Year To Success

Lesson 5: Inspiration from Henry Ford

Henry Ford  (1863–1947) was the founder, vice-president, and chief engineer of the Ford Motor Company.

Success is age independent. Henry Ford constructed his first steam engine at the age of 15.

Success is not formal education. Ford’s formal education was limited to what is rumored to be about three years.

Success is fueled by failure. After two unsuccessful attempts to establish a company to manufacture automobiles, the Ford Motor Company was incorporated in 1903 with Henry Ford as vice-president and chief engineer.

Success is problem-solving. By early 1914, Ford’s innovative assembly line had resulted in a monthly labor turnover of 40 to 60 percent in his factory, largely because of the unpleasant monotony of assembly-line work and repeated increases in the production quotas assigned to workers. Ford met this difficulty by doubling the daily wage to $5 and shaving one hour off the workday.

Success is overcoming competition. In 1905, there were 50 start-up companies a year trying to get into the auto business, and Ford succeeded.

Success is doing what you feel in your gut is right, despite public opinion. The Wall Street Journal called Ford’s daily wage increase plan “an economic crime,” and his critics coined the pejorative term “Fordism,” which reflected their disgust in his practice.

Success is seeking out those who can help you with your goals. In 1903, Ford found twelve people willing to invest a total of $28,000 in another motor company. Ford was then able to begin production of the Model A car. The car sold well, and the company flourished and by 1907 the profits reached $1,100,000. In 1909, Ford made the decision to manufacture only one type of car, the Model T, which changed automotive history forever.