“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

I want to fail.  Not have a setback or a misstep.  I want a failure so bad that future HBS students will unanimously agree that I’m a blockhead when they read the case about my actions.

Growing up, I wanted to be an actor.  Along the way, I discovered that I could make people laugh, and I desperately wanted to become a stand-up comedian.  But I chose not to pursue those dreams. 

Let me explain:  I've spent my life trying to make the right decisions, trying to show "them all" that I could be successful despite my baggage.  I wanted it not to matter that I struggled with my weight.  Or that my dad went to prison and never came back.  Or that I was gay. 

Dreams were a risk, so I made all of the safe choices.  I went to the right schools and worked at the right companies.  Move in, move up, move on. Success, success, success.

I think it’s finally time to reach for more, except now my dreams are different:  I want to transform the hospitality industry, explode barriers for LGBT people globally, and inspire people to see the humor in life.

So when I do fail, I’ll know that I failed while doing something I was passionate about. And, to me, that’ll be success enough.

— Andrew Levine