A Lesson From Henry FordHenry-Ford

From where I sit writing this, I can throw a stick and hit the Edison-Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers, Florida. Over the last three years that my parents have lived here, we have visited on several occasions and I’ve learned a lot about these brilliant men. Men who followed their dreams at all costs even when it seemed like every turn was a failure.

So when I learned that today in history in 1899, Henry Ford resigned as Chief Engineer at Edison Illuminating Company to concentrate on creating automobiles. You can read about the full story here at History.com.

Turning Away From A Sure Thing

This week alone I think I’ve said the phrase “nothing in this life is guaranteed” at least a dozen times – and it is only Wednesday. And as true as that statement may be, something can still be a “sure thing” or a “good thing”.

Here is what I mean, let’s use a job for example. You can have a false security in your corporate job you’ve held for ten years. You make great money. You get comfortable. Why leave? But, outside of your control the marketplace shifts, a recession hits or just the normalcy of the business cycle and the unfortunate event of realignments occur.

So back to good ole’ Henry. Henry was offered a substantial sum to stay on as Chief Engineer but you see he was ready to push ahead to his own dream. He turned away from that sure thing and I’m sure everyone he knew thought he was out of his mind.

“Failure” Didn’t Stop Him

I have a strong dislike for the word failure. It is viewed as the opposite of success. I’ll argue though that we all define success differently and so how can we truly assess a failure? Or, what is perceived as a failure?

Ford went on to raise the funds to open the Detroit Automobile Company in 1899. He struggled with the stiff competition of the other 60 auto makers at the time and the company collapsed during it’s second year in business. A year later he regrouped and opened Ford Motor Company which has evolved into what we know today over 100 years later.

A farm boy who worked at his dream while working the “sure thing” job; who turned away from the “sure thing” to the unknown; who started and restarted until the time was right; becoming a legend in the automotive industry and leading the way for what we know today.

Keep pushing ahead for whatever your dream is. It takes effort, adaptability, perseverance, determination, courage and looking like a fool to everyone you know. But, isn’t it worth it if you achieve it?

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