Paul Tudor Jones II (born September 28, 1954) is an American businessman who founded Tudor Investment Corporation, a private asset management company and hedge fund. As of March 2014, he was estimated to have a net worth of US$4.3 billion by Forbes Magazine and ranked as the 108th richest American and 345th richest in the world.
He founded the Robin Hood Foundation in 1988, which focuses on poverty reduction.
One of the Motivating speech, Read it again and again
Today, I want to talk to you about the dirtiest word that any of you 9th graders know. It’s a word that is so terrible that your parents won’t talk about it; your teachers won’t talk about it; and you certainly don’t ever want to dwell on it. But this is a preparatory school, and you need to be prepared to deal with this phenomenon because you will experience it. That is a guarantee.
Every single one of you will experience it not once but multiple times, and every adult in this room has had to deal with this in its many forms and manifestations. It’s the “F” word.
FAILURE. Failure that is so mortifying and so devastating that it makes you try to become invisible. It makes you want to hide your face, your soul, your being from everyone else because of the shame. Trust me, boys—if you haven’t already tasted that, you will. I am sure most of you here already have. AND IT IS HARD. I know this firsthand, but I also know that failure was a key element to my life’s journey.
My first real failure was in 1966 in the 6th grade. I played on our basketball team, and I was the smallest and youngest kid on the team. It was the last game of the season and I was the only player on the squad that had not scored a point all season. So in the second half the coach directed all the kids to throw me the ball when I went in, and for me to shoot so that I would score. The problem was that Coach Clark said it loud enough that every person in the stands could hear it as well as every member of the opposing team. Going into the fourth quarter, our team was well ahead, Coach Clark inserted me and thus, began the worst eight minutes of my life up until that point. Every time I got the ball, the entire other team would rush towards me, and on top of that, that afternoon I was the greatest brick layer the world had ever seen.
The game ended. I had missed five shots, and the other team erupted in jubilation that I had not scored. I ran out of the gym as fast as I could only to bump into two of the opposing team’s players who proceeded to laugh and tease and ridicule me. I cried and hid in the bathroom. Well, that passed, and I kept trying team sports, but I was just too small to really compete. So in the 10th grade, I took up boxing where suddenly everyone was my size and weight. I nearly won the Memphis Golden Gloves my senior year in high school and did win the collegiate championship when I was 19. Standing in the middle of that ring and getting that trophy, I still remember looking around for those two little kids who had run me into that bathroom back in the 6th grade, because I was going to knock their blocks off. That’s one problem with failure. It can stay with you for a very long time.
The next time the dragon of failure reared his ugly head was in 1978. I was working in New Orleans for one of the greatest cotton traders of all time, Eli Tullis. Now, New Orleans is an unbelievable city. It has the Strawberry Festival, the Jazz Festival, the Sugar Bowl, Mardi Gras, and just about every other excuse for a party that you can ever imagine. Heck, in that town, waking up was an excuse to party. I was still pretty fresh out of college, and my mentality, unfortunately, was still firmly set on fraternity row.
It was a Friday morning in June, and I had been out literally all night with a bunch of my friends. My job was to man the phone all day during trading hours and call cotton prices quotes from New York into Mr. Tullis’ office. Around noon, things got quiet on the New York floor, and I got overly drowsy. The next thing I remember was a ruler prying my chin off my chest, and Mr. Tullis calling to me, “Paul. Paul.” My eyes fluttered opened and as I came to my senses, he said to me, “Son, you are fired.” I’d never been so shocked or hurt in my life. I literally thought I was going to die for I had just been sacked by an iconic figure in my business.
My shame turned into anger. I was not angry at Mr. Tullis for he was right. I was angry at myself. But I knew I was not a failure, and I swore that I was going to prove to myself that I could be a success. I called a friend and secured a job on the floor of the New York Cotton Exchange and moved to the City. Today, I will put my work ethic up against anybody’s on Wall Street. Failure will give you a tattoo that will stay with you your whole life, and sometimes it’s a really good thing. One other side note, to this day, I’ve never told my parents that I got fired. I told them I just wanted to try something different. Shame can be a lifetime companion for which you better prepare yourself.
Now, there are two types of failure you will experience in life. The first type is what I just described and comes from things you can control. That is the worst kind. But there is another form of failure that will be equally devastating to you, and that is the kind beyond your control.
This happened to me in 1982. I had met a very lovely young Harvard student from Connecticut, dated her for two years then asked her to marry me right after she graduated from college. We set a date; we sent out the invitations; and all was fantastic until one month before the wedding when her father called me. He said, “Paul, my daughter sat me down this afternoon, and she doesn’t know how to tell you this, but she is really unhappy and thinks it’s time for you two to take a break.”
At first I thought he was joking because he was a very funny guy. Then he said, “No, she is serious about this.” I thought to myself, “Oh, my God, I am being dumped at the altar.” I’m from Tennessee. Getting dumped at the altar was the supreme social embarrassment of that time. It was a big deal. When all my family and friends found out, they were ready to re-start the Civil War on the spot. I had to remind them that the last Civil War didn’t go so well for our side, and I didn’t like our chances in a rematch. The reality was that I was a 26-year old knucklehead, and since all my friends were getting married, I kind of felt it was time for me to do the same thing. And that was the worst reason in the world to get married. I actually think she understood that and to a certain extent spared me what would have been a very tough marriage.
Instead, I’ve had an incredible marriage for twenty years to a wonderful wife, and we have four kids that I love more than anything on Earth. Some things happen to you that at the time will make you feel like the world is coming to an end, but in actuality, there is a very good reason for it. You just can’t see it and don’t know it. When one door closes, another will open, but standing in that hallway can be hell. You just have to persevere. Quite often that dragon of failure is really chasing you off the wrong road and on to the right one.
By now you are thinking, how much longer is this loser going to keep on talking. My kids are all teenagers, and whenever I’m telling them something I think is important, they often wonder the same thing. But the main point I want you to take away today is that some of your greatest successes are going to be the children of failure. This touches upon the original reason I was invited here today.
So here is the point: you are going to meet the dragon of failure in your life. You may not get into the school you want oryou may get kicked out of the school you are in. You may get your heart broken by the girl of your dreams or God forbid, get into an accident beyond your control. But the point is that everything happens for a reason. At the time it may not be clear. And certainly the pain and the shame are going to be overwhelming and devastating. But just as sure as the sun comes up, there will come a time on the next day or the next week or the next year, when you will grab that sword and point it at that dragon and tell him, “Be gone, dragon. Tarry with me and I will cut your head off. For I must find the destination God and life hold in store for me!”
Dear Bramesh Ji,
Excellent article. Every word in that is true and experienced by me.