Strive Masiyiwa, founder and chairman of Econet Wireless Global Ltd., speaks during the annual Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills , California, U.S., on Monday, May 2, 2016. The conference gathers attendees to explore solutions to today's most pressing challenges in financial markets, industry sectors, health, government and education. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Zimbabwe millionaire Strive Masiyiwa says the ability to get up from all failures defines an entreprenuer.

Masiyiwa said he failed a thousand times and a number of projects collapsed but he still managed to get up and build an empire.

Taking to Facebook, Strive said:

#Reflection: The ability to get up from failure defines an entrepreneur.
__”I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed”. Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan is not only one of the great athletes in the history of sport, but he was I think the first athlete to become a billionaire. And he did so when he retired and became a successful entrepreneur.

I will never forget the first time I saw this quote on a huge billboard in New York. I completely choked up and allowed the tears to run down the side of my face. It cut deep into me as it brought back floods of memories of my own failures: businesses that had collapsed; countless projects that had failed to take off; failure to raise money for things only I knew could succeed but no one else had believed in me. Failed partnerships that ended in total acrimony. Countless, countless failures that never made headlines and the humiliation of those that did.

Then there were the blatant corruptions and prejudices that had killed dream projects leaving me to pick up the pieces.

Looking back on all that, I suddenly realized that I have succeeded because I trained myself to get up from failures. You will have to do the same.

I understood that it is not the people with the best ideas, or the smartest, who succeed. All those things matter, but the entrepreneur has something extra… They are not afraid to fail.

Imagine a great footballer whose team just lost the World Cup Final. They are initially gutted, and it seems to them like it is all over, but a few weeks later they are back in training and preparing for the next tournament.

They put the failure behind them and use the lessons to prepare them for ultimate success. That MUST be you!

Forget those who laugh at you or take jibes on social media; they are not entrepreneurs and will never be. True entrepreneurs will never laugh or take joy in the failure of someone who tried.

And they are ready to cheer the moment you are back in the game because now they know you are a winner in the making!

My team noticed a list of “Famous Failures” on social media recently. They aren’t all entrepreneurs but people who never gave up despite big setbacks. [Credit to the author but not sure who compiled them]. You may have some stories to share of your own.

# Michael Jordan: After being cut from his high school [Senior school] basketball team, he went home, locked himself in his room, and cried.

# Albert Einstein: He wasn’t able to speak till he was about 4 years old and his teachers said he would “never amount to much”.

# Walt Disney: He was fired from a newspaper for “lacking imagination” and “having no original ideas”.

# Steve Jobs: At 30 years old he was left devastated and depressed after being unceremoniously removed from the company he started.

# Oprah Winfrey: She was demoted from her job as a news anchor because she “wasn’t fit for television”.

# The Beatles: Decca Recording Studios rejected them saying: “We don’t like their sound–they have no future in show business”.

Now for your homework: Why not make yourself a list of what you are going to leave behind this new year. Maybe it’s a negative mindset when challenges occur? Or? What’s holding you back that you can change with a decision, discipline, and commitment?

And where are you headed to be this time next year?

Wherever you are, get ready for the future. It’s coming, and it’s coming fast, and you better get ready.

As always, my prayer is that all of you may have a peaceful, healthy, and prosperous year ahead.

You each are shining stars in your own way. Especially in trying times, never forget that.


Image caption: “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending”. C.S. Lewis