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Failing To Succeed

How Wayne Root failed his way to the top . . . and how you can, too.

This story appears in the July 1996 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Straight out of college, Wayne Root launched several businesses-and watched each one fold. Not yet out of his 20s, Root's life looked to be a shambles. Except for one thing. With each failure, he learned a little bit more and finally realized there is joy in failure: "Fail enough, and you will eventually fail your way to the top," says Root today.

His life is proof. With no background in sports broadcasting and with that string of business failures on his resume, Root set his sights on being a national sports broadcaster-and got rejected by hundreds of TV stations. But he persevered until Financial News Network (FNN), a cable network, offered him a job as its weekend sports anchor. From there, he leapfrogged to USA Networks, where he's a regular on "Proline," a weekly sports prognostication show. Just 35 years old, he lives a dream life in a Malibu, California, mansion.

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