"At thirty-seven," wrote one biographer, "Grant had to go back and admit that he was still a failure. The boy who could not bargain for a horse had become a man who could not bring in a crop of potatoes or collect a batch of bills. It was humiliating." Why, with all these failures, was he so successful as a military leader? The answer lies in his character. I was amused when I asked this question of General Schwazkopf, who responded, "I would have failed too selling firewood, farming, clerking in a store, and bill collecting."

source: quoted in Puryear, American Generalship, 302 tags: Failure, Success