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Recently it was Memorial Day, a day to honor those who died defending our country (although many confuse it with Veterans Day, which is to honor all military veterans).

One of the things the United States is known for is freedom. Freedom of the press, freedom of ideas, and the freedom to succeed or fail. I’ve been involved with four startup businesses and two have failed (much better than the published numbers of 65-80% of startups fail). Two were before I was 25 years old and the one that failed got me a great job in the industry because I made my mark by showing I was competent.

The majority of people around the world don’t have opportunity to fail, or succeed. Think of Russia, the Middle East, Africa, and more. If you’re not in the upper class or close to the dictator you don’t stand a chance to do much of anything.

There is nothing wrong with taking a chance and failing. Some of our greatest inventions and companies came from people who failed. Remember Thomas Edison’s quote, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that don’t work.” Steve Jobs was booted out of Apple at one point.

An old cliché is, if you don’t take a chance you can’t succeed. But you also can’t fail and learn the lessons associated with it, and those lessons can help you ultimately succeed.

Be thankful for those who have given us the chance to fail and succeed.

“Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.” Mark Twain 

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