He is also a shining example of his own assertion that “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”
In 1928, Henry Ford set out to increase his bottom line by exerting more control over his supply chain – now called vertical integration – and began the process of creating his own rubber plantation in Brazil. There is some debate over whether his motive was strictly to achieve better pricing for the raw materials needed to make tires for the automobiles he was manufacturing; there was, at the time, a virtual monopoly on rubber coming from a limited number of producers.
He persisted in his venture through numerous difficulties, including a riot by the workers on his plantation who were not enthusiastic about being forced to adhere to the American lifestyle imposed by the management of the facility. He finally gave up in 1945 when the advent of synthetic rubber made organic rubber obsolete for manufacturing purposes. He sold the entire operation to the Brazilian government for a loss of $20 million -, which equates to $200 million in today’s economy.
But Henry Ford didn’t just give up and walk away. He continued to build his automotive empire into what we know today as one of the premier automobile manufacturers with a global market. He persisted, and continued to work toward his ultimate vision. His achievements are legendary, and his insight into the human condition is profound. Other quotes from his writings and interviews are:
“Whether you think that you can, or that you can’t, you are usually right.”
“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”
“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.”
“Time and money spent in helping men to do more for themselves is far better than mere giving.”
“A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large.”
I have no doubt that Henry Ford learned some of these concepts the hard way – through experience and occasional failure – but I am equally certain that the lessons he learned and have passed on will prove to be as valuable in the present and future as they were to him in the past.
Failure is a learning tool…not an indication of worthlessness.
Success will come to those who are devoted to the concept of service, and can work together with others of like mind.
Developing a mindset for accomplishment and staying focused on the goal will be the greatest challenge, and the sweetest victory.
Whatever your challenges are, and despite the obstacles that life places in your path, your dreams and goals can be achieved by applying the same principles that have resulted in one of the greatest success stories of the 20th century. Use these principles on a daily basis, and your achievements will astound you!