We all know Henry Ford best for founding the world-renowned Ford Motor Company and transforming the way that products are built in the United States. While it’s certainly easy to idolize someone who had so much business success, Henry Ford actually experienced many of the highs and lows that business owners still face today. However, his experience and his triumphs make for some incredible life lessons.
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.
Life Lessons from Henry Ford
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. 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.
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. “Don’t find fault; find a remedy.”
The above is one of my favorite Henry Ford quotes, and it’s one of his best life lessons. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. Anything is possible.
Last but not least, 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.
In my opinion, Henry Ford is definitely worthy of his status as one of America’s great businessmen. His life lessons can certainly help all of us to stretch ourselves, dream big, remain accountable, and strive for excellence.
Which of these life lessons is most relevant to your life right now?