Lucky or Hard-working? Be Successful Like Henry Ford!
You have probably met people who are successful in everything they do. It seems that they already know beforehand which way to follow, and all their future actions just put together like a jigsaw puzzle. Does Fortune always smile on them, and it is the secret, or they have worked hard to get what they have?
Let’s talk about Henry Ford. What’s the first thing that comes to mind? Cars, of course. But Ford was not only the auto pioneer, who created a prosperous international business. He was the one whose all initiatives have been crowned with success. He made cars available for ordinary people. He made a car production line as efficient as possible. He paid the highest wages and got qualified and happy workers instead. That was a real success.
Henry Ford managed to be incomparable in such divergent areas as manufacturing, transportation, and healthcare. He was a many-sided, self-made personality with his own beliefs and principles. Ford’s ‘universal code’ — an integral synergy of impartial laws of science, economics, and human behavior — was applied to every industry he dealt with and helped to make them prosperous.
Ford once said, “If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.” He believed in his idea of making such a luxury item as a car affordable for everyone (a crazy idea at that time), and he made. But if you think it’s that easy, you’re wrong. Believing and waiting is not the key to success — believing and working hard is the key.
Ford Motor Company was established at the third try! Rome wasn’t built in a day, right? Ford considered labor the most important factor of business success, and he never considered money as his main goal. «Money comes naturally as the result of service», he said; that is why good service was also one of Ford’s main business principles, and making service as good as possible was his goal.
Ford hated speculation. Why pay someone if you can do it by yourself? Thus, Ford decided to create an integrated production facility to get raw materials and turn them into cars, without third parties’ assistance.
So, he started to buy the firms which produced most component parts of his cars. He owned coal mines and forests so as to supply his plant. He bought unprofitable and ramshackle railroad to save on shipping vehicles produced to points all over the USA, by extending the rails onto his plant.
In order not to depend on foreign rubber supply, Henry Ford together with Thomas Edison and Harvey Firestone formed the Edison Botanic Research Corporation (EBRC). They sought and found the source of rubber to cultivate and produce quickly in the United States.
As Ford said, “Before everything else, getting ready is the secret of success”. He was always scrupulous in paying attention to little things, which even seemed obvious and not too important, as only knowing all the options, it is possible to build a solid foundation.
So, is it about Fortune that always smiled on Henry Ford? Of course, it isn’t. The secret of his success was paying attention to the smallest details and thorough preparation for any, even not so important, business. He had his own holistic approach to various life situations, which he applied throughout his life.
But does it mean you have to take Henry Ford’s book about his life and work and try to do everything he did? I suppose it won’t work because you’re not a Henry Ford, and I’m not him as well. We live in an absolutely different time (and I can only imagine what he would’ve managed to achieve if he had the Internet and all the stuff we have today!).
The main goal of such great examples is to help us find inspiration, motivation, work hard, and create our own approaches to success.