Self-made millionaire shares key life lesson: The best revenge is to live an amazing life

This is how successful people deal with setbacks

Life is sometimes unfair, unreasonable or unjust. But how you handle these situations is one of the things that separates successful people from the unsuccessful, says self-made multimillionaire and serial entrepreneur Scott Galloway.

"You will know failure.... You will be treat treated unfairly at work. You will get fired. Your businesses will fail," Galloway tells CNBC Make It. "Before the age of 40, I had businesses go bankrupt, I had a marriage fail and I lost the only person that to that moment I knew loved me — my mother.

"But for me, these were setbacks not barriers," says Galloway, who sold his company L2, Inc., reportedly for over $130 million.

"It's easy to hold a grudge, it's easy to have a difficult time not getting over an injustice," says Galloway. But "your ability to move on and not hold grudges and not hold anger inside such that it starts to almost burn your veins like acid is a key" to being successful in life, Galloway says.

"Success is a function of your resilience over your failure."

Be upset — that's natural, says Galloway, "but then get up, dust your pants off and move on, recognizing that failure is part of the arc of success." Things like exercise, spirituality or something as simple as talking about what made you angry can help you move on, says Galloway.

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Indeed, despite his own setbacks, Galloway has gone on to massive success. Among other things, Galloway has founded multiple companies: L2, a subscription business intelligence firm that he sold in 2017; Red Envelope, an e-commerce firm which he took public and sold in March 2008; and Prophet, a global brand strategy consultancy with more than 250 professionals.

So instead of putting your energy into holding a grudge, focus on achieving what you want in life.

"Some of the best advice I've ever received was from an exceptionally successful individual who was the chairman of a large Fortune 500 company," Galloway says. That person said, 'Scott, the best revenge is to live an amazing life.'

"So don't focus on what's wrong with your life, focus on what you need to get to that point where you have a great life. That is the best revenge against the universe and anyone or any organization that has done you wrong."

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