Henry Ford is one of the most famous businessmen of all time. American industrialist and founder of the Ford Motor Company, his foresight revolutionized the transportation industry and enabled many people to purchase their first car. Ford was very interested in mechanics from a young age, when he dismantled and reassembled a pocket watch at the age of 15 his father had given him.
Ford started his personal experiments on gasoline engines which was the beginning of his vast Ford empire. And his net worth, as per Forbes in 2008, is a cool $188.1 billion. From enduring the Great Depression to dealing with a high turnover rate at his factory, Henry Ford had to experience several failures that all added up to his incredible, historic successes. The best part is that if you need help overcoming an obstacle today, many of his life lessons are still applicable to the 21st century.
Here are the 10 Success lessons from Henry Ford – “Rags to Riches” for entrepreneurs,
1. Seek advice from others
One of the biggest mistakes that Henry Ford made was not listening to some of his most trusted advisers. Many people, his son included, warned him about the rising popularity of other cars, yet Henry Ford did not adapt well to these changes.
By the end of his life, although he was a wealthy man, Ford Motor Company was third and not first in the automobile industry. His company certainly did not lose any of the prestige it had in its earlier days, but had Mr. Ford kept up with innovations, he could have been more of a leader in the industry.
2. Anyone who stops learning is old
The mind is a terrible thing to waste. During our developmental years we must concentrate on learning — which leads us to thinking. And once we have learned to think we must never lose that ability.
Continuous lifelong learning, from both successes and defeats, not only encourages success but keeps us young. Today, we can dramatically increase the knowledge base from which we draw learning — from countless friends and followers who have shared similar experiences. It is an education without cost but brimming with value.
3. Create for everyone
Many successful business people have made their fortune catering to the rich, but Henry Ford created products that appealed to everyone. He even raised the salary of his factory workers to the point where they could actually afford the cars they were making. This led to reducing the turnover rate that plagued the Ford Motor Company in the early years.
4. “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t — you’re right.”
It has long been believed that all successes actually begin in the mind. In fact, it is generally accepted that both success and failure occur first in our minds before they present themselves in reality. Henry Ford believed strongly in this principle and lived by it during his daily business life. Most great men and women understand that whatever view you have of yourself in your mind will manifest itself in reality.
So the first objective in any successful venture is to commit mentally to that success — charting a course in your mind that will virtually guarantee positive empirical results.
5. Invest in what works
What makes Henry Ford so successful is that he took his business idea and made it bigger. Had he stayed with his original small factory, he wouldn’t be the business icon that we know today. Every time he wanted to improve his company, he invested in a much larger factory to produce more products.
He even diversified and started offering more services than just automobiles. Even though all of these changes were cost intensive, Henry Ford was willing to take the risk and invest in what worked.
6. “Failure is simply an opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”
The best thing about failure is that it is definite. Failure is an absolute. Once it occurs we are free to let it be and to set out once again with a fresh outlook. Social media provides accountable “partners” who will encourage us to dust ourselves off when failure occurs and to march forward with the lessons we have learned.
7. Have passion for what you do
If you don’t have enthusiasm for your work, then it’s time to find a new job! While you won’t have a perfect work day every day, having a passion for what you do will make everything more worthwhile. It might take some time to find this passion, but Henry Ford’s life lessons show us that they are worth fighting for.
8. Anything is possible
Henry Ford showed the world that anything is possible. He built an iconic company from the ground up, running it himself, buying out investors, and making it bigger and better every year. He did his research, learned from great business owners who were using assembly lines, and adapted it to fit his product.
He was an innovator and someone who championed personal growth. He treated his employees well and raised their wages. He encouraged others to do the same. Like any person, he was not perfect, but his story offers some great life lessons that can still be used to this day.
9. Always produce high quality work
Henry Ford once said, “Quality means doing it right when no one is looking,” and that is absolutely true. We should all be at our best at all times, not only when our boss is watching or our parents are watching.
Creating good habits and developing into good people is much more important than getting ahead through unethical methods.
10. “Don’t find fault; find a remedy.”
It’s so easy to place blame on other people or to point the finger at someone else for your mistakes. However, one of the most integral skills you can learn in life is taking responsibility for your actions.
Even better, take it one step further and find a solution to the problem. This will guarantee you much success in life.