half years later, I went back to Ranger School and graduated as the commander of troops.

If you are in business long enough, you will face frequent failure:

  • Customers will fire you

  • Great employees will quit

  • Marketing campaigns will fail

  • Your bank will freeze your accounts for no reason

I have had all of these happen to me.

And each time, there was a seed of something greater hidden in the failure:

  • We signed a nicer, more profitable client

  • We realized we could eliminate the old employee's position

  • The first campaign taught us what didn’t work and what our audience wanted

  • We diversified our banking so that we were never again at the mercy of a single bank.

The real secret is not to accept failure at face value. Underneath the surface is the seed of something better.

You just have to look closely for it.

Until next week!

Custom HTML/CSS/JAVASCRIPT
successentrepreneurship

Anthony Butler

Back to Blog